Dubai, once a land with just desert around, today stands tall as one of the modern day city. The land of the Arabs has been structured as the most advanced cities in the world. The downtown area has tall structures and buildings with equipped advanced technology, ultra modern infrastructure and luxury beyond imagination and exceeding expectations in every way.
Dubai is the most popular Emirate of UAE and is a perfect blend of royalty and glamour. But at the same time the ancient traditions and customs can also be seen alive in the heart of the city. Lifestyle in Dubai is all about luxury and thus, it is a destination for all age groups with a wide range of tourism products and services. Some of the best luxury hotels can be found in Dubai.
The city built around the coast was discovered in the 18th century but came into limelight after the discovery of Oil. The economy flourished with the support of the ruler of Dubai who introduced duty free trade to enhance development. Hence, the revenue generated from these activities gave boost to the tourism infrastructure and activities. Tourism is one of the most important part of the economy of Dubai and has been given high importance in terms of infrastructure, development and tourism promotion.
In a considerable short span of 40-50 years, Dubai has seen it all from sand to stardom! It has become the entertainment capital of UAE offering wide range of Arabic art and crafts, exotic Arabic cuisine, some of the best clubs of the world, adventurous skydiving, engaging entertainment parks, the ultra luxury hotels of the world and much more – you name it you have it in Dubai !
The Emirate was once a barren land and only had fishermen living here. The early population was involved in fishing as Dubai was a natural port and they settled themselves in Creek. By 20th century the Souks were established and with the initial 350 shops, the trade flourished in Dubai.
When oil was discovered in 1966, Sheikh Rashid realized the resource could be utilized in a better way, therefore he used the revenues generated from Oil to develop the economy of the entire city. Since the 1960s, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, then ruler of Abu Dhabi, and Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum had dreamt of creating a federation of the Emirates in the region. Their ambition was realized in 1971 when Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and (in 1972) Ras Al Khaimah, joined to form the United Arab Emirates.
In 1980’s the Sheikh perceived the potential of tourism and foreign investment. Dubai was developed with leaps and bounds to a futuristic city one could have imagined. The city came out as a dream for many and the development was such that people across the globe could not resist traveling.
Today, Dubai is a futuristic city of dreams and has high potential tourism revenue inflow. It has world’s best hotels, restaurants, the tallest buildings in the world, technological advancement and luxury that is beyond anticipation.
Dubai is the most preferred destination and thus, the hub of tourism in Middle East. Offering wide range of tourism products and services, we have enlisted a few activities that one should not miss on a visit:
Visit to Burj Khalifa
Ever thought of walking on the clouds or touching the sky’s? It’s no dream in this magnificent city. A master piece of architecture, the Burj Khalifa stands tall with over 160 stories. Dining on the 122nd floor, a view of the entire city from the Observation deck on the 124th floor , a relaxing swim in the pool on the 76th floor and a stay at the luxurious Giorgio Armani hotel designed by the fashion icon - Giorgio Armani himself, are just a few experiences of many which this place has to offer upon your visit to this skyscraper . Also, the Burj Khalifa has been recognized as the tallest standing structure in the universe.
It is not just some ordinary mall in the corner street of your city , it is the biggest mall in the world! The enormous building host more than 1000 stores and more than 70 top notch fashion brands of the world. A day is not enough to explore this aw-engaging mall. Moreover, it offers a perfect blend of activities and experiences to the visitors ranging from kids club to family entertainment. Also, it gives a unique experience of the beautiful underwater zoo and an aquarium connecting its visitors to the beautiful aquatic life.
The city of Dubai is developed from leaps and bounds and offers many exotic tourism experiences. One such masterpiece of art and architecture is the Palm Jumeirah, a man made island designed in the shape of a palm tree. The Palm Jumeirah is one of the most luxurious and well developed island of Dubai, that has excellent connectivity to the main city. The Island hosts some of the most lavish hotels in the world including the iconic Palm Atlantis. An evening spent on a yacht sailing around the island, sky dive experience, the luxurious hotels and resorts, these are just some of the few experiences which this place has to offer.
Sky Dive Dubai
Now does this excite you? The Sky Dive Dubai is one of the finest sky dive experiences in the world. I was personally too hesitant to try this out as it was my first experience. But from an amateur to a professional, the Sky dive Dubai has adventures planned for all. Besides the sky dive they offer the experience of flying across the city in a gyrocopter where one can sit and enjoy the view of the beautiful Palm Islands and the magnificent Burj Al Arab.
Dhow Cruise Experience
It’s all about an unforgettable evening with some moments to share on board a cruise circling the beautiful city. Unlike the other ships, this is an authentic wooden boat lit with small lighting’s and offers a perfect evening getaway. The guests are welcomed with traditional Arabic coffee known as the Kahwehalong with exotic Arabic Cuisine for dinner . There is a choice for sitting in the open at the top or can sit at the air conditioned lower decks as it sails around the city.
The Desert Safari
Another set of adventure await! The desert of Dubai is yet again an attraction. An adventurous drive on the golden dunes, in a 4x4 cruiser. One can also enjoy the camel ride on the sand wearing a traditional Arabic Attire. Evenings is reserved for relaxation at a traditional Arabic Bedouin campsite and cherish the beauty of the desert as you sip on your Kahwehdragging on the Shisha, enjoy the exotic international cuisines and be entertained with the live Arabic belly dance. This exotic experience is organized by many professional travel companies.
Visit to the Souks
The Souks of Dubai are indeed an attraction to many as it takes you to towards the Arabic culture and lifestyle. The Dubai souks are best known throughout the world for its eye littering jewelry - especially gold , the exotic Arabic perfumes and the authentic herbs and spices. Shopping in these streets is indeed a memorable experience as it has so much to offer in terms of variety that one cannot resist of testing out their pockets!
Dubai gets exciting as we explore further! The Jumeirah beach is the spot for water sports and take pleasure in the sun and sand. Most of the beach side is private to beach hotels and can only be accessed by the resident in-house guests. Other visitors can relax by the Jumeirah beach park which is an area open to all.
Ferrari World – Yas Island Abu Dhabi
Dubai and Abu Dhabi are separated by a distance of 125 km. The Ferrari world is a world class Amusement park. As the name suggests everything about this park is just about this brand - Ferrari: Breath-taking rides or the striking cars on display – this park has an experience for every age group ! You can also buy a souvenir or dine in the finest restaurants within the amusement park. I would suggest all to keep some space in your Dubai Travel itinerary and visit the Ferrari World while you are here!
BEST TIME TO VISIT!
Dubai being in Middle East is always experiencing warmth of nature. However, the best time to be there is from October to March when the temperature is moderate.
The busiest months are December and January when visiting Dubai might be a little expensive for some because of several events happening all around the city. From April till September, travelling to Dubai is comparatively lighter on pocket, but the temperature may touch as high as 50 degree at times in July and August.
HOW TO REACH
This city has excellent connectivity with the world, all thanks to Emirates airlines flying from almost every part of the world. The luxurious Emirates Airlines is simply the best in the aviation industry offering world-class hospitality and impeccable in-flight services.
Apart from Emirates, all the national carriers of most of the countries do fly directly to Dubai as a transit point or a major stopover.
Generally most of the hotels in Dubai provide airport transfers. Alternatively, going to the hotel from the Airport and going around the city is very easy as the meter taxi service is readily available.
If not the local taxi, the entire city is well connected with metro lines. The Dubai metro in itself is a pleasing experience, all the metro stations and outside complex is very well maintained and air conditioned. One can easily figure out the metro route as it is well displayed at the information center board on each metro station and at the same time a help desk is also available at each station. The Palm Jumeirah however is connected through trams which are equally enjoyable.
FAIRS AND FESTIVALS – DUBAI
Dubai Shopping festival
Dubai has become the hub of Fashion, Gold and Electronics in recent days. The Dubai shopping festival is the biggest attraction of the year, there are numerous deals on everything you can think of and they offer many freebies to attract the tourist, some of which can change your life. The event is not just limited to this, live performances, fireworks and dance performances makes Dubai come to life. The festival attracts millions of tourist across the globe to shop and is considered to be one of the biggest shopping event of the world.
Dubai International Jewelry Festival
Being the biggest hub of jewelry, especially Gold, The Dubai International Jewelry festival is one of the biggest events of jewelry across the globe having a participation of almost 400 jewelers from different parts of the world. This prestigious event is running over 20 years to this date and attracts 20,000 visitors across the globe inclusive of consumers and traders.
Dubai International Jazz Festival
The Dubai international Jazz festival pulls 5 lakh visitors every year and is one of the most famous music festival worldwide. The festival has hosted some of the brand names in the industry such as Ricky Martin, John Legend, Santana, Enrique Iglesias, James Blunt and list goes on and on. The festival is generally held in the month of February and is yearly organized since 2003.
Accommodation in Dubai
When it comes to accommodation, Dubai has a wide range of options available in different price range :
The Armani Hotel
This luxurious hotel is located at the Burj khalifa occupying 11 floors of this magnificent skyscraper. The design inspired by the fashion icon himself, Giorgio Armani – The hotel indeed creates a definition and stand for itself in the luxury market and is the first choice of those seeking luxury in Dubai. The hotel is recognized for the beautiful and luxurious spa in the entire city. Also, it gives a direct access to the Dubai Mall
Burj Al Arab (The luxury icon)
Burj Al Arab came into existence in the year 1999 and changed the definition of luxury all together. The hotel has been recognized as the most luxurious hotel of the world. The iconic hotel is located on its own private island and is just a minute away from the beach. The hotel offers a choice of a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce or fly through a helicopter straight to the hotel. Each floor of the guest room will have a reception and a personal butler. The interior of the hotel and its rooms have 24 karat gold embedded in the walls and ceiling .The guest enjoy direct access to the hotels private pool .
These are only a few experiences offered by the Burj Al Arab ! A stay for one night can change your characterization of luxury.
The Palm Atlantis Hotel
Located in one of the most luxurious locality of the city, The Palm Atlantis is an iconic hotel standing tall on the islands of the Palm Jumeriah. The property is known for some of the best locations for a hotel in the world as it gives a stunning view of the Arabian Gulf from its guest rooms. Moreover, the hotel offers its guest an access to the underwater aquarium and a private beach. The guest can book a private yacht locally and enjoy sailing. Also the guests staying at the Palm Atlantis can enjoy a complimentary access to the aqua-venture water park which is the largest water park in the Middle East. The hotel has multiple dining options and offers luxurious rooms for its guest. Staying at the Palm Atlantis is a ‘to-do’ for luxury seekers.
FIVE STAR HOTELS
Located at the Business Bay, the Oberoi Dubai is an elegant and luxurious hotel blended with the sense of Indian hospitality. The Oberoi is a leader in the hospitality industry in India and is now making its mark in the Middle East with this magnificent property. The hotel gives an excellent view of the iconic Burj Khalifa. One of the key attraction is the open air lounge called The Iris which is on the 27th floor, and is an attraction for those seeking the vibrant nightlife of Dubai. The rooms are spacious and luxurious to the international standards. The hotel is an excellent product in the hospitality market of Dubai.
JW Marriott Marquis hotel
The JW Marriott Marquis is another magnificent hotel located in the business bay, between Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. It has 6 food and beverage outlets with over 1600 guestrooms. The hotel is globally second tallest hotel which is managed by the Marriott group, that is the world’ss largest hospitality chain to this date.
The Jumeirah Beach Hotel
The Jumeirah beach hotel is one of the prime hotels of Dubai. They own a private beach side exclusively for the resident guest and has over 21 dining outlets including Indian, Argentinian and Italian Cuisine. The property has one of the prime locations in Dubai and has been the preferred choice for many guests who wish to enjoy the beach and the sun.
NIGHTLIFE DUBAI – WHERE TO EAT , DRINK & DANCE!
Nightlife in Dubai is just awesome! My first thoughts were that Dubai would be a strict country and be lifeless after 09:00 pm. But I was pleasantly surprised as the city has some of the best and some of the most exquisite Bars and Restaurants which is just beyond imagination. Here are a few restaurants which got my attention:
THE IRIS BAR
This is one of the most popular outlet when it comes to celebrating the nightlife in the city. The bar is located at the roof-top of The Oberoi Dubai. The Bar offers the finest collection of international cuisines and exotic cocktails amalgamated with the sophisticated ambiance and breathtaking view of the city and Burj Khalifa. The evenings are generally enjoyed with live music and a DJ who makes you fall in love with the place. The Bar is open till late evening.
THE MERIDIAN VILLAGE TERRACE
When it comes to the luxurious Al Fresco dining restaurants, the Meridian Village terrace is the first choice as it offers an unforgettable experience of the finest cuisines which are theme based on daily basis. The restaurant is located at the Terrace of Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Center in Garhoud. The evening is set with live kitchen and a spread of exotic International cuisine buffet. The ambiance creates a moment of relaxation and rejuvenation while enjoying the spread of dishes and live music with a glass of Wine.
THE CAVALLI CLUB
The perfection to this club has been given by the icon of the fashion industry and the famous renowned designer Roberto Cavalli, the club is one of the best in the entire city. Located at the Fairmount Hotel Dubai at Sheikh Zayed Road, the club attracts many tourist along with the locals making it a preferred choice and probably the best club of Dubai. The chefs of the club play with the spices to the dishes just like the DJ plays the night. The entire club can be divided into several parts to create small private lounge spaces.
PIERCHIC RESTAURANT AND BAR
For those who love seafood, I have the best to recommend! The Pierchic restaurant and Bar is the finest restaurant of Dubai when it comes to the exotic sea food. The restaurant is located at the end of the pier at the Al Qasr Hotel at Madinat Jumeirah. They give their guest an unforgettable dining experience over the water, the best cocktails for the evening and offering a stunning view of the amazing Burj Al Arab hotel, creating a perfect romantic experience.
For those looking with the Mediterranean cuisine and varieties in sea food blended with the European touch. So tag along with your loved one and look out for this experience for sure.
THE RANG MAHAL RESTAURANT
Looking for the striking Indian curries? Well you got it!
The Rang Mahal restaurant is the finest Indian restaurant in Dubai. Located at JW Marquis Dubai it was started by Chef Atul Kochar who is a Michelin Star Celebrity Chef. The team of chefs at this restaurant have introduced the authentic Indian flavors in each dish served. From an exotic Mughali Cuisine to the Goan fishes, everything is prepared with grace, ensuring the perfect blend of spices and ingredients and the professional hands of the these chef’s give life to these preparations. Also, the restaurant has the finest ambiance when it comes to dining making it one of the must visit restaurant for those who seek to explore the spices of Indian Cuisine.
THE ARABIAN TEA HOUSE
If you are looking for a place to just relax and spend some time with yourself or friends or someone special, the Arabian tea house is the place to be. Located in the historic streets of Al Fahidi-Bur Dubai. The name itself suggests that this place is a perfect tea spot, but at the same time offers a variety of options to bite on the healthy food. One can grab a healthy salad or sandwich from the varieties available and sip on one of a cup of tea out of their menu, offering more than 100 varieties. The best time to be in at the Arabian Tea house is during winters.
THE BICE MARE RESTAURANT
For those who wish to get a taste of the Italian food, the BICE MARE restaurant is the place one should be. I would say it has one of the best locations in Dubai overlooking Burj Khalifa and the grand Dubai Mall fountain. The restaurant has received many prime awards and is known best for the contemporary Italian food and the top location in the city.
Some Important Facts
Currency – The local currency in Dubai is the UAE Dhiram. General rate of exchange is US $1 equal AED 3.67.
UAE Visa – For citizens of UK , USA and the Oceanic countries like Australia and New zeland and a few other European countries, a visa on arrival option is available. For most of the Asian countries, the visa has to be obtained either through a sponsor (local or a travel agent) or a hotel.
Hotels – Booking a hotel is never a headache in this city as Hotels in Dubai are generally not that expensive if booked in advance. The advantage of the hotels in Dubai is that there are multiple options to choose from for every price range. The hotels may vary from $50 to a five star in less than $250 depending upon the season.
Food & Beverage – The city offer mouth-relishing flavors across the streets and all at a different prices. An average meal cost can be as low as $3.5 with various options available throughout city. However, alcohol can be an expensive affair as it is generally available in hotels or different bars in the city.
Travel planners Dubai – There are few travel companies in Dubai specializing in customized travel itineraries. The most reputed travel company which I have used as well is White Sand Tours Dubai. They have been into the business for a very long time and are absolute professionals when it comes to planning your travel to Dubai and other Emirates. From the best hotel options to the different tourism aspects and activities, they got it all covered.
Language – The language of the Locals is Arabic. However, 90 percent of the population is expatriate therefore English is a common language.
Bars in Dubai – Most of the clubs have a dress code. It does not mean that you have to be dressed in a suit but you will not be allowed if you enter the club wearing sneakers or shorts. Also, entry is restricted to below 21 and below 25, serving alcohol is not permissible. They are very strict with their norms and expect all to follow the same.
Rules and Regulations – Drinking in Public is not allowed. Outside hotels and Bars, Alcohol to be served in public is not permissible. Also, no matter how exciting nightlife seems to be in Dubai, the usage of drugs is strictly prohibited in UAE and the same can land you in prison forever.
Holidays in Dubai – Generally Fridays and Saturdays are off in Dubai. The first working day in Dubai is Sunday.