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united arab emirates (uae)

 

Tourism in Dubai (United Arab Emirates) is an important part of the Dubai government's strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. Dubai's lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping, but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions. Dubai is the most populous emirate of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. It is distinct from other members of the UAE in that revenues from petroleum and natural gas account for only 6% of its gross domestic product. A majority of the emirate's revenues are from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) and now, increasingly, from tourism. Dubai has burst on to the global scene as perhaps one of the most happening cities in the world with its ambitious projects and unique events. And, much of the credit of promoting Dubai as a tourism and commerce hub can be attributed to Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM). The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) was established in January 1997, replacing the Dubai Commerce and Tourism Promotion Board (DCTPB) that was itself set up in 1989. DTCM’s broad objectives are to increase the awareness of Dubai to global audiences and to attract tourists and inward investment into the emirate. It is empowered with the responsibility of organising the marketing of tourism and commerce for Dubai. Today, DTCM is the principal authority for the planning, supervision and development of the tourism sector in Dubai. In addition, it is charged with the responsibility of licensing and classification of hotels, hotel apartments, tour operators, travel agents and all other tourism services. DTCM’s supervisory role covers archaeological and heritage sites and to ensure sustainable and responsible tourism for Dubai. It is also committed to conduct training programmes for personnel from the tourism industry to ensure that Dubai’s tourism industry continues its world-class development with world-class people involved at all levels.

 

 

Dubai Museum

 

Dubai Museum is housed in Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787. It’s a terrific example of a desert fort, complete with cannons and battlements. Dubai’s entertaining museum brings the city’s past and present together in a series of life-size dioramas and archaeological exhibits from desert excavations.Meet the pearl fishers who first settled the banks of the Creek, the desert Bedouins who roamed the heartland, and the date farmers who irrigated the land. You’ll also see representations of a busy souq, a mosque and inside a traditional home, revealing life in the Emirate before the coming of oil.

 

Burj Al-Arab

 

Dubai’s signature landmark is the Burj Al-Arab, the famous sail-shaped hotel facing the Arabian Gulf. The world’s only seven-star hotel, it’s truly the stuff of James Bond movies and superstars.Packed with bars and restaurants, the hotel is a world within a world, with guests enjoying every luxury service you can imagine in their opulent suites.For most of us, catching that iconic shot of the hotel jutting out to sea is the closest we’ll get to the Burj Al-Arab. Mere mortals can visit, but before you can even reach the front door you have to make a booking in advance and a hefty fee is charged to sightsee.A better way to visit is by making a reservation at one of the hotel’s many bars or restaurants. Al Muntaha restaurant and the adjacent Skyview Bar are the venues to choose for soaring panoramic views.

 

Burj Khalifa

 

Skyscrapers don’t get any taller than Burj Khalifa, currently the tallest structure on the planet. Soaring 828 meters (2,717 ft), with more than 160 stories, the building has a stepped design that narrows as it climbs syringe-like to the sky. Burj Khalifa is part of the massive Downtown Dubai complex of offices, hotels, shopping malls, entertainment precincts and apartment buildings. Ride the elevator to the 124th-floor Observation Deck for astounding views over Dubai and the Arabian Gulf, or take a wander through the gardens and fountains of Burj Khalifa Park. Shop till you drop in Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall. Along with a huge variety of shops – including Galeries Lafayette, Bloomingdale's, and Marks & Spencer – the mall includes an aquarium, ice rink, Sega theme park and cinemas.

 

Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai)

 

Cutting through the heart of Dubai, the seawater Dubai Creek winds its way from the trading port on the Gulf to the Ras al Khor bird sanctuary on the desert edge of Dubai. Old-fashioned boats called dhows criss-cross the water from Bur Dubai on the left bank to Deira on the right. Catch a water taxi dhow, called an abra, to get from A to B, or sign up for a romantic sunset dhow cruise traveling further upstream.A cruise reveals the glittering high-rise buildings lining the Creek, passing under several bridges to reach the Creekside gardens. Or take a stroll along the paved promenade lining the Creek on the Bur Dubai side of the waterway.

 

Jumeirah Mosque

 

To enter the only mosque in the UAE open to non-Muslim visitors, make your way to Jumeirah Mosque. Designed to provide a better understanding of Islam, the tour is followed by a relaxed Q&A session. All visitors need to be accompanied by a registered guide from the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. The extremely photogenic mosque is a modern-day tribute to medieval Fatimid architecture, complete with pure-white minarets and domes.

 

Dubai Souk

 

Dubai’s Gold Souk is a market that showcases seemingly endless amounts of gold jewelry. With over 300 jewelers on site to accommodate all your gold related needs, the streets during the day are swarming with visitors from all around the world enjoying the spectacle of wall-to-wall gold, and course, the souk’s phenomenal prices. Whether you are looking to buy or just peruse, the Dubai Souk is certainly worth your visit. With an average of 10 tons of gold available on the premises at any given time, you are sure to be impressed with the glimmering displays, with gold makes in virtually any style you could imagine—and even available in an array of colors including white, yellow and pink. If you are feeling so inclined to make a purchase at the Souk, make sure you bring your haggling pants with you. It is entirely expected that you negotiate the price for any wanted goods, and if one doesn’t sound good to you, don’t be afraid to keep exploring.

 

Abu Dhabi Corniche

 

The Abu Dhabi Corniche stretches along the northwestern shore of the island city, a popular spot for beachside recreation. The 5-mile (8-kilometer) stretch of attractive waterfront includes walking paths, cafes, playgrounds and bicycle rentals, and no matter what you decide to do along the coast, you’ll have an excellent view of Abu Dhabi’s skyline. In the evenings, the promenade is the perfect place for a stroll. The Corniche’s crowning jewel is its public white sand beach. With numerous lifeguards on duty during swimming hours and floating fences keeping swimmers within 130 feet (40 meters), the Corniche Beach is great for families traveling with children. Come on a weekday, and you’ll usually find an umbrella.

 

Emirates Palace

 

Dubai’s Burj Al Arab, Abu Dhabi opened its own seven-star hotel in 2005. The Emirates Palace, managed by the Kempinski Group, sits just outside the city on its own private stretch of white sand beach. The domed, sand-colored palace is dotted with verdant gardens, water fountains and sparkling pools. The 302 rooms and 92 suites—many finished in gold and marble—feature state-of-the-art entertainment systems paired with Arabian furnishings fit for a sheik. Here’s an idea of just how extravagant the 3 billion dollar property really is: 11 pounds (5 kilograms) of pure edible gold gets incorporated into the hotel’s desserts each year—desserts made in 128 kitchens. The marble in the hotel comes from 13 different countries and 1,002 chandeliers provide the light. Visitors who don’t want to splurge on a room can experience the property with a meal at one of 10 restaurants, a drink at one of the four bars or a rejuvenating treatment at the Anantara Spa.

 

Saadiyat Island

 

The residential, commercial and leisure area known as Saadiyat Island sits just off the coast of Abu Dhabi. While the project is still under development and set to be completed in 2020, visitors can get a glimpse of what the island will eventually be like by visiting the Manarat Al Saadiyat, a visitor center with an exhibit on the Saadiyat Island development, as well as space for several temporary exhibitions. The UAE Pavilion from the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai has been relocated to the island as well, now serving as a major events venue for the city. Visitors can also play a round of golf at the Saadiyat Beach Golf Club, designed by Gary Player, or enjoy the beach at the two resorts already opened for business. Over the next several years, architects from around the globe including Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, will be working on Abu Dhabi installations of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums, as well as a performing arts center, maritime museum, marina and promenade.

 

Palm Islands & the World

 

The Palm Islands is an audacious trio of palm-shaped offshore developments in Dubai. Home to a mix of leisure, residential, marina and commercial constructions, the islands form the shape of date palms linked to the mainland by causeways. The most complete of these artificial island developments is Palm Jumeirah, near Dubai Marina in Jumeirah. Construction began in 2001, and the first residents moved into their new island homes in 2007. The glitzy Atlantis resort opened in 2008, and further construction of beaches, shopping malls, hotel resorts and theme parks is under way. Palm Jebel Ali will be constructed further west, near the Abu Dahbi border. The third development, Palm Deira, is under way on the other side of the Creek in Deira. The World is an equally ambitious project taking place in the waters of the Arabian Gulf, 4 km (2.5 miles) offshore. Replicating the globe, from Iceland to Asia, the huge project covers 9 km (5.5 miles) of reclaimed land but is many years from completion.

 

Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum's House

 

Visit the former home and government seat of the ruling Al Maktoum family, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum's House, built in 1894 for the present ruler’s grandfather and now preserved as a museum. Inside you’ll see historic photographs, documents and furnishings, but the real thrill comes from stepping inside such a famous home, one of the oldest buildings in the city. The building is a classic example of domestic Arabian architecture, complete with picturesque windtowers to catch the cooling breezes blowing in off the Gulf. From the top floor you can catch panoramic views of Dubai's Creek and skyscrapers.

 

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

 

It’s only fitting that a city as extravagant as Abu Dhabi has a theme park to match its extravagance, and in this case, that theme park is Ferrari World Abu Dhabi. The race car-themed park features 20 rides and attractions—everything from the toddler-friendly carousel of Ferrari prototype cars to cutting-edge racing simulators that will please older children and teens. The largest indoor theme park in the world is also home to the world’s fastest roller coaster, the Formula Rossa, a hydraulic-powered thrill ride where you’re strapped into a Ferrari Formula One-like coaster car and launched at speeds up to 150 miles per hour (240 kilometers per hour). Car enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the 1920s ode to Italian racing inside the Cinema Maranello or the Racing Legends, an exhibit featuring key moments in the history of Ferrari racing. Expect to dine on primarily Italian food if you choose to eat in the food court.