Dubai City Guide : Dubai City Information Guide : Dubai Business Directory & Yellow Pages Dubai UAE – Hotels, Entertainment, Shopping, Travel & Business. From pristine white beaches, to the swirling sands and mystique of the Arabian Desert and the snow filled peaks of Ski Dubai, Dubai has it all! A trip to Dubai is like taking a journey through time. The city blends the magic of Arabia with 21st century comfort and opulence – it is like Arabian nights come alive in Gotham city!
With a perfect winter climate, world-class hotels, outstanding facilities for a variety of sports and leisure activities and a wide choice of exceptional dining and shopping, this burgeoning Arab city offers dramatic adventures, rich cultural experiences, exotic dining and gorgeous attractions designed to delight visitors from all walks of life. In a single day, the tourist can experience everything from awe-inspiring sand dunes to sandy beaches and lush green parks, from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern housing complexes and shopping malls.
Dubai City Guide
The Ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are the only two emirates to have veto power over critical matters of national importance in the country’s legislature. Its geographical location made it an important trading hub and by the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port. A free trade zone was built around the Jebel Ali port in 1979, allowing foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital.
Today, Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub. Although Dubai’s economy was built on the oil industry, currently the emirate’s model of business, similar to that of Western countries, drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. This increased attention has highlighted labour rights and human rights issues concerning its largely South Asian workforce.
Dubai Economy Guide
Dubai’s gross domestic product as of 2008 was US$ 82.11 billion. Although Dubai’s economy was built on the back of the oil industry, revenues from oil and natural gas currently account for less than 6% of the emirate’s revenues. It is estimated that Dubai produces 50,000 to 70,000 barrels (11,000 m3) of oil a day and substantial quantities of gas from offshore fields. The emirate’s share in UAE’s gas revenues is about 2%. Real estate and construction (22.6%), trade (16%), entrepôt (15%) and financial services (11%) are the largest contributors to Dubai’s economy. Dubai’s top exporting destinations include India, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Dubai’s top re-exporting destinations include India (US$ 6.53 billion), Iran (US$ 5.8 billion) and Iraq (US$ 2.8 billion). The emirate’s top import sources are India, China and the United States. As of 2009 India was Dubai’s largest trade partner.
Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, constructed in the 1970s, has the largest man-made harbour in the world and was ranked seventh globally for the volume of container traffic it supports. Dubai is also a hub for service industries such as information technology and finance, with industry-specific free zones throughout the city. Dubai Internet City, combined with Dubai Media City as part of TECOM (Dubai Technology, Electronic Commerce and Media Free Zone Authority) is one such enclave whose members include IT firms such as EMC Corporation, Oracle Corporation, Microsoft, and IBM, and media organisations such as MBC, CNN, BBC, Reuters, Sky News and AP.
Dubai Events and Festivals
Dubai has established itself as a major destination for a diverse array of local and international events. Throughout the year, Dubai hosts a range of popular annual sporting activities, shopping festivals, carnivals, dazzling entertainment attractions, as well as conferences and exhibitions. The Dubai Shopping Festival held during the months of January and February offers a shopping bonanza that is unparalleled along with a plethora of fun-filled activities and events. During this world-famous event, merchants offer their wares at ridiculously reduced prices.
Everything from Oriental carpets and jewellery to electronics and automobiles can be purchased here for much less than anywhere else in the world. Book a hotel, enjoy the fine Dubai cuisine, and visit a shopper’s dream destination! Plan a shopping excursion to Dubai at the start of the New Year and you’ll see why no shopping experience can top The Dubai Shopping festival. Throughout the year Dubai Hosts international events which are organized in the venues that are highly developed technically & safe & secure as well.
Dubai Travel and Tourism
Tourism 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. As of 2007, Dubai was the 8th most visited city of the world. Dubai is expected to accommodate over 15 million tourists by 2015. 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 a large part of the emirate’s revenues are from tourism.
Dubai has been called the “shopping capital of the Middle East”. Dubai alone has more than 70 shopping malls, including the world’s 7th largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall. The city draws large numbers of shopping tourists from countries within the region and from as far as Eastern Europe, Africa and the Indian Subcontinent. While boutiques, some electronics shops, department stores and supermarkets operate on a fixed-price basis, most other outlets consider friendly negotiation a way of life.
Dubai is also known for its souk districts located on either side of the creek. Traditionally, dhows from the Far East, China, Sri Lanka, and India would discharge their cargo and the goods would be bargained over in the souks adjacent to the docks. Many boutiques and jewellery stores are also found in the city. Dubai is known as “the City of Gold” and Gold Souk in Deira houses nearly 250 gold retail shops. Dubai Duty Free at the Dubai International Airport offers merchandise catering to the multinational passengers using the airport. The most striking feature of Dubai is the establishment of its Free Zones in several sectors.
Dubai Festival City – Rising along the banks of the historic Dubai creek, Festival Centre is Dubai’s unrivalled waterfront destination for style, sophistication and glamour, showcasing an exciting array of prestigious retailers, an international gourmet offering and a world-class entertainment venue.
Dubai Mall – With more than 1,200 stores and a host of world-class attractions, The Dubai Mall is revolutionizing the modern shopping experience. With an impressive array of leisure pursuits, this is the ultimate, cutting-edge shopping experience. A range of adventure sports vie for attention alongside the romance of ice-skating. A 21st century gold souk is set off against a world class aquarium. Step inside The Dubai Mall and experience a place like no other
Mall of the Emirates – Strategically located in what is now termed as the heart of New Dubai, this huge mall offers a full range of shopping, leisure and entertainment options. After you’ve perused the retail stores on offer there is still plenty left to do. Magic Planet, a family entertainment centre complete with games and rides rivals any theme park. The fourteen screen multiplex cinemas complete with full reclining chairs offer a wonderful cinema experience. You won’t want to miss out on Ski Dubai, that world-renowned indoor ski slope which is also a part of the complex.
Ibn Battuta Mall – The Ibn Battuta Mall is the proud owner of the title of being the world’s largest themed shopping mall. It is designed in honour of Ibn Battuta, a famed Arabic explorer. Locals and tourists alike are able to enjoy a shopping experience that is also historically informative. The mall is divided into six courts, each an architectural reflection of a region that Ibn Battuta explored.
Deira City Centre – The original favourite, this mall is conveniently located near to the airport and is known for its friendly service. Convenient to reach and offering a host of retail, dining and entertainment options, the mall is ideal for visitors on the move.
Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads and Transport authority. The public transport network faces huge congestion and reliability issues which a large investment programme is attempting to address, including over AED 70 billion of improvements planned for completion by 2020, when the population of the city is projected to exceed 3.5 million. In 2009, according to Dubai Municipality statistics, there were an estimated 1,021,880 cars in Dubai. In January 2010, the number of Dubai residents who use public transport stood at 6%. Although the government has invested heavily in the Dubai’s road infrastructure, this has not kept pace with the increasing number of vehicles. This, coupled with the induced traffic phenomenon, has led to growing problems of congestion.
Five main routes — E 101 (Sheikh Zayed Road), E 311 (Emirates Road), E 44 (Dubai-Hatta Highway), E 77 (Dubai-Al Habab Road) and E 66 (Oud Metha Road) — run through Dubai, connecting the city to other towns and emirates. Additionally, several important intra-city routes, such as D 89 (Al Maktoum Road/Airport Road), D 85 (Baniyas Road), D 75 (Sheikh Rashid Road), D 73 (Al Dhiyafa Road), D 94 (Jumeirah Road) and D 92 (Al Khaleej/Al Wasl Road) connect the various localities in the city. The eastern and western sections of the city are connected by Al Maktoum Bridge, Al Garhoud Bridge, Al Shindagha Tunnel, Business Bay Crossing and Floating Bridge.
The Public Bus Transport system in Dubai is run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The bus system services 140 routes and transported over about 109.5 million people in 2008. By the end of 2010, there will be 2,100 buses in service across the city. The Transport authority has announced the construction of 500 air-conditioned (A/C) Passenger Bus Shelters, and has plan for 1,000 more across the emirates in a move to encourage the use of public buses.
Dubai also has an extensive taxi system, by far the most frequently used means of public transport within the Emirate. There are both government-operated and private cab companies. There are more than 3000 taxis operating within the emirate. Taxi cabs in Dubai make an average of 192,000 trips every day, lifting about 385,000 persons. In 2009 taxi trips exceeded 70 million trips serving around 140.45 million passengers.
Dubai International Airport, the hub for the Emirates Airline, serves the city of Dubai and other emirates in the country. The airport was the 15th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic handling 40.9 million passengers in 2009. The airport was also the 6th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. In addition to being an important passenger traffic hub, the airport is the 7th busiest cargo airport in world, handling 1.927 million tonnes of cargo in 2009, a 5.6% increase compared to 2008 and was also the 4th busiest International freight traffic airport in world. Emirates Airline is the national airline of Dubai. As of 2009, it operated internationally serving 101 destinations in 61 countries across six continents.
The development of Al Maktoum International Airport, was announced in 2004. The first phase of the airport, featuring one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year, has been opened. When completed, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo.
A $3.89 billion, Dubai Metro project is currently operational although partly under-construction. The Red Line is operational and runs through the heart of the city. The Metro system was partially opened on September 2009 and will be fully operational by 2014. UK-based international service company Serco Group is responsible for operating the metro. The metro comprises the Green Line from Al Rashidiya to the main city center and the Red Line from the airport to Jebel Ali. A Blue and a Purple Line have also been planned. The Dubai Metro (Green and Blue Lines) will have 70 km (43.5 mi) of track and 43 stations, 37 above ground and ten underground. The Dubai Metro is the first urban train network in the Arabian Peninsula.
‘The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a monorail line on the Palm Jumeirah. The monorail connects the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, with a planned further extension to the Red Line of the Dubai Metro. The line opened on 30 April 2009. Two trams systems are expected to be built in Dubai by 2011. The first is the Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System and the second is the Al Sufouh Tram. The Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System is a 4.6 km (2.86 mi) tram service that is planned to service the area around the Burj Khalifa, and the second tram will run 14.5 km (9 mi) along Al Sufouh Road from Dubai Marina to the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of the Emirates.
Dubai has announced it will complete a link of the UAE high speed rail system which will eventually hook up with the whole GCC and then possibly Europe. The High Speed Rail will serve passengers and cargo.
There are two major commercial ports in Dubai, Port Rashid and Port Jebel Ali. Port Jebel Ali is the world’s largest man-made harbour, the biggest port in the Middle East, and the 7th-busiest port in the world. One of the more traditional methods of getting across Bur Dubai to Deira is through abras, small boats that ferry passengers across the Dubai Creek, between abra stations in Bastakiya and Baniyas Road. The Marine Transport Agency has also implemented the Dubai Water Bus System.
The UAE culture mainly revolves around the religion of Islam and traditional Arab and Bedouin culture. In contrast, the city of Dubai is a highly cosmopolitan society with a diverse and vibrant culture. The influence of Islamic and Arab culture on its architecture, music, attire, cuisine and lifestyle are very prominent as well. Five times every day, Muslims are called to prayer from the minarets of mosques which are scattered around the country. Since 2006, the weekend has been Friday-Saturday, as a compromise between Friday’s holiness to Muslims and the Western weekend of Saturday-Sunday.
In 2005, 84% of the population of metropolitan Dubai was foreign-born, about half of them from India. The city’s cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogenous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals—first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by Indians and Pakistanis in the 1960s. Dubai has been criticised for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes.
Major holidays in Dubai include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and National Day (2 December ), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Annual entertainment events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) attract over 4 million visitors from across the region and generate revenues in excess of $2.7 billion. Large shopping malls in the city, such as Deira City Centre, Mirdiff City Centre, BurJuman, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall as well as traditional souks attract shoppers from the region.
Dress and etiquette
The Islamic dress code is not compulsory, unlike in neighbouring Saudi Arabia. Most Emirati males prefer to wear a kandura, an ankle-length white shirt woven from wool or cotton, and most Emirati women wear an abaya, a black over-garment covering most parts of the body. This attire is particularly well-suited for the UAE’s hot and dry climate. Western-style clothing is, however, dominant because of the large expatriate population, and this practice is beginning to grow in popularity among Emiratis.
Etiquette is an important aspect of UAE culture and tradition, to which visitors are expected to conform. Recently, many expatriates have disregarded the law and been arrested for indecent clothing, or lack thereof, at beaches. Western-style dress is tolerated in appropriate places, such as bars or clubs, but the UAE has maintained a strict policy of protecting highly public spaces from cultural insensitivity.
The United Arab Emirates is a part of the khaliji tradition, and is also known for Bedouin folk music. During celebrations singing and dancing also take place and many of the traditional songs and dances have survived to the present time. Yowalah is the traditional dance of the UAE. Young girls would dance by swinging their long black hair and swaying their bodies in time to the strong beat of the music. Men would re-enact battles fought or successful hunting expeditions, often symbolically using sticks, swords or rifles.
Hollywood and Indian movies are popular in Dubai. Since 2004, the city has hosted the annual Dubai International Film Festival which serves as a showcase Arab film making talent. Musicians Amr Diab, Diana Haddad, Tarkan, Aerosmith, Santana, Mark Knopfler, Elton John, Pink, Shakira, Celine Dion, Coldplay, Keane , Phil Collins, Kavita Krishnamurthy, and A R Rahman have performed in the city. Kylie Minogue was reportedly paid 3.5 million dollars to perform at the opening of the Atlantis resort on 20 November 2008. The Dubai Desert Rock Festival is also another major festival consisting of Heavy metal and rock artists.
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House:
This was the house of the grandfather of the current ruler. It is now converted to a museum with photographs of old Dubai and the current developments. It gives an interesting glimpse into the history of the place.
A visit to the Bastakiya Quarter includes culturally significant sights, such as Dubai’s oldest building (1780s), the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU).
This grand mosque located in Jumeirah is one of the most beautiful mosques in the UAE. An organised tour of the mosque is conducted for visitors helping them understand the fundamentals of Islam.
Al Fahidi Fort and Dubai Museum:
The fort dates back to the 18th century and houses interesting archaeological finds and relics commemorating olden times along with interesting installations giving glimpses of the ancient Bedouin lifestyle.
Heritage and Diving Village:
This heritage site displays ancient artefacts from sites dating back as 550BC. You may enjoy coffee and traditional Arabic bread at a small souk in the village and try your hand at pearl diving and get an insight into this ancient trade.
Embark ona new and unique aerial sightseeing excursion that provides a magical journey across Dubai’s dramatic and ever changing coastal skyline.
At the Top – BurjKhalifa
High atop one of the world’s most dynamic cities is one of the world’s most extraordinary experiences. On the 124th floor of the tallest tower in the world, nothing else matters but you. Get ready to enter the record books and experience a journey through Dubai’s exotic Arabian heritage, the extraordinary story behind BurjKhalifa, experience 360 degree sweeping views from level 124 of the world’s tallest tower.
The Dubai Fountain:
Set on the 30-acre BurjKhalifa Lake, the dancing fountain shoots water jets with the play of music to a height of over 500 ft, equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. Over 6,600 WET superlights and 25 colour projectors create a visual spectrum of over 1,000 abstract attractions. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and will be visible from space making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly in the entire world.
Gold and Spice Souq:
There are over 800 jewellery shops in both shopping malls and souks. The gold is in 18, 21, 22 and 24 carat sold at a prevailing daily rate with a fee for craftsmanship. The spice souk has an amazing selection of ginger, garlic, cardamom and other spices along with frankincense and Shisha.
The state-of-the-art Meydan racecourse is a must see. It plays host to the famed world cup every March and with the exception of World Cup night, general admissions to the races are free and you can access the Terrace seats and lawns area and get a feel of the pulsating excitement.
The world’s largest aquarium window located in the famed Dubai Mall brings you face-to-face with enormous Sand Tiger Sharks, graceful Stingrays, giant Groupers and shimming shoals of pelagic fish.
Dubai Dolphinarium is the first fully air conditioned indoor Dolphinarium in the Middle East offering dolphin shows and interactions with the dolphins and seals.
Dubai Ice Rink:
The Olympic-size ice rink in Dubai Mall boasts world-class facilities. Whether you want to learn skating, perfect your technique, play ice hockey, socialize with friends or just have a great time, this spectacular venue is the coolest place to hang out, any time of the year.
Ski Dubai :
Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy or learn skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, or just playing in the snow. An added attraction is the PenguinMarch that gives you a feel of the sub-zero
When it comes to excitement, you just can’t get enough at the Wild Wadi water park! For one adrenalin rush after another, try the different rides that leave you breathless!
Hot Air Ballooning:
Glide gently in a hot air balloon over giant sand dunes, wandering camels, oasis and rugged mountains, while you marvel at breath-taking views of the sunrise and its magical effect on the desert vistas.
Indulge in Luxury Yacht Charters, Fishing & Cruising Trips, Parasailing, Helicopter Rides, Luxury Car and Limo rides for that feel of lavishness.
A full day desert safari offers a splendid chance to live the desert experience. A typical Arabian welcome awaits you at the Bedouin campsite followed by camel ride, Dune bashing, belly dancing and more.
Deep Sea Fishing:
Various sports fishing and cruise operator’s offer deep sea fishing and VIP fishing with their modern, spacious and remarkable comfortable yachts. Substantial species like the local hammour (grouper), barracuda, shark and sail fish are the prize of the catch.
The Dubai Autodrome is the region’s first fully-integrated motorsports facility. The complex, a part of the Union Properties Motor city development, not only includes an FIA-sanctioned 5.39km circuit, which offers six different configurations, but also incorporates a Race & Driving school and a CIK-approved Karting track.
Dubai is the place to play some of the most beautifully-manicured golf courses.The spectacular nature of the various courses featuring pockets of palm trees and lakes makes this a perfect destination for a fascinating golfing experience.
Dubai has a rocking and happening nightlife comparable to some of the most happening cities in the world. The place offers a variety of exciting attractions for an electrifying night out. We pick the best…
Dubai City Guide : Dubai City Information Guide : Dubai Business Directory & Yellow Pages Dubai UAE – Hotels, Entertainment, Shopping, Travel & Business.