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October 2017

5 Best Hotels on Sheikh Zayed Road

If you’re a traveller in Dubai looking for accommodation, it’s best to choose a spot that doesn’t just fit your budget but is easily accessible to major landmarks and entertainment venues. Sheikh Zayed Road is one of the prime locations to stay in Dubai, as it fits the above criteria and has hotels for every type of budget and traveller. Sorted by average price, from the lowest to the highest, here’s a list of the top 5 Sheikh Zayed Road hotels you should consider before booking your trip to Dubai.

Hotel Ibis Mall of the Emirates

Room with 1 double bed, Hotel Ibis Mall of the Emirates

Room with 1 double bed, Hotel Ibis Mall of the Emirates

Practical, comfortable and affordable, the Ibis is an excellent choice for the budget-conscious traveller. Their accommodations come in neutral colours with wooden furnishings as well as a work desk, air conditioning and satellite TV. Mornings begin with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet including eggs, pastries and fresh coffee. One of the best shopping and leisure destination hotels in Dubai, the Hotel Ibis Mall of the Emirates is just an 8-minute walk away from the Sharaf DG Metro Station, and close to the Dubai Opera and the Dubai Community Theatre & Arts Centre. Guests can have a great shopping experience at the Mall of the Emirates along with a variety of entertainment options like Ski Dubai, the world’s largest indoor ski area, VOX cinemas, Magic Planet and more. The room tariffs starts from AED 250 onwards per night**

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, near Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 382 3000
Check-in time: 2:00 PM
Check-out time: 12:00 PM

Suite Novotel, Mall of the Emirates (Novotel Suites, Mall of the Emirates)

Family Suite, Novotel Suites Dubai Mall of the Emirates

Family Suite, Novotel Suites Dubai Mall of the Emirates

This luxury designer hotel with its modern rooms and proximity to icons close-by make it an excellent choice. This all-suite hotel is connected to Mall of the Emirates and guests can have a great time shopping while staying here. Located a few kilometres from the Wild Wadi Water Park and the iconic Jumeirah Beach, its closeness to the metro station allows guests to travel to other parts of Dubai with ease.  Some of its amenities include free Wi-Fi, free parking, a beach shuttle, an outdoor pool, a fitness centre and a business centre. The Novotel’s suites are a particular favourite for couples and for families.  
With Ski Dubai, Magic Planet and VOX Cinemas located just a few steps away; the hotel is a great option for families on holiday.

Location: 2A Street, near Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 382 3200
Check-in time: 2:00 PM
Check-out time: 12:00 PM
Tariff: AED 350 onwards per night**

Conrad Dubai

King bedroom with separate living area, Executive Suite, Conrad Dubai

King bedroom with separate living area, Executive Suite, Conrad Dubai

Conrad Dubai offers elegant units that feature floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of Dubai besides the expansive Arabian Sea. Since the Conrad is on the Sheikh Zayed Road, it is well connected to other parts of Dubai. Guests have the convenience of accessing public transport through the metro. Proximity to the Mall of the Emirates gives guests the option of skiing down the snow-clad slopes of Ski Dubai or shopping at one of the mall’s 600+ stores. A unique offering of the Conrad is its transportation menu. Guests can be driven around Dubai in an exotic car of their choice. Another unique offering - the concierge app - allows guests to personalize their stay at the hotel.  

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, near Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 444 7444
Check-in time: 3:00 PM
Check-out time: 12:00 PM
Tariff: from AED 700-1200 per night**

Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel

Bedroom, Royal Suite, Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates

Bedroom, Royal Suite, Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates

One of the best-rated hotels in Dubai, guests recommend the Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates for its elegant accommodations and friendly, responsive staff. The hotel provides plenty of leisure options for a grand holiday, including a well-equipped fitness centre, a soothing spa, and a terrace bar. The Sheraton is connected to Mall of the Emirates where one can shop to the heart’s content anytime of the day.

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, near Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 377 2000
Check-in time: 3:00 PM
Check-out time: 12:00 PM
Tariff: From AED 960-1500 per night**

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

Duplex Aspen Ski Chalet, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates

 Duplex Aspen Ski Chalet, Kempinski Mall of the Emirates

Aspen Leather at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates

Aspen Leather at Kempinski Mall of the Emirates

Unwind at one of the top-rated luxury hotels in the city. The Kempinski is specially placed beside the Mall of the Emirates. Despite the hotel being in a desert, guests can experience a weekend at the ski slopes at the nearby Ski Dubai. The premium Aspen suites with views that overlook Ski Dubai completes the feel of a weekend at the slopes. Guests can also exclusively book a ski trip at the hotel desk. Kempinski is also well equipped to provide its visitors with a refreshing, rejuvenating stay through its wellness centre and spa. With the range of options for leisure, entertainment and dining, guests get good bang for the dirham.  

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, near Mall of the Emirates, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
Phone: +971 4 341 0000
Check-in time: 3:00 PM
Check-out time: 12:00 PM
Tariff: from AED 1100-1900 per night**

Time for a visit to Dubai? Make your trip a carefree experience with the right accommodation.

**Please note: The room tariffs may differ depending on season and availability. In addition to the room rate per night, municipality and tourism fee are also applicable.

April 2017

Make friends with Gentoo and King Penguins at Ski Dubai

If you’re looking for an adventure more akin to the South Pole then the Middle East, look no further than Dubai’s favourite indoor ski resort. There’s now twenty-nine of the loveable flightless birds at Ski Dubai, and they want nothing more than to make new friends. 

The King Penguins are used to humans – and often shake hands with any new people they meet. The ‘Peng-Friend’ program at Ski Dubai allows you to meet the snow penguins. In fact, a unique habitat was custom-built for the birds, to replicate their natural Antarctic home. Want some one-on-one time with the Penguins? There’s a VIP option that sees a family or group of four have a face-to-face encounter with the birds, with free hot chocolate and souvenirs after.

This flagship program has cemented Ski Dubai's position at the forefront of penguin research and conservation. Done in partnership with the Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in the United States, Ski Dubai is now a critical part of protecting and promoting penguin wealth fare. Fifteen out of the eighteen penguin species in the world are now either endangered or threatened, and every Snow Penguin guest at Ski Dubai helps researches figure out how to help save even more penguins in future.

Just visiting the park? You can view the ‘March of the Penguins’ event that happens every day at 2,4, 6 and 8 PM. The friendly birds will wander around the snow – far away from the skiers and snowboarders carving down the slopes – and mingle with guests. Anyone can get involved if you’re visiting the snow park (and even people just shopping in the mall have access if they’re willing to look through the other side of the glass).

There are two types of penguins at Ski Dubai. The large King Penguins and smaller Gentoo species. Each breed is kept in two groups – with five of each gender (in hopes the birds will feel the love). 

In fact, Ski Dubai has already seen many penguin get-togethers and has since welcomed six happy and healthy chicks to the family. Ever since their arrival, the penguins have continued to display their natural behaviour – a clear sign that the animals are both happy and content in their surroundings.

How do penguins survive so well in the desert? The penguins love it here. There’s 14 staff that look after just 29 of these birds, and their care exceeds the international Penguin Taxon Advisory Group’s expectations. The -4 degree climate is carefully maintained.  

While the penguins indeed delight fans, it's also important to recognize how hard the Snow Penguin team work to take care of our penguin guests. The programme helps fuel education about the species and drives multi-generational research on a global scale.

To book a penguin encounter – from 1 PM to 9 PM on weekdays or noon to 9 PM on weekends, you can visit Ski Dubai on the Ground Floor or call 04 409 4090


March 2017

Easy And Convenient Money Exchanges In Dubai

Money Exchange in Dubai

One always tends to avoid money exchanges which charge a commission for exchanging money. But you should be aware that a “commission free” tag does not necessarily get you the best exchange rate. It is advisable to pay the commission and get a better exchange rate for your money. Do the math yourself and decide if you are getting a fair rate.

Thankfully, turning your foreign currency into UAE dirhams is no hassle in Dubai.  Whether you are visiting Dubai on holiday, living in Dubai and looking to send money back home at a good rate, Dubai has a list of trusted and reliable money exchanges.

1. Al Ansari Exchange:

Al Ansari Exchange is renowned as the money exchange with the largest network of branches in the UAE. Set up even before formal banking was established in the UAE, the money exchange was initially set up to meet the foreign exchange and remittance needs of the trading partners and customers of Al Ansari group.

With a huge network of more than 170 branches, the company has over 2500 employees of various nationalities and provides fast, reliable and efficient services at reasonable rates. 

Location: Level 1, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Timings: Saturday to Friday 9:00 AM - 12:00 Midnight
Telephone: +971 4 3414005, +971 4 3850955

2. Al Ghurair Exchange:

Backed by a legacy of more than 35 years, Al Ghurair Exchange (AGEX) is one of the leaders amongst the exchange houses in Dubai. The name is synonymous with trust and efficiency and serves more than 1000 customers everyday with remittances, foreign exchange, and several other value added services.

Location: Level 1, Gate #2, Mall of Emirates, Dubai
Timings:  Sunday to Thursday 9 AM - 10 PM, Friday to Saturday 9.00 AM - 12 PM
Telephone: +971 4 3342113

3. Al Fardan Exchange:

An industry pioneer and veteran with a track record of more than 45 years, Al Fardan is one of the oldest and well-renowned amongst the UAE exchanges in operation today.  In fact, it traces its history even before the formation of the UAE. Today, it serves people from more than 200 countries cutting across all socio-economic divides. Al Fardan has more than 54 branches and offers extremely efficient customer-centric services to all their clients.

Location: Level 1, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Timings: Saturday - Friday 9:00 AM to 12:00 Midnight
Telephone: +971 4 3233004

4. Al Rostamani International Exchange:

Part of the reputed Al Rostamani Group, Al Rostamani International Exchange (ARIE) has an impeccable record and several branches in the key areas of the country. With branches placed in high streets, airports and malls, it enables their customers to easily access their services. The branch on the Level 1 of the Mall of the Emirates offers services like MoneyGram, express money, traveller cheques, bank transfers, currency exchange, National Bonds, instant money transfer and much more.

Location: Level 1, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Timings: Saturday to Thursday 9:00 AM to 1:00 AM, Friday 9:00 AM to 1:00 AM
Telephone: +971 4 3411155

There are also other money exchanges at the Mall like Wall Street Exchange and Leela Megh Exchange where you can swiftly and conveniently remit and exchange your money.

With most of these exchanges located conveniently on the ground level, you can make your weekly money remittances when you are out grocery shopping every weekend at Carrefour of the Mall of the Emirates. They are also easily accessible for exchanging foreign currency before hitting the stores to splurge on all the great deals that Dubai has to offer. 


March 2017

The Best Hotels In Dubai

With over millions of visitors each year, occupancy rates in hotels in Dubai are always high. The City of Gold never lags when it comes to hospitality. From palatial skyscrapers to underwater suites, Dubai has accommodations for every type of traveller, and its standards of service are one of the highest in the world.

If you’re a weary traveller on the way to and from the airport, an underwater room might be a little too adventurous. But we’d recommend the following hotels for their spacious rooms, exceptional service, quality leisure options and proximity to major travel and entertainment venues.

Suite Novotel Mall of the Emirates

This all-suite hotel is connected to the Mall of the Emirates and has a warm, refined atmosphere - perfect for families on vacation. Every suite comes with free WiFi, 24/7 room service, and free laundry service. Other perks include free parking, a gym and a rooftop swimming pool for health-conscious travellers. At the Thalasso & Spa, you can wash away the strains of travel with a range of massages and holistic beauty therapies.

The 24-hour Deli Boutique at Novotel provides a superlative spread for their breakfast buffet along with a cozy terrace; their macaroons with coffee are a must-try finisher. If you’re craving Italian, Amici is an elegant eatery adjoining Ezaz Bar; their signature items include gnocchi with 3-cheese cream sauce and the Amici Mix Salad with mozzarella, tomato, grilled asparagus, croutons and balsamic dressing. Once you’re rested and refreshed, you can head over to the Mall of the Emirates for plenty of family entertainment and shopping - the metro station is only a stone’s throw away.

In fact, all of Dubai’s attractions and hotspots are just a few steps from the Novotel Suites Dubai Mall of the Emirates. This smart 3-star hotel is ideal for shoppers, as well as for business travellers. With the business districts, beaches, marina and even skiing all easily accessible, you can take in the best of Dubai during your stay here.

Address: 2A Street 283825, Dubai
Check-in: 14:00
Check-out: 12:00
Tel: +971 4 3823200
Click here for more information

Luxurious suites at Suite Novotel Mall of the Emirates

Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates

With direct access to indoor skiing at Ski Dubai and high-end shopping in the Mall of the Emirates, the Kempinski Hotel is a home away from home for European travellers. The hotel boasts of 393 rooms and suites with iPads, city views, and marble bathrooms. It also has 20 stylish, 3-bedroom chalets with butlers, slope or gulf views, with access to a private lounge with food and drinks. All have free Wi-Fi and non-alcoholic mini bars. That’s not all; the hotel is also equipped with a state-of-the-art Fitness Centre, tennis court, and two temperature-controlled outdoor pools.

Go on a culinary adventure that takes you through the kitchens of Levant to the street corners of Spain and the stylish cafes of Europe. Try the cheesy kunafa and baklawa ice cream at Olea; chicken paella and churros with hot chocolate at Salero; Parisian breakfast and afternoon tea with scones at Aspen. Of special note is the Annual Stollen Charity Cake Sale - a collaboration between the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates and the Mall of the Emirates to create the world’s largest German stollen cake, which takes a team of 30 chefs at the hotel five weeks to prepare.

The Kempinski sets new standards of indulgence with Softouch Spa, open 24 hours a day and managed by the most highly-sought after therapists in the Middle East. The hotel is also home to the celebrated beauty salon Maison de Joelle, run by Joelle Mardinian, a celebrated beauty expert in the region.

Address: Sheikh Zayed Road 120679, Dubai  
Tel: +971 4 3410000
Click here for more information

Aspen Pool Chalets at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates



Hilton Garden Inn Mall of the Emirates

Located just meters away from Mall of the Emirates, this glass-fronted hotel offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. Its location allows easy access to the metro station to reach all major business districts & attractions, including golf courses, beaches, and Ski Dubai. If you prefer to be indoors, you can choose to unwind in the heated swimming pool, book a massage at the inn’s spa, or visit the 24-hour fitness center for a high-energy workout.

Begin your day with hot salted caramel-cream cheese waffles at The Garden Grille, or pastries and coffee from The Garden Café. Sip on a Singapore Sling at The Garden Bar in the evening, and order room service any time of day. The 24-hour Pavilion Pantry Market™ has ready-to-cook meals, drinks, souvenirs and travel supplies, giving you everything you need to stay a happy camper.

The Hilton Garden Inn goes the distance in taking care of their guests. From audio/visual equipment rental, 24-hour business center, business phone service, cellular phone rental, complimentary printing service, meeting rooms and video conferencing for business travellers to babysitting, cribs, child-friendly menus and children's pool for families with children, the hotel caters to the needs of every guest. The hotel is not behind making the premises accessible for guests with disabilities and special needs and complies with ADA Guidelines and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Address: 6A Street, P.O. Box 393971, Al Barsha, Dubai
Check-in: 3:00 pm
Check-out: 12:00 pm
Telephone: +971 4 3070707
Click here for more information

In addition, there’s also the Ibis Mall of the Emirates and Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel. We recommend the Sheraton for the Besh Turkish Kitchen which offers the best Turkish food in town, and Shine Spa, the luxury fitness and wellness center that provides the ultimate sanctuary for tired travellers.

With so many options to choose from, you are sure to return to Dubai for more.


December 2016

Extraordinary Ski Dubai

Discover Ski Dubai, the world’s best indoor ski resort and the first in the Middle East! An amazing mountain-themed wintery setting where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing, take part in many snow events and meet and play with Ski Dubai's newest residents; the Snow Penguins!

Enjoy great moments now:


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October 2016

Tourist Places In Dubai : The Best Things To See And Do

When you visit Dubai, there are three things you should not miss: shopping, entertainment, and the chance to catch snow in the middle of a desert. As one of its top tourist spots, Mall of the Emirates has them all. Travel to one of the best malls in Dubai and explore these gems in the City of Gold.

Shopping Hotspot
Browse a mind-boggling array of stores with a diverse range of brands in designer couture, teen fashion, furniture, electronics, accessories, jewelry, shoes, bags, toys, books, confectionery, etc. with plenty of juicy sales and promotions tossed in. Come out loaded with anything and everything you could wish for.

Diners’ Delight
From burgers to pancakes, cheesecake to chocolates, fast food to fine dining, get a taste of everything you could ever crave all under one roof. All that walking can make you hungry, so recharge your energy with a hot cuppa at Gold’s, grab a quick bite to eat at Fatburger, indulge in a leisurely meal at Salmontini, or satisfy your sweet tooth at Cinnabon.

World of Wonderlands
Dive into Dubai’s vibrant arts scene at DUCTAC. Immerse yourself in 4D cinema blockbusters at VOX. Soak up the thrills in the award-winning games and rides at Magic Planet.  Play with penguins in a winter wonderland at Ski Dubai. It’s like journeying with your family to a different place each time, without leaving the edge of your seat.

World-Class Hospitality
Dubai is known for giving visitors the royal treatment, and the hotels near Mall of the Emirates take this a step further. Whether it’s the Suite Novotel Mall of the Emirates, ibis Mall of the Emirates, The Sheraton Mall of the Emirates, or the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates - get pampered in unmatched luxury at a well-connected location, with beautiful rooms, stunning views, cutting-edge facilities, great food and delicious drinks.

Come to Mall of the Emirates, where the whole family can experience unparalleled entertainment all day long. Come away from Dubai with the memories of a lifetime.

November 2015

Dubai Landmarks

Dubai always does it bold. From the largest, tallest and glitziest architectural marvels, the emirate’s landmarks do not by any means go unnoticed. Here’s a list of some of the most iconic of the many that define its skyline and adds value to the city’s culture for its residents and visitors; and therefore offers reason to be in your list of must-sees when visiting Dubai.

Deira Clock tower

The Deira clock tower was built in 1964 to mark the first oil exports from the Emirate. It sits in the intersection of Umm Hurair and Al Maktoum Roads, bearing witness to the changing face of the city over the years. It was the most iconic building in Dubai for years, and although other buildings and monuments have now surpassed the Deira clock tower as the face of Dubai, the tower still stands sentinel to the passage of time and history.  

Palm and World Islands

Modelled after a palm tree and the map of the world respectively, these man-made islands have become synonymous with Dubai and its stupendous development in a remarkably short period. These islands are home to the most luxurious and opulent hotels and villas in Dubai. An aerial view of the islands is sure to take your breath away with the sheer imagination and determination that made this artificial island dream, a possibility.

Gold Souk

Dubai is often called the City of Gold for the amount of the precious metal that is traded here on a daily basis. Even if you are not planning on buying any jewellery, the Gold Souk is worth a visit for the atmosphere and ambience that you will not find anywhere else in the world.

Dubai Museum

For a sense of history and culture of Dubai, visit the Dubai Museum that is housed in a centuries-old historic fort.  This museum has an enviable collection of exhibits depicting everyday life before the oil boom and many artefacts from archaeological expeditions in the area.

Meydan Racecourse

Horseracing is a passion in the UAE and nowhere is that more evident than at the Meydan Racecourse, home to the world’s richest race, the Dubai World Cup. The Meydan experience is not limited to just horseracing; there is even a well-appointed posh Meydan Hotel that adjoins the tracks. You can also catch live concerts, events and exhibitions at the Meydan Grandstand. 

Sheikh Zayed Road

Another important landmark in Dubai is the Sheikh Zayed Road. This iconic road (also known as E11) is not an ordinary road or highway; it is the lifeline of Dubai. The E11 is the longest highway in the UAE, stretching 558 km from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah. Many parts of this stretch allow driving speeds up to 139 kilometres per hour. A drive down this iconic road, especially at night, is a must-have experience for every visitor to Dubai.

Ski Dubai

At Interchange 4 of Sheikh Zayed Road, within the Mall of the Emirates you will find another fantastic landmark of Dubai, Ski Dubai.  This incredible 22,500 square metre space is Middle East’s first indoor snow park and ski zone, planted in the desert. Adjacent to the ski run, there is a 3,000 square metre Snow Park play area with sledding, ice slides, climbing towers and ice caves. The newest attraction at Ski Dubai is the Snow Penguins. For those of you who want a more hands-on approach, there are personal penguin encounters where you can meet and play with these stately birds.

Revel in this wondrous area that offers a mountain-themed wintery setting for skiing and snowboarding. You can also enrol for the basics and the finer points of skiing, with the Ski School or else, book your turn for memorable penguin encounters!

Dubai Marina

The Dubai Marina is a one-of-a-kind canal city in Dubai that consists of residential towers, villas, beachfront walkways, restaurants, cafés and shopping malls set in a 2 mile stretch along the Persian Gulf. It offers top-quality living within a modern and stylish environment. Dubai Marina also features the Dubai Marina Mall, the Jumeirah Beach Residence, the Marina Walk, the Yacht club and many other marvels.

Global Village

Dubai is a melting pot of different cultures and people from around the world. Nowhere is this more evident than at the Global Village. This leading family entertainment centre in Dubai is a destination one should not miss. There are more than 37 different country pavilions with live performances, authentic food, traditional crafts, game parks and products from around the world showcased in it.

iFLY Dubai

Now for those young and old who are reasonably fit and healthy with a dream of being airborne, defying gravity, iFLY at City Centre Mirdif is the place you must definitely check out. It has the world’s first double vertical 10 metre tall acrylic wind tunnel that is powerful enough to raise the flyer up to 3 metres high. Take the courage, put on your flying suit, goggles and helmet and let the soaring begin. No one should miss out on the iFLY experience.

Raffles Dubai

Unlike most hotels that advertise themselves as being close to the landmarks of the city, the Raffles in Dubai is considered one of the iconic landmarks of this remarkable city. The towering pyramid-shaped hotel is a favourite with royalty and celebrities for its luxury, space, service and style. Try the sumptuous fare at its many restaurants and chill out at the pool and spa. The glorious views from its well-appointed rooms will certainly take your breath away.

So the next time you are in Dubai, take the time to visit some of these iconic landmarks. Take a walk along Dubai Marina, watch the magical dancing fountains and race down the slopes at Ski Dubai. You can be certain to take back memories and experiences to treasure for a lifetime.


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November 2015

Dubai Attractions

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” - Susan Sontag

Struck by wanderlust and looking for twice the experience at one destination? Then look no further than Dubai. Be ‘wowed’ as this cosmopolitan oasis cleverly combines the traditional with the contemporary.

Dubai is one destination that ought to be on the “must-see places to visit” for single travellers, families and businessmen alike. Back in the day, Dubai started out as a traditional fishing town with competence in boat-building and pearl fishing. Since then, Dubai has journeyed through time to redefine itself into the megacity that it is today.

Home to just over 2 million people comprising more than 200 nationalities, Dubai is one of the few cosmopolitan cities in the world that leaves a lasting impression on anybody. Although famed across the globe as the city of many superlatives, Dubai encapsulates the best of the traditional and the modern in one all-inclusive experience.

From the timeless peacefulness of the desert, to the energetic clamor of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for guests. In one solitary day, the visitor can encounter everything from harsh mountains and spectacular sand dunes to undulating shorelines and lush green parks, from dusty towns to extravagant private communities, from old houses with wind towers to trendsetting shopping malls.

Figures published by the Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing show that Dubai's hotels received more than 5.8 million vacationers in the first half of 2014 alone; a record-breaking number of guest stays ever attained in the first six months of any year. This astounding number of visitors has set big records on key indicators, including hotel guest stays, hotel average room occupancy and revenues, the average length of stay and F&B revenues.

The revenue generated for the period from January to June 2014 was mainly contributed by visitors from Saudi Arabia, India, UK, USA, Russia and China.

The atmosphere in Dubai is perfect for travellers planning a warm excursion. Numerous travellers visit Dubai to enjoy a reprieve from the frosty climate in their native countries. As of late, Dubai has displayed a delightful renaissance in structural engineering. The new structures that have risen in the city are gems of advanced architecture and construction modeling. Dubai is home to some of the most impressive structures on the planet which includes the Burj Al Arab, Palm Dubai, etc.

Dubai is tolerant and cosmopolitan. Its residents and nationals are warm and friendly towards its guests. It is conventional for the populace to approach visitors with deference, and many will pull out all stops to help. That being said; we recommended that sightseers in particular, embrace a conservative level of social decorum and religious respect, when conducting themselves within the Emirate.

Destination Dubai lives up to its association of being a hotspot for tourism and a melting-pot of all cultures. Come! Experience Dubai at its best.


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November 2015

Things to Do in Dubai

Dubai, the jewel of the Arabian Gulf, is a sure favourite with tourists, families and business people. The city boasts of a multitude of activities for the young and the young at heart. There are always new things to do and new activities to experience each time you visit Dubai.

An Arabian dream, brought to life through sheer vision, strategy and expertise by its rulers, Dubai spoils its visitors with the endless sights, sounds and places to be and discover with the potential for infinite fun and experiences that will expand your horizons.

Shopping Malls

Dubai is synonymous to shopping; this is an experience that gets the thumbs-up from even the most discerning shopper as it presents an intriguing journey through surreal attractions. In addition to the most superlative shopping experience in the world, malls in Dubai vie with each other to offer the customer the most varied and innovative retail experience. At the Mall of the Emirates; you will find ski slopes, snow chalets and penguins whereas, at City Centre Mirdif, you will find an indoor skydiving centre which utilizes wind tunnels to keep you airborne. In addition to these unique and innovative attractions, the malls are a common meeting ground for the people of Dubai, giving them the perfect ambience for shopping and dining.

Entertainment and Water Parks

Dubai has plenty of family entertainment centres that will keep you and your children happy for hours on end. Start your day with a visit to Magic Planet, the family entertainment centre at the Mall of the Emirates. Spread out over two levels are hundreds of games, rides and attractions for every age. Explore the mythical underwater city of the Lost Chambers Aquarium at the Atlantis Hotel. Ride the waves at Aquaventure Water Park and zoom down the water slide at Wild Wadi. Finish off your day with a visit to the Dolphinarium at the Dubai Creek where you can see and converse with friendly dolphins, seals and parrots.

Bastakiya District

The narrow winding streets and mud brick houses of the Bastakiya District take you back to a time when Dubai was a pearl trading and fishing port. It is perfect for picking up souvenirs and artefacts like painted plates, jewellery boxes, pottery and paintings.

Souks and Markets

Leave the air-conditioned comforts of the malls and venture into the narrow alleyways and cobbled streets of the traditional souks in Dubai. The souks are located on either side of the Dubai Creek, where traders from China, India and Iran would unload their goods in the olden days. The items at the souks have changed little over time, and traditions remain engrained within selling spices, silks, perfumes and jewellery.

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

This centre does what its name says; it promotes cultural understanding between the locals and tourists, explaining the various traditions and customs in the area, from why women wear a veil to how to milk a camel. All questions are welcome, and you will leave with a better understanding and appreciation of the Arab world and its rich and varied culture. 

The Jumeirah Mosque

The elegant, beautiful Jumeirah Mosque, built in the medieval Fatimid design is the only mosque open to non-Muslims in the UAE as part of the “Open Door, Open Minds” program. Here you can join the tour conducted by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding 6 days A week (except Fridays). With the tour that starts at 10am, you will gain an insight into the Emirati culture, religion and way of life in the Emirate.

Dubai Creek

Take an Abra ride along the Dubai Creek, one of the oldest and most charming places in Dubai. The creek divides the city into two, Deira and Bur Dubai, and ends at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. For just one dirham, you get to enjoy a ride across the creek during the sunset.

Desert is an integral part of Dubai. People tend to forget that within a few miles of the air-conditioned comforts of the city, the desert stretches for miles on end, filled with sand dunes and oases. Here, you have the option of exploring the vast Arabian Desert by land or air.

Desert Safari

No visit to Dubai can be complete without seeing the magnificence of the Arabian Desert. Get a taste of the Bedouin life with a trip to a desert campsite on a 4-wheel drive vehicle. There you can try a traditional hookah, ride a camel, watch falcons at work and partake of a desert barbeque under the stars, while being mesmerized by some gyrating, talented belly dancers.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

How would you like to see a view of Dubai that very few have experienced? See the undulating sand dunes and mountains of the Arabian Desert in the glow of the morning sun on a hot air balloon ride over the desert. Book your ride well in advance as they are popular and are subject to weather conditions.

The city’s transport system ensures that all parts of this magnificent metropolis are tied together efficiently, and nothing beats its driverless, indigenous metro system that runs on elevated tracks.

Dubai Metro

The Dubai Metro is one of the most advanced public transport systems in the world, featuring driverless trains, air-conditioned stations and special sections for women and children and Gold Class passengers. The metro’s two lines cover a large part of the city: the Red Line runs from Rashidiya and Dubai Airport through the city centre along Sheikh Zayed Road; the Green Line goes through some of Dubai’s busiest districts in Deira and Bur Dubai.

The Dubai Metro is a swift, smart and reasonably-priced way for visitors to get around the city and to see large parts of it. With its extensive system of brand new feeder buses, much of Dubai is now accessible by Metro.

There are more to do in Dubai than any other city in the world. Every minute, every day, more and more attractions and activities are planned for entertainment, shopping, dining and pure excitement. Pick your favourite from the list of things to do in Dubai and enjoy this magical city to the fullest. 


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November 2014

Places to visit in Dubai

Dubai is a thriving metropolis with world-class attractions in every corner that are easily accessible. Dubai offers its discerning visitors, debonair businessmen and proud residents an excellent and affordable means of getting around, with plentiful taxis, comfortable buses and the majestic driverless metro system that efficiently connects this bustling city.

If you were to ask anyone in Dubai, what they would do when they have visitors, each one would have their personal list of favourite things. This is what makes Dubai unique; you would be spoilt for choices on things to do within your means. This city has changed so much in the last five years, adding in breathtaking attractions along the way that brandish Dubai’s aspiration to be the home to the biggest and best on a profusion of things.

Here is our list of 25 sine qua non experiences, when visiting Dubai. We start with the historical attractions in old Dubai and move on a trail that ends in new Dubai, covering all-the-not-to-be-missed attractions along the way in a logical sequence.

Deira Souks

A visit to the souks in Dubai is a must for their vivacious atmosphere, eclectic variety of goods and its age-old Arab tradition in doing business. Souks meaning “markets” are located on either side of Dubai creek. Items on sale in these markets have moved on from traditional spices, silk, perfumes to include the latest consumer electronic goods at good bargains.

Gold Souk, the largest gold bazaar in Arabia, is the ultimate destination for jewellery lovers. Sparkling windows adorn immaculate displays of fine ornaments ranging from bracelets, necklaces, rings, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and more, expertly crafted in the region. You must bargain hard, and you are sure to find the best deals in this City of Gold.

Dubai Museum

This museum, located in the Al Fahidi Fort, was built in 1787 and is unmistakably the oldest building in Dubai. It showcases priceless archaeological antiques and artefacts which depict the traditional life in the city as a tiny fishing and pearl diving port.

Ravi Restaurant

Any time of the day or night, this highly recommended Pakistani restaurant is teeming with activity. Try flavoursome and affordable signature dishes to tickle your palate from Chicken Kadai, Mutton Khorma, Dal fry, Tandoori Kebabs, Biriyani, succulent Rotis and lot more. This wayside eatery can get very busy, during weekends, and one would even wish there was a reservation system to avoid the wait.

Dubai Dolphinarium

Do not miss the astounding daily shows of dolphins and seals where you get up close and personal with graceful bottleneck dolphins and mischievous seals. You will be amazed by the interactive extravaganzas here as these sea creatures sing, dance, juggle, jump hoops and even paint their way into your hearts.


You cannot miss the stately facade of The Gate, inspired by the Arc of Triomphe in Paris that takes centre stage at Dubai’s financial centre symbolizing its open gate policy. It was instituted to provide a platform for business and financial institutions to reach into regional emerging markets. DIFC is home to large business houses, financial institutions, fine residences, art galleries, restaurants, shopping centres and celebrated hotels like the Ritz Carlton.

The Spa at Palace Downtown Dubai

Indulge your mind, body and senses with an Oriental treatment in a unique Arabic décor. The Spa offers pampering choices for ultimate luxury. Spa facilities include Hammam slab, Jacuzzis, monsoon showers, steam rooms, relaxation lounge and private suites.

Meydan Racecourse

Designed as the ultimate venue for horse racing, Meydan raises the bar on racing standards to international levels, with well-appointed facilities including the world’s first trackside 5-star hotel with suite rooms offering unobstructed views of all the action. Every year in March, this becomes the venue for the world’s richest race – the prestigious Dubai World Cup.

Miracle Gardens

Miracle gardens hold multiple Guinness Book records as the largest vertical garden and longest flower wall in the world, with more than 45 million flowers in a variety of species and colours landscaped into stunning designs, awesome shapes and floral structures. This garden is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking destinations in Dubai; fittingly a miracle in the desert.

Jumeirah Mosque

This is the only mosque in the UAE that welcomes non-Muslims inside an Islamic house of worship. See this magnificent mosque in all its grandeur adorned with polished marble interiors, a tribute to modern Islamic architecture. Do not miss this unique opportunity, when in Dubai, to learn about Emirati culture and religion in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.

Ski Dubai

Take to the snow, while in the desert. Surprised? Ski Dubai offers exceptional ski experience with the longest run at around 400 meters. With its unique snowboarding slopes, snow park, ice slides, snow caves and ice towers, Ski Dubai is the ultimate playground for the young and young at heart. Imbibe nature in the arctic with unique personal interactions with penguins.

Burj Al Arab

An ultra opulent hotel that treats you like a king, Burj Al Arab, a 7-star hotel offer stupendous comfort and ultimate luxury. This magnificent destination offers you the finest service and facilities with well appointed, expensive, lavish duplex suites. It offers its guests 8 signature restaurants and bars, be it dining at the tallest atrium, romancing over a meal beside an underwater wall or high tea and cocktails at a bar in the skies, the experience is superlative.

Wild Wadi

An outdoor themed water park situated beside the Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi offers 30 rides and attractions for the entire family. Cool yourself in the summer heat or feel the warmth during the winter months with temperature-controlled water. Have fun in wave pools, water slides and surfing machines. It also features a 60 feet waterfall thrill that makes you return for more.


This world class water park is located at the Atlantis hotel; it sits on top of the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island wonder shaped into a palm tree. It offers 17 fun-filled hectares of pure fun and drenching excitement. Meet dolphins up close, and if you love aquariums, you will be in awe of the giant displays of aquatic life at the “Lost Chambers.” Spectacular rides and thrilling slides make Aquaventure the most exciting day out in Dubai. 

Rhodes Mezzanine

Delight your senses with the first Michelin Star traditional English afternoon tea serving snacks, savouries and light bites in Dubai’s Grosvenor House, created by none other than celebrity chef Gary Rhodes himself.

Desert Safari

Gear up for something fun and adventurous with a Dessert Safari experience in Dubai. Drive through the expansive desert as you take in the sights and get up close and personal with the local life. Get your adrenaline pumping with a dune bashing experience or simply ride a camel. You’ll walk away from this experience with many memories to share.

Dubai balloon safari

Take to the air with the Dubai Balloon Safari. Get a bird’s eye view of the land when you gently float on the hot air balloon. Catch a glimpse of the rugged Hajar Mountains and the numerous sand dunes stretching to the horizon.

Global village

Few attractions and events in Dubai capture the essence of the land like Global Village. It’s a melting pot of cultures from around the world where you can learn, glimpse; experience and celebrate. Be it entertainment, shopping, showground rides or international cuisines, you have it all at the Global Village.


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November 2014

Dubai Gold Souk

The Dubai Gold Souk is one of the largest gold retail markets in the world, and an iconic, must-see site to experience when you are in Dubai. A traditional market (or Souk), this glittering expanse is symbolic of the opulence of Dubai.

Located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial district of Deira, the Souk is just a five minute walk from the old Souk marine station and bordered by the Dubai Vegetable & Fish Market and the Deira Corniche. Ideal access to the Souk is through the underwater Shindagha Tunnel, the driverless Dubai Metro at Al Ghubaiba, or by water taxi - ‘Abra’ from the Creek in Bur Dubai.

The dazzling environs of the Dubai Gold Souk give Dubai the fitting title, ‘City of Gold.’ But that’s not all. The Souk also trades in precious metals such as platinum, diamonds and silver and consists of over 300 retailers trading in an impressive collection of exclusive jewellery in the area of just half a square kilometre.

Prices at Dubai Gold Souk are some of the most competitive in the world and are, for the most part, determined by weight and the daily gold rate. The fluctuations in world gold prices, types of gold and craftsmanship are the main factors that determine the final price of jewellery. The quality of the merchandise found here is strictly controlled by the government. So you can be rest assured about the quality of your purchases here. If you plan on purchasing something, make sure to bargain hard when at the Gold Souk.

The Dubai Gold Souk has a stunning range and selection of merchandise. It features a glittering and grandiose collection of 18, 21, 22 and 24 carat gold in a variety of forms, such as earrings, rings, necklaces, bangles, bracelets and pendants. In spoiling its customers with choices, the Souk also presents gold classifications in white, pink, and purple to its diverse collection for sale. Craftsmanship found here is both impeccable and awe-inspiring. The Souk’s ambiance could be best experienced at night, when the lavish collections of merchandise come dazzlingly alive under sparkling display windows.

The Souk has come a long way and has grown exponentially since its inception in the 1900s. From just a few traders, it recorded its first-ever notable growth spurt during the 1940s and 1950s when Dubai’s free trade policies incentivized traders from India and Iran to set up shop in the Emirate. The Souk recorded its next major phase of growth as a knock-on effect of the expansion brought about by the oil boom in the 1970s. Today, it sits poised in all pomposity as one of the largest gold markets in the world.

A touch of tradition is still visible in the crafts and ambiance seen here at the Dubai Gold Souk. Though modernized and refurbished to be on par with international standards, the Souk still retains the old world charm of the Arab world, through iconic wooden archways and narrow alleys that are characteristic of the architecture of the region.

According to some estimates, the Souk holds approximately 10 tons of gold at any given time and about 20 percent of the world’s gold passes through this market. It might be interesting to note that considering the volume of gold traded at the Souk, gold dust gathered through housekeeping day by day at the Dubai Gold Souk is substantial enough to be sent back to the refinery for casting.

Even if you don’t intend to shop here, it’s well worth the visit. It is glittering evidence that the Souk has truly established the Emirate of Dubai as the ‘City of Gold’.


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November 2014

Dubai Summer Surprises

Fun Times, Great Deals and Unexpected Gains Galore

As the summer sizzles on, Dubai offers yet another event, and it comes in the form of Emirate’s very own summer fest, the ‘Dubai Summer Surprises’ (DSS). Presently in its 18th year, the DSS offers super deals across shopping centres, spas, restaurants and more. 

Launched in 1996 with a mission to position Dubai as an international summer destination, DSS is an event that is scheduled annually from August to September in Dubai. The celebration is one of the principal summer attractions in the city, with GCC occupants and tourists thronging the city, looking for deals in more than 6000 stores. 

According to figures released by the Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE), DSS has hosted more than 25,774,400 guests who infused an aggregate of AED 43.62 billion into the economy in the last 14 years. The 2014 season of this festival launched on a high note with the theme ‘The Fun Side of Summer.' 

Shoppers’ Paradise

At DSS, be prepared to be surprised. It astonishes and delights shoppers, both residents and tourists that throng to take advantage of its many offers across all categories of consumer durables, luxury items and consumer goods. 

Apart from the shopping districts, the plush shopping malls also participate in DSS and are hosts to a range of simulation shows, presentations, play areas, fun zones and entertainment. When it comes to sizzling shopping deals, Dubai is the place to have it all. 

Shopping malls and retail outlets have recorded a rise in sales and footfall while hotels have registered high occupancy levels. Cars, clothes, home-decor and perfumes were recorded as the most “shopped for” merchandise in 2014. Great deals, prizes and surprises fuelled anticipation at this year’s ‘Summer is Dubai’ promotion. For each spend of AED 200 at a participating mall, customers stand a chance to win one of six BMW cars and shopping vouchers worth AED 500,000 with attractive bargains at shops across the city. As much as 75% of discount at some retail outlets are up for grabs. 

Family Fun

DSS is a guaranteed boredom-buster for children on their extended summer vacation. It goes a step further in catering to children of all ages, from toddlers, adolescents to teenagers, through one excitement-packed venue called Modhesh World. Hailed as a child’s dream zone here in the region, Modhesh World comes alive and buzzing with playgrounds, soft toy areas, latest video games and excitement-packed 4D cinema experiences. If that’s not enough, it tops it all off by delighting its junior customers through the presence of its festival mascot, the smiling-and-sunny-yellow-clad ‘Modhesh,' who fittingly keeps to the season’s colour theme. 

Influx of Visitors

Emirates Airline has reported that they have seen a large number of additional travellers lured to Dubai by DSS, with visitors originating from both the GCC locale and the rest of the world. 

Boosting Economy

The Dubai economy has been given a huge boost with DSS in 2014 alone, with shopping centres and retailers over the Emirate reporting an increase in guest numbers and revenue over the previous year. Hotels too listed high occupancy levels as the DSS impact penetrates the retail and other financial segments of Dubai. 

In 2014’s summer promotion Majid Al Futtaim Properties Group, a vital partner of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment, professes that extraordinary summer advancements and arrangements have seen a 39% increase in sales this summer. 

Furthermore, hotel occupancy in Jumeirah Group hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 70.2%, an increase of 3.6% on the same period last year. 

Relaxation & Leisure

To keep yourself entertained, you can additionally get show tickets to watch your beloved artists perform, or unwind in one of the numerous jazz clubs or mixed drink lounges. If you are a theatre aficionado, Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) offers the best of both regional and international thespians. 

Head over and experience ‘Dubai Summer Surprises.' You’ll certainly come back for more! 


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