Dubai is truly a unique destination. Situated in the UAE, the world’s 31st popular tourism destination and the Arab World’s most popular, Dubai is both a dynamic business hub and a tourist’s paradise. The emirate offers more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels than virtually any other destination on the planet. In 2012, Dubai welcomed over 10 million visitors from around the world, which is an increase of 9.3% from the previous year. It also ranked 8th place globally in terms of tourist spending in the same year.
From the timeless tranquillity of the desert to the lively bustle of the souks, the city presents a fantastic ensemble of attractions and activities for its visitors and residents. In a single day, one can experience everything from rugged mountains and breathtaking dunes to white sandy beaches and lush, beautifully landscaped parks, from dated villages to luxurious residential districts, and from traditional houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping centres.
Dubai is unarguably located in one of the most strategic spots on the globe– halfway between Europe and Asia. Few destinations require more than eight hours of flying to Dubai. Just seven hours from London, four hours from Malta, three hours from Mumbai, seven hours from Hong Kong and direct, but lengthier, flights from many major cities in the US, Canada or Australasia. Dubai is definitely a destination of choice for vacat ioning, living and doing business.
Dubai offers an array of hotels to suit every taste and budget – from the swanky, luxurious and ultra-expensive, including the world's only seven star hotel, to the more affordable yet unsurprisingly worthy dwellings. There are desert resorts where one can experience unparalleled tranquillity, beachfront resorts to take in the sun and a dose of extreme water sports, business hotels right in the heart of Dubai’s business districts… whatever the choice, you’re in for an unforgettable stay.
Dubai is ranked the world’s second most popular destination for shopping after the US, ahead of other popular shopping destinations along the likes of Singapore, France, the UK, and Hong Kong. With a long history as a trading hub, Dubai is today synonymous with shopping. From souks to shopping malls, Dubai has it all: duty free, gold, electronics, textiles, cars… It is a true shopper’s paradise. Perfect for shopaholics and for a good dose of retail therapy!
Dubai has established itself as a prime destination for a diverse range of local and international events. It has also earned its reputation as the sporting capital of the Middle East. Each year, Dubai hosts a variety of popular sporting activities and incredible entertainment attractions, in addition to world-renowned conferences and exhibitions.
Dubai's nightlife is second to none. You can choose from sophisticated cocktail lounges to typically informal British and Irish pubs and Western-style lounges. Most of them serve food and many feature live nightly entertainment. After-dinner revellers can enjoy the latest sounds in a number of nightclubs, each with its own ambience.
Although the early history of Dubai is not very well documented, archaeological discoveries suggest that as long as 4000 years ago small fishing communities lived along the coast of the Arabian Gulf where today's Dubai lies. In recent years, archaeologists have discovered hundreds of artefacts that point to civilized settlements dating back to 3000 B.C. Dubai’s main archaeological sites are located in Al Sufouh and Jumeirah. These historic findings have been carefully preserved and the artefacts are now housed in the archaeological section of Dubai Museum for visitors to see. Dotted around Dubai are a number of historical buildings and sites that offer a glimpse of a bygone era such as the Al Fahidi Fort, Sheikh Saeed’s House, and the Bastakiya area.