WHAT TO DO IN 24 HOURS IN DUBAI
Intouch Relocations is honored to be the conference sponsor for the Eura Middle East and Africa Conference in November 2017. We are excited to welcome the conference delegates to Dubai this year, home of our Middle East headquarters, which will be celebrating twenty years of operation in 2018. Since we call Dubai home, we would like to share some tips to make the conference attendees feel at home and allow them to make the most of their journey to our fascinating city.
Places to Go and Things to Do in Dubai
- The Old Bastakiya District is a step back in time to the days before electricity and air-conditioning, where traditional courtyard houses were cooled by wind towers. This lovely old style area is filled with art galleries and beautiful old buildings and funky cafes – the area is full of culture that reminds us of how far Dubai has grown over the last decade
- Abra Ride: The Creek is the original centre of the city's commerce and still buzzes with boats zipping up and down plying their trade and cargo. Using the abra (small wooden boat) is a great way to take in some of the older parts of the city. at a cost of AED1 you can get across the creek to the Deira side to visit the famous Gold and Spice souks, it is a must see during your stay.
- Kite Beach: Dubai’s favorite community beach and they are here for the adventurers – the kite surfers, paddle boarders and swimmers, the ones who live for the adrenaline but also know how to relax and have a good time. There is a walking/jogging pathway that runs from Jumeirah Beach Hotel for 14 kms up the coast, showing off our wonderful coastline, that offer clear blue oceans and white sandy beaches and November is one of the best months to experience this! There are areas you can hire lounges and umbrellas, there are numerous cafes, burger joints and juice bars along the way – a great place to hang out if you are here for the weekend.
- Dune Bashing There are few experiences more amazing than a Desert Safari in Dubai – your hotel will have information on booking one of these fun filled experiences where you are collected in 4 x 4 cars and taken into the local desert for some amazing views of the lovely surrounding dunes, belly dancing , camel rides and of course the famous dune bashing rides, usually arranged in the late afternoon when the weather is cooler , you will be taken to a camp out in the desert for a BBQ dinner and lots of entertainment with local Middle Eastern cuisine to dine on.
- La Mer: Located on the beach-front in Jumeirah, La Mer has a spectacular setting overlooking the Arabian Gulf. This newly opened beach front area is host to restaurants, shops and an open beach. Surrounded by almost 2.5 kilometers of beaches and situated close to the Etihad Museum and the Dubai Water Canal, the shopping, dining and entertainment areas at La Mer will open to the public in two phases. The first phase comprises La Mer North and La Mer South. The beach portion is open at this time with a few restaurant options.
- Al Qudra Lakes: a series of manmade lakes sprawled across Dubai’s Saih Al Salam Desert landscape. Visitors can pack a picnic, stop by after a leisurely ride around Al Qudra Cycling Track, or even plan an overnight camping adventure. It’s a great way to see Dubai’s beautiful desert sunset with a waterfront view and the chance to spot some local wildlife. This is one part of Dubai where wildlife is likely to be seen in its natural habitats, from desert foxes, the oryx or one of 170 bird species that live around the lakes including flamingos, swans and more. Some of these native birds are even on the endangered or vulnerable list such as the Steppe Eagle and the Asian Houbara.
- Al Qudra Cycle Course: stretches into the desert and allows riders access to an uninterrupted 85km loop. On the course, you can enjoy mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets over the desert and see various wildlife. There is a rental facility on the course offering bike and gear rentals upon arrival, however please remember to book at 24-48hours in advance in order to guarantee they have the correct bike available for you.
- Ripe Market If you find yourself in Dubai over the weekend, which falls on Fridays/Saturdays here in the Middle East, you cannot miss out on the Ripe Organic Market, which is held at Zabeel Park, every Fridays from 9.00 am onward with events ranging from free yoga lessons in the park on the grass to you having the choice of mouth watering food trucks scattered all around – the food truck scene has grown over the last few years in Dubai and there are some amazing and very talented chefs out there. And then there is the shopping……from clothing to handmade leather goods and jewelry there is something for everyone, and with Christmas around the corner you can pick up a great gift for all your family members from Dubai.
- Global Village: in its 22nd Season and continues to offer the best family entertainment experience in Dubai and all UAE. Hosting shows ranging from thrilling stunt shows, bespoke spectacular shows, street performances and cultural shows from around the world, Global Village vouches that families will enjoy every minute spent at the park with so much to do and see.
Places to go in Abu Dhabi
- Grand Mosque: considered to be the key site for worship in the country. The design of the mosque was done by a Syrian architect named Yousef Abdelky. For two years running it was voted the world's second favorite landmark by TripAdvisor, it is absolutely beautiful and well worth the 1 hour drive from Dubai.
- The Louvre Abu Dhabi: this art museum is due to open on 11th November 2017, as part of a thirty-year agreement between the city of Abu Dhabi and the French government The museum is located on the Saadiyak Island Cultural District, and will be approximately 24,000 square meters (260,000 sq ft) in size. The final cost of the construction is expected to be between €83 million and €108 million. In addition, US$525 million was paid by Abu Dhabi to be associated with the Louvre name, and an additional $747 million will be paid in exchange for art loans, special exhibitions and management advice. It looks spectacular! And you should know we don’t do anything in half measures here in the UAE.
There are so many great activities and things to do in the UAE, we have some amazing restaurants for every palate and from every cuisine known, so if you haven’t managed to get to do all these incredible activities during your EURA stay, you will just have to return as some stage bringing your family and friends with you!
Dubai Fast Facts
- More than 80% of Dubai’s population is immigrants from different parts of the world. In fact, Emiratis make only 18% to 19% of the overall population. Another interesting fact is that nearly 100,000 new residents arrive here per year.
- Dubai is well-known as a city of skyscrapers; two decades after the Dubai World Trade Centre was the only skyscraper in the city, it is now home to more than 900 high rise buildings
- As of today, Dubai airport is the world’s busiest airport for international traffic with 84 Million passengers in 2016 and an expected 90 Million passengers in 2017.
- The Dubai police fleet includes a Lamborghini, a Ferrari and a Bentley, to allow the police force to catch speeders who can outrun other cars.
- Even though Dubai is in the middle of a desert, you can snow-ski indoors at the Mall of the Emirates.
- 20% of the world’s total cranes are now operating in Dubai in various constructions.
- It is one of the fastest growing cities in the whole world. There were just 13 cars in Dubai in 1968 but today double decker roads have been introduced to handle today’s traffic.
- Dubai is also referred to “the City of Gold,” it is home to the Gold Souk that houses more than 300 retail shops dedicated to gold. It is estimated that the souk contains 10 tons of gold at any given time. In 2013, 40 percent of the world’s physical gold trade occurred in Dubai. The world’s largest gold chain is in Dubai; It was made during DSF 1999, a total of 22 kg of gold was used and the length of the chain was 4.2 km. The total chain was bought by 9600 people, in bracelet size and necklace wear pieces.
- Dubai is one of the few cities that is home to a number of one-of-its-kind or first of its kind in the world, such as:
- Burj Khalifa - The world’s tallest man-made structure holding a height of it is 828 meters.
- Burj Al Arab - The world’s only 7-star Hotel, a luxury hotel designed to mimic the sail of a ship, almost 280 meters standing on an artificial island with a helipad near the roof.
The United Arab Emirates is a melting pot of different cultures and religions with more than 200 nationalities living together. It is remarkable and wonderful that such diversity and tolerance exists in what is still, at its essence, a traditional and proudly Muslim country.
However, even though the Emirates are accepting and tolerant of all cultures it is good to note that they do expect visitors to respect the fact that it is still a Muslim country, and to show the same respect for their culture and laws. As Dubai is such a modern cosmopolitan city, and appears to be quite western in many ways, it is easy to forget that one is in a Muslim country, where certain rules apply.
Some Helpful Tips:
- Lear some Arabic phrases
- Show an interest and respect for Islam
- Know the rules of how to respectfully enter a mosque: For women cover your hair and as much skin on your body as possible, and for men try to wear long trousers and nothing too tight. Take off your shoes before entering, and don’t walk in front of someone in the middle of prayer.
- Take off your shoes before entering an Emirate home
- When eating together consider sharing dishes instead of ordering only for yourself
Some Arabic Phrases:
- Marhaba: hello
- Na’am: yes
- Laa: no
- Yalla: hurry up
- Inshallah: to express hope for the best outcome of a situation
- Shukran: thank you
- Aasif: sorry
- Afwan: excuse me
- Kayfhaalak: how are you
- Bi-khayr: I’m fine
- Khalas: to tell someone to stop what they are doing
- Sabaah al-khayr: good morning
- Masaa al-khayr: good evening