Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DUBAI

Executive summary by darmansjah

Dubai is a great holiday destination, with year-round sunshine offering the finest facilities and renowned Arabian hospitality.

Having lived in the Middle East for over 15-years, local Lynn Reuters shares with us some of Dubai’s favourite attractions and hottest spots to be seen, also brilliant ways to experiencing the rich and exotic Arabic culture. Previously engaged in the communications and marketing field, the freelance writer now focuses on her writing only to share the best of places across countries. ‘There’s nothing better than visiting a foreign land. I love the mystery before I arrive and make sure I leave with a book of memories.’

City at Glance

Relatively new as a tourist destination, Dubai’s rapid emergence has provided a solid tourism infrastructure and introduced a considerable number of reasons to visit the city. For one, Dubai has been touted as the shopping capital of the Middle east, possessing a whole host of shopping malls – some simply humongous – to back up this claim.

Also known as the ‘Gold City’, Dubai is busy, lively and armed with an international aura that brings people together form all walks of life. It is an international metropolis that promises a foresight of unprecedented aspirations in modern architecture flowing with dreams and visions by its profound leaders.

Once only a simple gateway between traders, Dubai is now a trendsetter in exceptional modern technology. From its iconic tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, to the exotic Palm Islands, where else in the world can you semi with sharks in a shopping mall?

However, it hasn’t lost too much of its cultural richness. Acknowledged as a city with charm, its flow of exotic Arabian culture and heritage lives strongly and continues to attract travelers from all over  the world.

The area around the creek for instance is a beautiful souvenir of the old city. A visit to Dubai’s glowing  gold souks located in the heart of tis commercial district in Deira is a must-do for all visitors to the city. The narrow lanes are heavily packed with gold traders showcasing the finest gold exhibits all year through, with some of the famous gold stores including Damas, Shyam Jewellery and ARY Jewellery. Old mosques, schools and other traditional buildings have also been restored and efforts to maintain sight of Dubai’s cultural identity are constantly ongoing.

Al Arab Restaurant

Sitting along Dubai’s Emirates Road, enjoy a wide range of authentic Arabic cusine, from soups, labneh with garlic to cheese pies, and its famous Arabic Chicken Shawarmas, Chicken Keebabs to Shish Taouk and Steaks. The interior is decked out stylishly in a contemporary setting, mixed with Arabic ornaments exuding local culture. During the more cooling months of December, January and February, one can choose to sit out to dine while others may opt to enjoy having shishas that come in an assortment of flavours.

Dubai Museum

Like all other countries, one of the most interesting ways to gain more insight into a city’s culture and history is to visit the local museum. Located in the Al Fahidi Fortress that was built in 1787 – also the oldest building in Dubai – the Dubai Museum is simply breathtaking once you begin your journey inside. The artefacts on display bring forth the amazing highlights of the past traders, of what local life was like before the discovery of oil, and also since Dubai was once a trading centre that gave good business opportunities for many traders, and still is.

Atmosphere

Atmosphere holds the guiness world record as the highest restaurant from ground level, being situated on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building. Offering you an amazing skyline with breathtaking sights of Dubai city, this pulsating club is stylish and eye-catching, running on an amethyst contemporary velvety design. My recommendation: the classic martini in hand, enjoyed 2,717 meters above ground.
The Address Downtown Dubai

Expediently located along Emaar Boulevard, just steps away from the world’s largest shopping and entertainment centre and sitting directly opposite the world’s tallest building, this is a must stay when visiting Dubai! Its stylish Cigar Lounge has taken on the scene as the place to be seen at, where listening to jazz tunes while seated on a private terrace overlooking Dubai’s skyline would make any evening truly awe-inspiring. Take a dip in the infinity pool hovering over five tiers overlooking the Dubai Fountains, followed by an appointment at The Spa to make you feel rejuvenated on any given day.

Dubai Mall

Covering almost 1,200 retails shops to celebrated department stores like Bloomingdales and Galeries Lafayette, Dubai Mall offers you the best in world class shopping, dining and non-stop entertainment. With over 54 million visitors since its opening in 2008, Dubai Mall is also home to an underwater zoo, an aquarium right in the middle of retail stores, an Olympic sized ice-rink, 22 cinemas and experiencing a swooping 360 degrees view of Dubai at The Top Burj Kahlifa right on the 124th floor. My favourite section is Fashion Avenue; complimented by lavish décor, this is where haute culture rules. And with over 150 famous eateries from Texas Raodhouse, PF Chang’s, African Ribs and Rumps to Magnolia’s homemade ice cream, I can guarantee you will never go hungry! To top if off, head to SEGA Republic – an indoor theme park that promises to pump up your adrenaline and give you a world of fun and adventure.

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