Destinations / The best capital cities in the world / Dubai-the shopping capital city of the Middle East
The Emirate of Dubai is located on the Persian Gulf and it is a major tourist destination in the Middle East. It is also called “ The city of the Gold” as it is blessed with golden sunshine and silvery beaches. From 1830 until today the rulers of Dubai are the Al Maktoum family. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and the second largest of them. According to statistics, in 1994 the population of Dubai was around 610.000 people. The gulf city of Dubai is divided into two parts: the Bur Dubai and Deira. The most common form of transport across the bay is called abra, a traditional old Arabic water taxi, which continues to exist at the moment and it is traditionally used to cross people over to either side of the Creek.. Typically, a city tour begins with a visit to the largest mosque in the city - Jumeirah. This mosque is a magnificent example of Islamic architecture. It is especially beautiful at night due to its artificial illumination.
You can also visit the Museum of History in Dubai, located in an old district, converted in 1970 into a museum : Ford Al Fahidi. Ford, Al Fahidi gives a memorable view of the past principality. It was restored to its original form by Sheikh Zayed, the first ruler of Dubai. On the way to the suburb of Jumeirah there is a zoo - one of the best zoos in the Middle East. There are also great parks in Dubai. The most famous are Al Safa, Al-Mushrif and Jumeirah Beach. But the most visited and loved by the public is the Creek Park. There are many developed recreational activities in Dubai: parks, aqua parks, restaurants and so on. Every two years, Dubai hosts an international air show, which is considered one of the most expensive and prestigious salons in the world along with the Show in Le Bourget in France. Dubai is known for many centuries as a city of merchants and the main commercial port of the Arabian Gulf. Many ships from India and China, Iran and Portugal, Bedouin caravans from the depths of the Arabian desert were sailing here.
Dubai is the biggest shopping center globally scaled. It remained one of the most traditional markets, called in Arabic "bitches", and in most modern shops there is a brisk trade. That is why the idea of spending the Dubai Shopping Festival was born here. The world's largest supermarket Center is located in Dubai. The Wonderland Park in Dubai is considered the best in the whole Gulf region. Its total area is of approximately 25,000 sq ft. Various attractions, the newest video games are in the water park Spleshlend. In Dubai there are excellent conditions for sports: sailing, windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving, figure skating and golf. Architectural innovations have changed and transformed Emirate Dubai form from an ancient eastern city to a modern metropolis in the past thirty years.
Glittering skyscrapers on Sheikh Zayed Road are Dubai's most prestigious streets. They create a feeling of quite a European city. The decoration and the pride of the street are the twin towers, the silvery gray Emirates Towers. One of the towers is the tallest buildings in the Middle East and Europe, with an altitude of 350 meters. Located near the World Trade Centre, all kinds of exhibitions, conferences, forums and seminars are usually held here. Sometimes Dubai is called ‘’Paris Persian Gulf”, as most restaurants, clubs and shops are situated there. The main centers of nightlife are concentrated in the hotels. Cinemas, where you can watch American or European films , discos, the best pubs and bars are also situated here. It is only here where it is allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. In general, all decent places where one can comfortably sit and try a variety of Chinese, Korean, Thai, Italian, French cuisine, are hotels. The city restaurants are full with Arab specificity regardless of the name. There are very few hotels built right on the coast in Dubai, but from almost any hotel in the morning free buses run to the Persian Gulf. The best beach is Jumeirah Beach. The entrance fee is of 5 dirhams. The beach is open from 10 to 22. On certain days the beaches are open only to women and children, but any time you can sunbathe and swim only in a bathing suit.
History of Dubai
Dubai is the second largest emirate. The name comes from the Arabic names of juveniles of one species of locusts -in Arabic locusts means Dibb, which is a diminutive derivative of the word "Dubai". Perhaps this is the name associated with the fact that there was a place of periodic locust breeding, who liked moist soil. Judging from the urban area to keep the name "Bur Dubai" (Locust well "), there was once a well. By the way, locusts immortalized in another part of the city - Dibba on the east coast. Another area of Dubai is Deira which in the local dialect means simply " village". The first arab settlements in Dubai belong to the distant year 830. According to a legend, Dubai was founded by a small clan that came out of the oasis on the territory of modern Abu Dhabi. Over the centuries, Dubai was a small village on the shores of the Persian Gulf. In medieval times, Dubai has gradually become more and more commercial. In 1910 Dubai was a port town with 10 thousand people, occupying an area of 3 km to 1 km. Dramatic changes occurred in the emirate after the 1966. Oil was discovered here, although not in such quantities as in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. According to specialists, oil in Dubai lasted until 2010. Perhaps it was its limited inventory that made the rulers of Dubai sparingly and wisely use the funds obtained from oil production, and develop other economic sectors: tourism, industry and trade. Dubai trades with 140 countries. Many multinational companies are using Dubai as a staging commerce country between East and West. An open free trade zone of Jebel Ali was opened in Dubai. The annual Dubai shopping festival DUBAI SHOPPING FESTIVAL attracts people from all over the world. In 1980, Dubai had a full-fledged airport. It operated only a small airfield with the British Royal Airlines. Dubai Airport today is a two great terminal, built with the latest technology, which takes about 10 million passengers annually. The efforts made by the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Maktoum, has led to significant economic outcomes: right now the share of oil revenues in Dubai is only of 12 percent of GDP, while tourism brings 20 percent of the national economy.
The Burj al Arab- The Tower of Dubai
The Burj al Arab is the tallest building in the world (a record previously belonged to Taipei 101, located in Taipei, with its height of 509m). Burj in Dubai is the tallest building in the world as established by the Council of tall buildings and urban environment. One of criteria is the height of the spire / antenna height of the floor of the last "live" floor, the roof height and the overall height of the building. The spire of Burj in Dubai is visible from a distance of 95km. In addition, the tower is the tallest observation deck, the view from which extends to 80 km. That is twice the distance from Dubai to Al Ain. The building also holds the record for the number of floors. The basis of the design of the tower is the geometry of the desert flower with delicate petals and patterns characteristic of Islamic architecture. The construction completed its own firehouse skyscraper "Dubai Tower". It can evacuate all the inhabitants of the building in 32 minutes. The system consists of a fully self-contained units. There are two water tanks at 20 thousand imperial gallons on the 73 floor. It also contains a five-star hotel built on an artificial island including a skyview bar with amazing views and an impressive landmark.
The Palm Islands
The Palm Jumeirah is the second man-made structures on Earth (along with the Great Wall of China), which can be seen from the moon with your own eyes. These represent three huge artificially created "islands" having a diameter of 6 km. Jumeirah, Jebel Ali and Deira represent the "trunk" and the"crown" of the palm, consisting of 17 branches, around where are two "half moons" with "reading" in Arabic ligature. The words are taken as quotations from the poems of Prince Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and in translation mean:
"To leave a line on the water, you need a good sight, great men pose great aims in front of them”, "Drew wisdom from those who possess it, not everyone who is sitting on a horse can ride."
The Palm Jumeirah is perhaps the most famous project in Dubai. The construction of The Palm Jumeirah was launched in 2001 and was completed tentatively in early 2006. The Palm Jebel Ali was built in 2008, and The Palm Deira was built in 2010. The choice of properties on the Palm Islands is quite wide: 1-4-bedroom apartments, penthouses, townhouses, villas and houses on the water with a lot of shopping and entertainment centers. The "Palm Island" or “The Palms” became the first major project for the wider world with its uniqueness. The NAKHEEL company spent $ 7 billion for this construction. But people from the neighboring countries, from Europe, from the Indian subcontinent and CIS countries have already bought most of detuned or under construction . Their high cost does not scare buyers - oil and gas tycoons, gold and diamond kings, businessmen and politicians, stars of show business and sports. An unprecedented hitherto will be created in the Arab world, a great living and recreation infrastructure: hotels and resorts from around the world, luxury villas and apartments. The real estate on the islands of foreigners may acquire personal property and lease. In total, the island will put luxury hotels, residential apartments with a service of a level of five-star hotels, water sports, restaurants, shopping malls, sports clubs, spas, cinemas and a special area for diving. The length of the "Palm Islands” is of 120 kilometers on the coastline of Dubai.
Metro in Dubai
A subway line which is the most modern rail system with automatic control, the first of its kind in the Middle East was opened on September 9, 2009 in Dubai. At first it put into operation only 10 stations. All of the remaining stations were opened in February 2010. It was planned that by 2011, the total distance of the route will be more than 70 km - so, Dubai Metro will be the longest subway in the world. This railway line connects the district of Rashid and Jebel Ali. This railway line passes along the road of Sheikh Zayed and along 29 intermediate stations, such as Internet City, Burj Dubai, Dubai International Financial Centre, Emirates Towers, World Trade Center, and Terminal 3 Dubai International Airport. The creation of the subway cost authorities 7.6 billion dollars, twice more than it was originally planned. The discovery occurred at the time of financial crisis, but the government still managed to complete the first phase which was drafted in 2005. The authorities decided to create a subway for the discharge of central city roads. However, at that time, four years ago, the economy of Dubai has flourished and motorists were on the order of magnitude greater than today. But since then because of the financial crisis, traffic congestion has become smaller. First, there aren’t so many tourists. Although, the outflow of migrant workers, by contrast, has increased, which also helped to reduce the number of cars on the city streets. Now authorities believe one of the main tasks is to lure in the subway cars of motorists who use subsidies on gasoline and accustomed to the comfort of their air-conditioned cars. For the convenience of passengers, operating system of video and audio alerts along the route in the subway cars. Passengers are waiting at the station, designed in a futuristic style. There are special cars for women only, as well as VIP-coaches of the Golden Class with leather seats. The minimum fare is 1.8 dirhams (about 50 U.S. cents). Fare on the train "golden class" will cost up to 13 dirhams. The residents of Dubai approve the creation of an environmentally friendly means of transport around the city, noting that it will help Dubai to achieve international recognition. Authorities hope that the new mode of transport will be used by at least 200 million people a year. True, it is difficult to say whether these hopes are justified. But throughout the emirate's population of about 2 million people, many are accustomed to use their cars.
Al Qasr Restaurant
It is situated at the Dubai Marine Beach Resort Hotel. Here you can find the finest examples of Middle Eastern cuisine. Dinner is accompanied by Arabian music and belly dancing. The waiters are very kind and always willing to help in the selection of dishes.
The Antique Bazaar Restaurant Four Points Sheraton, Bur Dubai
It is the best Indian restaurant in the town. The kitchen is excellent, but the main attractive restaurant lies in its unusual design. All tables in the hall are different, each of them once stood in one of the palaces of India. You can drink Hena at a quite reasonable price: a bottle of house wine costs 75 AED. The restaurant is open from 19.30 to 3.00.
Ayam Zamam Hotel Century Hotel, Bur Dubai.
This restaurant has a reputation of the finest Lebanese cuisine restaurant in Dubai. It is strongly recommended not only because of the excellent cuisine, but also for the colorful atmosphere of the East: the restaurant is made in a cave. If you intend to visit the restaurant you should make a reservation first.
The most beautiful Thai restaurant is located in the unique Thai hotel in Dubai. You can taste royal Thai cuisine with dishes prepared according to recipes of the medieval royal court of Thailand.
Century Village Restaurant
It is situated next to the Irish Village. This is a small oasis of wonderful restaurants among fountains and lush vegetation, where one can completely forget that Arab Emirates are in the desert. The complex includes such restaurants as Da Gama (Portuguese), La Vigne (Italian), Japanese Sushi Bar, Coffee Shop and the Arabic restaurant. You can sit at a table in a small courtyard and just relax and have a meal. This is one of the few places in Dubai where you can drink directly under the stars.
It is situated on Bani Yas Street, near Dubai Islamic Bank, opposite the Hotel Al-Kahleej Hotel. Here you can find the best kebabs in all Dubai. The restaurant is not gorgeous, but clean, not expensive with excellent servic.
It is located at Metropolitan Hotel in Dubai. It specializes in Italian cuisine. It is a two-storey restaurant, with huge halls: on the first floor there is a wine cellar with a colorful head parmesan, a singer with an operatic voice and sailing on the "Venetian" gondola canals diverts visitors from not always quick and attentive service. Additional tables are on the balcony .Here they prepare fresh pizza. Prices are relatively reasonable. The entrance to the restaurant is impressive and private - with torches and columns against which simply need to capture a memorable evening. The restaurant is wonderful for family romantic evenings.
It is specialized in Greek cuisine. The whitewashed walls, the fire-dancing accompanied by live music, the traditional village salad and the banging cymbals are the main components of this restaurant. The Greek songs alternate with Arabic, that’s why the Lebanese are frequent visitors. However, the restaurant is very popular among the Russians too. Only here, the waxing visitor can afford to get into the dance on the table. As in most clubs in Dubai, the fun begins after midnight. With a generous tip, bring a dish packs and professionally hit in pieces. It is a great place for noisy feasts.
It is the best themed water park in the Middle East. The park simulates the Wadi - a mountain river flowing among the rocks and oases. Each attraction has its own legend associated with the famous explorer of Sinbad and his friends, the history of the voyage, during which they were shipwrecked. Fortunately, their ship was issued by a storm on the beach in a place where a beautiful oasis stretched. Wild Wadi is not a very large area, but it is considered the most "advanced"area and has a full range of water attractions. At the same time, Wild Wadi is the most expensive water parks in UAE. Artificial waves (wave height up to 2,5 meters), two swimming pools for surfing, tropical rain, waterfalls, tunnel doomed, "downhill" Jumeirah Skeyra "- free fall from a height of 35 meters, where the rate of developing up to 80 km. per hour and twenty - three rides and water slide, most of which are interconnected, seize and carry you into the water for a long journey. The adult rides allow children taller than 110 cm. For kids there is a special section with less "risky" entertainment. The water temperature in the water park is maintained at a constant level of 28 degrees. Professional staff of rescuers including Russian-speaking staff are responsible for your safety. In the park there are restaurants and cafes. The water Park is located very conveniently. It is in the prestigious Dubai Jumeirah area. You can easily reach from any hotel of Dubai. Getting to the water park from the remotest Hotel Deira takes no more than 25 minutes. A taxi from the city center will cost DHS 25-35. You can use the regular bus route N 8, which begins in Deira district in the Golden Souk and follow along the coast of Jumeirah, the passage of DHS 2. You can use the services of the host country . To pay for food, souvenirs and some amusement at the entrance also purchase a waterproof electronic card that is attached to the wrist. Unused funds are returned to the output or can be used when you visit.
It is one of the largest parks of its kind in the Middle East. The totem of the place is the hilarious parrot Mitu. Forty% is occupied by water. The park is divided into three zones: the Main Street , the Amusement Park (Theme park) and Aqua (Splashland). Packaged in a Caribbean village streets, the Main Street runs from the entrance to Lake of Mist. Live music, sports clowns and jugglers can be seen there. The building Family Entertainment Centre and cafeteria are a few attractions. The Aquapark Splashland offers 9 water rides, mostly water slides, one of them - Wave Runner - allows you to end of the road feel a pebble bouncing on the water. There are also three swimming pools and a large number of fast food restaurants.
The water park is opened from 10:00 until 20:00, seven days a week. It is located between Ajman and Ras Al Khaimah, 15 minutes drive from Sharjah. It is a great place for family holidays. You can find such attractions as "Lazy River", "Huge steps," "Black Hole", "Twin Twister." There is an excellent small swimming pool with jacuzzi, an artificial volcano with a height of 20 m. Due to this volcano visitors have the rare opportunity to observe the unique light effects, fire flows, which usually appear during the eruption of these volcanoes.
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