Dubai Tourism | Dubai International Airport
The earliest recorded mention of Dubai is in 1095, and the earliest settlement known as Dubai town dates from 1799. Dubai was formally established in the early 19th century by the Al Abu Falasa clan of Bani Yas, and it remained under clan control when the United Kingdom assumed the protection of Dubai in 1892. Its geographical location made it an important trading hub and by the beginning of the 20th century, it was an important port. In 1966, the year oil was discovered, Dubai and the emirate of Qatar set up a new monetary unit to replace the Gulf Rupee. The oil economy led to a massive influx of foreign workers, quickly expanding the city by 300% and bringing in international oil interests. The modern emirate of Dubai was created after the UK left the area in 1971. At this time Dubai, together with Abu Dhabi and four other emirates, formed the United Arab Emirates. The following year Ras al Khaimah joined the federation while Qatar and Bahrain chose to remain independent nations. In 1973, the monetary union with Qatar was dissolved and the UAE Dirham introduced throughout the UAE. A free trade zone was built around the Jebel Ali port in 1979, allowing foreign companies unrestricted import of labour and export capital. The Gulf War of 1990 had a negative financial effect on the city, as depositors withdrew their money and traders withdrew their trade, but subsequently the city recovered in a changing political climate and thrived.
Today, Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub. Although Dubai's economy was built on the oil industry, currently the emirate's model of business, similar to that of Western countries, drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services. Dubai has recently attracted world attention through many innovative large construction projects and sports events. This increased attention has highlighted labour rights and human rights issues concerning its largely South Asian workforce. Dubai's property market experienced a major deterioration in 2008 and 2009 as a result of the worldwide economic downturn following the Financial crisis of 2007–2010.
Climate of Dubai:
The climate of Dubai features a hot arid climate. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy and dry, with an average high around 40 °C (104 °F) and overnight lows around 30 °C (86 °F). The highest recorded temperature in Dubai is 49 °C (120 °F). Most days are sunny throughout the year. Winters are cool and short with an average high of 23 °C (73 °F) and overnight lows of 14 °C (57 °F). Precipitation, however, has been increasing in the last few decades with accumulated rain reaching 150 mm (5.91 in) per year.The climate of Dubai is an arid subtropical climate because of its location within the Northern desert belt.The weather in Dubai can bring short and irregular rainfall as is typical for the Middle East. Most of the rainfall in Dubai occurs between December, January, February and March.The weather between December and March remains cool and is considered as most comfortable climatic conditions throughout the year.
Dubai International Airport:
In 2010 DXB handled a record 47.2 million in passenger traffic, a 15.4% increase over the 2009 fiscal year.This made it the 13th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic and the 4th busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic.In addition to being an important passenger traffic hub, the airport was the 8th busiest cargo airport in world, handling 2.27 million tonnes of cargo in 2010, a 17.8% increase compared to 2009 The total number of commercial aircraft movements was 292,662 in 2010.
The new $4.5 billion Terminal 3 opened on 14 October 2008, and was built exclusively for the use of Emirates Airline. Concourse 3 is also part of Terminal 3, and is expected to be completed by 2012. It will be built exclusively for the Emirates Airbus A380. Terminal 3 is the single largest building in the world by floor space and brings the total capacity of the airport to over 62 million passengers and will increase to more than 80 million passengers by 2012 when Concourse 3 opens.
Dubai International Airport will be complemented by Al Maktoum International Airport (Dubai World Central International Airport), a new 140 km2 (54 sq mi) airport that will help handle the influx of travellers well into the future.It began cargo operations on 27 June 2010 and was expected to begin passenger operations in March 2011 but has been further delayed to 2012.
Transportation in Dubai:
Transport in Dubai is controlled by the Roads and Transport authority. The public transport network faces huge congestion and reliability issues which a large investment programme is attempting to address, including over AED 70 billion of improvements planned for completion by 2020, when the population of the city is projected to exceed 3.5 million. In 2009, according to Dubai Municipality statistics, there were an estimated 1,021,880 cars in Dubai. In January 2010, the number of Dubai residents who use public transport stood at 6%. Although the government has invested heavily in the Dubai's road infrastructure, this has not kept pace with the increasing number of vehicles. This, coupled with the induced traffic phenomenon, has led to growing problems of congestion.
The Public Bus Transport system in Dubai is run by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). The bus system services 140 routes and transported over about 109.5 million people in 2008. By the end of 2010, there will be 2,100 buses in service across the city. The Transport authority has announced the construction of 500 air-conditioned (A/C) Passenger Bus Shelters, and has plan for 1,000 more across the emirates in a move to encourage the use of public buses.
Dubai also has an extensive taxi system, by far the most frequently used means of public transport within the Emirate. Dubai Taxi Corporation operates the taxi services as part of the Roads & Transport Authority. There are both government-operated and private cab companies. The DTC taxis are easily identifiable with their cream color.There are more than 3000 taxis operating within the emirate. Taxi cabs in Dubai make an average of 192,000 trips every day, lifting about 385,000 persons. In 2009 taxi trips exceeded 70 million trips serving around 140.45 million passengers.
The development of Al Maktoum International Airport, was announced in 2004. The first phase of the airport, featuring one A380 capable runway, 64 remote stands, one cargo terminal with annual capacity for 250,000 tonnes of cargo and a passenger terminal building designed to accommodate five million passengers per year, has been opened.When completed, Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world with five runways, four terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tons of cargo.
The Palm Jumeirah Monorail is a monorail line on the Palm Jumeirah. The monorail connects the Palm Jumeirah to the mainland, with a planned further extension to the Red Line of the Dubai Metro.The line opened on 30 April 2009.Two trams systems are expected to be built in Dubai by 2011. The first is the Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System and the second is the Al Sufouh Tram. The Downtown Burj Khalifa Tram System is a 4.6 km (2.86 mi) tram service that is planned to service the area around the Burj Khalifa, and the second tram will run 14.5 km (9 mi) along Al Sufouh Road from Dubai Marina to the Burj Al Arab and the Mall of the Emirates.
Dubai has announced it will complete a link of the UAE high speed rail system which will eventually hook up with the whole GCC and then possibly Europe. The High Speed Rail will serve passengers and cargo.
Tourism in Dubai is an important part of the Dubai government's strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the emirate. Dubai's lure for tourists is based mainly on shopping, but also on its possession of other ancient and modern attractions.
Dubai is the most populous emirate of the seven emirates of United Arab Emirates. It is distinct from other members of the UAE in that revenues from petroleum and natural gas account for only 6% of its gross domestic product. A majority of the emirate's revenues are from the Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) and now, increasingly, from tourism.
Entry regulations in Dubai:
Most travelers need to obtain a Visit Visa prior to entering Dubai. However, citizens (and some residents) of Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Persian Gulf (GCC) and citizens of a number of states in Europe and elsewhere (including Australia and New Zealand) can get an entry permit stamped in their passport upon arrival, good for up to 90 days. Visitors from other nationalities require the sponsorship of any U.A.E. resident or any company or hotel licensed to operate within the U.A.E. and are limited to a 30-day stay. Citizens of the UK, France, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Cyprus, Finland, Malta, Spain, Monaco, Vatican, USA, Iceland, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong may stay for up to 30 days without a visa. As of 2 January 2011, Canadian citizens must acquire a visa prior to travelling to the United Arab Emirates. Detailed information on requirements can be obtained from the wesite: uae-embassy.com. Tourists can get a visa from a tourist company or a hotel by first making a reservation for at least one night. They must fax/courier the hotel a copy of their passport along with the reason for the visit (tourism is an acceptable reason) and their arrival date. You must also make sure that the hotel faxes you a copy of the visa when it is ready. Airlines may require confirmation (preferably a fax copy of the document) that a visa is held before check-in at the airport. The original is held at Dubai Airport for collection before passport control.
Dubai Visa Rules Changed in 2010:
Since 2010 there has been another change to visa rules in Dubai. The countries that have to apply for visa in advance they will have to apply the normal ways they do. The only thing that has changed for business travellers & Tourist if you leave the UAE – you must stay out of the country for 30 days then apply for new visa again.
For western countries who give visa at the airport, the first visa is free but if you want a second visa for other 30 days you have pay a fee of 600AED = around 170 -190USD + pay at local immigration department in Dubai.
Behaviour and dress restrictions:
Dubai enforces many strict behavioral rules that occasionally get western visitors into trouble. Sexual relationship between unmarried people and homosexuality are illegal, even kissing in public is illegal. Dancing is only allowed in hotels or a licensed nightclub, public dancing is also considered illegal. In April 2010, two British holidaymakers were jailed for a month after a local woman took objection to them kissing each other on the cheek as a greeting in a restaurant.
Additionally, visitors are also required to obey Muslim religious restrictions even if they are not Muslim themselves; such as eating or drinking in public places in the daytime during Ramadan fasting or consuming alcohol anywhere besides some licensed venues. In 2008 a Russian woman was put on trial for drinking juice in public during the month of Ramadan.
Wearing a bikini, swimming suit or swimming trunks are only permitted on certain beaches, and it is illegal to go topless or wear a thong. Wearing swimsuits away from the beach may get you arrested under public decency laws. Women are usually advised not to wear mini skirts or shoulderless tops.
The Dubai Mall:
Twice delayed, Dubai Mall opened on November 4, 2008, with about 600 retailers, marking the world's largest-ever mall opening in retail history. However it is not the largest in gross leasable space, and is surpassed in that category by several malls including the South China Mall, which is the world's largest, Golden Resources Mall, SM City North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia.
The Dubai Mall has recorded a visitor turn-out of more than 60,000 tickets sold for the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre in the first five days, following its opening. The Dubai Mall hosted over 37 million visitors in its first year of operation, and attracts more than 750,000 visitors every week.
Dubai Aquarium and Under Water Zoo:
The Mall adopted an International Standard of Ethics and Animal Welfare Policy in its development and operation
Dubai Ice Rink:
The Mall's Dubai Ice Rink multi-purpose venue, uses refrigeration plant technology by developing 1.5 inches (38 mm) of ice bed, almost 3 times the thickness of an NHL ice rink for Olympic-sized attraction. Dubai Ice Rink can host a capacity of up to 2,000 guests, when converted into a multi-functional hall with world-class multimedia system including a 20 m × 10 m LED screen. Operations Manager, Richard Rowlands, a 7 years Welsh figure skating pairs champion, described it: "Dubai Ice Rink in itself is an exciting facility, bringing the first-ever Olympic-sized ice rink to Dubai. A top-class facility offering the best of, including over 1,800 pairs of skates imported from a leading manufacturer in Italy to fit children and adults of all ages and sizes, the Dubai Ice Rink will host themed nights, Learn-to-Skate programmes, figure skating lessons and hockey matches.The advanced technology used at the Dubai Ice Rink ensures that the consistency of the ice-bed is maintained at all times. By incorporating the refrigerator technology of pushing in glycol through a network of pipes, and monitoring the cooling over a period of five to six days, the 38 mm ice-bed is tailored to withstand multiple activities in a safe environment.".
The Dubai Fountain:
The name of the fountain was chosen after a contest organized by the developer Emaar Properties, the result of which was announced on 26 October 2008.Testing of the fountain began in February 2009,and the fountain was officially inaugurated on 8 May 2009 along with the official opening ceremony of the Dubai Mall. On 2 January 2010 the height of Dubai fountains was increased to 275 m (902.2 ft).
The first two islands will comprise approximately 100 million cubic meters of rock and sand. Palm Deira will be composed of approximately 1 billion cubic meters of rock and sand. All materials will be quarried in the UAE. Among the three islands there will be over 100 luxury hotels, exclusive residential beach side villas and apartments, marinas, water theme parks, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities and health spas.
The creation of the Palm Jumeirah began in June 2001. Shortly after, the Palm Jebel Ali was announced and reclamation work began. The Palm Deira, which is planned to have a surface area of 46.35 square kilometres, was announced for development in October 2004. Construction was originally planned to take 10–15 years, but that was before the impact of the global credit crunch hit Dubai.
Dubai Shopping Festival:
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) started on February 15, 1996 as a retail event intended to revitalise retail trade in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It has since been promoted as a tourist attraction. This yearly month long event is usually scheduled during the first quarter of the year, attracting about 3 million people to Dubai.
It is the region’s largest and longest running shopping and entertainment extravaganza. DSF has had around 35 million visitors since 1996, who have spent close to Dh74 billion in shopping malls, airlines, hotels and entertainment outlets. In 2009 alone, visitors reached the 3.35 million mark and spent Dh9.8 billion in 32 days of the festival.
During Dubai Shopping Festival, shops offer deep discounts on their merchandise, daily car raffles are drawn, and fireworks light Dubai’s night sky. Tourists from all around the world are lured not only for Dubai's tax free shopping, but also for all of the events that take place during the festival. In 2006, the festival was cancelled due to the death of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Maktoum Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. In addition to Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai also hosts Dubai Summer Surprises.
Dubai is sometimes called the 'city of gold'.The city of gold concept was coined during one of the Dubai Shopping Festival awareness campaigns, In 1996, Dubai invited everyone from all around the world to a global annual festival which came to be named as the milestone "Dubai Shopping Festival" or DSF, they came up with the novel idea of a global village, a shopping village was conceived with all nations participating with their wares and styles in their traditional or cultural ways, the immigrant ex pat population and the fly in visitors rejoiced in the celebration that took place and the promise was given that from then on every year Dubai will host a festival for people from all around the world. The years that followed brought in more visitors more exhibitors and now the stage was set to build on the reputation of hospitality.
Dubai shopping festival was segregated into many major attractions all with one purpose, to have as many ways of entertaining the guests to the city, and catering to each and every individual segment's visiting from around the world, the loyalty of the local expatriate populations definitely finds a reason to become even more attached to the city that brings to them their own culture every year.
Dubai Shopping Festival plays a vital role in Dubai's tourism industry. Apart from the direct impact it has on the tourism industry, Dubai Shopping Festival also contributes its share of importance into the nervous system of the emirate. With the rise of the number of visitors to Dubai for Dubai Shopping Festival, lots of potential immigrant talent and investment get to experience the luxury of Dubai.
UAE Awafi Festival:
Entire area is open with out any fees or charges through out year to enjoy adventure ride if you have your own good four wheel car or other wise can hire it quad bike ( all-terrain vehicle -ATV), from within near by vicinity on hourly rental basis with very nominal charges. RAK Tourism said that the success of the Awafi Festival lay in the fact that it was an annual outdoor event and that its focus was on traditional local and family fun entertainment. Hilary Mc Cormack, manager RAK Tourism, said, "The Government of Ras Al Khaimah believes cultural initiatives (such as Al Awafi Festival), reflect their commitment to promote social and family events for the people of the Emirate."
The festival has a Heritage Village, local arts and crafts, a bazaar, children's play zone, clinics, and police aid post apart from public amenities like food outlets, coffee shops, and games area. Hamad Hasan Rahma Al Shamsi, from the organizing committee confirmed the car and dune bike racing competitions as the highlight of the festival, and normally held in December or January every year. The Kuwaiti Band, Miami, will entertain the weekend crowds. The festival is free to enter and doors open each day at 4:00 pm till late in the night.
Visitors wishing to travel to Ras Al Khaimah for the event can contact Al Hamra Fort and Beach Resort or Hilton Hotel for special offers available during this time.
Culture of Dubai:
In 2005, 84% of the population of metropolitan Dubai was foreign-born, about half of them from India.The city's cultural imprint as a small, ethnically homogenous pearling community was changed with the arrival of other ethnic groups and nationals—first by the Iranians in the early 1900s, and later by Indians and Pakistanis in the 1960s. Dubai has been criticised for perpetuating a class-based society, where migrant workers are in the lower classes.
Major holidays in Dubai include Eid al Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, and National Day (2 December ), which marks the formation of the United Arab Emirates. Annual entertainment events such as the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) attract over 4 million visitors from across the region and generate revenues in excess of $2.7 billion. Large shopping malls in the city, such as Deira City Centre, Mirdiff City Centre, BurJuman, Mall of the Emirates, Dubai Mall and Ibn Battuta Mall as well as traditional souks attract shoppers from the region.