Dubai Tourism

The Beginning

Dubai welcomes all visitors in true Arabian hospitality, whether you arrive over land, by air or sea. An emirate within the United Arab Emirates, Dubai began its dramatic transformation from pearl-diving and a fishing village, along with the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. Now the busiest tourism, trade and commerce hub in the region, Dubai’s dependence on the oil economy is minimal. This unprecedented development is marked by the growth in population of the United Arab Emirates as a whole, from a mere 200,000 to a remarkable 4 million. True to the visionary spirit that built the city of Dubai, such rapid growth has not yet gone unchecked.

The Dubai Desert Conservation reserve was created to nurture and protect the emirate’s vast natural heritage for future generations. Who would have thought back in the 1960s, when Dubai’s modest airport was stretched to capacity on the arrival of a DC-3, that today Dubai international Airport would be handling over 22 million passengers a year. According to realistic projections, 60 million passengers are expected to pass through annually by 2010. A massive influx, which is being met by an expansion program, includes a new terminal and two new concourses, all purpose-built for Emirates Airlines. Once the last phase completes in 2008, the airport will have the capacity to handle 70 million passengers annually.

This futuristic 21st century structure houses an excellent variety of food and beverage facilities, a superb duty-free shopping as well as award-winning First and business Class lounges. Another perfect gateway to this fascinating city is the award-winning Dubai Cruise ship Terminal. With a terminal space covering 3,300 square meters, it is located on a 335m quay with the capacity to simultaneously berth two ships. Projections put arrivals in the current year at 13,000 visitors - a figure that is also expected to increase annually.

A Global Hub

Enviably located between the East and West, Dubai is only a six to eight hour flight from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Far East, while approximately a 13-hour flight from the cities of the USA, Japan and Australia. Providing unrivalled levels of security and personal safety, the city has been internationally recognized for its low crime environment, a contributing factor to the millions of visitors the city attracts each year. On offer is one of the most exciting places on earth, a desert paradise where a unique collage of the old and the new can be experienced.

So Much To See, Do And Experience

Year-round sunshine and pristine beaches to enjoy and a cosmopolitan nightlife to write home about. With easy access through its ultra-modern airport, served by over 110 airlines, Dubai truly is a modern city.

The city of Dubai offers all manner of cuisines from every corner of the globe as well as shopping to tame even the wildest spenders - now the famous Dubai shopping Festival, held annually, brings together traditional souks (including the famous Gold souk) and the modern air-conditioned malls, in a month-long shopping and entertainment extravaganza.

Sports facilities and international events are second to none as Dubai hosts The Dubai Desert Classic, The rugby World Cup sevens and the Dubai World Cup, to name a few. An extensive range of hotels within Dubai and the surrounding regions, along with a plethora of leisure facilities, provide something for every taste and budget. A diverse range of convention and meeting options include the 12,000 delegate Dubai international Convention Centre. Staging of some of the world’s more prominent economic and political events, the city is experienced with logistics of handling 20,000 convention visitors at one time, and more.

A Glittering Oasis In The Desert

One would never believe while gazing over Dubai’s sparkling skyline that this ultra-modern metropolis was once a sleepy desert trading port where the local population lived in simple yet profoundly innovative structures built from mud and coral. Today, the same structures with their iconic wind towers, can be seen juxtaposed against some of the world’s most striking skyscrapers and contemporary architecture.

Dubai International Airport

Built in 1959 by the order of late ruler Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Dubai international Airport was the first airport in the UAE - featuring a single, 1.8km runway and situated 4 km (2.5 miles) southeast of the city centre. Today, it is the fastest growing airport in the Middle East, nominated for the prestigious “best Airport” award in 2002 and 2003 by the lATA (International Air Transport Association).

Airport Facilities

Under continuous development, Dubai international Airport currently has 2 terminals, accommodating 110 airlines which connect the city to more than 140 global destinations. The airport offers a unique “Meet-and-Greet” hospitality service known as “Marhaba” for passenger assistance and “Welcome/bon Voyage” services for arrivals and departures.


Terminal 1 is the hub of the Dubai international Airport and was reopened in April 2000 following the 2nd stage of its expansion program commenced in 1997. The terminal is 800m long and connects to the check-in hall by a 300m underground tunnel with a moving walkway. The terminal features an Advanced passenger Clearance system (known as e-gate) utilizing smart card entry/exit through immigration, electronically screening passengers’ data instead of their passport. Terminal 1 comprises five levels; Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Airport Hotel and Departure/Arrivals Halls.

The Duty Free complex covers an area of some 5,400sqm, while the operation in Terminal 2 covers over 1,400sq m. Arrivals shops and landside shops bring the total retail space to over 7,000sq m and is designed to maximize both retail and shopper experiences.

The terminal has 27 boarding gates, 47 aerobridges and a total of 36 lounges to accommodate passengers of first and business class, airline and regular/economy. It also contains a business centre, health club, currency exchange, dining & entertainment facilities, internet services, medical centre, post office and a prayer room.

Regardless of the time zone your body is set to, the wealth of culinary choices available at the Sheikh Rashid Terminal will satisfy. The bright and airy Food Court with its floor length windows offers a host of options including a French patisserie, an indian, a Far Eastern restaurant, an a la carte restaurant and the Irish Village bar and lounge on the Departure level.

Dubai - Shopping Malls


One of the largest shopping malls in Dubai, BurJuman offers customers a better class of shopping and extensive food courts with over 175 prestigious and luxurious boutiques such as Polo Ralph Lauren, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Calvin Klein. BurJuman is located at the corner of Trade Centre road and Khalid bin Al Waleed road in Bur Dubai.

Deira City Centre

Deira City Centre is one of the largest shopping venues in Dubai. It includes a fast food court, cafes, Cinestar Cinema, GAP, sharaf DG, Carrefour, body shop, Calvin Klein, Virgin, Mango, Massimo Dutti and binHendi Avenue plus many more. Located in Deira, opposite the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

Dubai Mall

The largest mall on the planet offers not only unprecedented scale, but also revolutionary design, challenging everything you’ve come to expect from a mall. Features a constellation of food parks, mothers and kids world, international fashion, jewellery, home decor and furniture, sports and fitness, electronics super corridor, cyber world, state-of-the-art Cineplex, olympic-sized ice skating rink and medical centre.

Ibn Battuta Mall

Taking the travels of the Arabian Explorer as its theme, the Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai is a celebration of 15th Century world cultures. From China and Egypt to Persia each section of the mall features its name’s architectural style. Two food courts bookend a long stretch of stores such as Timberland, boots, saucony, Go sports, Axiom, Apple and a huge cinema with iMAx, as well as numerous cafes like Costa, Starbucks and lime Tree Cafe. Located on Sheikh Zayed road, heading towards Abu Dhabi just after Dubai Marina.

Mall Of The Emirates

Located on Sheikh Zayed road, Mall of the Emirates features skiDubai, the Kempinski Hotel, with a vast range of stores and eating options to make any shopping trip an unforgettable one. Stroll through 3 levels of high-street and luxury brand stores such as Virgin, Camper, Fat Face, Carrefour, river island, next, Tiffany, bvlgari, Cartier and Armani to name a few.

Dubai Festival City

This new addition to the city’s range of shopping destinations sits on the Creek side and incorporates a complex of hotels, stores and eateries 7 days a week. Landmark stores like Marks & Spencer, iKEA and ACE Hardware add to numerous high street store favorites like Marc Jacobs, Tommy Hilfiger, Ted Baker, CK, paris Gallery, bench, plug-ins, Toys ‘r’ Us plus many many more.

Al Ghurair Centre

A 650,000sq ft. mall and cinema complex that’s stood the test of time, moving with the trends with complete renovation to currently house stores like FCUK, Adidas, Guess, paris Gallery, Mothercare, Milano and Mexx, and restaurants like Chili’s and nando’s.

Wafi City

Another landmark in Dubai situated close to the Creek and adjoining an exclusive 5-star hotel, Wafi’s distinctive pyramid architecture and range of luxury stores makes it a “must do” mall in Dubai. Stores such as Marks & Spencer, luckie brand, Gas and salam studios will satisfy fashion shoppers while a number of top class restaurants, bars, health club, hair and beauty complex and even a water park will satisfy the most discerning seeker of leisure pursuits.

Madinat Souk Jumeirah

Don’t miss this labyrinth of traditionally designed shops, open-air courtyards and restaurants sitting on the Jumeirah beach road with its specially created canal and motorized abras to transport you to and from your destination. Stores selling rugs, arts and crafts, fashion, electronics and a waterside selection of restaurants and bars makes this one of the most popular shopping and leisure destinations in Dubai.

Jumeirah Beach Road

Get back to the traditional style of shopping, with individual boutique stores and smaller shopping centres featuring one-off fashions, gifts, and art and gift stores dotted on both sides of the Jumeirah beach road. Start from the iconic Grand Jumeirah Mosque and work your way down on foot enjoying the sunshine and fresh air as you stroll.

Dubai Land

Dubailand is conveniently located on Emirates road, just 10 minutes from Dubai international Airport and Emirates Towers, 20 minutes from Sharjah and 60 minutes from Abu Dhabi.

Welcome To Dubailand

Dubailand is a fantastic attraction for the whole family to experience. Discover this world of water parks, roller coasters and adventures based on many themes using the latest technology for thrill-seeking entertainment. Where world-class safety standards and attractions with universal appeal combine to ensure you get the most from your visit.

Sports & Outdoor World

Sports & Outdoor World is a high-energy world of heroes and champions, which includes a variety of sporting venues for a dynamic program of international rugby, cricket and other sporting tournaments as well as extreme sports activities.

Eco-Tourism World

Eco-Tourism World is a natural world marveling at the beauty of our planet, comprising a series of nature and desert-based attractions integrated within their desert parkland surrounds. Its experiential and cultural activities have a broad appeal and its vast number of exquisite and unique offerings will no doubt satisfy the most discerning park visitor.

Leisure & Vacation World

Leisure & Vacation World is a relaxing world of spas, health and wellbeing, that consists of appealing retreats and quality vacation village residences, resort hotels and wellness retreats. Including fitness and stress management-focused facilities, it offers unique creative concepts, such as themed resorts affording visitors the chance to experience faraway exotic locales without leaving Dubailand.

Retail & Entertainment World

Retail & Entertainment World provides one of the essential activities undertaken by visitors to Dubai - shopping. Features a wide variety of retail outlets and global brands as well as unique boutiques and discount stores, all within the biggest mall in the world - the Mall of Arabia. An abundance of entertainment and dining facilities also complement the retail facilities.


Downtown is a vibrant mix of retail, dining and entertainment facilities. Featuring popular family entertainment outlets such as cinemas, ten-pin bowling plus street entertainment and computer- based game centers. Themed restaurants and nightclubs will keep adults entertained day and night with an exhaustive list of activities.

Dubai Events and Festivals

Special Events

Dubai Shopping Festival

Although a shopper’s paradise at anytime of the year, January is particularly good for bargain hunters. Over 2 million visitors flock to Dubai involving almost every shop in the city with concerts, street theatre, fireworks and other events offering a welcome break from the city-wide shopping frenzy.

Dubai Summer Surprises

The 10-week summer equivalent of the Dubai Shopping Festival, concerts and activities spread around the city’s many shopping centres, aimed at encouraging people to “shop, save and celebrate”. The weeks are divided into themes such as food, arts, adventure and nature, while many of the city’s hotels offer special “shopaholic” packages to enjoy.

The Dubai International Film Festival [DiFF]

The Dubai International Film Festival [DiFF] is a 7-day annual film festival organized by the Dubai Media City and features various films, showcasing contemporary and classic global cinema. The first DiFF took place in December 2004 and the annual event’s main venue is the Madinat Jumeirah.

Art Dubai

rapidly growing art community of the Middle East. The 2008 fair will host nearly seventy galleries from the Middle East, Asia, Europe, North and South America, North Africa and Australia.

Dubai Jazz Festival

This hugely popular event never fails to deliver a legendary line up. It is staged outdoors on the grassy grounds of Dubai Media City amphitheatre. With nothing less than 2 days of electrifying music blended with dazzling performances, this musical extravaganza appeals to a true music loving audience.


The Dubai Air Show

The substantial investment in both Civil and Military aviation in the Middle East lead Fairs and Exhibitions to launch the Dubai Airshow in 1989. The show was immediately hailed as a success and has undergone significant growth to become the world’s third most influential event, held biennial in November. Two hundred exhibitors took part in Dubai 1989 covering 7,000 square meters, it now covers over 35,000 square meters in a purpose-built site next to the airport. Some 45,421 industry-linked visitors from 131 countries attended the 2007 five-day show.


Cityscape is the annual network marketing exhibition and conference, focusing on commercial architecture, property investment and development. Considering the region’s real estate growth, this event promises to go from strength to strength.


The largest and most successful IT event in the Middle East, it is the foremost international exhibition for computing, communications systems and applications dedicated to the information technology industry.

The Bride Show

Featuring a variety of events centred on the theme of weddings. The event attracts hundreds of exhibitors from all over the region.