Over the last decade, Dubai has seen strong growth within the tourism sector through its new attractions, landmarks, and shopping venues. In the first six months of the year, about 8.36 million tourists visited Dubai, and they are estimated to reach 20 million in 2020.
According to the recently released list and survey of Euromonitor International Research in 2018, Dubai got ranked as the world’s most visited city by tourists.
Tourism became a part of the government’s strategy to maintain the flow of foreign cash into the UAE. In May 2013, it launched the Dubai Tourism Strategy 2020, with the key objective to attract 20 million visitors annually by 2020, making Dubai a first-choice destination for international leisure and business travellers.
In 2018, the strategy expanded by setting new goals of attracting 21-23 million visitors in 2022, and 23-25 million visitors by 2025.
With its artificial islands, skyscrapers, and amusement parks, Dubai succeeded to be one of the lead touristic destinations in the Arab region today.
Through a tour offered by Dubai Tourism, Daily News Egypt explored the city’s most remarkable and touristic landmarks.
Once Dubai is mentioned, Burj Khalifa, skyscrapers with great architecture and futuristic looks, luxury cars, shopping malls, and the latest in Italian, French, and English fashion, immediately come to mind. The high humidity and the excruciating summer heat are also often thought of.
Breaking stereotypes, Dubai is no longer just the destination of wealthy businesspeople, nor limited to international conferences and shopping. According to Dubai Tourism, today, it is the number one in entertainment and entertainment tourism in the Arab region, attracting families from all socioeconomic levels.
Burj Khalifa: a shining symbol for what Dubai can accomplish
“From earth to the sky. Aspiration and achievement – a shining symbol for what we can accomplish.”
“From vision to reality. Attention to detail at every turn – from inspired design to feats of engineering and construction to world-class finishes.”
Burj Khalifa’s design embodies the well-proportioned structure of the hymenocallis or spider lily, a regional desert flower that inspired Architect Adrian Smith’s vision of the iconic tower.
Its height reaches 828m (2716.5 feet) tall, soaring over Dubai. It’s three times as tall as the Eiffel Tower and nearly twice as tall as the Empire State Building. The stairwell has a total of 2,909 steps leading up to 160 floors. Of the rarely known facts about the skyscraper is that its tip can been seen from up to 90 km away. Most of the entire Downtown Dubai district came to life alongside Burj Khalifa.
At the peak of its construction, 12,000 workers worked on the building per day. It took more than 110,000 tonnes of concrete, 55,000 tonnes of steel rebar, and 22m man-hours to complete Burj Khalifa. Six years after the excavation began in January 2004, it finally opened in January 2010.
The entrance to the offices in the skyscraper is adorned with a stone sculpture designed by Egyptian Artist Karim Rashid.
When making way to the skyscraper’s top, visitors go through the history of its construction. It was initially known as Burj Dubai before the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, changed its name to Burj Khalifa.
Burj Khalifa’s light colours often change to celebrate different occasions. During the visit, it was covered with the word ‘Friends’ celebrating 25 years of Friends series.
Last Friday, it lit up Egyptian flag colours on the back of the rally of thousands of Egyptians in front of a Nasr City podium in support of the Egyptian government and President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.
Burj Khalifa is in the middle of the Dubai Mall, the second largest mall in the world by a total land area of 350,000 sqm, equivalent to the size of 200 football pitches. It has a total floor space of 1.7m sqm, leaving room for over 1,200 retail stores, two anchor department stores, and more than 200 food and beverage outlets. Visitors could spend their day in the mall after the visit.
Frame Dubai: the latest attraction in Dubai
Dubai Frame is another remarkable landmark added to Dubai’s traditional and luxurious heritage. The project comprises a 150m high, 93m wide structure, built to resemble a huge picture frame, through which modern Dubai landmarks such as Emirates Towers and Burj Khalifa can be seen on one side. Visitors can also view older parts of the city such as Deira, Umm Harare, and Karama from the other side.
Inspired from the logo of Expo 2020 for its exterior design, the Dubai Frame is an architectural landmark in Zabeel Park, Dubai. It has been described by the Guardian newspaper as “the biggest picture frame on the planet.”
The latest attraction in Dubai showcases Dubai’s past, present, and future in one destination. With sweeping panoramic views, its visitors can gaze out upon every aspect of the city from a height of 150m. From Deira’s old town and the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf, to the vast dunes of the Arabian desert, and the high rises of Dubai Marina; the entirety of Dubai will be visible from the frame’s 360-degree vantage point.
A first for the region, the Dubai Frame features a state-of-the-art clear glass bridge as the crowning cross-frame of the structure. Connecting the two parallel vertical towers to create the picture frame shape, the 93m long bridge features a 25 sqm glass panel. Stepping onto the crystal-clear glass gives the exhilarating feeling of walking out into thin air, with a drop of 150m visible just beneath your feet. There’s nothing to fear as the clear glass is completely crack-proof and made of the highest-quality materials.
Designed with a nod to both Dubai’s pearl-diving beginnings and its rise to an urban cityscape, the frame provides two very different perspectives of the city. Visitors gazing to the north will catch sight of old Dubai, the dhow-studded Dubai Creek and its surrounding markets. To the south, guests can take in the splendour of New Dubai, an awe-inspiring array of gleaming skyscrapers, shimmering marinas, and other feats of modern engineering. From the ground, the golden iron-wrought structure perfectly frames each of the two tableaus – depending on which side the viewer is standing.
The experience is enhanced by the Dubai Frame’s own immersive gallery on the mezzanine level, which leads guests through projections, audio, and visual presentations, with curated scents and mists for an authentic retelling of the city’s origins. Guests are then guided to reveal a virtual reality display of Dubai’s continued evolution, and experts’ predictions of the city’s future growth.
The Dubai Frame is created out of glass, steel, aluminium, and reinforced concrete and opened in January 2018.
Green Planet: a world of exotic flora and fauna
Located at one of Dubai’s most popular lifestyle districts, City Walk, the Green Planet is the region’s first bio-dome that recreates the enchanting world of a tropical forest with its rich biodiversity of over 3,000 plants and animals. The enclosed ecosystem offers visitors an immersive expedition into the tropics.
The goal of the Green Planet, which offers various educational programmes, is to be a space where Dubai’s residents can learn about wildlife. A great destination for families and guests of all ages.
The Green Planet is located inside a 45.72-metre-tall glass building. In the middle of the indoor forest is a 24.99-metre-tall tree with an artificial trunk. The humidity is set at 70% higher than normal levels, and temperatures stay between 25-27.7 ˚C. To get to the tree, visitors need to cross a rope bridge from an outer platform.
The bio-dome is made up of four levels to discuss the role each part of a rainforest plays. To attract the visitors, various animal and plant species are displayed, from sloths, toucans, and tree porcupines, to South American plants, vines, reptiles, fish and insects
The attraction, which opened in early September, functions as a real ecosystem and boasts over 3,000 species of plants, insects, and animals.
For the health and safety of plants and animals in the uniquely immersive environment, guests are refrained from touching, handling or feeding the delicate species.
Dubai’s parks and resorts: a thrilling experience
With three theme parks and one waterpark that will keep young hearts enthralled, Dubai Parks and Resorts offer a thrilling unique experience, featuring more than 100 incredible indoor and outdoor rides and attractions at Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai, and Legoland Water Park. At the centrally located Riverland entertainment and dining boulevard, visitors will find delightful options for the whole family. They can even stay in the middle of action at Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed family resort inside the park.
The largest Hollywood-inspired theme park in the region, Motiongate Dubai brings three legendary film studios to life: Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Animation, and Lionsgate. Mesmerising big-screen and animated classics from Smurfs to Shrek, How to Train your Dragon to The Hunger Games are reimagined as roller coasters, immersive attractions, thrilling rides and more. It’s all in one place that people can channel their inner ghostbuster, hop onto a flying ride to Madagascar and learn a few dance moves from the Step Up crew.
Bollywood Parks Dubai
The magic of Bollywood is transported to Dubai at Bollywood Parks – the first of its kind in the world. Packed with action, dance and romance, the Bollywood fantasy is there with exhilarating attractions and passionate live performances based on some of the biggest blockbusters across five themed zones. Visitors can fly across the world with Hrithik Roshan’s film Krrish, hunt down film character Don through the streets of Dubai, and learn a few moves from Actor Salman Khan’s Dabangg style. In addition to the region’s first Broadway-style Bollywood musical, Jaan-E-Jigar at the stunning Rajmahal theatre.
Legoland Duabi is a world of Lego theme park for families with children ages from two to 12. Unleashing people’s imagination run free with over 40 Lego-themed rides, shows, and building experiences that the whole family can enjoy.
Legoland Water Park
Splashing into a world of Lego adventures at Legoland Water Park, the region’s only waterpark designed specifically for families with young children. The park has over 20 lego-themed water slides and attractions including the wave pool, duplo toddler play area, and build-a-raft river, where people can customise their very own Lego raft.
Riverland Dubai is Dubai Parks and Resorts’ central entertainment, dining and relaxation destination, through which people can access for free. Strolling along the river, visitors can take a trip through time, watching the destination’s four vibrant districts, the Peninsula, India Gate, the Boardwalk, and the French Village. People can also enjoy shopping and cuisines from around the world at more than 50 outlets beside international architecture, bridges, and other landmarks.
The Polynesian-themed Lapita Hotel, a family resort situated right in the heart of Dubai Parks and Resorts, offers visitors a step in a new world. Guests can relax among swaying palm trees and alluring lagoon-shaped pools, as this hotel evokes the true nature of the Pacific Islands.
La Perle: Dive in to Dubai’s latest theatrical masterpiece
Brought to Dubai by the conglomerate Al Habtoor Group, La Perle is a live masterpiece, produced by legendary Creative Director Franco Dragone, famed for theatrical spectacles including Celine Dion ‘s A New Day, Le Reve in Las Vegas, The House of Dancing Water in Macau, and Pais Merveilles at the Lido in Paris.
La Perle is a breath taking fusion of immersive artistic performances, imagery and technology.
The opening of La Perle marks a new chapter in Dubai’s live theatre scene. The world-class venue stages the city’s first ever resident show.
Inspired by Dubai, a place that Dragone refers to as the “laboratory of the future”, the grand production fuses the finest in artistic performance, creative imagery, and brilliant technology.
La Perle is a show that combines the spirit of Dubai with an iconic 860 sqm ‘aqua-stage’. Using 2.7m litres of water for each performance, the custom-built theatre was constructed around the show’s concept. Inspired by the vibrancy of this city, the show includes cascading waterfalls, fast-paced acrobatics, a 25m high dive, and fantastic characters.
Dragone hopes the production leaves visitors enthralled, helping them forget the world outside the theatre for a couple of hours.
The 1,300-seat venue is designed for maximum impact. With only 14 rows, seating is wrapped 270 degrees around the aqua stage, creating an intimate experience. Every seat offers its own unique views.
Through their VIP ticket, guests are welcomed to a private lounge for pre-show bites before being escorted to luxurious theatre lounge chairs, positioned for premium views.
Dragone calls La Perle a “new kind of theatre”. A legend in the industry, Dragone started his career with Cirque du Soleil, playing an instrumental role in its rise to fame as creative director.
There’s much to explore at Al Habtoor City on Sheikh Zayed Road which comprises three five-star hotels, a vibrant marina promenade, as well as stylish cafes and restaurants. For a memorable dinner, book a table at Mexican-Peruvian restaurant, Zoco, at the Atrium or savour signature French fare at Brasserie Quartier, located at the Habtoor Palace.