Two months ago, the Travel Club made a journey to the City of Gold. From DXB (Dubai International Airport), we visited the Dubai Mall, the largest in the world, the size of 50 football fields, harboring 1,200 shops.
From there when we ascended to the observatory floor (122nd) at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, 2,722-foot tall, the equivalent of 8 football fields placed end to end.
The first night we took a Dhow boat cruise, with a dinner show and dance music, in the Persian Gulf.
During the rest of the week, we visited a large number of venues:
Miracle Garden (breathtaking feat in the middle of the desert)
Ski Dubai (a snow slope, at the Mall of the Emirates)
Burj Al Arab for Hi-tea, at $120 the cup of tea.
Dubai Musical Fountain (we attended the show from the balcony of Hallab Restaurant, at dinner)
We shopped at the Dubai Mall and at the Mall of the Emirates.
We fought for bargain at the must-visit gold souk, Madinat Jumeriah
We spent a precious afternoon and evening lost in the desert, riding camels, eating on the ground and attending a superb belly dancing show, at Desert Safari.
We had a fanciful dinner at the billionaires’ Dubai Golf Club, dominating the Dubai Creek.
We visited in Old Dubai, the Dubai Museum located at Al Fahidi Fort.
We ate at various restaurants, and went dancing at several night clubs on Palm Island.
We swam on the beach at the Anantara Resort where we stayed.
We did not make it this time to Wild Wadi Water Park on the land of the Jumeriah Beach Hotel. We had no time budgeted for the Trump International Golf Course; that was bigly mistake.
We had one spectacular full-day tour of Abu Dhabi, the closest of the 7 Emirates, the political capital of the union, located two driving hours away from Dubai. In Abu Dhabi, every citizen is a millionaire, with an average net worth of $17 million.
We visited the stunning Sheikh Zayed Mosque, built to the tune of two billion dollars. It can accommodate 41,000 worshippers. To get in there, you will have to cover yourself, arms and legs. If you take the “wrong pause” in your pictures, the guards will delete them (it happened to me!)
Also in Abu Dhabi, we shopped at the Abu Dhabi Mall.
The Miraj Museum and the History Museum were closed on that Saturday. We visited a tiny museum at the UAE Heritage village on the pier. It is adjoining to an open tourist market and to the nice Al Hasalah Restaurant where we had a buffet lunch.
Sightseeing led us to Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, Etihad Towers, Alda HQ Building, Yas Marina, Nations Towers, the Presidential Palace, etc.
The Louvre Museum of Abu Dhabi, an outpost of Paris’ Louvre, scheduled to open in 2017, has yet to be inaugurated.
The opulence and the superior services offered by Dubai and Abu Dhabi position them to be an immediate threat to the traditional touristic leaders in the world.
Do you know the 10 cities that had the most international visitors in 2016? Dubai was among them. What distinguishes Dubai from its competitors is the fact that it has the fastest growing number of visitors, while the city did not even exist 100 years ago.
Until 1966, Dubai was a slice of desert inhabited by poor nomadic Bedouins. Then, oil reserves were discovered. The city has grown from 0 to 8 million visitors per year in 2010. Now, at 15.4 million last year, it is has doubled this number. At this pace, in another decade, Dubai is destined to be the #1 tourist destination on the planet, unless the Chinese do something about it.
Here is Forbes’ Magazine list of most visited cities in the world:
- New York
- Kuala Lumpur
- Hong Kong
The trend is significant. Only one of these ten cities is located in North America, three are in Europe, the others are in Asia where live 61% of the world population. There is none in Africa, and none in South America.
Why do so many people visit Dubai? The reasons are multiple. The most important one is that the place is a true paradise for tourists, a Disney World for adults, a fit for the business crowd.
There is so much money in display there that everyone has a niche or a dream.
Most of the world has easy access to Dubai. Emirates Airline, sponsored by the government, has grown into the largest airline in the world. It is by far a much more comfortable and enjoyable airline than United or American Airline. Among many other amenities onboard Emirates, you enjoy plenty of leg room and a menu for your lunch and dinner.
“Voir Dubai et Mourir” (See Dubai before you die) has also become a reality, an alternate to Paris’s
(OdlerRobert Jeanlouie, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, #Travel-O-Ganza)