With little over 2.1 million population (85% foreigners and 15% Arabs), Dubai, the most populous city in UAE is slowly and steadily putting itself into world map in many unique ways. It has already established itself as business and cultural hub of Middle East and the Persian Gulf region. Traditionally, an oil based economy, has now transitioned into Tourism, Aviation, Real Estate and Financial Services.
Dubai is the 22 most expensive city in the world and the most expensive in Middle East. Hotel rooms here are 2 most expensive, right after Geneva.
So what’s all the fuss about Dubai? Despite being in a desert, Dubai has some of the most jaw-dropping manmade creations currently and some are under construction, scheduled to be completed in next few years. Read them through here:
Burj Khalifa: It is the world’s tallest man-made structure, standing tall at 829.8 m (2,722 ft). The building gained the official title of “The Tallest building in the world” at its opening on January 4, 2010. It features an observation deck, luxury accommodation, restaurants, offices and the world’s highest night club.
Mall of the Emirates: It is called as the world’s first shopping resort. It includes a magic planet family entertainment area, a 14 screen VOX cinemas, the world renowned Ski Dubai – the Middle East first indoor ski resort and snow park, the 500 seat capacity Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre and more than 90 international dining and café options. It is also the home of 80 of the world’s most renowned designer brands.
The Dubai Mall: It is the world’s largest shopping mall based on the total area and fourteen largest based on the gross leasable area. It also holds the title of world’s most-visited shopping and leisure destination, attracted over 70 million visitors in year 2013. Currently the mall is undergoing massive expansion and is targeting to hit 100 million visitors in a year.
Palm Jumeirah: It is an artificial archipelago created using land reclamation and is considered as world’s largest artificial island. It comprises of two kilometer long trunk, a crown made up of 17 fronds and a surrounding crescent.
Mall of the World: A massive temperature controlled indoor city and shopping complex in Dubai, it will take 10 years to complete and requires about Dh 25billion in funds. It will be 4 times the size of Dubai Mall, will have about 100 hotels and serviced apartment buildings. It has plans to build largest indoor family theme park inside it, will have a dedicated wellness district and air conditioned streets and has a target to cater to 180 million visitors each year.
Pearl of Dubai: Five Acre Pearl of Dubai inspired by “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Avtaar” films, set to become the world’s largest, Greenest underwater theme park. When finished, it will look similar to the legendary lost city of Atlantis. Visitors to the park will have free reign of the massive underwater empire. They will swim, snorkel or, best of all, scuba to its depths and mimic the adrenaline rush of discovering a forgotten kingdom.
Dubailand: To be built at an estimated cost of USD65 billion, this was being considered as the most ambitious leisure development ever proposed anywhere in the world. It will include Attractions and Experience World, Sports and outdoor world, Eco-Tourism World, themed leisure and vacation world, Retail and Entertainment world and downtown. It will be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort, with largest collection of theme parks in the world. As per current estimates, it will open before 2020.
The Falcon city of wonders: It is a project that will feature life-size replicas of the seven wonders of world such as Egyptian Pyramids, the Taj Mahal, the Eiffel Tower, the hanging gardens of Babylon and the leaning tower of Pisa. It will be part of Dubailand and will be completed close to 2020.
Six Flags & Legoland Theme Park: Six Flags Entertainment which operates about 18 theme parks in US, Canada and Mexico will be opening up one in Dubai by 2017. It will include a Bollywood theme park, a water and marine life park and a children’s theme park. On the other hand, Dubai’s legoland theme park in on track to be completed by 2016.
Dubai Eye: Slated to open by 2018, this will be the tallest ferry wheel globally at 210 Meter (689 Ft) when completed. The project is called Bluewaters Island and it will have entertainment, hospitality, residential and retail zones and is forecast to attract more than 3 million travelers each year.
Burj Al Arab: The World’s only 7 star hotel and the third tallest hotel in the world, it stands on an artificial island from Jumeirah beach and is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge. This luxury hotel offers over the top features, such as personal butler and gold plated iPads.
Each of the projects mentioned above has already created history or is going to create one.
The number of theme parks planned in Dubai will put Dubai on the global Tourism map with not just Desert Safari, but host of other offerings and will help increase the length of stay for tourist and attract families. The focus of Dubai Tourism is to transform Dubai into a cultural, tourist and economic hub for the 1.5 billion people living in the region around Dubai.
From OH MY GOD, IT’s Dubai… it will soon become AH! Dubai