DUBAI - THE JEWEL OF THE MIDDLE EAST

PAGE REPORT
Nov 16 - 22, 2009

Dubai is one of the world’s leading intercontinental transit centers. Its location gives an easy accessibility to travelers. More than 125 airlines operate through the Dubai International Airport linking the emirates to over 205 destinations worldwide with direct connections to the main European cities and major destinations in Australia, the US, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

Dubai airport is modern and efficient—customs and immigration procedures are simple.

Dubai offers travelers a destination, which is new and different, combining variety and excitement with professional destination management services and top quality hotels.

Dubai’s unique attraction is that it brings together in a single, accessible location the highest standards of comfort and convenience with the adventure of Arabia from the bustling souks to the majestic desert.

Sunshine, shopping, seaside, sports, safety, and a sense of freedom are strong reasons to attract huge investment in the city from all over the world—six of the key ingredients that have earned Dubai a growing reputation as one of the world’s most attractive and rapidly developing leisure destinations.

It is said that money is always shy of disturbed law and order. Since the strong administration in Dubai has successfully managed to assure security and freedom, Dubai has become the safest haven for investors and tourists.

Long established as the trading and commercial hub of the Middle East, the emirates combines the excitement of a bustling commercial centre with the wide-open spaces of luxurious resort.

Located at the crossroads of Asia, Europe, and Africa, Dubai is well positioned to attract tourists looking for somewhere new and different, a destination combining the traditions of the east with the comforts of the west.

Both business travelers and tourists find that Dubai offers the highest standards of comfort and luxury. Befitting dynamic and prosperous business centre Dubai’s ultramodern hotels offer every luxury. Yet the comforts of the 21st century coexist comfortably with the emirates rich Arab-Islamic culture.

An intriguing land that combines old-world souks and modern shopping malls, rolling sand dunes and championship grass golf courses, remote Bedouin villages and an array of five-star hotels, two seven star hotels, Dubai is not easy to be defined.

An exotic destination with a cosmopolitan lifestyle, Dubai has the right to be entitled as the ideal solution for the incentive travel planner.

One of the most exciting new destinations to emerge on the incentive travel market in recent years is the Arabian Gulf Emirate of Dubai.

Although a relative newcomer to the incentive travel market, Dubai has already achieved considerable success. This is because it fits neatly into the incentive travel organizers’ ideal profile of somewhere new and different that combines exotic experiences and excitement with professional destination management services and top quality hotels.

Dubai offers a wide choice of luxury modern accommodation in the city, on the beach or in the mountains. All of Dubai’s hotels are well equipped with modern facilities. They all offer excellent conference and meeting facilities, state-of-the-art telecommunications, fully equipped health clubs and facilities for a wide range of sports. Cuisine from around the world can be sampled at Dubai’s restaurants.

Unlike many newly emerging destinations, Dubai offers incentive travel organizers a choice of internationally experienced, professional destination management companies and inbound tour operators. They employ multi-lingual guides and well-qualified drivers and have modern air-conditioned coaches for airport transfers and excursion tours.

A variety of standard or tailor-made tours is available, lasting from one or two hours to several days. There are city tours (general, shopping, heritage etc.), excursions to the desert, through the wadis (dried-up riverbeds), to the starkly beautiful Hajar mountains and to the sandy beaches of the East Coast on the waters of the Indian Ocean. There are helicopter, boat, and dhow tours also on offer; special interest tours include fishing, golf, archaeology, and bird watching.

The highlight of any holiday in Dubai is the adventure of tackling the Arabian Desert. Safaris, dune, and wadi driving are popular; and sand skiing from the high dunes is the latest desert sport. A moonlit Arabian barbecue in the desert, complete with traditional entertainment and belly dancer makes for many memories, while the high-speed and boisterous camel races must not be missed.

The energetic visitor will discover a choice of superb water sports sailing, fishing, wind surfing, water-skiing, scuba diving, and snorkeling. On land, visitors can play golf on championship grass golf courses designed by famous architects and international golf stars.

For the sporting spectator, a full calendar of top class international events - golf, horse racing, rallying, powerboat racing, rugby, and snooker - makes Dubai the sports capital of the Middle East.

One of the greatest attractions of Dubai is shopping. The city’s tax-free status means bargains galore. A choice of modern air-conditioned malls offer attractive prices on the widest possible range of international brand names in electronics, hi-fi gizmos, cameras, watches, textiles, perfumes, cosmetics and much more.

The ancients "souks" or markets offer a romantic setting for the purchase of spices, antiques, rugs, and silverware.

The city is also one of the world’s great gold trading centers and streets of shops sell a dazzling array of modern machine-crafted and exquisite handmade ornaments to suit every taste.

Dubai’s award-winning duty free complex situated inside the arrivals and departure lounge of Dubai International Airport offers more bargains and more variety.

Dubai city and the surroundings desert also offer photographic opportunities galore - elegant mosques, sumptuous palaces, majestic camels, ancient wind towers, dusty villages, and dramatic sunsets.

DUBAI METRO

The Dubai Metro is a driverless, fully automated metro network in Dubai. The Red Line is partly operational, the Green Line is still under construction, and further lines are planned. These first two lines run underground in the city centre and on viaducts elsewhere. All trains and stations are air conditioned with platform edge doors to make this possible.

The first section of the Red Line, covering 10 stations, was ceremonially inaugurated at 9:09:09 PM on September 9, 2009, by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai, with the line opening to the public at 6 AM on September 10. The Dubai Metro is the first city train network in the Arabian Peninsula. More than 110,000 people, nearly 10 per cent of Dubai’s population, used the Metro in its first two days of operation.

Once the 20 km Green line opens, the Dubai Metro will overtake the title of longest automated metro network from the Vancouver Skytrain, bypassing it by 3 km.

CONSTRUCTION

Planning of the Dubai Metro began under the directive of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum who expected other projects to attract 15 million visitors to Dubai by 2010. The combination of a rapidly growing population (expected to reach 3 million by 2017) and severe traffic congestion necessitated the building of an urban rail system to provide additional public transportation capacity, relieve motor traffic, and provide infrastructure for additional development.

OPERATION

The Dubai Metro is operated by Serco under contract to the Dubai Roads & Transport Authority.

Before launch, Dubai Municipality Public Transport Department expected the metro to carry 1.2 million passengers on an average day, 27,000 passengers per hour for each line, and 355 million passengers per year once both lines are operational. It is planned to transport 12% of total trips in Dubai. After the first month of operation (on a limited network), the actual ridership was under 60,000 passengers/day.

One issue for the new system will be how to reliably and comfortably get riders to their final destination if it is not at a metro station. The RTA has changed and added "feeder bus routes" which act like shuttles to and from major locations in and around the station area. There are bus and taxi lay-bys constructed as well as drop off zones at each station for ease of passenger access.

Apart from this, the 268 km Light rails are also being planned to built, which will serve as a feeders to Dubai Metro. The Al Sufouh Tram is one of the light rail plans.

LINES

When completed, Dubai Metro will have 70 kilometers (43 mi) of lines, and 47 stations (including nine underground stations). Two lines are under construction, and three more are planned. The Roads and Transport Authority's master plan includes 320 km of metro lines and 270 km of tram lines up to 2020 to cater to the expected 3.3 million population of the city. There are plans for 268km of light rail tracks to act as a feeder system for the Metro. The fate of this entire network – which would reportedly be divided into Yellow, Orange, Magenta, and Black lines – is now dependent on an economic recovery and private investment.

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Green Line: 20 kilometers (12 mi) line with 22 stations from Festival City, through the city centre, Dubai International Airport Terminal 2 and the Airport Free Zone. This line was proposed to be opened in March 2010. However, the Dubai RTA confirmed at the end of August 2009 that the Green Line would not open until June 2010, completing the first phase of the Dubai Metro. The line was originally slated at 17km and increased to 23.9km. The line will be further extended by 11km from Al Jaddaf to International City under the Green Line extension project.