By Ajanta Paul www.emirates247.com
The architect of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE completes six successful years as the Ruler of Dubai on January 4, 2012.
Sheikh Mohammed’s vision has transformed Dubai into an enviable city, which nations around the world compete to replicate.
The mastermind of Dubai’s transformation, Sheikh Mohammed, went out to turn Dubai into the tourism capital of the world. His mantra was – build it and they will come.
The drive to be a tourist’s paradise resulted in ever larger and more lavish projects. It’s hard to believe that the city was mostly desert just a short while ago.
Tradition and innovation meet in Dubai. Mosques and traditional Emirati villas stand amid daring examples of modern architecture.
Dubai has emerged as the favorite shopping capital and a tourists haven.
The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is held once a year. Varieties of activities take place at the Global Village and in shopping centres throughout Dubai and raffle prizes include kilos of gold or luxury cars. Dubai Summer Surprises, a series of commercial and cultural events and entertainment, was created to attract visitors during the Gulf summer season. The Dubai Air Show is one of the biggest in the world and it takes place every second November.
Golf enthusiasts can hone their skills at the Emirates Golf Club, which hosts the prestigious PGA Desert Classic or at the Dubai Creek Golf Club in the heart of the city.
Water sports take place on the beaches of the larger hotels or at private clubs. Desert safaris are a great way to discover the beauty of the desert.
Sheikh Mohammed oversaw the development of numerous projects in Dubai including the creation of the Palm Islands and the luxury Burj Al Arab hotel. He also promoted the construction of Burj Khalifa, which is now the tallest free-standing structure in the world, world’s tallest building.
There are over 500 lodging establishments in Dubai and the Burj Al Arab tops the list. Billed as a ‘7 star’ hotel, along with the the Atlantis, its unique architecture is based on the curve of a wind-filled sail. The Burj Al Arab has come to symbolise Dubai, at 321 metres, it is the tallest hotel in the world.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel, uniquely shaped like a breaking wave, has wonderful beaches and gardens and is located next to Wild Wadi, one of the world’s biggest water-based theme parks.
Dubai has been long known as the ‘city of gold’. Dubai is a tax free shopping haven for gold lovers and is the Middle East’s center of jewelry market. Moreover, Gold in Dubai is the cheapest in the world.
The Global Village is the world’s largest leisure, tourism and entertainment project.
The Mall of Emirates has Middle East’s first indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai. The Ski Dubai has a skiing area that is third largest in the world. Ski Dubai has five runs of varying difficulty, height, and steepness. The longest run is 400 meters with a fall of 60 meters. More info