Landmarks and Destinations in Dubai
Being one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai, Al Bastakiya is named after the 'Bastak' region of Iran, the origin of several emigrated residents. Located along the Dubai Creek, it includes narrow lanes and wind towers and the Al Fahidi Fort, one of the oldest existing buildings in Dubai.
Al Bastakiya is marked by the presence of a wide array of old wind towers along the Dubai Creek. The traditional courtyard houses decorated with tall wind towers intended to cool the buildings during the pre-electricity era are separated by narrow lanes, called 'sikkas'.
The Dubai Museum located in the oldest building in Dubai (Fort Al Fahidi) displays the traditional life of Bedouins. The Bastakiya also houses the first office building in Dubai, 'Bait Al Wakeel', galleries including the Majlis gallery, small hotels, Caligraphy House, and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Every Saturday morning, there is an open air market (Souq), with several artistic events happening, particularly during the winter months. When visiting Bastakiya, it is important to note that it is closed for car traffic.
Burj Al Arab
It is an iconic symbol of Dubai and one of the famous tourist landmarks in the region. Being, a hotel, the Burj Al Arab was unveiled in 1999, and has established its presence as a leading five star hotel built on an artificial island, with a sail-shaped build, of 321m in height. It is an extraordinary building with superb interior décor, and has a sky-view bar offering amazing views.
Deira Clock Tower
The Clock Tower in Deira, built in 1963, is also known as the Dubai Clocktower. Located in Deira of eastern Dubai, along the intersection of Umm Hurair Road and Al Maktoum Road, at the Al Rigga locality, the clocktower is a major monument in Deira, offering access to the Al Maktoum Bridge, the first land crossing constructed between Bur Dubai and Deira. The clocktower was erected as a symbol of Dubai, and was erected in Deira, as that was the convergence point of all major routes to Dubai before construction of the Dubai-Abu Dhabi road. Constructed by the Overseas AST in 1964, the monument began to crack and corrode towards 1972, and it was renovated again in 1972.
Being one of the largest manmade marinas in the world, the Dubai Marina is located close to the heart of ‘New Dubai’ and is connected to the Jebel Ali Port, Dubai Internet City, Dubai Media City and the American University in Dubai.
Dubai Marina is a canal city, which, on completion has the capacity to accommodate a population of 120,000 in its residential towers and villas. The first phase of Dubai Marina comprises six freehold apartment buildings, including the Dubai Marina Towers. The Phase II constitutes several high-rise buildings, including the Infinity Towers, Ocean Heights, Sulafa Tower, Marina Pinnacle, 23 Marina, Elite Residence, Princess Tower, Damac Heights, Marina 101, Marina 106, and a tall pentominium.
The Palm Triology in Dubai is a good example of an ideal luxurious lifestyle destination. The trademarks of man-made islands resembling a palm are evident, even when viewed from atop. The Palm Trilogy comprises of the Palm Jebel Ali, the Palm Deira and the Palm Jumeirah. The Palm Triology is another amazing mad-made residential adventure, promising luxurious of living near the beach, amidst opulent amenities. Offering luxury hotels, exclusive beachside homes, water theme parks, marinas, and entertainment and sports amenities, The Palms are also considered as the eighth wonder of the world.
Dubailand is a major real estate, tourism, hospitality, retail, leisure and entertainment complex, covering more than 3bn square feet in area. Being managed by the Dubai Government’s Dubai development and Investment Authority (DDIA), it is a leading tourist destination for Middle East.
Located along the Emirates Road and the Dubai-Al Ain Road, it will offer easy access from Dubai to Ain, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, and is just 60 minutes away from Abu Dhabi, 10 minutes from Dubai Airport and 20minutes from Sharjah.
The Dubailand Themepark includes 45 mega projects and more than 200 tourism, entertainment and leisure projects, and thereby appears appealing to the widest of tourists across all nations and age groups. The Dubailand themepark, on completion, will be twice the size of Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, making it the biggest amusement park in the world.
There are six themed areas with several projects focusing on various aspects of Dubailand experience, which include the Attractions and Experience World, Sports and Outdoor World, Eco-tourism world, themed leisure and vacation world, retail and entertainment world and downtown.
The World is a landmark project for future eco-tourism projects worldwide. It is a collection of 300 manmade islands located off the Dubai coast, and created from sand scoured from the sea. The islands are shaped into various countries and continents, and an individual island can be shaped into an epitome of personal or corporate luxury. The private artificial islands are divided into four categories, such as private homes, dream resorts, estate homes and community islands.
Dubai Internet City
The Dubai Internet City is an information technology park established by the government of Dubai, created as a free economic zone, and is the ideal base for companies aiming regional emerging markets. The Dubai Internet City has more than one and a half million square feet of prime commercial office space, with several global information technology companies, including Microsoft, Oracle Corporation, IBM, Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Nokia, Cognizant, Sun Microsystems and Siemens having their offices here. Located about 25kms south of downtown Dubai City along the Sheikh Zayed Road between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Internet City is also adjacent to other industrial clusters including the Dubai Media City and Dubai Knowledge Village. Moreover, it is also adjacent to Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach Residence and several five star hotels.
Dubai Sports City
The mixed-use sports city is located in the entertainment complex of Dubailand, and features apartments and modern stadiums and amenities. The Sports City incorporates world-class sporting venues, residential and commercial properties, and related amenities such as schools, hotels, entertainment outlets, medical and retail amenities.
Mall of Arabia
The mall of Arabia offers a unique lifestyle experience, given its vast ancient Middle Eastern style exterior housing coupled with best of international fashion brands, a 15-screen cinema, and a bowling alley, it is due to be one of the largest shopping malls in the world. The striking design features and a range of leisure and entertainment amenities make it a ‘must-see’ among Dubai attractions.
The architecture of Madinat Jumeirah captures a glimpse of the past. Old styled wind towers, or badjeer, surround the complex from all corners. With dhows sailing alongside windows that are ornamented with old designs, the whole complex offers but a starting ambience. Madinat Jumeirah is one of the busiest attractions in Dubai in terms of room occupancy and diners. Its shopping kiosks, styled by the old souq, are an attraction for many.
Further along from the Burj Dubai Downtown complex are many new residential schemes and the starting new Business Bay development. This project aims to meedt the growing demand for commercial office space and will house scores of commercial towers beside an artificial water bay. Already 11 of executive towers are taking shape.
Shaikh Zayed Road
The striking new Etisalat head quarters buildingis taking shape close to the Dubai World Trade Centre roundabout beside Shaikh Zayed Road. There is no part of Dubai more impressive than Shaikh Zayed Road, which stuns newcomers to the city with its glitzy designs. Among the most impressive buildings is the Emirates Towers office and hotel complex.
Shaikh Zayed Road, which has five lanes on each side with a barrier in between, stretches 55km from the Dubai World Trade Centre roundabout to the border of Abu Dhabi. Although Shaikh Zayed Road can get busy in certain stretches during peak hours, for most of the day vehicles flow remarkably given how heavily the road is used. Shaikh Zayed Road meets other main roads in Dubai such as Al Ain Road, Hatta Road, Emirates Road, Jebel Ali - Lehbab Road and other arterial and main roads.
Designed to take traffic out of the downtown area of Dubai, Emirates Road is now a destination in its own right with countless residential, industrial and leisure development projects springing up alongside. Among the many schemes completed or being developed near Emirates Road are Arabian Ranches, one of Emaar's most prestigious residential developments, and Al Salam City, a residential and commercial leasehold development from Tameer. Chief among the projects off Emirates Road will be Dubailand, a $20 billion entertainment complex that will attract visitors from across the globe. Emirates Road originally stretched from Jebel Ali Free Zone to Sharjah but has since been extended to Ras Al Khaimah. The first two phases of Emirates Road, with a total length of 50 km, linked Sharjah with Jebel Ali and were completed in early 2001. The road has since been lengthened. Emirates Road is one of the busiest highways in the UAE, with the lanes having a combined capacity of nearly 7000 vehicles per hour. The Emirates Road area has attracted huge amounts of investment with a string of projects now springing up alongside the highway. They include residential, business and leisure schemes.
Among the prestigious developments alongside Shaikh Rashid Road, which links the Al Garhoud Bridge and the Dubai World Trade Cenre round about, is the Grand Hyatt hotel.
Dubai Dry Docks
Giant tankers come to Dubai Dry Docks for maintenance and repair work making it a vital centre for keeping the Middle East's shipping industry running smoothly.
Bur Dubai Area
The Bur Dubai area is one of the oldest parts of Dubai and is popular with tourists who want to check out the bargains in the souq. Port Rashid beside Bur Dubai is a major transshipment centre and at any one time hundreds of vehicles will be lined up awaiting a trip to their final destination.
The shiny curved surface of the National Bank of Dubai makes it one of the most photographed buildings in the UAE. Next door is the equally striking Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry head quarters, while on the other side is the upmarket Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers.
Dubai Creek has always been the vibrant heart of Dubai and despite the many outlying developments, it is as bustling as ever. Many dhows sail in and out each day, carrying goods across the Middle East and beyond.
Dubai Festival City
Dubai Festival City is a multi billion dirham development, to be completed in phases by 2015. The project will house a retail park, four hotels, a golf course, a marina, a boulevard, schools and hospitals.
Parts of the Dubai Festival City project have already been opened as part of a phased opening that began in 2004. Among the already completed parts of the scheme are two schools and a shopping mall. A couple of internationally acclaimed hotels will open in 2007/08.
Gobal Village has come a long way since it was started in 1996 as a small site alongside Dubai Creek with small kiosks selling products from various countries. It moved to its current location in Dubailand in 2005 and was a great success, attracting 5 million visitors over 79 days. Among the attractions is a scale model of India's Taj Mahal.
Dubailand & Autodrome
Dubailand will be an entertainment complex like no other and is set to bring tourists from all over the world to Dubai. Dubai Autodrome, a project by Union Properties, is part of the Motor City project and is the Middle East's first Autodrome. As well as hosting motor races, the site also stages concerts.