The UAE has emerged as the preferred travel destination in the Middle East for global travellers over the past decade. Recent statistics highlight that the UAE, particularly Dubai, has attracted the largest share of tourists to various destinations in the Arab world. The growth of family tourism has been particularly noteworthy, thanks to Dubai’s extensive array of attractions. These include world-class leisure activities and services, high-quality amenities, and a diverse range of facilities catering to different types of visitors and all age groups.
During the off-season, most foreign tourists arriving in Dubai come from Gulf countries. This is primarily due to the UAE’s geographical proximity and the ease of access it offers to visitors through various means of transportation, including land, sea, and air. However, Dubai has also seen a substantial increase in visitors from other parts of the world. This growth results from Dubai’s increasing competitiveness in the tourism sector, driven by the emirate’s ambitious vision to boost further the tourism industry’s contributions to its domestic economy.
What factors make UAE the favourite travel destination in the Middle East!
Iconic Landmarks: Hosting some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, like the Burj Khalifa, which stands as the world’s tallest skyscraper, and the Burj Al Arab, a luxurious 7-star hotel, the country boasts architectural marvels that attract tourists from across the globe.
Luxurious Lifestyle: Known for its opulent and luxurious lifestyle, UAE offers visitors the opportunity to indulge in high-end shopping, dining, and entertainment, making it an attractive destination for those seeking luxury and indulgence.
Cultural Diversity: The UAE is a melting pot of cultures, with people from all over the world residing and working there. This cultural diversity is reflected in the cuisine, festivals, and art, creating a unique blend of traditions and modernity.
Beautiful Beaches: Stunning beaches grace cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi coastline. These coastal destinations provide sun and sand and an array of water sports, beachfront resorts, and lively nightlife.
Adventure Activities: The desert landscape of the UAE provides ample opportunities for adventure enthusiasts. Tourists can go dune bashing, sandboarding, or take camel rides in the desert. There are also opportunities for skydiving and indoor skiing.
World-Class Shopping: A shopper’s paradise can be found in the UAE, thanks to its numerous mega-malls, including the Dubai Mall, which ranks among the world’s largest. These shopping centres provide diverse shopping experiences, encompassing high-end brands and traditional markets like the Gold Souk.
Year-Round Sunshine: The country enjoys a sunny and warm climate throughout the year, making it an attractive destination for travellers seeking a break from cold or rainy weather.
Safety and Infrastructure: Renowned for its safety and modern infrastructure, the nation maintains a relatively low crime rate while upholding high-quality standards in transportation, accommodation, and healthcare facilities.
Cultural Attractions: While the UAE is known for its modernity, it also preserves its rich cultural heritage. All of the emirates of the country offer historical sites, museums, and traditional neighbourhoods for visitors to explore.
World-Class Events: Numerous international events and exhibitions are held in the UAE, including the Dubai World Expo and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Accessibility: The UAE’s strategic location in the Middle East makes it a convenient stopover for travellers connecting between Europe, Asia, and Africa. Its well-connected airports, such as Dubai International Airport, facilitate easy travel.
Visa-Friendly Policies: Tourist visas on arrival and long-term residency options have made it easier for tourists to visit and explore the UAE.
Popular Tourist Destinations in the UAE
Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa is a global tourist magnet with a staggering height of 829.8 meters. As the world’s tallest building, it’s Dubai’s foremost attraction. Most visitors prioritise visiting its 124th-floor observation deck for unparalleled panoramic city views. The deck offers a seamless experience, featuring a captivating multimedia presentation on Dubai’s history and the construction of Burj Khalifa, completed in 2010. A high-speed elevator then whisks you to the deck, providing breathtaking 360-degree views of the city skyline, desert, and ocean.
At the base of Burj Khalifa lies Burj Park, a lush oasis adorned with contemporary art sculptures. Here, you can witness the awe-inspiring Dubai Fountain, inspired by Las Vegas’ Fountains of Bellagio and renowned as the world’s tallest performing fountain, with water jets reaching up to 150 meters.
These captivating 30-minute displays illuminate the night sky, and while some experiences may have a nominal fee, the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk’s floating platform provides a close-up view. Alternatively, you can opt for a traditional abra boat ride on Burj Lake for a unique vantage point of this spectacular water show.
The Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is the city’s top shopping destination, offering many exciting experiences. It’s ideal for families with children and serves as the gateway to both Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Aquarium.
Inside, you’ll find an ice-skating rink, a gaming zone, and a cinema complex for a variety of entertainment options. The mall offers abundant shopping and dining choices, and it regularly hosts special events, including live music performances and fashion shows. Don’t miss the annual Dubai Shopping Festival in January and February or the Dubai Summer Surprises Festival in July and August.
Dubai Museum (The Museum of the Future)
Dubai’s Museum of the Future is a cutting-edge hub spanning 30,000 square meters, illuminating the possibilities of emerging tech and their impact on society. It boasts interactive exhibits, including the captivating “Future Lab,” where visitors can interact with 3D printing, augmented reality, and advanced robotics.
The museum features a theatre, exhibition spaces, and a research centre focused on innovative solutions to global challenges. Its futuristic design, blending advanced materials and sleek aesthetics, captivates all who behold it. Arabic calligraphy on the exterior carries inspiring quotes about the future. This visionary attraction grants a glimpse into the potential of emerging technologies and their societal significance, a must-visit for those intrigued by the fusion of technology and culture.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, is an iconic place of worship. Initiated in 1996 by the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the UAE’s founder, it now proudly bears his name. Completed in 2007, it’s one of the world’s largest mosques.
This architectural masterpiece blends elements of Islamic design from Morocco, Egypt, Turkey, and Pakistan. It boasts 82 domes, four towering 107-meter minarets, and 1,000 columns. The primary prayer hall, among the world’s largest, spans 17,000 square meters and can host up to 41,000 worshippers.
Guided tours offer insights into Islamic culture and the mosque’s architecture for visitors of all backgrounds. To enter this sacred space, adhere to specific rules, including modest attire, shoe removal, and refraining from photography during prayer.
Palm Jumeirah is an engineering marvel and a major Dubai tourist hotspot, symbolising the city and drawing visitors worldwide. It is an artificial island off Dubai’s coast, part of the Palm Islands project with Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Deira. Construction began in 2001 and was completed in 2006.
The island, shaped like a palm tree, includes a trunk, fronds, and a crescent-shaped breakwater. The trunk connects to the mainland via a bridge and features residential properties like villas, apartments, and townhouses. The fronds have residential villas, while the breakwater hosts luxury hotels, resorts, and entertainment complexes.
Palm Jumeirah offers world-class attractions, notably Atlantis, The Palm resort with an aquarium, water park, dining, and shopping. It also has numerous beaches and beach clubs, including a public beach on the crescent-shaped breakwater.
Dubai Miracle Garden is one of the world’s largest flower gardens, covering an area of over 72,000 square meters. The garden was opened in 2013 and has since become a major tourist attraction in Dubai. It features over 50 million flowers of different varieties arranged in stunning designs and patterns. These include flowers such as petunias, marigolds, geraniums, and many others. The designs and arrangements change every season, with new designs and patterns created yearly.
It has several attractions and facilities, such as a butterfly garden, an aromatic garden, a floral clock, and several food and beverage outlets. Several Guinness World Records have been set in the garden, including the largest flower arrangement shaped like an Airbus A380. It is open to visitors from November to May when the weather in Dubai is cooler and more suitable for outdoor activities.
UAE – An Ideal Business Destination
The country is a thriving business centre with one of the world’s largest ports in Dubai, linking 140 ports across six continents. With minimal crime, political stability, and highly effective law enforcement, Dubai is exceptionally safe, ensuring high stability and security.
Prominent global risk management firms frequently rank the country as having the most stringent security standards among Asian and Pacific nations. All these elements make the city an ideal option for business. Given its remarkably stable and secure environment, Dubai is a confident choice for business opportunities.
Key sectors like oil, finance, tourism, real estate, and logistics fuel its diverse economy. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are vital global commerce hubs. Dubai, a symbol of progress, boasts world records and free trade zones with tax incentives. The UAE offers stability, favourable taxes, and a skilled workforce. Government investments in infrastructure bolster economic growth.
In a nutshell
The UAE’s blend of modernity and tradition and its commitment to innovation and world-class hospitality continue to make it a top choice for travellers seeking unforgettable experiences. Whether you’re captivated by towering skyscrapers, pristine beaches, or cultural treasures, the UAE promises a diverse and enriching journey for every visitor. So, whether you’re a tourist or a business enthusiast, the UAE welcomes you with open arms to explore its wonders and opportunities.