In this first video of Recommend’s new Editors’ B-Roll series, we’re taking you on a visual journey to Dubai, the City of Gold, for a look at some of this emirate’s top sights. Below you’ll find more information about each featured location, including commentary from Mr. Issam Kazim, CEO – Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing and Hubert Frach, divisional senior v.p. commercial operations, West Americas, Europe & Russian Federation, at Emirates.
“Dubai is the perfect destination for every type of traveler, from the solo tourist or business trip visitor, to foodies, art gurus and more,” says Kazim. “The breadth of hotel options spans from those with the highest star rating, to themed family resorts or rooms overlooking the Palm Islands, and everything in between. Our high-end dining options include top restaurants with world-renowned chefs, or we have the perfect Instagram-worthy food truck pop-up waiting for the trendsetting nomad journeying through our art district. No matter your purpose for visiting, Dubai will delight you with what it has to offer.”
- At.mosphere Restaurant
Lunch inside the world’s tallest building gives new meaning to the term “high class dining.” The white tablecloth experience at the At.mosphere restaurant on the Burj Khalifa’s 123nd floor comes with gastronomical delights using ingredients sourced from around the world and spectacular panoramic views. My meal included Vadouvan-spiced scallop starter with cauliflower, raisins and almonds; a salt bush lamb entree with harissa and croquette; and a refreshingly light blackberry dessert with hibiscus, cremeux and financier.
- Abra Ride Across the Dubai Creek
On the way to the Gold and Spice Souks, we crossed Dubai Creek by abra, a small, motorized taxi that is a great way to get to some of the older parts of the city. As you can see, the Creek, which is the original center of the city’s commerce, is buzzing with tourists, cargo boats and hungry seagulls.“For the fashionistas, souks and malls offer local gems you won’t find anywhere else in the world, such as the Deira Gold Souk, home to hundreds of specialty jewelry stores…,” says Frach.
- The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is more than just a “retail heaven” as it features a dozen food and beverage venues, adjacent hotel, movie theater, ice rink, Emirates A380 flight simulator, and the 2 million gallon tank teeming with more than 70 different marine species, including sand tiger sharks and stingrays. Guests can get up close to the aquarium’s aquatic animals during a cage snorkeling encounter or keep a more comfortable distance viewing everything 36 ft. below the surface via a 157-ft. walk-through tunnel.
- City Walk Dubai
This indoor/outdoor urban living concept offers shops, entertainment venues and a collection of colorful street art. One of the destination’s top attractions is Hub Zero, the region’s first immersive entertainment park offering fully interactive gaming experiences in partnership with game developers. The arcades features games based off of Resident Evil, Gears of War and Battlefield.
- The Green Planet at City Walk Dubai
Part of City Walk Dubai, The Green Planet is one of the few green spaces I saw while in Dubai. Designed to mimic a tropical forest, the bio dome is home to a vertical forest complete with birds, turtles, fish, butterflies and two friendly sloths spanning four floors—the flooded rainforest, the forest floor, the mid-story and the canopy. There are also opportunities for guests to interact with some of the forest residents. During my visit, I saw butterflies hatching in an enclosed case and a family petting a small snake.
- Bollywood Parks
“Dubai has seen the addition of several new attractions in the last year,” says Frach. “Among the latest must-see places in the dynamic city are Dubai Parks and Resorts, which features three distinct theme parks—Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks (featured) and LEGOLAND Dubai. Spread over 25 million sq. ft., and equivalent to 420 football fields, the parks combined have more than 100 rides and attractions.”
Said to be the world’s first theme park dedicated to all things Bollywood, Bollywood Parks offers a variety of attractions including the Rajmahal Theatre, where guests can watch Broadway-style musical “Jaan-e-Jigar.” In the video, you can catch a part of the street performance, which takes place every few minutes. This show was a modern-day take on the classic Romeo and Juliet love story.
- Emirates Training Facility
How does Emirates’ glamorous cabin crew stay fresh on long-haul flights, deliver the finest service in the sky and prepare for unexpected crises? I learned the answers to these questions and more during a walk-through of the Emirates Training Facility. From service and image and uniform to safety and emergency procedures, the entire orientation process takes a total of eight weeks. Just how extensive is Emirates’ training process? In addition to the facility featuring a seat demonstration room with First, Business, and Economy class seat replicas, there’s a specialized area set to look like a room in a traditional Arabic home, where staff are acclimated to Middle Eastern hospitality and culture. In this video, you can catch a behind-the-scenes peek at the facility’s full motion simulator. No expense was spared on this model airbus seeing as safety training is the most important aspect of cabin crew members’ instruction. It can bank left, right, up and down, raise to a 20-degree altitude, and imitate emergency scenarios such as a cabin fire and cabin decompression.
- Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari
By far, the highlight of my time in Dubai was the Sundowner Dune Dinner Safari operated by Arabian Adventures. We missed the falcon viewing but made it just in time for an exhilarating dune drive, sunset photo-op and Arabic-style buffet under the stars in a traditional Bedouin-style camp. Taking full advantage of the experience, I got an intricate henna tattoo, stuffed my belly with falafel and lamb, and took a brief ride on a colorfully decorated camel (that I) named Lawrence.
To learn more about my trip to Dubai, check out this Eye on the World: Dubai photo slideshow and the March 2017 Onsite Review: VIP in DXB.