The cosmopolitan city of Dubai effortlessly offers all elements for a memorable visit - sun, sand, surf, shopping and sightseeing Additionally, many choose Dubai for events and conferences as its location bridges the gap between Asia, the Americas and Europe.
While Dubai is dynamic and truly modern, it still remains many of the cultural traditions established by its erstwhile nomads, fishermen, pearl divers, desert-dwellers and traders, making it a land of many charming anomalies.
The tranquillity of the Arabian desert blends effortlessly with the grandeur of modern architecture. Shopping can be done at age-old souks or at sophisticated shopping malls. The broad spectrum of activities encompasses both international sports like golf and polo, and traditional fare like falconry and camel racing. The city's many attractions are evenly spaced out, and in mere hours, visitors can take in majestic sand dunes, lush green parks, luxurious residential communities, historical sites, colourful market places and shopping districts.
Dubai continues to add some of the world's best and biggest projects to its portfolio - especially attractions in the hospitality, tourism and leisure sectors. Globally renowned developments include islands in the shape of palm trees, a cluster of islands in the shape of the world, the world's tallest building, the world's largest shopping mall, and indoor Olympic skiing facilities.
Events are well catered to, with some of the finest hotels in the world, meeting facilities spread across town, a convention and exhibition centre that can host up to 15,000 delegates and a picturesque amphitheatre with the capacity to host 4,500 guests. Dubai also acts as a regional hub for business, and dedicated clusters include Jebel Ali, Media City, Internet City, Healthcare City, Maritime City, Knowledge Village, Business Bay, Airport City, Logistics City and Silicon Oasis all with nearby conference and event facilities. Tourism is one of the pillars of Dubai's economy, and visionary plans are in place to ensure continuous growth in visitor arrival and engagement.
Dubai's enviable location means only 4 hours flying time for 33% of the world's population, and 12 hours for 80% of the population.
Dubai International Airport, the Middle East's premier airport, is also the world's fastest growing airport for international passenger traffic. In 2009, a record 40.9 million passengers passed through the airport, registering annual growth of 9.2%. Dubai International currently serves 130 airlines flying to over 220 destinations across 6 continents.
In June 2010, Dubai joined an elite group of two-airport cities with the launch of Dubai World Central - Al Maktoum International (DWC). Currently operating only cargo flights, DWC will become the largest airport in the world upon completion - with 5 runways, 4 terminal buildings and capacity for 160 million passengers and 12 million tonnes of cargo.