Discover a destination that oozes charm, sophistication, style and surprises at every turn.
Dubai, the ‘Merchant’s City,’ has transformed itself from a humble fishing village into a global destination for trading, manufacturing and tourism.
As the trading hub for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region, Dubai is located at the crossroads between East and West and offers the best of both worlds: a tax-free haven for business, and an exciting holiday destination for pleasure seekers. With record-breaking skyscrapers, shopping malls and marvelous hotels cradled by pristine beaches and desert dunes, Dubai is like no other city on earth. Welcome to exotic Arabia with a 21st century twist.
Centuries before the city became an international destination, it was inhabited by nomadic tribes that left little trace of their existence. Then, in the 18th century, members of the Bani Yas tribe, who made a living trading as well as fishing, settled in Dubai.
Their natural commercial instincts, allied with liberal attitudes, attracted the attention neighboring traders from India and other Gulf countries. By the late 1870s, Dubai had become the main port of the southern coast, developing major souks to enable visitors to barter their wares. Pearls, collected from offshore beds, and gold were key to the emirate’s prosperity until the discovery of ‘black gold’.
When Britain announced its withdrawal from the emirate in the 1960s, it prompted the formation of the United Arab Emirates, a federation that allowed each of the seven emirates to pursue its own policies and development strategies. This enabled Dubai, under the progressive leadership of the Al Maktoum dynasty, to invest in infrastructure, education and healthcare, thus providing the foundations for Dubai’s development into a city of the future.
Dubai’s global success today is also a product of its global outlook. It has an open, multi-cultural society that is bilingual in Arabic and English, and extremely tolerant of different religious beliefs. So even though the local populace preserves Dubai’s Islamic heritage, it’s not enforced upon others. This cosmopolitan spirit has attracted some of the world’s biggest events and given rise to international sporting tournaments, like the Dubai Desert Classic and the Dubai World Cup. But despite an outward mentality, local traditions such as dhow sailing, camel riding and falconry are still shared and celebrated.
Dubai dared to dream big and the results of its vision can be seen everywhere: mega projects have transformed the face of the emirate, extending its coastline, greening the desert and reaching for the skies. These include the recently inaugurated Dubai Metro rail system, which connects the city from end to end; the Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest man-made island; and the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building and a masterpiece of urban planning, with lakes, pedestrian boulevards, low-rise residential neighborhoods, hotels and The Dubai Mall.
Today, Dubai is a unique tourism destination. It is both a dynamic business centre and a tourist paradise, offering more attractions, shopping, fine dining and quality hotels. From the timeless tranquility of the desert to the lively bustle of the souk, Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of attractions for visitors. The emirate embraces a wide variety of scenery in a very small area. In a single day, a visitor can experience everything from rugged mountains and awe-inspiring sand dunes, to sandy beaches and lush green parks; from dusty villages to luxurious residential districts; and from ancient houses with wind towers to ultra-modern shopping malls.
The pace of development has been phenomenal – just 60 years ago this metropolis was little more than a village. Today Dubai attracts more than 10 million visitors each year and when the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, is met, Dubai will welcome more than 20 million visitors per year by the end of the decade.
Of course, alongside tourists come those visiting on business, with Dubai offering an infrastructure well primed for handling world-class events, including transport, hotels, conference facilities and incentive opportunities.
Being hailed the host of Expo 2020 may be the ultimate achievement for 2013, but throughout the year the emirate also won 10 further bids to host major international business conferences over the next three years. That brings the number of conferences coming to Dubai up, until the end of 2016, to at least 16. And just as impressive as the size of these events is their diversity, traversing sectors from healthcare and education, to engineering, aviation, business and sport.
DTCM has representation offices in North America, South America, Europe, China and, of course, in Australia. Our office in Sydney offers support to existing and potential clients and we welcome any enquiries from event planners.
As far as Dubai is concerned, the sky is the limit!