Islamic Art

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Islamic art is a term that encompasses a variety of visual arts that began from the 7th century onwards, hailing from regions of the world with strong Islamic populations. As you can imagine, this encompasses a great deal. In this post, we’ll provide an introduction into Islamic art.

Islamic Art vs. Religious Art

One of the most interesting aspects to note about Islamic art is that it is not synonymous with religious art. Western audiences may erroneously think it similar to the paintings of Biblical scenes that can often be found in European museums. But in fact, Islamic art frequently includes secular elements as well – the name is more in reference to a region than to a religion.

Islamic Patterns

Interestingly, Islamic art usually does not focus on depictions on figures. This is usually avoided, as the depiction of the human form can, to certain Muslims, be seen as a form of idolatry. Instead, Islamic art has a great focus on patterns in various forms – geometric, floral and even calligraphic. The two main forms of Islamic patterns are specifically arabesque and girih.

Arabesque patterns are curved-patterns that recreate foliage and other forms of curving tendrils. The sweeping, scrolling designs bring to mind the beauty of nature. Artists who work in this style traditionally would include a small misstep in the pattern. This was seen to be a sign of humility and an acknowledgement that only God is able to create something perfect.

Girih patterns are more angular. They are made up of interlocking geometric lines that usually take the shape of stars or other polygons. These patterns are carefully made with the help of compasses or dividers to ensure perfect symmetry. Girih patterns are often seen in tiles in Islamic buildings.

islamic art


Islamic Pottery

Islamic art is also quite noted for its beautiful ceramics and pottery. Historic Islamic potters developed cutting edge technology at that time. Furthermore, this allowed the creation of pieces that were truly unique and beautiful. Also, Islamic potters were among the first to develop the technique of tin-opacified glazing. The whiteness and opaqueness created by this form of glazing encouraged decoration with colour. Lustre ware was another Islamic technique, first developed in Mesopotamia in the 9th century. Lustre ware is a technique that gives the ceramics a metallic glaze, so that the ceramic maintains a striking iridescent glow.

Islamic pottery was highly sought after by European collectors. One example of this is the albarello, a type of jar used by apothecaries to store their ointments and herbs. These jars were usually highly decorated. When they were first brought to Italy by traders in the 15th century, they became very fashionable. Italian potters used these Islamic designs as inspiration and worked to create and decorate albarellos in a style of  their own.

islamic art


Islamic Carpentry

Islamic rugs, better known as Oriental rugs, are probably the Islamic art product that is most known to the rest of the world. In the Islamic world, these rugs can be seen in various forms, from floor coverings to prayer mats to even cushions. The earliest patterns of Islamic carpets were decorated with straight geometric lines, which were the simplest to do with the techniques available at that time. As techniques improved, the patterns changed to incorporate the curving arabesque loops that are now most common in Oriental rugs. Common designs usually have a central medallion-style motif called a gul, with wide, bold borders. These pieces can make a striking addition to any household. Therefore, it’s no wonder that these rugs have become famous throughout the world.

Islamic Calligraphy

Islamic calligraphy is found in countless forms of Islamic art products – coins, tiles, metalwork, paintings and even the walls of buildings. The practice of Islamic calligraphy is tied into the Qur’an and religious practice. Writing is a central notion in Islam. In fact, it is claimed that the Prophet Mohammed once said, “The first thing God created was the pen.”

Several styles of Islamic calligraphy have arisen, but the most popular two are specifically kufic and naskh.

Kufic: This is the oldest form of the script, which focuses on angular, rigid strokes. While it is at heart a linear form of writing, floral or foliated versions have also developed over time.

Naskh: Naskh is a cursive script. Originally, it was considered informal as it lacked the discipline and elegance of the traditional kufic mode of writing. However, as Islam grew more popular, the need for a script that could be written out faster grew. The Naskh style was in fact developed to combine the ease of cursive with the neatness of a defined writing system. Soon this became the most popular style of Islamic calligraphy.

Today, examples of Islamic calligraphy in the UAE can be seen everywhere from the lobbies of modern Arabian buildings to contemporary artworks made by up-and-coming Emirati artists.


Islamic art takes many shapes and forms. The list above is a just a small selection of what the term encompasses. We hope you found this introduction to Islamic art useful. If you’d like to learn more about Islamic art and its prevalence in everyday  Arabian life, our Art Tour of Dubai takes you to see insightful examples of what the forms looked like in the past and what they look like today.

Top Emirati Artists

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The UAE is home to glamorous buildings along with its stunning coastlines and breathtaking sand dunes. Amidst all this beauty, it’s no wonder that the country has incubated a collection of find Emirati artists. These creatives draw inspiration from the city around them and the traditions they grew up in. Furthermore, they interpret what they see in new and exciting ways for the public. In this post, we’ll highlight a collection of the top Emirati artists.

 Zeinab Al Hashemi

Zeinab Al Hashemi is a contemporary artist who often takes inspiration from Emirati cultural traditions. She has a unique ability to look at what is popular and then interpret it into something totally unique. She specializes site-specific installations and public artworks, which she refers to as ‘Construction Design Art’ that straddle the boundary between art and design.

Her work can be seen in the hotel lobby of Dusit D2 Kenz Hotel. It is an installation of a Dhow Sail that hangs from the ceiling. It is inspired first fictional work of Emirati literature (Shahinda) by Sheikh Rashid Abdullah Al Nuaimi published in UAE. The love story is about the title character’s relationship with the sea and the Desert which is depicted in the installation.


In 2016, she collaborated with Swarovski for a project “Hexalite”, an outdoor Kaleidoscopic Installation at Dubai Design District. The work was the centerpiece at D3 with Swarovski crystals and 33 hexagonal mirrored-steel structures that reflected after dark. No wonder, she is one of the top Emirati artists.


Hassan Sharif

Hassan Sharif was one of the most prominent Emirati artists. He is known for pioneering conceptual art in the Middle East. His work is difficult to categorize, as he was constantly challenging himself to try new and unexpected ideas. In fact, this tendency led him to refer to himself as a nomad (a tongue-in-cheek designation, as he actually spent the majority of his life in Gulf). Some of his most interesting works were created using trash from the streets of Dubai – newspapers, ropes, cardboard boxes and threadbare cloths. All his work, from 1970 till his death in 2016, was infused with an intense energy that captured the hustle and bustle of the city. Truly, he was the grandfather of conceptual art in the Middle East and his influence is felt even after his passing.

Mohammed Kazem

Mohammed Kazem is one of Sharif’s best-known protégés and a famed conceptual artist in his own right. He works primarily with video, sound, photography and performance. A common theme in his work involves looking at transient phenomena, such as light and sound. He finds ways to make his work more tangible. It’s a fitting motif for a man who has lived his life in the UAE, and seen the many changes the city has gone through.

To learn more about the history of Dubai, check out our walking tour of Old Dubai

Abdul Qader Al Rais

Abdul Qader Al Rais is an award-winning painter. A self-taught artist, he began his artistic journey by painting watercolours of the UAE’s landscape and architecture. He gained acclaim for these photorealistic paintings, that capture the likeness of the city in impressive detail. Eventually, he became drawn to more contemporary modes of expression. Today, he also creates abstract paintings incorporating Arabic letters. He uses small geometric squares which makes his work noticeable.

Abdullah Al Saadi

Abdullah Al Saadi‘s works span a broad range-paintings, drawings, found object sculptures and more. He grew up in the beautiful region of Khor Fakkan. The natural beauty and rural life of his hometown has informed his works. One of his most poignant works is “My Mother’s Letters,” a collection of objects – chocolates, rocks, string –  that his illiterate mother would leave in his house as small tokens to let him know that she has stopped by.  Many of his works involved some aspect of collecting and finding order in the rural world.

Ebtisam AbdulAziz

Ebtisam AbdulAziz is a contemporary artist whose works center around geometry and mathematics. One of her earliest and most memorable works – involved standing in a black bodysuit printed with bright green numbers taken from her bank statements. It is a searing commentary on the materialism that infects our humanity, and a brave artistic expression for an Emirati woman to make in such a public manner. Her works have continued to be bold and daring, while still maintaining her dedication to mathematics and systems

Maisoon Al Saleh

Maisoon Al Saleh is an Emirati painter in the surrealist style. Her works show a fascination with anatomy and contain a recurring skeleton motif. Her haunting paintings work to comment on Emirati culture, both traditional and modern. One of her most well-known works is an exhibition called The Dara Chronicles. It is a mixed media series that focuses on a ship that wrecked off the coast of Dubai in the 1960s.  Al Saleh’s grandfather was a survivor of the incident, adding a special poignancy to the work.

The UAE is home to some fine Emirati artists who are pushing boundaries while paying homage to their traditions. Plenty can be learnt about the city through its artists and their works. If you’d like to know more, be sure to check out our Art Tours of Dubai, which take you on a creative journey through the city.


The Yard Dubai

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The people behind the developments like La Mer and The Beach JBR, The Meeras Group has come up with a new development destination. The new destination, The Yard Dubai has been unveiled recently and is definitely a place worth visiting. In this post, we will tell you all about The Yard Dubai.

What is The Yard ?

The Yard Dubai is a whole new area to explore in Dubai. It is a 350,000 sq. ft extension to the existing Last Exit D89 . The destination features playful mural, similar to the Art Work across buildings in La Mer.

The Yard comprises a rustic courtyard, an organic farmer’s market, a bakery, a lake with two bridges spanning it, shaded walking trails. The inspiration behind this is Dubai’s agricultural heartland, showing a blend of rural farm environment with urban accents. It also has air-conditioned and open-air restaurants and dining spaces.

The place is perfect for you to get beautiful pictures for your Instagram account. The 18-m high wind wall, wishing well, decorative vintage trucks scream “Instagram me”!

Now open to public, it is aimed to be a 2.8 million sq. ft “urban destination” project. The Yard is open 24*7.

Where is The Yard Located?

It is located in the Al Khawaneej area on the outskirts of the city, near Mushrif Park.

How do I get to The Yard?

If you want to use public transport for going to The Yard, you can take a bus from Rashidiya Metro station bus stop. RTA Buses F05 and 11A take you to Mushrif Veterinary and it is approximately a 2km walk from there. The most convenient way is to go by car or a cab. There is plenty of free parking and drop off points at the location.

What is the highlight of  The Yard?

Dubai’s first “Promise Bridge” is located here. Also known as the love locks bridge, it is an ode to the original bridge in Paris, Ponts des Arts. People make symbolic promises to their loved ones here, by attaching padlocks with usually their names on them

Stepping stones from here lead to the 550m walkway.

What are some good restaurants at the Yard Dubai?

Krush Burger: Burgers are always a favourite for everyone. And extra cheese and fries make it even better. This food truck serves Fast Food and American Burgers.

The Inventing room: This food truck satisfies your dessert cravings. Their frozen hot chocolate is a recommended drink.

Mooyah: The food truck also serves fast food but their Loaded fries is what people generally order.


Meeras is creating imaginative and exciting family friendly destinations for Dubai residents. There are plans to host community events to bring residents and visitors in Al Khawaneej area together to socialise, create and innovative. It would be exciting to see The Yard Dubai once it is fully constructed.


Sikka Art Festival 2018

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Dubai has a thriving art scene which is all because of the passion and support of the city’s residents and the government. Sikka Art Festival is one of the many festivals during the Art Season in Dubai. In this post, we will tell you all about Sikka Art Festival 2018 and why should you visit it.

What is the Sikka Art Festival?

Sikka Art Festival is an initiative by Dubai Culture and part of the multiple events during the Art Season that goes on from March 1 to April 30. The other festivals are Art Dubai, Emirati Lit Festival, Dubai Canvas etc. The festival is proud to encourage local emerging talents and focuses on the work of artists based in UAE and GCC regions. It is a combination of visual arts, performing arts, music and film. This year highlights the eighth edition of the Sikka Art Fair.

sikka- dubai by foot

What does the word “Sikka” mean?

The word Sikka means alleyways of Bastakiya. The place, Bastakiya is one of the oldest heritage sites in the city. Now known as the Al Fahidi Historical neighborhood, this area dates to the early 1900s.

When is the Sikka Art Festival held?

The ten-day event is held from March 17 to March 26 this year.

What are the timings for Sikka Art Festival?

Saturday, March 17: 6pm-11pm

Sunday, March 18: 6pm-10pm

Monday, March 19: 6pm-10pm

Tuesday, March 20: 6pm-10pm

Wednesday, March 21: 6pm-10pm

Thursday, March 22: 6pm-11pm

Friday, March 23: 5pm-12am

Saturday, March 24: 5pm-12am

Sunday, March 25: 6pm-10pm

Monday, March 26: 6pm-11pm

How do you reach the Sikka Art Festival?

If you plan on visiting by metro, you can get down on the Al Fahidi metro station on the green line. Take Exit 3 and walk straight for about 10 mins. You will reach Bastakiya, the venue for Sikka Art Festival. If you are new to Dubai, your can use this metro guide.

There is parking available behind Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, if you plan on visiting the fair by car.

If cabs are the option for you, you can book cabs through Careem and get 15% off on two rides. You can use the code “SIKKA2018”. This code is only valid through the Sikka Fair dates. Use Pick up/ Drop off point to “Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood”.

What are the different Workshops I can attend during the Sikka Art Festival?

There will be more than 40 free workshops for both kids and adults. You will have a lot of creative choices to choose from. Some of the Workshops are as follows:

The Poetry hood by Dubai Poetics: This workshop gives opportunity to spoken words artists to share their work and receive feedback, moderated by Farah Chamma. Venue House 12

Hedaf Portrait Workshop: Children will use egg cartons to create a painting of themselves in 3D form. Venue: Courtyard C | Booth

Oil Pastel Workshop: This workshop will teach participants to paint a portrait of the city using oil pastels by Ella. Venue: Courtyard C Booth and Open Area

Blind Folded Art Therapy: This event is for both adult and kids. This activity lets emotions flow off by painting to music beats. The activity is held by Sana Shyam.

You can check the Sikka 2018 website for the complete list of workshops and for any workshop registration.

Which events are happening on all ten days of the Sikka Art Festival 2018?

Award winning Emirati photographers Yousef Bin Shakar Alzaabi and Khalil Ebrahim Al Mansoori will present their latest photographic works at #Sikka18 . Yousef and Khalil travel the world to find the perfect shot and send a global message through their photography. There will be Emirati photographer Ahlam AlBannai, whose work shows cultural exchange and knowledge of diverse cultures.  Ahmed Alanzi, an Emirati artist will show his work “The contemporary Bedouin”, to break boundaries between Emirati values and global community and show that Emiratis should weave their own interpretations of local identity.

If you are an avid lover of art, in any form, we would definitely recommend you to attend the Sikka Art Fair and even attend a workshop!


Make the most of your Cruise!

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There’s nothing quite so luxurious or adventurous as a cruise vacation. You get the thrill of the high seas combined with the comfort of a five-star hotel. Dubai, with its strategic position by the Arabian Sea, serves a s a port of call to many such cruises, from quick jaunts to Oman to long voyages across the East. While a cruise is an invitation to kick back and relax, you’ll be able to make the most of your cruise with a little planning first. Here are our tips to fully help you to Make the most of your Cruise..

Pack light

pack- dubai by foot

Your storage area on the ship is likely to be a bit cramped. Because of this, we recommend sticking to the basics when you pack – swimsuits, lounge wear and light walking outfits. One area we do recommend packing a bit extra for? Cocktail attire. A cruise liner provides a unique opportunity to really dress up for the evening and add some glamor to the sun and sail.

Know the layout early

You don’t want to get lost while on holiday. When you first board, take the time to familiarize yourself with the layout of the ship. Chat with the stewards and learn the quickest ways to get to the main areas of the ship – you’ll be thankful you did so.

Research your ports-of-call

Once the ship comes to dock, you’ll have a chance to disembark and explore. You don’t want to miss the opportunity, so your best bet is to sign up for a local walking tour. Not only will you get to really immerse yourself in the city, you’ll appreciate the chance to properly stretch your legs after being on deck for so long. Free Tours by Foot offers a selection of walking tours in Dubai and other major cities throughout the world.

Make new friends

People generally choose to go on a cruise with friends and family. However, the cruise ship will attract people from all over the world. It’s a wonderful opportunity to expand your horizons and meet new people. Their unique perspective will enhance your own experience.

Know the tipping policy

tip- dubai by foot

Different cruise liners have different tipping procedures. Some require cash, others use specialized cruise cards and others have a no-tip policy. To avoid embarrassment or overpaying, we recommend making some inquiries beforehand. This will ensure a smooth stay on board.

Watch out for water

Whether it’s the spray of the sea, the splash of a pool or the spill of a cocktail, cruise-goers are at risk of having their electronics harmed by water. We recommend investing in a cheap, water-proof camera, that will allow you to take pictures in splash-zones without having to worry. Also, make sure to pack a few Ziploc bags, which will allow you to carry your phone and any other electronic device without worrying about potential water damage.

Take care with time-zones

As you sail, you might end up crossing time-zones. It’s important to keep track as you move along, especially if you make plans to meet up with friends, or if you want to catch one of the on-board entertainment shows.

Plan for slow Internet

When out on the high seas, you’ll be relying on satellite Internet, which can be painfully slow. Therefore, for any projects and tasks that require a high bandwidth, make sure to complete them ahead of time, or plan to only work on them whenever the ship has docked.

Be prepared for sun and sea

The weather conditions on a cruise ship can be harsh. Make sure you pack plenty of sunscreen to protect your skin when lounging by the pool. Also, as the sea air can be quite drying, try and pack some extra hair conditioner as well – your locks will thank you.


A cruise vacation is a chance for you to have some fun. With these tips, you can be sure to enjoy it to the fullest. Then, all that’s left is for you to don your sunglasses, grab a lounge chair and let the waves take you forward.


Top 10 Places to Visit in Muscat

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A vacation or cruise to Oman is a popular getaway for those living in Dubai. In particular, Oman’s capital, Muscat, has a variety of attractions, from glorious mosques to fascinating museums to tranquil beaches. In this post, we’ll go over the top 10 places to visit in Muscat.

Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

sultan qaboos mosque- dubai by footThis stunning mosque is an absolute must-see for any visitor to Muscat. It lives up to its royal name. The chandelier is plated with 24 carat gold and made with over 600,000 Swarovski crystals. Further more, the Persian carpet is one of the largest in the world. The entire building is massive, capable of hosting up to 20,000 worshippers, and the walls are adorned with intricate mosaic designs. This is one of the few mosques in the city that welcome non-Muslims to enter and tour. The mosque is open to tourists from Saturday to Thursday, from 8:00 to 11:00.

The Royal Opera House

Seeing an opera is always a grand cultural event. But the splendour of Muscat’s royal opera house makes it well worth a visit just to see the beautiful building. The Royal Opera house is the leading arts and culture center in Oman. The style of the building pays homage to Eastern, Islamic and Western influences, in a nod to the different cultural events hosted here. The building also makes use of clever methods of sound projection, to ensure a vivid concert experience. For only 3 OMR, visitors can book a tour of the building to learn all about its construction.  You’ll also get a chance to admire the Opera House’s collection of instruments, which spans across different decades and regions.

Bait Al Zubair

museum- dubai by footThis is a private museum, funded by the prominent Zubair family of Oman. This local heritage infuses the museum’s collection – in fact, many of the artefacts on display are from the family’s private compilation. Some of the items on display include ancient weaponry, fabulous jewellery, historic stamps, household implements and traditional costumes. Outside of the museum, there is a garden that features an Omani village, a souk, a boat display and a traditional water distribution system. Getting to wander around this environment truly helps visitors immerse themselves in the traditional Omani way of life.

Qurum Beach

This is a quiet, charming beach in Muscat that’s great for a day of relaxation under the sun. It’s very easily accessible and boasts golden sands and crystal clear water. One of the main advantages of this beach is the tranquillity – it’s not excessively crowded, which allows for a peaceful visit. However, there are still opportunities for a bit of excitement, via the nearby cafés and restaurants.

Wadi Al Arbaeen

Technically speaking, this wadi is about 90 minutes outside of Muscat. However, it is well worth the trip. The oasis is a real treasure, with fresh water, craggy rock formations, singing birds and local plant life. You’ll need a minimum of three hours to explore the area, and longer if you really want to take it in. It’s a great way to see Oman beyond the sandy dunes and intricate architecture.

Amouage Perfumery

This perfume factory is not some harsh workhouse with cold machines. Here, the perfumes are the works of craftsmen and visitors can examine the delicate individual scent components that go into making some of the world’s most luxurious perfumes. Those on a tour have the opportunity to take home free samples, but anyone looking to purchase a proper bottle better have their wallet ready-  these high-end perfumes can be quite dear. Perfumes are a huge part of Arabian culture, used to mask the sweat from the sun and provide allure for someone modestly covered up. Further more, learning more about Arabian perfumes provides insight into Muscat from a unique point of view.

Ghalya’s Modern Museum of Art

Interestingly, this is not a modern art museum in the traditional sense. There is a section of the museum dedicated to modern art as we currently understand the term. But the bulk of the museum is about exploring Oman’s past, particularly between the years of 1950 and 1975. The museum reconstructs what a house would have looked like during that time period. It shows an authentic layout featuring a majlis, women’s room, child’s room, kitchen and guest room. The artefacts within are also authentic to the time period, so visitors can really feel like that they have stepped backwards in time and have been invited to the home of an Omani gentleman. The museum is open Saturday to Thursday from 9.30am to 6pm, and the entrance fee is only OMR 1.

Mutrah Corniche

This lovely corniche is perfect for a leisurely walk or bike ride. The softly-lit buildings along the shore, with their latticed windows, make for a perfect backdrop.  For most visitors, however, the corniche’s greatest attraction is its souq, which sells wares from all over the world and brings to mind the traditional Arabian bazaars. One can find antiques, textiles, hardware and jewellery in the stalls and haggling for a better deal is simply part of doing business there. Further more, it is a  great place for a tourist to find souvenirs.

Sultan’s Palace

sultan - dubai by foot

The Sultan’s Palace, or Al Alam Palace, is the ceremonial home of the Sultan, which he uses to welcome state dignitaries. The building is certainly eye-catching, with tall trumpet-shaped pillars painted in gold and turquoise. The interior of the palace is not open to the public, but the grounds are beautiful enough to compensate. The entire area is home to government buildings, many of which have unique architectural features that are interesting in their own right. The Ministry of Finance, for example, boasts a set of beautiful carved doors painted with phrases from the Quran.

Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque 

The Mohammed Al Ameen Mosque is a relatively new addition to Muscat – it opened in 2014. However, it can proudly take its place as one of the city’s most beautiful mosques. It is especially spectacular at night, as the domes are light up to resemble golden-hued crowns on top of the building. It’s definitely worth making a trip at dusk to take a photo. Further more, if you want to see the interior of the mosque, you’ll need to make the trip in the morning, sometime between 8:00 and 11:00.


There’s a lot to see in Muscat, even for someone who is coming from Dubai. The city has its own unique charms that make the city special. We hope you’ve found our guide to Muscat helpful. Should you ever stop by, whether via a cruise, a drive or stopover, make sure to visit the unique heritage and nature spots of this great city ~the top 10 places to visit in Muscat.

Top Oman Dubai Cruises

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We love the UAE – it’s why our tours in the Middle East first launched here. However, we know that the Arabian Gulf plays host to a variety of beautiful places. One of our favourites is Oman, which boasts beautiful beaches, stunning mountains and ancient history. Oman is reachable from Dubai by air and road, but if you’re looking for luxury and adventure, our favourite way to get there is via sea. In this post, we’ll go over the top Oman Dubai cruises.

MSC Cruises

MSC Cruises is a family-owned company that has been operating for 45 years. They have a proud Mediterranean heritage and offer many cruises in that region. They bring this Mediterranean warmth to their Middle Eastern cruise as well. The stops on this 7-day cruise include Abu Dhabi, UAE; Sir Bani Yas Island, UAE; Muscat, Oman; Khasab, Oman and Dubai, UAE.

The cruise takes place on the MSC Splendida, a 138,000 tons ship that can welcome over 4000 passengers. In keeping with the UAE’s focus on clean energy, the ship boasts a variety of environmentally friendly technologies. The ship also promises great entertainment, with live music, a disco, a casino and a theatre.  If you’d prefer a more tranquil way to unwind, there is a relaxing spa offering massages, a sauna, a Turkish bath and the latest in advanced beauty treatments. The food is fantastic, ranging from authentic Mediterranean to trendy Tex-Mex. And to burn off the calories, you can make use of the state-of-the-art gym. The squash court or one of the four swimming pools can also be used by guests.

Costa Cruise

costaCosta Cruises is an Italian cruise line that offers a 7-day cruise with stops in the UAE and in Oman. This cruise is particularly noted for its excellent dining options, as the various restaurants pay homage to the company’s parent company of Italy. Whether it’s fine dining or a pizzeria, you can enjoy world-class cuisine from chef Bruno Barbieri, who boasts 7 stars to his name. 

Costa Cruises is great for anyone who worries about possibly getting bored upon the ship. If you’re a sports fanatic, there are various sports pitches that allow for team sports. The ship has its own on-board shops if you’re a shopaholic and if you enjoy a spectacle, the ship hosts its theatre shows. If you love to dance, you’ll find that the ship has its own themed parties and discos. And if you just want to relax, the ship’s wellness centre offers a steam bath, sauna, Jacuzzi and hot stone massage.

Azmara Cruises

The Amzara Cruise is for those who would prefer a longer voyage, visiting more than two countries. The Azmara Voyage lasts for 17 days. There are stops in various Middle Eastern cities, including both Muscat and Salalah in Oman.

azmaraAzmara Cruise ships offer a variety of entertainment options for the guests on board. The guests can enjoy top-notch dining that pairs gourmet courses with specially chosen wines. They can improve their photography skills and memorialize their trip with a visit to The Photo Shop. They can even join the glamorous ship-wide ‘White Party’, where they can wear their finest white clothes, sip champagne and dance the night away. 

This cruise in particular is focused on helping its guests connect with its cities of port. For one, the chefs make use of the on-shore visits to gather local ingredients, so authentic meals reflect the local flavours. The ship’s Destination Immersion menu incorporates these local delicacies, letting guests bring the taste of their ports of call on-board the ship.  Not to mention, the ship offers enrichment programs and classes that give you extra information about the various ports of call – it’ a great way to learn about the history and attractions of these cities, allowing you to take advantage of your stops.

Celebrity Constellation Cruises

The Celebrity Constellation Cruise is a 15-night tour of the Arabian Sea and Suez Canal. It departs from Abu Dhabi and whose stops include Oman, Jordan and Greece.

Celebrity Constellation Cruises offers a variety of luxurious rooms. The Suites come with a private butler service and fresh flowers, the Aqua Class rooms offer a personal spa concierge and pillow menu. Concierge Class rooms offer special destination seminars and a daily delivery of afternoon savouries. The entertainment options on the ship are plentiful, including live music and magicians. The incredible shows are what make this cruise truly stand out – you can watch ballroom dancing competitions, kid-friendly musicals and adults-only fairy-tale shows. Truly, it’s a cruise that will help you feel like a star. No wonder it is a Top Oman Dubai cruise!

There is a great variety of cruises that take you from the UAE to Oman. You can enjoy fine sea air, luxurious accommodations and unique entertainment while getting a chance to visit some of the most beautiful and historic locations by the Arabian Sea. We hope you get a chance to try one out and enjoy sun, sand and sail.

Dubai World Cup 2018

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Dubai is famous for many sporting activities held throughout the year. Horse racing is one of the heritage sports of Dubai. The Dubai World Cup is one of the biggest events on the region’s event calendar. With USD 10 million going to the overall winner, there is no wonder that it is the richest horse race of the world. In this post, we will answer some of the common questions you might have about the Dubai World Cup 2018 and why it is one of the “must go to” events in Dubai.

Highlights of Dubai World Cup 2017

The winning horse of 2017, Arrogate was ridden by Mike Smith and sponsored by Emirates Airlines. The horse won even with a bad start to the race.


International star, Sia performed at the concluding ceremony of Dubai World Cup 2017.

All about Dubai World Cup 2018

What is the Dubai World Cup 2018?

Dubai World Cup 2018 is the richest horse race, at one the greatest race course in the world. Each year more than 50,000 race goers attend this event. Dubai has become the home of the top racing challenges in the world and has visitors and participators from across the globe. The vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum created the Dubai World Cup. He provided a global platform for the best horses in the world to compete every year. It is the conclusion of the UAE racing season that features nine high-class races. Dubai World Cup closes the US$10m race. This year marks the 23rd year of this event.

The event is a star-studded affair. Many international and regional celebrities can be found in the exclusive lounges and private terraces with all eyes on the best-bred horses on the tracks.

When is the Dubai world Cup 2018?

The biggest sporting event is held on the last Saturday of March every year. The Dubai World Cup 2018 is on March 31. Racing begins at 3:45PM and the gates open at noon.

Where is the Dubai World Cup 2018 held?

Dubai World Cup is held at Meydan Racecourse.

How do I get to Dubai World Cup site?

If you are coming from Dubai or Abu Dhabi, take the 2nd interchange, Exit 47 from the Sheikh Zayed road. Turn left onto Al Meydan Road and follow the signs to Meydan Racecourse. You can check the location here.

If you plan on coming by metro, you have to get down at Business Bay metro station and take a taxi to Meydan Race Course. If you are new to Dubai, here is your guide to use the Dubai Metro.

The Dubai Transport Company Operates a taxi service from Meydan Racecourse. The taxi drop-off and pick up point is located outside the Meydan Grandstand.  

What are the ticket prices to the Dubai World Cup?
The ticket prices vary according to wear you want your seat in the Meydan Racecourse.
General Admission: AED 40 per person for the public areas of the racecourse on Dubai World Cup. Children under 12 years of age have no entry ticket. All tickets to general admission will be pre-sold at the Dubai World Cup Carnival race night.

Sky Bubble: private dining experience with a stunning 360-degree view of the Meydan racecourse and the Dubai skyline
Price: AED 1400

sky bubble

The Gallery: Situated after finish line. Offers the best view of Dubai World Cup opening ceremony.
Price: AED 1500

the gallery

First Class Lounge: This area boasts of an exclusive lounge and bar.
Price: AED 3750


The Terrace: Round tables requiring minimum booking of 10 guests a table. You can reserve these tables through company names or family names.
Price: AED 32500

Where is the ticket sales office located?

You can purchase the tickets to Dubai World Cup 2018 before the entrances and in between Gate B and Gate C of the Meydan Grandstand. It is open from 8.00am to 8.00pm; Sundays to Thursdays. Ticket office is open on a weekday if there is a race that day. There is no refund on any ticket on the Dubai World Cup night.

What is the dress code for Dubai World Cup 2018?

Casual attire is the dress code for visitors in the public admission area. The dress code of those entering the hospitality areas will be lounge suit or national dress for gentlemen. The event encourages women to  wear hats and race wear. 

*T-shirts and shorts are strictly prohibited on Parade Day

It will be a fabulous spectacle at the Dubai World Cup 2018, because a number of the world’s best horses compete for some of the highest prize money in the business on Meydan’s world stage.

La Mer Dubai

Posted by & filed under Dubai, Uncategorized.

Dubai’s sparkling waters and golden sands make it the perfect destination for anyone hoping for a luxurious beach vacation. Knowing this, the a new development has come up in Dubai – La Mer. La Mer Dubai is a new beachfront development aimed at letting visitors to enjoy the city’s beautiful beaches. In this post, we’ll tell you what
you need to know about La Mer Dubai.

What is La Mer?
La Mer is a beachfront development project by Meraas. Basically, it is a collection of walkways, shops, restaurants and entertainment areas clustered by one of Dubai’s beautiful beaches.

la mer dubaiWhere is La Mer located?

La Mer Dubai is located in the Jumeirah 1 neighborhood, between Pearl Jumeirah and
Jumeirah Bay. The entire area stretches out over 13.4 million square feet in space
and is divided into three zones – La Mer North, La Mer South and The Wharf.
La Mer’s location is quite advantageous. Not only does it run along Dubai’s beautiful
coastline, it’s also close to major Dubai attractions like Etihad Museum and the
Dubai Water Canal, making it an attractive spot for tourists seeking a place to
unwind after a day of sightseeing.

How do I get to La Mer?
If you would like to take public transport to La Mer Dubai, RTA buses 9 and 88 will take you there. Some hotels also offer complimentary shuttle services to La Mer, so make sure to inquire about that at the hotel you are staying in.
If you would prefer to drive, valet parking is available for AED 50. There is also the option of making use of the public parking – there are over 1,100 spaces available, including underground parking spots.

la mer

What is the design of La Mer like?
The aesthetic of La Mer Dubai takes its inspiration from the various flotsam and jetsam one finds in and around the sea – pieces of wood, scraps of rusted metal and the like. Using these materials as inspiration, the designers have created charming structures along the coast that blend in beautifully with the aesthetic of their surroundings.

Which parts of La Mer are open?
As of this time, only La Mer North and La Mer South are open, with The Wharf being set to open as part of a later phase 2 of the development. Not to fear, however – the current development has over 130 shops and restaurants open, so you can still head on over today and enjoy a great time.

What are some of the restaurants at La Mer?
Of the many options currently available at La Mer, some of our favorites are:

I Scream for Ice Cream: There’s nothing better than a cold cone on a hot day. I Scream offers funky twists on the beachside classic, great for when you need
something more impressive than a plain vanilla soft serve.

O’Doner: Kebabs are a classic Middle Eastern comfort food and this urban restaurant offers delicious Turkish kebabs and grills in a stylish and contemporary atmosphere.

Roti Rollers: This restaurant is great example of East meets West. You can customize your sandwich with your own choice of bread, kebab, sauce and toppings– and your options hail from all over the world, allowing for a very multicultural dining experience.

What entertainment options are currently available at La Mer?

One of La Mer’s coolest entertainment options is Hawa Hawa, an inflatable playground. Inspired by a Japanese concept, the playground consists of inflatable dunes and peaks designed for people to bounce up, down and around on. It’s open to adults and children, so could be great fun for the entire family. There are also some other exciting offers in the pipeline, including a cinema and a state-of- the-art waterpark.

We’re very excited about this new offering along the Dubai coast. Since the weather is so wonderful at this time of year, we recommend you pay the place a visit and enjoy the beautiful sunshine, eye-catching architecture and delicious snacks that La Mer has to offer.

Top Tips for Flying to Dubai

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

When budgeting for a vacation, the cost of flights usually makes up a significant portion of the expenses. However, there are ways to help reduce those costs and make flying cheaper. If you plan on flying to Dubai, here are some helpful tips to reduce the ticket price you pay.

Tips for flying to Dubai

Choose a quiet time of year

Flying to dubai

Summer is known as Dubai’s off-peak season, as many travellers are reluctant to take on the desert heat and the sun. However, flying to Dubai is still manageable for many, as so many of the facilities are indoors and air-conditioned. If you can brave the heat, you are likely to find your tickets to be cheaper as well.

The absolute cheapest time to travel is probably during the Holy Month of Ramadan. Ramadan is a time of fasting and prayer, so you’ll find that during this time, many restaurants are closed during the day, and many other activities, like music shows, go on hiatus. Because of this more austere environment, tourists are less likely to travel to Dubai during the month of Ramadan. However, if you can manage with these limitations, you’ll find the prices are quite low. The dates of Ramadan alter with the lunar calendar, so make sure you check before booking.

If neither of these times appeals to you, we recommend you try booking in September. It’s not quite peak season, so the fares are still comparatively reasonable, but the heat is much more bearable.

The best time for flying to Dubai is during the cooler months beginning from November up to April. This is the best time for flying to Dubai even though the tickets would be slightly more expensive. There are cool breezes during the evening and night time. If you are comfortable with the budget, you can plan your trip for these months or December/January during the Dubai Shopping Festival.

You should also get to know the basic information about Dubai before flying here.

Fly in the middle of the week

Airlines change their fares constantly, several times during the week. Ticket prices tend to be higher on the weekends, so look out for mid-week flights to avail of cheaper fares. The ticket prices are generally lesser on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Choosing a less convenient time to fly, such as very late in the night, can also help reduce your ticket price.

Use a price protector

Book your tickets through a website that offers a price drop guarantee, like Flight Network. If the price of your ticket drops after you have already made a purchase, you’ll get credit back. In this way, you can enjoy worry free booking.

Try an alternate airport

Most flights will take you to Dubai International Airport. It’s a wonderful landing destination and one of the busiest airports in the world. However, there are other options that could prove to be cheaper. Dubai World Central is another airport in Dubai. It’s out of the way from the main city center, so flights landing there tend to be cheaper. It’s a decent option for the budget traveller – just make sure you arrange for transportation, as thanks to the long driving distance, a taxi or Uber to the city could be pretty pricy.

Another option is to fly into one of the neighboring emirates, such as Sharjah, These emirates tend to receive less tourist traffic, so tickets flying into their airports tend to be cheaper.

Split your booking

You may not know this, but booking as a group may cause you to lose out on cheaper ticket prices. For instance, suppose you are booking airline tickets for a party of four. The airline might have two available tickets selling for AED 2000, while the remaining available tickets are available for AED 2500. If you try to purchase four tickets at a time, you might not be shown those two cheaper tickets. However, if your book the tickets individually, you’ll be shown the two AED 2000 tickets as part of your options, allowing you to take advantage of the lower fares for those two tickets.

Sign up for newsletters

If you’re seriously planning a trip to Dubai, why not put your name on the mailing list for airlines such as Etihad, Emirates and Fly Dubai? In this way, you’ll be alerted to when these airlines are having a sale, allowing you to take advantage of the reduced fares.

emirates for flying to dubai

Consider a stop-over

Of course, it’s very convenient to only have to deal with one flight. A great way to reduce your total fare cost is by booking a flight with a stop-over. While you’ll add a few extra hours to your trip, you’ll save on your travel fare. Not to mention, you’ll get a chance to stretch your legs between hours of sitting.

You don’t have to blow your budget on purchasing tickets and flying to Dubai. With some smart moves and planning, you can find great deals that will allow you to travel with confidence.  We hope to welcome you in Dubai soon.