Top 10 Places to Visit in Muscat

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

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

This 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

This 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

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

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

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

Costa 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.

Azmara 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

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

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

 

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

 

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.

Where 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.

 

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

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.

 

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.

Dubai 2018 Year of Zayed

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

It’s wonderful to celebrate the start of the year 2018, as a new year always brings with it the promise of many new initiatives and events. One of the events of this year is the “Year of Zayed”, in honor of the late Sheikh Zayed. In this post, we’ll give you an overview of everything you need to know about 2018 Dubai Year of Zayed.

Who was Sheikh Zayed?

Sheikh Zayed is often referred to as the founding father of the UAE. It is impossible to understand UAE without the knowledge and understanding of Sheikh Zayed’s deep faith, willpower and dedication towards his people to create a better world. He was critical in the negotiations that allowed different Trucial states to come together to form one country, the United Arab Emirates. He was the first president of the UAE, a position he held for 33 years, until his death in 2004.

Sheikh Zayed was known for his keen eye for progress and reform. ‘2018 Dubai Year of Zayed’ is called so because he helped transform the area from a collection of disparate desert tribes to a booming metropolis. He was also a passionate advocate for many causes, including environmentalism and education. He was seen as a compassionate ruler in addition to being a modernizing one. The ethic and philosophy brought by him to the government remains at the core of UAE’s policies even today.

All about 2018 Dubai Year of Zayed

Why was 2018 chosen as the Year of Zayed?

The year 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Sheikh Zayed. This is why it was chosen as the ‘Year of Zayed’ to honor him. As an interesting side note, the exact data of Sheikh Zayed’s birth has not been officially documented, as he grew up as part of a desert Bedouin tribe with little in the way of official record keeping. Thankfully, we are at least confident of the year.

What does the 2018 Dubai Year of Zayed entail?

The Year of Zayed will involve a series of initiatives and events aimed at promoting the causes that Sheikh Zayed most espoused – tolerance, progression, environmentalism, and charity. The late Sheikh Zayed greatly promoted the UAE’s reputation as a place where people of all nationalities could peacefully work together and co-exist, so it is likely the various events will highlight those beliefs as well. In addition, the Year of Zayed will also serve as a showcase of Sheikh Zayed’s many contributions to the growth of the UAE over the years, meaning that it is likely to feature displays and discussions of the country’s history as well.

Who can get involved with the 2018 Dubai Year of Zayed?

The Year of Zayed has been designed so that all can participate, across different age groups, nationalities and religions.

What are some examples of 2018 Dubai Year of Zayed initiatives?

Some initiatives for the Year of Zayed that have already been announced are:

  • A city-wide scavenger hunt: The idea is to find 15 special light bulbs hidden in the city. Light bulbs were chosen based on the idea that ‘Knowledge is a light that never fades’. Each light bulb has been designed by a local artist and represents a particular theme.
  • A special number plate auction: Dubai loves cars and vanity plates are a special way to stand out from the crowd. This year, a plate with the number Z-1971 will be auctioned off. 1971 refers to the year of the federal unification of the UAE. Z of course stands for Zayed, the man who helped achieve it.
  • An aquarium scuba dive: A group of policemen did a public dive into the Dubai Aquarium at Dubai Mall. When the reached the bottom, they unfurled a banner thanking Sheikh Zayed for his many contributions to the UAE.

As you can see, the events set to take place this year will vary greatly, from quirky nods to the late leader to well-organized activities that span the country. There are options for each and every resident and visitor to participate.

2018 is set to be very promising. It will be a great time to reflect on the key values of the UAE and think about how we can incorporate them into our lives. We look forward to seeing what other exciting events 2018 Year of Zayed has to offer.

Dubai Frame

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

Anyone who has visited Dubai recently will have seen an eye-catching structure rising up against the skyline in Karama. The Dubai Frame is set to be the newest addition to Dubai’s collection of architectural icons. This project has been a long-time coming – in fact, it was originally set to open in 2015. However, good things come to those who wait. We are happy to say that the Dubai Frame is now completed. Since its official opening date has now been set for January of 2018, we thought we would share everything you need to know about the Dubai Frame.

What is the Dubai Frame?

The Dubai Frame is 150-meter-by-150-meter rectangular structure, with a void in the center. According to the architect, instead of just being another structure on the Dubai skyline, it was designed to ‘frame’ Dubai’s development – past, present and future.

When you look through the frame from one side, to the South, you can see the glitzy skyline of Downtown Dubai, including famous landmarks like the Burj Khalifa. This view represents the modern side of Dubai, with all its glamour and ambition. However, when you look through the other side of the frame, to the North, you see the heritage regions of Dubai, where residents of the past dived for pearls, traded spices and lived simple lives.

How is the Dubai Frame decorated?

The Dubai Frame is opulently decorated with a stainless steel gold cladding, in a nod to Dubai’s reputation as the ‘City of Gold’. The shining exterior is striking against the blue sky. Fun fact –the honeycomb-like design on the Dubai Frame is a reference to the symbol of the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020.

Can you go to the top of the Dubai Frame?

Yes – the top of the Dubai Frame consists of a 93-meter long bridge. This allows visitors to enjoy views from up high. The experience is managed by the same people in charge of ‘At the Top’, the Burj Khalifa’s own viewing deck experience. This way, you know you are dealing with a team that is experienced in managing huge attractions like this endeavor.

How do you get to the top of the Dubai Frame?

Thankfully, the top of the Dubai Frame is accessible by elevator. In fact, the elevator is designed by ThyssenKrupp, the German engineering company that actually sponsored the competition where this design first took fruit. Impressively, the elevator is designed to only take one minute to reach the top, so just getting there will be an experience in and of itself.

Where is the Dubai Frame located?

The Dubai Frame is located at Zabeel Park in Karama. Karama is a lot closer to old area of Dubai, rather than the new. This makes sense, as the extra distance allows for a more encompassing view of the towers that make up Downtown Dubai. In a similar vein, by being closer to the Dubai Creek, the visitors can enjoy watching the sharper details, like the abras on the water.

If you are travelling to the Dubai Frame by metro, you should take the Red Line to the Al Jafiliya Metro Station. Our guide to using the Dubai Metro will help you out. If you wish to travel by car, there is public parking available inside Zabeel Park, outside Gate One.

How much are tickets to visit the Dubai Frame?

Tickets to the Dubai Frame cost AED 50 for adults and AED 30 for children. Tickets are free for children under the age of 3 and people over the age of 60. The tickets are valid for a one-hour experience.

The ticket system for the Dubai Frame to similar to that of the Burj Khalifa, wherein it is highly recommended that you book your tickets in advance. Each individual tour is set to take 20 people. While you might get lucky sometimes and find a group with an opening, your best bet is to reserve in advance.

Is the view from the top all the Dubai Frame has to offer?

No – the Dubai Frame is also home to a museum on the mezzanine floor. In keeping with the theme of the Dubai Frame, the museum is focused on Dubai’s development from humble fishing village to iconic global metropolis. What makes this museum particularly unique is that it doesn’t just rely on displays to convey information. Instead, it incorporates projections, mist effects, scents and movement to create a one-of-a-kind interactive experience.

Dubai has gone through massive changes throughout the course of its history. It is apt that there is now a monument paying tribute to the city’s past and future. We can’t wait for the official opening of the Dubai Frame, which will give us a chance to celebrate all that the city of Dubai has accomplished.

Louvre Abu Dhabi

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

You’ve probably heard of the Louvre  – the famous museum in Paris, France that is home to legendary works such as the Mona Lisa. What you may not know is that on November 8th, 2017, the Louvre opened up a satellite museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, as it is known, is the latest offering in the UAE’s arts and culture scene. In this post, we will tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

Where exactly is the Louvre Abu Dhabi located?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is located in the Saadiyat Island Cultural District in Abu Dhabi. Saadiyat Island is a large, low-lying island around 500 meters off the coast of Abu Dhabi. It is about a five-minute drive from downtown Abu Dhabi and a one-hour drive away from Dubai.

How big is the Louvre Abu Dhabi?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is the largest art museum is the Arabian Peninsula. It spans an area of 24,000 square meters, with approximately 8,000 square meters dedicated specifically to gallery space.

What is the relationship between the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Louvre in Paris?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is a separate museum on its own. However, the two museums are linked by a branding and training agreement that is set to last for the next 30 years. This means that the Louvre Abu Dhabi will be able to take away best management practices from one of the most famous museums on the planet, allowing for any visitor to have a world-class experience.

What can be found at the Louvre Abu Dhabi?

The permanent collection at the Louvre Abu Dhabi houses over 600 artworks – not bad for a museum that only opened last month. The works at the museum were specially chosen to bridge the gap between Eastern and Western art, thereby celebrating Abu Dhabi’s position in the crossroad of the globe. As a result, the works on display span geographical regions and historical time periods. Visitors can admire Impressionist and Surrealist paintings from famous European painters, as well as historical carvings from ancient China and Iran. Despite this mix, the curators have done a careful job of weaving together a cohesive narrative for visitors. The galleries are arranged by time period and theme, allowing visitors to feel a sense of coherence as they explore.

It is important to note that just because this is not the Paris Louvre, that does not mean the artwork is of a lesser quality. The Louvre Abu Dhabi has invested a significant sum to bring unique works of art to its galleries.

Some of our favorite objects d’art at the museum are:

Composition with Blue, Red, Yellow and Black

A deceptively simple abstract painting by Piet Mondrian, that is made up of horizontal and vertical lines and primary colors. Instead of being bound by the natural form, it is pictorial language at its most simple and free.

Funeral set of Princess Henuttawy –

This 10th century Egyptian funeral set is incredibly well preserved, with the colorful embellishments still visible. You can still see the painted outlines of the princess’s delicate features.

A Young Emir Studying

a 1878 painting by Osman Hamdy Bey of Istanbul. This painting is a great example of cross-cultural artwork as it incorporates a traditional Islamic subject with a hint of the Western painting style.

How much is admission to the Louvre Abu Dhabi?

We recommend purchasing tickets online, to avoid queues when you enter. Tickets to the Louvre Abu Dhabi cost 60 AED. Children between the ages of 13 and 22, as well as students studying at a UAE educational institution, receive half-price tickets. Furthermore, children under the age of 13 can enter for free. If you are disabled, you and one companion can also enter for free.

As an additional note, you can rent an iPad for approximately 20 AED when you enter the museum. This iPad provides you with additional information about the various exhibits and gives you a guide to the 12 galleries. It’s a great way to enhance your experience.

What are the hours of the Louvre Abu Dhabi?

The Louvre Abu Dhabi is closed on Mondays. On Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, it is open from 10AM to 8PM while on Thursdays and Fridays it is open from 10AMto 10PM.

How long does it take to explore the museum?

You’ll need around two hours just to do the most basic walk-through of the museum. However, as you are likely to want to linger and examine the various pieces of art. We recommend budgeting at least 4 hours to thoroughly enjoy what the museum has to offer.

Does the museum offer parking?

The museum offers free parking. There is also the option of valet parking for 40 AED. If you are not driving, there is a convenient drop-off point at the main entrance that is frequented by taxis.

We are huge fans of museums here at Dubai by Foot. While we love the Dubai Museum that we pass on our Old Dubai tour, we can’t help but be excited for the global offerings of the Louvre Abu Dhabi. It’s a big step to cementing the UAE’s status as a premier art destination. And if you’re interested in learning more about art in the UAE, our Dubai Art tour demonstrates the effect these historical influences have on the scene today.

Dubai Pearl Museum

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

In the city of Dubai, there lies a hidden gem – well, technically, an entire trove of them. Tucked away in Deira, in the headquarters of Emirates National Bank, lies the Dubai Pearl Museum. It is a one-of-a-kind attraction celebrating the UAE’s pearl-diving heritage.

Before the oil boom hit the UAE, the area was known for the beautiful natural pearls that could be found in the warm, shallow waters along the coast. Pearl diving and trading represented a huge part of the national economy. Ali Bin Abdullah Al Owais was a pearl trader who hailed from the Al Shamsi tribe of Sharjah. His son, Sultan Ali Al Owais, chose to pursue a career in international banking instead. Furthermore he retained his family’s love for pearls and continued to add to the family collection. Eventually, he donated his collection to the bank where he served as chairman, and so the Pearl Museum was inaugurated.

Where is the Pearl Museum Located?

Today, the Pearl Museum lies on the 15th floor of the Emirates National Bank headquarters. It houses one of the world’s most exquisite collection of saltwater pearls. The display is absolutely stunning and the trip to the museum is worth it just to glimpse that level of luxury.

However, the Pearl Museum does not exist just to show off wealth and splendor. Pearls and pearl diving play a vital role in Dubai’s history and culture, and the Pearl Museum explores the many facets related to that. Some of the interesting facets explored in the museum include:

The Lives Of The Pearl Divers:

The Pearl Museum explores everything from life on the boats (dhows) to the actual diving activity. Such information helps you truly get a feel for what life was like for these divers – both the challenges they faced on the harsh seas and the techniques they used to keep their spirits up. For instance, did you know every pearl diving dhow was staffed with its own musician? Or that pearl divers began their training at the tender age of ten?

The Pearl Economy:

Before the discovery of oil in Dubai, pearls were the most important part of the national economy. The museum describes the business of pearl trading in Dubai, including how the traders made their deals and where the pearls were most frequently exported.

Pearl Quality:

If you’d like to be a connoisseur of pearls, the museum can teach you everything you need to know. You’ll learn how to pick out the most valuable pearls based on their size, weight, shape, color, and luster. You’ll also learn how to tell cultured pearls from genuine seawater pearls.

Pearl Jewelry:

In Dubai, pearls were primarily used as a vehicle for trade. So, they were not always set into necklaces, bracelets or rings. However, pearls are actually well suited for use in jewelry as they can be used ‘as-found’ – there is no need to do any cutting to add shine or luster. The museum is host to some dazzling pieces that show off the luxurious pearls to their best advantage.

How To Get There:

The Pearl Museum is not like other museums in Dubai. There are no set hours of operation. If you want to visit, you can’t just walk up to the front desk at Emirates National Bank and purchase a ticket. Instead, you have to contact the museum in advance and they will arrange a showing for you with a guide. This procedure allows them to ensure the safety of their valuable display, as well as that of the other bank assets.

The Pearl Museum can be contacted through this form. However, the museum prefers to open its doors to small groups of around 8-10 people. If your group doesn’t meet that number, you might try contacting the team at Dubai by Foot and we can work to connect you with others looking to visit the museum. Our tours explore the Old Dubai area where the museum is located quite thoroughly, so we’d be happy to help you get there.

Today, pearls are no longer the bedrock of Dubai’s economy. The growing popularity of cultured pearls combined with Dubai’s oil boom means that their economic importance has faded. However, they are still important from a historical, cultural and aesthetic perspective. This museum is a great way to explore this central part of Dubai’s heritage and marvel at the beauty of these water-dwelling gems.

La Perle By Dragone

Posted by & filed under Dubai.

Whether it’s the fabulous fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve or the daily water and light shows at the Dubai Fountain, Dubai is a city that loves a spectacle. That’s why we are so excited about the La Perle show, which is set to be the city’s first resident show. We’ve got all the information for you here:

What is the La Perle show?

The La Perle show was created by Franco Dragone, one of the world’s most celebrated artistic directors. It is a breathtaking live production, featuring 65 artists who perform amazing acrobatic, aquatic and aerial stunts to create a breathtaking stage performance. The storyline was written as a nod to the spirit of Dubai, making the show a great option for a visiting tourist.

Where does the La Perle show take place?

The La Perle show takes place in a specially designed theater. This theater  incorporates state-of-the-art technology and both a dry stage and an aqua stage. The theater seats 1300 people, but only contains 14 rows. This allows every audience member an up-close and intimate view of the performance. The theatrical area is also encircled by 360-degree projection screens for visuals. Furthermore it is embedded with speakers for optimal sound, which creates a truly immersive experience.

The theatre lies in the center of Al Habtoor City, a multi-use luxury development in Dubai that is host to several 5-star hotels. The theatre is easily accessible from Sheikh Zayed Road, close to the Business Bay area.

How much do tickets for the La Perle show cost?

The theatre seats are laid along a 270-degree angle, allowing every seat in the house a nice view of the performers. However, there are certain tiers with the seating. The most luxurious option is to purchase a VIP ticket. Not only are you allowed a spectacular panoramic view, you are provided with lounge-style seating and an individual table with complimentary snacks. The VIP tickets cost AED 1600.

If that’s a bit out of your budget, you can also consider the non-VIP seats. These are offered in Gold (AED 800), Silver (AED 600) and Bronze (AED 400) tickets, depending on the seat’s location. As a note, the first two rows of seats closest to the stage are in the ‘splash zone’, so be aware of that.

The La Perle show also offers an Early Bird special, which provides a 30% discount on Gold, Silver and Bronze seats if purchased more than 30 days in advance.

How often does the La Perle show run?

The La Perle show has 10 shows a week. It runs from Tuesday to Friday at 7:00pm and 9:30pm, and on Saturdays at 4:00pm and 7:00pm. Each performance lasts around 90 minutes. This particular run is meant to go on till December 2018, but other performances are being planned once this run is completed.

Is there parking available?

There are several parking options available:

Free Parking: If you follow the signs for Al Habtoor City Parking, you will find the complimentary parking area. These parking spots are available for a maximum of 3 hours.

Paid Parking: You can also make use of the paid parking in nearby Safa Park

Valet Parking: If you’ve arrived in heels, or if you just don’t want to circle around for a slot, you have the option of valet parking. Valet parking is complimentary for VIP ticket holders, and costs AED 50.00 otherwise.

What’s the dress code to see a show at La Perle?

The dress code is Smart Casual

Can I take photos and video?

Yes! Just be careful to turn your flash off.

Are there dining options available?

There are plentiful fine restaurants in the area, serving Asian, South African, British and Mexican food. There’s also a great selection of lounges, for some pre or post show cocktails. You can see the list of available restaurants here.

The La Perle show is a truly one-of-a-kind experience that captures Dubai creative and innovative spirit. If you’re looking to add some wonder to your trip, the show is a great way to create some unique memories of a spectacular show.