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Soraya Al Olama is eager to dispel any belief that a Dubai vacation always means having to shell out in a major way.
In fact, Al Olama, with the Dubai Corporation for Tourism & Commerce Marketing, says that middle-class vacationers can easily have an affordable holiday in her city.
Dubai is sometimes believed to be a particularly pricey part of the world, with its iconic Burj Al Arab hotel billed as a 7-star property that hosts the world’s rich and famous.
“That (the belief that Dubai is always expensive) is one of the biggest misperceptions that we have,” Al Olama says, adding that Dubai — one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates — actually has more mid-priced hotels than luxury ones.
Dubai has just come off the successful hosting of the World’s Fair, which ran from Oct. 1 to March 31 and drew over 24 million visitors.
The destination saw 7.9 million visitors in the January-December period of last year and has set a goal of hosting 25 million by 2025, with Al Olama praising the city’s ability to host tourists with different wants.
“In Dubai we have something for everyone,” says Al Olama, citing “sun, sand and blue skies year-round” in the destination.
Dubai is often synonymous with ultra-modern architecture but Al Olama adds that her part of the world is also home to “amazing culture,” with visitors able to learn how Dubai “started off as a humble fishing village and became the modern metropolis we are today.”
Miles of beaches account for much of Dubai’s tourist trade but Al Olama cites such cultural expressions as opera as proof of a flourishing cultural scene.
Those wanting to leave urban life behind for a while can go on desert excursions, enjoying a Bedouin camp experience.
Al Olama also notes the rugged mountains of Hatta are near Dubai, with excursions into them available.
She also praises the “amazing food” found in her destination.
The Dubai Food Festival (DFF), the city’s annual two-week festival of food, this year runs through May 15, showcasing Dubai’s most exciting culinary offerings.
This year’s ninth edition of the festival “will take guests on an immersive tour of a city home to more than 200 nationalities and renowned for its rich culinary diversity. DFF will showcase the best authentic homegrown cuisine and concepts created by Dubai’s local food heroes, as well as world acclaimed fine dining restaurants, experiences and masterclasses by leading chefs with views of Dubai’s iconic locations,” organizers say.
In partnership with 40 of the city’s best restaurants, Dubai Restaurant Week (DRW) runs May 6-15 with specially curated 3-course dinner menus. “Diners in the city will be able to enjoy irresistible dishes using the freshest ingredients – all at an attractive price that saves customers up to 50% when dining out,” organizers add.
For more information on DFF activities, visit www.dubaifoodfestival.com.
Al Olama says Dubai is open and safe, with 94% of those there fully vaccinated against Covid.
Dubai-based Emirates links Dubai with Toronto five times a week.
Meanwhile, Olama adds a visit to her destination can easily be combined with a trip to other countries in the region, such as Egypt or Turkey.
More information can be found at visitdubai.com.
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