Beating Paris, London, New York, and other competitors to the number one spot, Dubai has been named the top destination worldwide, consolidating its status as a leading hub for both tourism and business. But how exactly did this newly founded metropolis surpass other iconic and far older cities in popularity, and what makes it so incredible to visit?
The Number One City Break Worldwide
For the second year in a row, Dubai was crowned the number one destination at the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, based on ‘millions’ of ‘real and unbiased’ reviews by visitors over a 12-month period, from November 1, 2021 to October 31, 2022, who commended the plethora of tourist activities available and excellent service provided.
Among the extensive list of attractions, they have enlisted the following as Dubai’s absolute best:
- Strolling Alserkal Avenue, a cultural district lined with contemporary art galleries
- Exploring Old Dubai, a surprisingly picturesque district packed with bazaars and traditional food markets
- Dining out at one of Dubai’s 11 MICHELIN-approved restaurants
- Admiring the cityscape from one of its many rooftop pools, including the Aura Skypool
- Visiting one of the world’s largest and most luxurious spas, Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
According to Forbes, Dubai’s success is also attributed to ‘significant efforts’ put in by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to promote it.
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The Sheikh’s primary goal is to make Dubai ‘the most visited’ city. While yet to attain the title currently held by the City of Love, it is openly challenging it by investing heavily in tourism initiatives – and believe it or not, the dethroning of Paris is imminent, as Dubai has already been named the preferred destination for weddings.
Other than being a promising elopement spot, Dubai is experiencing a rise in demand among young travelers, particularly digital nomads, due to the high quality of services provided, infrastructure, cleanliness, and high levels of safety, which surpass those of most Western countries, especially some crime-ridden cities in the U.S.
Dubai is so safe that dozens of viral videos are circulating about how people use their phones and wallets to reserve tables at busy restaurants or inside malls, without worry their personal possessions will be taken.
@baymabay Replying to @SeriSkill That safety feeling ???? #baymabay ♬ Love You So – The King Khan & BBQ Show
The roads are so clean and free of potholes that some highways have a speed limit of up to 140 km/h, and finding a piece of trash or random graffiti tag proves to be extremely difficult.
Even hailing an Uber in Dubai is a totally different experience than in many cities, with the base level car ‘Uber Comfort’ usually being a brand new full-size Lexus or Tesla, and a 10-15 minute ride not costing more than $10-$12 USD.
With inflation being the biggest headline of the past year, it’s hard to comprehend prices for any service going down, but that’s exactly what happened with taxi prices in Dubai just a few weeks ago. With the lower cost of fuel, the government made the call for taxi fares to be decreased so tourists and residents can benefit from the savings.
Tourists looking to visit Dubai this year will be pleasantly surprised by the vast amount of direct flights in and out of the city, at every budget and level of service. Budget travelers can find affordable flights on ultra-low cost airlines like Wizz Air and Ryanair for $100 round trip from Europe, while those looking for an exceptionally luxurious experience can fly first-class with top airlines like Emirates and Qatar.
City For The Future
Taking into account that modern-day Dubai is only four to five decades old, it is surprising how quickly it’s diversified its oil-based economy. In only a few years, the Arabian plains surrounding the area, packed with oil wells and drill holes, started changing drastically following an increase in tourism and the arrival of wealthy investors.
Dubai is nicknamed the City for the Future, and it’s not hard to see why: its skyline and urbanism are textbook examples of 21st-century greatness, what with the towering skyscrapers, wide boulevards, leisure complexes and lush green parks rising out of a vast, arid landscape that only 56 years prior had been home to a fishing village and trading port.
There are certainly parallels to be drawn between the Emirate of Dubai’s real estate development boom and Mexico’s Tulum, which began as a small settlement itself before the luxury resorts were brought in. Unlike in Tulum, however, Dubai’s stratospheric rise and rapid internationalization have not proven detrimental to its unique character.
It is a newborn, mostly man-made city, and there is plenty of room for growth – that is precisely what makes it so intriguing. From gigantic moon-shaped resorts with zero gravity experiences to improbable ski stations in the heart of the desert, there are no limits to what developers can achieve here, and they’re always striving for bigger and better.
The Arab World At Its Most Liberal
Luckily for tourists, the world’s greatest city is open and restriction-free. Since November 8, 2022, all foreigners have been allowed to enter Dubai regardless of immunization status and without being subject to strict health checks upon landing, such as undergoing mandatory testing or observing quarantine.
Westerners are reminded that, despite the loosening of health restrictions, other rules continue to apply to those entering the United Arab Emirates for tourism purposes. While the country stands among some of the most liberal of the Arab World – no clothing restrictions apply in most settings – there are still other rules that need to be observed.
Some limits are placed on alcohol consumption and import of certain medications, for instance, and in order to avoid getting on the wrong side of UAE border officers or breaking some lesser-known law that is not enforced in their country of origin (e.g., the United States), travelers are advised to do some research in advance.
Dubai is Attracting More Than Tourists
Between offering a popular digital nomad visa and extremely attractive zero-tax benefits for some free-zone companies, Dubai is attracting entrepreneurs, business owners, and start-up talent from every corner of the world. More golden visas and residency visas were issued last year than at any other time in history, with no signs of slowing down.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com