Dubai dreaming

Souk Madinat Jumeriah in Dubai (Credit: Stanislav Sablin/Getty Images)
Souk Madinat Jumeriah in Dubai (Credit: Stanislav Sablin/Getty Images)

More than just a popular stopover city along the transpacific route, Dubai emerged as the fourth most visited city in the world last year, attracting a total of 14.24 million international visitors from January to November-a 6.7% jump from the previous year.

The city is expanding its range of tourism and hospitality offerings with new developments in the pipeline opening this year.

To help delegates make the most of the iconic city's offerings, plan for an itinerary that includes niche local culture and heritage experiences alongside some adventure and nightlife action. 

The multicultural city has much to offer by way of its Middle Eastern heritage. Bring delegates on a journey to experience traditional Bedouin culture making a stop at Dubai Creek in search of its marketplaces, or souks; notable stops include the Textile Souk in Deira and the Spice and Gold Souks of Bur Dubai. 

The Deira Islands Night Souk, a traditional Arabian night market, will also be opening its doors in 2018 with 5,300 outlets spread along 1.9km of waterfront arenas.

Take delegates on a culture trip with a stop at the newly-opened Etihad Museum, which is built on the historic spot where the United Arab Emirates was formed, and offers interactive exhibits as well as some 3,000 books.

Slip in some time to unwind along Dubai's famed beaches. The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence offers a beach spot fringed by a promenade of restaurants, boutiques, markets, a mall and outdoor cinema. 

Should you choose to ramp up the excitement, the inflatable water park anchored just offshore will do the trick. It features trampolines, slides, climbing frames, swings and various obstacles. 

For the evening, swing by the city's celebrity hotspots Cavalli Club, White and Movida or stop by Toro Toro at Grosvenor House Hotel for South American beats and eats over its two-storey restaurant and lounge. Jumeriah Beach Hotel's Mahiki-baby sister to the London branch-offers delegates a taste of Hawaii in Dubai.

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