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Sat 31 Jan 2009 04:00 AM

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What's new in Dubai?

Arabian Travel News takes a look at some of the newest hotels and attractions to open their doors in the city that never sleeps.

Arabian Travel News takes a look at some of the newest hotels and attractions to open their doors in the city that never sleeps.

According to a report released by hospitality research specialist STR Global in September 2008, Dubai has the highest hotel occupancy rate worldwide.

This remarkable feat has been achieved as a result of explosive growth stemming from the emirate's ability to generate massive interest from foreign investors, businessmen and tourists alike.

Keeping a high tourism profile is one of the Dubai government's most important strategies for maintaining the flow of foreign dollars into the emirate. New properties and attractions are constantly cropping up to ensure that the destination never goes stale and maintains its international appeal.

"Recently we have seen the opening of many hotel and tourism projects in Dubai like the opening of Atlantis Hotel and The Dubai Mall, which together have hugely contributed the tourism product of the emirate," said Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DDTCM) director general Khalid Ahmed bin Sulayem.

"There will be further huge tourism developments in dubai in the near future."

ATN takes a look at some of the most recent attractions and developments to take root that are keeping the Dubai buzz alive.

The Address

Under the banner of ‘The Address', the latest Dubai offering from Emaar Hospitality Group (EHG), three new five-star properties have added to the Dubai skyline - the flagship property The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai; The Palace, The Old Town Hotel (the EHG owned property once Sofitel managed but transferred six months ago to The Address) and The Address, Dubai Mall, scheduled to come on line in the first half of this year.

More properties will be coming to Dubai under The Address brand in the very near future according to EHG chief operating officer Christoph Mares.

"The defining character of Address Hotels + Resorts brand is the location on offer, the tangible guest benefits that are assured and the service standards that have been set," he says.

"We have specifically set out to try to create a  ‘one size fits all' hotel for discerning guests offering a total lifestyle experience."

The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai is 63 storeys high and features 196 spacious rooms and suites. Highlights of this property are Neos bar on the 63rd floor, boasting views of Sheikh Zayed Road and beyond, the signature Chinese restaurant Hukama and of course, the hotel's close proximity to the biggest mall in the world, not to mention the trade centre and financial district.

To book:Reservations for The Address downtown Burj Dubai can be made by calling the UAE toll free number and helpline 800 ADDRESS and +971 4 436 8888 or alternatively they canlog onto the website:


Banyan Tree Holdings' latest offering in Dubai under its Angsana Resorts and Spas brand is Angsana Suites Dubai - a twin tower property that opened in August 2008. Set to follow in the second quarter of 2009, is the five-star Angsana Hotel Tower.

Referred to collectively as Angsana Dubai, these properties bring the brand's renowned blend of Asian hospitality and contemporary chic to the bustling emirate.

The Hotel Tower offers 364 Deluxe, Premiere one-bedroom, one-bedroom and two- bedroom guestrooms spread over three separate floor categories; Deluxe, Angsana Club and Luxury floors. The hotel style is echoed in the rooms with light-coloured walls, earth-tone carpeting and wood finishing. Rooms are further enriched with full length windows that provide a birds-eye view of the busy city below.

The Suites Tower consists of 417 studios, premier one-bedroom, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites. Each fully furnished unit is equipped with the latest electronic technology and kitchen appliances, with a feel that aims to blend high-level comfort with the latest modern facilities.

"Our superb central business location within Dubai does not mean we will be neglecting our leisure guests," enthuses Angsana Dubai director of sales and marketing Stefan van der Kruyf. "Especially when you consider we have such amenities as the dedicated health club floor, the roof-top swimming pool and the signature Angsana Spa."

To book:+971 4 323 0000 or visit

Marine Habitat

Unusual salt and fresh water attractions and an amazing aquatic ecosystem never before seen in the Middle East can be seen at Atlantis, The Palm's Marine Habitat, home to more than 65,000 fish and sea creatures comprising more than 250 species.

Guests can travel through the maze of underground tunnels and passageways of The Lost Chambers, aimed at bringing them into close contact with the myth and the advanced inventions of the ancient Atlanteans.Touch tanks filled with starfish, pencil urchins and horse shoe crabs are found along the way.

Guests are encouraged to touch, feel and interact with sea life. Special exhibits are dedicated to different sea creatures, like the Moon Jellyfish.

The Shark Lagoon surrounding the Ziggurat in Aquaventure, the resort's water park, is home to a variety of sharks that Guests are able to come eye to eye with through four 5.5m X 2.7m viewing windows. Atlantis

Atlantis, The Palm is the flagship property of the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai's US $1.5 billion man-made island resort.

Officially launched in November 2008, the resort offers relaxation and activities for couples and families alike.

Features include the landmark pink hotel, unique marine habitats, water park, pristine white beaches, world-class cuisine, indulgent spa and cosmopolitan boutiques.

Atlantis, The Palm has 1373 spacious guest rooms and 166 suites.

"We didn't build something like this with the short term in mind," said parent company Kerzner International chairman and chief executive officer Sol Kerzner.

"I believe Dubai will come to be one of the top world destinations."

To book:+971 4 426 1000 or visit

Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall constructed by owner Emaar Properties. Aptly built at the foot of the world's tallest building, the Burj Dubai, the US $20 billion dollar project opened on November 4, 2008 and comprises 1200 shops covering an internal floor area of 5.9 million square feet.

"With The Dubai Mall, what matters is not the size but the qualitative difference that we will be offering to our visitors," says Emaar Malls Group CEO Jim Badour. "Our world-class attractions will redefine the shopping mall experience."

Dubai Mall boasts an outdoor dining promenade, a cinema and a massive arcade arena to sit alongside the aquarium, the Olympic-sized ice skating rink and the world's largest gold souk - home to 220 retailers.

Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre at The Dubai Mall features more than 33,000 aquatic animals including sharks and rays. The Discovery Centre is an educational window to marine life's myriad attractions with 36 individual aquatic displays.

Agent alert:Dubai Mall is currently in discussions to provide travel agents with the opportunity of up-selling aquarium tickets to their inbound clients for commission, so watch this space. Dream Explorer

Dream Explorer recently became the first leisure activity company in Dubai to offer adrenalin-packed jet boat adventure rides.

Tourists and corporate groups alike can choose from two types of jet boat rides. One is a 30-minute ‘Jet Blast', which runs daily on the hour and the other is a 40-minute ‘Sunset Spin', which is always the last trip of the day.

The advantage of the jet boat over all other boats is its extreme maneuverability - 270-degree spins, high-speed fishtails and other sharp maneuvers can be performed with complete safety and fun for the all age groups.

"The popularity of this offering is incredible, it really is increasing day by day," says Dream Explorer managing director Rohit Bhalla.

"We are the first and only company in the entire region to provide this service and this quality. We are receiving fantastic feedback from all of our clients and we're working closely with the travel trade to help promote us in the local market so we can push on with the product even further." Prices:

Jet Blast: AED 185 (US $50) for adults and AED 140 ($38) for kids. 'Sunset Spin': AED 225 ($61) for adults and AED 180 ($49) for kids. To book: + 971 4 3319880 or visit


The Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) officially launched the 2009 edition of its yearly tourism manual - Destination Dubai - at World Travel Market (WTM) in November. 

The manual is a comprehensive guide for all potential visitors to Dubai, which documents the emirate's progress in trade, travel and tourism and sports. Additionally, it has comprehensive listings of airlines, tour operators, shopping and other leisure options.

The complete listing of Dubai's rapidly expanding portfolio of hotels and hotel apartments, foreign embassies and consulates in the manual will help tourists and agents alike to navigate through the multiple leisure options that are available in Dubai.

Travel agents should contact the DTCM directly for a copy.

To book:+971 4 2230000 or visit

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