Not a lot of people realize that we write and design catalogues, eBooks and informative handbooks at The Drawing Board. This past month, we had the incredible experience of developing an employee handbook guide about doing business in Dubai for one of our favourite clients! The experience of researching, writing and designing the handbook was great and we learned so much about Dubai that now we are thinking of booking a trip there! This is just one of the many perks of writing for a living and getting to work with ultra-cool businesses. Below are some of the fun facts we learned about Dubai in the process of our writing…
1. The Emir of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed is worth more than $4 billion and has been a visionary in expanding and developing the city. He is responsible for its massive growth and has spent much money on entrepeneurial, arts and charity endeavours to raise the status and prestige of Dubai.
2.Dubai is part of a federation of 7 emirates called the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which are ruled by hereditary Islamic rulers.
- Stuffed camel is a popular dish in Dubai, particularly for special occasions. Al Harees is also popular and is a dish made of meat mixed with wheat paste and baked.
- The official religion of the UAE is Islam but they are also tolerant of religious diversity and host a large population of Hindus and Christians. Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and is part of the Abrahamic tradition which includes Christians and Jewish people. Muslims typically pray 5 times per day so don’t be surprised if you see people pulled over on the side of the road, prostrating on little prayer rugs. It is a normal part of everyday life and is as natural as anything there!
- Developing strong personal relationships with potential business partners is very important. It is customary to have longer conversations with business contacts and to ask about their family and personal life (within the boundaries of decency), health and wellbeing.The work week is from Sunday to Thursday. Try and schedule meetings during this time and do not plan meetings on Friday, which is the Muslim holy day and a day of prayer and rest.
6. Some of the top sites to visit in Dubai are the following:
Burj Khalifa: The tallest man-made structure in the world at 2,722 ft. high. Outside the building is The Dubai Fountain which cost $217 million, is illuminated by 6600 lights, runs 275m long and shoots water490 ft in the air.
Dubai Creek: The original saltwater creek that formed the main sector of the city’s economy. Has been artificially extended and there are plans for further extension into The Lagoons in the future. Worth a cross to see great views of the city and crossings.
Dubai Museum: The main musuem in Dubai and located in the 1787 Al-Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum aims to present the traditional way of life in the Emirate of Dubai. It also shows life before the advent of oil.
DUBAI MALL : The largest mall in the world and is part of the $20 billion Downtown Dubai complex. Home to 1200 shops, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, as well as the Ice Rink. Top of the line shopping experience.
PALM ISLANDS : Another amazing artificial archipelago in Dubai. Its aim is to extend the Dubai coastline into the Persian Gulf by 520km and is home to a number of hotels and resorts.
THE WORLD: An artificial archipelago constructed in the shape of the world map, located in the Persian Gulf, four kilometers off the coast of Dubai. They are supposed to be developed commercially with time.
SKI DUBAI : Inside the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of indoor skiing area. In case you think it is child’s play, it boasts a 400m long run and the world’s first indoor black diamond run.
JUMEIRAH MOSQUE : The most photographed house of worship in Dubai, this mosque is worth a visit for its beautiful architecture and a real cultural experience. Tours for non-muslims are available.
JUMEIRAH BEACH: This white sand beach is in the heart of Dubai and features numerous resorts, the Wali Wadi Waterpark and luxury hotels that are (literally) the best in the world.
BURJ AL ARAB HOTEL: This is the only SEVEN star hotel in the world and is one of the world’s tallest. Its central atrium alone is 590ft tall. One of its restaurants, Al Mahara (The Oyster) is accessed via a submarine voyage in a seawater aquarium. A tour is well worth the visit but staying there is highly unlikely. The Royal Suite goes for $18,000+ per night!
DUBAI DOLPHINARIUM: The world’s first fully airconditioned indoor dolphinarium has its home in Dubai. The dolphinarium has a number of shows to choose from and is incredibly popular with the public.
FALCONCITY: An unprecedented project, this is the creation of a mini-city in Dubai that houses life-size models of all the wonders of the world including the Pyramids of Giza, the hanging gardens of Babylon and much more. Under construction.
SAFA PARK:This beautiful park is in the center of the city and measures around 64 hectares. It contains 3 lakes, over 200 species of bird, and nearly 17,000 species of plants. There are waterfalls, touring boats and beautiful fountains.