Dubai in Vogue
Watch out this space for the latest in Dubai's socio-cultural matrix... everything in vogue - hip and happening events, incidents, issue, - you will find it all here.. everything that makes Dubai a living-reality.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dubai Aims to be World Center for Medical Tourism

Cosmopolitan atmosphere, long stretches of white sandy beaches, countless shopping malls, premier hotels and residential developments are only a few reasons why tourists flock to Dubai. This year, this flourishing emirate adds to that long list its world-class medical tourism packages.

With the new medical tourism offerings, coming to Dubai will be a breeze for those seeking health and wellness services. From the moment they enter the city to treatments and follow-ups, patients and their accompanying family will experience nothing but convenience and comfort during their entire stay.

These packages are products of close collaboration between concerned Dubai government agencies and various medical entities in Dubai. They are comprehensive and affordable with all the necessary inclusions that make coming to Dubai the best decision medical tourists will ever make.

The packages will initially cover orthopedic and sports medicine, ophthalmology, dentistry, dermatology, plastic surgery, and preventive health check-ups. It will also include visas, arrival services, hospital and hotel stays for the patients and family members accompanying them. For residents, it will offer discounted rates for medical services.

If that’s not enough, medical tourists can also partake of the wide range of fun attractions and destinations during their stay. They can hop on a relaxing yacht charter Dubai and try some deep sea fishing for some R&R. They can take city tours on-board double-decker buses. They can immerse themselves in the Emirati culture by joining heritage tours at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

With world-class health facilities and internationally accredited hospitals already in place, becoming a hub for world medical tourism is truly well within Dubai’s reach. However, they are not resting on their laurels. This initiative will see continuous efforts to build more first-rate health and wellness establishments and attract more expert medical professionals.

The city currently ranks among the top 20 destinations for medical tourism worldwide, and hopes to attract 500,000 medical tourists by 2020. In 2012, a total of 107,000 medical tourists came to Dubai bringing in revenues reaching Dhs 652.7 million.

For sure, Dubai is not leaving any stone unturned in its aggressive drive towards becoming a top tourist destination in the world. And so far, things have been looking very good.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Shopper’s Paradise – Dubai

Dubai is one such emirate well known for its shopping. People call this emirate as the shopper’s paradise. Shopping here is such a big deal that the emirate regularly offers unlimited choices to the shopper ranging from luxury cars to all kinds of spices, perfumes, gold and the all time favorites, Arabian souvenirs. This emirate is popularly recognized for its shopping and Dubai keep on organizing great shopping festivals time to time. Its reputation of being a shopper’s paradise is greatly enhanced because of these shopping festivals and it extends to other major aspects of the commercial life of the emirate. From the tourism and shopping point of view, Dubai attracts large number of tourists all round the year even from Indian subcontinent. The major reason behind this factor is that Dubai is an open port serving low import duties and the retail pricing of the commodities is fairly reasonable. You can easily get genuine products which are tax exempted. These are the basic factors that have led Dubai an ultimate destination for shopping.

As far as the shopping in Dubai is concerned, the best value commodities that are to be purchased from here includes gold and jewellery however, the daily items such as clothes and furniture are also affordable to a great extent. After hearing this, you might wonder that why the cost of living in Dubai is expensive then? This is because of the cost of entertainment and the rental rates. The tax free lifestyle followed in Dubai plays a vital role in each and every aspect associated with this emirate. Dubai is a collection of variety of shopping malls and some of the world’s biggest shopping malls are in Dubai. Moreover, the retail trade in Dubai all encompasses traditional souks where bargaining can be done at its best. The modernly designed shopping plazas hold these shopping festivals and this is the time when the entire emirate is busy shopping.

The very famous souk out of all is the Gold Souk in Dubai. In addition to these souks or traditional markets, there are modernly designed department stores and boutiques being constructed. Each mall in this emirate reveals an entirely different theme and you will be fascinated by the overwhelming architecture of the mall consisting of all the top brands, designer boutiques and varied variety of products ranging from cars, clothes to hi tech modern gadgets and other high end electronic stuff. As far as these shopping malls of Dubai are concerned, they offer endless choice of eating joints as well so that you can explore the true sense of shopping in Dubai.
Dubai Souks:These souks are the traditional markets restoring their historic structures. These souks although very traditional are still alive with the buzz of trade and their vibrant historic past. Shopping done at souk will get you an altogether different feel other than the shopping mall especially while shopping at night. The souk is a kind of maze of alleyways lighted up with neon lights in order to guide you through. Those looking for something really traditional and ethnic should definitely come to these souks to get a different feel. Here you will get enormous variety of goods. The most well known souks in Dubai are the Gold Souk. Times have now changed as this emirate has changed the meaning of purchasing gold. Gold Souk in Dubai offers you variety of gold products. There are about 300 retailers trading exclusively in jewellery. The souk has well established branded stores like Damas and many more. At any given time in this souk, approximately 10 tons of gold is present there. Other than this there are various other souks such as spice souks, art and craft souks, carpet souks, perfume souks and many more. These souks offer an experience which is not to be missed out.

Shopping Malls in Dubai:

Dubai has now turned into a modern emirate and a proud place where some of the world’s best and biggest shopping malls are placed. These modern shopping plazas are widely located throughout the emirate. These malls include the best of shopping brands, easting outlets and the best of office place as well. Some of the best shopping malls in Dubai are:

Deira Malls: The Deira district include the Intercontinental Plaza, Deira City Centre, Al Mulla Plaza, Al Warba Centre, Al Futtaim Centre, Abu hail Shopping Centre and many more. In Deira tower shopping mall the craftsmen have established a carpet souk where traders have come from all over the Gulf including Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan to sell this commodity.

Ibn Battuta: This shopping mall is the second largest mall in Dubai and is one shopping Centre which should not be missed by any local or foreign visitor. This mall boasts of its five unique themed shopping zones and the designing of this mall has made it an interesting place to visit. Some exclusive outlets and international chains are placed in this mall which makes a refreshing change for the shoppers in Dubai. Some of the shopping malls sell traditional Arabic gift items such as coffee pots, brass and silver swords, prayer beads and many other exclusive products.

Dubai Malls: Some of the well known Dubai malls are: Al Rais Shopping mall, Al Hana Centre, karama Centre, Al Khaleej Centre. Out of these Al Khaleej and The Holiday Centre are the two largest malls.
Normal shopping hours in Dubai starts from 9 am in the morning and extends till 1 pm and then later it starts at 4 and goes till 9 pm or later. The shopping malls might have some different timing, whereas there are shopping malls that are operational 24 hours. On Fridays the shops close down for prayers for a specified time. Another part which is fun in Dubai shopping is the art of bargaining. Dubai Duty Free has a great shopping potential and it has won many international awards and is recognized as the best in the industry for delivering and guaranteeing high quality products.

A Rapid Increase in Investment in Education Sector in UAE

A considerable investment in education is necessitated with the rapid increase in population. Comprehensive education is being provided to male as well as female students starting from kindergarten to university level education. An extensive private education sector also prevails; moreover, the students pursue higher  education abroad at the expense of the government. UAE believes in providing world class education system, however a huge investment is required and they are being doing for that matter. Earlier, they were busy developing a good educational infrastructure and now since it is ready, the focus is now changed to ensuring that the youth of the country must be ready to meet all challenges at the workplace.

While the government has heavily invested on the amenities as far as education is concerned, Madar Research has noted that now they have to encourage students in order to avail these amenities and facilities.  Dr Abdullah Al Karam, chairman of the board of directors of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is focusing on reforming the education sector in Dubai. If we look at the breakdown of the education system in the UAE, the existing educational structure was established in early 1970’s which covers 14 years of education system.

The breakdown of the system is as follows:

•    It starts from Kindergarten
•    Primary
•    Preparatory Education
•    Secondary
•    Technical Secondary school
•    Higher Education

For the higher education the UAE has established a diversified system in a very short span of time. Government institutions can be attended by the Nationals free of charge. The Al Ain-based United Arab Emirates continues to remain a leading teaching and research institution in the country.
Other than this various higher educational systems and universities are coming up and the government is investing quiet a lot in the education industry, for the betterment of the residents and of course for the country.

A Positive Approach Towards Real Estate in Dubai

With time the popularity of Dubai as a hotspot tourist destination has risen, attracting thousands of visitors every year for work as well as for leisure. Earlier, the emirate was greatly involved in the oil sector, however, from the past few years; the entire emphasis is laid onto the tourist industry in the emirate and with this the property sector in Dubai has experienced a boom. Some people in the similar or other industries have compared Dubai with a bubble, which grew up, could not sustain for long and simply busted, but this thought is completely wrong.

The real estate in Dubai is not the only problem which the economy is facing today; however, there are several other factors which are associated with it including regularization laws for the stake holders. Moreover, there are people those who have a different perspective in all this property and economy related matter. The emirate’s economy was compared with some of the great economies in the world; however the economy fell due to several reasons. One of which is the incompetency of the market control due to improper laws and regulations.

The property prices in Dubai are facing challenging times, but still follow an optimistic approach as soon everything will be right. The emirate is one of the largest re-exporting economies of the world; it is an exporting hub to the world to west and east. As far as real estate is concerned, the emirate is one of the largest financial districts in the world. Most of the famous multi national companies have their offices in Dubai in the Internet city.

Moreover, where several other countries are levying heavy taxes on the citizens, Dubai is managing to maintain its tax free status through these years of hardship. With all that growth and positivity, no one can say that Dubai’s economy is shaken.

Waterfall in the Dubai Mall

The latest leisure and shopping destination in in Dubai, The Dubai Mall, has come up with a brand new spectacular feature, The Waterfall, and it offers a The Dubai Mall, the city’s newest shopping and leisure destination, has opened The Waterfall, a spectacular water feature that offers a quality point of meeting for visitors who access the mall. Located next to The Grove, a vital component of The Dubai Mall, The Waterfall opens to scenic views of Burj Dubai, The Address, Downtown Burj Dubai and the Dubai Fountain on the 30 acre Burj Dubai Lake.

The length of The Waterfall encompasses the complete height of the mall traversing all levels of the mall and is also embellished with beautified human sculptures of divers made of fiberglass to present a lively visual spectrum that harmonizes the rhythmic water flow. Two cylindrical structures are comprised by The Waterfall which measure 30 metres in diameter and 24 metres in length, with a reservoir overhead, feeding the recycled water. With fabulous light effects during the night and sunlight reflecting during the day, the cascading feature of falling water offers a unique esteemed feature for retailers.

According to the General Manager, of The Dubai Mall, Mr. Yousif Al Ali, “As the flagship mall development of Emaar Malls Group, The Dubai Mall has evolved as a sought-after shopping and leisure destination. The Waterfall in the mall is a perfect complement to the Dubai Fountain, which is currently being developed on the adjacent Burj Dubai Lake. These highlight the historic preference of the region for aesthetic water features, and add to the appeal of the mall as a family destination.”

Mr Al Ali explained also explained: “The Waterfall has been specifically designed to give visitors significant extras that enhance the lifestyle experience. Along with Dubai Aquarium & Discovery Centre – one of the most popular leisure attractions in the mall – The Waterfall is poised to become a meeting point for families.” A choice of retail kiosks and coffee shops overlook The Waterfall, providing visitors a comforting and a relaxing milieu to meet. A number of palm trees are also planted and set up to replicate the desert oasis ambience, and various in-mall activities will take place around The Waterfall to hold visitors’ interest. Two fountains are already featured by The Dubai Mall at the area of the food court, and sustained the attention of visitors for quite a long time. The Waterfall will further enhance the attractions based on water themes that are specifically appealing for the visitors

Designed and constructed by architects based in Singapore, The Waterfall will be an entryway which will feature several restaurants at the waterfronts that are being planned along the Burj Dubai Lake, which will in turn feature the Dubai Fountain, a world class light and water spectacle, and larger that even The Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas in area. Opened in November, 2008, The Dubai Mall received a great visitor turnout, with Dubai Ice Rink and Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre being the favorites. Rambling over 12 million sq ft, with 5.9 million of an internal floor area and a gross leasable area of 3.77 million sq ft, The Dubai Mall will also shortly open the Fashion Avenue, a committed haute couture zone with as many as 70 signature stores.

Business Bay - A Global Business Center

Dubai has now started turning into a global business center and people have started investing in there as well. As we know that property market in Dubai is constantly rising and thus, many corporate multinational organizations have started setting up their businesses and organizations in Dubai. Just like the residential property in Dubai, the commercial property is also rising and they are planning to fulfill the requirements and demands of every person staying there. Many well known commercial properties are under construction in Dubai. Business Bay in Dubai is one such business district which is under construction and will soon turn into a global business hub. Business bay is a central business district. It is a kind of a new city which is being developed within the city of Dubai. This business district is located in Dubai’s downtown. It is not only a commercial but a residential district as well and is comparable to Ginza which is in Tokyo and Manhattan in New York. Business bay scores 100 percent on location as it is very closely located to the International Financial center in Dubai and is even close to Dubai International Airport.

This project covers the large area of around 64 million square feet and it includes both office and residential units. Moreover, this is an ideal business place for people staying in Burj Dubai, Deira and other adjacent areas. It marks a convenient place even for those who are planning to shift their businesses near to it or in business bay itself. This business hub provides the best of business as well as residential facilities along with stunning views and sheer size and capacity for corporate head offices. This mixed-use development will soon be completely functional and operational and it is expected to get completed by the year 2010. Due to this extensive range of corporate facilities many regional and multinational firms will be well established here. Business bay is a very big project that consists of numerous skyscraper buildings. It has 230 more buildings which attracts many commercial and residential developments.

As far as property developers are concerned, various towers and buildings in Business Bay are being constructed by some of the top most property developers in Dubai. The complete project is created by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and is still under construction. This project once fully constructed will be very beneficial to the people in Dubai and those coming from overseas for business reasons. Although, there are many commercial properties there in nearby locations such as Dubai Financial center, Dubai media city however, they all have some limitations in it as they are just open for very few specific business activities. On the contrary business bay is likely to be the hub for every industry which is operational.

If we talk about the current pricing of the business bay, it is said that the prices of this central business district will cross Dh. 5000 per square foot. This report has been predicted by an industry expert. Moreover, this is a free trade zone that provides a better infrastructure and a better environment for corporate to function. Some of the towers and buildings inside Business bay are being developed by Dubai properties. Apart from this the majority of buildings are being constructed by a number of independent and local developers. The most well known and importantly constructed buildings at the bay are:

•    Burj Al Najoom
•    Chrchill Tower
•    Executive Tower D, E, J and M
•    Bayswater
•    One Business Bay
•    Lotus
•    XL Tower

As far as the towers in business bay are concerned, there are a total of 46 towers including: The Bay Gate, The Forum, XL Tower, Al Manara, Crystal Tower, Burj Al Alam, The Prism, Iris Bay, Sky Tower 1, The Exchange, One Business bay and there are many more. The design and other hi tech modern amenities will take these towers a long way in terms of popularity.

It is just a new extension of the famous Dubai creek that extends from Ras Al Khor to Sheikh Zayed road. Let’s talk about few important constructions in detail:

Churchill Tower: This is a complex consisting of two towers and is located within the business bay. Out of the two towers, a tower named Churchill residency is the taller and as the name suggests it is a residential tower consisting of 59 floors. Other tower named Churchill executive is an office tower. This tower has 43 floors in it. The construction of these towers got started in 2006 and is expected to be completed in 2010. Moreover, the Churchill tower is being developed by Emirates national Investment.

Executive Towers: There are 12 towers under Executive towers which are currently getting constructed in Business bay. Out of these 12 towers, 10 towers are residential ones, 1 is a hotel tower and the remaining 1 is a commercial tower. The commercial tower is known as the Aspect tower and the Executive hotel tower is the hotel one. These two are the first buildings which got completed and are just located near the entrance of business bay. All these towers are connected with each other with the help of a three-storey podium and it also connects the closely located Vision Tower. This is a three level podium and on the first two levels they have a Bay Avenue shopping mall and water front terraces.

So, here is the description of few very famous towers in Business Bay however; most of them are under construction at this point in time. Similarly, there is another well known tower known as the XL Tower which is expected to get completed in the year 2008. Thus business bay will set up new and unique standards for the next business generation not only for Dubai but for even for the rest of the world.

Monday, December 8, 2014

24 Splash Stores in the UAE

Splash is an exclusive chain of fashion stores widely spread across the Middle East and Indian subcontinent. This line of high street fashion deals in various in-house brands including: Zync, Nexus, Retro, Scarlet and Ms. Apart from this a range of other international brands are associated with it such as Bossini and Lee Cooper. Expanding further into the UAE network this brand Splash has added three new stores with yin-yang bar-code concept. With opening of these stores, Splash now boasts of 24 stores across the UAE. The three stores are distributed with a retail space of 5000 sq. feet in the famous IBN Batutta Mall, 18000 sq. feet in RAK and retail area of 110000 sq. feet in Al Ghurair City.

Splash’s Launching Ceremonies:

As far as the clientele is concerned, they cater to a niche clientele. Moreover, the store at the IBN Batutta Mall was inaugurated on 3rd September and was done by the Chairman of Landmark Group Mr. Micky Jagtiani. This store is expected to attract a more trend focused and a younger crowd. On 10th September, the store at Al Ghurair City was inaugurated jointly by Mr. Micky Jagtiani and Mr. Suliman Abdullah Al Ghurair, thereby, attracting a huge crowd for this much awaited launch. Last by not the least the RAK store was launched on 17th September.

At one of the launch ceremonies, the CEO of Splash Mr. Raza Beig said: “We always strive to achieve as much proximity to our clientele as possible. Splash not only aims at reaching out to larger audiences but also wants to deliver its customers a wider choice. Our collection has always attracted the locals and expatriates alike. This unique store-in-store format at IBN Batutta Mall is a testimony of our strife to continuously breathe innovation and novelty.”

So, now as far as branded shopping is concerned, there are three more new places in town.