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Lebanon - In East Mediterranean
Lebanon was as much a cultural melting pot in past centuries as it is today. The country benefits from a rich history, to which a number of archaeological treasures still stand in testament. Many civilizations have thrived in Lebanon throughout the ages and within its modest borders are numerous historic and cultural attractions.
About Lebanon
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Lebanon was as much a cultural melting pot in past centuries as it is today. The country benefits from a rich history, to which a number of archaeological treasures still stand in testament. Many civilizations have thrived in Lebanon throughout the ages and within its modest borders are numerous historic and cultural attractions

General Information:

PopulationPopulation: Approximately 4 million

official LanguageOfficial language: Arabic

Other Spoken LanguageOther spoken languages: English & French

ReligiousReligion: Muslim, Christian, Druz,

AreaArea: 10452 Square Kilometers

CliamteClimate: Mediterranean Climate, moderate rainy winter and long warm dry summers.

CapitalCapital: Beirut

GovermentGovernment type: Democratic Republic

National DayNational day: 22 November

Local TimeLocal time: GMT + 2 hours in winter and GMT + 3 Hours in summer

Day offDay off: Sunday

Official HolidayOfficial Holidays: 01 January, 09 February, Good Friday (Oriental & Occidental), Easter (Oriental & Occidental), 01 May, 15 August, 22 November, 25 December, 31 December, Al Fitr (Muslim Holidays date not fixed), Adha (Muslim holiday date not fixed)

Practical Information:

Money Money The official currency is the Lebanese Pound. However along with the Lebanese Pound, the US dollar is widely used • Payment cards: Many shops, hotels, restaurants, bars etc,… accept international payment cards such as Visa, Master or American Express • Automatic bank tellers: Withdrawal can be made from any automatic bank teller found in any region of the country • Traveler's checks: they can be exchanged mainly in banks.

Health Health Lebanese medical care is well known for its quality. Hospitals, clinics and well supplied pharmacies can be found in all towns • No particular vaccine is required to visit the country.

Security Security Security is a constant worry for those visiting Lebanon for the first time. In Beirut, as in other towns and villages, streets are particularly safe day and night.

BargainingBargaining. If it exists, the practice of bargaining cannot be regulated and is limited to specific situations. It is common to bargain the fare with taxi drivers, with street sellers or for a wholesale purchase. However, bargaining for some products such as food is considered to be ill mannered.

Food Food. The extravagant Lebanese food represents the high point of the country’s hospitality. It is said that a true mezze table should present at least twice as many delicacies as can possibly be consumed by the guests at hand. Whatever the mezze’s rationale, it is love at first sight for almost everyone who samples it.The mezze can have 30 to 40 small dishes of appetizers, eaten with Arabic Bread ( khobz arabi) or with a salad leaf

Alcohol Alcohol. Alcohol is permitted in Lebanon and its served in hotel restaurants and bars. 

Tipping Tipping You usually tip porters, waiters, hotel staff, guides, doormen, etc. The average rate in restaurants in 10-15%, whereas with other service providers anywhere between 2,000LBP and 10,000LBP are acceptable (depending on service and quality provided).

WeatherWeather. Lebanon gets 300 days of sunshine a year. Coastal temperatures rarely fall bellow 15°C during the rainy winter, and may reach 31°C on average during the humid summer. This applies also to the region of the Beqaa valley. On higher altitudes, the air becomes drier and fresher. Major snowfalls allow skiing during the months of December until April. The intermediate seasons, spring and fall, vary between one and two months, and the average temperature is usually 21°C.

LanguagesLanguages. Arabic is the Lebanese national language. However, it is also common to speak French and/ or English. The spoken language is a dialect called Lebanese Arabic, often combined with English and French. This dialect differs from the formal Arabic called “fos'ha” by being much less formal.

WaterWater. Most Lebanese homes have two water taps; one for domestic use and another one for potable water. It is not recommended to drink tap water, unless you are certain of its cleanliness.

ClothingClothing. Generally there are no particular cultural rules for this matter in Lebanon. However, wearing short clothing, such as short pants, is to be avoided in certain places such as the souk of Tripoli or Sidon… To visit religious places, modest clothing is required. Women need headscarves when visiting mosques, usually provided there.

PhotographyPhotography. All photography and video equipment are available in Lebanon, and at better prices than in Europe and North America. Concerning development and printing, photo shops are abundant

TelephoneTelephone. The first two digits of Lebanese telephone numbers are the area code • Telephone booths are accessible for local and international calls • International code for calling Lebanon is 961 •  Payphone cards are available in post offices, kiosks and smoke shops at 15 000 LBP and 30 000 LBP • Mobile phones are very popular in Lebanon; however most businesses and homes have land lines • In case of an emergency useful numbers are: Internal Security Forces: 112; Red Cross: 140; Civil Defense: 125.

TelecommunicationTelecommunications. Internet connections are very common in Lebanon. Cyber-cafes are widespread in cities as well as most villages. Many hotels also provide internet connections.

ElectricityElectricity. The current is 220 Volts. It is not unusual to face electrical shutdowns that may damage sensible electrical machines. It is recommended to shut down any machine when not using it.

TrasportationTransportation. Public transportation is available. Bus stops are easily recognized. Collective taxis are also available. They are called "Service". They are not expensive, price starting at 1000 LBP. Private taxis also exist. Price starts at 5000 LBP for a short trip. Kurban Tours strongly recommend "Allo Taxi" (phone number 01/366661 or 1213 from any land or mobile phone). Another mean of transportation is car rental. It is necessary to have an international driving license in case you don’t have a Lebanese one. Kurban Tours recommends "Avis Rent a Car" (phone number: 01/366662). Be sure at all times to drive on the right side of the road.

Business DayBusiness days. In general, shops are opened from 09:00 to 19:00 or 20:00, from Monday to Saturday. However, most shops in downtown Beirut open from 10:00 till midnight, seven days a week. Banks are opened from 08:30 till 14:00 from Monday to Saturday.
 

Lebanon sites and visits
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Anjar

Anjar

is an update on history. This Umayyad-period town was excavated only 40 years ago. Thanks to extensive reconstruction, the visitor gets a clear idea of what the town looked like when the Damascus-based Umayyad caliphs ruled the area



Baalbeck

Baalbeck

Lebanon's greatest Roman treasure counted among the wonders of the ancient world. The largest and most noble Roman temples ever built, and well best preserved.
Towering high above the Bekaa plain, their monumental proportions proclaimed the power and wealth of Imperial Rome. The Greeks identified the god of Baalbeck with the sun god and the city was called Heliopolis or City of the Sun. The temple was never built; some huge construction from the Hellenistic project can still be seen. The temple complex of Baalbeck is made up of the Jupiter Temple and the Bacchus Temple adjacent to it. A short distance away is the circular structure known as the Temple of Venus.



Beiteddine

Beiteddine

A beautiful drive into the mountain south east of Beirut brings you to Lebanon’s very own Alhambra, an 18th –19th Century palace of richly decorated ceilings, colorful marble mosaics, luxurious Turkish baths and Harem suites in a setting of beautifully groomed gardens. A folkloric museum occupies one wing. In the palace’s renovated stables are an exquisite display of mosaics from a ruined Byzantine church and other structures of the same period.



Byblos

Byblos

is the most ancient port in the world, and the perfect introduction to the many layers of civilization that has existed in Lebanon from at least the fourth millennium BC. Walk round the ruins from the Phoenician period from where King Ahiram’s sarcophagus was found, its inscription using the first ever alphabet. Also see the curious temple of the Obelisks dating from 1800 BC and the remains of a palace from the Persian occupation, the Roman Theatre and Nympheum, the well- preserved Crusader castle of 1108; the Crusaders’ Church of St. John and the surrounding streets and souks.



Deir El Kamar

Deir El Kamar

5 km before Beiteddine, is a village of white houses and red-tiled roofs. It was the residence of the governors of Lebanon in the 16th-18th centuries.
Town's historical treasures including the Fakhreddine mosque 16th century, palaces and administrative building of Lebanon's governors.


Jeita

Jeita

is Lebanon’s natural miracle, a striking nine kilometers labyrinth of galleries on two levels. The lower, river level offers a unique tour by flat-bottom boat past “weeping willows” and gigantic stone flowers. Equally striking is the upper grotto where monstrous mineral animals crouch in shady corners.


Harissa

Harissa

The magnificent statue of our Lady of Lebanon in Harissa with its cathedral of a Phoenician boat shape, where we can take the cable cars down to Jounieh enjoying its unique and spectacular bay view


The Cedars

The Cedars

Since the first days of recorded time, Lebanon is known as the land of Cedars, and today it is still the emblem decorating the Lebanese flag.
The tourist, who visits the ruins of Byblos, Tyr, Baalbeck, or Anjar, will not fail to visit the grove of Cedars to admire the specimens there, majestic and millennial.
For centuries, the Phoenicians celebrated as ship builders in cedar wood, sailed the Mediterranean exporting not only their famous purple powder extracted from murex shells but also the precious cedar wood. These forests were so exploited that only a small forest remains with a centerpiece grove of 400 cedars, some of which are more than 1500 years old.


Sidon

Sidon

is the largest city in south Lebanon, a busy commercial center with pleasant, conservative atmosphere of a small town. Since Persian times, this was known as the city of gardens and even today, it is surrounded by citrus and banana plantations. Visit of the Sea castle, a fortress built by the Crusaders in the early 13th century on a small island connected to the mainland by a causeway. You will visit as well the caravanserail.
Tripoli

Tripoli

Tripoli is the North’s major city and tourist site. There is no lack of ancient ruins in the area, in Tripoli the sites of historical interest date from the Crusader and Islamic periods. Of most interest are the Great Mosque, formerly the Crusader cathedral of St. Mary, the Teylan mosque built in 1336, and in the port area (Al-Mina) the tower of Lions a beautiful example of Mamluk military architecture. Dominating the city the Crusader Castle of St. Gilles.


Tyre

Tyre

Phoenician Tyre was queen of the seas, an island city of unprecedented splendor. She grew wealthy from her far-reaching colonies and her industries of purple-dyed textiles. But she also attracted the attention of jealous conquerors, among them the Babylonian king Nabuchadnezzar and Alexander the Great. Visit of the triumphal arch, the public baths, and the hippodrome.


Snowshoeing


Snowshoeing

(if you can hike you can snowshoe) Discover the majestically landscape of our country. Our nature gives you the opportunity of snowshoeing between Rocky Mountains, rivers and near iced waterfalls.
Hint: don't hesitate to go down hill so you want miss the fun part of this sport


Caving


Caving

(instrumental music, candles, snack …) Turn your day into an enchanted candlelit evening Experience the underground (Roueiss cave: the second longest cave in Lebanon) and discovering unique rock formations of stalactites and stalagmites.


Cross country skiing

Cross country skiing

Learn the basic techniques of cross country skiing and explore the majestically landscape of our white mountains on a Altitude of 1850 m ( Cedars, Faraya, Aaqoura, Laqlouq etc). 3 Hours of wonderful landscape and possibility of seeing wild animals


Wadi Jouit

Wadi Jouit

Hiking, rappelling, tyrolienne and BBQ Discover a unique forest in the Middle East located in the North of Lebanon, below Ehden (100 m waterfall, wild river, old typical Lebanese houses and water mills) on a altitude of 1400 m enjoy 3 Hours of Hiking and 90 Min of rappelling and Tyrolienne.


Kadisha Cultural Excursion

Kadisha Cultural Excursion

Classified as world heritage site by UNESCO, the holy Valley of Kadisha is home to ancient religious rock-cut sites. Historical and cultural site, wild valley with high cliffs, access to rock cut monasteries, and meeting with local habitants.

Lebanon Hotels
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Kurban Tours has selected some of the best hotels in LEBANON. Many others are available and we love to do business with them. However, this small selection will give you the appetite on the quality available in Lebanon.             Intercontinental Phoenicia             Albergo Relais et Chateaux
            Le Gray Beirut Lebanon
            The Four Seasons Beirut
            Intercontinental Le Vendome
Oman - At the Arabian Peninsula
Located on the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula, the Sultanate of Oman is bordered by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the West, and the Republic of Yemen to the South. The United Arab Emirates lies on the North West, and to the East lies the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. 
About Muscat & Oman
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 The city referred to as "Muscat" is in fact three smaller towns which have grown together over time. They are:
  • Muscat - often referred to as the "walled city", Muscat proper is the site of the royal palaces.
  • Matrah (Matruh) - originally a fishing village, and home to the maze-like Matrah Souq.
  • Ruwi - generally considered the commercial and diplomatic centre of the city.
This tripartite division will sometimes cause the visitor an inconvenience, as distances between sites (and accommodation) can be very long. As an alternative to the main CBD area that is considered as these three areas there is plently of places to go and things to see along the main highway that heads North East out of these areas. This main road, The Sultan Qaboos Highway, goes past many areas on its way out to the Airport and further still to Seeb, Sohar and eventually the northern most tip of Oman. Heading along this road you pass the districts of Qurum, Madinat Al Sultan Qaboos, Al Khuwair, Bausher, Al-Hail and Seeb. Each one has a range of sights to see and places to stay. There is also a very long beach road from Qurum to Seeb, some 50km. Situated along this are some of the large international hotel chains but more importantly you discover the true beauty of the Oman coast-line. Km's of beaches, fisherman with drag nets and open space to walk for hours.

Muscat, the capital of the Sultanate of Oman, is located on the Gulf of Oman at the south part of Al Batinah coast.
It is confined between Gulf of Oman and the mountains of AI Hajr Al Sharyi.
With the great advantage of a deepwater harbour in the western part of the city, Muscat is the heart of the country’s foreign trade.
The capital has nine villages attached to it, these being Sidab, Haramel, Al Bustan, Al Jussa, Qantab, Yankat, Yiti, Al Khayran Al Sifa and Sifat Al Sheikh.
Muscat is certainly one of the oldest cities in the whole Middle East, being known since the second century A.D.
The first foreign presence in Muscat was in the form of the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, who passed through Oman on his way to India. The Portuguese returned in 1507 and made of Muscat a trading post and naval base until 1650 when the Imam Sultan bin Saif defeated the and drove the Portuguese away east to Goa, India. Muscat became the capital of an independent Oman in 1741,when the present dynasty assumed power.
The capital’s growth has been greatly accelerated in the 20th century, following the discovery of rich oil reserves in Arabia.


General Information:

  • Population: 2.7 million
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Other spoken languages: English, Baluchi, Urdu, Indian dialects
  • Religion: Ibadhi Muslim 75%, Sunni Muslim, Shi'a Muslim, Hindu
  • Area: 309,500 sqkm
  • Coastline: 2092 km
  • Climate: dry desert; hot, humid along coast; hot, dry interior; strong southwest summer monsoon (May to September) in far south
  • Capital: Muscat
  • Government type: Monarchy
  • National day: 18 November (Birthday of Sultan Qaboos)
  • Local time: GMT + 4 hours
  • Day off: Friday
  • Official Holidays: National Day is on 18th November every year although National Day holidays are usually taken the week after. Dates vary for the rest of the official holidays as they follow the lunar year. Eid Al-Fitr (1st Shawal), Eid Al-Adha (10th Dhul-Hijja), Islamic New Year around 1st Muharram. The Prophet Mohammed's birthday (12th Rabi Al Awal), Ascension Day (27th Rajab). Local newspapers announce the actual dates of holidays as they occur

Practical Information:

  • Money. Oman's unit of currency is the Omani Rial, divided into 1000 Baizas. Notes come in denominations of Rials 50, 20, 10, 5, 1, 1/2 and 1/4, 200 and 100 Baiza notes are also available. One Rial is equivalent to approximately US$ 2.6 • Payment cards: All major credit cards are accepted in Oman, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club etc. Most retail outlets, hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards as form of payment. In the traditional souqs, cash is the most preferred means for transaction • Automatic bank tellers: Withdrawal can be made from any automatic bank teller found in any region of the country • Traveler's checks: they can be exchanged mainly at the airport, in banks and exchange shops.
  • Health. Hospitals, pharmacies and health clinics are available throughout Oman. Modern hospitals with state-of-the-art equipment can handle any kind of emergency. Most hotels have medical help available. Doctors are just a phone call away.
  • Security. Sultanate of Oman is a quite secure & safe country for the tourists.
  • Bargaining. Bargaining is expected in the souk and it’s not quite usual elsewhere.
  • Food. All the hotels and restaurants serve international cuisine, from continental and haute cuisine dining to fast-food items. There are Arabic restaurants offering a great variety of dishes.
  • Alcohol. Alcohol is served only in hotels and licensed restaurants and clubs. Drinking alcohol in public is strictly prohibited. It is also illegal to carry alcohol in the car. Drinking and driving is heavily penalised.
  • Tipping. In hotels and restaurants a service charge is included in the bill. However, it is customary to tip for attentive service.
  • Weather. Summer is between April to September and the weather is hot and humid. Winter begins around October and continues till April and the weather is cool and pleasant. Also there is The Khareef season (Monsoon) in Dhofar Governorate which is characterized by its lovely climate and periodic rain. This season usually starts in July and ends in September.
  • Languages. Arabic is the official language, but English is widely spoken. German and French are spoken by hotel staff in addition to Balushi, Urdu and Indian dialects.
  • Water. Although tap water is clean, it is advisable to drink bottled water.
  • Clothing. For most of the year light, loose-fitting clothes, preferably cotton, are best suited for the Omani climate. At night, light woolens should be comfortable. In the short winter season (December to February), some warm clothing is advisable. To respect Omani traditions, women are requested to wear tops covering the shoulders and non-revealing apparel in public. Beachwear is acceptable only at the beach, as well as in hotel and club premises.
  • Photography. Oman is a photographer’s delight. Photographers will find an enormous choice of subjects in the Sultanate. However, photographing at the border or at military installations and embassies is not permitted. It is considered non-customary to photograph Muslim women. Please ask for permission before taking photographs of people and their property. Always observe 'No Photography' signs.
  • Telephone. Telephone cards are readily available from shops and supermarkets. International telephone calls are cheaper during late evening till early morning (check for local time of country) and the whole day on Fridays and Public Holidays. All local telephone booths can be used for international dialing. No collect calls are possible in Oman. Oman has an extensive GSM network. Visitors can avoid roaming charges by purchasing a prepaid HAYYAK SIM card at Muscat airport or at Omantel counters.
  • Post. It is essential to use postal codes for all mail. Stamps are available at all post offices and other designated outlets.
  • Internet. Internet service is available in Cyber Cafes and major hotels.
  • Electricity. The electrical system is based on 220 volts - 240 volts, 50 Hz with 3-pin British type plugs. US-made electrical appliances may require an adaptor.
  • Transportation. Buses travel throughout the country. The main bus station is in Ruwi, off Al Jama'a Street, where a timetable is posted. Taxis are plentiful; orange and white saloon cars or mini-buses with an orange light on the front. Taxi fares are reasonable and are a fixed rate. The mini-buses are shared taxis and the rate is extremely cheap. Ask for the fare before boarding. Some of them might not be air-conditioned. Driving - Highways within Muscat and linking major towns make driving a pleasure in Oman. Vehicles are driven on the right side of the road, so left hand drives are used. The maximum speed limit on open road is 120 km per hour. Seat belts are compulsory. Residents require a valid Omani license but visitors can use an International license. Residents of Britain may use their British license. Always carry your documentation with you as all accidents have to be reported to the police.
  • Business days. All Government offices are closed on Thursday & Friday from 7.30 am to 2.30 pm. The private sector companies work from Saturday through Thursday from 8.00 am till 1.00 pm and from 4.00 pm till 7.00 pm. Some work half day on Thursdays but Friday is a public holiday in Oman. As for the banks, they open from Saturday through Wednesday from 8.00 am to 12 pm and Thursday from 8.00 am to 11.30 am

Good to know:

Customs duty is not levied on personal effects brought into Oman. However, it is forbidden to import drugs, arms, narcotics and pornographic material. Such materials are summarily confiscated. Non-Muslim nationals are permitted to bring two liters of alcohol per adult person into the country when traveling by air. The import of alcohol via overland routes is not permitted.
Social Courtesy: The people of Oman are extremely hospitable and offer a very warm welcome to guests. It is considered good manners to exchange greetings and these courtesies should be observed wherever possible.
Etiquette: Littering is prohibited. Particularly when hiking and camping, be sure that you do not leave any trash. Polluting a falaj (water source) is not permitted at all. Make sure when traveling to interior villages, you are courteous to all locals. Don't enter a home without being invited.
During the holy month of Ramadan fixed hours of prayer are observed and all Muslims fast during daylight hours. As a sign of respect, visitors are requested to avoid eating, drinking and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset. Coffee shops in hotels remain open, but bars do not serve alcohol. However, alcohol can be ordered through room service. 
Oman's sites
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 DMC Arabia has selected the most popular sites and activities in OMAN:
Oman, officially called the Sultanate of Oman, is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the southeast and the Gulf of Oman on the northeast. The Madha and Musandam enclaves are surrounded by the UAE on their land borders, with the Strait of Hormuz and Gulf of Oman forming Musandam's coastal boundaries.
Some of the interesting places you must visit Muttrah Souq, Dolphin bay, Barkha, Nakhl, Rustak, Batinah, Sohar, Nizwa & its Forts, Bahla, Jabreen, Wahiba Sands, Sur, Salalah


MUSCAT   

MUSCAT

At the present time – it is natural to honor Muscat the capital of Oman. However it is important to know, that the city achieved this honor only about 200 years ago. Responsible for this new era was the 3 Imam of the present A l-Bu-Said Dynasty – “Sayyid Ahmad bin Saeed”. In the long history of Oman the country was mainly ruled out of the so called “Interior” – nevertheless, Muscat could establish in the meantime it’s name as an important Trading Harbor. The Portuguese Occupation of Oman – aimed to control the Sea Trading Routes to India – lasted 150 years – and used Muscat as their main base, before the Omanis themselves expelled the Intruders in 1650 AD.


In 1840 AD the proclamation of “Sultanate of Muscat and Zanzibar” – made Muscat rich, famous and important. However the city-by-the-Sea could not gain full control over the tribes in the Interior – and always used to be a small place with only several hundred inhabitants. After the death of “Said the Great” in the year of 1856, the Sultanate split from Zanzibar – which affected the city severely. At the same time the introduction of the Steamships from Europe left the Omani Sailors and Traders behind and the city of Muscat lost it’s glory.

MUTTRAH - Muttrah is one of the many districts of Muscat City and is famous for it’s vivid Fishmarket, the Harbour, the Corniche and the Arabian Souq.
The Fish Market offer an interesting glimps on the immense variety of the fish in the Omani waters, as well as fresh vegetables, fruits and meat. It also offers Sandwiches and soft drinks – and is open only until 13:00 pm.
Stroll then along the Corniche – where you might see the private yacht of His Majesty and many typical Arabian Dhows. Also particularly interesting is the House fronts of some old residential buildings – which are still inhabited by the Lawatiyah Sect – famous for their trading abilities.
The Traffic light will indicate the entrance to the Muttrah Souq, which is not made-up for tourists- but part of Muscat’s local life. Here you will find all sorts of household items, as well as garments, gold jewelry, Silverware, gifts of any kind, antiques, frankincense, burners and charcoal, also interesting might be the local Money Changers, which usually offer a better rate than the banks.
At the far end of the Corniche you will see the Majestic “Muttrah Fort” – one of the remnants of the Portuguese era. Passing this fort you will – after approximately 2 km arrive at Riyam Park.

OLD TOWN OF MUSCAT - This is the district which represents Muscat’s History in all the books. And it is actually only one small part of what is called Muscat today. Here you find the two famous Fortresses, the Sultan’s Palace, Government buildings and offices, the Omani-French-Museum. Many of the mentioned buildings have been renovated to keep the charm and the beauty of old times alive.

CITYWALL - The wall itself has been completely renovated –and doesn’t really look like the original. However the location and size still match the earlier days – where not long ago (1960) the big Entrance Doors were closed at Sunset and paraffin lights were used to light up the night. If you picture the wall and it’s entrance gates as a whole you will realize, that it has not lost it’s original meaning. Today you see three Gates: Kabir Gate; Saghir Gate; and Muthaib Gate

MUSCAT HARBOUR - To the rear of the Palace – you will see the “Horseshoe” shaped old harbour of Muscat. The famous harbour, which served for decades as a protective supply point for the big sailing vessels on their way from Europe to India. Providing fresh water from the nearby mountain and hardly visible from the seaside. Take a closer look on the opposite rocks and you will find more than 350 names of ships carved in stone – ships that laid anchor in Muscat between 1870 and 1930.

FORT JALALI - The Fort you are facing while standing at the harbour – used to be a prison. Sultan Qaboos has changed it to a private Museum. Unfortunately it has not been opened yet for public visitors.

FORT MIRANI - This impressive Fort is to the right over your shoulder – and accommodates the watchmen of the “Royal Guard”. Should you be interested to take pictures of the picturesque soldiers – please do not forget, that it is mandatory for you to ask for their permission. Both forts make it quite clear, how difficult it must have been for any aggressor to capture or simply attack those buildings, which where protecting the busy trading port of Muscat.

SULTAN’S PALACE - This Palace is unlike any other Palace you might have seen before Sultan Qaboos has ordered the construction right after his taking over in 1970. Two Indian architects were requested to design a dignified administrative palace and created a Jewel. Take a walk to the left to the rear of the Palace, which will lead you right to the old harbour. Turn your attention as well to the top of the palace – if the Flag is flying, the Sultan is in the Capital Area.


Dolphin Tour   

Dolphin Tour

The coast of Oman is blessed with a variety of Dolphins & whales, About 21 different species of whales & dolphins have been identified along the coast of Oman, including the Blue whale which is seldom seen anywhere else in the world. You would be transferred from your hotel to the jetty. While it is not guaranteed that you would spot dolphins on every trip, it would be enjoyable experience in the sea and our onboard cetacean specialist would enlighten you with Quite a lot of information about these Interesting marine mammals. (Pick-up time from the hotel will be between 07:15 to 07:30hrs)


BARKA   

Barka

Located around 80 km outside Muscat – this small town is however of traditionally big importance to the region of the “Batinah”. This region stretches along the coastline for about 250 km up to Sohar and is called the Garden of Oman, due to it’s fertile soil, big farms and rich agricultural outputs. Barka – or Birka – has it’s own small fortress – built in the late 18 Century by the 3 Imam of the Al Bu Said Dynasty “Hamad Bin Ahmad”. He as well has had established Muscat as his Capital. Today Barka is worth a visit for it’s vivid Fish Market in the morning – it’s small Fort “Bait Na’am” and on Fridays you may usually witness Bullfights, where two animals fight against each other. Please ask your way to the arena – since the places change very often.

NAKHL  

Nakhl

The Fortress of Nakhl can be easily seen from the road – since it is built high on a rock. This beautiful location is one of it’s attraction as well as the stunning views over the attached oasis once you are inside- The history goes back to the pre-Islamic era. The fort was destroyed and rebuilt several times and only during the last years of the Yarooba Dynasty – in the first half of the 18th Century – it achieved importance for the region. Since 1990 the restoration of the fort is completed and is rated to be one of the most interesting forts in Oman.
The village itself – especially the old part of Al-Towarrah – still shows some of the old traditional mud clay houses and we consider it as a must to take a walk through the gardens and plantations – where Mangoes, Dates, Oranges, Lemons, Aloe Vera, Lilies…. are grown



RUSTAQ  

Rustaq

The biggest oasis in the area- former centre of power – residence of many Imam’s capital of Oman… the list is long to prove the earlier importance of this city. Today – however Rustaq has lost its rank to Nizwa – which is nowadays considered to be the secret capital of the interior region. But even today the dates of Rustaq and it’s surroundings, are considered to be best in the country.
The massive fort still bears witness to the old times and also here history dates back to the pre-Islamic days. The fort was destroyed and rebuilt several times and gained special importance as the logistic centre in the attempt to expel the Portuguese invaders from Oman in the 17th Century. It’s present shape is quite different to the original one with every restoration they added another Watchtower – which also represented the power of a capital at that time.


BATINAH  

Batinah

As mentioned already earlier – this area along the coastline is among Muscat – the highest populated district of Oman. About 500,000 people live in all the small villages, which usually spread close to the highway. The Batinah stretches about 250 km – and is between 10 and 25 km wide. Unfortunately it is not possible to see the sea from the road and the landscape does not change dramatically until Sohar. However there are quite profound differences when it comes to local customs, clothes, dialects… The Batinah has the advantage of good water recourses from the close mountains and the people have managed to use this blessing for centuries for extensive agriculture. You can see the farms lining the road. About 50% of Oman’s Dates and a large variety of other fruits and vegetables are grown here. Even cattle food is produced here and transported 1000 km down south into the Dhofar region, since there is a misbalance of food and cattle.
Another important source of income in the area is the Fishing industry. All along the coastal villages you will find early morning fish markets – showing the rich variety of Oman’s waters. Part of the daily catch will be exported – mainly to neighboring states.


SOHAR  

Sohar

Scientists are convinced that already 3000 years before Christ – Sohar was the shipping harbour of copper, which was mined in the mountains nearby. However the harbour has not been found and there is no real evidence. 2000 years later Roman and Greek writers describe the place of today’s Sohar as an important harbour. During the coming centuries the city grew enormously and expanded to three times of the present size.
One of Sohar’s most well known “celebrities” – is Sindbad. His personal record shows Sohar as his birthplace and later he made his fortune in Baghdad. The destruction of Baghdad in the 10th century AD had a quite devastating impact on the city and it’s wealth and influence declined step by step. The Persians and the Portuguese had been unwelcome “guests” – both using the Fortress of Sohar for their own purposes. By the time Muscat advanced to the capital of Oman – the harbour of Sohar turned so muddy, that it could not be used anymore. The former harbour can still be seen today. Today, Sohar performs as the capital of the Batinah and is sponsored with different projects and investments from the government.

SOHAR FORT
- What makes it special is the Museum inside, which provides an interesting show through the cities history. Before entering the Tower – you can see the remains of an archeological site, which was found while renovating the fort 15 years ago.
After the exhibition – follow the stairs to the rooftop of the Tower – it rewards you with a stunning view over the city.


NIZWA & Its Forts  

Nizwa

CITY HISTORY - Since many centuries – Nizwa is the undisputed spiritual centre and the secret capital of Oman. Ruling powers stretched from here to far distant areas. From 751-1154 the oasis of Nizwa was Oman’s Capital and after that it remained almost the same at least for the interior mountain region.
Nizwa is the biggest oasis along the sumail Gap and has been always very tempting to possess for the rival tribes in the neighbour-hood since it supplied water, wood, work, etc… This justified the impressive and solid fortification of Nizwa. Additionally the Fortress was home of the ruling Imam Said bin Saif for example started from here Oman’s rebellion against the Portuguese 10 years later his mission was completed.
In the first half of the 19th century – the power of the ruling tribes of the Interior was cut quite drastically, after Muscat was chosen to be the future ruling capital. Now politics were officially handled from the coast. However Nizwa never lost it’s importance completely and only 40 years ago, Sultan Qaboos had no possibility to mastermind the Interior – the clock ticks also today still differently…
As per the wish of Sultan Qaboos Nizwa is highly subsidised in order to keep its importance and maintain the Heritage. 1994 Oman’s National Day was celebrated in Nizwa – a big award for a city in Oman.

OLD TOWN - Only few meters away from the renovated Fort, Souq and newly plastered roads – you will find yourself in a totally different world. Old facades are visible, small alleys – almost unreal, silent Palm tree plantations where the relaxing sound of water runs through the aflaj channels. The noise and business of the nearby markets has disappeared behind the walls and the silence of the old times welcomes the visitors. Dare to walk these hidden areas, which takes only a few minutes to walk from the Fort.

Old Town



FORTRESS - The massive Tower of the Fort is overlooking the whole city centre and gives a stunning view from it’s top. The Fort had been built after expelling the Portuguese from Oman. After this victory – the Omanis felt so strong, that they followed the Portuguese overseas and overtook many of their possessions in Indian and Persia. The Fort was partly financed with those loots and completed after 12 years.
The Tower itself is built massively – the lower half consists of solid stone material, where there is one set of stairs is leading you to the top.

Fortress



Walking up – you pass through 7 beautifully carved doors. From 30 meters above you have a breathtaking view in all directions – especially to the Jebel Akhdar Massive.
The Fort was highly equipped with all necessities to withstand a long term attack – like water-wells, horses-table, storage-room, soldier quarters – as well as sophisticated living quarters for the Imam and his family.

BAHLA  

Bahla

This is a mystical place – crowned with a huge Fortress, which can be easily seen while entering the village. The fort is reconstructed - financed from UNESCO- to preserve the impressive walls. Bahla had been Oman’s capital for many years – it’s most important time was between the 12thand the 16th century. Still today the former extension of the town can be seen on the untouched city walls on both sides of the street.
Turn left – just opposite the Fort and visit the old Souq and Market place – many Omanis believe, that the huge Sycomore Tree in the centre of the Market place is bewitched and spreads it’s power over the village. However should you dare to enter the village, and explore the narrow old lanes, which will lead you to the famous pottery. Two families still make their living out of designing and burning clay for Water buckets (to be seen all over the country), Flowerpots etc…


JABREEN  

Jabreen

Bil’arub bin Sultan al Yarooba was the 3rd Imam of the Al Yarooba Dynasty – he ruled the country at the end of the 17th Century. Under his reign – Jabreen was the capital of Oman. The Palace is a jewel under Oman’s Forts – especially beautiful – the painted ceiling once you are on the first floor..Before you go there – please do not miss the kitchen – and further in the back the Dates Storage Room. The room decorations are rich – and it is well worth to see almost every room, while climbing all the way up to the top of Fort. This palace has been the gathering centre for artist of the region and also offered a rare Koran School in those times. However the ruler had to face many enemies – finally succeeding him. His tomb can be seen just left of entrance area. The Conference Hall for example was equipped with hiding places – still to be seen.


WAHIBA SANDS  

Wahiba Sands

This is a clearly shaped and closed Sand Desert – flanked by rich farmland or the blue sea. Its North South expansion is about 180KM, the East West expansion around 80 KM. The northern part of Wahiba is characterized by Sand Dunes, which run from North to South in parallel ways – creating almost mountains and valleys of sand. The dune rises up to 100m. The Southern part of Wahiba is a bit more flat and the dunes does not show this correct order, all due to the winds.
Geologists had found petrified dunes below the sandy surface – the biggest ever found. Additionally quite a surprise, the Sands cover a vast area of natural resources.
Two main tribes share this vast sands – both of then live only partly in their barasti houses with their goats and camels – also take care of farms outside the sands. They are half nomads – moves between the two worlds. Today most of them live close to the edge of the desert in order to supervise their camels’ camp. Wahiba’s camels are famous for their ability to run at the camel races – and some of their owners are proud and rich men today.


SUR   

Sur

In former times Sur was the gate to the world ! At least for Oman. The most important harbour and starting point for Caravans – supplying the rest of the country with the rich shiploads from abroad. Especially in those times, where pirates ruled the seas of the Arabian peninsular, trading ships avoided harbours like Ras al Kheima or Dubai. Distributing the goods from Sur took however much more time and effort in those days – and was mainly conducted on camel and donkey backs.
The glorious times of Sur are long over – and the Dhowyard is only a small memory of old rich times and traditions. Boats and Ships have been the main interest for the men of Sur – either by building, fishing or trading. Trading harbours where mostly located in India, Pakistan and as far down to the East African coast.
The main breakdown for the Dhow (Arabian ships) business was the invention of the steamboats, which replaced the sailboat trading with no mercy. Under the new rule of Sultan Qaboos – and the dawn of modern times – new jobs in other areas attracted the locals of Sur. The remaining fishermen preferred the highly subsidized, smaller and faster fiber-glass boats. Today the Dhowyard is mainly busy with orders of Royal Family Members – or few regular replacements of middle size Dhows heading for India and Pakistan.
Sur nevertheless has never really lost it’s beauty, charm and attraction. Even though business has lost it’s roots in Sur – the strong ties of a rich culture and tradition – keeps the sons and daughters of Sur linked with their home. Many rich families own spectacular houses in Sur and use them on weekends and holidays.
1996, the National day was officially celebrated in Sur – causing a lot of beautification activities. Further more the town will benefit from huge investment projects (Fertilizers and Gas) in the neighourhood – which aim to create a new area of prosperity for the region.


DHOWYARD -

Dhowyard
Located on the creek of Sur, which divides the town into an old and new part. The Dhowyard has a long tradition and history for the town of Sur – which is still running today. However in a much smaller size – in difficult situation it is only covered by high subsides from the government. Although everything seems a little run down – we believe it is worth while to take a closer look. Most important to know, that building a dhow in Sur requires a great deal of knowledge, which has been traditionally passed on from generation to generation. The workers do not work with plans, maps or any sophisticated means. The quality of the wood, which comes mainly from India and Burma – combined with the know how of hundreds of years – eventually provides a beautiful carved dhow. Take a glimpse of a place where time is not counted by days, wood is shaped in old almost forgotten ways and the smell of shark-oil, which finalizes the work – is in the air.
The big Dhow at an exhibition place close to the Dhowyard – has been built around 70 years ago. The Boat type is called “Ghanjah” – and has 300 tons of weight. After the first owner could no longer afford the big dhow – he sold the ship to a Yemeni businessman. Only recently the city of Sur bought the dhow back and is planned to be used as a museum.


SALALAH  

Salalah

Salalah is the modern administrative – as well as the economical center of the South. Salalah is equipped with it'’ own airport, hotel'’ and further to the west -–the harbour of Mina Raysut, big enough to offer anchor places for major international cruise-liners.
Parts of Salalah will remind you more of a tropical place – rather than the south tip of the dry arabian peninsula. Coconut and Papaya trees, as well as extensive banana plantations – and on the sidewalks small shops offer their fresh fruits for small money. Reason for this are the monsoon rainfalls, which strive Salalah and it surroundings between June and September.
The first documentary mentioned harbour of this region dates back to the 1st century AD – “Moscha” ! During the middle ages todays Salalah succeeded about the importance as a Frankincense port and export of fine arabic horses. In the middle of the 13th century Dhofar was captured and plundered by a Hormuz fleet and later involved in conflicts with Yemeni tribes. Dhofar was geographically at the end of along line of trading ports to the southern directions and highly profited from the East African trades. This came to a sudden end with the Portuguese invasion to Oman – and the blockade of it’s ports (Beginning of the 16th century) Muscat/Oman and Aden/Yemen developed rapidly and Dhufar decayed slowly.

PLACES OF INTEREST

AL BALAD, AL HUSN, FRANKINCENSE SOUQ, MUSEUM, GOLD SOUQ, TAQA, SUMHUMRAM, BIN ALI TOMB,
MIRBAT, DHOFAR WEST, NABI AYUB


AL BALAD - Here one can see the ruins of the ancient city “Dhufar”- located east of the Salalah. The area is completely fenced and unfortunately not easy to access. The necessary keys are with the Ministry of Tourism – ask for the department of National Heritage.

AL HUSN - This is the official Sultan’s Residence in Salalah – inside the town-center, just around the corner of the Frankincense souq. It is only to be seen from outside. The palace is quite modest – and was built in the seventies as a replacement of his father’s palace.

FRANKINCENSE SOUQ - This local market is not very big – but for visitors however interesting. Many small shops line up to sell different items – particularly incense and perfumes. Here you find the real Frankincense, which made Oman so rich and famous in ancient times. The incense differs in quality and price – but sold in small quantities and for very affordable prices. Try as well all the other smells, which are regularly used in every traditional omani house: oud, bouchur, etc… Most of the perfumes are based on oil – the western way of alcohol base is in this climate simply not affordable, because it evaporates too fast. The myth says, frankincense for baby jesus was bought by three wisemen from Dhofar.
Please respect the wish of the Jebali Ladies, who are selling in the shops and do not welcome pictures taken of them.

MUSEUM - Very recommendable because it provides good information about History, Culture and Archeology of Oman.
Opening times : SAT-WED – 08:00 – 14:30 hrs/

GOLD SOUQ - In the commercial center of Salalah – at the cross-point of Al Nahda Street and A’Salaam Street. Traditional Arabic and Indian design – big variety of wedding jewelry

TAQA - Although it looks like a small fishing village – Taqa is considered to be the third biggest town in the Dhofar region. On the beach you can still see some of the earlier boat constructions, simply tied with Coconut strips. During the main fish season in winter time you can also watch the fishermen – while drying the Sardines.
In the town center you can visit the local Fort. The Fortress was renovated and newly opened for visitors during the National Celebration in 1993. The rooms are quite small but nicely decorated. It is worth wile to visit this place.

SUMHUMRAM - The key can be obtained from the Ministry of Tourism in Salalah. Please contact the reception of Holiday Inn Hotel – for further help.
It used to be in ancient times – part of the Yemeni kingdom of Hadramaut. Their King ordered in the 2 century AD the construction of Sumhumram.
Khor Rouri is the name of the respective bay – which is today only a sandy area – and a big natural bird sanctuary.

BIN ALI TOMB - Shortly before you rech “Mirbat” – slow down a bit and turn your attention on a signpost to your right, which directs you to “Bin Ali Tomb”. Apart from an interesting cemetery – you will find the shape of the attached mosque very attractive. It is built in a south Yemeni style – topped with onion-shaped roof. Buried here is the holy Sheik Muhammed Ali Al Alawi – a famous muslim figure.

MIRBAT - At the town entrance turn to your right and proceed to the renovated local Fort. From it’s rooftop you have a magnificent view over the old part of town. The houses of the old town center are considered to be the most famous of the region. However they are unfortunately quite run down and only rich imagination will bring back the glory of former times, where this town was an important center of Frankincense trade.
Then turn back to the main road – and Salalah – which is around 60 km away

DHOFAR WEST - Today you will pass the famous Frankincense Trees – but first let’s turn your attention on the graveyard of a popular Muslim and Christian figure:

NABI AYUB - This graveyard is witness of the life of Hiob(/ or Job), who’s extraordinary faith is mentioned in the Christian Bible – as well as in the Muslim Kor’an. You may take pictures in these premises – however please take off your shoes before you enter the small house with the grave inside. Women are kindly requested to wear a head cover – and Men – please do not wear shorts.
In front of the premises – you may see an old Jebali Man – who is considered to be a wise man with the local habitants give him a small tip if you want.


 
Oman's Activities
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Beach holidays Beach holidays
Historical / Cultural Tour Historical / Cultural Tour
Off Road Adventure Off Road Adventure
Dolphin Observation Dolphin Observation
Camping in the Desert Camping in the Desert
Wadi Bashing Wadi Bashing
Adventure 4x4  Adventure 4x4
Snorkeling  Snorkeling
Muscat Hotels
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Oman's best hotels selection for MICE
DMC Arabia has selected some of the best hotels in OMAN. Many others are available and we love to do business with them. However, this small selection will give you the appetite on the quality available in the Sultanate .

Emirates - Spirit of the Union

 The UAE was created as a federation and became a unified independent sovereign state in 1971. Dubai is the second largest of the seven Emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates and ranks as the country’s leading commercial centre. Abu Dhabi, which is the federal capital, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah are the other six emirates.
The United Arab Emirates is situated at the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate Oman, and with coastlines on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The United Arab Emirates is a young country, formed in 1971 from seven formerly independent states, each with its own unique character and personality but yet united with a common goal and destiny- situated from west to east - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Abu Dhabi is by far the largest emirate, occupying over 80% of the country.
Being literally crime-free is not the only thing that makes the United Arab Emirates one of the most attractive places to live in. Its amazing amalgamation of the traditional values of the East and the modern technologies of the West, being a melting pot of various nationalities and cultures living together and working in harmony and a standard of living that is comparable to the world's most advanced nations makes it one of 20th century's success stories.
From Wind Towers to Towering Skyscrapers, the UAE has a unique blend of traditional Arab, Islamic values and culture with the modernity of a cosmopolitan living environment. Its massive oil wealth discovered in Abu Dhabi in 1958, is being wisely utilized to keep pace with technology and social changes the world is experiencing. As a result, tourists will find the UAE a modern country with thriving sky scraper filled cities no different from modern cities in Europe or Asia.
UAE is a total Tourist Experience of Unlimited Sun, Sand, Sports and Shopping, with its friendly, helpful and generous people. Its naturally desert climate and its convenient location in the Arabian Gulf have endowed it with warm seas and cozy beaches. Together with a booming economy, where trade and tourism are encouraged, it also makes for the ultimate shopping destination. Its state-of-the-art tourist infrastructure with numerous world-class hotels, sports events and shopping spectaculars held annually, ensures its position as the Middle East's number one tourist destination. The UAE has become a much sought after venue for conferences, regional and international exhibitions and major sports events such as the Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, and polo and cricket competitions.

UAE General Info
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The United Arab Emirates is situated at the eastern side of the Arabian Peninsula, bordering Saudi Arabia and the Sultanate Oman, and with coastlines on both the Arabian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. The United Arab Emirates is a young country, formed in 1971 from seven formerly independent states, each with its own unique character and personality but yet united with a common goal and destiny- situated from west to east - Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah. Abu Dhabi is by far the largest emirate, occupying over 80% of the country.

Being literally crime-free is not the only thing that makes the United Arab Emirates one of the most attractive places to live in. Its amazing amalgamation of the traditional values of the East and the modern technologies of the West, being a melting pot of various nationalities and cultures living together and working in harmony and a standard of living that is comparable to the world's most advanced nations makes it one of 20th century's success stories.

From Wind Towers to Towering Skyscrapers, the UAE has a unique blend of traditional Arab, Islamic values and culture with the modernity of a cosmopolitan living environment. Its massive oil wealth discovered in Abu Dhabi in 1958, is being wisely utilized to keep pace with technology and social changes the world is experiencing. As a result, tourists will find the UAE a modern country with thriving sky scraper filled cities no different from modern cities in Europe or Asia.

UAE is a total Tourist Experience of Unlimited Sun, Sand, Sports and Shopping, with its friendly, helpful and generous people. Its naturally desert climate and its convenient location in the Arabian Gulf have endowed it with warm seas and cozy beaches. Together with a booming economy, where trade and tourism are encouraged, it also makes for the ultimate shopping destination. Its state-of-the-art tourist infrastructure with numerous world-class hotels, sports events and shopping spectaculars held annually, ensures its position as the Middle East's number one tourist destination. The UAE has become a much sought after venue for conferences, regional and international exhibitions and major sports events such as the Dubai World Cup, the Dubai Desert Classic Golf Tournament, and polo and cricket competitions.
  • Population: 8 million
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Other spoken languages: English & Hindi
  • Religion: 96% Muslim, Hindu, Christian, 4% other
  • Area: 83600 sqkm
  • Climate: Sub-tropical
  • Capital: Abu Dhabi
  • Government type: Federation of seven Emirates
  • National day: 02 December
  • Local time: GMT + 4 hours
  • Day off: Friday
  • Official Holidays : 01 January, 02 December, Islamic New Year (Muslim Holiday date not fixed), Prophet Mohammed’s Birthday (Muslim Holiday date not fixed), Al Isra’ (Muslim Holiday date not fixed), Al Fitr (Muslim Holidays date not fixed), Adha (Muslim holiday date not fixed)
These religious holidays are based on Gregorian dates of the Islamic calendar, which is as per lunar observations.

Practical Information:

Money. The official currency is the Dirham. Most currencies can be freely converted in Dubai and you will find money exchange companies all over Dubai. Exchange houses are open from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm and from 4.30 pm to 8.30 pm. One US dollar equals 3.65 UAE Dirhams • Payment cards: All major credit cards are accepted in Dubai, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diners Club etc. Most establishments accept credit cards, though at some of the smaller ones you will get slightly better prices if you pay in cash • Automatic bank tellers: Withdrawal can be made from any automatic bank teller found in any region of the country • Traveler's checks: they can be exchanged mainly in banks and exchange shops.

Health. Medical care in UAE is well known for its quality. Hospitals, clinics and well supplied pharmacies can be found in all towns • No particular vaccine is required to visit the country.

Security. Being literally crime-free is not the only thing that makes the United Arab Emirates one of the most attractive places to live in. It is quite a safe country for visitors to venture out, either by Taxi or on foot.

Bargaining. Bargaining is expected in the souk and it’s quite usual elsewhere. Vendors will usually drop the price and often quite substantially, particularly for a cash sale.

Food. All type of cuisines can be found in UAE. As well as international fare on offer in many to class restaurants and hotels, visitors are encouraged to sample the delicious local and regional dishes such as hummus, salads, fresh pastries, rice dishes and grilled meats. Pork however does not feature on Arabic menus, as its consumption is forbidden in Islam. Restaurants catering to non Muslims do serve pork.

Alcohol. Alcohol is permitted in Dubai & Abu Dhabi and its served in hotel restaurants and bars but, with a few exception (e.g. Some clubs and associations), is not for sale elsewhere.

Tipping. Tipping practices are similar to the rest of the world. Taxi driver do not accept a tip, but will appreciate a little extra. In restaurants 10% is considered adequate if service is excluded.

Weather. UAE has a sub-tropical arid climate. Temperatures range from 10 to 30 degrees C in winter and can reach as high as 48 degrees in summer. Rainfall is predominantly in winter and amounts to some 13cm annually.

Languages. The official language is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and hotels have staff speaking a wide range of other major European languages (German, Russian..). Hindi and Urdu are also widely used

Water. Tap water is quite safe to drink. But locally bottled mineral water is generally served in hotels and restaurants..

Clothing. Lightweight summer clothing is suitable most of the year, but some slightly warmer garments may be needed for the winter months, especially in the evenings. When visiting hotels, restaurants, shopping malls and cinemas it is also a good idea to take a sweater or cardigan as the air conditioning can be a little cold.
The attitude to dress in U.A.E is relaxed, but for visitors (men as well as women) should show respect for local culture and customs in public places by avoiding excessively revealing clothing.

Photography. Photography of military installations, government buildings, airports and other sensitive locations is prohibited. Photography of local women without their permission is not permitted

Telephone. The telephone network operated by the national telecommunication organization ETISALAT is superb: local calls are free and direct dialling is available to 150 countries. The international dial code for UAE is +971. Cheap rates for international direct calls apply from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. and all day on Fridays and public holidays. Pay phones, both card and coin operated, are located throughout the UAE. Phone cards for local use are usually available from ETISALAT offices, supermarkets, pharmacies etc. Coin operated phones take Dh1 and 50 fils. GSM services are available and the mobile phone code within the UAE is 050. ‘Speak Easy’ is a GSM mobile service for those visitors and tourists who cannot use their own mobile phones in the UAE. You can either buy a new mobile phone and purchase a temporary SIM card or use your own handset with a temporary card.

Post. Emirates Post (EmPost) runs an efficient postal system with red post collection boxes dotted throughout the cities and towns. Mail is usually collected morning and evening. Stamps can be purchased and post mailed from your hotel. Express postal facilities are also available at post offices. In general, post office opening hours are from 8 a.m.–1 p.m. and 4 p.m.–7 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday. Closed Fridays and saturday. 8 a.m. –12 noon on Public Holidays, but closed on the first day of Eid holidays.

Telecommunications. Staying in touch is easy. Telecommunications are excellent and mobile phone reception generally good in the main population centers. Most major hotels offer internet connection.

Electricity. The electricity supply in Abu Dhabi is 220/240 volts at 50 Hz. The socket type is the square three pin system (as used in UK), and most hotels will have adapters for different kinds of plugs.

Transportation. Dubai is a spacious city with one of the most modern highways, roads and traffic systems in the region. Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Taxis are easily obtainable in Dubai. The Dubai Transport Corporation's ivory coloured cabs are fitted with fare meters. Driving licenses issued by some overseas governments may be exchanged for a Dubai license. Where reciprocal arrangements do not exist, it is necessary to take a driving test to obtain a license.

Business days. All Government offices are closed on Friday & Saturday. Many private sector companies have their weekend on Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday. Shops and supermarkets are open seven days a week, though on Fridays they start business after the afternoon prayers.


Good to know:
The duty free allowance for each visitor entering the country is 2000 cigarettes or 400 cigars of 2kg of tobacco, a reasonable amount of perfume, and, for non Muslim adults, two liters of spirits and two liters of wine. Visitors are not charged customs duty on personal effects they bring into Abu Dhabi.
During the Holy month of Ramadan, visitors are expected to refrain from eating, drinking and smoking in public places during the daylight hours. However, most private hotel restaurants stay open for business to cater to their guests. The exact time of Ramadan depends on the sighting of the moon.

 
About Dubai
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The Middle East is becoming an increasingly popular stopover destination for those travelling to The Indian Ocean, as well as being a fantastic destination in its own right. The Arabian delights of Dubai, long sandy beaches reaching down to the clear blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, superb shopping malls and souks, championship golf courses, spectacular desert and mountain landscapes - Dubai has become the ultimate tourist destination in the Middle East. It is a place of striking contrasts where modern sophistication meets in a fascinating blend of old and new, where East meets West. The emirate of Dubai is synonymous with humongous as it continues to build the first, largest and the biggest constructions in the world. Dubai’s dynamics are always transient and ever-changing with its constant urge to construct something better and bigger than the previous. If there was a Palm Island, Nakheel thought of the World Island. Burj Al Arab seemed too timid when Burj Khalifa cropped up, distancing itself to being a loner in the crowd. Dubai constantly dwells in a suppressive competition with itself trying to magnetize tourists to a dreamy world of attractions and unheard of luxuries. The emirate’s scoring points lie in its entrepreneurial abilities to create the inconceivable found in its tourist attractions, landmarks, shopping centres, nightlife and hotels. Although it strictly safeguards its traditional practices, it allows space for other religions to breathe, a rare quality amongst the conservative Arab world. Thankfully, it has been successful in shielding itself from extremism, much-needed for it to survive..

Burj Al Arab
Everyone dreams of staying at the Burj Al-Arab, the most extravagant hotel in the world. However, world’s first seven star hotel developed by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts chooses its customers and not vice versa. Burj Al Arab’s billowing sail enjoys being a focus of public attention with its glittery gold interiors, ultra-spacious suites and the heightened level of luxury offered.

Palm Islands
When innovation meets hard work, the resuls are astounding as seen at the Palm Islands in Dubai, an ambitious project visualized by Nakheel Properties, these man-made islands were constructed to accommodate the ever-growing tourist influx in Dubai. Shaped to resemble a palm tree, the Palm Trilogy defines everyday luxury living.

The World Islands
Envisioned by Nakheel Properties, the ones behind the Palm Trilogy, the World Islands share the same idea of creating man made islands for luxury residential purposes. When photographed from above the islands resemble the world and each island is the country within it. The development will give rise to hotel properties and residential buildings, an opportunity enough to further Dubai’s tourism.

Ski Dubai
The words winter and desert are diametrically opposite yet Dubai manages it by constructing a Ski resort inside the Mall of Emirates, the largest mall in the world. Featuring 22,500-square metres of ski area covered in snow all year round, the indoor ski resort features various ski jump slopes and play areas to entertain children and adults alike.

Burj Khalifa
When it comes to Dubai constructions, the sky is the limit in the literal sense of the word. Presently, Burj Khalifa tops the list for the tallest skyscraper in the world at a height of 2,717 ft. Part of the new development called Downtown Dubai, the tower is the address to the most elite hotels, shopping centres, residences and offices in the world.

Dubai Internet City
State-of-the-art facilities and Dubai go together as Dubai Internet City proves its effectiveness as the most strategic and cost effective platform for ICT companies aiming to capture global markets. In fact, DIC is one of the few designated areas to offer 100 percent tax exemption business ownership.

Deira Clocktower
A major landmark in Dubai, Deira Clocktower has been a silent witness to the city’s changing faces when it was built in 1963 to mark the country’s first oil exports. Also referred to as Dubai Clocktower, it stands at the gateway of Maktoum Bridge, one of the significant constructions in Dubai Creek linking Bur Dubai and Deira.

Dubai Marina
Located in what is known as “new Dubai”, Dubai Marina is a man-made canal city built to encourage luxurious lifestyles through exclusive waterfront constructions along the Persian Gulf shoreline. These include swanky hotels, aristocratic residential palaces and extravagant shopping and entertainment centres.

Sheikh Zayed Road
No description of Dubai would be complete without the mention of Sheikh Zayed Road. A section of the longest highway in UAE stretching from Abu Dhabi to Ras Al Khaimah, the E 11 is known as the Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Named after Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the then Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Zayed Road is home to many properties and skyscrapers including Burj Khalifa, Emirates Towers and other elite hotels.
  
Dubai Excursions
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UAE's sites & activities
DMC Arabia has selected the most popular sites and activities in UAE:
On December 2, 1971 the United Arab Emirates has been established as an independent federal state including seven emirates, abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman Umm Al Quwan and Fujairah. The UAE Federation is a part of the Arab world linked to it by ties of religion, language, history and Joint destiny and the UAE people is a part of the Arab nation where Islam is its religion and Islamic Sharia is the main source of Legislation and the Official language is Arabic. Some of the places you must explore like Dubai city, Burj Khalifa & Musical fountains, Desert Safari, Dhow Cruise, Burj Al Arab, Golf Experience, Wild Wadi, Bedouin camps, East Coast, Hatta Safari, Sharjah, Deep Sea Fishing, Dubai and the Future, Helicopter Ride, Camel Caravan, Stable Polo Club, Mall of the Emirates.

DUBAI sites and activities

Dubai City Tour;

Dubai City Tour

You will have the opportunity to discover the spectacular and lively metropolis of Dubai. The city, developed from a small fishing village at the Dubai Creek, nowadays presents itself as a glamorous metropolis at the Arabian Gulf. The distinctive skyscrapers and gigantic shopping-malls will impress every visitor. Our visit starts with Bastakyia, the old town district of Dubai. Learn everything about the local history and geography of the city when visiting the Dubai museum, located in the ancient fortress of Al-Fahidi. Another highlight will follow: you will use the local water taxis, called “Abras”, to cross the Dubai Creek. Enjoy the spectacular view of the city while heading towards the district of Deira. Here you will be enchanted by the large variety of exotic spices in the famous Spice Souk. Take the chance to get a unique and affordable souvenir when you visit the adjacent Gold Souk. Then proceed to Jumeirah area for a photo stop of the awe-inspiring Grand Mosque of Jumeirah. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition, this stone structure is a tribute to modern Islamic architecture. Stop for a photo stop of Burj Al Arab hotel, the famous iconic hotel in Dubai and continue to Atlantis hotel located at crescent of Palm Jumeirah. Before returning to your hotel, we pass by the region of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower and the centerpiece of the Gulf region's most prestigious urban development to date. Burj Khalifa radiate out in a series of ellipses from the sky breaking tower encompassing residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment and the world's largest shopping mall “Dubai Mall”. With more than 1,200 stores and a host of world-class attractions; the Middle East region’s first Galeries Lafayette department store, France’s leading fashion house and one of the top 100 global retailers.


Burj Khalifa & the Musical Fountains

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is at the heart of Dubai and its people; the centre for the World’s finest shopping, dining and entertainment. Starting the tour at Dubai Mall, the largest in the region, we walk past the Dubai Aquarium and on to Souk Al Bahar, a modern mall themed as a traditional Arabian marketplace, located within the Burj Khalifa development. The highest point of Burj Khaleefa experience is the view from At The Top, Burj Khalifa’s Observation Desk. Located on level 124 of the World’s tallest tower, this observatory is destined to be the highlight of any visit to the middle east. The journey begins in the lower ground level of The Dubai Mall. Throughout the journey to the top, visitors are entertained by a multi-media presentation of the exotic history of Dubai and the marvel of Burj Khalifa. A standard visit to At the Top lasts approximately 45 to 60 minutes, allowing ample time for you to relax and enjoy the Dubai skyline at your leisure. (Note: Time of operation is subject to availability of tickets)


Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner   

Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner

Traveling across the deserts of Dubai in a 4x4 vehicle. You will enjoy several photo stops during an exciting dune drive .The drive continues across the desert where you will have the opportunity to witness a beautiful desert sunset, one of the highlights of a trip to the Arabian deserts. In the evening enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner with entertainment.



Dhow Cruise Dinner   

Dhow Cruise Dinner
For a fabulous relaxing evening join our traditional Arabian dhow for an evening's cruise on the Creek. Enjoy a sumptuous feast of Arabic and International cuisine while gently gliding past illuminated souks, banks and palaces. Pickup from hotel starts from 07:00 pm onwards.


Burj Al Arab Dinner   

Burj Al Arab Dinner

Burj Al Arab, Designed to resemble a billowing sail, the hotel soars to a height of 321 meters, dominating the Dubai coastline. At night, it offers an unforgettable sight, surrounded by choreographed color sculptures of water and fire. This all-suite hotel reflects the finest that the world has to offer. Spectacular, luxurious and adventurous are the keywords here. Recognized as one of the top ten best hotel restaurants in the world. Dinner will be served in 'Al Iwan Restaurant' located in the heart of the world’s tallest atrium, flanked by golden columns and adjacent to the lobby fountain is Al Iwan. You can enjoy a taste of the finest Arabic cuisine


Golf experience    

Golf experience

Both professional and amateur players will enjoy world-class golf at any of the UAE’s championship courses.
The Emirates Golf Club is renowned for its spectacular courses and the clubhouse. Its five lakes, the intricate Majlis course and the first grass course in the Middle East pose many challenges to players. Players can test their expertise against the natural contours of the desert in the Wadi course.
Nad Al Sheba Club’s floodlit, links-style, 18-hole, par 71 course is set in and around a camel and horse racetrack. The undulating hills, the deep pot bunkers and large lakes, are open to desert winds and call for accuracy as a measure of skill.
The Montgomerie has been designed by Colin Montgomerie in association with Desmond Muirhead and managed by Troon Golf. The par 72 golf course spans 200 acres, offers 7,308 yards of golf and features holes that vary from the classic to the truly original. The scale of this course is a sheer challenge to golfers of all levels.
The Al Badia Golf Course is at the heart of the Dubai Festival City project, overlooking the spectacular Dubai skyline. A well-sculpted 18-hole championship course, it incorporates eleven lakes, ponds and lush greens. The course promises a challenge for seasoned golfers. A boutique Golf Villa overlooks the golf course and provides executive services and facilities.


WILD WADI Adventure   

WILD WADI Adventure

Splash out at the wildest water park ever. Wild Wadi combines giant rock formations and tropical vegetation to create a dramatic visual re-creation of the mountain peaks and deep wadis of the Hajar Mountains.
Designed like an Arabian wadi (oasis), the park has an Arabian folklore theme and features some of the highest and fastest water rides outside of North America with 24 state of the art, high-adrenaline rides and slides. Rides for thrill seekers include Jumeirah Sceirah, a 108ft (33m) free-fall at 50 miles per hour (80km/hr), Master Blaster slides that are water roller coasters propelled uphill by high-powered jets, the white-knuckle ride at Rushdown Ravine or the high waves at Breakers Bay. For a more relaxing view of the park, jump into a hoop and float gently down Lazy River. At Breakers Bay you’ll encounter one-and-a-half-meter-high waves. All will love the shallow pools, the cool water jets and mini slides and there are safety vests and professional lifeguards keeping constant vigil over them. Flood River creates sudden river rapids and unannounced surges and waves and is definitely for the daring, while Flow Riders™ offers the ultimate surfing experience.


An evening in a Bedouin Camp

An evening in a Bedouin camp

We will board our luxury 4x4 vehicles and afterwards we drive through the unique adventure of the desert to reach the camp in the middle of the desert.
Then we will feel the real experience of Arabia and Bedouin life. We will go through the dunes of the desert. We will experience the thrilling roller-coaster rides on the sand dunes and watch the beautiful sunset before arriving to the “BEDOUIN VILLAGE camp” –a place that is practically in the middle of nowhere and where you can have unique insights into the Bedouin life. Enjoy the different activities on site:
-Take a short camel ride: A desert without camels? No camels are for the desert what cars are for the city. Everyone will have to experience the ride … The animals are great; they have been well prepared so everyone can benefit of the ride. Camels are said to be God’s gift to Bedouins. People in the early days used the camels either for trading or for transporting goods from one place to another. Journeys were always done in groups known as caravans.
-Around the fire, dress in traditional Bedouin robe, sip the aromatic Arabic coffee or tea and try the hubbly-bubbly and henna painting around a fortune teller : A special activity for the most lazy. A memorable experience and great pictures of this “A la mode” way of life in the middle of the desert.
-Watch the falcon show: A unique experience. Falcons are being the pride of the Emiratis. Many people devote fortunes raising falcons and many competitions are being organized just for falcons.
-Experience Sand surfing: Sand surfing, using a snowboard, on the silken dunes of the UAE is an experience you’ll recall for years after you are back home. If the sheer downhill slide sends your adrenaline racing, the climb back up the sandy slope could prove an ordeal if you aren’t your physical fittest. Sand surfing has become the favorite of sport lovers both for its innovativeness and safety, as a fall only means a soft and warm embrace of the sand. With practice you become less conscious of the sport itself and begin to enjoy the wind in your face as you speed down


East Coast Tour

East Coast Tour

This explored jewel of Arabia is a destination waiting to be discovered. The Hajar Mountains are rising majestically on the way east and you will see valleys running down the sea. All the way you can spot ancient forts and castles and little palm groves, which are spending shadow to the cattle.
The tour begins with a drive through the lush oasis of Al Dhaid, renowned for its fruit and vegetable plantations. Then onto Masafi, and the picturesque Hajar mountains before reaching the village of Dibba, for a wander around the small port. The drive continues along the coast, through fishing villages. During your lunch break enjoy a relaxing swim in the Indian Ocean. We will stop at the Badiya Mosque, UAE’s oldest place of worship. It is also known as the “Ottoman Mosque”, which shows a unique design with four small domes held up by a massive central pillar


Safari to HATTA

Safari to HATTA

We will drive in our 4x4 vehicles to the 200 year old village of Hatta-which is located in the rough Hajar Mountains. After an early departure, we proceed along the road until we reach the mountains. There you will have an adventurous drive trough the rocky landscape, an hour or so of rough driving can be rewarded by scenes of great and unexpected beauty as we pass big and small Wadis and we cross lush landscape, which is surrounding the small settlements and villages deep in the mountains. We will explore the Wadis and dry river beds, which are flooded after winter rains from the Hajar Mountains.
A swim in one of those Wadis will give you nice refreshment in the winter month. Later you can take a visit to the restored 16th century Hatta Fort, before getting your lunch in this exceptional scenery. Then will enter the desert to experience some of its exciting activities, we will drive over the dunes ,then we will:
-Experience Sand surfing: Sand surfing, using a snowboard, on the silken dunes of the UAE is an experience you’ll recall for years after you are back home. If the sheer downhill slide sends your adrenaline racing, the climb back up the sandy slope could prove an ordeal if you aren’t your physical fittest. Sand surfing has become the favorite of sport lovers both for its innovativeness and safety, as a fall only means a soft and warm embrace of the sand. With practice you become less conscious of the sport itself and begin to enjoy the wind in your face as you speed down
Or
-Experience Quads in the Desert: For the first time in Dubai, you will experience the most exiting Desert Tour on a two seated Quad Bikes. Cross the undulating sand dunes and enjoy the breathtaking view from the top of the dunes. Our experienced desert leader will lead you through. If you cannot drive the Quad Bike you can sit with the driver and enjoy the ride.
Wear long pants, and expect to get dirty. Wear good shoes, no sandals. Protective equipment is included.
Afterwards on the way back to Dubai we stop at one of those popular street markets, where you can find local carpets and potteries.


Tour of SHARJAH

Tour of SHARJAH

Explore Sharjah’s rich cultural heritage with a walking tour of this intriguing city. Our tour begins with a photo opportunity at Mohammed Al Qassimi Mosque followed by a stroll along the creek, past the colorful dhows laden with goods from Iran.
Cross over to the Iranian market before our next stop at the creative Art’s House, followed by the Old Souk - part of Sharjah’s original settlement, offering a rich variety of spices, nuts, dates, household goods and the shisha. We continue along streets lined with exotic perfumes and ethnic garments to reach Sharjah Art Museum.
Next we stop by the ancient Al Hisn Fort and the nearby Al Arsah Souk where you can browse through souvenir shops. Leaving the souk we visit some old homes of local people, which are now renovated and exhibit traditional jewelers, costumes and cosmetics, giving you a glimpse of the local way of life in the past. Your coach meets you at this point to bring you back to your hotel.


Deep Sea Fishing

Deep Sea Fishing

For those of you interested in the deep blue sea, we take you deep sea fishing. Departure is from the is from the creek of Dubai or from the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. The fishing trip lasts for about 4 hours. The crew is well experienced in the gulf waters and sport fishing. The Coast craft is equipped with 4 trawling fishing rods & 8 bottom Fishing lines. Bait for fishing is also provided.


DUBAI and the FUTURE

DUBAI and the FUTURE

The vision for Dubai takes shape as new developments come to fruition
This tour gives you the chance to view the most developing city in the planet: The Dubai of tomorrow. We will visit the head offices ongoing unparalleled projects:
Dubai Festival City: This project will be completed in 2011, a true waterfront city offering shopping, living, leisure and working opportunities. Stretching 4 km along the historic Creek, Dubai Festival City is a blend of land and water distinguished by canals, waterfalls, pools and fountains.
Business Bay: will be completed in 2007, it 's a new commercial and business cluster that will be located along a new extension of the Dubai Creek. Covering 64 million square feet, the new initiative will provide a highly conducive environment and infrastructure for business from around the world to establish their local, regional and international headquarters.
Dubai Marina: will be completed in 2008,it is amongst the world's largest master planned waterfront development of its kind, a "city within a city" able to accommodate over 150000.
Dubai Healthcare city: This project will be completed in 2010 as a part of Dubai's 2010 strategic vision; the 1.8 billion Healthcare City will transform Dubai into a global hub for specialized healthcare and a center for medical education and research.
Dubai Waterfront: it's an unprecedented 81 million metres square of mixed-use landmark development, bigger than Manhattan and Beirut. It will serve as the gateway to the Arabian Canal and is located on the last remaining coastal waterfront in the Emirates. It will feature 100 different waterfront developments and over 150 master planned communities and investment opportunities.
The Palm Island: it involves the creation of the world's largest three manmade islands known as The Palm, Jumeirah 2007, The Palm , Jebel Ali 2008 and The Palm, Deira 2009. Located just off the coast of the city of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates, the three palm tree shaped islands are expected to contribute to the city's position as a premier global tourist destination.
The World: a group of 300 islands in the shape of the world map is also breaking ground above the waves with potential for investors to develop exclusive resorts, with again a 2008/9 timeframe for opening.
Dubai Exhibition City: To be completed in phases by 2020, the three-million square metres Exhibition City, within the Jebel Ali Airport City, will be the world's largest in terms of display space, halls and offices. It will have facilities including hotels, restaurants, residential apartments, ect…
Burj Khalifa: In 2008, The Burj will be the world's tallest tower and the centerpiece of the Gulf region's most prestigious urban development to date. Burj Khalifa will radiate out in a series of ellipses from the skybreaking tower encompassing residential, commercial, hotel, entertainment and the world's largest shopping mall.
But undoubtedly, the biggie will be Dubailand, with an estimated investment of more than 18 billion. Divided into six themed worlds and comprising over 200 individual projects, Dubailand will feature state-of-the-art sporting facilities, theme parks, eco-tourism resorts, museums, galleries, spas and stunning shopping and recreation venues.
Dubai Sports city: will be completed in 2008, it encompasses an area of 50 million square feet and is situated within the mega Dubailand project. It will bring together a unique combination of sports, lifestyle, leisure entertainment, commerce and enterprise.
Dubai Pearl Development: Surrounded by Dubai's dynamic Technology and Media Free Zone, renowned for its innovation, opportunity and prosperity, the Dubai Pearl Development offers a convenient address for living and business.
We will see models of these astonishing projects, receive a full presentation, have the chance to see prototype models of accommodation and find out more about the exiting business future of the Emirates with a trip to Internet and Media City. We will of course add more stops as this city reaches the future constantly.
More, bigger, better – developments in Dubai will continue to roll off the dream machine.



Helicopter Ride

Helicopter Ride

A thrilling and exciting way to view Dubai’s scintillating sites. Fly for a panoramic birds eye view. See the sparkling oceans, pristine beaches and magnificent sand dunes from up above. This experience is sure to leave you breathless.
The ideal view of Dubai is …from the sky! The Helicopter takes off near “City Centre Shopping Mall”, and flies over the Dubai Marine Beach Hotel, shows in its integrity and magnificence. On the way back a different aspect of the city will appear when flying over flying over Sheikh Zayed Road the skyline of the modern Dubai. The contrast of different styles of Dubai will be even clearer when overlooking the life over the creek before landing.


Understanding Islam Tour

Understanding Islam Tour

An opportunity to visit one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in Dubai. Generally, non-Muslims are not permitted to enter a mosque; however staff of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) has been given special permission to conduct information sessions within the Jumeirah Grand Mosque as they strive to bring different cultures closer together by promoting mutual understanding and acceptance. The Jumeirah Grand Mosque is the first and only mosque in the United Arab Emirates to open its doors to non-Muslims. It has been doing this since 1998 under the supervision of the SMCCU Director, Abdullah bin Essa Al Serkal, a prominent UAE National.
The Jumeirah Grand Mosque was built by order of His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, the late ruler of Dubai. Construction of the mosque began in 1975 and was completed in 1978. The mosque was built in the Islamic Fatimy style, with one large central dome, four smaller domes and two minarets. The mosque has the capacity to house 1,200 people for prayer.
This unique tour will enable participants to learn about the ‘five pillars’ of Islam, the Emirati culture and its traditions. The last part of the visit is dedicated to a Question & Answer session in which guests are encouraged to ask any questions they may have relating to Islam and the Arab culture in a free and open forum. Participants are reminded that a special dress code applies. Men must wear long trousers. Women must have their heads, arms and legs covered when in a mosque. For those who do not have a head covering, scarves will be provided.


Night in the Desert - Camel Caravan

Night in the Desert - Camel Caravan

Today will give you the experience of traveling in the former Bedouin times. Camels are said to be God’s gift to Bedouins. People in the early days used the camels either for trading or for transporting goods from one place to another. Journeys were always done in groups known as caravans. Camels endure the strong winds of the desert; therefore they are also named as the “ships of the desert “.Their ability and strength to go far distances for a long time without food and water made these wonderful creatures so valuable and a part of the Arabic tradition.
With a 4x4 car you will reach the Bedouin village camp, from where the camel caravan is departing. Board on the “ship of the desert” and enjoy a unique journey trough the fascinating desert. From the top of the camel you will have wonderful views around. After a while the caravan will stop in the middle of the desert and the transported tea, coffee and small sweets will be served to you.
Afterwards…You arrive to our camp in the middle of the desert. A tent will be built up for you in the desert and you can experience how the Bedouins prepare their dinner in the desert. Enjoy this simple natural way of life in the middle of nowhere, far from any civilization, electricity or facility of our modern lives. After this traditional dinner you can listen to the old Bedouin stories around a warm fire. A unique experience!
Later sleep under the desert stars. In the morning a small breakfast will be served to you, before the camels are bringing you back to the Bedouin camp.
After refreshment the 4x4 cars bring you back to Dubai.
Afterwards, back to the camp and you will be brought back by 4x4 to Dubai…


STABLE TOUR AT THE POLO CLUB

STABLE TOUR AT THE POLO CLUB

Launched officially in April 2006, the Dubai Polo and Equestrain Club has already become the heart of equestrian activity amongst residents in Dubai as well as visitors to the city. The Club hosts local and international Polo events at two Polo fields and a practice field.
The riding, show jumping and dressage arenas take place in sandplast areanas considered to be the best in the region.
There are 336 air-conditioned stables and an international standard exercise track where the horses are kept in top form. The Club House, designed as a distinctive Spanish ‘hacienda’, provides Members and guests with a wide variety of prestigious of dining, leisure, business and entertainment options.
Guests will have the chance to watch the horses on their normal routine (i.e. washing, cleaning, feeding, walking over etc..), visit the stables and take a tour in the Club with a guide. Breakfast is served at the terrace facing the riding arena.
SKI in the Desert & Shopping tour


SHOPPING AT THE MALL OF THE EMIRATES

SHOPPING AT THE MALL OF THE EMIRATES

Dubai has a well deserved reputation as the craziest place on Earth. You will discover the only Alpine skiing slope with real snow in the middle of the desert.
Yes it is unique!
It is located at the Emirates Mall.
The “Emirates Mall” the largest mall in the UAE today: The Mall of the Emirates is a shopping mall in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is currently the largest shopping mall in the Middle East, although the Dubai Mall, which is currently under construction by Emaar, will assume this status upon completion. ""Mall of the Emirates"" contains approximately 2.4 million square feet of shops and the entire mall forms a total of approximately 6.5 million square feet. In a global perspective, the World's largest shopping mall, the South China Mall in Dongguan-China, contains approximately 7.1 million square feet of shopping space in a complex that totals approximately 9.6 million square feet.
Although it features the usual amenities for a mall (a fourteen-screen movie theater, a gaming arena, a typical slew of stores, and a soon-to-be-completed dramatic theater), its biggest claim to fame is the Middle East'sfirst indoor ski slope, Ski Dubai. With the ski area, one of the largest in the world, the Mall of the Emirates seeks to differentiate itself from the dozen or so other newly completed malls in Dubai and the surrounding emirates. The mall officially opened in late November, 2005 with the inauguration of the ski area, although it had already been in operation for several weeks. It is located in the Al Barsha area of Dubai.

Ice Ski
Dubai Hotels
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UAE's hotels selection – Best for MICE

Kurban Tours has selected some of the best hotels in UAE. Many others are available and we love to do business with them. However, this small selection will give you the appetite on the quality available in UAE.


DUBAI hotels best selection for MICE

Rixos the Palm Dubai - www.rixos.com

Rixos the Palm Dubai

Kempinski the Palm Dubai - www.kempinski.com

Kempinski the Palm Dubai

Raffles Hotel Dubai - www.raffles.com

Raffles Hotel Dubai

Melia Hotel Dubai - www.melia-dubai.com

Melia Hotel Dubai

Armani Hotel Dubai - www.dubai.armanihotels.com

Armani Hotel Dubai

Atlantis the Palm Hotel Dubai - www.atlantisthepalm.com

Atlantis the Palm Hotel Dubai

Desert Palm Hotel Dubai - www.desertpalm.peraquum.com

Desert Palm Hotel Dubai

Habtoor Grand Hotel, Dubai - www.grandjumeirah.habtoorhotels.com

Habtoor Grand Hotel, Dubai


About Abu Dhabi
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Welcome to Abu Dhabi, where luxury and style are infused with traditional values of hospitality and respect. Where sunny weather, tranquil beaches, lush oases, vibrant city life, and a mixture of culture and traditions come together to create a holiday experience like no other. Explore the emirate’s old souqs, sip a fragrant Arabic coffee, ride the dunes on an exhilarating desert safari, or dive into a dazzling marine life - there is something for everyone in Abu Dhabi.

With the oil predicted to run out sometime after 2100 AD, you’d forgive Abu Dhabi for wanting to just sit pretty and count the money. But this attractive, green and distinctly Arab city just appears to be hitting its stride. While not as cosmopolitan or as sophisticated as Dubai, The emirate of Abu Dhabi is huge by comparison to the other emirates, comprising almost 87% of the country’s total area. Just as 50 years ago Abu Dhabi was little more than a fishing village comprising a fort, a few coral buildings and a smattering of barasti huts, the rest of the emirate is very ‘Arabian Sands’ with its enigmatic empty desert, dotted with oases such as Al-Ain and Liwa. While the ruling Al-Nahyan family may have become rich from what lies beneath, you get the sense that their connection to the desert and the sea is something that remains more important than petrodollars.

Abu Dhabi-Shoppers Paradise

The White Fort: Al-Hosn Palace, is also known as the Old Fort or the White Fort.It is the oldest building in the city being built in the late 19th century. The palace was the residence of the erstwhile ruling family.Al Hosn Palace is much noted for its courtyard and the tile work over the main gate. Today the interior of the Al Hosn Palace has been renovated and totally modernized. The Palace now houses the Cultural Foundation, which run the Documentation and Research Center and organises exhibitions that are held here displaying traditional artifacts and photographs.

The Heritage Village: The new Heritage Village on the Breakwater which is an area of reclaimed land off the main Abu Dhabi island, provides a taste of life before the oil era. Its displays offer an insight into Bedouin life, as well as courtyard houses, wind towers and an example of the ancient irrigation system used in the region's oases. In different workshops craftsmen and women demonstrate traditional skills and the museum has displays of garments, coins, Holy Qurans, diving equipment, jewellery and weaponry from a bygone era.

The Cultural Foundation: The Cultural Foundation located in the Khalidiya street is the cultural hub of the city.It is housed in a modern building of traditional Islamic architectural design with arched columns, elaborate courtyards, manicured gardens and intricately carved doorways. It stages weekly cultural events, meetings, cinema, lectures, film festivals, theaters apart from being the home to the National library and archives.

The Corniche: The Corniche stretches almost 6km along the beach front.It is a park-lined coastal boulevard that skirts the city, with a backdrop of modern buildings facing the sea.Built by the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, with its beach front location, lush greenery, paved walkways and beautiful fountains and gardens it is one of the most picturesque sites in Abu Dhabi.At any time of the day one can fine visitors enjoying witrh their families or strolling or jogging.

Breakwater: Towards the western side of The Corniche is the breakwater which is and area of reclaimed land off the main Abu Dhabi island connected to the Corniche by a causeway. This place features the Heritage village, luxury shopping malls, Arabic cafes and restaurants along the waterfront and is always busy with tourists any time of the day.

Liwa Oasis:About 3 hours drive from the city of Abu Dhabi is Liwa, which is an oasis area sitting right on the edge of The Rub Al Khali ( Empty Quarter) which is the largest sand desert in the world (having more sand than any other desert in the world. There is a palace and a 5 star hotel in the area. The area has plenty of freshwater pools and date plantations, and is the home to the Bani Yas tribe, the Bedouin ancestors of Abu Dhabi's ruling family. Camel tours of the Liwa dunes and overnight camping are also organised here.

Al bateen: Located on the western side of The Corniche is Al Bateen which has the Bateen shipyard where the ancient art of dhow building is worth a visit. There a plenty of lush green gardens too in this area which are enjoyable.

Al Ain: Al Ain, the Garden City of the UAE, has an abundance of greenery with well-maintained parks and gardens and is the second largest city of the UAE. Situated just 148 km east of the capital Al Ain is a historical city dating back to 4 millennium BC. Its attractions include the Al Ain National Museum, the Al Ain Palace Museum, several restored forts and the Hili archaeological site, dating back to the Bronze Age (2500-2000BC).Al Ain is the most fertile region of the country supporting plantations and small farms.Jabel Hafit is a steep mountain overlooking the city and rising to 1340 feet. Mineral springs at the base of this mountain and sunset scenes from the top of the mountain are mostly popular.Al Ain also has a zoo and an aquarium which are worth a visit. Qattarah Oasis situated at the edge of Al Ain is noted for its archaeological sites.



 
ABU DHABI Excursions
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UAE's sites & activities

Kurban Tours has selected the most popular sites and activities in UAE:
On December 2, 1971 the United Arab Emirates has been established as an independent federal state including seven emirates, abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah, Ajman Umm Al Quwan and Fujairah. The UAE Federation is a part of the Arab world linked to it by ties of religion, language, history and Joint destiny and the UAE people is a part of the Arab nation where Islam is its religion and Islamic Sharia is the main source of Legislation and the Official language is Arabic. Some of the places you must explore like Dubai city, Burj Khalifa & Musical fountains, Desert Safari, Dhow Cruise, Burj Al Arab, Golf Experience, Wild Wadi, Bedouin camps, East Coast, Hatta Safari, Sharjah, Deep Sea Fishing, Dubai and the Future, Helicopter Ride, Camel Caravan, Stable Polo Club, Mall of the Emirates.



ABU DHABI sites and activities


Abu Dhabi is the Capital of the UAE, and the largest of the seven Emirates, constituting over 85% of the nation's total land area. Abu Dhabi possesses 10% of the world's oil 5% of its gas reserves, and produces 90% of oil in the U.A.E. The generated income has been purposely invested to create a first class infrastructure and flourishing modern metropolis.At the same time great effort has been taken to protect Abu Dhabi's natural scenic beauty and to preserve the authentic spirit of Arabia. Some of the places you must explore like Ferrari World at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi City, Desert Safari, Helicopter ride, Saadiyat Island, Dhow Cruise, Liwa Safari, Al Ain Zoo

ABU DHABI Tour   

ABU DHABI Tour

This comprehensive tour is the ideal introduction to the UAE capital and the island on which it stands. Departing early morning, we include a visit to the fishing harbor and the dhow yard, where these sturdy vessels are still built in the traditional way, before continuing to the Heritage Village, which houses a small museum and depicts the traditional daily activities of the Arab community prior to the discovery of oil.
In this city of dramatic contrasts, we look at the ancient, renovated Al Husn Fort and the Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation. From here we drive along the spectacular Corniche, the beautiful Volcano Fountain, past gleaming white mosques, glass-clad offices and elegant high-rise apartments to the tip of the breakwater for a superb view of the city’s magnificent skyline.


Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner   

Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner

During the afternoon part of your safari, you will discover the true desert of Abu Dhabi. After an exciting drive over the sand dunes, we will visit a camel farm and watch the sunset from the dunes. Our journey will continue until we reach our traditional Arabic camp, and there you will have the opportunity to try a host of activities like henna painting, belly dancing, Shisha, the Arabic sweets and coffee significant to Bedouin culture. After sunset, a BBQ dinner will be served under the starlit sky, with live entertainment to ensure you have a night to remember. You will also be treated to traditional Arabic hospitality, with Arabic coffee and dates served as they have been for centuries and continue to be served in Emirati homes today.


Helicopter tour of Abu Dhabi   

Helicopter tour of Abu Dhabi

Travel in one of the luxury Helicopters departing from Abu Dhabi covering Giant Flag Pole, The Corniche, Lulu Island, Port Zayed, and Emirates Palace & Marina Mall.


Ferrari World Yas Island tour   

Ferrari World Yas Island tour

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi is located on Yas Island, a 25km² destinations, which is situated just 30 minutes and 50 minutes respectively from Abu Dhabi and Dubai Marina. The park will host over 20 state-of-the-art attractions, each designed to bring various facets of the Ferrari story to life. You’ll see Maranello from Enzo’s eyes, feel the rush of speed as the G-force takes over, or learn from the legends themselves in the factory or at the pit stop. It’s not just a park but an immersive experience that will spark the Ferrari spirit inside you. Featured attractions include the world’s fastest rollercoaster, reaching speeds of up to 240 km/h, emulating the feeling of being in a Ferrari F1 car, G-force experience taking passengers on an adrenaline-pumping ride up over 62m, through the roof and back down again, State-of-the-art racing simulators as those used by the Ferrari racing team, Flume ride journey through the heart of a Ferrari 599 engine Driving and Racing school for junior drivers, with expert training, Aerial voyage over Italy following a Ferrari etc..


Dhow Cruise Dinner   

Dhow Cruise Dinner

A Dinner cruise on a wonderful wooden dhow ─ built in the time-honored manner but with every comfort included ─ is a romantic way of spending an evening. Cruise along the moonlit creek while viewing the brilliantly-illuminated skyline. Enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner served with a taste of local delicacies.


Liwa 4x4 Safari   

Liwa 4x4 Safari

The drive down to the incredible Oasis of Liwa will take approximately four hours. Enjoy the magnificent and absolutely aweinspiring golden dunes of the world-famous, legendary “Rub Al Khali” ─ widely known as the 'Empty Quarter', - the largest desert in the Arabian Peninsula. You will then be able to enjoy lunch in a local guest house before leaving the peace of the desert and returning to the hustle of the city.


Yas Water World   

Yas Water World

Spread over 15 hectares, the waterpark will feature a thrilling range of 43 rides, slides and attractions. Four rides will be one-of-a-kind rides that have never been seen in a waterpark. Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi's theme is based on a legend that represents local Emirati culture and heritage. Visitors will be able to enjoy attractions that follow the adventures of the waterpark's main character Dana – a young Emirati girl in search of a legendary pearl that brought prosperity to her village. Building on the legend, the park will have a unique pearl diving attraction that showcases the role pearl diving played in the UAE’s rich history. Thrilling range of 43 rides, slides and attractions for the whole family! Have fun with friends and family in themed zones that are based on the legend of the lost pearl and the adventures of Dana.

The Legend of Lost Pearl    
Many years ago, the divers of an idyllic village known as Qaryat Al Jewana discovered a giant pearl. It was rumoured that this was the mother of all pearls, which would bring good luck and bountiful harvests and indeed the village prospered and life was good. One day, a fierce shamal blew in from the deserts and the pearl vanished in the storm. However, the legend of the mystic pearl survived and the villagers believed that it would return when they were in greatest need.
Many years passed since the pearl disappeared and the village divers face hardships because of depleting pearls and plundering by bandits and pirates. A little village girl, called Dana, is determined to find the lost pearl and bring prosperity back to the village. Dana ventures into the desert with greedy bandits following her path. With few clues on where to begin her search, will Dana find the lost pearl…?


AL AIN Tour   

AL AIN Tour

The road from Abu Dhabi takes you through rolling desert before reaching Al Ain, dramatically situated at 100 Km from Abu dhabi, against the mountain backdrop of the 1300-metre-high Jebel Hafit. For thousands of years the oasis of Al Ain has been an important caravan stop on the ancient trade routes across Arabia. Our first visit will be to the museum with interesting displays depicting local traditions, culture and the Bedouin lifestyle, as well as exhibits from the 2,500-year-old Mesopotamian burial site nearby.

The tour continues to the camel market and then on to Mahda Oasis to see the 2,000-year-old Falaj system feeding the date gardens. We stop for lunch, before continuing to Al Ain Palace Museum, the old residential complex of the late Sheikh Zayed, and then return to Abu Dhabi.


 
Abu Dhabi Hotels
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The Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi - www.ritzcarlton.com

Ritz Carlton Abu Dhabi

Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi – www.abudhabi.capitalgate.hyatt.com

Hyatt Capital Gate Abu Dhabi


Sofitel Corniche Abu Dhabi – www.sofitel.com

Sofitel Corniche Abu Dhabi


Eastern Mangroves Hotel Abu Dhabi – www.abu-dhabi.anantara.com

Eastern Mangroves Hotel Abu Dhabi

St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi – www.stregissaadiyatisland.com

St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort Abu Dhabi

Park Hyatt Hotel Abu Dhabi – www.abudhabi.park.hyatt.com

Park Hyatt Hotel Abu Dhabi

Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi – www.roccofortehotels.com

Rocco Forte Hotel Abu Dhabi

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers – www.jumeirah.com

Jumeirah at Etihad Towers
 
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