Dubai is a dream holiday destination for many people and in particular, it seems, those living on the African continent. Many attributes make Dubai a popular choice for holidaymakers, incredible architecture, luxury lifestyle, beautiful landscapes to name but a handful, so it's not hard to see why its tourism numbers are skyrocketing. With that said, we're going to investigate exactly what it is that makes Dubai such a hotspot for African tourists in particular, especially when there are so many incredible sites to be seen without leaving the mainland.
Flight Costs and Times
One of the largest costs of the vast majority of holidays is travelling there. Flights are an expensive business, but it seems they're particularly expensive when you fly within Africa, as this piece by us at African Exponent investigates. The fact that it is expensive to fly within Africa could be part of what is driving African tourists abroad. After all, if you can get significantly further for your money, enabling you to experience a whole new landscape and culture, then why on Earth wouldn't you? When you couple this with the fact that there are several African airports that fly directly to Dubai, without the need for a stopover or change, then it starts to become clear why Dubai is becoming so popular. For example, from Cairo to Dubai, it takes just three and a half hours by plane, and you can pick up your flight tickets for under 5000 Egyptian Pounds. Saving so much time and money on flights means you get more time actually on holiday and more spending money to enjoy that time.
Sports and Games
As well as being affordable and easy to travel to, there's also a lot to be said for Dubai's culture. The people of Dubai are big fans of sports and like to make spectacles of their displays of bravery and athleticism. Horse racing is very popular in the country, with the Meydan racecourse in Dubai being a true state of the art facility, the likes of which simply do not exist in Africa. Huge sums of money were pumped into the Meydan complex, making it the sort of place where you could spend an entire holiday and never get bored. As well as horse racing, more niche sports such as camel racing and falconry are also popular in Dubai, which give a window into a whole new culture. Experiences like this are magical for any tourists and helpful in uniting cultures over their shared interests.
As well as sports, games are a big part of culture in Dubai, with board games, card games like As-Nas and dice games being hugely popular and easy to pick up for tourists. It's worth bearing in mind though, that unlike large parts of Africa, gaming in Dubai is regulated differently. Across Asia in fact, there are different rules and regulations that it is important to follow whilst travelling. The rules vary so widely that Asiabet was created to try and alleviate some of the difficulty in understanding exactly what is legal and what isn’t. This company has created a simple way to see which sites you are able to use in which country, making it easy for African people travelling to Asia, in particular Dubai, to make sure they don’t get caught out.
Perhaps the single factor that is the most unique about Dubai, is how the city has seamlessly blended ultra-modern architecture with its ancient history. In doing so they've enabled two worlds to join together beautifully, allowing residents and tourists alike to enjoy contemporary luxury living. An afternoon could be spent splashing in a pool atop a skyscraper hotel, whilst the evening might be spent in the heady heat of a souk, searching for presents or trinkets to take home and soaking in the smells of herbs and spices. On the walk home you could see traditional Middle Eastern architecture in the form of 19th century buildings, inspired by a range of cultures, from Indian to Iranian, to Islamic. Alongside these historic buildings, you'll see some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, like the Burj Khalifa, feats of architecture that push the boundaries of what is currently possible. The ability to enjoy two opposing experiences like this is an exciting one, one that is bound to draw tourists from not just Africa, but all around the world.