Get up close and personal with inspiring people from the hospitality industry
Dubai is known as the “City of Possible” with fun and thrilling activities, for solo, couple or even family travelers. Dennis Latif sat down with Frontier Market Dubai Tourism Director, Ms. Jessie Ling, to find out more about what Dubai has to offer to th
What makes Dubai such an interesting travel destination for tourists from all around the world?
The reason is that Dubai is so eventful. During the winter months from November to April, we have a lot of outdoor festivals, for example in February, we have the food festival, and along the beach there are beach canteens and pop-up containers, selling different types of delectable cuisines. These exciting events are scattered around Dubai on different days and offer many different activities, which are just one of the many things in Dubai that are so interesting for tourists from all around the world.
Dubai is also known as a culinary hub, could you elaborate?
Well, if you look at New York or London, you will think that there are a lot of nationalities gathered there and that makes it very cosmopolitan, but actually, Dubai is the most cosmopolitan city in the world. We have more than 200 nationalities living in Dubai, much more than any other city, that is why there are a lot of authentic cuisines as well as a mix match of the cuisines here. Sometimes you will question the origins of the food here “is that Lebanese food?”, “is that Syrian dish?” You don’t quite know what it is because in a city like Dubai you get a lot of fusion. You can have an authentic cuisine or a fusion cuisine all at once. So Dubai by itself, if you look at just the nationalities, there are lots of foods varieties. And also because of the way the city is, all the top Michelin star chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Jason Atherton, Tom Kitchin and more, all have restaurants here in Dubai.
How about Dubai as a family destination, could you expand on that?
Dubai is a very attractive family destination. In the Middle East, Dubai is the top family vacation destination. We realized this a few years ago, and as part of our strategy for Tourism 2020, we want to expand on that fact that Dubai is a very fun and safe family destination, we want to make sure the rest of the world knows it, seizes it, wants to come and even do repeat visits. In 2016, we had two big theme parks that opened here; one is the IMG Worlds of Adventure, consisting of Cartoon Network, Lost Valley, Marvel Adventure and an all-in-one weatherproof indoor theme park. The second is the Dubai Parks and Resorts which consists of a Bollywood Park (the first Bollywood theme park in the world), Legoland Dubai which is also the first Legoland Waterpark in the world, and finally MotionGate Dubai, which consists of all movie related activities and entertainments, from Sony Pictures and more.
When is the best time to visit Dubai?
I would say, just as every dish is nice, so every month is a good month to visit. But my personal recommendation would be from October to April, our winter months. Because, those are our very busy months with many outdoor activities; you can dine along the river or dine next to the beach. And with all the interesting attractions that we have now, all the malls, IMG theme park, in which everything is indoor and temperature controlled, there is no reason why we shouldn’t come during summer as well.
What do you like the most about Dubai?
I am Singaporean; I love food, so the gourmet part of Dubai is what I like most. Being able to have your street food all the way to your big fivestar restaurants is what I love so much about this city. You can have Jordanian waffle, Iranian desserts, Iraqi fish, Yemen biryani dish, all of these authentic foods, best of the best in the world, in just a stretch of a few blocks here and there, so easy and fascinating. This is truly a unique and fun experience for my friends and I when they come visiting Dubai.
If you have to describe Dubai in 5 words, what would it be?
Romantic, Dynamic, Relaxed, Beautiful and Possible. Everything is possible in Dubai; you can go skiing here, shopping, experience different cultures, enjoy rides on fast and luxurious cars, marine cruises, and much more. There is always something for everyone here in Dubai.
Ms. Jessie Ling