Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Cultural Tours, CTBUH 8th World Congress, Dubai, March 3rd - 5th 2008

Dubai City Tour
Dubai Shopping Tour
Sharjah & Ajman Tour

Accompanying spouses, partners or those who just fancied a break from the presentations were able to experience the tourist side of Dubai by undertaking one of the three sightseeing tours organized each day. These tours offered the opportunity for seeing some of the cultural buildings in the city, a boat trip up the Dubai creek, or for shopping in one of the souks.

The ‘Taste of Dubai’ city tour started at the Jumeirah Mosque before driving past the impressive Beach Palaces of the Dubai Sheiks. The Old Al Fahidi Fort Museum gave insights on Dubai’s historical links with trading and pearl diving then colleagues were shown the ancient, beautifully restored house of Sheikh Saeed; the grandfather of the present Ruler of Dubai. A water taxi then took the delegates from the Dubai Souk to the other side of Dubai Creek. Rounding off the half day was a visit to the Spice Souk, a market for fresh Arabic spices, and a visit to the Gold Souk, with more than 300 jewelers offering a large variety of gold at reasonable prices.               

Dubai City Tour: Jumeirah Mosque
  Sharjah & Ajman Tour: Ajman Museum

The ‘Dubai Shopping Tour’ took visitors on a shopping spree to world-class, multi-level, air-conditioned malls. The tour started at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. A magnificent tribute to Dubai’s heritage, luxurious and ornate, it combined the height of opulence with an overwhelming sense of tradition. Meandering waterways transport guests to all parts of this intricate city of senses, with its two grand boutique hotels, courtyard summer houses, a traditional souk, health spa and recreational facilities. Next on the tour was the Mall of the Emirates, which is the largest shopping center outside of North America. The mall is home to over 450 retailers and also features a complete range of entertainment options including ‘Ski Dubai’, the first indoor ski destination in the Middle East!

Dubai City Tour: Water taxis, Dubai Creek   Dubai City Tour: Spices on display at the spice souk.

The ‘Sharjah & Ajman’ tour covered Dubai’s neighboring Emirates. Sharjah is often regarded as “the cultural city of the Emirates”. Attendees visited the Souq Al Markazi – a splendid example of Islamic architecture – as well as the Islamic center and Mosque, the Sharjah Clock Tower and the Rolla Tree Monument. The Heritage Village is the old souk (market place) which used to be the commercial center of Sharjah. Today the souk has been architecturally restored to preserve its cultural heritage. The tour took the visitors on a walk through the finely restored Naboodah House which is the biggest in this complex. Finally the tour took in the Ajman cornice with a visit to the Ajman Museum, before making their way back to Dubai.

Dubai Shopping Tour: Souk Madinat Jumeirah   Dubai Shopping Tour: Mall of the Emirates