An Update on Dubai's Developments

Summer isn't necessarily the time to send clients to the United Arab Emirates, but here's an update on developments for making future travel arrangements.  Al Qasr, part of Madinat Jumeirah

At the end of 2006, there were 31,508 rooms available in Dubai and 8,000 long-stay apartments. And the building boom shows no signs of slowing down; the pace continues to be brisk.

If a fall excursion is suits your clients, consider the Raffles Dubai, which opens its doors in September. The 248-rooms-and-suites resort takes the shape of a 20-story pyramid in the heart of Dubai, right in the premier business and shopping district,

Sheikh Zayed Road
.

Although all rooms sport balconies with expansive views across the city, the best rooms to book will be the Presidential Suites, which span a whopping 2,800 square feet, have their own large, private balcony, boast panoramic views of the city, tranquil interiors and a beautiful lounge area.

Dining options abound, including everything from steak and seafood at Fire & Ice and contemporary, international fare at Oasis. Raffles Dubai will also include the award-winning Raffles Amrita Spa and the reigning jewel—a BotanicalSkyGarden that covers approximately two acres.

The hotel is 15 minutes from the international airport and 10 minutes from DubaiFinancialCity and Dubai World Trade Exhibition/Convention Center.

The Raffles Dubai is a 20-story hotel set to open in September

Travel agents sending their clients can contact General Manager Hagop A. Doghramadjian directly at 9714 3246000 or hagop.doghramadjian@raffles.com.

Dubailand

Located inland along

Emirates Road
and facing Palm Jumeirah, Dubailand is one of the biggest tourism projects in the region if not the world. The massive endeavor will include 45 projects and 200 subprojects and is set to dwarf Disney World, which currently reigns as the world's largest set of amusement parks.

Palm Islands

The man-made Palm Jumeirah is complete and building on the island has already begun; occupancy is expected by the end of this year.

Travel Agent hears that the Atlantis Hotel will be built on the island and be completed by the end of 2008. Insiders tell us one of the hotel's suites will even have an entire wall that is an aquarium. The island has also peaked major mogul and entrepreneur Donald Trump's interest. Plans for the Palm Trump International Hotel & Tower, created by the European firm Atkins, have been revealed.

Word on the other two man-made PalmIslands: Palm Jebel Ali has been built and the sand is being packed down right now; Palm Deira is still being drudged.

Palm Jumeirah is one of three Palm Islands developments off the coast of Dubai

All of the islands will consist of residential, leisure, hotel and marina developments set to be completed between 2008 and 2010.

Bawadi

The $28 million project Bawadi, which is to be developed and managed by Tatweer—a member of Dubai Holding—will be the longest strip of hotels in the world. Asia Asia, one of the hotels, is set to be the largest hotel in the world with 6,500 rooms.

Thirty-one hotels with 29,200 rooms will stretch along 10 kilometers (approximately six miles). The complex will have more than 100 theaters and 1,500 restaurants. The project will be completed in five phases in the period of 2010-2014.

Open Now

The five-star Madinat Jumeirah, The Arabian Resort—Dubai opened its doors right on JumeirahBeach a few years ago. The first phase of the resort was Mina A' Salam hotel, which opened in 2003, and was followed by the opening of the complete resort in August 2004. This property, which boasts the distinction of the only authentically Arabian-style resort in Dubai, is comprised of 874 luxury rooms and suites and three distinctively different hotel experiences.

Besides Mina A' Salam, guests can experience a stay fit for a king at Al Qasr ("the palace"), which is designed to reflect a sheikh's summer residence. Dar Al Masyaf, the resort's Arabian Summer Houses, are stand-alone, two-story retreats, and the optimal choice for guests seeking extra privacy.

Famished guests have a wide-range of restaurants and bar options, with cuisine running the gamut, from traditional Arabian tapas at Bahri Bar to classic Italian at Segreto. Although each accommodation has something to offer, the best rooms to book are the Dar Al Masyaf Gulf Ocean Suites, which span 1,291 square feet and are located on the first floor to ensure the best views of the Arabian Gulf.

When your clients are ready to leave this peaceful paradise, they will be in easy reach of transportation; DubaiInternationalAirport is a half-hour drive from the hotel.

Travel agents sending their clients can call the Central Reservations Office at 877-854-8051.

Don't Forget Abu Dhabi

Saadiyat is set to become an international tourism destination offering approximately 29 hotels with more than 7,100 rooms, three marinas and two golf courses. The island's beachfront will be home to 14 resorts being build to be four-stars and higher. When the development is complete, it is expected to house approximately 150,000 people.