With hours of networking and interactive sessions scheduled for the Hockey Revolution Part 2 Conference, plus the 45th FIH Congress to participate in, delegates heading to Dubai are being reminded to take advantage of any spare time during their stay to discover what else the city of No Limits has to offer.
It would be difficult to go to Dubai and not see the world’s tallest building, but to really appreciate all 828m of the Burj Khalifa you really need to get up close or, even better, go inside. On a clear day, the view from the observation deck on level 124 is absolutely stunning, topped only by that of the view from the luxurious 'At The Top Sky Lounge' on the 148th floor. And for those who would like to linger for a meal in the clouds, At.mosphere on level 122 is the place to be.
Whether you are dining among the clouds or simply want a meal at ground level, Dubai is a haven of international cuisine.
As delegates arrive in Dubai, so double Michelin-starred chef Tom Aitken will be adding the finishing touches to Tom’s Kitchen Deli, due to open in November at Riverland in Dubai Parks and Resorts. On the menu: the cod dog with cod fish fingers in a brioche roll; tacos with sour cream, chilli relish, cheese sauce and jalapeños; doughnuts stuffed with peanut butter and jelly or salted caramel; and crepes served with a variety of ice cream and toppings. Aitken describes the food as ‘fast food with a classic twist.”
While much of Dubai is all about the glamour of city life and a very 21st century take on urban living, there is a more ancient soul to the city and this can be found at the Creek.
The saltwater estuary is the original site where the Bani Yas tribe settled, and its waters were vital for what used to be Dubai's main forms of economy: pearl diving and fishing. Today, the area is awash with the history of the emirate, as it's home to the Dubai Museum as well as the labyrinthine alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks. While at the Creek, a ride across the water on a traditional abra is a must.
The more adventurous delegates might fancy a trip to the desert and it really is just on the door step of the city. Less than 20 minutes from Downtown Dubai and you are in the sands of the Arabian Desert. How you take your safari is a matter of choice – dune bashing, quad biking, sand boarding and camel rides are all on the agenda.
However you decide to spend your free time in Dubai, here are some pointers to help you enjoy your time in this fascinating city:
- The temperature during the Conference will be around 25°C. Lightweight clothing is suitable, with jumpers or jackets in the evenings. Hats, sunglasses and sun screen are advisable during the day.
- All major credit cards are accepted in retailers, restaurants and hotels, although cash may be preferred in small shops, cafes and markets.
- The monetary unit is the Dirham (Dhs or AED), which is divided into 100 fils. The Dirham has been pegged to the US dollar since the end of 1997 at a mid-rate of Dhs3.67.
- All road and shop signs, restaurant menus and tourist leaflets are in both Arabic and English. Other common languages are Hindi, Urdu, Tagalog and Farsi.
- Dubai’s local public transport is operated by the Roads & Transport Authority and consists of the Dubai metro, buses, water buses and abras (water taxis). A worthwhile RTA package called 'One Day in Dubai' allows for travel on all public transport covering the main city sights.