Middle East 2022

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<strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong><br />





Team<br />

Contents<br />

CEO<br />

Robert Bruce<br />

Editor-In-Chief<br />

Katherine Lozell<br />

Art Director<br />

Marcs Bacera<br />

Awards Director<br />

Brian Anson<br />

Editorial Liaison Manager<br />

David Hyde<br />

Criteria 6<br />

Qatar10<br />

FIFA World Cup Our Guide to Visiting Qatar12<br />

Qatar 3 Unmissable Attractions16<br />

Fraser Suites West Bay Doha18<br />

Ezdan Palace Hotel20<br />

Saudi Arabia 22<br />

Riyadh The Beautiful<br />

Desert Oasis 24<br />

The Do’s and Don’ts in<br />

Saudi Arabia 26<br />

Radisson Blu Hotel &<br />

Residence, Riyadh<br />

Diplomatic Quarter 28<br />

UAE30<br />

Dubai The City of<br />

the Future 32<br />

Shopping in Dubai 34<br />

Adventure in Dubai 38<br />

Emirates Stars Hotel<br />

Apartments Dubai 40<br />

Hydro Sports Yachts and<br />

Boats Rental LLC 42<br />

Bahrain44<br />

Bahrain 46<br />

The Top 5 Things To Do48<br />

Dragon Hotel And Resort 50<br />

Director Of Marketing<br />

Azim Aftab<br />

Social Media Manager<br />

Apple Gatus<br />

Senior Writers<br />

Tasmai Dave & Zavier Zulfqar<br />

Senior Designers<br />

Maria Fernandes & Ashwin Ramesh<br />

Awards Managers<br />

Adam Cole, Alice Smith, & Stanley Lucas<br />

Research Managers<br />

Peter Clement & Mukul<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Joseph Malabanan, & Michael Popoola

Criteria<br />

Service<br />

Excellence in Service is an important<br />

category, as customer service can often<br />

be responsible for having guests return<br />

year after year. We look for the hotels<br />

and tour operators that go out of their<br />

way to please their guests, those that<br />

provide a personal level of service and<br />

take the time to get to know each visitor<br />

so that they might anticipate their every<br />

need. This can be something as simple<br />

as a 24-hour concierge desk, a hotel<br />

manager who offers a personal greeting<br />

or a tour guide who is happy to create<br />

bespoke private tours – but whatever<br />

it is, we are always pleased when we<br />

encounter staff that have been trained<br />

in the art of customer satisfaction.<br />

Style & Design<br />

It is no question that style and design<br />

plays a big part in selecting our awards<br />

shortlist. A guest will form an opinion<br />

about a hotel as soon as they arrive<br />

so it is important to us that all our<br />

winners make those first impressions<br />

count. We’re certainly not partial to a<br />

particular period of architecture – but<br />

whether we’re judging a gothic castle or<br />

an environmentally friendly lodge, the<br />

criteria remains the same. We consider<br />

factors such as architectural features,<br />

use of materials, creation of spaces,<br />

décor and the overall feel. We love it<br />

when we find a hotel that tells a story<br />

though its design and construction, or<br />

offers a design that is sympathetic to<br />

the natural surroundings of its location.<br />

Local Knowledge<br />

Knowledge of the local area is essential<br />

for any organization, be it a hotel or a<br />

tour operator. The quality of services<br />

takes a great hit when the quality of this<br />

element is not up to the mark. Quite a<br />

few of our winners in this category are<br />

because they have displayed excellent<br />

knowledge about the surrounding<br />

areas. The criteria for a hotel is slightly<br />

lenient compared to a tour operator, as<br />

the latter is expected to have thorough<br />

knowledge of the area in order to<br />

provide good services.<br />

Facilities<br />

Award-winning guest rooms come in all<br />

shapes and sizes, but they all have one<br />

thing in common – a home-away-fromhome<br />

feel. The comfort of the facilities<br />

on offer are of vital importance; we look<br />

for luxurious linens, stylish bathrooms<br />

and a coordinated colour scheme that<br />

work together to create a cohesive<br />

sense of relaxation. Additional touches,<br />

such as complimentary toiletries, free<br />

wi-fi or tea and coffee making facilities<br />

are always a bonus in making us feel<br />

welcome. We’re always impressed to find<br />

hotel rooms that embrace technology<br />

and offer amenities like tablets or smart<br />

thermostat systems, but this does not<br />

always necessarily trump the traditional<br />

– four poster beds, ornate fireplaces or<br />

antique furniture can add a touch of<br />

decadence to a hotel stay.<br />

Marketing<br />

In today’s modern age, a hotel or tour<br />

operator cannot rely on word of mouth<br />

to get their message out into the world.<br />

As social media has become a vital<br />

part of everyday life, we like to see<br />

companies that go the extra mile to<br />

engage with their guests, both past<br />

and future. Attractive and informative<br />

websites and engaging and honest<br />

content are what we look for when<br />

judging a company’s use of marketing;<br />

how well they display their services, how<br />

up-to-date their content is, how well<br />

they get their brand message across,<br />

and, most importantly, how well their<br />

marketing can tempt us to go and see<br />

what they have to offer for ourselves.<br />

6<br />


Criteria<br />

Diversity<br />

Diversity is one important aspect that<br />

needs to be taken into consideration<br />

when in the travel and hospitality<br />

industry. It is essential to have staff<br />

that has varying diversity to ensure that<br />

the organization can properly connect<br />

with their guests. Diversity is taken into<br />

account in terms of gender, nationality<br />

as well as languages spoken among<br />

other factors. Not only do we take the<br />

diversity of the staff into account but<br />

even that of the facilities and services<br />

offered; a hotel or tour operator<br />

providing a better range of services is<br />

preferred over those that do not.<br />

Customer Reviews<br />

What better way is there to know about<br />

an organization than by getting first<br />

hand reviews? Customers are the best<br />

judges of any service as they are the<br />

ones who experience them and can<br />

assess whether they were up to the<br />

mark or not. Considering reviews from<br />

hundreds of customers gives us a fair<br />

idea about the general pros and cons<br />

of any organization and also gives us<br />

valuable inputs for the other criteria<br />

as well.<br />

Industry Knowledge<br />

It is of prime importance that an<br />

organization has thorough industry<br />

knowledge. Without knowing the nit-bits<br />

of the industry, it is difficult to flourish<br />

and provide services which are a class<br />

apart. Before any organization ventures<br />

into the industry, it is essential that<br />

they know how the industry is moving<br />

and how they should make changes to<br />

their methodologies in order to remain<br />

relevant and also be a top-performing<br />

organization.<br />

Location<br />

Location is one of the most important factors, but also one of the most subjective,<br />

as the ‘ideal’ is very much determined by the type of visitor and the type of<br />

hotel itself. However, there are a few factors we take into consideration when<br />

determining the winners of location-based awards. The first is convenience; that<br />

is, hotels that are easy to travel to. Many of our winners in this category are in<br />

convenient locations, such as adjacent to airports, close to beaches or found in<br />

the heart of easy-to-navigate cities. We are always impressed when hotels go the<br />

extra mile to take the hassle out of traveling and offer such additional services as<br />

airport shuttles or car hire services. However, we’re always excited to come across<br />

a hotel that is, to use a familiar phrase, off-the-beaten-track. A hotel that can<br />

offer something a little different, in terms of natural surroundings, can make the<br />

difference between a good holiday and an incredible one.<br />

8<br />


Aerial view of the Pearl-Qatar<br />

Qatar<br />

<br />

10<br />


The FIFA world cup is set to take place in Qatar, a first for such a small nation, and the first time it’s taking<br />

place at the end of the year. Naturally there will be a lot of questions about visiting Qatar and there is a lot<br />

of misinformation going around. So to help we’ve put together a short guide for anyone planning to visit.<br />




Hay’Ya Card (Fan ID)<br />

For any visitor the first item on the to-do list must be to obtain<br />

a Hayya Card. Hayya Card is a fan ID, stadium pass (along<br />

with match ticket), public transport card, and entry permit if<br />

you’re planning to visit between November 1st and the 23rd<br />

of January. All international travellers, regardless of whether<br />

you plan on attending a match or not, must obtain a Hayya<br />

Card beforehand, locals on the other hand will only need it to<br />

attend matches or use public transport for free. Once tickets<br />

are purchased and accommodation booked you can apply for<br />

a Hayya Card, online via https://www.qatar<strong>2022</strong>.qa/<br />

Getting In & Getting Around<br />

The main way into Qatar is by flying into Hamad international<br />

Airport. The airport is the home base of Qatar Airways, which<br />

is one the best-connected airlines in the world. You shouldn’t<br />

have too much difficulty getting into the country.<br />

If you live in neighbouring Saudi Arabia, then you may want<br />

consider driving in. Saudi Arabia is Qatar’s only land border<br />

and is connected by a single highway, the Qatar-UAE Road.<br />

Getting around Qatar is really simply, the country is one of<br />

the smallest in the world and most matches will take place in<br />

it’s capital Doha. The metro and bus services in the country<br />

are efficient and well run. With your Hayya Card you’ll get<br />

free access. You can choose to go via taxi or ride hailing app,<br />

if you prefer this then we advise getting set up on Uber or<br />

Careem beforehand.<br />

12 13

Fan Zones<br />

Much has been made of the general prohibition of alcohol in<br />

Qatar as it’s only really available at a few high-end hotels or<br />

private clubs. For those fans who like to revel in a drink during<br />

games organisers have set up designated fan zones, where<br />

alcohol consumption is permitted. Fan zones will be made<br />

easily accessible and set up to include food stalls, football<br />

themed activities, VIP tents, and giant screens. Full list of fan<br />

zones has yet to be released so keep an eye out.<br />

The Sites<br />

While football is the main attraction during the World Cup,<br />

there are plenty of sites worth visiting. The Museum of<br />

Islamic Art is a lovely way to spend a morning, if you want<br />

to shop the city boasts plenty of shopping malls, for a more<br />

traditional shopping experience we recommend the vibrant<br />

Souq Waqif, and for cultural immersion why not check out the<br />

wonder Katara Cultural Village. All this and many more sites<br />

will be a short trip away while you’re in Doha. Some of these<br />

could get very busy so if you want to avoid crowds it may be<br />

a smart idea to go toward the end of the tournament when<br />

some fans have left.<br />

Consider the UAE?<br />

One option that has been floated around is the idea of staying<br />

in the UAE and visiting Qatar on matchdays. With both Abu<br />

Dhabi and Dubai only a short flight or a 5-6 hour car journey<br />

(via Saudi Arabia) away, it’s something worth thinking about.<br />

For one accommodation will be cheaper in either of these<br />

cities, and neither will be as busy as Doha, ideal if you want<br />

to avoid all the frenzy.<br />

General Tips<br />

As covered earlier alcohol is banned so taking your drinks<br />

out of fan zones isn’t allowed nor should you be drunk in<br />

public. Public displays of affection, of any kind can get you<br />

into trouble although you may get away with hand holding or<br />

linking arms.<br />

Dress modestly, make sure knees and elbows are covered,<br />

especially away from the beach or fan zones.<br />

14<br />


QATAR<br />



Souq Waqif<br />

Doha, the Capital of Qatar,<br />

is a modern marvel and the<br />

epitome of cosmopolitan<br />

city. So, for a glimpse into<br />

it’s past, before oil was<br />

found in 1940, we suggest<br />

spending some time at<br />

Souq Waqif. It’s essentially<br />

a traditional Qatari market<br />

with vibrant vendors selling<br />

handicrafts, souvenirs,<br />

jewellery, spices, and<br />

clothes. It’s also home<br />

to quite a few traditional<br />

Qatari restaurants and food<br />

stalls which tends to give<br />

the whole place a nice buzz<br />

especially in the evenings.<br />

Keep in mind that it’s<br />

closed between 12.30 and<br />

3.30 everyday and open<br />

from 12.30pm to 10pm on<br />

Fridays.<br />

The National Museum of Qatar<br />

Set within one of Qatar’s most iconic buildings, the National<br />

Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history and<br />

culture of this unique country. The museum shows Qatar’s<br />

history in 3 parts – the beginning, the present, and the modern.<br />

There are total of 11 galleries to explore, few restaurants and<br />

cafés, and a beautiful park to enjoy.<br />

It’s open from 9am to 7pm everyday except on Friday when it’s<br />

open from 1.30pm to 7pm. It costs 50 Qatari Riyal to enter, unless<br />

you’re a Qatari citizen, then it’s free.<br />

Katara Cultural Village<br />

Qatar has positioned itself as one of the cultural centres of<br />

the <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>, and no other place reflect this better than<br />

the wonderful Katara Cultural Village. This stunning attraction<br />

houses an amphitheatre, a garden, two distinctively designed<br />

mosques, several restaurants, art galleries, and a convention<br />

centre.<br />

It’s played host to several film festivals, TEDx talks, religious<br />

celebrations, art workshops, concerts, and lectures. It’s open<br />

24/7 and definitely worth checking out both during the day and<br />

in the evenings.<br />

16 17

18<br />

Fraser Suites<br />

West Bay Doha<br />

Qatar | Luxury Hotel<br />

Tucked away in the upmarket region of West Bay, the newly established<br />

five star Fraser Suites West Bay Doha has over 396 rooms up for<br />

grabs. The location of the luxury hotel is such that it is close to all<br />

the important landmarks of the city, including the Corniche, popular<br />

shopping malls, and the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center<br />

(DECC).<br />

Choose between the deluxe, one, two or three bedroom<br />

suites based on the level of luxury you wish to have.<br />

All the rooms are fully-serviced and are spread out<br />

across 46 floors of the hotel. Each floor houses<br />

custom-made furniture and fixtures, created by<br />

high-end designers from Italy. All the rooms<br />

are well-appointed with distinguished<br />

and spacious living and dining areas.<br />

The rooms also come ‘with’ a fullyequipped<br />

kitchen so that you can<br />

cook whenever you wish to.<br />

Apart from this, the units further include complimentary<br />

unlimited Wi-Fi access. The 24/7 reception caters to<br />

any urgent or general requirements of the guests. The<br />

hotel also prides itself in offering concierge services<br />

to its guests. Other recreational facilities including a<br />

fully-equipped health club, kids room, a game room,<br />

and conference halls are readily available too.<br />

The hotel also features a helipad from where you can<br />

get some fantastic views of Doha. You can choose to<br />

dine here at night or even indulge in some refreshing<br />

Yoga sessions in the evenings with the view of the<br />

city.<br />

Another primary highlight of the hotel is its signature<br />

restaurant called The Social. The restaurant features<br />

an indoor and outdoor dining concept and brings<br />

the best of authentic West, <strong>East</strong>, and <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern<br />

cuisine to your plate. A unique breakfast buffet spread<br />

is available every morning as well for your indulgence.<br />

All in all, Fraser Suites West Bay Doha ensures that<br />

your stay in Doha is far from ordinary.<br />


5863 Al Intisar St, Doha, Qatar<br />

Tel +974 4495 5000<br />

westbay-doha.frasershospitality.com<br />


Ezdan Palace Hotel<br />

Qatar | Elegant Hotel<br />

Located in the heart of Doha, and in close proximity to the biggest<br />

shopping malls in Qatar, five-star Ezdan Palace Hotel raises the bar<br />

in service, style, and sheer indulgence. Opened in May 2018, the Hotel<br />

features refined Andalusian architectural design and unique service<br />

which blends true <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern hospitality with international<br />

standards. The 195 lavishly appointed rooms and suites have<br />

been carefully designed by a renowned architect to ensure<br />

comfort for all guests. Three superb restaurants offer an<br />

exquisite culinary experience serving International,<br />

Italian and Thai cuisine. Nestled between old and<br />

new Doha, the hotel offers easy access to Hamad<br />

International Airport, as well as to Doha’s main<br />

business and entertainment districts, making<br />

it the prime location to discover the evergrowing<br />

city of Doha, the capital of Qatar<br />


Al Shamal Road, P.O Box: 30503,<br />

Doha, State of Qatar<br />

Tel + 0097440071130<br />

20<br />


Saudi Arabia<br />

<br />

Ushaiqer Heritage Village, Saudi Arabia<br />

22<br />


The Capital of Saudi Arabia is oftentimes misunderstood as a purely business or a tediously political<br />

city but in truth Riyadh has much to offer and is becoming an increasingly popular destination for those<br />

interested in architecture, culture, history, and shopping.<br />

RIYADH<br />



Getting In & Around<br />

The direct route into Riyadh is by flying into the cities<br />

magnificent King Khaled Airport, there are direct flights<br />

available from several European, <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern and Asian<br />

cities. The bus is another option especially from key cities<br />

within Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries such as<br />

Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and the UAE.<br />

Riyadh is spaciously built meaning driving is the most efficient<br />

way to get around regardless of whether it’s by yourself, with<br />

a personal driver, or private taxi. The public transport<br />

Things To Do & See<br />

Riyadh is home to some fascinating sites. The Masmask<br />

Fortress is a renovated site that played a key role in the<br />

founding of Saud Dynasty. The Murabba Palace is an<br />

intimidating structure that’s certainly worth a visit. While the<br />

National Museum will give you everything you could want to<br />

learn about the history of the kingdom.<br />

There are several world class golf courses located in and<br />

around Riyadh, should you fancy a go. Football is extremely<br />

popular so if you’re fan you should try to catch a game at<br />

the stunning King Farhad Stadium. Or why not go on an<br />

adventure in to the desert for a sport of dune-bashing.<br />

Dining<br />

Riyadh has a wide range of eating spots from cheap Pakistani<br />

and Indian restaurants right the way up to luxurious fine<br />

dining establishments. What the city lacks in a culinary<br />

identity it makes up for in quality and variety. Foods from all<br />

over the world can be found here.<br />

Accommodation<br />

We recommend checking in to the Radisson Blu Hotel &<br />

Residence located in the Diplomatic Quarter. For an in depth<br />

piece on this award winning property turn to page .<br />

24 25

Saudi Arabia hasn’t always been popular when it comes to leisure tourism. However, with current plans<br />

to offer more tourist visas, lax certain hospitality laws, and stage more entertainment events, it’s fair to<br />

say more and more visitors are expected.<br />

Society on the whole however is still fairly conservative and strict so it helps to know some of the do’s<br />

and don’ts if you plan on visiting.<br />

THE DO’S AND<br />

DON’TS IN<br />


Do’s<br />

– Dress Modestly. Make sure knees and elbows are<br />

covered, choose light breezy clothing.<br />

– Respect religious beliefs especially during Ramadan<br />

when it’s considered impolite to eat or drink during the<br />

day.<br />

– Research on any forbidden substances. Consumption<br />

of everyday items such as alcohol and pork are<br />

prohibited, so it’s smart to know beforehand.<br />

– Tipping is expected and should be around 10 to 15<br />

percent unless a service charge is already added to<br />

your bill.<br />

Don’ts<br />

– Engage in any sort of PDA unless married and even<br />

then we wouldn’t recommend going any further than<br />

holding. Public Displays of Affection is punishable<br />

offence under Saudi Law.<br />

– Assume that all restaurants are mixed gender. Despite<br />

gender segregation ending in 2019, a lot of restaurants<br />

still adopt this policy and may have separate rooms for<br />

families. Check for signs before you enter.<br />

– Discuss topics such as politics and religion with locals.<br />

Saudis are extremely proud and won’t handle any sort<br />

of criticism well, it’s better to avoid both subjects.<br />

– Photograph any government buildings, palaces,<br />

military installations, airport facilities, or people in<br />

general without permission.<br />

26 27

Radisson Blu Hotel & Residence,<br />

Riyadh Diplomatic Quarter<br />

Saudi Arabia | Design Hotel<br />

Set in Riyadh’s elegant and upscale Diplomatic District, the<br />

Radisson Blue Hotel & Residence is indeed a hotel fit for a<br />

king. The property is modern, stylishly furnished, spacious, and<br />

boasts a variety of fantastic services and facilities.<br />

There are 110 rooms and suites on offer. These include<br />

everything from a quaint standard room right up to<br />

a stunning two-bedroom Presidential Suite that<br />

includes lounge access. As a standard all rooms<br />

come with a kitchen area, the finest toiletries,<br />

a work desk, flat screen TV, air conditioning,<br />

coffee machine, washing machine, free WI-<br />

FI, and minibar with some of the larger<br />

suites offering a terrace or balcony,<br />

outdoor furniture, and a separate<br />

living area.<br />

In terms of on-site services and facilities there is much<br />

on offer. Lounge access with specific room types if a<br />

huge bonus especially if you’re business traveller or if<br />

you’re short on time, the lounge is ideal if you want to<br />

relax, catch up on a bit of work or pick up a quick bite<br />

to eat. Or if you’re planning a conference or business<br />

meeting than the state-of-the-art meeting and event<br />

rooms will more than likely meet your demand.<br />

The sophisticated Larder Restaurant and Lounge is<br />

the perfect setting for your complimentary breakfast. A<br />

buffet is served every morning that include both <strong>Middle</strong><br />

<strong>East</strong>ern and International dishes. The setting is vibrant,<br />

artistic, and exudes a <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern flair, that makes<br />

the restaurant perfect for a relaxed lunch or dinner. The<br />

is an exquisite an ala carte menu available.<br />

If you’re planning on heading out for the day, then you’ll<br />

be glad to know the hotel is perfectly situated to explore<br />

the majestic city of Riyadh. Restaurants, attractions,<br />

shopping centres, and cultural experiences are easily<br />

accessible.<br />


7826 Umro Adhamry Street<br />

Al Safarat, Riyadh 12512<br />

Saudi Arabia<br />

Tel +966 11 297 9400<br />

28<br />


Downtown Dubai and Burj Khalifa<br />

UAE<br />

30<br />


Dazzling Dubai is a bustling modern metropolis and one of the most visited places in the world. You’ll<br />

find beautiful beaches, stunning architecture, a unique culture, world-class dining, superb hotels, and<br />

loads to do.<br />

DUBAI<br />



Getting In & Around<br />

The most likely way you’ll enter is via flight into the city’s Dubai<br />

International Airport. The airport is a thriving hub that’s home<br />

the Emirates airline, one of the world’s leading airlines with<br />

extensive links all over the world. Another option is to fly into on<br />

of the other airport in the UAE and travel into to Dubai via car,<br />

bus, or public transport. The other must lesser used option is to<br />

drive in via Oman, Dubai’s only international border.<br />

Dubai is an ultra-modern city and as you’d expect has an<br />

extremely efficient public transport system. It’s easy to navigate<br />

and options include tram, bus, metro, and monorail. Another<br />

good option is a a metered taxi is or ride hailing apps such as<br />

Uber and Careem.<br />

Dining<br />

Dining in Dubai is a treat for all. The city’s position as a global<br />

hub means food from all corners of the world can be found<br />

including pork which is usually rare in Muslim countries. To get<br />

a feel of traditional local cuisine we suggest trying Shawarma,<br />

Falafel, Mandi, and Luqaimat.<br />

Things To Do & See<br />

There is so much to see and do in Dubai that we’ve dedicated<br />

a whole piece to shopping in the city, on page , and adventure<br />

activities, on page .<br />

Aside from the shopping and adventure activities there several<br />

cultural attractions that are worth a visit. The Hatta Heritage<br />

Village, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, the Dubai Old Town,<br />

and Al Seef, all offer a unique glimpse into the history of Dubai.<br />

The Grand Bur Dubai Masjid and Jumeirah Mosque are both<br />

wonderful architectural gems.<br />

For more modern attractions see the iconic Burj Khalifa,<br />

beautiful Burj Al Arab, and the stunning Dubai fountain.<br />

Accommodation<br />

Some of the best hotels in the world can be found in Dubai.<br />

The Palm Atlantis, W Dubai, Armani Hotel, Jumeirah Beach<br />

Hotel, and many more await discerning travelers. There are<br />

some fantastic mid-range and self-catering options available,<br />

our recommendation is the Emirates Stars Hotel Apartments,<br />

profiled on page .<br />

32 33

Dubai is one of the greatest cities of the modern world. It is jam packed with stunning hotels, amazing<br />

restaurants, grand attractions and a shopping scene to rival the best. Dubai is the dream break for a<br />

shopaholic, the city is home to several malls, souks, boutiques and even a shopping festival.<br />


IN DUBAI<br />

Dubai Malls<br />

Dubai has a reputation as home to some of the grandest<br />

shopping malls in the world. There are too many to list here<br />

but we’ve picked out three we love, the Dubai Mall, Ibn Battuta<br />

Mall and the Mercato shopping mall.<br />

The Dubai Mall is the largest in the world. With a great location<br />

near the Burj Khalifa the mall contains over 1200 luxury<br />

premium and brand stores, an aquarium, cinema, theme<br />

park and several restaurants. This is without doubt one mall<br />

you wouldn’t want to miss, even if you’re not interested in<br />

shopping this is an attraction unto itself.<br />

The Ibn Battuta mall is a unique themed mall named after<br />

the legendary Moroccan explorer. This mall is divided into<br />

six unique sections – India, China, Tunisia, Egypt, Persia and<br />

Andalucia. Each section represents an area visited by Ibn<br />

Battuta and is designed to reflect each of these places.<br />

The Mercato Shopping Mall is designed to feel like<br />

Mediterranean Italian town. The mall has over 100 retailers<br />

and some great restaurants. With cobbled streets, gorgeous<br />

streetlights and piazzas you’ll feel like you’ve been transported<br />

to Italy.<br />

34 35

Souqs<br />

No <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern city is complete without its own Souq. Dubai has a fair<br />

few with some dedicated to specific experiences and products such as gold,<br />

spice, perfume and textiles. Our recommendation is the Souq Madinat.<br />

The Souq Madinat is part of the Madinat Jumeirah resort and delivers the<br />

feel and charm of a bygone era with its narrow streets, Arabic design and<br />

bustling vendors. Here you will find many traditional aspects of a Souq along<br />

with galleries, boutiques and entertainment. Be sure to visit at night when<br />

the Souq comes alive with music and vibrant activity.<br />

Dubai Flea Market<br />

If you’re concerned you may be priced out of<br />

shopping at Dubai’s luxury malls, then worry<br />

not. The flea market, hosted in Zabeel park, is a<br />

great place to pick up a bargain. You can buy or<br />

sell second-hand products including furniture,<br />

handicraft items, toys, books, appliances and<br />

gadgets.<br />

Dragon Mart<br />

This is the place to go for an alternative shopping<br />

experience. Dragon mart provides products made<br />

in China for the <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern and North African<br />

trading markets. You can buy in bulk and you’re<br />

certain to find a bargain as traders are open to<br />

haggling.<br />

Shopping Festival<br />

Given its expansive shopping scene it is perhaps<br />

no surprise that Dubai has its own shopping<br />

festival. This is an annual month-long event where<br />

shops offer discounts on their merchandise, there<br />

are daily car raffles, family friendly activities and<br />

a fireworks display. The festival is normally held<br />

from the end of December and runs into January.<br />

The last one was the biggest yet running for a<br />

total of 5 weeks.<br />

36 37

Dubai is renowned for its stunning beaches, shopping scene, wellness, luxury hotels and fine dining.<br />

However, in recent times it’s developed a reputation for its excellent adventure tourism scene. It’s a not<br />

a surprise given the city’s coastal location, desert landscape, and penchant for excitement. Here is out<br />

guide to some of those adventure experiences that await.<br />


IN DUBAI<br />

Water Sports<br />

Dubai’s warm weather and calm waters make for the ideal<br />

water sports setting. Flyboarding, parasailing, jet skiing, and<br />

snorkelling are just some of the great activities you can do.<br />

If you’re not sure what to do then head on over to the next<br />

page to see our feature profile on Hydro Water Sports, a Travel<br />

and Hospitality Award Winner.<br />

Desert Safari<br />

This one is a bit more obvious given that Dubai is one side<br />

surrounded by dry desert. This beautiful landscape makes for<br />

the perfect outdoor adventure setting. Dune bashing, camel<br />

riding, or a desert camping. Do one or do all, it’s your choice.<br />

Urban Adventure<br />

Dubai’s skyscrapers are special, so much so that they’ve<br />

become thrill seekers paradise. You can choose to zipline at<br />

80km per hour from the Amwaj Towers to the Dubai Marina<br />

Mall. Or abseil and edge walk at the Address Sky View Hotel.<br />

Hot Air Balloon<br />

Take to the skies and admire the beauty of Dubai and beautiful<br />

surroundings from a truly memorable perspective. You have<br />

to be up early but it’s worth it for the views and sunrise alone.<br />

Skiing & Snowboarding<br />

Not one you’d expect on<br />

this list but if you fancy<br />

something different<br />

then you do have the<br />

unique option to ski or<br />

snowboard. Located<br />

in the Mall of the<br />

Emirates, the artificial<br />

slope at Ski Dubai is<br />

ideal for families and<br />

beginners.<br />

38 39

Emirates Stars Hotel<br />

Apartments Dubai<br />

United Arab Emirates | Apartments<br />

Opened in 2007, under the chairmanship of His Excellency<br />

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Bin Nasser Al Thani, and it’s CEO,<br />

Mr. Ali Muhiddien Zaghmout, the Emirates Stars Hotel<br />

Apartments Dubai is popular amongst corporate and leisure<br />

travellers alike.<br />

Operated as an elegant ApartHotel the Emirates<br />

Stars boasts 156 tastefully decorated suites that<br />

have been designed and furnished with the<br />

ultimate guest experience in mind. All rooms<br />

are spacious and come with a full range of<br />

amenities, high speed wi-fi, and either<br />

landmark or city view.<br />

Guests have three distinct options to choose from. First<br />

is the Deluxe Suite, perfect for two people. Second is the<br />

Luxury One Bedroom Apartment ideal for longer stays and<br />

independence. Here, guests have the added bonus of a<br />

fully equipped kitchen, comfortable dining area, separate<br />

living room and bathrooms. For bigger groups there is the<br />

third option a Luxury Two Bedroom Apartments that can<br />

accommodate up to four adults and two children.<br />

For a relaxed session at the property there is much on<br />

offer. Facilities includes a temperature controlled outdoor<br />

swimming pool, Jacuzzi, children’s pool, steam room, sauna,<br />

and state-of-the-art gym. Latest on its attraction is the<br />

recently opened Stars Shisha Cafe on the pool side that is fit<br />

to unwind.<br />

Although the property is well located in terms of proximity to<br />

restaurants, malls, and cafes, there is in fact a café on site.<br />

The Stars Café serves a daily buffet breakfast, light snacks,<br />

fresh juices, tea & coffee throughout the day. For lunch and<br />

dinner guests can have a high quality a la carte menu with<br />

sumptuous international cuisine.<br />


Amman Street, Al Qusais 1<br />

Dubai, United Arab Emirates<br />

Tel +97142589888;<br />

+97165635555<br />

40<br />


Hydro Sports Yachts<br />

and Boats Rental LLC<br />

UAE | Watersports Company<br />

Dubai is without a doubt, one of the finest holiday cities in the<br />

world. It’s a stunning modern metropolis, situated by the<br />

sea, and jam packed full of unmissable restaurants, bars, tours,<br />

experiences, and attractions. One such experience is that of<br />

water sports, and for this there’s no one better than Hydro<br />

Water Sports!<br />

Hydro Water Sports, part of the international Hydro<br />

Sports Yachts & Boats Group, operating not just in<br />

Dubai but also in the Bahamas and Dominican<br />

Republic and SOON in Montenegro, where they’re<br />

renowned for safety and high-quality standards,<br />

as well as a guest-centric approach.<br />

Within Dubai, Hydro Water Sports is partnered with<br />

and is a trusted service provider to many of the big<br />

luxury hospitality brands such as the Jumeirah Group,<br />

Anantara Hotels, the One & Only, and the Mandarin<br />

oriental. So, you know you’re in good hands.<br />

In terms of activities there is a wide variety on offer<br />

that’s suited to all types of guests. For a high-octane<br />

experience there’s flyboarding, jetpacking, jet skiing,<br />

hoverboarding, and jet surfing. For families with<br />

children, we recommend knee boarding, a WOW ride,<br />

donut ride, pedalo boat, or a unique giant water bike.<br />

Or if you’re interested in a more relaxing and leisurely<br />

pursuit on the water then why not take up a bit of<br />

kayaking, or a trip on an electric boat?<br />

Beyond this Hydro Water Sports offer private yacht<br />

trips on board some of the most luxurious vessels in<br />

Dubai. If you’re interested in a private cruise for a few<br />

hours or a whole day, then Hydro Water Sports have<br />

you covered.<br />


Tel +971 545985353<br />

42<br />


Skyline of Manama dominated by the<br />

World trade Center building, Bahrain.<br />

Bahrain<br />

<br />

44<br />


The Kingdom of Bahrain, despite is relatively small size, packs a big punch when it comes to tourism. This<br />

archipelago nation displays a much more cosmopolitan and socially liberal way of life when compared<br />

to its much stricter neighbours. This in turn has meant a large part of the tourism is uniquely made up of<br />

travellers from surrounding countries.<br />


Getting in and Getting Around<br />

If you’re not driving or getting the bus from Saudi Arabia via<br />

the King Fahd Causeway, then you’re going to be flying in.<br />

Bahrain International Airport, the home-base of Gulf Air, is<br />

modern, efficiently run, and globally well connected.<br />

Bahrain is fairly small so getting around isn’t too bad. The<br />

best way is through a taxi or ride hailing app, you can also opt<br />

for a private driver. Or if you prefer the buses are well-run in<br />

most major cities.<br />

Things to Do and See<br />

The recently restored Bahrain Fort and its neighbouring<br />

museum is a great way to spend a morning. The Dilmun<br />

Burial grounds are an ancient wonder and a UNESCO world<br />

heritage site. Another unique attraction is the tree of life, a<br />

400-year-old tree that has somehow remarkably survived in<br />

the harsh desert.<br />

For a more modern experience be sure to visit one of the<br />

many shopping centres spread across the country, there’s<br />

also a few water parks and beach clubs, as well as worldclass<br />

golf course.<br />

Turn over to the next page to see our list of top 5 things to do<br />

in Bahrain.<br />

Dining<br />

Like a lot of modern <strong>Middle</strong> <strong>East</strong>ern hubs, Bahrain’s food scene<br />

is made up of a variety of international cuisine. Food from all<br />

over the world are available as are many brand name eateries.<br />

If you’re in the market to try a local dish then we recommend<br />

Machboos, a spiced rice dish usually served with meet.<br />

Accommodation<br />

Our pick here is the wonderful Dragon Hotel and Resort, a<br />

Travel and Hospitality Award winner, profiled on page .<br />

46 47

THE TOP 5<br />

THINGS<br />

TO DO<br />

Shop at Manama Souq<br />

While shopping in one of Bahrain’s<br />

modern malls is a treat, for a more<br />

authentic experience we advise<br />

you to visit Manama Souq. Packed<br />

with bustling vendors selling a wide<br />

variety of goods, the Souq is a great<br />

place to pick up a bargain, haggle,<br />

or simply take in the energy. It’s also<br />

home to a number of food stalls,<br />

making it ideal for great food on the<br />

cheap.<br />

Take Up Water Sports<br />

Being located on an archipelago<br />

means direct access to the sea and<br />

with that comes the opportunity<br />

to enjoy a number of water sports.<br />

Stand up paddleboarding, kayaking,<br />

jet skiing, sailing, fishing, snorkelling,<br />

surfing, and parasailing are just<br />

some of the activities available. You<br />

can even Water Jetpack or go on a<br />

Jetovator.<br />

Go Diving<br />

Bahrain is the home of the world<br />

largest underwater theme park<br />

and it’s certainly a sight to behold.<br />

Accessible only via a certified diving<br />

company, Dive Bahrain offers up an<br />

artificial reef, dive sites, and marine<br />

life. The top draw is without a doubt<br />

a submerged Boeing 747, a world first.<br />

Educate yourself at a<br />

Originally built by the Portuguese<br />

Bahrain Fort is a key cultural and<br />

historical centre. It was once the site<br />

of the capital of the Dilmun Empire,<br />

and today in its restored state offers a<br />

unique learning opportunity.<br />

Spend a night by the Tree of Life<br />

The Tree of Life is a truly unique<br />

attraction in Bahrain. Its continued<br />

survival in harsh desert is absolutely<br />

remarkable. The tree is over 400<br />

years old and to this day it remains<br />

a mystery as to how it continues to<br />

survive. Simply visiting the tree will<br />

lead to a relatively short trip so we<br />

suggest camping nearby and making<br />

a night of it.<br />

48 49

50<br />

Dragon Hotel And Resort<br />

Bahrain | Resort<br />

Overlooking the magnificent Arabian Sea, the Dragon Hotel and Resort<br />

is wonderful on the inside as it is on the outside. Excellent facilities,<br />

great service, a family friendly outlook, fine dining, and a plethora of<br />

accommodation options await all those fortunate enough to stay in this<br />

world class resort.<br />

Rooms at the resort come in a variety of forms, perfectly set up<br />

to cater for all sorts of guests, from singles to much bigger<br />

groups. The suites are luxurious and elegantly designed,<br />

they’re available with one, two, and three bedrooms. For<br />

a bit more privacy you can opt for one of the duplex<br />

chalets overlooking the pool. All rooms are equipped<br />

with a kitchen area, lounge, luxurious amenities,<br />

and wonderful sea views.<br />

However, if you’re part of a large group then why<br />

not book one of the private villas? The fourbedroom,<br />

3 storeys, villas come with their<br />

own private pool, living lounge, terrace,<br />

dining room, kitchen, dedicated staff,<br />

and elevators to reach the upper level.<br />

In terms of facilities and services there is much on offer,<br />

so much so you needn’t not ever leave the resort. You<br />

have available room service 24/7, high speed internet<br />

throughout the property, a splendid pool area, access to<br />

a private beach, a salon & spa on site, and one of the best<br />

water sports centres in Bahrain. The Dragon Hotel and<br />

Resorts unique location means it’s ideally equipped to offer<br />

a whole host of water sports activities.<br />

On-site are three distinct dining options. First there’s the<br />

contemporary Muju Restaurant & Lounge, boasting sea<br />

vies and an exquisite international menu for lunch and<br />

dinner. Then there’s Yamin Jana Mediterranean Seafront<br />

Restaurant centred around a Mediterranean and <strong>Middle</strong><br />

<strong>East</strong>ern Menu. Finally, for something a little different there’s<br />

corners, the first every pub to open in Bahrain, expect a<br />

sleek interior, pub food, and live sports.<br />

If you’re looking for a complete holiday experience in<br />

Bahrain, then look no further, we have the answer and it’s<br />

the Dragon Hotel and Resort.<br />

P.O Box 15572<br />

Amwaj Island<br />

Kingdom of Bahrain<br />

Tel +973 1603 1111<br />

dragonresorthotel.com<br />

fo@ dragonresorthotel.com<br />





<strong>2022</strong><br />

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