Dubai Travel Guide
The game of tit for tat continues in the Middle East. This time United Arab Emirates officials barred Israeli tennis players from competing in Dubai's Tennis Championships. Their rationalization is based on "recent events in the region" that potentially could "put at risk the players and the many tennis fans of different nationalities that we have here in the UAE."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an international Jewish human rights organization, has fired back with an e-mail asking its 400,000 members and the international Jewish community to nix any vacay plans to Dubai. SWC officials say the travel advisory will lift when the government of Dubai drops its security concerns. This could be sooner than we think. Apparently today, the UAE has given a permit entry to Israeli tennis player, Andy Ram.
If you're flying with children soon, this is important information for you. Because you've really got to watch toddlers these days. When you're least expecting it, they'll turn out to be wanted criminals trying to stow away on a flight to Turkey. At least, that's what officials in the UAE thought recently, when a two-year-old's name came up on their wanted list.
Poor little Suhail Saleh's Ma and Pa were trundling his pram onto a flight from Dubai, heading for a relaxing holiday in Turkey, when immigration officers came to officially take him from the flight. Somehow Suhail's personal details--including his birthdate--had been added to a list of people posing a security risk. It took a bit of convincing, plus reassurance that he was traveling with his parents and not alone, before the officials finally let him fly. If only they'd arrest toddlers on planes for true acts of terrorism...like screaming.
[Photo: lynn smith]
· 2-Year-Old Emirati Boy Held [Middle East Times]
In Dubai, it's pretty hard to want for anything. In the middle of the blazing desert but really wish you could be skiing? Not a problem. Check out Ski Dubai- the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East opening shortly at the Mall of the Emirates. It will have three football-field sized area of real snow, complete with five different slopes, a freestyle park and a snow park for kids.
Don't have any snow gear? Also not an issue. Your tickets come with the use of a complete snow outfit. Stop in at the Cafe St. Moritz eatery and grab something to eat off the slopes. With the climate control and tons of real snow, you'll forget the desert even exists. (Warning: turn down the volume before you visit the site. We can't promise you good music.)
Dubai's getting even more ambitious with its boatloads of extra Benjamins. Nope, not another resort or mega-hotel for the city laden with cash. This time they're spending $1.5 billion to build a town that will have replicas of the seven wonders of the world.
To be called the Falcon City of Wonders, the replicas of the Great Pyramid, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, etc., will house offices, shops and apartments. (Never complain about your boring apt. again-you could be living in a replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa for god's sake) The project is being run by the Falcon City of Wonders Company (that doesn't sound ridiculous or anything) led by a local quadrillionaire businessman and it's supposed to help promote tourism. The whole city will be shaped like a falcon--the symbol of the UAE's heritage.
· Dubai Plans city of 'Wonders of the World' replicas [Reuters via Yahoo]
· Falcon City of Wonders Launched in Dubai [AME Info]
· A bigger Taj Mahal in Dubai? Yes and there's more [newindpress]