Audio 1 - Introduction
Welcome to an unreal world, an oasis in the middle of the desert, a world where the most extravagant dreams come true... No project is too ambitious, and the city of Dubai has a collection of records: the highest, the most luxurious, the most incredible in the world is located in Dubai.
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, an Islamic and Arab country in the Middle East, which was established in 1971 after the end of the protectorate of the United Kingdom, thanks to the enormous efforts of its leaders. The discovery of oil in Dubai in the 1960s brought about a significant change in its economy and administration.
Despite its relatively short existence, it has inherited its own unique traditions and customs that distinguish it from neighboring countries. Dubai is considered a cosmopolitan society due to the cultural development it has experienced over time. This is reflected in its architecture, music, clothing, cuisine, and general lifestyle. However, its predominantly Islamic and Bedouin identity, where religion has a special relevance for its inhabitants, gives it a traditionalist and conservative character.
One of the best things about Dubai is its ability to grow and expand. This emirate is much more than a city, or a financial center; it is a place where development, change and progress are part of every day. It is also a tourist destination at the top level of the best cities in the world, where accompanied by this audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) the visitor will undoubtedly be impressed by its atmosphere, its modernity, and its grandeur.
Audio 2 – Burj Khalifa:
The silhouette of Dubai's most iconic tower rises unmistakably against the skyline. At 828 meters high, it is the tallest structure in recorded history and in the world.
Known during its construction as Burj Dubai (or Dubai Tower), the Burj Khalifa is the central part of an urban development known as Downtown Dubai, a 2 km² complex located along Sheikh Zayed Avenue, which crosses the city of Dubai. Construction began in 2004, officially opening in 2010. It owes its name to the Sheikh and President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahayan.
The construction of the Burj Khalifa had an estimated budget of more than $4 billion, which was increased to $20 billion for the full development of the Downtown Burj Khalifa. Part of the building's cost was financed by the family of Emir Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Its designer was architect Adrian Smith. First designed with a height of 570 meters, enough to make it the tallest building in the world, it was decided to increase the height of the skyscraper to reach 700m. The building we can see with the audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) finally reached its maximum height of 828 meters, making it the tallest structure ever erected by mankind. This record was made official in January 2010, surpassing the famous Taipei 101 tower at 508 meters.
The fastest elevator is a double-decker and travels at a speed of 10 meters per second, or about 35 km per hour. The travel time to the top floor is 55 seconds.
Audio 3 - Burj Al Arab:
We continue the audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) with another record in the city of Dubai: the Burj Al Arab is a luxury hotel with a height of 321 meters, making it the third tallest hotel in the world. It is surpassed only by the Rose Tower Hotel, also located in Dubai, and the Ryugyong Hotel in North Korea, which was never opened.
The hotel is located 17 km from Dubai and was built on an artificial island 270 meters from the beach on the coast of the Persian Gulf. The island is connected to the mainland by a road. But access is not a problem: guests can choose between a BMW, a Rolls Royce (the largest fleet of cars of this brand in the world rests here) or a helicopter, which lands on the very terrace of the Burj Al Arab.
In 1994 a group of young English architects, led by Thomas Willis Wright, received a very important commission: to design a building that would be the symbol of a city, Dubai, and a country, the United Arab Emirates. The client was the billionaire prince of Dubai, His Excellency Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum. With such an emblematic building, Dubai acquired worldwide fame.
The Burj Al Arab is the only 7-star hotel in the world. Of course, the status of the guests lives up to the luxury of the establishment, as most of them are millionaires and celebrities from all over the world.
The hotel has eight restaurants and lounges, including the Al Mahara - located under the sea - with an incredible underwater view through an stained-glass window in the form of an aquarium, where different colored fish are snooping around. Guests can also enjoy the Asawan Spa & Health Club, four swimming pools (two indoor and two outdoor), its own water park, golf course, the Wild Wadi Water Park, and a private spa: the exclusive Jumeirah Beach.
At the culinary level, the specialty is an eccentric dessert covered with gold leaf. A dinner for two at any of the hotel's restaurants does not cost less than $2,000.
Audio 4 – Dubai Fountain:
Next stop of the audio guide (audio guides, audio tour), the Dubai Fountain is officially the largest dancing fountain in the world. Inaugurated in 2009, it is located in the Burj Khalifa's artificial lake, in the center of Downtown Burj Khalifa. It was designed by WET Design, the California-based company responsible for the fountains at the famous Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. It cost $220 million to build.
Illuminated by 6,600 colored lights and 25 projectors to illuminate the water, it is 275 m long, 25% longer than the Bellagio Fountains. Its impellers are capable of throwing water more than 150m high, which is the equivalent of a 50-story building!
Thus, it presents spectacular choreographies, in which the water moves to the rhythm of the music. Starting at 6:30 p.m. and every half hour, these fountains are a spectacle. The musical accompaniment ranges from classical to contemporary, from Arabic to world music, to the delight of the eyes and ears.
Audio 5 - Dubai Mall:
The Dubai Mall opened its doors in November 2008 and immediately became the largest shopping mall in the world. It has more than 1,200 stores and 14,000 parking spaces on its 111 hectares. It is the most visited place in the world for shopping and entertainment, with 75 million people in 2013, and the ambition to expand it to reach 100 million visitors a year.
Dubai Mall is located in Downtown, one of the best areas of Dubai. The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain are located nearby.
In addition to the 1,200 stores already mentioned in the audio guide, this large shopping mall offers some 200 restaurants: Italian, French, Mexican, Indian, Japanese... they even serve burgers with camel meat! All palates will find delicacies to suit their tastes.
Shopping enthusiasts will enjoy shopping on Fashion Avenue, with 440,000 square meters where the world's best clothing brands are represented. The commercial range is completed by fantastic jewelry stores, cosmetics stores, household appliances and supermarkets.
But the Dubai Mall is much more than a place for shopping. Its leisure and entertainment attractions are incredible: in addition to cinemas, go-kart track and ice rink, there is also an A380 aircraft simulator. In a sumptuous and modern setting, the opera house hosts everything from ballet to concerts of all kinds. If you dare, enter the Hysteria house of terror to test your nerves and get a good scare. Another must-see is the aquarium where you can admire no less than 33,000 marine animals. If you want to know more about the Dubai Mall Aquarium, don't miss the following audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) point!
Audio 6 – Dubai Aquarium
Located on the first floor of the Dubai Mall, the aquarium houses thousands of aquatic animals, consisting of more than 140 marine species in an impressive 10-million-liter tank.
The underwater zoo takes visitors through three ecosystems, which are the rainforest, the rocky coast, and the living ocean. Otters, piranhas, African dwarf crocodiles, lionfish, giant spider crabs, seahorses, garden eels, archer fish, arapaima, and many more await you in the world's largest aquarium. Guided tours are also offered where you can learn about care and conservation programs and have the opportunity to feed some of the resident species.
With audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) in hand, there are numerous ways for visitors to experience the Aquarium's main tank, which measures 51 meters long, 20 meters wide and 11 meters high. One is to take a ride in a glass-bottomed boat, which offers unique views of the tank just below your feet. A 48-meter tunnel provides 270-degree views from 11 meters below the tank's surface.
For the more adventurous, a shark dive is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of sharks and rays. In fact, more than 300 sharks and rays live in this tank, including one of the largest collections of sand tiger sharks in the world.
Audio 7 – Dubai Frame:
Adding to Dubai's already impressive cityscape, the Dubai Frame offers unique panoramic views of the city. This 360-degree observation deck allows visitors to see every angle of the city from a height of 150 meters: from the historic streets and souks of Deira to the glittering waters of the Persian Gulf, the vast dunes of the Arabian Desert and the towering buildings of Dubai Marina.
The Dubai Frame features a state-of-the-art transparent glass bridge that crowns the structure's cross frame. The 93-meter-long bridge features a 25-square-meter glass panel and connects the two vertical parallel towers to create the shape of a picture frame. Setting foot on the fully transparent glass is a thrilling sensation, like walking on air, with a 150-meter drop visible beneath your feet. Nervous? There is nothing to be afraid of, as the transparent glass is completely shatter-proof and made from the highest quality materials.
Designed to highlight both Dubai's beginnings and its urban transformation, Dubai Frame offers two very different perspectives of the city. Accompanied by the audio guide (audio guides, audio tour), visitors looking north will see old Dubai, the dhow-lined Dubai Estuary, and the surrounding souks. To the south, visitors can see the splendor of the new Dubai, a marvelous collection of glittering skyscrapers and scintillating marinas.
The Dubai Frame includes a wraparound mezzanine gallery that will guide visitors through projections, audio-visual presentations and even specially created scents and vapors to tell the most authentic story of the city's origins.
Audio 8 – Safa Park:
Safa Park is a 640,000 m² urban park, which located southwest of the center of Dubai. Due to the rapid growth of the city, the skyscrapers are getting closer and closer to the park's gate, bringing the park almost in the center of the city.
Prior to its creation in 1975, the area was inhabited by South Asian immigrants. After being a destination for Dubai residents for nine years, the park was redeveloped in 1984. Another remodeling occurred between 1989 and 1992, providing the park with recreational facilities and services.
Safa Park contains three lakes, more than 200 species of birds and about 17,000 different trees and shrubs. Grass covers about 80% of the ground. A waterfall flows from the hill into a nearby lake. This is the ideal place to relax and enjoy a moment of peace, while listening to the following audio guide (audio guides, audio tour)!
Audio 9 – Miracle Garden:
The Dubai Miracle Garden is a flower garden located in the Dubailand district, which opened on Valentine's Day in 2013. Its 72,000 square meter surface area makes it the largest natural flower garden in the world, with more than 50 million flowers and 250 million plants.
The flowers are maintained by reusing treated wastewater through drip irrigation with an average quantity of 757,082 liters of water per day.
The park has 45 different varieties of flowers and spectacular vertical and horizontal designs dress many of the areas. There are arches, houses, structures and even an airplane filled with flowers. The park is in the Guinness Book of Records thanks to a wall of flowers 800 meters long and three meters high. Walking with the audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) through this explosion of colors we can spot a 10-meter floral pyramid, as well as the Flower Watch, a large flower clock 15 meters in diameter made of natural plants and flowers that changes according to each season of the year. The floral carpets in the park depict flowers, hearts, and other colorful motifs. The Aromatic Garden is an area where aromatic and medicinal plants from more than 200 countries grow, which visitors can smell, touch, and even harvest to make their own cup of fresh tea.
Another major attraction of the Miracle Garden is the Dubai Butterfly Garden, a circular-shaped garden designed in 3D and decorated with flowers, which opened in 2015 and is home to more than 15,000 butterflies of 26 different species.
Audio 10 - Jumeirah Mosque:
Next stop on our audio guide (audio guides, audio tour), the Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most photographed buildings in Dubai. It is located at the northern end of Jumeirah Beach Road, opposite the Palm Strip shopping mall. It was built in 1979 by order of Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum, using the latest technologies and high-quality materials.
The mosque itself is a beautiful building, built in white stone in the medieval Fatimid tradition. It has two tall minarets rising on either side of the central dome, decorated with interlacing lines in the shape of diamonds.
Inside, you can see the beautiful decorations of the alqibla or prayer wall, which is facing Mecca, the direction in which Muslims pray. In its center is the mihrab, the semicircular prayer niche that marks the exact direction in which to pray.
Audio 11 – Souk Madinat Jumeirah:
The audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) now invites you to discover the shopper's paradise at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a maze of stores and restaurants near the Jumeirah beach area in Dubai. Located within Madinat Jumeirah, a vast hotel and entertainment complex, the souk offers a variety of shopping and dining options. Although geared toward tourists, it manages to evoke the ambiance of a traditional souk. Enjoy the sights and smells of the market or enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants offering cuisine from around the world.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah has been nicknamed Dubai's "Little Venice" because of the charming canals that line the area. Visitors staying at one of the neighboring hotels can reach the souk with a complimentary "abra" (water taxi). They can then enjoy a trip along the canal in a traditional wooden boat and sail past the banana trees, picturesque palm trees and iconic Arab architecture. Visit the souk at night, when the illuminated canal casts the whole scene in a romantic half-light.
Disembark at the waterfront to stroll through the lantern-lit corridors and avenues of this Arab-themed complex, which stretches along the coastline with views of the impressive Burj Al-Arab luxury hotel in the distance. The mix of stores combines modernity and tradition, offering international brands alongside local products: antiques, souvenirs, perfumes, carpets.... With more than 75 stores and boutiques, the Souk Madinat is sure to have something to suit your taste.
Audio 12 – Dubai Spice Souk:
In the futuristic and glamorous world of Dubai, the Spice Souk is one of the few places to experience a bit of folklore and tradition. It is located in the east of Dubai, in Deira, next to the Gold Souk. This fabulous place is full of smells, flavors and colors that transport visitors to another world.
The stores in the Spice Souk offer a variety of spices, incense, and shisha, in addition to the many herbs used in Arab and South Asian food. When you visit with the audio guide (audio guides, audio tour), you will have a little feeling that you have stepped back in time as you breathe in the air of traditional Emirati cuisine.
Even if you don't plan to buy anything, the visit is worth it just for the experience of wandering the aisles. These are filled with baskets and bags of every spice and herb imaginable. Not only will you find saffron, pepper and the main spices of the Orient but also rose petals and exotic flowers, chocolates, liqueurs, sweets, and much more.
You will also find tablecloths, carpets, and souvenirs from Dubai, so it can be a good place to buy souvenirs for your trip.
Audio 13 – Gold Souk:
Known as "the City of Gold," the Dubai Gold Souk is located in the Deira area, bordered to the north by the Dubai Vegetable and Fish Market and the Deira Promenade. In this cluster of streets, some 300 retailers deal exclusively in gold jewelry.
It all started in the 1940s when Indian and Iranian merchants and entrepreneurs set up their small businesses here. Today, the Gold Souk includes both well-established stores such as Damas, ARY, Shyam and Joy Alukkas, as well as smaller stores that operate mainly in the market.
According to some estimates, approximately 10 tons of gold are present at any given time in the souk, and about 20% of the world's gold passes through this market. In addition to gold, you can find other precious metals such as platinum, silver, and diamonds. Each and every shop window is full of rings, necklaces, bracelets, sapphires, rubies, emeralds, and diamonds, etc. Thus, the Dubai Gold Souk is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Middle East, and for this reason could not be missing from this audio guide (audio guides, audio tour).
Audio 14 – Wild Wadi Water Park:
Located right in front of the magnificent Burj Al Arab in the posh waterfront neighborhood of Jumeirah, the Wild Wadi water park features 30 water rides and attractions for the whole family. The park's predominant theme is the legend of Juha, a popular character from Arabian folklore.
Wild Wadi's water games will satisfy the desires of young and old alike. The Flood River, for example, pumps waves several meters high, while Juha's Journey is a calm river suitable for the whole family. But for those seeking adrenaline and thrills, the Tantrum Alley and Burj Surj slides are the ideal attractions. The Wipeout Riptide surfing area, which works by shooting more than seven tons of water per second through a foam-molded structure to produce a very realistic wave effect, ideal for surfing while lying on the board, kneeling, or standing, is also very popular among park visitors. But the park's most exciting attraction is the Jumeirah Sceirah, a 32-meter-high double slide, from the top of which there is a splendid view of the park and the surrounding area. Once at the top, two capsules project their occupants along the 120-meter slide at a sensational speed of 80 kilometers per hour, allowing them to travel down the slide in a matter of seconds.
We will dedicate the last two points in our audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) to traditional sports that, besides having a recreational interest, are also very representative of the Emirati culture in the city of Dubai.
Audio 15 – Falconry
The sport of falconry is one of the many traditional pastimes still practiced in the United Arab Emirates. Locals regard it as a unique partnership between man and bird and it is not unusual to see a hooded hawk in training on its owner's gloved wrist.
Falconry has always been an integral part of desert life and dates back centuries. Originally, falcons were used for hunting, as they helped provide food in addition to dates, milk, and bread. They were also used to trap animals such as hares and houbara.
In the past, hunting expeditions were used for sheikhs to tour their land, in a fun way, with hunting in the day followed by a Majlis in the desert at night, and the local Bedouins would come to pay their respects to their leader. Today, falconry is a sport or pastime, which the UAE government wants to make a UNESCO cultural heritage.
Audio 16 – Camel and horse racing
Camel racing is a very popular traditional sport in the United Arab Emirates. Originating as an authentic Arab sport practiced by Arabs in the age of ignorance and Islam, at weddings or special festivals, but special tracks have now been built all over the country where major races are organized. The annual camel racing festival in Al Wathba attracts participants from all over the world. Recently, in accordance with human rights laws, jockeys were banned from racing and robots are used instead.
Thoroughbred racing camels are first tested when they are approximately two years old. To help develop their endurance, the camels are made to run certain distances every day, which vary in proportion to their age. There are two main competing breeds, the Omani and the Sudanese, which differ in color: the Omani is very light, and the Sudanese is more of a tan color. Because camel humps store fat, not water, streamlined racing camels have very small humps, almost vestigial features. The maximum speed of the racing camel is 64 km/h (40 mph). It can run at 29 km/h for one hour or 11 km/h for up to 18 hours.
Throughout history, Arabs have maintained a great love for horses and the tradition is still alive with the rapid growth of horse racing. That is why the city of Dubai organizes the Dubai World Cup once a year: the richest horse race in the world takes place at the Meydan racecourse. The host of this luxurious event is sheikh Sheikh Mohamed Al Maktoum, who owns some of the best and most expensive racing horses in the world.
Outside this great event, all horse racing lovers can visit the stables, meet the jockeys, and attend an exciting race in fabulous facilities that will make your visit to Dubai an unforgettable experience!
We hope you found the information in this audio guide (audio guides, audio tour) useful, and that you have a pleasant stay in Dubai!