Destination Dubai

Dubai named a top ten ‘must-visit’ city by Lonely Planet ahead of biggest ever cruise season

As a city of unparalleled experiences, Dubai has been named one of the world’s best cities for travellers to visit in 2020 by Lonely Planet, just as the city prepares for its largest cruise season on record.

The ‘Best in Travel 2020’ list, curated by Lonely Planet’s editorial team and its community of travel experts, features the emirate amongst the top ten ‘must-visit’ cities for tourists in the coming year.

The unique combination of iconic attractions and entertainment destinations, outdoor and cultural offerings, and the “boundary-pushing marquee projects” continue to cement Dubai’s position as a preferred holiday destination of choice, according to the magazine.

dubai palm

dubai is the primary cruise port in the middle east

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“Being recognised as a ‘must visit’ travel destination by Lonely Planet is testament to the dynamic evolution of Dubai’s tourism proposition, and with the support of one of the world’s leading travel publishers, increases consideration and appeal for the emirate in the lead-up to a momentous year,” said Issam Kazim, CEO, Dubai Corporation for Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DCTCM).

Drawing diverse global audiences, Dubai promises something for everyone – from travellers looking for a city break, a romantic getaway, or a family holiday, to those on a quest for cultural or gastronomic adventures.

This is part of the reason why cruise tourists can’t get enough of the city, with double digit growth year-on-year for the last half decade that has seen the city eclipse major European cruise ports for the number of fly-cruise tourists it hosts.

“Dubai is famed for its drive to seek out new world records, which will enthral visitors,” said Tom Hall, Lonely Planet’s VP of Experience. “The food is wonderful, and the shopping is world-class. Plus, in the run up to Expo 2020, Dubai has been expanding its portfolio of attractions, which now include the giant Ain Dubai ferris wheel, the Al Shindagha Museum and the Jameel Arts Centre.”

While 2020 is the year in which Dubai is poised to break through the 1-million cruise tourists a year barrier, it is also a major year for new landmarks and attractions in the city.

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Lonely Planet’s expert community have outlined key upcoming attractions, as well as iconic landmarks that further build on the destination appeal.

These include the Dubai Expo 2020 site; the Museum of the Future, a unique incubator that will explore the future of science, technology and innovation – a concept embodied by the stainless steel torus structure adorned with Arabic calligraphy; and Ain Dubai, which stands over 250-metres tall on Bluewaters Island and promises breath-taking views of the city’s beautiful coastline and famous landmarks.

The city’s historical treasures, museums and heritage areas have also been featured as key highlights in the list, including Al Seef, Al Shindagha Museum, Dubai Museum, the charming Souks of old Dubai, the Jumeirah Mosque, the recently-opened Jameel Arts Centre, as well as the hidden gastronomic gems of Old Dubai with Frying Pan Adventures.

souk madinat

souq madinat, dubai

Other popular attractions and entertainment destinations included the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Burj Al Arab, and the Madinat Jumeirah, as well as Dubai’s bustling beachfront promenades like La Mer and Kite Beach.

The breadth of Dubai’s ever-expanding destination proposition also encompasses the city’s ecotourism destinations, including the mountain enclave of Hatta that showcase the emirate’s natural beauty.

These have become a major draw for those cruise tourists who stay on longer in the city after their cruise for a deeper cultural and immersive experience.

Dubai also invites visitors for a unique desert exploration at Al Marmoom, the largest tourism project of its kind in the region that focuses on the desert environment and the first unfenced desert conservation reserve in the UAE, rich with hundreds of species of wildlife.

The city is also continuing its focus on more manufactured leisure and entertainment with attractions such as Dubai Parks and Resorts and IMG Worlds of Adventure, which are fast becoming top preferences for families.

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