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Dubai - FOOD, SHOPPING & ENTERTAINMENT

All types of food are available in Dubai. The Arabian dishes include Homous (chick-peas and sesame seeds), Tabbouleh (chopped parsley, mint and crushed wheat), Ghuzi (roasted lamb on a bed of rice), Koussa Mahshi (stuffed courgettes). Local dishes are: Matchbous (spiced lamb with rice; Hareis (slow-cooked wheat and tender lamb). Dates are common. Local desserts areUmm Ali (a bread pudding); Esh Asaraya (sweet cake with cream topping); Mahalabiya (a pudding). A traditional Middle-Eastern snack is Shawarma (spiced and grilled lamb/chicken, rolled in bread, with salad). The Gulf has a good marine life. The marine catch includes kingfish, jackfish, red snapper, barracuda, pomfret, lobster, cigale, crab, hamour (rock rod); shrimp, tuna, king prawn, mackerel, sardine, squid, sea bream.

Shopping is one of Dubai's main attractions. The markets are called souks. Goods are tax-free. Prices are reasonable, sometimes cheaper than at the place of origin. Everything is available. The most famous markets are the gold souks. Next comes electronic goods. In Deira Tower's shopping mall are carpet traders. Deira city centre is a leading mall in Deira district. Consumer goods are available at Bur Dubai. Dubai malls are on the Dubai side of the Creek. There is a duty-free shop at the airport. Bargaining is a part of shopping everywhere. The Jumeira district also has plenty of shopping malls.

Some of the traditional gift items one can buy are, Arabian coffee pots, silver and brass swords, khanjars (Arabian curved daggers), prayer beads, miniature dhows, Persian carpets etc. Dubai World Trade Centre hosts conferences, and houses several offices. Thirty-nine-storeyed, it is the tallest building in the Gulf. Pay a fee and go to the top and have a panoramic view of the city.

Dubai has another attraction, the shopping festival held every March. It is the biggest shopping-cum-entertainment event in the Middle East. About two and a half million shoppers and tourist flocked the city in the year 2000. The motto is, `One World, One Family, One Festival.'

Dubai is also well-known for its international sports activities. The Emirates Golf Club (emiratesgc@dubaigolf.com) and the Dubai Creek Golf Club have the world's first class 18-hole grass courses. The Dubai Golf and Racing Club is the venue for the annual Dubai World Cup, the richest horse race in the world. It is also the only night-time 18-hole course. (For bookings contact: www.dubaigolf.com). Visitors can play on a `pay-as-you-play' basis. Other sports and games are: Sailing, fishing, wind surfing, water skiing, ice skating, jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling, desert safaris, dune driving, sand skiing, camel racing, falconry, dhow cruise, archery.

-India Overseas, with inputs from DTCM India Office, Govt of Dubai


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