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Dubai Beyond COP 28

Dubai Beyond COP 28

COP28 Dubai
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Next week thousands of ESG News readers will head to Dubai for COP 28. They’ll be visiting one of the most interesting cities in the world, with lots to offer beyond the walls of Expo City.

Getting there – if you’re going, you likely have your tickets and have heard that the hands-on favorite is Emirates Air, starting with the business class lounge at JFK which is “2-3 football fields big,” offering pre-flight refreshments and relaxation. The flight itself is comfortable, with wide seats, lots of legroom, great food and outstanding service.

Once you land, you can take the Dubai Metro to your hotel. The most eco-friendly form of transport in the City, the Dubai Metro is modern, safe and clean, and acclaimed as one of the best. Alternatively, you can use Careem car service (acquired by Uber) or rent an electric car such as a Tesla from Yeti Car Rental and VIP Car Rental. There are electric vehicle charging stations at malls and hotels across the city to recharge while out exploring. Alternatively, take advantage of the city’s many walking paths, rent a bicycle or get an e-scooter (you’ll need a permit) and enjoy dedicated bicycle tracks.

There are 7 huge malls (it’s like the 7 hills of Rome but when in Dubai you do the malls!) These malls are the main dining and cultural hubs. According to my good friend and world-traveler, David Wachtel, “Dubai Mall is probably the most impressive and includes fabulous outdoor fountains with water and light shows every 20 minutes with  restaurants with waterside views and a huge aquarium.”

He also recommends you go off the beaten track and explore the arts district along Alserkal Avenue. You’ll find interesting galleries and shops as well as a very good chocolate maker, Mirzam – don’t miss it!

Other not-to-be-missed outings in Dubai include visiting the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, next to the Dubai Mall. You can look over the artificial islands such as The Palm and the World. These are mostly luxury homes and beach hotels, but all built on reclaimed land.

Event Listing: COP 28: 2023

There’s a growing movement bringing sustainable fashion to the city. Start at Garderob where you’ll find pre-loved clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and more from some of the world’s best brands. Repairing is caring so give those used treasurers a second chance! The UAE is also home to dozens of sustainable and slow-fashion labels, such as All Things Mochi, Kate Chad, The Giving Movement and Nomadic State of Mind. Find more treasurers in the old area of Dubai (Bur Dubai) with the gold and spice souks.

High-tech farming is changing the way Dubai chefs cook to delight. Restaurants such as BOCA in Dubai International Financial Centre offer zero-waste meals with an emphasis on local ingredients. Some cafes, like plastic-free The Sum of US, also reward eco-conscious customers by offering 10 per cent off their coffee bill if they bring in a reusable cup. 

David recommended two fun day trips from Dubai if you have the time. First, to Abu Dhabi.(a 90 minute car or bus drive) where the 2 main attractions are the phenomenal Grand Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi by architect Jean Nouvel. The Grand Mosque was built from 1994-2007 with hundreds of artisans brought in from India. He said it’s reminiscent of the Taj Mahal with gleaming marble and flower inlayed stone, and not to be missed.

He suggests you head east across the Emirates and cross the border into a tiny patch of Oman called the Musandam Peninsula. As you cross the border huge mountains rise and you head to the only town where you take a dhow through the Arabian fjords. Magnificent rock formations, beautiful sea in the Persian Gulf and dolphins even diving alongside the boat. You can do a few hours or stay overnight on some boats.

You can learn more about Dubai’s natural habitats by visiting protected reserves – not only will you get the chance to experience something new, you’ll also be contributing to conservation efforts. For example, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reser are safe havens for endangered species and native desert dwellers, such as the Arabian oryx. Access is controlled to preserve flora and fauna, so you’ll have to book a tour. 

Work hard at COP 28 but make time to experience this fascinating city!

*The views of this article are from an ESG News employee, the employee indemnifies that no compensation or in-kind exchange was given in return for producing this article.


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