As the relationship between the UAE and China only grows stronger, DXB has also been busy beefing up its oriental connection with its continental cousin.
There’s huge news in DXB this month as one of the biggest Dotcom companies you’ve probably never heard of has launched its first-ever physical store. And, it’s right here in the airport.
In 2003, Shanghai-based travel agency Ctrip listed on NASDAQ. But, did you know, its stock more than doubled in value during its first day of trading, before eventually closing 86 percent up? Impressive.
Since then, the company has continued to grow at an exhilarating pace, sealing its place as China’s biggest online travel agency.
It snapped up two hugely popular companies in the West: American travel operator Tours4fun in 2013 and British flight comparison site Skyscanner in 2016.
Now, however, the company has gone offline – opening an on-the-ground store in Arrivals, Terminal 3. Ctrip aims to deliver high quality customer service around-the-clock including travel guidance, consultation, transportation, catering, shopping and more.
The opening of Ctrip’s store marks the 2018 UAE-China Week, which launched in July, and set out to further increase a fruitful cooperation with Dubai International Airport, Dubai Tourism and China.
Ctrip’s first travel concept store allows tourists to enjoy greater value-added services upon arrival. Ctrip’s onestop in-destination services include everything from arranging top Dubai activities and days out to booking onto trips with local tour guides and more.
[Image courtesy of Time Out DXB]
Golden Week kicks off Monday, October 1, this year and runs until Sunday, October 7. The national holiday sees hundreds of millions of Chinese nationals move around the country, return home from abroad or jet off somewhere special. It’s a time for celebration, a time to be spent with loved ones and a time for, you guessed it, shopping…
Luckily, if you find yourself in DXB and still have some last-minute gifts to buy, or even hours to browse at your leisure, you’ll find everything and more right here in the airport.
Luxury fashion retailers are located throughout DXB – stores include Rolex, Hugo Boss, Calvin Klein, Armani, Bulgari, Gucci, Swarovski, Armani, Michael Kors et al.
You’ll find designer watches, jewellery and premium gifts, too. Plus, the latest audio, mobile and computer tech from digital giants including Apple, Samsung, Sony, Bose and many, many more.
The outlets can be found as part of the dozens of Dubai Duty Free dotted throughout DXB. Or, if you prefer to skip the queues, you can use the online click and collect service to buy your items and have them waiting for you to pick up on arrival.
Noodles, rice, dim sum, spring rolls and satay: sounds like the making of a delicious day, right? You’ll find all of them and more at one of DXB’s top Asian restaurants Cho Gao, which is home to the well-known dishes you love. They include Cantonese hakao steamed shrimp dumplings, Shanghai favourite siao
long pao chicken dumplings, fiery Kung Pao chicken, stir-fried Cantonese beef and Yang Chow fried rice. This month grab the sticky Chinese beef short ribs for just Dhs99, a crispy chicken burger for just Dhs69 or, as part of Oktoberfest, buy two pints and you’ll get an extra one thrown in for free. Ganbei.
Concourse A, Terminal 3.
THE NOODLE HOUSE
Who doesn’t love the flavours of South East Asia? It’s one of the main reasons tens of millions of wide-eyed and hungry travellers head to that part of the world every year. However, you don’t need to jump on a plane to enjoy some of the best cuisine on the planet. Instead, just make your way to The Noodle
House in Concourse D, Terminal 1, and enjoy. Two new dishes have recently joined the menu, too. The misu tsukemene is a punchy miso broth with prawns, egg noodles, enoki, shiitake mushrooms and a soft boiled egg. The worldwide favourite pad Thai does not need an introduction.
Concourse D, Terminal 1.
WOK THE WOK
As the surge in global street food’s popularity shows no sign of slowing down, there’s oodles of reasons to be cheerful with the arrival of Wok the Wok. Last month, it joined four other street food stalls at The Daily DXB, a hub for the best-loved quick eats made famous on the world’s roadsides. Dig into stir-fries, noodles or ramen and wash down with an exotic tea.
Concourse B, Terminal 3.
In celebration of China’s national day on Monday, October 1, all Chinese citizens are being gifted exclusive discounts with Ahlan at Dubai International Airport.
Throughout the month, Chinese visitors can bag a 25 percent saving on Ahlan’s deluxe meet and greet services.
The usual rate is Dhs150 and includes a meet and greet service by your personal concierge at your arrivals gate, assistance with immigration, an escort to the luggage carousel and escort towards the airport exit for your onward journey.
Plus, any traveller whose country is celebrating its national or independence day throughout October can save 20 percent on the walk-in rates at the Ahlan First and Business Class Lounges.
All you have to do is present your passport to the lounge receptionist and you’ll be treated to the brilliant price cut.
Once inside, you’ll find the first class facilities and a first class service from Ahlan’s dedicated staff.
You can grab any of the wide selection of international magazines and newspapers and sit back in the comfy seats with a plate from the buffet or à la carte menu – plus there’s also a special menu for little ones.
www.dubaiintlhotels.com (04 505 2899)
In just over five hours, you can swap the sandy shores of Dubai for the snow-capped Tian Shan mountains near Ürümqi. Xinjiang’s capital in north west China is just one of 11 bustling metropolises you can fly direct to from Dubai, including Hong Kong. There are seven airliners operating more than 200
flights between the two countries every week. That’s more than 10,000 a year. And, now there are three more every week as last month China Eastern unveiled its new direct route between Dubai and Shanghai.
The carrier will continue to operate its three weekly flights with a stopover in Kunming. It is just the latest announcement in a long line of plans aiming to build upon the rise in journeys between the two countries. From 2016 to 2017, DXB registered 3.3 million passengers between the destinations, a surge of 16 percent year-on-year.
The 11 China destinations within a direct flight from DXB are Beijing, Shanghai, Wuhan, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Kunming, Chongqing, Chengdu, Urumqi and Yinchuan.
Visit DXB’s flight planner for more info.