According to online encyclopedia Wikipedia Dubai has more than 20 ‘twin towns’. Why not visit them?
Paris: The city of love is a city of clichés. Delightful clichés like climbing the Eiffel Tower, discovering artistic treasures at the Louvre and slurping ice cream alongside the Notre-Dame cathedral. Celebrate the twin relationship with Dubai by visiting the Hammam de la Grande Mosquee and also stocking up on designer labels at the legendary department stores. Paris is a world capital built on a human scale, with an unrivalled concentration of galleries and museums all within easy reach of each other. It's also a remarkably diverse city, a jumble of villages really, all of them pungently, defiantly distinctive. And now they're easier to explore than ever.
Melbourne: Ranked as one of the best cities to live in by the Economist magazine, Melbourne’s blend of Victorian and contemporary architecture and a diversified social network make Melbourne the international city of Australia. The lush Royal Botanic Gardens is known to be one of the world’s best with over 10,000 species and 50,000 individual plants in a 38 hectare gardens. Another note-worthy attraction is the Cricket Stadium located at the heart of Melbourne. Australians consider it the world’s most popular cricket venue and having the capacity to hold more than 100,000 spectators it is without a doubt a must-see for all sports fanatics.
Hong Kong: The name means ‘Fragrant Harbour’ and Hong Kong lives up to that billing. The harbour boasts a highly developed economy and is renowned for its skyline and natural setting. Visit the Victoria Harbour to best appreciate the breath-taking view with sky-high architecture and vibrant nightlife events. The popular panoramic experience is further enriched by the addition of the show A Symphony Of Lights where audio, lights and pyrotechnics are used to show the stunning harbour to viewers every evening.
Guangzhou: The third largest city in China and only 120km from Hong Kong. This busy city boasts some scenic views and land marks such as the Pearl River, named after a curious sandy island in the bank of the river. The Pearl River is the third longest in China and it has some amazing views at nights. Ship cruises are available on demand for a romantic night on the vibrant river. Another popular attraction would be the White Cloud Mountain, it gets its name from the fact that every time the sun shines after it rains white clouds circles the top of the mountain.
Shanghai: The largest and most populated city in China is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with over 20 million within the city limits at any time. Discovering the twin relationships with Dubai would definitely require you to visit the Bund. This area stretches one mile along the Huangpu River, and it is a historical landmark as well being an enriching experience for tourists as well. The Bund has a unique setting to it, with important buildings such as the Union Building, The Customs House and The Bank of Taiwan. Steering away from modern architecture, the Yuyuan Garden is another popular attraction that should be given thought.
Osaka: The commercial city of Japan is one of Dubai’s sister cities, and is well-known for its reputation of being the nation’s kitchen. Osaka has one of the world’s biggest aquariums called the Osaka Aquarium or the Kaiyukan locally, it is located at Osaka Bay. An interesting spot to be in would Amerikamura which is translated to American Village and is simplified to Ame-Mura locally; this is a retail and entertainment area that has an American culture. The most distinguishable relic here would be the miniature Statue of Liberty over-seeing the area. In case the Amerikamura did not interest you enough, the Osaka Castle is bound to. This ancient castle played an important role in the unification of Japan during the 16th century.
Beirut: Ranked the number one tourist destination by The New York Times in 2009 and one of the top ten liveliest cities in the world by other magazines in the same year. Beirut is a thriving destination, with hundreds of arts galleries and fashion designers taking residence there. It is ultimately the Paris of the East. Rich Roman architecture and history is preserved in the city of Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley, sometimes called Heliopolis in ancient history.
Barcelona: Known as the global city for its importance in finance, media, arts, commerce, entertainment and international trade. The most memorable and distinctive landmark in this sister city is the Cathedral of Santa Eulalia. The cathedral has a gothic theme. Another historical landmark is the Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, which is a Roman Catholic Church that has been in construction since 1882 and is scheduled to fully open in 2026. The vast scale of Antony Gaudi’s masterpiece has made this church Barcelona’s top tourist attraction.
Granada: Well known within Spain for the famous Granada University and for its vibrant nightlife. It is ranked 3rd for the best city for university students. One of the main tourist attractions in Granada would be the Al Hambra. This is one of the most famous historical Islamic legacies. Another famous landmark would be Sacromonte, named after the Sacromonte Abbey. It is well-known for its catacombs and the ancient relics of saints and memorials of Saint Cecil’s martyrdom.
Tripoli: The capital city of Libya, although not exploited with mass-tourism, has much to offer. Historic landmarks going back to the Ottoman Empire such as statues, monuments and fountains in the Red Castle or Assaraya Al-Hamra. The Green Square is another important landmark which is the meeting place for all important events and festivities nationwide. It is also surrounded with famous spots such as the Tripoli seaside and has a very busy nightlife.
Vancouver: Nicknamed ‘Hollywood North’ due to its large film production center. This coastal city is ethnically diverse and is ranking at the second most popular city for immigration in Canada. The sister city has an interesting drive down at Fraser’s Canyon specifically at the Hell’s Gate, where the water current goes into a narrow pass of rocky walls. Another well-known attraction is the Stanley Park, which is larger than New York City’s Central Park. It is known for its recreational facilities and its natural attributes.
Dundee: This city has a rich history going back to the early middle ages. Historical sites include the famous Glamis Castle, where Shakespeare’s Macbeth was set. Dundee was called The City of Discovery after the R.R.S Discovery ship which set sail in 1901 in a discovery expedition called The British National Antarctic Expedition. The ship is now the center of tourist attraction back home in Dundee. Quite why it is twinned with Dubai we are not sure.
Moscow: The largest city in Russia, and a major city in political, cultural, financial, religious and educational circles. The Moscow Kremlin, which is the president’s place of residence, is a historic fortified complex over-seeing the Moskva River. It is the equivalent of the Whitehall for the British Government, and the White House for the executive government of the United States. St. Basil’s Cathedral, a beautifully designed church with its unique onion-shaped domes is located at the south-eastern side of the Red Square.
Damascus: Known as the City of Jasmine, and the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. The sister city of Damascus has the historic Azem palace. It was originally built in 1750 for the Ottoman governor of Damascus. The palace now holds the Museum of Arts and Popular Traditions. Also the Saladin’s Mausoleum in honor of the Sultan who led an Islamic opposition to the European Crusaders in the Levant is worth a visit.
Geneva: The second most populous city in Switzerland, regarded as a global city mainly because of its presence in many international organizations. Sister city Geneva has a lush history in art and ceramics. Arian Museum contains the history of Geneva, with over 20,000 objects of immense detail and intense feelings attached to them in a neo-classical and neo-baroque feature. It would be a shame to pass a visit to this prestigious museum.
Istanbul: With its long history, Istanbul has served as the capital city of the Ottoman Empire. Now, Istanbul has been chosen as the join European Capital of Culture for 2010. One of the city’s main historical attractions would be the Topkapi Palace where the Ottomans sultans ruled in for 400 years of their 600 year reign. The palace today is a tourist attraction. The Galata Tower in Istanbul has a magnificent panoramic view for the whole city, making it one of the most breathtaking scenes in Europe.
Hyderabad: Known is the ‘City of Pearls’ Hyderabad is a holiday destination rich in heritage and natural splendour. Rich in distinctive architecture the highlights include India’s largest mosque, a giant Buddha statue in the middle of a river and a selection of breathtaking palaces.
Casablanca: The ‘white house’ is Morocco’s largest city and capital. It acts as a stepping stone between Africa and Europe with traditions and similarities closely in synch with both. While the souks and Medinas do not compare with the spectacular hustle and bustle of neighbouring Fes and Marrakech they are at least as busy as Dubai’s efforts and well worth a visit.
Los Angeles: Just because you’re not a film star doesn’t mean you can’t hang out like one – at least for a few days. The more you walk around, the more you will recognise, even if it is your first trip to LA. You can’t go without making a trip to Hollywood’s most famous sign but you should also squeeze in a trip to Venice Beach, Rodeo Drive and Disney land while you are stateside.
New York: There is no bad time to visit New York. Yes it has seasons, few cities feel the change as strongly, but it seems to blossom in every one of them. You know what you need to do here – ride the Staten Island ferry, visit Coney island, take in a ball game, eat a hot dog. One of the world’s finest cities and one which, truly, offers something for everyone.