Excursion: Dubai (UAE) & Muscat (Oman), March 2012
Tourism Development Studies
In March 2012, Prof. Rasmussen, Mrs. Wallenburger and 21 students from 4 different degree courses of the University of Applied Sciences Stralsund, went to a trip to Dubai and Oman, to plunge into a foreign and extraordinary culture.
The trip started on the 20th of March at 9:30am at Hamburg Airport. With lot of excitement and expectations the plane arrived at night in Dubai. The first appointment we had at the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. We were welcomed to learn about the development, current situation and the future of Dubai. The next appointments took place on the 22nd of March. First we visited Nakheel, which is a real estate developer and responsible for projects as Palm Jumeirah and The World and therefore is a key player in the development of Dubai. After the official appointment, we took a short boat trip to get an impression on how Palm Jumeirah is built. Our next meeting took place on the Palm itself at the Hotel Atlantis, The Palm, where we experienced background information and a trip around the hotel, which included visiting two of the main suites.
Besides our extremely interesting appointments, we were able to discover Dubai in our free time. The Dubai Creek divides the city in Daira and Burj Dubai. It is possible to pass the creek by using the traditional Abras, which is an experience itself. Furthermore we saw the Burj al Arab, the Burj Khalifa, the Grand Souq and many other sights. After three exciting days, we started our trip to Oman, by bus.
On the 24th of March we spent our first night in Nizwa, which is the former capital of Oman. After arriving at the Hotel we went out to receive a traditional dinner, which was a complete new experience to us.
Oman is located on the Arabian Peninsula, its coastline borders on the Indian Ocean in South and East and on the Gulf of Oman in the Northeast. Its traditional habits and the open minded and friendly people made it easy for us to connect to this country. On the 25th of March, we were starting with a sightseeing tour in Nizwa, which included the old Fort and the Souk, which is known for its silver products. Furthermore we were visiting Jabreen Castle, which used to be the Palace of the Imam, and an old brick earth village, before arriving in Muscat.
The following day started with a trip to Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, which is the second biggest mosque in the world. We were introduced to the specialties and traditions of the Islamic religion and having a look at the beautiful interior. Before continuing the tour through Muscat we were able to meet the Oman Royal Police. For them it was the first time doing a meeting like that. We were introduced to the Oman system of safety and protection and we learned that they have a wider range of responsibilities and influence than the German police. Subsequently we continued our city tour by visiting the Bait al Zubair Museum, which gave us an insight in the cultural heritage of Oman. Furthermore we had a look at Sultan Palace, before finalizing our tour by stopping at the Muscat Souk.
On the 27th of March we had appointments at the PDO Exhibition Center (Petroleum Development Oman), which deals with the advance of mineral oil and also at “The Wave”, which is the first Real Estate Company in Oman and provides property rentals and sales services. After a lunch at the German University of Technology in Oman, GUtech, we spent the afternoon with working together with the Omani students on tasks such as tourism as well demographic development and the economic situation in both countries. The interaction was a wonderful opportunity to get to know each other and get a deeper insight in the cultural differences. Thus, many of us even had the chance to meet with our Omani students in the evening again.
The upcoming three days, we were able to enjoy the amenity of Oman, by visiting the impressive desert, which included an overnight stay and a beautiful sunset and sunrise. Additionally we were introduced to traditional cooking and music. As you can imagine, we really enjoyed our time in the camp as it was a unique and perfect moment for all of us. Besides we were receiving a view on the amazing coastline of Oman, by spending half a day at a Dhow Cruise.
On the 31st of March our trip ended with the flight back to Germany. We took lots of impression and experiences with us and this were not a goodbye but a see you later for sure.
Susann Feige & Jessica Deuß, TDS 2ndsemester