Whether you’re planning a vacation in Dubai, exploring the United Arab Emirates, or you’re flying to India, Pakistan, or parts of the African continent, Emirates is one of the most prestigious airlines flying to the region, and this summer they announced additional capacity, thanks to two new flights leaving from Toronto every week.
The new Emirates flight schedule includes departures from Toronto (YYZ) leaving Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 PM and arriving in Dubai at 11:40 AM the following day. Return flights leave Dubai at 3:30 AM and arrive in Toronto at 9:30 AM.
Speaking to Matt Schmid, Senior Vice President, Emirates North America, while he was in Toronto for the Rogers Cup as the event’s airline partner, he said, “For us, really Toronto is very interesting and I think we, as Emirates, are very interesting also for the people in Toronto, because of a variety of reasons.”
“Number one we have more than 40 thousand Canadians that live and work in Dubai. They have family and friends that want to visit them and they also want to sometimes come back home,” Schmid said.
“And then, if you look at the population of Toronto, it’s almost 50 percent of all the people that live in the larger Toronto area, that are not born here, and then that actually a lot of them come from regions where we have very good connectivity. In the subcontinent, India, Pakistan, some African markets.”
“[Emirates] gives you very very good connectivity, beyond Dubai to all the core destinations that we operate,” he said.
Why do Canadians need to visit Dubai?
So what can you do in Emirates? Dubai is a diverse, multicultural, and busy city, with incredible architecture, food, shopping, and history to explore. There’s a lot to do, but if you’re interested in shopping, the Dubai Mall is the largest shopping center in the world with 1,200 stores, plus an ice rink, and an aquarium with over 33,000 underwater creatures.
The city also features some of the most luxurious, unique hotels and resorts in the world, including the Burj Al Arab, which is one of the tallest hotels in the world, and features award-winning restaurants. Or, for the resort experience, you can stay at the DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai on Jumeirah Beach, where you can sunbathe on their private beach.
Schmid hopes travellers are as thrilled as they are with the new travel options, since, as he put it, “more options to travel are always a good thing,” and Canadians seem to love to travel.
“Dubai’s an amazing destination,” Schmid said, “and an amazing city, and I can really say that because Dubai was, for four years, my home.”
“It is an absolute melting pot, so you have more than 150, or close to 200 nationalities that actually live in this relatively small piece of land, in a very peaceful and respectful way. I think this is really something that is very very special.”
Dubai also “offers something for everybody,” Schmid said. “You have the beaches, you have the desert, you have the longest zip line in the world, you have the largest shopping mall, you have the tallest building in the world, and everything, really, in this very small place.”
“So you can get up in the morning; you have breakfast at the bottom of the highest building in the world, or even on top of the highest building in the world; you do some shopping in the largest shopping mall in the world, then you go for some indoor skiing, and in the afternoon you take a swim in the sea. And in the evening you have a barbecue in the desert. And that’s all possible in Dubai.”
Iconic planes, Emirates service
Flights from Toronto to Dubai are operated on the Emirates iconic A380, which features private suites in First Class, lie flat seats in Business Class, and spacious seating in Economy Class.
“With travel, we transport people, but we’re in the service industry, and I think that’s really what differentiates us very strongly,” Schmid said. “So first of all, it’s the on board service that we provide. With our cabin crew that come from more than 120 countries, so a very very international cabin crew base.”
Secondly, he said, “the Airbus A380, the double decker, is the largest air craft in the world. That offers us to do certain things that you can’t do on other airplanes. For our Premium Class passengers, the upper deck is pure premium class, as we feature 14 private suites in first class, and then 76 seats in business class. And at the back of the plane is a bar and lounge area that is really dedicated for our premium class passengers. So it allows you to have some drinks in the air, lounge around and meet very interesting people.”
“And then for our first class passengers, we offer two first class shower spas,” Schmid said. “So I live in New York and I often tell people that the shower spa on board of our A380 is most probably larger than the average New York bathroom, where you can really take a shower before you want to go to sleep, or a shower before arrival so that you’re completely fresh.”
In terms of First Class service, “you really have a private suite,” he said, “so you can close the door, your seat transforms in to a bed, you get pajamas, and you have an à la carte dining service. So there is no preset menu… you can eat whatever and when ever you want.”
“But the majority of our passengers are flying in Economy Class [where] we have an absolute top product. We offer our in-flight entertainment system, Ice, which offers up to three and a half thousand channels. The latest movies, TV series, and we have all 98 percent of our fleet is equipped with Wi-Fi service. And all our passengers benefit from complimentary Wi-Fi, for the first 20 megabytes are free for everybody, which allows you to text and stay in touch with the world.”
So when should you book your trip? “I would say the best time to visit Dubai is between October and end of April.”
Find our more about traveling to Dubai at visitdubai.com.