The tourism infrastructure is also of a very high standard. Both the Brisbane and Gold Coast airports are efficient, with friendly immigration departments. The main worry is that you might import food stuffs that could contaminate Australian agriculture, and watch out for a tiny sniffer dog which will find even a spare apple concealed in your hand baggage.
The Gold Coast resembles Dubai with its modern infrastructure and absence of much historic interest. The iconic hotel is the Palazzo Versace that opened in 2000 and backs on to a yacht marina and natural lagoon, and the Conrad Jupiters is the place to head for the casino or Zingara evening show complete with dancing girls and some amazing motorcyclists who perform inside a steel basket on stage.
For another exciting evening entertainment try the Australian Outback Spectacular, an indoor demonstration of traditional horse-riding and cattle mustering skills held inside a huge purpose built shed with dinner served while you watch. It is a first-rate presentation and not a bad meal either.
Children and the young-at-heart will love the theme parks of the Gold Coast. For the chance to swim with Dolphins go to Sea World, and do not miss the excellent new Shark exhibit and the opportunity to get up close to these scary animals. The corkscrew rollercoaster ride is also a must for most visitors, or enjoy the acrobatic water-skiing display.
Dreamworld is the oldest of the theme parks and famous for its concentration of heart-stopping rides including The Claw and The Tower of Fear where a car races up a vertical tower and then plummets back to earth; and be sure to see Tiger Island with its tiger shows and two cuddly cubs.
A boat trip with the Tall Ships company along the Broadwater behind the coastal strip is a popular option with a barbecue lunch on an island and the chance to para-ski on the way back.
For some great shoppertunities Harbour Town is the place to go with top brand names like Tommy Halfinger and Ralph Loren selling at big discounts to regular prices. There is even a tourist centre with prayer rooms and a Halal fastfood restaurant.
The Gold Coast goes wild in June as GCBazaar brings you 30 days of carnivale events, exciting entertainment and shopping discount. You save on everything from fashion and food to nightlife and hotels.
If you have a large family and do not want to stay in a hotel then there are many apartment rental possibilities on the Gold Coast. For example, the 77-storey Q1 tower whose sister D1 tower is to be built in Dubai, has splendidly appointed apartments for rental at modest rates.
The Gold Coast was actually given its name by real estate agents in the 1950s because they were making so much money, and the local council so liked this title that they officially adopted it in 1958. But the council never allowed property developers to ruin this pristine beachfront region, and indeed their land reclamation activity has greatly added to its value and facilities.
With so much to do and see, as well as a five-star infrastructure and a friendly reception it is not hard to see why the Gold Coast has become so highly regarded by national guests who mingle happily with the locals and other visitors.
This is also a value-for-money holiday destination and, even with the much stronger Australian dollar these days, is far cheaper than comparable European resorts. And the recent publication of a guide to the Gold Coast in Arabic shows just how welcome guests from the Middle East have become.
Tuesday, July 10- 2007 @ 9:49 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.