DURBAN 250807: Sand sculpture on Durban beach. Sand sculptor Mthandeni Magubane building up his palace with sea sand in DBN beach front PICTURE: GCINA NDWALANE

Durban - The world is finally realising what Durbanites have always known: Durban Rocks.

According to CNN, Durban is one of the 10 most underrated cities in the world.

The city – along with the likes of Queens in New York and Lisbon in Portugal – made it on to the cable news network’s list, first published in 2012 but updated recently.

CNN said they were underrated cities because of their proximity to “better known locales”, like Cape Town in Durban’s case, that travellers often neglect to visit. “These places are liveable, creative hubs, championed by locals, worth more than a quick stop before you head elsewhere,” its review states.

Durban’s tourism bosses, who have had to live in the shadow of Cape Town for tourism dollars, are over the moon about the accolade.

“Essentially what they are saying is that Durban is at the level of any other major city in the world. And that for us is a very good compliment,” Phillip Sithole, head of Durban Tourism, said.

He said the CNN review proved that the city’s investments such as uShaka Marine World, the upgrade to the beachfront promenade and the construction of Moses Mabhida Stadium, were paying dividends.

“A major network like CNN is saying that this is a beautiful city with warm people ready to welcome them. This is positive for our city. That CNN report talks about our wonderful lifestyle, our weather and our cuisine which is world class,” he said.

Sithole said Durban Tourism had invested more than R30-million marketing itself to the world over the past two years, through television channels such as National Geographic, CNBC Africa and EuroSport. KZN had invested more than R200m marketing itself over the same period.



“Durban is fantastic and the people are great,” a CNN commentator said.

“Miss that place and the wonderful atmosphere. Gounden’s (along Umbilo Road) make the best bunnies.

“Big draws include surf-friendly golden beaches, many temples and mosques , the uShaka Marine World theme park and the mammoth art deco-style Suncoast Casino. Local specialty bunny chow – piping hot curry in a scooped-out bun – is best had at The House of Curries on Florida Road.”

Other cities on the list are Bergen in Norway, Darwin in Australia, Glasgow in Scotland and Isfahan in Iran. - Daily News