Dubai is a city that has a fascinating mix of old and new. As part of the United Arab Emirates, the city has really grown in the last 50 years. It’s a city of contrasts and a city that you will never forget.
When you first drive into the city, beautiful modern skyscrapers litter the skyline, shining in the sun. Being home to the biggest and best of almost everything it’s a place that is known for its extravagance, its luxury but also its traditions and culture. Less is certainly not more in Dubai!
These are our reasons why you must visit Dubai.
For The Luxury
Dubai has an amazing array of beautiful luxury hotels, such as The Burj Al Arab the world’s only ‘7-star’ hotel. Standing on an island, the Burj Al Arab it is known for its flowing shape, which is designed to look like the sails of a ship. Inside the luxurious hotel, dancing fountains and 24-carat gold pillars decorate the foyer and rooms have butler service. There is even a helipad on the roof for the millionaires that stay here. Afternoon tea in the Burj Al Arab gives you a little insight into how the other half lives, with tiny sandwiches, cute little pastries, scrumptious cakes and warm delicious scones. Millionaires must like their food in miniature.
The other hotels are amazing too, many in an Arabian style with ornate buildings and marble bathrooms whilst others cutting edge modern with clean lines and minimalistic elegance.
Not surprisingly, many wealthy business people live here and the sight of the luxury cars on a Saturday night driving along Jumeirah beach cannot be missed. We played ‘real life’ Supercar Top Trumps as we watched numerous Lamborghinis, Bugatti Veyrons, Ferraris, and Porches drive up and down.
Apparently, even the police cars are Lamborghinis which makes a change from our local policeman’s diesel Ford Focus.
All the luxury brands have shops in Dubai including Christian Louboutin, Bvlgari, and Cartier and there is even an island in the shape of a palm tree. We didn’t see a Poundland but there were plenty of ThousandPoundLands.
For The Shopping
Dubai is known for its shopping and has one of the largest shopping centres in the world, as well as a number of souks, (old Arabian markets) where shoppers haggle for the best price. For many us Brits haggling can be hard work and a bit Monty Pythonesque.
At the Mall Of The Emirates, you can shop in over 700 stores from high street shops such as Top Shop to luxury brands such as Burberry and Christian Louboutin, that I mentioned above. As well as shops, it also has a range of over 90 food outlets and cafes. Entertainment here is also in abundance with a multi-screen cinema and entertainment centre as well as an indoor ski centre. Yes, you heard me correctly, you can go skiing indoors when outside temperatures can reach 45 degrees centigrade in the height of summer.
If you want something more traditional head to the city’s souks for a vibrant and colourful experience. There are souks for perfume, spices, gold and everything else imaginable. In the gold souk every store has shelves and shelves of beautiful gold chains, and every precious stone imaginable can be found here. Then further on, there are the colourful sites of the textile souk and the wonderful smells of the perfume and spice souks. Haggling is expected.
For The Activities And Attractions
Dubai is the place to go if you are an adrenaline junkie. From going to the top of the world tallest hotel The Burj Khalifa and seeing the buildings that look like ants below, to swimming with sharks in Dubai Aquarium and taking a skydive over the desert, there is a wide range of adrenaline activities in Dubai.
Kids are looked after well too, from the Aquaventure and Wild Wadi waterparks to Sega Republic and Ski Dubai at the Mall Of The Emirates. This is not taking into account the soft sand of Jumeirah beach and the beautiful warm waters perfect for swimming. There are so many things to do in Dubai for young and old it is incredible and you will never be bored.
The Burj Khalifa at over 829m is three times as tall as The Eiffel Tower and worth a visit. You may recognise it from the Mission Impossible films where Tom Cruise famously filmed his own stunts on the top of the world’s tallest skyscraper. The trip to the top, in speeds up to 600m a minute, is highly recommended.
While you are here why not go ‘dune bashing’. Slap on the sunscreen and don’t forget the water then strap yourself into a twin seater buggy. These vehicles have a full roll cage, and safety harnesses to take you at speeds up and down the dunes for an exhilarating experience.
For The Weather
If you are a sun worshiper you will love Dubai, as even in the coldest months the temperature rarely goes below 19-degrees centigrade. In the height of summer, this can rise to 45 degrees so be sure to use a high factor suncream and cover up in the midday sun. It’s a place where you will get your vitamin D that’s for sure! In fact, it apparently has sunshine 330 days a year.
As you can see Dubai has something for everyone. A true luxury destination with shopping galore in the middle of the desert, with activities for everyone. With the highest building in the world, the most luxurious hotel in the world, and even a ski centre in the middle of the desert I think you can see Dubai is a great tourist destination
Have you ever been to Dubai? What is your must do attraction?