One of the seven emirates, the emirate of Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. It has the largest population in UAE. After Abu Dhabi, it has the second largest land territory. On the emirate’s northern coastline is situated the city of Dubai. The cultural and business hub of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region, Dubai is a cosmopolitan metropolis. It has become renowned for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings. It is also home to some ambitious development projects like hotels, man-made islands, and some of the largest shopping malls in the world. Dubai is expected to put up 15 million tourists by 2015. Tourism contributes to a substantial chunk of its revenues. Dubai is one of the most expensive cities in the world and is also rated at one of the best places to live in the Middle East.
Dubai is a place of glitz, glamour, warmth, tradition and modernism. Arabic is the official language of Dubai. It is a cocktail of the fanciest hotels, scintillating parties, tallest skyscrapers and fastest cars. The visitor is lost in the midst of Dubai asking oneself what to do and what not to. People do frenzied shopping and buy glittering gold in the traditional souks. It is a fun-filled holiday for every tourist to Dubai. Apart from all this there is the traditional Dubai that is seen during Ramadan.
In CNN’s list of 25 most impressive manmade engineering achievements are Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa. Dubai offers unique aerial tours that are thrilling as one looks down upon the pristine waters, slowly ascending to its skies, soaking in the picturesque view. Everything in Dubai excites the tourist. The Dubai Creek Silver lets one slip back in time as one sees the aerial views of old Dubai, which is still full of spice souks, abras and dhows. A number of charter flights help the visitor to explore the history and heritage of Dubai, which otherwise, one would not be able to do. One could get aboard the fishing boats and become engrossed in the thrill of fishing in the Arabian Gulf. Yacht cruising attracts many foreign tourists who love to explore the deep blue sea waters of Dubai.
At 2,717 ft, the Burj Khaifa is the tallest building in the world. The tower is located in a man-made lake in the heart of Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is 164 floor high. On the 124th floor there is the world’s highest outdoor observation deck. The tower is named Burj Khalifa after the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan in recognition of Abu Dhabi providing Dubai with $10 billion in December 2009. This amount was given to bail out Dubai’s bankrupt sovereign wealth fund. The first American to win the Fritz Leonhardt Priza for Achievement in Structural Engineering, William F. Baker was the building’s structural engineer. There is a list of other interesting facts about Burj Khalifa.
Palm Jumeirah is a welcome holiday. The spas, pools and gardens offer a chance for the tourist to unwind. There are five restaurants to choose from. Daytime activities include water sports, theme parks, aquariums and miles of lovely beaches. At night there are the bars, clubs and shows to offer the tourist enjoyment. The Atlantis Resort which is world-famous is situated here. Palm Jumeirah extends 6.5 km into the Arabian Gulf Sea. It is home to nearly 10,000 people.
Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing at the first ski resort in the Middle East, Ski Dubai. It has real snow and is a mountain-themed attraction. One is provided with winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment. Ski down the slope and the quad-chairlift and tow will carry one back to the top.
Stroll on the walkways or take a boat ride at the largest man-made marina in the world, the Dubai Marina. There is also the Dubai Marina Mall. The Dubai Marina Yacht Club with a clubhouse forms the centerpiece of four distinctive marinas. There are over five hundred yachts that are arrayed along the 3.5 km canal. There are casual or fine dining restaurants, sports lounge, and other club lounges at the clubhouse.
Dubai Gold Souk
Visiting the Dubai Gold Souk is an unforgettable experience. It has more than 300 retailers trading exclusively in jewelry that line the narrow streets. Dubai is known as the city of gold. Both well-established stores as well as those that operate in the gold souk are found here.
The Global Village at Dubailand is the largest seasonal cultural extravaganza in the region. The open-air theme park offers a wide range of festivals, entertainment and shopping. The Global Village is linked with the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF). However, the Global Village opens before the DSF and runs longer than the DSF. It attracts more than 6 million visitors. If one is good at bargaining, then one can buy a lot of things. Items otherwise not found in UAE are available at the Global Village.
Want to see the sand dunes and visit isolated villages and ruins? Then take one of the Desert Safari tours. One also gets a peek at the traditional Emirati life. There is more in store as you have lip-smacking barbecue dinner and watch belly dancers dancing at a Bedouin camp at night under the Arabian starlit sky.
Visitors love to go off the beaten track and that’s the Hatta Safari. Road adventurers will love to drive along the Hajjar Mountains and Wadis. That is followed up by a sumptuous lunch at the Hatta Fort Hotel, which is five-star graded. One can enjoy the natural beauty of these imposing mountains with family or friends. Do dip and dive in the water pool of the Hatta Mountains. It is over 100 km from Dubai. It is an oasis with red sand dunes, camel rock, fossil rock all the way through till you reach the mountain valley at Madhan.
The Dubai Zoo is located in Jumeirah. It houses many indigenous Arabian species. One can find the Arabian Wolf here, which is no longer seen in the wild. One can also see Gordon’s Wildcat and Socotra Cormorants. The Dubai Zoo has a large aviary where one can find the regional birds of prey.
While in Dubai do go to Sharjah. It is the cultural capital of the Arab World. There is the 150-year-old Al Naboodah house, which recalls the life of a wealthy pearl trading family. Go on a shopping blast and visit the Blue Souq. It houses 600 shops selling perfumes, carpets, gold, silver antiques and clothes. Tour to Sharjah University, King Faisal Mosque, neatly maintained parks, and amazing Corniche of Sharjah. The most popular family entertainment zone in Sharjah is “Qanath al Kasbah”.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of UAE. It not only has wonderful architecture but also natural scenery as seen in the marina and cornice areas. Abu Dhabi has a rich cultural and historical background. Do visit the Carpet Market with beautiful minute designs with vibrant colours. The tourist can tour around seeing the Heritage Village, Sheikh Zayed Mosque and drive past through the F1 and Ferrari Tracks. Abu Dhabi is the centre of oil exploration. It also has the biggest soccer stadium in the Middle East.