Dubai is an independent city-state that makes up one of United Arab Emirates. Located on the north-western coast of the Emirates coast, it forms the perfect tourist destination for those seeking a sub-tropical environment on a sea-side setting.
Known as a “desert” city, as it grew very quickly, it has several famous features which would attract the world-class visitor. Although its culture is based heavily around Islamic traditions, it is particularly welcoming to Western visitors and so is the favoured destination by many rich “party-seekers”.
Where to Stay
Dubai’s famous “Atlantis The Palm” resort would definitely be at the top of list for most holiday-makers seeking convenience and luxury. With over 1300 hotel rooms and over 160 luxurious suites, there is a great deal to suit every traveller. Guests would struggle to be bored with the in-house shopping and entertainment options (it boasts a variety of swimming pools), and could “dine out” practically anywhere on the globe with the variety of multi-national restaurants.
The “Burj Al Arab” is another famous destination, with its finely constructed building sitting on its own mock island and cutting a striking silhouette in the Dubai sky-line. The hotel has both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a fully equipped health spa and the famous restaurant “Al Muntaha”. For those a little more adventurous, the hotel’s sea-food restaurant can only be reached by submarine.
The“Raffles Dubai” is a hotel not to be missed, and should be the no. 1 destination for any business traveller. The specially designed pyramid building is ideal for its location in relation to the rest of Dubai, and is well fitted for business conferences and training sessions. Business wives and holiday-makers would also enjoy a trip to the Raffles spa and boutique, whilst the Raffles library would satisfy those seeking to learn more about the heritage and culture of Dubai.
What to Do
The Dubai Museum is located in what used to be the Al Fahidi Fort against foreign invasion. It now offers visitors the opportunity to “see” all of Dubai in just one day. From traditional Arabian homes to scenes of Dubai’s trade history, it is a unique and culturally enlightening experience away from the sun and sand of Dubai’s beaches.
The Grand Mosque is one of the most memorable buildings in the world, with a minaret that is 70m tall and over 50 domes of varying sizes.
It is the most important place of worship for the Muslim majority City, and so holds huge cultural and religious significance within Dubai. Although the Mosque is closed to non-muslims, its beauty alone makes it a sight-worth-seeing. It is also convenient near to the Dubai Museum (above).
Wild Wadi Water Park: If you ask anyone who has already been to Dubai, they are very likely to gush enthusiastically about this water-park. It is internationally acclaimed for its size and facilities, with 30 rides and a range of attractions. Its “Waves of Fun” ride, for the extreme surfers, has the true “designer label” on it as it was devised by American Thomas Lochtefeld. The park is even centred in Arabic history, as it is designed to tell the Arabic folk-lore tale of “Juah”. Wild Wadi is conveniently located next to the Burj Al Arab hotel (above) and hosts a number of exciting events, including “Ladies’ nights” and “Brighter Days” for children.
Where to Eat
Rhodes Twenty 10: Named after the British Michelin-starred chef Gary Rhodes, this restaurant offers the best quality grilled food in a “sharing” environment. Bring along family, friends, and dates, and enjoy both the food and the company in the luxurious lilac and sparkled setting.
Indego by Vineet: Another Michelin-starred favourite, Indigo by Vineet offers excellent Indian tapas in Dubai’s famous Grosvenor House hotel. The recent opening of Vineet’s terrace allows for diners to enjoy an al fresco experience whilst trying a variety of dishes, from Chicken Tikka to Crab Golgappa.
La Parilla: So we have seen a British grill and an Indian tapas. But we haven’t yet seen a Latino array! La Parilla combines a variety of different techniques to make your evening a huge success. Tango dancers and stunning views will compliment the delicious Latin American food. After-wards, guests can carry on in style at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s 24th floor bar Uptown Bar.
When to Visit
As would be expected from its desert location, Dubai’s summers would seem to be unbearably hot and dry at ~35.5oc in August. The winter, however, is much cooler at a balmy 19oc. The obvious recommendation would be to catch some winter sun by travelling out to Dubai in December or January, however Summer visits would also be enjoyable due to the unlimited supply of sea and pools.