In this article I will share with you my Dubai holiday experience, so that you can get a feeling of the city, on top of the factual touristic reviews.
I stayed in a nice hotel in the center of the city, but had to use taxi to go around, as the interesting places are not necessarily grouped together. What struck me the most was the modern, futuristic feel of the city, probably induced by the hundreds of skyscrapers. I was impressed with the evidence of how powerful big money is. Not long ago there was no building there, so everything was built from the scratch at amazing speed. Along the same line, how do you think the palm trees survive? Well, first, millions are spent to take the salt out of the ocean’s water, which is then sent to the trees by a sophisticated irrigation system. Well, the sheikh doesn’t seem to take no for an answer…
You can make a lot of trips around – don’t miss Abu Dhabi, which is actually the capital of the United Arab Emirates. However, be careful when choosing the agency organizing the trip, as not all provide the most decent standard of service.
I could not miss the Burj-al -Arab, which is the most luxurious hotel in the world. You will need to book a meal there, otherwise you can’t just visit it. But I think it is worth the experience. This is not my style though and I would happily stay at the neighbor hotel, i.e. Jumeirah Beach Hotel.
You will not be able to escape shopping. Although I wasn’t there during the shopping festival, I made a lot of purchases. Most notably, watches and jewelry have good prices all year round, so I bought a nice Tag Heuer one third cheaper than regular prices in other places.
Separately, you should be aware of the cultural differences in terms of time perception (people don’t have the sense of urgency you might be used to), differentiated treatment of women vs. men, etc – I suggest you read a dedicated resource on Arabic culture before.
To conclude, there are a lot of things to do and see in Dubai – the tallest building in the world, the impressive artificial islands, the artificial ski slope and so on. This is an unique and intriguing place that is for sure worth visiting.