Dubai’s rise as a modern, affluent city has been meteoric. In less than three decades, this tiny province of the UAE has emerged as a confluence of the East and West. It’s steeped in age old traditions, yet it effortlessly embraces the customs of more permissive cultures.
Bridging gaps between the old and new, orthodox and liberal, conventional and bohemian, Dubai is in the coveted position of being one of the most influential cities of this century. Its rulers deserve praise for their vision and hard work, that’s turned the desert into a dream destination for tourists from around the world! The best of Milan, Paris and New York converge in Dubai, with the city giving it’s European and American counterparts a run for their money! Here’s why we think Dubai ought to feature on your wish list.
1. SHOP TILL YOU DROP
Move over Fifth Avenue, there’s a new kid on the block! For many, shopping is the número uno reason to visit Dubai. With retail space running into several hundred thousand square feet, malls here mean serious business! After all, the world’s biggest complex of retail stores- the Dubai Mall, is here. From a pin to a plane, ask and it shall be yours. Built on a grand and flamboyant scale, malls in this city are more than just places to shop. The annual Dubai Shopping Festival is a big draw for tourists on the lookout for a great bargain.
2. A COSMOPOLITAN CITY
Dubai is a cauldron of varied cultures, with foreigners forming a big chunk of its work force. While visitors from the subcontinent feel particularly comfortable here, a large number of expatriates from other parts of the world have also chosen to make the metropolis their second home. Russian, German, French, and Arab- Dubai has graciously opened its doors to all. Diverse nationalities, languages, accents, dressing styles, have contributed in creating a colourful cosmopolitan collage.
3. A GASTRONOME’S DELIGHT
Jamie Oliver, Sanjeev Kapoor and Gordon Ramsay are just some of the celebrity chefs whose restaurants grace Dubai’s gourmet scene. From a five course meal to finger-licking street food, there isn’t a hunger pang that the city cannot satisfy. Posh sushi bars are just as popular as humble roadside eateries selling shawarmas. Vegetarian, vegan and organic? Yes, there are plenty of those too! We hope we’ve succeeded in providing you with some food for thought!
4. SPOT THE STARS
Cannes and Los Angeles have hosted their fair share of the glitterati, and Dubai is not too far behind. Glamorous movie stars regularly walk the red carpet at film festivals and premieres held here. Tom Cruise shot in the city for Mission Impossible 3, promptly catapulting Dubai into the legion of international cinema. With screen stars descending on the Emirati province for fashion shows and brand endorsements, Dubai has consolidated its position as being synonymous with bling and glitz!
5. TOP-NOTCH ACCOMMODATIONS
There was a time when hotels in Paris, London and New York were the last word in exclusivity and service. Dubai’s hospitality industry has changed that perception. While the seven star Burj Al Arab is unparalleled for its ostentatious luxury, the Madinat Jumeirah has replicated Venetian canals complete with boats and all! The Atlantis of course is a huge hit with families, because of a theme park on its mammoth property. Last but not the least, there are a host of budget and pocket friendly hotels too.
6. ENTERTAINMENT GALORE
In Dubai, there’s a vibe for every tribe! Pop stars like Sting, Elton John, Eagles, have all performed here and the list is only getting longer. Theatre, dance shows, musicals; every possible source of entertainment that can enthrall you, is available. For kids there’s a water park, a larger than life aquarium, ski slopes, thrilling rides, an IMAX cinema and so much more. Brace yourself for an action packed itinerary on arrival!
Must Read: Adventure Activities In Dubai
7. MECCA FOR SPORTS ENTHUSIASTS
World class stadiums and facilities have launched Dubai into the international sports arena. You can watch legendary players like Federer in action at tournaments such as the Dubai Tennis Championship. Fancy a game of golf? There are as many as a dozen golf courses within the city to choose from! For a dash of thrill, the Meydan Racecourse hosts the world’s richest horse race, and can seat over 60,000 spectators in its stands. Now that’s a cause for cheering!
8. A SAFE HAVEN
Dubai without a doubt ranks as one of the safest cities in the world. Whether you’re traveling solo or with an entourage, personal safety is not a cause for concern. As a result of stringent laws, crime is almost non-existent. Respect and courtesy is an inbred trait of the Emiratis, therefore guests are treated extremely cordially. Women can travel around freely without a bother, and there’s even a pink taxi service run by capable lady drivers!
9. ART ON THE RISE
Beyond the concrete and glass, a vibrant art-beat hums in the city. Al Quoz district in Dubai is a thriving hub for artists, where fun and funky installations compete for space with the sober ones. Housed in an industrial zone, warehouse- turned- galleries exude a modern appeal, that is reminiscent of the cultural scene in Amsterdam or Berlin. It seems that beneath Dubai’s exterior of rocketing skyscrapers and steel, lies the soul of an artist!
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