Dubai has transformed itself from a desert outpost to one of the most important economic centres in the Middle East. As a result, the city has become an increasingly popular tourist destination. Holidays in Dubai offer a mix of old world markets and contemporary architecture, sunny beaches and sprawling shopping centres, imposing skyscrapers and world class museums.
What to See
Much of Old Dubai has vanished with the move towards modern towers of glass and steel. Some remnants remain, including the Bastakiya District where buildings have been reconstructed in traditional styles. The district is home to many lively cafes and art galleries. The Dubai Museum at the al-Fahidi fort shares the history of Dubai and the United Arab Emirates, while a guided tour of the Jumeirah Mosque, the largest in Dubai, allows you to explore breathtaking architecture.
To experience modern Dubai, a visit to the iconic Burg al-Arab can be arranged with a tour or by staying at the luxury hotel. Admiring the Burg Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, can be done from many places in Dubai. You can also visit the tower’s observation deck for a unforgettable view of the surrounding landscape. The tower is also home to the 1,200-shop Dubai Mall. For additional shopping adventures, seek out the historic Gold Souk and Spice Souk markets at the mouth of the Dubai Creek, or the Satwa textile market.
What to Do
Visiting the beach is a great way to relax while on vacation in Dubai. With picturesque white sandy beaches and warm waters, the city’s beaches are idyllic. Water sports are a popular activity in Dubai, including diving and snorkelling to see colourful coral reefs and wrecks. You can also ski in the desert at a well-equipped snow skiing centre at the Mall of the Emirates. Alternatively, you can explore the desert itself with a tour on four-wheeled drive vehicles. Tour operators take visitors across and over sand dunes, which are particularly beautiful close to sunset. For a taste of the unusual, you can see camel races at the Camel Race Track during winter months. Families will enjoy the Wild Wadi Park and its entertaining water slides and rides, tidal pool, waterfalls, and secluded lagoon.
Travelling to Dubai
Dubai is a five-hour flight from many cities in Europe. With Emirates Airline, British Airways, and many other European carriers serving the city from destinations across Europe, Dubai is relatively easy to get to. Although summer months can be extremely hot, fall and winter months are cooler, with temperatures ranging between 20˚C to 25˚C. Getting around the city itself is made easy with a new metro system, although exploring the city by car or taxi is still the best way to experience.