DubaiWhen traveling to Dubai, everything that glitters really is gold. Spend the morning lounging on snow white sands, the afternoon bartering for a gold trinket in a Souk and the evening dining on fine Middle Eastern cuisine as you gently cruise down the Dubai Creek. In Dubai, you truly can have it all!
It wasn't very long ago, that Dubai City was a tiny oceanside town in the Dubai Emirate, consisting of only a few hundred pearl divers. But over the course of the past two decades, Dubai has re-emerged as an International playground and the vacation destination of choice for the world's most affluent people. Where there once were shacks, there are now multimillion dollar architectural wonders. Where there once was only sand, there are now verdant green golf courses and gorgeous resorts. A complete transformation, from a humble fishing village to the world's most elite tourist attraction, Dubai continues to grow.
If you're planning a Dubai vacation, there are some things you should know about the region. For instance, the climate can be extremely hot and humid. It's not uncommon for the humidity to reach 80 to 90 percent with an outside temperature of 122 degrees. Cool, loose fitting clothing is a must. You'll also want to make sure you don't forget the suntan lotion.
Women should remember to dress conservatively while in public in Dubai. While it's acceptable to wear swimwear at the beach or poolside at the hotel, Dubai is not accustomed to Western style of dress -- or lack thereof. Your appearance in public should respect local sensibilities and customs.
Dubai runs the table as far as accommodations are concerned. It's one of the reasons why this resort city is so successful - it caters to all income levels. From living the pampered life at the Burj al-Arab or Jumeirah Beach Hotel, enjoying the comfort of the moderately priced Ascot Hotel or Avari Hotel, to the budget serenity at the Gulf Pearl Hotel or Panorama Hotel; every income can enjoy a luxurious stay in Dubai.
In this land of extremes, it's perhaps Dubai's food that's most varied. International cuisine is represented in most hotels and first-class restaurants throughout the city. For authentic tastes of Italy, visit Toscana. If Asian delicacies are tempting you, satisfy yourself at Kiku. For a sample of fast food done Middle Eastern style, try Jabal Al Noor or The Karachi Darbar. Of course, Western influences abound with McDonalds, KFC, Taco Bell and other chains popping up all the time in Dubai.
Dubai offers a wealth of adventurous activities including hot air balloon rides, four-wheeling over sand dunes, indoor skiing, shopping and swimming. Dubai even has its own water park, Wild Wadi, where kids and adults can enjoy a wet and wonderful time. Golf is a perennial favorite activity in Dubai, and they go to great lengths to provide the ultimate golf experience in the desert. The entertainment options are nearly endless as there is always a music festival or concert going on at one of the hotels.
The month of January brings the world-famous Dubai Shopping Festival, where 2,300 merchants open their doors on the streets of Dubai for a month-long shopping celebration. Nightly fireworks and laser displays, musical attractions, prize raffles - the city really turns into a frenzy of shoppers looking for a once in a lifetime deal, and it can be found at the Dubai Shopping Festival. This one-time promotional stunt which started in 1996 has grown into a full fledged world-wide phenomenon - just like Dubai itself.