A Destination of Superlatives
Over the last few decades Dubai has undergone a rapid transformation. From humble beginnings, a pearl diving centre and Shipping Port until the 60’s when oil was discovered which led to it becoming the vibrant modern Global destination it is today.
Nowadays The Emirate State’s embrace of Western culture has made it one of the most popular holiday destinations in the World and Tourism one of its main revenues. Tourists flock here for guaranteed sunshine and warm temperatures nearly all year round, but avoid the blistering extreme heat of the summer months unless you have ovenproof skin or a desire to remain inside at all times!
Dubai continually attracts world attention with its constantly innovative plans for outstanding construction, sporting events and ‘world firsts’.
The World’s tallest building The Buirj Khalifa Tower stands at more than 829m High in Downtown Dubai, it houses Offices and the ultra Chic Armani Hotel offers breathtaking views of the City, Desert and Coastline from the 124 floor viewing deck ’At the Top’ .
In August last year plans were announced for Dubai’s first Underwater Hotel ‘the Water discus’ an ambitious project which will see 21 luxury suites nestled on the sea bed giving guests a taste of Reef life without getting wet.
The world’s first 7 Star Hotel Burj Al Arab commands a magnificent spot on a manmade private island and is designed to mimic a traditional Arab Sailing Dhow. The Suites command an eye watering nightly rate but treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Al Muntaha Restaurant 200 meters above the Persian Gulf for a glimpse into how the other half live.
Marvel at the incredible feat of engineering and ingenuity at the manmade Islands off the coastline. The Palm Jumeirah houses the Iconic hotel Atlantis The palm with its full scale Waterpark and Aquarium. The Palm also boasts the Middle East’s first Monorail & is said to double the length of Dubai’s coastline!
For Retail Therapy ‘The shopping Capital of the Middle East’ has a staggering number of air-conditioned shopping centre’s including … you’ve guessed it…the world’s largest at Dubai Mall. The Gold Souk in Deira houses nearly 300 gold retail shops and the traditional Souk District located in the old part of the city offers bargains galore. Last year the area was proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If the children get bored with sun, sea and sand there are numerous indoor activities to keep them amused. Head for the Ski Dubai at Mall of Emirates and try your hand at Skiing or tobogganing. Here you will find a snow covered mountain complete with ski runs for all levels, snowboarding and tabogganing runs on real snow and, recently introduced, a colony of real Gentoo & King Penguins.
Surrounded by desert there is now a huge selection of 18 hole grass Golf Courses including world class Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club and the Emirates Golf Club all offering outstanding facilities for amateurs and the most ardent Golfers alike. Emirate Golf Club’s Majlis Course has the honour of hosting the European PGA Tour sanctioned Omega Dubai Desert Classic and the Omega Dubai Ladies Masters, annually.
Don’t forget to go ‘wadi bashing’ a ride in a 4×4 jeep across the desert dunes and take an overnight trip into the desert to sample a traditional Bedouin meal whilst learning the ancient art of falconry. Take time to enjoy sailing a Dhow in the old quarter at Dubai Creek or take a soaring helicopter ride to see the magnificent coastline and her new islands from a bird’s eye point of view. If you fancy a flutter on the Horses try an evening meeting at the Meydan Race Course.
It may not be to everyone’s taste but where else in the world can you do all this and more?
Sue Alexander from Eagle Travel.
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