In just a few decades, the remains of this small trading post have been eclipsed by the incredible heights of a futuristic skyline. Read more.
In just a few decades, the remains of this small trading post have been eclipsed by the incredible heights of a futuristic skyline. Dubai is home to some of the most innovative developments in the world, a city synonymous with luxury, wealth and awe-inspiring architecture where, contrary to popular belief, a rich culture still exists if you are willing to seek it out. Wonder peppers the city, from its dunes and souks all the way up to the sky piercing Burj Khalifa, and naturally much of the accommodation is consistent with the ambiance of Dubai. If there was ever a time to treat yourself to a top-notch hotel, consider this audacious city a decadent option.
Things to see and do
The continual development of Dubai has provided a fair amount of things to see and do in and around the city. Visitors can occupy themselves with everyday activities from lounging on the beach or indulging in watersports, to the most farfetched of activities in the form of skiing at Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort with an area of 22,500 square meters. Whether you enjoy shopping or not, the largest mall in the world, the Dubai Mall, is something to behold and a remarkably good place to people watch if you’re not inclined to do so at a cafe whilst partaking of the local pastime, shisha. The Dubai Mall app makes it easier to navigate the mammoth mall, pinpointing your location in the mall and showing you a categorised list of its shops. For a taste of the Dubai of yore, take a trip to the old heart of the city where you can visit the souks either side of the Dubai creek. One side is home to textiles and the other spices and gold and you can take an Abra (boat) from one side to the other for a fun journey between the two. The picturesque Jumeirah Mosque is indeed worth a visit and tours are possible for non-muslims. The Dubai museum, located in Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 and the oldest remaining building in Dubai, gives a detailed history of Dubai for the interested traveller. If you want to see some of the sights and are moving around the city via public transport, the RTA app allows you to check train, bus and waterbus times and book a cab as well as get some details of interesting places.
Resorts like the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the Burj Al Arab usually have their own private beaches but if you don’t happen to be aiming for a resort, there are several free and low cost beaches in the city including Jumeirah Open Beach, Mercato Beach, the off the beaten path Palace Beach and the leading watersports and so aptly named Kitesurf Beach.
When to visit
Unless you’re impervious to sweltering heat, the best time to visit Dubai is between October and April with December and January being the busiest months. Temperatures during this time are an ambient 22 – 32 degrees Celsius, however, as this is the most pleasant time, hotel prices rise accordingly. From mid April to October, temperatures can well exceed 40 degrees Celsius and as such the city quietens and hotels lower prices to attract more visitors.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to the Islamic calendar to see when Ramadan falls. As an officially Muslim country, Dubai observes Ramadan and so restaurants will not open during the day, though some cafes hidden behind a curtain may be open for a drink or snack in malls. Asking at an information booth should get you to where one of these is located. Whether Muslim or not people are expected to observe or respect Ramadan so there is no eating, drinking, smoking or chewing of gum allowed in public. The locals and expats of Dubai will usually escape to cooler tides during this time.
Neighbourhoods in Dubai
- Al Sufouh - Al Barsha - Duo Biotech (97)
- Bur Dubai (124)
- Business Bay - Safa Park (12)
- Deira (221)
- Downtown Dubai (72)
- Dubailand (4)
- Emirate Hills - Jumeirah Village (2)
- International Airport - Mushrif Park (29)
- International City - Silicon Oasis (5)
- Jebel Ali (6)
- Jumeirah (13)
- Nad Al Sheba - Industrial Area (1)
- Palm Jumeirah - Dubai Marina (274)
- South Dubai - Green Community - Endurance Village (3)