Dubai refers to one of the seven Emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates on the Arabian Peninsula, or that Emirate’s main city, sometimes called “Dubai City” to distinguish it from the Emirate. Its time zone is four hours ahead of GMT and the local currency is the Dirham.
Some of the places on the ‘Must-Visit’ List are: Grand Mosque, Jumeriah Mosque, Madinat Jumeriah, Hatta Village, the Hatta Rock Pools, the Dubai World Trade Centre, Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Creek, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, the Dubai beaches, Dubai Zoo, Dubai Autodrome, the Heritage & Diving Village, Dhows, Bastakiya, Souks, the Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi Water Park, the Wonder Bus, the Open Top Bus, Ibn Battuta Mall, the Cable Car, the Knowledge Village, Dragon Mart and the Wonderland Water Park. The tour must be planned meticulously, keeping in mind the climate which depends on the time of the year.
Man-made Marvels. Some of the ‘man-made marvels’ that ought to be visited are the Burj Al Arab, The World, Dubai Marina, Dubai Internet City, Dubailand, the Mall of Arabia, Dubai Sports City, Business Bay, Dubai Metro, Burj Dubai, Palm Trilogy and Atlantis.
Dubai has been labelled the “shopping capital of the Middle East”. With so many shopping malls and souks, there’s no better place to find products at unbeatable prices. Free of tax, many top brand-name products widely available in the city are cheaper in Dubai than in their countries of origin. The major shopping areas of the city are Al Faheidi Road, Al Rigga Road, Al Karama, Al Satwa’s Al Dhiyafah Road and Beniyas Square. Bargaining is part of the fun of shopping in Dubai. Dubai’s most famous market is the gold souk where prices are very reasonable and largely determined by weight, rather than design and craftsmanship.
The Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is known throughout the world for not only being an opportunity for fantastic shopping and bargains, but also as one of the world’s most entertaining festivals including grand firework displays and great prizes to be won.
The Dubai Desert Safari presents a real taste of the true heartland of Arabia. It is the most exciting tour in Dubai and extremely popular. It is full of fun and adventure and will enable you to you experience the thrill of a rollercoaster ride on the sand dunes, enjoy a great dinner and live belly-dance in a desert camp outside Dubai. There are two types of Desert Safari: the Evening Desert Safari and the Dubai Overnight Desert Safari.
Camel Safari You can take a Camel Safari trip to the local Bedouin village to find out about traditional desert life.
With nearly four hundred species of birds observed in the Emirates, Dubai attracts many birdwatchers.
Dubai now has its own snow-skiing centre. Ski Dubai located in the new Mall of the Emirates on the Sheikh Zayed Road offers both skiing and snowboarding. All equipment is available for hire. A second indoor ski slope, the ‘Dubai Sunny Mountain Ski Dome’, is due to open in 2009 in Dubailand.
Those with a taste for speed and enthusiasm for an unusual sport will enjoy sand skiing down the dunes of the Dubai desert on special skis.
The Dubai World Cup is a thoroughbred horse race event held annually since 1996 at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse and is the world’s richest horse race.
Camel-racing, a traditional sport, is extremely popular in the Emirates. It is held in the winter months from October to April.
With naturally clear water and high temperatures all year round, Dubai is a centre for water sports par excellence, and is the perfect spot for any activity, from scuba-diving to game fishing and other water games like snorkelling, scuba diving, yachting, water-skiing, jet-skiing, windsurfing and game fishing.
An imaginative way of seeing Dubai is to take a tour of the creek by traditional wooden-chow or cabin cruiser.
For those who enjoy good food and a great dining experience, Dubai offers an opportunity to experience local and ethnic cuisine from almost every region in the world. The standards are high and the choice is diverse. The night-life is equally varied, with many bars, pubs, discos and nightclubs open until the small hours.
From snow-skiing in the morning to a desert safari in the afternoon or night; sightseeing or races; or simply marvelling at the man-made wonders, Dubai offers a myriad of activities which cater to the adventurer’s dream.
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