The most populated city of the UAE and the business center of the Middle East, situated on the Persian Gulf, Dubai is an up and coming destination for corporate types as well as those in search of a break. Ancient and modern attractions entice visitors to come and explore this exotic lifestyle.
The city’s history dates back to a pre-oil era when pearl exports were the basis for the economy in Dubai in the 1930’s. Oil was discovered in the waters marginally off-shore in 1966 and thus launching Dubai into the world’s largest traded commodity market. The population, as a result, grew 300% in 7 years with the influx of foreigners working for international corporations.
The desert city is bordered by Oman, the salt pans and the ocean and resides in the middle of the Arabian desert which is scattered with date palms and the occasional Arabian oryx. Sporting temperatures of 106°F (41°C) in months like August, divers welcome the opportunity to get into the water.
Dubai’s range of activities is centered around the water and the desert. Fishing, sailing and dinner cruises help tourists enjoy their time above the water, yet on it. Dune bashing your way across the desert can be accomplished in a 4x4 buggy, quad bike or sandboard.
For a taste of the real Middle East, you can watch camel races on a Thursday and Friday night in the winter months or catch a hot air balloon to get a bird’s eye view of it all. But it goes without saying, that the shopping is not to be scoffed at or passed over, and one day set aside for the malls may not be enough to satisfy your appetite.
It is simple and painless getting to Dubai as long as you don’t hold an Israeli passport and you are not coming from India or Pakistan. The airlines that service the UAE are some of the best in the market and flights are readily available from all international airports around the globe. Public transport comes in the well-serviced form of a bus, tram and monorail.
Note - Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited) to security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.