The capital of the UAE in the Persian Gulf, Dubai attracts the tourists with its glittering skyscrapers, amusements parks and desert safari. Popular as a family destination, the city has been designed to entertain its visitors.
The end of the year brings the excitement of holidays and the hunt begins for destinations to wrap the precious time with tons of entertainment and fun. Now a good vacation may have different connotations for each of us individuals but if you are the kind who likes speed, shopping and service at its best, Dubai may be the place for you. Moving a step ahead from being “the shopping capital of the Middle East”, Dubai is rapidly rising as the new age entertainment destination for the globetrotters of the world.
The transformation of the desert city is an awe-inspiring sight for a new comer. The tall buildings forces one to crane the neck while on the road to see how high they go. The roadways are wide and traffic moves with impeccable discipline. And not to mention an array of fancy cars that act as an added delight for machine lovers.
The glittering malls
The shopping malls of Dubai are like miniature cities in themselves with art, gourmet, fashion and entertainment brought together in one place. The Dubai Mall stands testimony to it with best of the brands and restaurants from around the world staged under one roof. The musical fountain in its courtyard with the Burj Khalifa in the background is a techno-theatrical showpiece. The Waterfall installation at the entrance is a futuristic ultra modern piece of art, showcasing the very spirit of Dubai. While shoppers hop from store to store, an underwater zoo loved alike by the young and old, could distract them, but in a good way. Additionally, the exquisite bakeries and ice-cream parlours are a feast, both for the eye and the taste buds, and a unique way to relish the local delicacies.
The Mall of the desert region of Emirates has a modern version of the traditional jewellery market and an indoor Snow Park. The Mall on the Jumeirah beach road, a social and cultural hub, reflects traditional architecture and is the definition of luxury at its best.
Experiencing the city
Apart from the new district and malls, the old Gold Souk and the spice market bring complementary heritage flavour to the shopping experience with lines of shops selling exotic dry fruits and spices.
Many fascinating and novel architecture marvels dot the landscape but the two buildings that stand out are the Burj Al Arab, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, picturesquely placed on a man-made island and the Burj Khalifa, still holding the record for the tallest building of the world. To view the landscape in 360 degrees from its 124th floor is momentous.
It is not unusual to catch a glimpse of the royalty on the road as they move around without convoys unlike many other countries of the world. The trick to spot them is the different number plate that could be found out through the locals.
The present can get justified appreciation only when the stories of past are told. The Dubai Museum will give you a gateway into the humble way of life that the Emaratis led as nomads in the desert with falcons as pets and dates as their delicacy. Their household customs, festivals, knowledge of the stars and many more interesting details are vividly depicted in this main museum of the city.
A desert safari lets you experience a stormy stunt ride through the sand dunes far from the city on hefty Land Cruisers. There are options to relax and dine at desert camps post the ride. Local music and dance performances like Tanoura and the belly dance add more flavours to the evening.
However for those, looking for a more romantic and peaceful evening, dinner on a cruise is the perfect option. Amidst the lit up towers, the cruise floats slowly and offers a new way to experience the same city in slow doses with some quietude and good food.
Amusement parks, favourite among families, are abundantly present in Dubai. The one of its kind Ferrari Park, for instance, is a huge indoor theme park and, as the name suggests, built around the history and heritage of the Ferrari brand. It is a dream come true for a racing enthusiast. It offers a plenty of rides, shows and a chance to sit on the fastest roller coaster of the world, The Formula Rossa. It is evidently designed for madness and extreme fun. The Aquaventure Waterpark at the Atlantis Palm hotel is another popular destination among the tourists.
Amidst the hustle and bustle, it is worth stealing some quiet moments for a walk along the crystal blue waters on the imported white sands of the Jumeirah beach. It is undoubtedly, one of the most well maintained beaches in the world.
The city is preparing in a big way for the coming Expo 2020, which is predicted to change its face once again. Part of the plan is an under water multi-storied hotel and a world map of man made islands. The imagination of this small city is skyhigh and Dubai is well equipped with the means and will to full-fill it.
Dubai is moulded around the needs of tourists. Where else in the world can you hope to find air-conditioned bus stops? It is an unusual sight when the tall and large glass buildings become mirrors for the setting sun and reflect a golden light in the surrounding as the day sets into night. So if at all in a mood to spoil your self this holiday season, do consider the jewel of the UAE, Dubai, the it family holiday destination.