Dubai was originally a small fishing settlement that became a busy port of call on the ancient temple trade route between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. It rapidly went from an international business centre to a modern tourist destination
The city is constantly being updated with new skyline developments providing facilities needed for the ever growing tourism it attracts. It includes world class hotels, shopping plazas, and outstanding sporting facilities including an in door ski slope!
As well as being very commercialised Dubai also offers Exotic Arabia experiences…A night in a Bedouin tent with belly dancing under the starlit skies, camel races and unspoilt beaches to name just a few.
Useful Info –
The local time in Dubai is GMT +4
The Dubai currency is Dirham (AED). The best exchange rates are found at private money changers who operate through out, particularly in the more popular souks and shopping centres. Most major credit cards are also accepted.
Arabic is their official language but English is widely spoken.
Health – No Vaccinations are required for Dubai. You can drink tap water in the city but bottled water is advisable. Medical care is excellent but can be very expensive, health insurance is essential.
Dubai offers a subtropical climate, with blue skies and sunshine all year round, with June to September being the hottest months and temperatures reaching 45 degrees. The rest of the year only gets slightly cooler dropping down to around 40 degrees.
Cosmopolitan Dubai, You can find anything from delicious kebabs for under 1 USD to a 7 course taster menu prepared by Michelin Starred chefs. No independent restaurants can sell alcohol so if you would like an aperitif you will need to dine in one of the big hotels.
Known for its night life, Dubai’s clubs and bars are mainly in hotels because of the city’s strict alcohol laws. You have t be 21to drink and 25 to enter the clubs so it is always wise to carry some identification on you.
What to do in Dubai –
Dubai offers a wide range of activities from a historical interest such as the Bastakiya district to the wonderful shopping malls that Dubai is now so well known for.
The old Bastakiya district is step back in time to the day’s before electricity and air conditioning, where courtyard houses were cooled by wind towers that lined the creek on both sides.
Souks (Traditional markets) are popular with bargain hunters as well as sightseers and photographers.
Boasting the city’s tallest minaret at 230 feet, it is a notable land mark with its multi doomed style and impressive size. It is an important place of worship and can accommodate up to 1200 worshippers inside.
Visiting the races in Dubai is a must. Camel racing is a traditional sport in Dubai and is hugely popular with the locals. Racing season runs from September to March and are located in various locations around the Emirates and on the way to Abu Dhabi.
Opened in 2008, Dubai mall is the world’s largest shopping centre and is home to twelve hundred retailers. It is the size of more that fifty football pitches and features an ice rink, a hotel and it’s the gateway to the Burj Dubai.