On your trip to Dubai, you will be faced with myriad excesses: the world’s only 7-star hotel, its largest mall and longest indoor ski slopes to name a few, each made all the more striking by the juxtaposing backdrop of azure water and white sands against clear blue skies.
Direct flights to Dubai are relatively easy to find, and will take you to Dubai International Airport (DXB), one of the world’s busiest airports.
Dubai is known to have two climates: hot and very hot; those who are less able to face temperatures of over 100 degrees would be wise to visit between November and March. Be aware, however, that by choosing the less hot season, you will be joined by far greater numbers of tourists. You will find cheap flights to Dubai during rainy season (January – March), during which time the warm winter sun is interspersed with the occasional brief shower. Dubai’s visitors can seek a reprieve from the balmy weather of the Persian Gulf in its many malls, luxurious hotels and activity centres.
Even the most shop-phobic tourists will be dazed and delighted by the shopping in Dubai, which offers the perfect combination of traditional and luxury shopping.
Souk Madinat instantly transports you to scenes from Arabian Nights. This reconstruction of a quintessential Middle Eastern market offers a beguiling mix of stalls purveying traditional fare alongside modern boutiques stocking a plethora of different items, from souvenirs to luxury jewellery and fashion. Those looking for a bite to eat will be spoilt for choice with over 24 eateries offering traditional delicacies from all over the world including Lebanon, France, Italy, India, Iran and America.
Situated in the prestigious Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Mall is the largest in the world, boasting 1,200 shops and over 200 restaurants and bars. Every year, 80 million people visit the mall, which features the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, complete with a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel, kids’ “edutainment” at KidZania, a 76,000 square foot indoor theme park and Olympic sized ice rink. Browse the latest fashions in Fashion Avenue, the fashion capital of the region. Absorb the vibrancy of Arabic culture in the open-air streets space, or immerse yourself in the traditional colours, textures and scents of The Souk. With so many choices, one thing is guaranteed: the Dubai Mall offers a shopping experience that you will not find anywhere else on the globe.
There is no doubt that Dubai is a city of contrasts and its architecture is a dazzling example of the city’s ethos: if it is iconic, anything goes. In less than half a century, the ever-changing cityscape of Dubai has undergone a breath-taking reconstruction, showcasing an array of modern, iconic architecture.
A particular favourite of architect lovers are the Emirates Towers, whose interaction with each other alter depending on the beholder’s vantage point. Constructed in 2000, the towers rise 355 and 309 meters and are one of the many architectural delights of the Dubai skyline. The two towers are connected by a Boulevard, which offers some of the most exclusive shops in Dubai.
Presiding like a colossal sail over its own island, the Burj Al Arab is a hotel like no other. At 321 metres tall, the Burj Al Arab is one of the world’s tallest hotels. Built on an artificial island, the five-star hotel took five years to complete, opening to the public in 1999 and continues to be a popular retreat for those seeking the opulence for which Dubai has become renowned.
Legend says that the construction of the Burj Khalifa required enough steel to stretch end-to-end from Dubai to Melbourne. At 829.8 metres tall, the building took 5 years to construct and boasts a number of world records, including the tallest free-standing structure in the world, the most storeys, furthest travelling lift and highest outdoor observation deck.
Whilst Dubai is known for its luxurious offerings and price tag to match, it is possible to absorb the sights and sounds of this magical city on most budgets. With its spectacular scenery and proximity to the desert, many iconic aspects of the city can be enjoyed at a relatively low cost. Whether you book a 2, 3, 4 or 5 star hotel, your trip to Dubai will be truly and unforgettably 7 star.
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