Dubai has risen from the desert into a buzzing metropolis and is renowned for its ultra-modern buildings and architecture, Dubai also boasts yearlong sunshine and shopping. The city which is surrounded by the barren beauty of the desert also has fascinating history and culture beneath the shiny modern surface.
As usual, a quick stop tour of the city is always a good starting point and ensures you tick all the sights off your list in the short time available. The hop on hop off tour allows you to get on or off as often as you please. You can stop for food, shops, and sights and then get back on. The most well-known sight is the Burj Khalfia which is the world’s tallest building and you cannot miss this as it towers above the city like a vast radio aerial. If you are brave, head to the top! The shopping in the city is amazing. There are a number of excellent malls to experience including Burjuman, Deira City Centre and Wafi. The shops vary from high street to high end and the vast majority of these accept credit cards. If you have a non-shopper with you, the malls are such spectacular buildings they’ll appreciate the trip too. The Gold Souk is Dubai’s most famous market and a definite on your list. The city also has plenty of narrow alleys which are lined with shops and more gold jewelry. The markets are where your haggling and bartering skills come in to play. For more culture, explore Dubai Creek, which is a historic busy waterway where the dhows and abras or water taxis earn their keep. The 18th century fort (Al-Fahidi Fort) houses the excellent Dubai Museum.
After you have seen the city, it’s time to head out to the desert. There are lots of safari trips on offer and you can either choose a day tour or an overnight camping experience which is magically under the vast desert stars. The trips are in 4×4 vehicles and prepare for a bumpy ride over the sand dunes. The safaris are always timed to give you the unforgettable experience of a glowing desert sunset. There are activities out in the desert including sand boarding and camel riding. You might also get some belly dancing shows or a barbecue and if you really want to get into the atmosphere you can dress up in typical Arab costumes.