Dubai is famous for its extravagance, wealth and hedonism which is carefully shrouded in a veil of modesty and traditional practices. A recent trip to Europe called for a stop-over in the amazing city, which is the second largest Emirate in the UAE. Three days was all that was needed, to get a really great snapshot of the city life, with a side dish of desert magic for good measure.
Dubai is THE ultimate shopping destination, and is home to one of the largest malls in the world; The Dubai Mall. It is home to over 1500 shops, an aquarium and an indoor skiing facility. A pair of flat shoes, and a purse full of Dirhams was all that was required for a day in this place. It is a little overwhelming, given the sheer size, so expect to spend more time with your mouth open than actual shopping activity.
A visit to the Gold Souks is one of those ticky box items, that simply must be done. I visited during Ramadan, and eating and drinking is strictly forbidden in public during daylight. This made for an uncomfortable tour, with 40 degree heat, extreme thirst and a hot sticky market. Nonetheless, it was an unforgettable experience, if not for the sights and sounds alone. The souks are situated in the old part of the city, and the area has retained the charms of a less extravagant time. It is palpable in the noise and hecticness of the place.
An Arabian Nights tour hemmed up my Dubai trip perfectly. A land cruiser picked me up from the hotel and took me on a wild ride through the dessert. The exhilarating spin ended when I was delivered to a campsite in the dark of the night. The evening was wiled away with a flurry of henna, belly dancers, shisha and camel rides. Sitting under the stars, in the middle of the dessert is something everyone should experience. Dubai. Do it.
Image VIA www.shortlistdubai.com