Located in the heart of the Middle-East, Dubai is known globally as a shoppers’ paradise. Dubai presents the Dubai Shopping Festival, an annual bonanza of mega brands and mega discounts; Dubai It has fast emerged as the most popular entertainment and amusement hub in all of western Asia.

The city has a deep and rich history which is visible at the Dubai Museum. Here, one can follow the journey of this tiny city from the early 16th century, till date. The Museum is situated in the heart of the city and makes it very accessible for all tourists. The entry fee is very minimal, for both children and adults.

Along with the fast life that the residents have to cope up with, there is always time a place for leisure. Dubai has 7 large Golf courses, over 20 theme parks and gardens and over 70 shopping malls in place. today. Almost each of these malls covers every aspect of shopping from households to crockery, from clothes to grocery, etc.

One of the most interesting things one must experience is the combination of skiing and a desert safari in the same city. In a city surrounded by dessert desert from all the sides, the concept of a skiing adventure is just inexplicable. The Mall of the Emirates is one the biggest malls which comprises of a temperature controlled ski hill. With a temperatures of -4°C,  degrees C the hill is as real as it gets.

On the other hand, we have the desert safari. This is an overnight tour into the desert, taken by a tour companies. The travelers are driven into the sand dunes in 4 wheel drives toward the camping arena. At the camp, there are a lot of activities one can indulge themselves into – like belly-dancing, henna drawing, cooking, camel riding, etc. If you crave for piping hot food out of the tandoor, then you will love the food they serve. The safari camp serves both vegetarian and non-vegetarian food for all its patrons.

When it comes to food in Dubai the Arabs enjoy only the finest. Apart from world cuisine, Dubai offers a delicious palette of Kebabs, Homus and pita bread. This is more or less the staple food in all places. You can find all sorts of cuisines in and around the main city. But if you are in U.A.E and haven’t tried Arabic food, then you are definitely missing out on a lot of excitement. The Arabs have a different style in their dishes, they avoid spice and spices but bring in taste with a variety of pickles and breads. The Arabs love meat of every form, mutton, chicken, rabbit meat, deer, sea food, etc. is They are all a delicacy. And of course when in Dubai one can always enjoy a puff or two of the traditional hukka which the locals enjoy as an accompaniment to almost every activity they indulge in.

In terms of architecture, Dubai is home to the only seven start hotel in the world the Burj-Al-Arab. Another extraordinary monument are is the man-made islands of the Palm Jumeirah. These islands are residential colonies made in the shape of a palm tree with excellent connectivity of rail and road. The presence of these islands allows a dessert city like Dubai to boast about the several beaches which make up the coast line at the Arabian Sea.

One of the most recent additions to this city has been the introduction of the tallest building in the world- Burj Dubai. It consists of over 140 stories and an Armani Hotel which stretches up to seven floors. There is also a 200 metre dancing fountain at the foot of the Burj Dubai. The fountains are on, every evening for an hour and the music to these fountains is a fusion of all cultures for e.g. the Indian music played is from Bollywood movies and the Spanish music is a classy salsa track.

Structurally, the city is very well planned. Transportation is very convenient for tourists and the newly launched metro (red line) connects the city well with and the suburbs well. To access the Metro and the Public buses, one needs to purchase a NOL Card. The credit in on this card allows you to travel whatever distance you wish to and deducts the required amount for the journey once you get off the train or bus. This card can be recharged at any metro station and can be used up to a year.

Culturally speaking the Arabs are generally very conservative people. They tend to stay away from other’s personal problems and refrain from indulging into foreign matters. And so tourists and expatriates have a little bit of an advantage there, but they need have to abide by the rules and regulations of the country.

To conclude, Dubai has always retained its’ image of being the tourism hub of the world and even with the current situation of financial crises it has more than just a handful to offer to its visitors. So next time you plan to go on a holiday make sure its Dubai!

Sneha Krishnan

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