Dubai doesn’t do things by half. Opulence and luxury have become two words synonymous with the emirate, with tourists flocking to revel in this Arab paradise.
With burgeoning coffers, the Dubai government has invested heavily in modern developments and attractions to keep the visitors streaming in. The most famous example of this is the state’s world-renowned seven star Burj Al Arab hotel.
Built on its very own artificial island, the 320m high hotel sums up the buoyant mood of the country’s tourism industry. With its very own fleet of Rolls Royce’s and firework displays to greet VIPs, nothing is small-scale here.
In honour of the Burj Al Arab, here are seven great reasons why you should holiday there.
1. The Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building
That’s right – the Burj Al Arab isn’t even the tallest man-made structure in Dubai. Opened in 2010 and costing $1.5 billion, the 829m tall Burj Khalifa is a true architectural masterpiece.
Five times the size of the Great Pyramid and with almost 25,000 windows, it takes a team of window cleaners 4 months to complete the job.
So even if you’re not a massive architecture buff, it’s worth a visit to see that alone.
2. The shopping
Whilst Dubai may not offer fantastic bargains a la Turkey or Thailand, it does offer a shopping experience the like of which you’ll not receive anywhere else in the world.
The majority of the country’s malls are like retail paradises, where shoppers not only shop but can travel and live like a sultan for the day.
The Mall of the Emirates has its very own ski slope with real snow – no mean feat for a country with an average temperature of 38 degrees in the summer.
Another, the Souk Madinat, ferries its customers between shops and hotels on its very own waterway – Venice, eat your heart out.
Dubai’s image may scream of modernity but it also has an interesting and well-preserved past.
Whilst the idea of the city at one time being a quiet fishing village may seem ridiculous now, much of the architecture from this period survives in certain parts to this day.
The Bastakia Quarter provides the best examples of these traditional Arab buildings and streets.
4. Man-made islands
Dubai seems to love these. Not only is the Burj Al Arab built in one but they’ve also made another in the shape of a palm tree. Painstakingly reclaimed from the Persian Gulf, it’s the first of many the emirate has under construction.
5. Desert trips
Whilst the majority of images you’ll see of Dubai will be of its glorious shoreline or modern buildings, its expansive desert is also a wonder to behold.
A 4×4 or hot air balloon tour will definitely allow adventurous visitors to see a more rugged side of the country.
6. Food and Drink
With a deluge of luxury hotels, it’s hardly surprising that the emirate is also home to some of the Gulf’s finest restaurants.
World class chefs have eateries here and tend to serve a mixture of local and Western cuisine. Establishments located in hotels are also exempt from the Islamic prohibition of alcohol.
7. An underwater hotel…well almost
Not content with dominating the skyline, investors are currently working on building a hotel half submerged underwater.
The ambitious plans for the Water Discus Hotel would see some guests’ rooms being located 10m underwater where they could experience panoramic views of the vibrant marine wildlife. Remember to pack your sea legs.
However, Dubai holidays offer more than just PR glitz or garish wealth, but an experience you’ll never forget.
Catherine Halsey writes for a digital marketing agency on a range of subjects. This article links back to http://www.kuoni.co.uk/en/holiday/asia/united-arab-emirates/dubai/pages/default.aspx