I have visited many extraordinary places in my 21 years, such as Peru, Europe and Belize. However, there is one place in the world that I have been dreaming to visit for several years now – and that beautiful place being none other than Dubai. Dubai, or دبي (written in Arabic), is one of the most popular destinations to visit out of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. I learned about Dubai when Kim Kardashian visited her first time (I know, don’t judge me). Since then, I researched as much as I could about this place and to this day, am still begging my parents to take me there. Surprisingly, many people are not familiar with the beauty that Dubai has to offer. Sometimes when I mention Dubai to others, I get asked where it is or even what it is. Perhaps this blog will allow others to experience the same wanderlust I get when I think of Dubai.
Dubai is like an independent city-state being the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE. Being a huge tourist attraction and a business hub of the Middle East and South Asia, it has become a global city filled with luxury. Only a five-hour flight from Europe, visitors will find themselves landing in Terminal 3 at the Dubai International Airport, which is the largest airport terminal in the world and the second-largest building in the world in terms of floor space.
Once in Dubai, there are many activities that should be on the “Must-Do” list. The Burj al Arab’s seven-star rating is the world’s tallest hotel. It dominates the Dubai skyline and has a fleet of white Rolls Royces on the forecourt of the hotel. They will launch fireworks to announce the arrival of VVIPS (so I guess they won’t be shooting any fireworks off for when I visit; very important person just isn’t good enough). The price of this hotel is about $2,000 per night with private butlers on-call 24/7 for each hotel guest. There are plenty of expensive restaurants in Burj al Arab, so if you’re not looking to pay for a hotel room, the best way to see the hotel from the inside is to book a reservation at an eatery.
Shopping is another activity that should be done while in Dubai. It is not because the shopping is any different than anywhere else in the world, however the surreal attractions inside these malls will lure you in to take a peek. The Mall of the Emirates has an indoor ski slope with ski lifts and real snow. Of course during a shopping excursion, who wouldn’t want to take a break to hit the slopes? The Souk Madinat inside the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel has its own waterway, with natural sea water, to transfer people from shops to restaurants and other neighboring areas.
Dubai is a Muslim state so by law, alcohol can only be served in hotels. However, tourists should not have to worry about that. With over 450 hotels, some of these hotels have up to 26 bars and restaurants located inside of them. During the weekends, many of these hotels offer “Champagne Brunch” served with unlimited amounts of alcohol.
Along with shopping and skiing, the other “low-key” activities include golfing, going to the beaches, visiting the desert and skydiving. If you plan on going to the desert, the easiest way to get there is on a four-wheeler-drive safari. The tours to the desert are extremely popular for tourists. Skydiving in Dubai is one the world’s most premier skydiving locations. While skydiving, you will jump into Dubai’s Man-Made Islands, Palm Jumeirah, which is considered the eighth wonder of the world. I have been skydiving before, but the view wasn’t quite as breathtaking as the skydiving view in Dubai (no surprise, though).
With all of this being said, it is no wonder that Dubai is the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive in the Middle East. The temperature is very, very hot in the summer, averaging 108°F during the day and 84°F at night. Fall and Spring are still very warm, averaging in the 80s during the day. These hot temperatures are probably why the Dubaites, what the locals call themselves, decided to put an indoor ski resort in one of the malls! Nonetheless, Dubai is a tourist hotspot, with over 10 million visitors a year. The World Expo in 2020 is located in Dubai and many people believe that by 2020, Dubai could become the world’s number one destination for international visitors.
Perhaps one day I will be fortunate enough to travel to this flawless destination. Until then, I can attempt to live vicariously through celebrities (VVIPs) who travel there for leisure, work and fun.