|Although Dubai is now most famous for its mega-structures and modern architecture, if you’re interested in seeing the 'old Dubai' this is still possible in a few places! The Bastakiya District is the one remaining small area where you can find traditional buildings, and this offers quite a contrast to all the new high-rises going up.
To get further insight into the old Dubai and how it grew from a poor village into the metropolis that it is today, visit the Dubai Museum.
The new developments are difficult to miss though the one you will most definitely not miss is Burj-Dubai – the world’s tallest building, and still growing! It has passed 600 metres and it’s believed that when it is completed in 2009 it will be taller than 800 metres.
Another spectacular building is the Burj al-Arab Hotel – the only 7 star hotel in the world according to the owners, though officially it’s a 5 star deluxe! Unless you’re lucky enough to be able to afford to stay here you can’t just walk in to look around, and will have to make a reservation for dinner to do so.
Dubai has the largest of everything it seems! The weather might be in the high 30’s C outside but Dubai has the one of the world’s largest indoor ski slopes! Situated at the Mall of the Emirates, this is Ski Dubai, and the ski slope is 400 metres long and there is real snow here!
Another largest for Dubai is The Palm Islands – the world’s three largest artificial islands. Currently the first one is under construction and includes many private residences and hotels.
Once you’ve marvelled at all the architecture you can enjoy the other side of Dubai, and that is some of the whitest and sandiest beaches in the world. The weather can get very hot and dry in the summer months (see below), though the ocean doesn’t offer a great deal of respite from the heat as the water is reputed to reach 35C! You may prefer the popular water park, Wild Wadi, which has numerous water rides and amusements, pools and lagoons.
Dubai is also known for its shopping. There are many shopping centres and malls including the Mall of the Emirates which is the largest shopping mall outside of North America. The modern malls contain many of the well-known ‘high street’ stores, selling goods at much cheaper prices, plus there are also the souks to visit, such as the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk, which are historic markets where you can haggle over the price with the vendor!