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Dubai is a city and also one of the Emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Dubai city is a business hub and tourist destination that built its foundation on the back of the oil industry but now finds its most important industries to be financial services, real estate and tourism. With a history that dates to the 11th century, Dubai city is a modern city by most definitions but vestiges of its rich history remain. The skyline is replete with skyscrapers but traditional souks exist alongside modern shopping malls. Dubai is considered the 8th most visited city in the world and many of those tourists come to the city primarily for shopping. The “Gold Souk” in the Deira neighborhood boasts over 250 gold retail establishments alone. The massive Mall of the Emirates has an indoor ski slope packed with real snow.
Visitors to Dubai will find that the city knows how to party. There are over 450 hotels in the city with most offering a myriad of clubs, bars and restaurants where alcohol flows freely in the predominantly Muslim state. The Burj Al Arab conceitedly refers to itself as a “7 Star” establishment and although that designation doesn’t officially exist its likely that if it could be assigned, the Burj Al Arab might be its first recipient. It’s the world’s tallest hotel with a fleet of Rolls Royce for house cars and dancing fountains in the foyer. Fireworks announce the arrival of VIPs. You can get inside the hotel without actually booking a room but only with a reservation at one of the resort’s pricey restaurants. In contrast to the Burj Al Arab, visitors find the traditional area of Dubai charming and remindful of the city’s roots as a fishing village. The Bastakia Quarter is a maze of wind tower buildings (the wind towers were used to cool the buildings before air conditioning) and has been transformed into art galleries and cafes with a textile souk displaying impressive bolts of fabric. Dubai city is also famous for its manmade islands, beginning with the Palm Jumeirah (shaped like a palm tree) and the newest islands, Jebel Ali and Deira. The beaches are popular with locals and visitors alike offering opportunities for wind surfing, swimming or just lazing on the white sand. Golf has become an obsession in Dubai. The city is the home of the Dubai Desert Classic with participation by the top touring golf professionals playing for a Multi-Million U.S. Dollar purse on one of Dubai’s first rate courses.
You might add a visit to the thoroughly modern city of Dubai in the UAE to your list if your dream is to spend time shopping, dancing, golfing or sunbathing alongside some of the world’s rich and famous people.
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