Dubai generated headlines about the major building projects. During my visit in Dubai the early 2000s, all that was still under construction. It was almost surreal sight, like a science fiction movie, an entire city full of half-finished skyscrapers. The world had then a serious shortage of large cranes. I heard that 25% of the big cranes were there.
For those who have not visited Dubai: it is a city in the United Arab Emirates municipality in the Gulf. And it is just a magnificent resort.
Makes it a popular place that there is warm even in winter, when the resort places are scarce. Quite all, of course, it does not fit for everyone. If you want to spend "a beer garden holiday" or otherwise use a lot of alcohol, then you should redirect to Thailand or the Canary Islands. Alcohol is not banned in Dubai and is sold in restaurants and bars. You can bring some Alcohol to Dubai and then there are many quite excellent pubs. Alcohol is forbidden for Muslims in Dubai.
For moderate alcohol users Dubai is quite a good place. Alcohol is available, but you do not have to watch the drunkards. In the comfortable beach clubs you can drink a beer or you can enjoy your own drinks on the hotel balcony. If you want some action, you may go to one of the many nightclubs in the city.
Getting Around in Dubai
By far the best way to move in Dubai is to take a taxi. Taxis are cheap and reliable. Drivers know English quite well and are polite. Easiest way to get a taxi is just stop a free taxi from the street.
Dubai is a lot of the world's safest places. Penalties for offenses are hard and the laws are harsh. Although Dubai have a huge number of migrant workers, so there are practically no unemployment. If a migrant worker does not work, then he should leave.
Emirate of traffic is quite dangerous in that local young people drive like crazy with fast and powerful cars. Petrol is cheap ...
Dubai is a paradise of exotic dishes. There are ethnic restaurants probably from everywhere. And of course international fast food chains like McDonalds, KFC, Burger King is there. Almost every shopping mall is the so-called "food court". You can take the food and go to a restaurant to eat in the middle zone. Family or group members may each be taken what they want: one enjoys a hamburger meal, another Chinese fast food, sushi for third one and fourth one enjoys Thai fried chicken
Dubai is full of brilliant shopping centers. You need experience them by yourself: fountains, marble, beautiful decorations. Ibn Battuta shopping mall have different continents of the themes and decoration accordingly. Chinese territory, for example, have a large Chinese boat (picture). Emirates mall have a ski center and the amusement park Magic Planet. So honestly, you can ski indoors. Major shopping centers are located slightly outside the town. The center of the city's have few smaller shopping centers in different parts. A special place is also Dragon Mart (China Mex) with many small, uniform in size, Chinese shops.
To do, to see
Dubai does not have any at the ruins to watch. On the contrary, there are brilliant architectural gems. Indoors and outdoors. In the downtown there are an old renovated fortress and inside it there is a museum, Dubai Museum. For a history lover it is a tasty little snack. Two or three hours getting to know enough for most of the museum. It presents the 'old Dubai', its culture and commerce. Entry fee about a Euro for the whole family.
Dubai's currency is Dirham, known throughout the UAE Dirham (United Arab Emirates Dirham), abbreviated AED. One dirham is about 20 (Euro)cents, 27 US cents. Prices may be converted to Euros by dividing it by five. Travellers from the States divide it by four. Simple!
The official language of Arab Emirates are Arabic. In Dubai all street signs are in English and Arabic. English is important language in daily life. This is due to huge number migrant workers. Most of the migrant workers learn Arabic only as a few word and practical things will be handled in English. For tourists, this is a very good thing.
Women should wear less revealing costumes. Although every now and then you can see bikini-dressed tourists in the city, you should have a little respect for local customs. Plain T-shirt is ok since the shoulders are hidden. Skirt or trousers is ok, as long as not too revealing. In Swimming beaches you can wear a normal swimming suit. Bikinis are okay.
Beaches and Parks
Beaches in Dubai are quite stunning. Gulf water is always warm and rarely too stormy. Water is very salty and it "floats" comfortably. If the hotel does not have its own beach, usually the hotels have a transport service to the beach. In this case, it does not usually have entrance fee .Beaches are generally well-managed large-scale parks. Admission fee is generally quite low, approximate. one euro per person. Beach chair may be charged separately as well as use of the swimming pool.
Such a club like "beach-pool area" may seem a bit strange. The reason is that the public beaches do not really fit the Arab culture and western tourists, are thus excluded from the eyes. For tourists, it offers a very comfortable and peaceful environment. Since the area is fenced and access is controlled, park areas are safe and you don't need to worry about thieves. Park areas can be very large, even hundreds of hectares. There might be numerous beaches and swimming pools in one area.
All this is a bit like forbidden fruit for local Muslims. Sometimes it sees a long white robe-dressed men walking on the beach remote eye glancing across the beach life. A few hundred meters from the beach there can be a luxury boat moored. Maybe they are just fishing...
Dubai's parks and beaches:
Jumeirah Beach Park, a beach. Entrance 5 dirham (1e). 12 hectares.
Al Mamzar Park, a park. Entrance 5 dirhams (1e). 90 ha. Wednesday women's day.
Creekside Park, a park. Entrance 5 dirhams (1e). 100 hectares. On Wednesday, women (and children) day.
Mushrif Park, a park. Entrance 10 dirhams (2e). 125 (400) hectares.
Al Safa Park, a park. Entrance 3 dirhams (0.6 e). 64 hectares.
Umm Suqueim Park, a park. Thursday and Friday are women (and children) days.
Pros and cons
+ affordable prices
+ excellent English to survive in the world
+ best shopping
-alcohol a bit expensive
- no significant historic places of interest