Dubai: The City of Number Ones

Difficulties deciding on your next holiday destination because of the endless possibilities? Don’t fret! One of the most exotic and exciting destinations on this list, Dubai is sure to wow! Sand-surfing, desert tours, and sunset dining are just some of the experiences you can have here. 

Whether you’re looking for a luxe weekend away from home, a romantic vacation for two or a family holiday that suits all ages, our friends at Destination2 will help you tick all the boxes!

Some associate Dubai with opulence, luxury hotels and celebrity parties. Others know it for the world’s tallest building, and many picture its iconic skyline. But there are other sides of Dubai you might not know about.

Dubai is rich in culture, much of which you can soak up for next to nothing. Dubai Museum, housed in the 18th century Al Fahidi Fort, explores local life and history. Access to the public beaches and parks, as well as the landmark Dubai Fountain, are all free and benefit from Dubai’s year-round sunshine. Meanwhile, a desert safari offers sand-skiing, camel rides and desert camping, plus a barbecue, belly dancing and local shisha.

Dubai has grown to be one of the trendiest destination of this decade, visited by more than 15 million overnight tourists. The city, which used to be a quiet fishing village where the pearl trade was the main source of wealth, has since the discovery of oil in the 1960’s grown massively to become the modern metropolis it is today. Tourism is now the main income for the city with endless of possibilities for those visiting. Wherever you turn in this vibrant city it is filled with number ones…!

The Burj Khalifa, which you’ve probably already heard of, is with its 828 m and 160 floors, the tallest buildings in the world! But what you might not be familiar with, is that the 158th floor is the location of the highest mosque on this planet. No trip to the city is complete without a visit to this giant building, but please be advised it is very, very (very!) tall indeed.

Speaking about impressive architecture, along the city’s beautiful coast line you can find The Palm Islands. These man-made islands are the largest in the world which can be seen from space and claimed by the city as the eighth wonder of the world. Despite the projects controversy, you can’t deny the beauty of the palm shaped islands in the emerald waters of the Arabic Gulf.  

For all the shopping enthusiasts out there, the city is also home to the Dubai Mall which is the largest shopping centre on the planet. With over 1,200 shops and plenty of entertainment such as the Underwater Zoo, you can get lost for days. Word of advice, bring comfortable shoes and a bulky wallet, or you won’t last long.

Other mentionable record breakers are the world’s fastest police cars, able to reach a speed of 407 km/h. Ski Dubai, the world’s largest Indoor snow park and The Dubai miracle garden, needless to say the biggest natural garden in the world.

You can easily keep yourself entertained by looking at mega extravagant buildings, but Dubai has so much more to offer. Erase the classic clichés and misperceptions, and let the city leave its mark on you. Forget the stereotype of Dubai being an artificial and soulless complex, UAE has a rich history and a fascinating culture waiting to be discovered. With influences from Iran, Oman and Saudi, Dubai is an interesting mix of everything that the Middle East has to offer.

Head to the original heart of the city, to find small traditional eateries serving local dishes or visit the colourful markets where people daily come to trade. Despite the UAE being a Muslim state, dinners out and partying is most certainly allowed. Funnily enough, tourism and entertainment are the basis of the economy, and the government understands and accommodates this. The food scene is exiting, with a good mix of luxurious restaurant and more traditional middle east food places.

Another stereotype waiting to be killed, concern the ladies option to wear a headpiece. Covering your hair is not expected nor imposed by anyone. Muslim or not, you decide for yourself.

If you want an eventful holiday, filled with splendid weather, exotic culture and the pulse of city life, Dubai is your destination. There is something for all ages, interests and flavours, and combines the perfect holiday of city and the beach. Needless to say, there is life beyond the skyscrapers!

Hedvig Andersson

Hedvig is an enthusiastic 22‑year‑old from the South of Sweden who loves a good challenge. Whether it's trying out snowboarding in the Japanese alps or acing the financial accounting finals, she never shies away from trying something new. Hedvig is based in London, studying Business Management at King's College.

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