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»United Arab Emirates - Dubai
Dubai (دبي) is one of the United Arab Emirates.
Bastakiya District. The historic home to many reconstructed buildings in the traditional style. While information on the structures is slim here (see the museum in preference), the atmosphere is very evocative.
Burj al-Arab hotel. For a real glimpse into "how the other half lives", (self-proclaimed as the only 7 star hotel in the world, however is actually a 5 star deluxe hotel, with a unique shape of a boat's sail) afternoon tea, or cocktails, may be an interesting experience. Entry to the hotel requires a reservation which will be confirmed at the entry gate although residents of adjacent Jumeirah hotels may be able to visit by arrangement. Other tourists may occasionally be able to book tours of the hotel itself, however these will not run when the hotel is full. A "very smart casual" dress code applies.
Dubai Museum, Al Ibn Abi Talib Road, ph: +971 (4) 353-1862. A must-see for anyone interested in the social history of the Emirate (and indeed the country). The centrepiece of the museum is a reconstructed souq from the pearling days, complete with authentic sights and sounds. There is also a considerable focus on the speed at which the transition from poor pearling village to modern metropolis occurred. Admission 3AED.
Dubai Zoo, Jumeirah Road. An outdoor zoo near to the beach. Considering the extreme temperatures during the summer months, there are plans bring the zoo indoors. Admission 3AED.
Gold Souq, Deira. One of the more startling sights in the city, even for those not interested in making a purchase. Most of the gold is 22ct quality (although in some shops this is a veneer placed on lesser metals) and quite expensive - although even here the shopkeepers are prepared to bargain - and the craftsmanship can be remarkably detailed. The gold items are sold by weight with a "making charge" added on top to cover the workmanship. It pays, therefore, to go shopping armed with the current gold price and a knowledge of the making charges in order to hone the bargaining process. Most visitors here can expect to be offered "copy watches" as well, often by very persistent hawkers.
Ibn Battuta Mall. Commissioned in early 2005 this mall is worth visiting less for the shopping it offers and more for the architectural ambience created in its six courts designed according to the traditional architecture of China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and Andalusia
Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Road, Jumeirah 1 (opposite Palm Strip Mall). Generally considered to be one of the more attractive mosques in the region, as well as one of the few which are open to non-Muslims for tours. Tours run on Thursdays and are followed by a question-and-answer session about Islam for those who want to know more.
Mall of the Emirates. Home to what is currently the world's largest indoor ski slope. Guests at the nearby hotel have free ski passes and clothing hire, while other visitors need to purchase these.
Shindagha District Home to the open museums of the Heritage Village, and has the home of former Sheikh Rashid Al-Maktoum.

Dubai is a shopper's paradise. Shops open as early as 9 am and stay open to 11 pm. There are innumerable shopping centers and malls around town to keep any shopper happy!
As Dubai has grown from a small town into a bustling city, so has the entertainment. There are many music and sport events through out the year. Dubai also has a Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises to entertain visitors and residents. Most 3-5 star hotels have bars and nightclubs for those interested in the nightlife. World-class DJ's frequent Dubai's nightclubs, and many A-list musical celebrities are adding Dubai to their list of tour dates.
Beaches and sea.
There are endless water-sport opportunities as Dubai has some of the whitest and sandiest beaches in the world. Ocean temperatures range from 22 in winter up to 35 degrees Celsius in summer, meaning you might as well forget a hotel and bathe in the ocean. Very salty though. Diving activities have been severely affected by offshore construction work for the Palms and The World; consequently, long boat trips are necessary to reach wreck sites. Alternatively, one can make the 90 minute road journey to the East coast Emirate of Fujairah or the Sharjah enclave, Khor Fakkan, for top class diving on coral reefs supporting extensive marine life.
Desert Safari or Dune Bashing.
Head out to the desert in an SUV with specialist Desert Drivers. The drivers will take you for a roller-coaster ride over sand dunes, show you the sunset from a strategic vantage point and then take you to a lavish dinner with music and dance to complete the atmosphere. For a brief while you would experience what it is like to be a Sheikh! Not to be missed!
Dubai now has its own snow skiing centre. Located in the new Mall of the Emirates (MOE), on the Sheikh Zayed Road, it offers both skiing and snowboarding. The slope is quite large for an indoor area. All equipment is available for hire and a 2 hour package typically costs Dhs140. You must take warm clothing since it is well below freezing inside. More here Wild Wadi Located in the heart of the city, next to Jumeriah Beach Hotel, this is a water amusement park that is loved by kids as well as adults. It has light as well as adventurous rides; and sports like water surfing. A great way to beat the heat and enjoy the day away from the bustle of the city.
Dubai Creek Cruise /Ride The Dubai creek is the foundation from which Dubai grew. It originally served as a port for trading vessels plying to and from India, Africa and the Middle East. Today a bit of the old shipping culture still remains. In and around the creek one can see some of the original buildings that have served as customs houses and defence structures. You can book a ride on the creek with a dinner cruise or even rent a private boat to take you on a hour long ride up and down the creek.

Golf.It may be a desert, but a lot of money and water is spent on irrigating opulent golf courses. Alternatively, for a more local flavor, try sand golf!
Mall of the Emirates - near 4th interchange on Sheikh Zayed Road - The largest shopping mall outside of North America. 200+ shops, cinemas, plus the Ski Centre. Has many international high street chains as well as luxury brand stores, including Harvey Nichols. Many restaurants and cafes, though cafes tend to be much more crowded than at other malls. It's attached to a Kempinski hotel, which has restaurants licensed to serve alcohol that are accessible from the mall. Very large Carrefour hypermarket attached. Arabian/Middle Eastern souvenir shops upstairs.
Ibn Battuta Mall - Jebel Ali - Areas themed around six countries (China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia and the Andalusia.) Wide range of shops, although fewer high class brands. Has various restaurants and cafes (including three Starbucks), and a multiplex cinema including an Imax. No restaurants serve alcohol. Also has extensive, permanent exhibition of Islamic science, invention and astronomy. Attached (access via outside) is one of Dubai's few second-hand bookshops, House of Prose. Has a Geant supermarket attached.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah - Jumeirah Road, - 75 shops, numerous bars, restaurants and cafes, a nightclub, theatre. More expensive and targeted directly at tourists than other, general malls where residents go. Most bars and restaurants are licensed for alcohol. Nice to wander through as it has been designed to resemble a "traditional" souq, but with the modern comforts of air conditioning. Lots of souvenir-type shops.
Burjuman Centre - Khalifa Bin Zayed Road, - Recently opened after expansion, focus is on premium brand stores and luxury boutiques, but high street stores are also available. No restaurants serve alcohol.
Deira City Centre - This is by far the most popular mall in Dubai and no visit to Dubai is complete without a visit. Debenhams, Virgin Megastore, Zara and other international high street brands. A multiplex cinema, and many restaurants and cafes. Also has a large "Arabian Treasures" souvenir and traditional textiles area. A new extension includes many more high-end boutiques and upmarket mall restaurants. A big Carrefour hypermarket sell just about everything and is nearly always very busy. There is a Sofitel hotel at one end of the centre, where there are bars and restaurants serving alcohol. It is very smart, but not cheap.
Wafi Mall - Marks & Spencer, Goodies. Focus is almost entirely on luxury brands, jewellery and expensive boutiques. Many upmarket restaurants and bars, many of which are licensed (have alcohol available). A luxury spa is attached to the complex. The Egypt-themed architecture, which includes quite beautiful stained-glass pyramids, is worth seeing.
Emirates Towers Boulevard , Sheikh Zayed Road - Part of the Emirates Tower Hotel complex. The shops here match the hotel - very high class, plus a Starbucks. Lipton cafe has free wifi. Restaurants and bars all serve alcohol. Quite a popular nightlife spot, with bars and nightclubs.
Mercato Mall - Jumeirah Beach Road. The only Renaissance-themed shopping mall in the Middle East. Cinemas, Virgin Megastore, high street brands such as Next, Top Shop. Also has a big Spinneys attached. Some restaurants, but none are licensed for alcohol.
Gold Souk - Not a mall, but a historic market that has been a part of Dubai since the origin of Dubai itself. Located at the mouth of the creek, it dazzles people by selling gold in large quantities and with no security. A must visit for shoppers and sightseers. Always haggle, and know the price of gold before you visit (as you should pay approximately market price for gold). Many outlets are part of chains that also have branches in malls, so are generally reliable.
Spice Souk - As above, not a mall, but a historic market that has been a part of Dubai since the origin of Dubai itself. Located at the mouth of the creek, it is not far from the Gold Souk, but has sadly declined a bit in recent years as supermarkets take over the spice trade. A must visit for shoppers and sightseers. Lots of souvenirs are also available. Both the Spice Souk and the Gold Souq are a rather hot and sweaty experience with limited air-conditioning, so wear appropriately cool, loose clothing if visiting in mid summer. Individual shops are air conditioned. Although regularly visited by tourists none of the souks are considered a tourist area and as such modest dress should be worn to avoid causing offense or attracting unwanted attention.
Gold & Diamond Park Interchange 4, Sheikh Zayed Road (South side)- sells gold and diamond products. None of the character of the more historic gold souq, but is air-conditioned throughout, and easier to reach and park at than the historic souq (which is in the depths of downtown Deira). Can be better value, as it is less "touristy".

Al Ain Plaza (known locally as Computer Plaza) On Mankhool Road along from the Ramada Hotel, Bur Dubai heading towards the creek. A mall specialising in computers, laptops, computer parts and computer add ons like monitors, VoIP Phones, hard drives, etc.

Festival City Has Dubai's only Ikea, since it relocated from City Centre, and a huge Plug-Ins electronic store. Also an ACE Hardware. The area is still very much under construction.

TIP: Several malls have a large Carrefour, or similar, hypermarket where you'll find the lowest cost electronics.

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