One of the richest, most cosmopolitan and beautiful places in the world, Dubai is one of seven ancient kingdoms that make up the United Arab Emirates. Situated on the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf, this incredible city stands out as a lively beacon from the surrounding sand dunes, while the skyscrapers and massive hotels jutting into the clear, blue sky belie the culture and seclusion on offer here. Dubai holidays offer so, so much - from pristine white beaches to fun filled water parks, from ancient markets and mosques to glittering shopping malls which rival anything seen in London, Paris and New York.
The city of Dubai itself is effectively split from Deira in the north to Bur Dubai in the south, both insulated by the long azure curve of Dubai Creek. Taking an abra, or water-taxi, along the Creek you'll eventually reach the shallow lagoon, home to as many as 20,000 birds. Dubai is also home to the world-famous Palm islands, the largest artificial islands in the world. Holidays in Dubai wouldn't be complete without seeing them.
But it's for the beautiful beaches that holidays in Dubai are justly famed - the white-sand Gulf coastline is one of the world's most breathtaking vistas, and beaches such as Jumeirah and Al Mamzer make you question your proximity to the City, affording the opportunity for watersports, picnics and walks in the many parks and forests that dot the landscape.
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Things to do
You might deepen your understanding of the word 'hot' during your holiday in Dubai; summer temperatures reach well above 40°C! It's not exactly cold in the winter either, rarely dropping below 20°C, even at night. Dubai gets most of it's rain in winter - but with an annual rainfall of just five inches, it's not exactly a lot! Bring light garments and do not forget your Factor 30.
Things To Do on Dubai Holidays
The sheer diversity of attractions on offer on Dubai holidays reflect its international status: from safaris into the palm-dotted desert to the Grand Mosque with its 50 minarets, you'll be at a loss to know where to start! For a taste of Dubai's history, visit the Al Fahidi Fort, with it's museum housing millennia-old artefacts from exquisitely designed pottery to Iron Age tools, or take a trip to the Bait Al Wakeel Maritime Museum.
If you're on a family holiday in Dubai, under no circumstances must you forego a day out at the giant theme parks of Wonderland and Magic Planet for some speed slides, watersports and even a fake jungle!
Not for nothing is Dubai known as the 'City of Gold' - you'll never have seen so much bullion unless you work in Fort Knox - and because of the abundance of precious metals sold at the many souks (markets), you might come across some 24 carat bargains. Another brilliant market is Deira's fish souk, noted for the diversity of its marine cuisine, which ranges from snapper and shellfish to tuna or hammour, all freshly caught by local fishermen.
For a taste of true Dubai culture, you can't pass on a visit to the village of Bastakiya with its traditional Arabian houses and restaurants, and the nearby Bedouin hamlet, where you have a camel-riding lesson and buy some exotic wares and spices from the local market.
Dubai is intersected by the long Sheikh Zayed Road, home to bars, restaurants and clubs aplenty. Due to its largely expatriate population, Dubai is littered with all manner of restaurants, from Middle Eastern to McDonalds. Bear in mind that weekends here are Thursday and Friday, although every night is party night on Dubai holidays!
If dance is your scene, world-class DJs play in clubs such as Kasbaa and Tropicana, or for a quieter night overlooking the crimson sunset, try the fountains and foliage of the Irish Village.
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