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Die Kamele am Jumeirah Strand vor den Wolkenkratzern Dubais, Bild: RastoS / shutterstock

Dubai – Utopia and wonderland on the edge of the desert

If you have never been to Utopia, you should get on a plane to land in a wonderful world after a few hours. There’s no question about it: Walt Disney’s feature-length and Oscar-winning nature film “The Desert Lives” is celebrating a late resurrection in Dubai. On the Gulf of Oman, a fascinating fairy tale from “One Thousand and One Nights” was created. A stony landscape the likes of which the world has never seen before.

Like a mirage, Dubai rises in the middle of the dunes. Since the 1950s, the former trading post on the edge of the desert has been transformed into a cosmopolitan holiday destination that attracts the crème de la crème from all over the world. No wonder, because only here, between the sand and the Persian Gulf, can you dive, ski and bask in the sun – on the same day.

The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, Image: Ilona Ignatova/shutterstock

It is sandy in Dubai – and will probably always be. The desert is omnipresent, but only if you rent an off-road vehicle and leave this dream come true in Dubai behind. Then it can happen that you are suddenly overwhelmed by the silence in the red sand or that you meet one of the last oryx antelopes at the “Al-Maha-Resort” in the desert. Or even a Bedouin who leads his camel to the watering place. Dubai is full of contrasts and that is precisely why a visit to this unusual metropolis is so appealing.

Sightseeing in Dubai: from the Burj Khalifa to the old fortress

Dubai, Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world

Just looking at the Dubai skyline takes some visitors’ breath away. On the edge of the world-famous Sheikh Zayed Road, which connects the most important districts of modern Dubai, the skyscrapers are lined up next to each other. From here you can also see the Burj Khalifa, with its almost 830 m the tallest building in the world. Between the skyscrapers and luxury hotels, you can also get a glimpse of old Dubai, as it must have looked before the discovery of the oil deposits. The al-Fahidi Fort in the center of the city is the oldest still standing structure in Dubai. Today, the fortress houses the Dubai Museum.

Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai
Al Fahidi Fort, Image: Climber 1959 / shutterstock

Although most of the historic buildings had to make way for spectacular skyscrapers and were thus razed to the ground, Dubai still maintains the past – by simply recreating it. Just like in the “Heritage Village” and the “Diving Village”. The latter documents the everyday life of the pearl divers for which the coastal town was once famous, and is equipped with a plunge pool. A real highlight is the Dubai Creek with its spice market and its souks, the colorful merchant districts. Under no circumstances should you miss the first of the two planned palm islands on a Dubai vacation. On the man-made island “Palm Jumeirah” is the world-famous luxury resort “Atlantis, The Palm”. Here, oriental splendour meets Western comfort. A real treat for the senses is the “Miracle Garden”. The magnificently landscaped flower show garden has an area of 72,000 square meters and includes an abundance of magnificent flower sculptures.

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Shopping and leisure in Dubai

Mall of the Emirates, Dubai
Mall of the Emirates, Image: Rus S / shutterstock

If you like shopping, you will get your money’s worth in Dubai. Not only the local bazaars entice with an almost inexhaustible selection of goods, but also modern shopping centers are represented here in large numbers. The most important shopping center is of course the “Mall of the Emirates”. Located directly on Sheikh Zayed Road, the shopping center has around 400 stores, most of which are branches of Western luxury brands.

In addition, you can enjoy all kinds of delicacies in more than 65 restaurants and watch the latest blockbuster in the huge cinema complex. In addition, one of Dubai’s main attractions is located in the “Mall of the Emirates”: Around 1,500 people can hit the slopes on skis or snowboards in the “Ski Dubai” ski hall. The indoor ski area is open all year round and, in addition to skiing fun, also offers all kinds of events and encounters with the snow penguins. The cute little animals are at home here and provide entertainment for the guests.

Dubai – City of Dreamy Beaches

As befits a coastal city, Dubai offers a variety of magnificent beaches. While most hotels have their own beach section, public beaches are also available to visitors. However, it must be pointed out that revealing clothing is sometimes not allowed here.

One of the most beautiful places in Dubai, where you can bask in the sun and swim in the turquoise waters, is “The World Island”. The man-made island is also known as “Lebanon Island” and can be reached by water taxi from Jumeirah Fishing Harbour. There are no overnight accommodations here, but there are numerous restaurants, bars and a beautiful pool. Anantara Beach on the island of Palm Jumeirah is also famous for its crystal clear waters and first-class service. Access to the beach is subject to a fee, but guests can expect pure luxury. If you want, you can simply stay at the beautiful Anantara Palm Resort.

Sporty visitors are drawn to Kite Beach, a hotspot for kitesurfers. The beach borders um Suqueim Beach and also offers a skate park and a climbing wall. The public beach that adjoins the Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence is known as The Beach. Young and old alike get their money’s worth here, as the offer ranges from comfortable loungers to unusual water sports. For a party vibe, Barasti Beach is only accessible to people aged 21 and over. This is Dubai’s only public beach where alcohol is served. In the evenings and on weekends, Barasti Beach turns into a huge outdoor party with DJs and a light show.

Top attractions in Dubai

  • The Burj Khalifa
  • The Burj al-Arab
  • The Dubai Fountain
  • The Deira neighbourhood and its souks
  • Bur Dubai
  • The Dubai Mall
  • Atlantis Hotel / The Palm Jumeirah / Aquaventure Waterpark
  • Dubai Marina
  • Dubai Museum / Al-Fahidi Fort
  • Dubai Garden Glow
See also  Desert magic in the United Arab Emirates

The black gold in Dubai

The question is always asked when the sheikhs in Dubai will run out of oil and thus their immeasurable wealth will dwindle. For decades, the answer has been: In ten years! But the “black gold” continues to bubble up in the Emirates, and the construction boom has no end. What makes holidaymakers happy during their visit to this unique city of superlatives in the sand.

Dubai Desert
Off-road tour through Dubai’s desert, Image: Victor Maschek/shutterstock

Everything here is artificial and sophisticated. This is also the case with Dubai’s “The World”, an archipelago for the world’s super-rich. In the fifties of the last century, this city was still a village – today more than two million people live here. Most of them are foreigners. The traces of the past have long since been obliterated – today splendor and glory reign in Dubai. And anyone who believes that this gigantism is some kind of mirage should convince themselves of the opposite.

Dubai is a city where illusions have long since become reality, and many a holidaymaker from another world is now and then attacked by a holy shiver. For example, when he lives in the luxurious “Emirates Palace” and walks over an ivory-colored marble on his way to the suite.

A special eye-catcher in this world of extravagance is “Burj Al Arab”, the unique hotel tower by the sea, where an overnight stay in the 780 square metre Royal Suite costs around 10,000 euros. Guests arriving by helicopter from the airport will land on a plateau on the 28th floor. There are a total of 302 hotels and 42 shopping malls in this city. The largest and most exclusive is the Mall of Arabia. Dubai boasts the tallest towers in the world. They are all towered over by Burj Khalifa, which rises exactly 828 meters into the sky. Visitors are transported in two elevators to the 124th floor in exactly 55 seconds.

But in the middle of this city you can also surf on the waves of the warm sea. You can enjoy cycling in Dubai or learn about the culture and history of this unusual metropolis in various institutions. In a city that takes your breath away and blows up all the standards that have applied so far. Those who come cannot escape this fascination.

Most popular hotels in Dubai:

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, DubaiOpens in new window
Image: www.mandarinoriental.com

Mandarin Oriental Jumeira

5*****

Featuring 5 outdoor pools, a fitness centre and a shared lounge, Mandarin Oriental Jumeira, Dubai is located in Dubai.

Jumeirah Emirates Towers

Located on Sheikh Zayed Road, this hotel is directly connected to Emirates Towers Metro Station and the Museum of the Future.

Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel

5*****

 

Grosvenor House, Dubai
Grosvenor House, Image: marriott.com

Located on the promenade in Dubai Marina, the 5-star Grosvenor House offers panoramic views of the residential Dubai Marina, personal butler service, an outdoor swimming pool,…



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Travel information Dubai

Form of government Emirate of the United Arab Emirates
Currency UAE Dirham
Area 4114 km²
Population approx. 3,010,000 (as of 2018)
Languages Arabic
Electricity grid 220 volts and 50Hz
Area code +971 4
Time zone GMT+4