Over the last twenty years or so the Middle Eastern city of Dubai has become one of the hottest vacation and business locations in the world. It is a rapidly developing, fabulously wealthy futuristic city set within a centuries-old Arab culture. The traditional ways are still there if you look for them. But they are gradually being overtaken by the new attractions and developments springing up virtually every day.
In Dubai one can see dusty traditional villages as well as fantastically luxurious residential districts, or visit rugged mountains and majestic sand dunes only a few miles from pristine sandy beaches and lush green parks. Tourists can wander through Dubai’s traditional market places or visit some of the largest and most modern indoor shopping malls in the world.
When visiting Dubai there is no shortage of luxury hotels. But for a more authentic Dubai experience visitors can rent beautifully furnished apartments or Dubai villas often for less money. Dubai apartment rentals offer visitors more value for less money, and provide a more interesting close-up look at this unique city.
Many New Developments Underway
The almost frantic pace of new development taking place in Dubai has made it one of the most futuristic cities in the world. The city skyline now highlights sleek new skyscrapers such as the Emirates Towers and Burj Al-Arab, the world’s tallest hotel. The Mall of the Emirates which opened in 2005 is the largest shopping center outside of North. It features one one of the world’s only indoor ski slopes. And Dubai also boasts one of the few 18 hole golf courses in the world that is fully lit for nighttime golf.
Many other exciting developments are also under construction in Dubai. To name just a few:
– Dubai Mall – projected to be the largest indoor shopping mall in the world.
– Burj Dubai – the tallest skyscraper in the world – scheduled to be completed in 2008.
– Dubai World Central including the Dubai World Central International Airport will be the world’s largest passenger and cargo hub – ten times larger than the current Dubai International Airport and Dubai Cargo Village combined.
– The Dubai Waterfront project – a series of canals and artificial islands with commercial, residential, and resort areas – will be the largest man-made development and largest waterfront development in the world.
Shopping Tourism in Dubai
The attraction that brings the most tourists to Dubai is the shopping. Market places and malls throughout the city stock an incredible array of consumer goods and draw millions of shopping tourists every year. Shoppers come from all parts of the Middle East and Europe, and even from as far away as Eastern Europe, India, and North America.
Dubai’s most interesting shopping is to be found in the souks, located on either side of Dubai creek that runs through the city. Two of the most popular are the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk. Bargaining in traditional middle eastern style is an important part of the shopping experience in the souks.
In recent years the traditional type of shopping has met with stiff competition from more western style stores. Fantastic shopping malls and upscale boutiques are now everywhere throughout the city and carry virtually any consumer item you can imagine: clothing, housewares, luxury items, cars, furnishings, jewellery, electronics, sporting equipment. You name it and you will probably find it in the boutiques and malls of Dubai.
The Duty Free complex at the Dubai International Airport is also one of the most extensive and largest in the world. New projects such as the Dubai World Central International Airport will have even larger duty free areas.
These and many more attractions make Dubai a favorite destination of tourists and business travelers from around the world. Future developments promise to make Dubai even more important as a world class business hub and a haven for tourists in search of a unique and exciting adventure.
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