Dubai, one of the seven United Arab Emirates, is a relative newcomer to the tourism scene but is rapidly making its mark on the world stage. This modern and progressive Muslim principality has developed at a dramatic pace in recent years and now boasts superb infrastructure, stunning beaches, endless shopping opportunities and fine dining. Dubai is synonymous with luxury, glamour and Arabian opulence - but don't let that put you off if you're travelling on a budget. While the desert city's mega-hotels are indeed pricy, a more affordable holiday apartment in Dubai could enable you to experience all that this gleaming metropolis has to offer without breaking the bank.
Dubai is located on the south-east coast of the Persian Gulf and has the largest population in the United Arab Emirates, despite being smaller than the capital Abu Dhabi. The city of Dubai is on the emirate's northern coastline and is now a global business hub and one of the major cultural highlights of the Middle East. Tourism is one of the main industries, along with aviation, financial services and oil. Dubai expects to attract more than 15 million tourists a year by 2015, with many coming for shopping alone.
Dubai is ideal for a short break, but those wishing to stay for longer will also not be disappointed. The city boasts more than 70 shopping malls, traditional souk districts, beaches and nearby desert sands. Here are some of the key things to do and see while visiting Dubai:
Burj Khalifa - This is the largest man-made structure in the world, towering 829.8m tall. Completed in 2010, the tower features the second-highest outdoor observation deck in the world on the 124th floor, at 452m. Visitors are advised to purchase tickets in advance, both to avoid queues and save money.
Dubai Museum - The museum tells the story of the emirate's social history. There is even a reconstructed souk from the days when Dubai was merely a poor pearling village, underlining the transition that has since taken place.
Jumeirah Mosque - Dubai's largest mosque is one of the few open to non-Muslims. Guided tours are available on certain days of the week and the building's impressive Islamic architecture is particularly well displayed at night, when the mosque is lit up by dramatic floodlights.
Desert safaris - A trip to the desert is a must for those with an adventurous streak or those who simply want to marvel at the seemingly never-ending sand dunes. Those with extreme tastes may want to consider 'dune bashing', which uses safari jeeps, quad bikes or dune buggies to navigate the dunes.
Dubai is served by Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. Another, larger airport is currently under construction, with one cargo terminal and a passenger terminal already open. The Dubai World Central-Al Maktoum International will be the largest airport in the world when complete.
Dubai enjoys year-round sunshine, but the reality is that it's likely to be too hot to spend much time outdoors. To avoid the really extreme temperatures, visit between November and March. During these 'winter' months, the thermometer hovers around 20 degrees Celsius. In the peak summer months from June to October, expect temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees Celsius, with days up to 45 degrees not uncommon.
If you're planning a trip to the United Arab Emirates, why not take a look at our holiday apartments in Dubai? We offer high quality accommodation in key central locations that is often much more affordable than staying in a hotel.
All Dubai apartments are available for online booking for the convenience of the travelers and direct reservation.
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