I spent a week this year in a very weird city, known as Dubai.
So whats it like? Its like somebody grabbed a massive chunk of america and morrocco, stuck them in a blender and made it twenty times better.
I stopped in the Hilton Jumeriah Hotel by the marina part of dubai, and this area certainly offers the best views available.
The marian section, like the rest of the city, is still under heavy construction. Looking out to sea (the artificially manafacutred sea where are the sand has been shipped in from over seas) you can see the construction of the palm islands, which are a group of islands being artificially manafacturated for tourism puroses.
There is an amazing variety of things to do in Dubai, being a muslim city though, don’t expect to be able to buy alcohol in any shops as it is only available in specialist outlets and hotels.
During my one week stay here are the activites i took part in:
This is usually a day long trip. You can be arranged to be picked up from your hotel one morning to take part in a Desert Safari, the drive from the Hilton took about 2hours to get out of the city as even the drivers don’t know the roads as the maps are being re-written every week (thats how fast development is).
You then spend about 2 hours on a dune safari being taken for the ride of your life and almost tipping over and sliding backwards across the sand.
Along the way we were able to visit a camel farm before arriving at our camp, the camp was amazing and included a very clean toilet block, a big barbecue (included in price) and free unlimited canned drinks all served ice cold, and you do not realise how refreshing that is untill you have endured the 48 degree heat that they have everday there.
–East Coast Trip
On this day, we hired a car and drove down to the east coast, we visited a hotel which charged a small amount for entry and we were able to use all their facilities. Off the beach there was a small Nature Reserve rocky island called snoopy island, and if you can brave the rough waters, you can see some amazing sights when snorkelling and some very exotic fish.
Because of the intense heat you will spend most of your time taking part in this amazing activity along with getting a very nice tan. If lazing isn’t your thing though you can always take part in other things. Parasailing is very common and great fun and there is always people playing volleyball that will let you join in.
Unfortunately the marina is finished but the shops haven’t been finished, so there is only a few open but there are loads of incredible and cheap restaurants open and you can tell that one day it will be amazing.
Transportation is also incredibly cheap and petrol is roughly 25p a litre.
-Mall of the Emirates-
Now this deserved a section of its own. The mall is roughly 5-10minutes away from most areas of dubai and it is HUGE!
There are literally hundreds of shops and the mall deserves a whole day to really appreciate it all, it is split into several sections: clothing, home, electrical
Its all very impressive but the main attraction is Ski dubai, which is a huge indoor ski run (about second of third largest in world) and consists of a black slope (very scary) and some amazing runs and scenery, I only paid for 2 hours however any system of checking your time seemed to be non-existant so I stayed for roughly 3 hours and even after some really dangerous falls, (including one where i crashed into a slow down sign and got tangled up) I had loved every minute of it.
As well as this huge shopping centre dubai also consists of old dubai which does appear quite dingy and boring, but pretty amazing when you look at it properly. Alongside the river there are hundreds of storage ships and thousands of tonnes of products just stacked at the side of the road, and there is also a very nice museum.
The main attraction of Old Dubai is the Souks, the Spice Souk is really nice and very cheap but just slightly further east is the gold souk and it is very hard to resist by just a bit of the shiny stuff. When entering the gold souk everywhere is just a beautiful gold sparkle and there are apparently 350 gold shops alone, (I didn’t bother to count)
Dubai is an amazing, purely incredibly city well worth a visit, but well worth a visit in 15 years.
Why 15yrs? Because thats when Dubai land is scheduled to be open. This amusement park is going to be way bigger than universal studios or disney land, consist of some seriously brilliant attractions and will bring about 1 million more jobs to dubai.