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4.41 

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Dubai United Arab Emirates
Dubai-Las Vegas of Arabia!
Oct 15, 2005 01:39 PM 3047 Views
(Updated Dec 17, 2005 06:40 PM)

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Ahlan wa sahlan and welcome to Dubai!


A lot has been said about the place, in various websites, magazines and even Bollywood movies these days. Actors and celebrities have made this place a famous stop over to spend their black money and have some fun, and also entertain the crowds here, while tourists from all over the world are lured by the sunny climate, reasonably cheap shopping, and warmth of the residents here. I'd like to advice every one who wishes to visit this place to explore a bit yourself than religiously follow what others have written. Thats the best way to ''do'' a place, by finding out how it is yourself. Because one mans meat can be anothers poison! I can go on and on about the various aspects and features about this place, but since that is not possible, I will highlight a few most important things to do and observe, so that the reader gets a general feel of the place. Enjoy!


I was born and brought up in Dubai, though my nationality is Indian. Currently I'm working in Dubai, and this review is a tribute to this fascinating city that has given me so much (and I dont just mean money!). For a fact, only 20% of the total population of the UAE is made out of the locals(nationals). The rest 80% is made out of the expatriate population(of which, 75% are Indians, and out of that 75%, 80% are from Kerala!) The general misconception these days is that Dubai is only a shoppers paradise. While this may be true(thanks to festivals like the Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Summer Surprises, etc all year round), the city is not JUST about shopping..There is plenty to do here apart from shopping, like enjoy the clean, beautiful beaches, dab a little in the Arabic culture, do water and adventure sports or generally just enjoy the cosmopolitian feel of this SAFE city. I cannot stress enough on the safe factor. A lot of crime DOES happen, just like in any other cosmopolitan city, but trust me, its a very safe place for both men and women alike. And no, there isnt anythin to fear about being alone in a middle eastern country, specially the UAE and Dubai. The UAE is NOT even remotely near Iraq or Kuwait or for that matter Israel or Palestine, and any fears arising in that respect can be easily put away. Everything is tolerated here to a certain extent as long as it doesnt interfere with the way the country generally functions, which is according to the Islamic guidelines. Yes, a lot of anti-islamic stuff does happen in the UAE, specially in Dubai, but sometimes the government of Dubai chooses to turn its eye away as long as its not blatantly criminal. All in the cause of promoting toursm. We also have churches and temples in Dubai and the UAE as such, apart from many beautiful mosques and the country is very tolerant and secular in such matters.


For people with a little more time on hand during their visit, it would be great to check out Dubai's neighbouring emirates, like Fujairah( a favorite place for the water sport lovers and nature lovers), and Ras Al Khaimah (an emirate with a mix of history and natural scenery) apart from the capital, Abu Dhabi.


Adventure sports( mountain-extreme.com/site/uae_adventures.htm), jet-skiing, smoking a sheehsa soakin in the humid evening air, a stroll down the fabulous creek side, and an outrageously inexpensive but superfun ''abra'' ride (small boat) are some of the things you can or SHOULD do while in Dubai. A special limousine ride of the city (under 100 dollars for an evenings ride) could be an easy way to view all the beautiful skyscrapers that the city boasts off, including the world famous 7 star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. The spice souks and gold souks in Deira are places not to be missed as well. Nightlife is always happening, with bars and clubs to suit every taste, style and age. For people who like encounters with the ''women of the night''(trust me, there are plenty of people who flock to this place JUST for that), there are a mind boggling number of nationalities to choose from, and as residents of Dubai it has become quite usual for us to accept these unusual but ever present ladies as a part of the melting pot called Dubai.


The airport itself is one of the finest in the world, with a mind-boggling duty free complex. Truly, shopping in Dubai can start right from the airport itself. Purchasing the Dubai Duty Free raffle tickets for a tidy sum may well win you one of those luxury cars that are always on offer. Some of the recent, popular new malls that have opened up are the Mall of the Emirates (which has the first and only indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow 24 hours a day, 365 days a year called SKI DUBAI - skidxb.com ), Ibn Batuta Mall, and the regular malls like Wafi City, Lamcy Plaza, Deira City Center etc..


All said, Dubai is a good place worth one visit atleast. For people who come here to work, the dollar(or rather Dirham) signs on their eyeballs are what matter more than sight seeing, but for a traveller, this place can provide a real good time. The fast pace of the city, the luxurious cars and tall buildings that dot the skyline, the harmony with which so many different nationalities all exist together are things to see and experience first hand. The best season to visit would be between November and March, when the temperature is a lot cooler and when the shopping festival happens.There are lots of surprises and eye popping things you will love to see once you are here. IF you feel like coming back again, I wouldnt blame you :-)


Try out these good websites for some more info:


timeoutdubai.com/


dubaitourism.co.ae/


godubai.com/explore/explore.asp


Ma'salaama!


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