Dubai is fast growing city. Lately it became the symbol of rich and famous, money, oil and vacations as well. We all know Dubai like the place of skyscrapers, long beaches, fast cars and everyone finds this city as modern and expensive, but are you sure it is? What happens when something grows too fast?
The city of Dubai is “the most” in many ways. And there are so many things, which you can find only here. Mainly, they were build to attract tourists from all over the word, and also for representative purposes. If you want to stand at the world’s tallest building, you have to go to Dubai. This is how it works. This list of „Dubai’s most“ below is temporarily and now, when you are reading this article, there may be many more things to see that can’t be found anywhere else, of course. This is why Dubai is so incredible, everything is changing fast, so when you do not pay attention you may get lost here, since what you remember from your last visit does not exist now. Where you look at now, next week there may be another skyscraper or mall, because you’re in Dubai. Freaky, isn’t it?
- world’s tallest building
- world’s fastest elevator
- world’s biggest fountain
- world’s biggest shopping mall
- world’s most expensive hotel
- 7 stars hotel – the only one in the world
- world’s longest airport terminal
- world’s most Airbus A380 aircraft owned (biggest plane ever)
I did not plan my trip to Dubai much, since I didn’t feel any need to come here before. In my eyes, Dubai was just one big, expensive city. I don’t like overpriced things, that are overpriced only because of their reputation, brand or name and Dubai was one of them. And another thing, even visa were overpriced in my opinion. And how wrong I was. I came to Dubai on board Emirates airlines, flight EK126 directly from Vienna. This was my first experience with this world’s best airline for year 2013 and I liked it. To read the review of this flight, click this link Fly Emirates – World’s best airline for 2013. The plane landed to Dubai next morning at 6 am, yeah I’m not big fun of overnight flights in economy class. I didn’t sleep much and wasn’t in very good mood the next day. But Dubai did change it, although it was definitely like I was expecting – big and busy.
Feeling hot? let’s cool off on ice rink.
If you are fun of crowded places and money spending, you will find yourself in Dubai Mall – world’s largest shopping centre which was opened in November 2008. It is part of down town complex and inside of the mall you will find entrance to Burj Khalifa – world´s tallest building. Here you can be everything, but mind that you are still in muslim country and respect local rules. Wanna be pilot of world’s largest plane? definitely visit the cockpit of Airbus A380 aircraft where you can pay and pretend as you are the pilot flying this jumbo. Enjoy shopping in world’s most fancy stores like ZARA, Cartier, Louis Vuitton and many more. If you are hungry, you will find easily the way to the food court where you can have food of your taste from almost the whole world. Technologies are advancing with the speed of the light and even in food court you can see a lot of improvements. In some food stores, you will get pager when you order meal and when is ready, it will start vibrating and flashing that you can come and get it. This means, that you can still enjoy shopping while waiting for food that you ordered. This is Dubai. If you are tired of shopping, navigate from the mall to Dubai fountain – world’s biggest fountain in the world. Every 30 minutes the fountain starts singing and doing the show with water in the rhythms of music. All in the shadow of Burj Khalifa that is high above everything. If you still have some time, definitely visit ice rink, but when you are looking for Ski Dubai – indoor sky resort, go to the Emirates Mall, not Dubai Mall. We got confused.
The big attraction in Dubai Mall is Dubai Aquarium, the place where you can watch underwater world very closely and you don’t even have to pay for it. Watching is free for all visitors and many people are standing by and making pictures with sharks swimming in front of them. If you want to visit also underwater tunnel, you have to pay. There may be longer queues, so be patient. There are more types of tickets depending what you want to see and he most expensive ticket includes diving to the aquarium what may be big adventure. The visitation is connected with the visit of underwater zoo on the higher floor.
Jumeirah beach? no, thank you.
Many people come to Dubai to enjoy warm sun and spend here their holidays. The best time for the visit is from November to March, since the weather may get too hot during the summer. 45 Celsius degrees are normal here. If you are looking for nice, sandy beach, definitely miss Jumeirah beach, which is maybe the most popular for tourists. And that’s the reason not to go there. It is crowded, dirty and the most important – instead of free WiFi, has nothing to offer. No facilities, no restaurants, no ice cream. Just make a quick photo with Burj Al Arab hotel which is the most expensive hotel in the world, and the only one hotel with seven stars, then go away. This beach is pretty far from the city centre, so it will take you almost one hour to get here. There is a way better alternative – Marina Beach (picture on the left) Get off from metro on Jumeirah Lake Towers station and walk towards Dubai Marina. You will pass Yacht Club, restaurants, hotels and find nice, long beach with blue, clean water. While your friends are swimming in the sea, you can have fresh beverages, food or ice cream, or just sit on the bench watching them and enjoying coffee. Connect your visit with short walk in Dubai Marina. We were walking through with mounth open. Some people have trees in their garden, some yachts. Buildings you can see on the picture on the right are mainly flats where locals live. However, most of the locals are Europeans and Americans living in Dubai and while we had breakfast on the terrace with the view on the promenade, we saw many of them walking their dogs, morning run or playing with children. What a life :)
On the other hand, Dubai is not only about modern and fancy life and has it’s traditional side as well. Since we are in arabic country, also this city has it’s medina, what is old town with souks typical for arabic cities. In here you can buy traditional spices, clothes, food, medicine and much more. Typical for medina is haggling prices so if you are in good mood and want to talk about price, come here. I bought traditional saffron coffee from Bahrain and got the price down more than 50%. Do not forget about being polite and smiling. In this part of Dubai prices are extremely cheap comparing to the rest of the city and this is, where arabs live. Since Dubai creek flows through the old town, getting from one bank to the other is very simple and cheap. Hop on „Abra“ boats and for 1 dirham (0, 20 EUR) take a ride to the other bank. The boats are wooden and the ride takes approximately three minutes. Do not forget to visit Gold souk where is everything from the gold.
Transportation itself is very cheap in Dubai. If you are two or three, taxi ride is cheaper than using metro. In metro are two classes, normal and gold (first class). We have tried gold class as well and we were little bit disappointed. The only difference is in bigger seats. I was expecting TV, free coffee and cookies :) The price of the gold class tickets is not expensive, and it’s mainly used by pregnant women, military and police. Transportation in Dubai is way complicated and if you want to exist here, definitely get car. There are almost no pavements. This city grows very fast and more than pavements they’re building buildings first. It may happen that you get off from your hotel and now standing in the middle of highway. Metro is not developed much and does not cover whole city. Car is necessary and for now, you have to forget about romantic evening walk through city. You can have romantic ride.
I highly recommend Dubai to everyone and I feel little bit ashamed that I used to find this city as uninteresting and overpriced. I want to thank Lukas to get me here against my will. Prices are high for accommodation, that’s all. For many European visitors is visiting United Arab Emirates visa free since March 2014. I got very mad, because I have paid money for observing visa and two days after I got them, I heard news that I can travel visa free. Ridiculous. Dubai is the city of movement and the only thing I did not like is the way of transportation. Dubai has enough roads for all cars riding in this city, but what about pedestrians? On the other side, it is extremely cheap and easy to get taxi because they are everywhere. Just stand by the road, wave twice and you will get taxi in one minute. I really did like that every taxi driver was wearing suit, had monitor with his picture and name displayed on it in the front par of car and taxameter always turned on showing the current price. If you use company „Dubai Taxi“ you can be sure, they will not try to cheat on you.
After my visit, I find Dubai as modern city prefect for business and vacations, and later maybe for dwelling as well, when pavements will be build. Since for most European countries, residents of United States and Australia is visiting UAE visa free, if you even have connecting flight in Dubai and have more then 5 hours between your flights, get taxi and go to see Dubai quickly.
Milan Bardun 2014