Surrounded by a hinterland of desert and arid mountains, this stylish cosmopolitan metropolis offers world class beaches and the highest level of accommodation to which Western travelers are accustomed. With no air pollution, no traffic jams, no poverty, and an extremely low crime rate, Dubai is quickly becoming one of the world's most popular cities - not only for tourism, but for residence, as well. More than three quarters of the city's 500,000 inhabitants are foreigners, lending a deliciously multicultural feel to a town that's often compared favorably to Hong Kong and Venice.
Dubai - See It, Do It!
In truth, however, Dubai has a flavor all its own. Its beaches are world class, and feature brilliantly warm water and deliciously soft sand. You'll find incredible gourmet dining, duty-free shopping, entertainment, and dance halls, all influenced by the region√?¬?s Arab culture. Be sure to check out "The Creek", a district near the water reminiscent of ancient Arabian ports. For those who are interested in serious shopping, Dubai's "Gold Sarks" offers a street on which every window twinkles with the mellow glow of gold.
If you're looking for a bit of culture, stop by Al-Hosn Palace, known as the "Old Fort" or "White Fort". Its incredible courtyards and intricate tile work are sure to make an impression.
For adventure, look into a guided dune buggy expedition into the surrounding mountains, bouncing around on the dunes for an afternoon of exploration.
Hotels in Dubai
With an economy geared specifically toward tourism, Dubai is home to some of the finest hotels in the world.
For those looking for world class luxury, The Burj Al Arab can hardly be topped. This seven-star resort, the world's tallest all-suite hotel at nearly a thousand feet, is shaped like a billowing sail, and dominates the Dubai coastline. With a reception desk on each floor, highly trained butlers to accommodate your every whim and desire, and even chauffeured Rolls-Royces available to guests, this is the discriminating traveler's lodging of choice in the city.
If that seems a bit too opulent for your tastes, consider a stay at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Built to look like a breaking wave, this classy five-star hotel has its own private beach, and is situated near to Wild Wadi Water Park, a highly-rated local attraction.
Finally, the Al Hamra Fort Hotel is located on its own private island. Featuring a natural lagoon, desert safaris, and archaeological remains to explore, this resort is a great choice for those looking to get away from the city proper. Be sure to take a thirty minute drive to nearby Dhia Fort at sunset for spectacular views.
Traveling to Dubai
Dubai is home to Dubai International Airport, with regular service to many parts of the world. Travelers must have a valid passport, and can receive a sixty day visa at their point of entry. Though the country is generally regarded to be very safe, tourists should take normal precautions, not leaving purses, bags, or wallets unattended. For more information concerning traveling to Dubai, please see the Dubai Consular Information Sheet.