Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Dubai: A traveller’s playground

By Hans Tammemagi

Dubai is hot new location – either as a destination on its own, or as a stopover.
From sand dune buggy rides to over‐the‐top luxury hotels, Dubai is a traveller’s playground. Here are
some ideas to explore in this sun‐drenched city.
SKIING! The Mall of the Emirates has shopping galore but the most outrageous sign of Dubai lavishness
is the indoor ski hill, which is constantly jammed with snowboarders and skiers. Outside, the
temperature simmers at 32°C.
ENJOY the Palm Jumeirah Artificial Island; it’s gorgeous, massive and audacious. Dubbed the eighth
Wonder of the World, it consists of a tree trunk, a crown with 16 fronds, and a surrounding crescent
island stretched over an area of six kilometres by six kilometres. Its "trunk" is filled with malls and luxury
hotels, and the 17 fronds are lined with mansions. The Middle East's first monorail runs the length of the
WALK around Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai is one of the oldest in the city and offers a
nostalgic view of a bygone era with traditional wind towers and a maze of meandering alleyways. At the
Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, you can take part in Arabic classes, heritage
tours and guided mosque visits.
STAY in the Al Maha Resort is far from the city, an oasis in the middle of the desert. The sand dunes,
which stretch to the horizon, are like art with sculpted ridges and rich shadowy ripples. Delicate little
Arabian gazelles and endangered oryx, antelope‐like animals with long, straight horns, wander through
the sandscape. You can ride a camel far into the desert and walk barefoot among the dunes as the sun
dances on the horizon. Back at your villa, the roof is an elegant Bedouin‐style flowing canvas and you
can sit beside your private infinity pool enjoying the warm desert breeze and a sherry before a gourmet
EXPLORE the Desert. To help immerse you in the natural landscape (the Arabian Desert), many tour
companies offer Desert Safaris, which can include some or all of the following. Dune bashing on sturdy
4x4 vehicles is thrilling and shriek‐inducing. Sand boarding is fun and always leads to a soft landing. You
can bounce along high on the hump of a camel. Photography is a must, especially as the sun sets among
an endless sea of dunes. You can savour a dinner of classic Arabic cuisine under the stars. You can even
smoke shisha (the famous Arabic water‐pipe) and then sleep in a Bedouin tent.