Dubai is the richest city on the planet, and every place you’ll go there will remind you of this fact. Although Dubai has its fair share of beaches, parks, museums, and other recreational venues, the real reason to vacation in Dubai is to have the opportunity to experience luxury at its most refined. As recently as 1970, Dubai was just another sleepy fishing village on the Persian Gulf. Today, Dubai is synonymous with opulence and home to well over one million residents. A holiday in Dubai doesn’t have to break the bank when you book through Expedia.com to reserve cheap flights to Dubai and Dubai all-inclusive resorts.
The Optimal Time to Visit
Dubai can be hot during the late spring and summer months when temperatures soar into the triple digits. Most travelers prefer to visit the “City of Gold” during the cooler months of October through April when daytime temperatures average 71 degrees.
Keep in mind, though, that Dubai is a Muslim city. Shorts are not appropriate for men or women unless you’re planning a day at the beach. Although short-sleeved shirts are not strictly forbidden, it may be more respectful to stay cool in loose tops that cover your arms down to the elbows.
Historical and Cultural Attractions
The Burj Khalifa in downtown Dubai is the tallest skyscraper in the world. Surrounded by hotels, high-end shopping destinations, and myriad entertainment opportunities, this breathtaking testament to man’s architectural mastery is home to eight resorts, numerous residential apartments, offices, a shopping mall, restaurants, nightclubs, and mosques.
If you’re interested in learning what life in Dubai was like before the 1966 discovery of oil in the nearby Arabian Desert, visit the Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort. Built in 1971, the Fort is the oldest building in the city. The museum depicts life in the United Arab Emirates before the discovery of petroleum and features life-scale dioramas of souks, craftsmen’s shops, a date farm, a Bedouin tent, and the deck of a dhow in addition to many archaeological relics.
Although Dubai has many modern Western-style shopping malls, much of the city’s retail activity still takes place in traditional markets called souks. The Gold Souk is a huge array of vendors selling gold, platinum, and diamond jewelry. Gold prices here are often cheaper than anywhere else in the world, and the government keeps strict tabs on the quality of the pieces that are sold. The Spice Souk close by offers an assortment of fragrances, spices, and herbs, many of which may be unfamiliar to Westerners though they’re staples of Arabic and South Asian cuisines.
Dubai is a wonderful destination in which to honeymoon because resorts in Dubai will respect your desire for privacy and romance. Dubai also has a host of family resorts with game rooms, supervised activities for children, and babysitting facilities for those times when you want to check out the resort's spa. Dubai all-inclusive resorts often package kid-friendly activities with special rates and meal plans. Expedia.com is your key to finding great prices on Dubai resorts and flights.
Exploring Other Parts of the United Arab Emirates
The stars over the Arabian Desert seem to shine particularly brightly, and you can experience them for yourself on one of the desert safaris offered by numerous tour operators throughout Dubai. Ask the concierge at your Dubai resort for a recommendation, and don’t forget to pack sunscreen.
Seventy miles away from downtown Dubai, close to the Oman border, lies the town of Hatta. Its location in the foothills of the Al Hajar Mountains keeps it cool in the summertime. Explore Hatta Heritage Village, a re-creation of what life was like in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Al Hajar Mountains teem with mineral springs, and one of them gives rise to the Hatta Rock Pools, a series of deep, fresh-water pools and natural cascades that have carved the adjacent canyons into wondrous shapes. The Hatta Rock Pools are technically in Oman, so be sure to bring your passport.
Sharjah, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is the cultural heart of this region and offers travelers the opportunity to explore traditional souks, view the Sultan’s hereditary palace, and visit an interesting archaeological museum. To experience this unparalleled locale firsthand, head to Expedia.com to find the best deals on inexpensive flights to Dubai as well as hotels in Dubai.