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In a little over 25 years Dubai has exploded skyward, from an Arabian backwater into one of the most dynamic and visually impressive cities on Earth. It has grown at an incredible speed; 40 years ago there wasn’t a single high-rise in Dubai. Today, there are giant islands in the shape of palm trees that can be seen from space and the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.
Dubai is one of the seven states of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and is ruled by a Royal Dynasty with a vision and ambition to drive Dubai’s phenomenal growth. The discovery of oil reserves in the 1960s transformed the area from a simple fishing village into a powerful financial center and transport hub. As the oil reserves began to dwindle, the city turned its attention firmly to tourism.
One of Dubai’s biggest attractions is its shopping. Explore the glittering streets of the Gold Souk in search of jewelry bargains, or get lost in retail heaven for the day in Dubai Mall, one of the world’s biggest shopping centers. This mall features more than 1,000 stores, an aquarium and indoor theme park.
Dubai offers attractions which defy the harsh arid environment. Stand in awe in front of the Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest dancing fountain, or grab your skis and cut through real snow at the indoor ski resort of Ski Dubai.
There’s more to Dubai than just man-made opulence. Relax on beautiful beaches, explore nature-rich wetlands and discover the magical desert environment at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.
The superb climate makes Dubai a year-round destination. If you are not used to temperatures that can top 104 F (40 C), the best times to visit are during the winter and spring months.
Dubai has an excellent public transport system with more than 50 bus routes, water taxis and a metro system. If you prefer to drive, rental companies will indulge your automotive wishes, offering Hummers and Italian dream cars, as well as more humble vehicles.
For more details on interesting local attractions and activities, check out our things to do in Dubai page.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.
Offering 1.5 km (0.9 mi) of beach access, this lavish resort is located on Palm Island, a palm-tree-shaped artificial island just off Dubai's Jumeira coast. Dubai Marina Mall is 6.5 km (4 mi) away.
This hotel for passengers in transit only is located inside the Airport Terminal Buildings before Passport Control (Immigration and Customs) in concourses A, B and C. Guests will have access to Dubai duty free shopping areas, post office, currency exchanges, and other facilities available within the airport.
Nestled on the beach, this Palm Jumeirah resort is within 6 mi (10 km) of Dubai College, Emirates Golf Club, and Jumeirah Beach. Marina Beach and Dubai Marina are also within 6 mi (10 km).
This family-friendly Dubai hotel is located near the airport, within 3 mi (5 km) of Dubai Tennis Stadium and Deira City Centre. Gold Souk and Spice Souk are also within 6 mi (10 km). GGICO Station is 14 minutes by foot.
Overlooking Burj Khalifa Lake, Palace Downtown is next to bustling Souk Al Bahar. Dominating the skyline from across the lake is Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building. Guests can walk 5 minutes to the restaurants and shops at The Dubai Mall, and drive 20 minutes to Jumeirah Beach.
Overlooking the beach and warm waters of the Arabian Gulf, Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach places guests on The Walk, a pedestrianized strip flanked with handicrafts stalls and open-air art exhibits. For a more upscale retail experience, it's a 15-minute cab ride to Mall of the Emirates.
Located in Trade Center, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. Dubai Opera and Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo are also within 1 mi (2 km). Burj Khalifa - Dubai Mall Station is 19 minutes by foot and Financial Centre Station is 22 minutes.
This high-rise hotel, offering skyline views from its 28 floors, is situated in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai, 3-minute walk from the BurJuman shopping centre, 5-minute walk from Meena Bazaar, and close to key business and entertainment destinations.