Dubai Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia
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Dubai Vacation Travel Guide | Expedia

Rising from the warm shores of the Persian
Gulf and the shifting sands of the Arabian Desert, is the city of Dubai, the largest emirate
in the United Arab Emirates. For two centuries, Dubai was not much more than a tiny trading
port on the banks of Dubai Creek. But in less than a single generation, the city has become a destination once relegated
to the imaginings of science fiction writers. A place that defies its extreme environment,
and redefines everything we think we know about cities. Despite appearances, however, the foundations for this glittering citadel
are not built on sand, but on thousands of years of Arabic culture
and tradition. Step through the veil of Islam at the Jumeirah
Mosque, where non-Muslim visitors are invited to tour
the beautiful interiors and take part in lively
question and answer sessions. Head to the historic Bastakia Quarter and visit the Sheikh Mohamed Centre for Cultural
Understanding. Here you’ll experience local customs, Bedouin hospitality and enjoy home-cooked
Emirati food. To learn more about local traditions, go shopping, the way Arab people have for centuries. Follow the scent of frankincense and herbs
to the city’s spice market. Then, explore the hundreds stores in the gold
souk, and discover why Dubai is known as “The
City of Gold”. To explore the souks of the 21st century, head to Dubai Mall, home to a staggering 1200
stores. Dubai Mall is also home to Kidzania, a miniature city complete with its own radio
station, hospital and fire station all run by children! But by far the mall’s biggest attraction
is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Take a walk through a watery world, filled with over thirty thousand creatures
from the deep, including enormous rays and sharks. Once you’ve explored the depths of the seven
seas, step outside, and look to the heavens. Rising over half a mile into the sky is the
breathtaking centerpiece of Dubai, The Burj Kalifa, the tallest structure ever
built. Three times the height of the Eifel Tower
and twice the size of the Empire State Building, the tip of this modern wonder can be seen
from 60 miles away. Take a high-speed lift to the 124th floor
observation deck, which gives expansive views of the city,…a
city that seems to grow before the eyes. The Burj Kalifa is particularly beautiful
at night, especially when viewed through Dubai Fountain’s
dancing waters. Everywhere you look in Dubai, you’ll come face to face with daring projects
which almost defy belief. Enjoy a few Arabian Nights at Madinat Jumeirah, a five star resort styled upon a traditional
Arabian town. Or sail into a sea of luxury at Burj Al Arab, a seven star hotel, whose graceful curves
echo the traditional wooden vessels of the Gulf. When temperatures climb, head to one of the
city’s public beaches, like Mamzar Beach Park, or for a small fee, enjoy the luxurious amenities
at one of the many private hotel beaches. Take the family to Wild Wadi World, and splash
out on over thirty rides, themed around Arabian folk tales. Take a high-speed ride with a difference,
at Atlantis Dolphin Bay. Then discover even more marine creatures,
at the Lost Chambers Aquarium. But if you really want to cool down, take the chairlift to the top of the indoor
mountain at Ski Dubai. This ski resort in the desert, features five
ski runs, including the world’s first indoor black
diamond slope. Ski Dubai is even home to troupe of snow penguins, which come out to play several times each
day. Once you’ve perfected your turns on the
snow, why not try a little sand boarding. Whether you come for a day or stay a few nights, a journey into the Arabian Desert is an experience
no visitor should miss. Take a camel trek, meet the wildlife, or just gaze out at the endless expanse of
sands. This is a place so quiet,… you can hear your own heart beat. It’s when you’re out here, only an hour from the world’s tallest building, that you’ll truly appreciate just how miraculous
Dubai is. That in one of the world’s most inhospitable
landscapes, one of the world’s most hospitable destinations
can flourish. That from this great emptiness, a glittering
oasis can rise, and almost outshine the sun itself.


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