Oh the lure of Dubai: A monument
to gold and imagination!
In the 1960's, vast oilfields were
discovered under the sands of the United Arab
Emirates. And in the spirit of Molly-Brown-meets-Vegas,
it was time to spend. Flush with money, the ruling
family of Dubai decided to do something about
their environment. And they had a task on their
hands. Dubai is a dessert and being on the southern
shore of the Arabian gulf only contributes to
its miserable weather. Dubai is hot, really hot
(104F during the summer months), dry (as in no
rain dry) but also humid (the Gulf), all the attributes
necessary to create an atmospheric miso soup.
But unlimited money can cure ills,
so the rulers of Dubai transformed their home
into a superbly modern city filled with architectural
wonders. Dubai boasts the tallest building in
the world; Burj Khalifa soars high in the sky,
a monument to the ruler's vision plus the millions
of hours Dubai's guest workers spent erecting
There are two main themes to Dubai's
renaissance: air conditioning and water. Utilities
are cheap and the air conditioned hotels and malls
are huge. The Mall of Dubai is a tourist mecca,
attracting more tourist than any other mall in
the world. It is stunning, with shops ranging
from Ameerat (a luxury store for Islamic dress)
to Gucci. The Mall of Dubai is also home to an
enormous outdoor fountain with light shows that
can be seen from outer space, an inside ice rink
and a spectacular walk -through aquarium. Dubai
even has a five run indoor ski
dome, accessed through the Mall of the Emirates
West. As Truman Capote had Holly Golightly say
in Breakfast at Tiffany's, "The
mind simply reels."
But not all of Dubai is modern.
Bur Dubai is the historic district, home to charming
restaurants like Bayt
Al Wakeel, a water view restaurant
near the Textile Market; shopping areas like Hindi
Lane; and historic monasteries. And Deira, home
to ancient looking souks, is just across Dubai
Creek and easily accessible by abras, the water
taxies that ferry people across the Creek.
No article about Dubai is complete
without mentioning Palm Island - artificial archipelagos
(islands) with "branches" that resemble
the fronds of palm trees. Palm Island is/will
be host to commercial buildings, hotels (the Atlantis
hotel is on Palm Jumeirah), residential developments
and entertainment complexes. The world's economy
may have experienced a downturn, but Palm Island's
fronds are still flourishing.
to stay, eat and shop on a visit to Dubai?
Dubai has over a dozen five star hotels, all of
which are so imaginative it would be impossible
to make a bad choice. And unlike five star hotels
in other urban centers, Dubai's Hotels function
as resorts offering spectacular pools, water parks,
spas and kids clubs.
Here is a quick sampling of luxurious Dubai Hotels
with the caveat that there are so many, it would
be impossible to include all of Dubai's fantasy
Quasr translated means The Palace and palace
it is with traditional "palace" architecture
mixed with modern appointments. The avenue that
leads up to the hotel is adorned with beautifully
sculpted statues of Arabian horses.
Hotel: The name says it all; it's Armani and
it's in Dubai.
Al Arab: This famous sail-shaped hotel is
decked out in the spirit of the Arabian Nights
and it may be the world's most luxurious hotel.
The Palm| Dubai is located on Palm Jumeirah
with spectacular views of the Arabian Sea. At
night the hotel looks like it was built with gold
House Hotel is located in the heart of the
Dubai Marina and home to the Parisian import Buddha
Bar (a must see in any locale).
Hotel and Residences Palm Jumeirah is also
located on Palm Jumeirah and features panoramic
views of the sea views and the architectural wonders
of The Palm development.
Beach Hotel Dubai is situated on the short
of the Arabian sea and was designed to resemble
a breaking wave. All accommodations feature sea
Parc Hyatt Dubai: Celebrity favorite Parc
Hyatt is adjacent to the world-famous Dubai Creek
Golf and Yacht Club.
Ritz-Carlton, Dubai: The name Ritz-Carlton
signifies luxury all over the world and Dubai
is no exception.
Royal Mirage and The
Palm are both owned by One and Only Resorts,
creator of the Ocean Club in the Bahamas (of Casino
For the "slightly" more adventurous,
just outside the city are the "desert resorts":
Al Sarab Desert Resort
Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa
Tree Al Wadi Resort and Spa
Dubai has world class restaurants which are as
famous for their architecture and decor as for
their culinary achievement. China invested heavily
in Dubai and that influence can be seen in the
number of lavish Chinese restaurants. All of Dubai's
five star hotels boast "five star quality"
restaurants so your first stop for dinner should
be downstairs either in your own hotel or a short
Here is a sampling of hotel restaurants:
* The Address is home to Hukama
with its exquisite Chinese cuisine and a terrace
with views of the tallest building in the world,
the Burj Khalifa.
* The Burj Al Arab Hotel features the spectacular
"underwater" restaurant Al
Mahara where diners are served superb seafood
while bathed in the blue light of the aquarium.
* The Atlantis Hotel is home to New York import
with features the fusion cutting–edge Japanese
style with Arabian influences.
The Palm's guests and can indulge in pan Chinese
cuisine at the signature restaurant Ba, or experience
the vibrant ambience of the Brazilian restaurant
Frevo of enjoy the culinary delights of the "multi-cuisine"
* Grosvenor House hosts Buddha
Bar with its giant Buddha statue that watches
over this lavish setting. Buddha Bar is famed
for its unique food, atmosphere and the Buddha
* The Mina A'Salam Hotel is the home to the Zeng
He restaurant with its superb Cantonese cuisine.
* The Parc Hyatt Dubai's casual French restaurant
was crowned “Time Out Dubai's" Restaurant
of the Year.
* The Royal Mirage's Eauzone
is set in a pool. The winding entrance divides
the pool, so as guests literally walk over water
as they enter the restaurant.
Shopping in Dubai is all about the malls (it's
hot outside). The best locations for luxury goods
from Parisian designers to Arabian dress are:
of the Emirates with its adjacent indoor ski
For a more authentic Middle Eastern experience,
there are the souks in Deira and Hindi Lane in
So here's to Dubai where the money's
not gone and the beat goes on.
Abra Station Deira
Abras Crossing Dubai Creek
The Manmade Wonders
Aerial View from
Ceiling Dubai Mall
The Tallest Building in the World as
seen from the Dubai Mall
Walking Under the Aquarium
at the Dubai
Gucci at the
Detail Grand Mosque
Bur Dubai (the
Hindi Lane Bur Dubai
Tea Time at
Bayt Al Wakeel
Water-view Restaurant Near the Textile Market
in Bur Dubai
Lunch at Bayt
Al Wakeel Restaurant
Near the Textile Market in Bur Dubai
the Dubai Creek from Bur Dubai):
Spice Souk Deira
Deira Textile Souk
Perfume Souk Deira
Spice Souk Deira
Gold Souk Deira
Gold Souk Deiria
Tailor in the Textile
Fresh Coconut Milk
Desert Outside Dubai