Dubai – The pearl of the desert

When someone mentions Dubai, people who have never had the pleasure of visiting often have wildly differing impressions of what it might be like.

They think of desert, or maybe extreme heat. Maybe it’s the opulent lifestyle that they read about online that springs to mind. As with most places, a lot of it is a bit exaggerated, yet, Dubai is certainly a bit larger than life.

I was on business in Nairobi a few weeks ago and my flight to Kenya had a layover in Dubai. What a perfect opportunity to stretch my legs and explore a little. I tweaked my flights to give me a bit more time in the city and I was off to see this larger than life city. It is hard to really explain Dubai or describe it to someone. I could possibly sum it up in the word… “Wow”.

Dubai really is everything for everyone. You can find something going on here regardless of your budget. I had a great time, and here are a few highlights that stood out in my mind:

In the Gold-Souk, in Deria  there are literally hundreds of gold merchants buying and selling every kind of gold item you can think of plus a few more on top. If you can’t find it for sale here, it probably doesn’t exist anywhere in the world.

The observation deck on the Burj Khalifa. This insanely tall building rises above the rest of the sky scrapers in Dubai making them look like tiny bungalows in comparison. For 400 AED, I was able to skip the queue and go right to the top, to level 124. I was there in the daytime, but I am told that night time is even more spectacular. If you try it, let me know what it was like!

The hotels. Oh wow, the hotels. They are really stunning, and not all that expensive either.  They compare price-wise with typical hotels in Europe, so you can certainly book into a nice place and enjoy a little luxury while keeping well within your budget.

The crazy things you can do in the desert. I went dune bashing, which is basically cruising around in the desert in a 4×4.  It’s like a roller coaster without the rails. I’ve never laughed so much in my life. I’d highly recommend that you try it out if you make it to Dubai for a few days.

So… intrigued?  I hope so. Book into a hotel there and give it a whirl.

 

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