If you thought Dubai is good only as a shopping destination, think again. Dubai today looks a lot like your heaven on earth fantasies. Be sure to see the best in architecture, the most modern facilities, the best hygiene and sanitation, the best deals on the market, the friendliest people, and the safest travel destination.
When time is short and you want to tour the city and its adjacent areas of Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, and Ajman, all in three days, don’t think you’re thinking the impossible, even in the harshest summers. However, make sure you always bring the essentials: sunglasses, sunscreen, water and a hat or scarf for the sun, in case you travel in the months of May to August.
Dubai is often despised by the ignorant and uninitiated as a place that only boasts of having shopping malls. However, when you set out to see these malls, you come across each one as different as it can be. A good place to start would be Kanat-al-Kasbah, located in Sharjah. This included a continental-style walk, reminiscent of a stroll on the promenade along the River Seine in Paris. Next door, one comes across several glamorous restaurants and shops. On weekends, which are Thursday through Saturday nights, families can be seen leisurely dining at the various restaurants, which have outdoor options. Here you can find children of all ages, skating, playing, getting wet in the fountains, eating ice cream, etc., while their parents enjoy a bit of the company of adults. At night, this place literally comes to life, with interesting lighting effects, which bring out the best of the architecture of the place. Kanat-al-Kasbah has now metamorphosed into a commercial and cultural center, and is often referred to as “The Eye of the Gulf”.
Very close to Dubai International Airport, is the famous Ibn Batuta Mall, which is modeled after the famous traveler from the Middle Ages, Ibn Batuta and his explorations. Therefore, this mall is exciting and educational. Each section of this charming and fascinating shopping center follows the travel route undertaken by Ibn Batuta and thus the shopper becomes familiar with various cultures and countries while shopping. Food courts offer a wide variety of lip smacking food: Iranian, Lebanese, Greek, Chinese, Thai, Indian, Mexican, etc. Interestingly, the roof of the mall takes on the colors of dusk, even though a fierce midday sun may be pounding outside. The Ibn Batuta Mall is guaranteed to make you think about it, long after your Dubai trip is over … it just falls into the category of “Must-See”
Another famous shopping mall is the Mercato Shopping Mall in Jumeirah, which is inspired by the architecture of the Italian Renaissance period. In this covered shopping center, one can immediately be transported to the laid-back Italian way of life, with shopping malls, cafes and restaurants. Artistically made, this mall has balconies on the top floor, with benches for taking a break. At night, this mall also hosts live bands and gets the best of the upper-class clientele, due to the high-quality atmosphere and shopping experience on offer.
Don’t miss out on the out-of-this-world experience of the Dubai Mall. As well as being a virtual melting pot of all races in the world, this place is full of shops, people and variety. There are musical fountains (with show times) and the best part: the Dubai Aquarium and the Underwater Zoo. This is a must see for young and old. The Dubai Aquarium has been awarded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest acrylic aquarium in the world. It is home to thousands of varieties of fish and marine life, and it is a fascinating experience to walk in the tunnel, watching the fish pass overhead and beside you. In fact, sea creatures are well cared for and enjoy an ecosystem that they are used to. The Dubai Mall also has an ice skating rink, preferred by most adventurous enthusiasts and sports enthusiasts.
Upstairs, you have to climb two flights of stairs to the zoo. This too has an astonishing variety: penguins kept on melting ice, water rats, beavers, snakes from around the world, and the deadliest of spiders – the tarantula. Each variety of animal on display has an information bulletin attached to the cage. . Needless to say, this is an experience that you won’t quickly forget.
While in Dubai, don’t miss a trip that takes you in front of the Burj-al-Arab or Al-Burj. This super-luxury hotel even charges for crossing the bridge, so if you’re not willing to pay for that, the surrounding emerald-green sea beach will do just as well. Watch swimmers, surfers and sunbathers get the best of this white sand beach.
The Atlantis, (The Palms Hotel and Resort) is another destination worth the effort to reach. Today it houses hotels, resorts, aquariums, luxury villas, etc., all in the shape of a palm tree, built on the sea. One can see this design plan more clearly if it is crossed by helicopter. The Atlantis has several options of stay for the tourist and the businessman. It also offers venues for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and other memorable occasions.
Today, Dubai is the scene of global cuisine, just as it is for global fashion, electronics, etc. One can savor the tastiest dishes from a wide range of countries and buy bargains at any of the stores. It is doubtful that you can get a better deal anywhere else in the world.
If you still have time, squeeze a moment for the Mall of the Emirates: this has, in addition to shops, Swiss-style snow slopes, which are kept at -4 degrees! There are even coaches to help you, in case you are inexperienced.
A ride on the Arabian Dhow (fishing boat) is a good way to see the city at night. For a nominal cost, you will enjoy a leisurely cruise on the Dubai Creek (Khor River), with a buffet dinner included.
The Dubai Desert Safari is the jewel in Dubai’s crown. This, in short, is a ride through the sand dunes on Land Cruisers, by capable drivers. The thrill of safari is not to be missed as it is a once in a lifetime experience. Belly dances and whirling dervish dances are organized at the camp, with a dinner included. You can take a camel ride, get a henna design on your hands, get photographed with an Arab Bedouin and his pet hawk, buy a Middle Eastern belly dance attraction, and enjoy a cup of tea … even if it’s summer. , and despite the mercury being around 45 degrees!
No person can claim to have returned without feeling impressed or affected by Dubai. It is the land of plenty and has on display all the best the world has to offer. If you plan to cover all of this in three days, go with an open mind, lots of energy and drive, and you will have accomplished it all.