Dubai is becoming an increasingly popular tourist destination, partly due to the fact that it acts as a gateway between the east and west – with enchanting elements of both on offer. With year-round sunshine and world-class leisure facilities it is easy to see why so many people are booking package deals to Dubai.
The sunshine has already been mentioned and it is safe to say that it will be hot no matter what time of year you decide to visit. The real question to answer is how hot? In the summer the thermometer reaches 40 degrees Celsius and the atmosphere is particularly humid.
If you are fond of such high temperatures, then this can be very appealing, but most visitors stick to the beach or the pools at their hotel. The months between December and March, however, average out at a very pleasant 24 degrees Celsius, which while still being warm, allows visitors to explore without the fatigue sometimes brought on by high temperatures.
Dubai’s position on the Arabian Peninsula, jutting out into the Persian Gulf makes it a fantastic place to dive. Despite this, it has not been marketed as a destination for the sport very much in the past, but this does not mean there is a shortage of sites to explore.
As Dubai has been a thriving seaport throughout its history, many ships have passed through these waters, with some not completing the journey. Shipwrecks can be some of the most fascinating locations to dive and the waters off Dubai are full of them, each with its own ecosystem.
Rich history and culture
The history of Dubai can be traced back to prehistoric times, but be under no illusion, the Emirate is bang up-to-date in many respects. These days the city is a cosmopolitan mix of many nationalities, cultures and religions, meaning there is so much to see.
Peel away the layers and head to the Bastakia Quarter, which retains much of the charm of yesteryear. Marvel at the ingenuity of those who constructed the traditional Persian wind tower dwellings that funnel the breeze in order to keep inhabitants cool in the summer.
Another wonderful part of historic Dubai to explore is the section now known as The Creek, with many of its buildings dating back to the 19th century. Here you will find souks selling everything from the highly prized stamens of crocuses to rows upon rows of gold.
The type of nightlife you can experience in Dubai is not what you would expect for an oasis in the desert. You can do everything from chilling at a relaxing lounge bar to drinking cocktails in some of the tallest buildings in the world.
Between these two extremes there are also the world famous beach clubs with Cafe Del Mar Dubai, UAE Blu Marlin Ibiza, XL Beach Club and Nassimi to name but a few. Many international acts also include Dubai on their world tours so be sure to check out who is in town during your stay.
Shopping capital of the world
It is impossible to discuss the relative merits of Dubai without mentioning the shopping opportunities it presents. From the aforementioned souks to the expansive malls, all areas of retail are covered within the city.
Those who really take their purchasing seriously should make sure they are in town for the annual Dubai Shopping Festival, which in 2014 will run from January 2nd to February 2nd.