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A Dubai city guide – sightseeing, partying, eating and hotels

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Dubbed as the ‘Paris of the Middle East’, Dubai certainly has the extravagant charm, Arabian culture and captivating character of a luxury minded city that many visitors become breathless about. Surrounded by sun-soaked, sandy brown deserts and the sparkling Arabian Gulf in contrast with the shining and gleaming modern city buildings, Dubai is definitely a holiday destination to remember. Appealing to all age ranges and budgets, Dubai is also a shoppers’ paradise.

Andy Harbuk

My Destination local expert on


What to see and do in Dubai


There is no shortage of what you can see and do in Dubai whether you are taking a safari in the vast and beautiful deserts, watching wildlife, climbing cragged mountains, taking a cultural tour in traditionally maintained villages or shopping in the many luxurious shopping malls such as Mall of the Emirates or Dubai Mall. Start your day by climbing up to the top of Dubai’s tallest building at Burj Khalifa Observation Deck and gaze out onto the panoramic views of the skyscraper studded landscape. Head down to Jumeirah Beach and frolic in the luxurious infinity pools of the resorts on Palm Jumeirah, or enjoy the lavish private beaches along the Palm’s crescent.


Where to eat in Dubai


Luxury eating is the order of the day as Dubai is known for its high-quality  five star restaurants either near the pearly white sandy beaches or up in high rise buildings where you can enjoy breath-taking views of the city. If you want to sample exotic and local dishes, immerse yourself in the souks and throngs of roadside takeaways that offer a mixture of Asian, Middle Eastern and international dishes. Sample the Oriental cuisines that will surely have your taste buds watering for more. For the highest luxury, dine out in style at Dubai Marina and receive first-class service as you watch the yachts hum up its waters.


Where to shop in Dubai


Dubai is without a doubt a shopper’s paradise. Gigantic shopping malls dominate the city that offers high-quality goods especially in the luxurious Mall of the Emirates and The Dubai Mall, extravagant Emirates Towers Boulevard and the inspiring Wafi Shopping Centre. Endless lines of boutiques, fashionable designer stores, handicraft shops and other facilities to enhance your shopping experience have exploded into each. If bargains are what you are looking for, take a trip down to the many buzzing souks in Old Dubai and exercise your bartering skills to get the price you want. Dubai has two particularly popular souks selling textiles and gold, which to this day contribute significantly to the city’s economy due to the sheer volume of sales taking place there.


Where to stay in Dubai


Dubai is a metropolis from one end of the skyscraper lined city to the other, so you will have no trouble finding different types of hotels; from luxurious to conventional, that meet your needs at every corner of the city. For the hustle and bustle of everyday life, check out Deira where souks throng with excited visitors and marvel at the wharves where intricately designed dhows dock into port unloading exotic goods and everyday commodities. For luxury living, head over to New Dubai and take a wander through Jumeirah Beach Residence to experience high-quality food with first class service. Here, visitors will find many of Dubai’s extravagant five star resorts lining the beach and offering escapes unrivalled anywhere else in the world.