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Dubai

Country
United Arab Emirates
State
State of Dubai
City
Dubai
Type of Location
Multiple
About Location

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Places to Visit
How to Reach

By Air

Dubai International Airport is a modern facility and is the premier airport in the Middle East, handling millions of passengers every year including those in transit, stopping off to enjoy the shopping delights of the city. The airport is only a few miles from the city centre and it offers some fantastic shopping and facilities.

There are three terminals at Dubai International Airport; with Terminal 1 handling the bulk of flights, Terminal 2 for regional and domestic flights and Terminal 3 recently built for Emirates fleet of Airbus A380s. Terminal 1 is the main terminal and the one that offers the most shopping and restaurants. Essential passenger facilities include cash machines, bureaux de change, medical facilities and lost luggage services. There are also many quality VIP lounges, childrens play areas, a huge shopping area and numerous restaurants.

The city centre is only a short journey away by bus or taxi, with public buses providing the cheapest option and running between terminals and the city bus station, while those staying in the main city hotels can make use of the airports air-conditioned bus service. Private buses also run to the city and hotels, as do taxis and limousines.

One of the fastest ways into the city, traffic permitting, is to take a pre-paid taxi, which can usually make the journey in about 10 minutes. Dubai International Airport also operates a fleet of limousines, for those who prefer to travel in style. If you hire a car and are driving to the city from the airport, be prepared for stiff traffic during the morning and afternoon rush hours.

By Ferry

Traditional Arab dhow (triangular-rigged) ships regularly arrive at Dubai from destinations throughout the region and although slow, they can be an adventurous way of getting to Dubai. Most travellers sailing in on dhows usually make their own arrangements directly with the ships captain.

By Car

Not many people drive into Dubai, yet those that do will invariably be coming from Oman at Al Wajajah. Visitors can exit Oman into the United Arab Emirates for free, while expatriates will be charged a nominal return fee. You can also reach Dubai by road from the neighbouring emirate of Abu Dhabi.

Highways 44 and 66 enter Dubai from Oman, while Highway 11 comes in from Abu Dhabi in the southwest. The roads are good in Dubai and getting about by car is fairly straightforward - notwithstanding heavy traffic - and warranted in many cases where major attractions are well spread out.

By Bus

Despite the name, Intercity buses only operate within the Dubai emirate. You will need to take a Dubai Transport minibus when coming from another emirate. Minibuses arrive all day from Abu Dhabi and Al-Ain at the Bur Dubai Bus Station. Two daily buses also arrive from Muscat at the DNATA Airline Centre parking lot on Al-Maktoum Road. The cheapest way to get about Dubai and its districts is by bus and the network is extensive. There are bus stops on most roads with decent maps and other useful information displayed at them.

Key places to visit
Dubai Museum, Dhow Wharfage, Sheikh Zayed Road, Burj Al-Arab, The Courtyard, Deira Spice Souq


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Places to Visit

Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum in Bur Dubai is housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to defend Dubai Creek. The walls of the fort are built from coral and shell taken from the sea, and held together with lime. The upper floor is supported by wooden poles called handels and the ceiling is made of palm fronds, mud and plaster.

The fort has served as the residence of the Ruler's family, the seat of government, garrison and prison. The Al-Fahidi Fort was renovated in 1971 and then extensively in 1995.

The entrance to the Dubai Museum has a collection of old maps of the Gulf and the Emirates as well as aerial photographs showing Dubai's expansion between 1960 and 1980. A massive, iron studded door greets visitors.

Dhow Wharfage

The Dhow Wharfage is located along the bank of the Dubai Creek, north of Al-Maktoum Bridge. The Dhow Wharfage is still used by small Gulf traders, some in dhows that are well over 100 years old. Tourists can gain insight in to the life of a sailor by watching the cargo being loaded and unloaded. The sailors quite often offer tourists a tour of their vessel. Many of the dhows travel on to Kuwait, Iran, Oman and India on the high seas.

Tourists are encouraged to walk around and explore the Dhow Wharfage to take in the activity and bustling scenery of an area that has remained the same since the early days.
Hobbies & Activities category: Boating, sailing, water craft activities;  Nautical museum or attraction;  Scenic site or route

Sheikh Zayed Road

Sheikh Zayed Road runs parallel with the coast and is the modern business district of Dubai. Sheikh Zayed Road is an eight-lane highway with many modern buildings lining both sides.

The buildings along Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai vary in architectural design but consist mainly of towers built of glass, chrome and steel.

The main attraction of Sheikh Zayed Road is the section between the roundabout and the first intersection. This section features striking views of high-rise hotels, apartments and offices. For the longest time the Dubai World Trade Center was the tallest building in Dubai and a major landmark but since the 1990s, taller and grander buildings overshadow it.

Burj Al-Arab

The Burj Al-Arab is the world's tallest hotel, standing 321m high, and located on its own artificial island on the Dubai coastline. The Burj Al-Arab Hotel was designed to resemble a billowing dhow sail. At night, the exterior of the Burj Al-Arab is a sight to behold as the choreographed colored lighting show changes every 30 minutes.

Burj Al-Arab is an architectural masterpiece, an ambitious undertaking by Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed that opened in 1999. It is the world's tallest structure with a membrane façade, the outer wall is made of a woven, Teflon-coated fiberglass cloth.

One of the restaurants in the Burj Al-Arab (Al Muntaha meaning "highest") is located 200m above the Persian Gulf and is accessed by a panoramic elevator. Another restaurant (Al Mahara, Arabic for "The Oyster") is accessed via a simulated submarine voyage and features a large seawater aquarium.

The Courtyard

The Courtyard is a unique building made of glass and steel that houses a variety of shops including furniture and antiques, artists' studios, photographic studios, media and advertising companies and a coffee shop.

There are several art galleries within the Courtyard that offer regular exhibitions including Total Arts, which highlights artists and art influenced by the culture of the Middle East.

The Courtyard itself is the main attraction from the wrought iron entrance gate to the varying façades combining building styles from around the world. Examples of the styles include an Islamic entranceway, a Moorish inspired façade, a traditional UAE fort, an Egyptian tomb, a crumbled stone house and the façade of a traditional wind-tower house in Dubai.

Designed by Dariush Zandi, architect, the Courtyard was built as a quirky idea to differ from the usual Dubai architecture. Dariush is also the owner of the Total Arts Gallery that operates from the Courtyard.

Deira Spice Souq

The Deira Spice Souq has every imaginable spice piled high in great sacks. Overflowing bags of seasonings include frankincense, cumin, paprika, saffron, sumach and thyme as well as oud which is fragrant wood.

The shelves of the Deira Spice Souq are filled with rose water, henna powder, incense and burners, charcoal as well as pumice stones and sandalwood. Exotic spices are readily available at reasonable prices.

The air of the Spice Souq is seasoned and the aromas alone make the trip worthwhile - let your nose be the guide!

The market was established in the 1830s and features wooden archways and wind towers, which have been restored.

Right Time to Visit

December - March

Temperature