"Dubai, United Arab Emirates" Dubai by SWFC_Fan

Dubai Travel Guide: 2,770 reviews and 8,185 photos


Dubai has developed from a small town into an ultra-modern metropolis in the last half century.

While oil revenues were initially the catalyst for this phenomenal growth, Dubai is no longer dependent on oil production for its prosperity. In fact, today less than 10% of Dubai's GDP derives from oil, and the city has established a diversified economy in which tourism and consumerism play a vital role.

The city of Dubai is split by a creek, with Deira on one side and Bur Dubai on the other. The luxury beach hotels are situated several miles from the city, in the area of Jumeirah.

Dubai already exhibits some stunning architecture, such as the Burj al Arab hotel, the Emirates Towers, the Dusit hotel and the National Bank building, but future developments promise to be mind-blowing!

One such major development is that of Palm Island, a residential, commercial and beach district which is in the process of being built. The development is to be shaped like a palm tree and will stretch from the shore near Jumeirah. Around 150km of extra beach will be created and the luxury beachside apartments have already been snapped up by the likes of the Beckhams and Tom Cruise, so rumour has it.

Other developments in the city include a marina with luxurious apartment blocks, which is to be connected to the creek by flooding the land around it; the world's largest shopping mall, complete with a huge aquarium; and the world's tallest building.

Despite all this development, the core of Dubai is still traditional, with bustling souks,(dedicated to gold, spices, fruit and vegetables amongst other items). The presence of dhows being loaded with goods for exporting to Iran, Pakistan, India and other countries in the region, also conjures up images of the city's past as a major trading centre. And, of course, the abras (wooden water taxis) which transport locals and tourists across the creek are anything but modern!

Dubai is a fantastic city, with a forward-looking outlook. It has successfully modernised and developed an infrastructure that is capable of sustained development in future, but has also managed to retain its traditions.

I will be amazed if Dubai does not become one of the world's key cities in the 21st century!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Year-round sunshine, futuristic architecture, opulent malls.
  • Cons:Stifling summer heat, beer restricted to hotel bars.
  • In a nutshell:THE city of the 21st Century!
  • Last visit to Dubai: Mar 2004
  • Intro Updated May 10, 2006
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Reviews (29)

Comments (24)

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Mar 14, 2012 at 1:04 PM

    No - we thought we'd play with you like a cat and ball of wool - tempt you and then watch you fall away!! ;-P Gillybob greetings

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Nov 6, 2011 at 9:35 AM

    Jonathan, fabulous page with great photos. I must admiat that up to now I haven't visited any place in this part of the world.

  • Feb 3, 2011 at 6:42 AM

    Just had to chime in that I also love Chinese Palace! My favorites are Palace Combo (with Orange Chicken) and Beef Noodle Soup. I agree that it is better than what you would expect for fast food.

  • daryll's Profile Photo
    Jan 3, 2009 at 2:52 PM

    fantastic tip Jon, i really enjoyed reading and very useful..i will try to catch the sunset around the creek and liking the idea up to 51st floor for Vu's Bar!

  • citytrip's Profile Photo
    Oct 31, 2008 at 3:59 PM

    Dubai looks very glamorous!

  • xuessium's Profile Photo
    Sep 7, 2008 at 4:55 AM

    Oooooooooooo!!! Someone is going up upmarket! Lap it all up mate!

  • Helenbb's Profile Photo
    Jul 7, 2008 at 10:11 PM

    haha..we just said goodbye to the raining season. so now the weather is extremely hot and dry. i can eat lots icecream. wanna competition? u will lose for sure .

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Nov 20, 2007 at 3:50 PM

    found that coconut again and enjoyed the tour around Dubai thanks, esp the xlnt food tips which you seem to regularly excel at! watched an xlnt docu a while ago about the clever Dubai Sheikh's strategies to keep the revenue coming before the oil runs out.

  • RafaelTheSecond's Profile Photo
    Oct 15, 2007 at 2:06 PM

    Dubai seems to be different from everything we saw in lfe, eh? There we see a new conceipt of rich people! Funny that people seems not to like going to the beaches!;)

  • 80-bettyboo's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2007 at 11:18 PM

    Great pages and sounds like you love Dubai! I am planing my trip to Dubai in July, your pages helped alot. I can't wait for free drinks for ladies :)


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