"Not all that glitters is gold..." Top 5 Page for this destination Dubai by JessH
Dubai Travel Guide: 2,827 reviews and 8,469 photos
What is the secret of Dubai's success? According to the Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed, it's the desert: "It is due to the vast desert spaces of my country, where the mind has the freedom to think, to explore & dream."
So those of you who guessed oil / cheap expat labour / absolute power were all wrong... it's sand.
I've been living, working, sweating & partying in Dubai since 1998. It's a difficult place to describe. So many have asked me "Do you like living there?" Well, let's say I used to love it. Too much has changed. Nowadays I guess I *appreciate* the experiences, friends, knowledge & opportunities this city has given me. "C'est la Vie" - everything changes...
Even though the city is cosmopolitan & offers anything you may fancy, I recommend trying some typical Arabic food... you won't regret it! Dubai strives to "have it all": the family-holiday, the honeymoon couple, seniors, or younsters looking to party and tan!
A holiday in Dubai can be great, as long as you make sure that you are aware of the best season to travel (weather, Ramadan, etc.), where to stay, where to shop, what to wear & what to see.
If you can't find something specific, send me an e-mail or try the Dubai VT-Forum.
Facts & Figures of the United Arab Emirates:
Capital: Abu Dhabi (Dubai is the 2nd largest emirate; NOT a country in itself!)
Local Time: GMT + 4 hours
Currency: AED or Dhs = UAE Dirham (1 US Dollar = 3.67 Dirhams)
Weekend: Friday and Saturday.
Electricity: 220V, 50Hz // Plugs/Socket: 3 rectangular pins (exactly the same as the UK)
Dialling code: 00971 - ... .... // Traffic circulation is on the right.
Population: Almost 1.5 million. 80% are expatriates.
National Day: 2nd December
President: HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan
Former (1st) President: HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan
Vice President of the UAE & Ruler of Dubai: HH General Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Originally a small fishing settlement, Dubai was taken over in about 1830 by a branch of
the Baniyas tribe led by the Maktoum family, who still rule the emirate today.
While trade developed, Dubai remained politically a protectorate of Britain as part of the Trucial States (formed 1820).
The first oil exports in 1969 were followed by a period of rapid development that laid the foundations for today's modern society.
After the British withdrawal, Dubai came together with Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah & Ras Al Khaimah to create the federation of the UAE. The agreement was signed on 2nd December 1971 in a ceremony held at the
Al Ittihad House, marked by a huge flag until this day.
Although Dubai's economy was built on the back of the oil industry, oil & natural gas currently account for surprisingly little of the money the emirate makes each year.
For tourists, business travellers & residents alike, it's always good to stay in touch with your respective Embassy / Consulate, as they are able to assist you with anything you may require whilst staying in the UAE.
Ah yes, Dubai, the "Manhattan of the desert".
Tourists are flocking here, as well as people seeking fortune & riches.
My parents were the latter, and that's how I got here.
Skyscrapers, highways, luxury resorts and ridiculous projects such as 'the World' and 'Jumeirah Islands' have been popping-up everywhere, and continue to do so. When will it ever end? Dubai has earnt its nick-name as "Disneyland of the desert" or "Bubble Land"...
Thank Heavens for the global economic crisis!
It has forced Dubai to stop digging & building, wait, think and replan! (seriously, do we really need an underwater hotel? Or more than 100 shopping malls?)
And as for the sky-high living expensese and rents? Well, I'm thrilled to report that they have crashed by about 50-60% and a recovery is nowhere in sight... Phew! Finally, we can afford a nice place to live again!
In the following pages I wish to give you an insight into the world beyond the tv-commercials for the Burj Al Arab: I believe it's important for anyone coming to Dubai to see both the shiny, gleaming side of the gold coin, as well as the dirty & rusty flip-side, that is not spoken about.
For interesting facts on Dubai's "Truth Denial", click here...
In October 2005 the TimeOutDubai magazine published an article about the horrific truths about the pet trade in Dubai. Please don't buy animals from pet shops, especially in Dubai: the animals usually come from puppy/kitten mills with fake papers from Eastern Europe, and are in dreadful condition (if they even survive the trip).
for all you cat-lovers!
for all you dog-lovers!
No Dolphin Show
to protest the Dolphinarium in Dubai.
Dubai Department of Tourism
Post your complaints/comments on Dubai directly to the Department of Tourism! Especially about the horrific conditions in the Dubai Zoo. No matter where you live, you have a voice!
Some more info, pictures and the truth about the U.A.E.'s cruelty to animals can be found here
- Pros:Beaches, over 100 different cultures to learn from, desert driving, nice weather from Oct.-May
- Cons:Censored media, "social racism", unclear laws & regulations.
- In a nutshell:Great for a holiday, but very different if you actually live here
Billy Blues opened its doors in 1995 on the top floor of the Chelsea Plaza Hotel, and along with the neighbouring Cactus... more travel advice
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JessH's Related Pages
Dubai Travel Guide
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- 164 Comments
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