|Dubai, photo by Jon Choo|
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It is more like an independent city-state and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the UAE, developing at an unbelievable pace in the tourist and trade sectors especially. Once you land in Dubai, you might not think it is an Arab country. You might think that you are in India or the Philippines. Indians are known as the fathers of development of Dubai. When Dubai was in poor state before the exploration of oil, Indians supplied technology to develop Dubai. Dubai, since the founding of the oil industry, has attracted thousands of migrants from all over the world notably from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines in search of jobs. In this modern day, Indians and Filipinos have left their influence in the emirate: Indian restaurants and Pakistani bakeshops are everywhere while Filipino supermarkets are on the rise. Next to them the Europeans (mostly British and French) and Sri Lankans, form the next largest communities. Chinese and Indonesian migrants are on the rise.
Dubai is a desert city with state of the art infrastructure. It takes just 5 h from Europe, 8 h via flights to Dubai from London and 3 h from most parts of the Middle East, the Near East, and the subcontinent of India.
The city of Dubai is situated on a coastal strip bordered by desert and it may get really hot. Hottest days are dry while cooler days in summer are humid. Cold weather is rather pleasant weather here, there is almost no winter with day temperatures of 20°C-25°C (68°F-77°F), however night could get cold usually from 10°C-16°C (50°F-60°F).
|Dubai Fountains, photo taken by Aih|
I was a slightly sceptical upon hearing about the fountains, I had seen it on TV, but the experiencing it in the real life was really good. Once the sun had set and I searched for place in a restaurant with the best view, the music came on and the show began. It was a good experience and I could have stood there watching it for hours. I went back several times, but never got bored of it. The show is free and only lasts for two songs but is repeated every 30 minutes from 6 PM.
|Burj Khalifa, photo taken by Stefen Gara|
I got the opportunity to go 'To the Top' of the Burj Khalifa. There is a ticket to go to the top and see the view of the city, it is advisable to book online in advance, also you have to be lucky to be there on a clear day, as by afternoon sand rises in the air blocking far visibility. I was lucky and got a pretty good day but couldn't see quite as far as we would have liked. The place is extremely busy on weekend and the best time to visit is evening time around 5:30 PM so that you can have a look of both day and night view of Dubai. However, just in my opinion, the experience was somehow disappointing, not because the tower lacked something. It is just that the tower is too high to feel anything, every thing looks really small even the tallest buildings down there. However, that is just my case as I had been first time to such heights.
Aquaventure Water Park
|Aquaventure Water Park, photo taken by Carlos Mejía Greene|
If you want to beat the heat, then this could be the place for you in Dubai. This water park is at the Atlantis resort. There is a train stop just outside the hotel which is convenient and makes the trip out there cheap. This elevated train route also offers some of the stunning views of Dubai. One of the major attractions of the water park is the aquarium tunnel and lazy river boat ride. There are various adventurous slides that add a bit of punch and excitement to otherwise very commercial operation.
However, ticket queue is long and slow that I had to wait for nearly one hour to get my ticket. The Lockers are located next to the main entrance, difficult to operate and they are very far from the slides and swimming that It is difficult to take any bags, sun screen, water or money with you as there is nowhere else to leave your items.
There is lot more to see in this city. Infact if you just come out on the street for walking you will be able to see some of the best things in the world. However, it is very difficult to see everything since you need lots of time as well as lots of money to be able to experience Dubai completely. I have listed here what I liked the most. But this is not the end of Dubai Tourism :)
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