Visiting Dubai is a revelatory experience and the city is like no other on earth. Since the 90's the tourist industry has boomed and Dubai is now the most visited city in the world. Dubai has changed unrecognisably and is now a truly cosmopolitan city. Contrary to common perception, Dubai’s wealth does not come from its oil fields. Rather it comes from tourism, financial services and real estate – oil only represents 6% of the country’s income. Despite suffering during the financial crisis Dubai has picked itself up and continues to excite and inspire those who visit this oasis of luxury and opportunity. It is relatively accessible from Europe and is only 5 or 6 hours from most European cities. Dubai has a wide range of accommodation offerings such as some of the most amazing and other-worldly hotels in the world. Understandably a room in one of these fantastic buildings is not cheap and there are alternative accommodation options for those travelling on a budget. A good way to see the city and save some money is to stay in a guest room, villa or holiday apartment. You’ll have all the advantages of staying in Dubai but with the convenience of having a kitchen and fridge so you won’t have to eat out all the time. Wimdu offers a great selection of accommodation to suit all types of travellers and budgets. If you do decide to stay in a hotel room then check out our hotel offerings we also have plenty of accommodation there.
- Dubai is one of the world’s most visited cities.
- Dubai’s population has doubled since 1995!
- Dubai has an almost non-existent crime rate.
- 6000 tons of snow is produced daily at Dubai’s indoor ski slope.
- More people from the UK chose to spend a weekend in Dubai than Paris!
- There were only 13 cars in Dubai in 1968!
Dubai’s old and new towns are on either side of the great Dubai Creek, a 7 mile stretch of glistening sea water that has made Dubai a trade hub for centuries. It’s where the ancient world meets the modern world and makes Dubai an extremely unique and brilliant city. What are Dubai’s main attractions for tourists? You must see the Jumeirah Emirates Tower, a luxury 56 storey hotel. It is one of Dubai’s architectural highlights and is a must-see. There are 16 restaurants and clubs in the hotel – experience the highlife! The Dubai Fountains are also a highlight of the city. These impressive fountains were designed by the people behind Las Vegas’ Bellagio Fountains. These fountains are choreographed to music and can be found in the Burj Khalifa Lake. Another of Dubai’s spectacular buildings is situated by this lake – the Burj Khalifa. This building is the tallest skyscraper in the world – take the 45mph elevator to Atmosphere, a luxury bar and restaurant – the views from the viewing platform are unrivalled. Wimdu offers a range of apartments and villas close to these attraction sites to be sure to check out our map for what’s available.
Shopping, Eating and Nightlife in Dubai
Dubai offers a fantastic and intriguing shopping experience! Exploring the vast Malls is surreal and there are many odd attractions designed to compel you to spend money. A good example of this is the waterway inside the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel designed to take people from one collection of shops to another. The Mall of the Emirates is the largest of Dubai’s Malls and features one of Dubai’s most famous examples of its wealth – an indoor ski slope complete with real snow! Dubai is known for its very affordable gold. Even if you’re not interested in buying anything, a walk around The Gold Souk is essential. To say it is a dazzling place is an understatement!
For those interested in sampling the local food, there are many options. Restaurants at Noble House and Raffles Hotel offer Michelin starred food and there are many other opportunities to eat luxurious food. However, we would suggest you steer clear of such places and find something a little more local, authentic and affordable. Visit Al Dhiyafah Road, Dubai’s main street for cheap eating. Here you can find Lebanese, Indian and Persian food and it’s all delicious and cheap! We recommend Sidra, a little restaurant that serves tasty salads and lots of grilled meat. Pars Iranian Kitchen is also good, try the succulent lamb. Ravi Indian Restaurant is located opposite Pars and is regarded by many to be the best Indian restaurant in Dubai. If you don’t want to eat out you can always cook with some local fresh produce in your own private apartment or villa.
Dubai has a mixed relationship with nightlife and alcohol. Alcohol can be consumed within hotels, but not elsewhere. Fridays are usually days of excess for many in Dubai and you can easily get caught up in the delirious party atmosphere in the hotels. This is unusual considering Friday is holy day for Muslims. Check out 360 Degrees, an open air rooftop bar and Bar 44 in Grosvenor House – both good nightspots. Le Meridien Mina Seyahi's Barasti is surprisingly Dubai’s only beach bar – but it’s a good one!
Dubai International Airport is located 4km northeast of Dubai city. Take a metro train or bus from the airport into town – the journey takes less than half an hour. Dubai is a relatively small city, despite the grandiose architecture. It is not the best city to explore or travel on foot. Use Dubai’s Metro System, which has 50km of track and is the largest metro system in the world. Despite Dubai’s advanced public transport system (including a good bus network), most people opt to use taxis to travel through the city. We suggest you do the same – taxis are good value and drivers usually speak enough English for you to be able to communicate with them. They'll know the city intimately and be able to quickly get you from your villa or holiday apartment to wherever you want to go.