Update your travel to-do list and swap your standard ‘city break’ for one of these different but exciting cosmopolitan eastern cities
Where: United Arab Emirates
Currency: AED Emirati Dirham
Time difference: GMT + 4 hours
Getting there: Flight time from Manchester is approximately seven hours. UK nationals do not require advance visa arrangements to enter the UAE. One can be obtained upon arrival for up to 30 days stay. A direct flight from Manchester costs approximately £314 with Emirates.
For a city that has basically been remodelled in its entirety over the last 30 years, Dubai’s tourism is surprisingly only just starting to pick up pace. Having been a thriving business city for many years with a significant and strong network of expat communities, it’s now attracting another type of international visitor, making leisure and tourism success just another string to its ever-bulging bow.
Dubbed the millionaire’s playground – and it’s not hard to see how as money, investment and luxury are apparent everywhere you turn – holidaying in Dubai mixes a paradise setting with bustling nightlife and hard-to-beat shopping districts.
From marvelling at the record-breaking architecture on the coast to fine dining inside the city and experiencing innovation at every corner; this is one place that has firmly made its mark with the rich and the powerful. This futuristic city is where you go to experience the high life and to rub shoulders with a few millionaires and celebrities along the way.
Style and glamour are the order of the day, and, at night, the city lights up to reveal a jaw-dropping city scape, uncovering a fashionable and experiential nightlife, despite its strict and traditional values. Roof top cocktails, live music, pool parties, dancing; it’s all going on in Dubai, but there is a tasteful and chic attitude to entertainment. There are laws and cultural differences that you cannot ignore but it won’t impede on your enjoyment, they have made sure of that.
Every major city has its must-see landmark (Paris has the Eiffel Tower, Rome has the Sistine Chapel) and Dubai’s is the Burj Al Arab; a hotel that sits on its own artificial island off the coast of the city and is built in the shape of a sail. But maybe the most fun is to travel up to the top of the Burj Khalifa, one of the tallest observation decks in the world, accessed via the Dubai Mall. Here you can experience 360 -degree -views of the city. In fact, the mall itself is a sight to behold with 1200 stores, it stands as the world’s biggest shopping mall and includes a giant ice rink, an aquarium and an indoor theme park!