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A Visitor’s Guide to Dubai
15 December 2011

What to do in Dubai: a Visitor's Guide

Receiving more than 10 million visitors a year, it is easy to see that Dubai has become a top destination choice. It is noted for its diversity in recreation, world-class dining and supreme shopping opportunities. In a sense, Dubai has it all and more as it offers visitors endless access to luxury, entertainment, local attractions, hotels, sporting events and of course, shopping malls, markets and street vendors.

Located in southwest Asia, the UAE is surrounded by the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman, between Oman and Saudi Arabia. This location has provided Dubai with some of the most spectacular beaches in the area, which only adds to the city’s long list of sought after attractions. It is often referred to as the Hong Kong of the Arab World due to its sheer size and tax-free commercial port.

Whether you are taking a holiday or are in need of a long weekend away, a Dubai city break will definitely perk you up. This magnificent city is enhanced with its diverse culture, history and relaxing beaches. Take a stroll through the city centre, drive along the outskirts to witness a range of ethnic groups living amongst one another or head to one of the famous beaches for a little fun in the sun.

Getting There

Dubai is home to one of the largest airports in Asia; it handles more than a hundred flights each and every day. This is good news for visitors who wish to fly into the city, as direct flights are numerous and connecting flights are just as easy to find. When flying into the country, it is a good idea to make sure to have all relevant travel documentation to hand. The country takes its security very seriously and requires all travel documents to be inspected before allowing visitors to enter the country.

Basic Travel Information

The official language is Arabic, however, you do not need to speak it to be able to get around. English is widely spoken, especially in the cities, where business and trade is often carried on in English. The local currency of the country is Dirhams. Other forms of currency are not generally accepted; however, credit cards are widely accepted. Visitors to the country are welcome to bring their mobile devices, but if you choose to tour the city without a cell phone, there are plenty of public telephones around. Calling cards can also be purchased quite easily.

Things to See

Though Dubai is a very modern city, it is still bursting with historical significance. Known as the city of gold, it remains a well-known tax-free shopping haven in the Middle East. Dubai has the least expensive gold prices in the world, so is popular for its jewellery. Apart from the shopping, this city has some great must-see landmarks.

An iconic symbol of the city, the extraordinary Burj Al Arab is a hotel situated on an artificial island and remains one of the leading five-star hotels in the world. In contrast, Madinat Jumerirah is an example of the country’s past. This beautiful building provides a glimpse of Dubai’s old architecture; with its wind towers and surrounding dhows it is one of the most popular attractions in Dubai.

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