A beautiful blend
Dubai is a city of contrasts, a land where the old and the new, traditional and modern, east and west blend seamlessly to produce a fascinating, mysterious, exciting place with a distinct personality all of its own. It’s a welcoming city with a charming ambience rooted in traditional Arabic hospitality, topped with an ultra modern flourish. A kaleidoscopic mixture of people and cultures brings to the city a unique and fascinating combination of influences. In Dubai people can enjoy one of the worlds highest standards of living. Hotels here rank amongst the worlds finest, and cuisine from national to international is superb. Shopping in Dubai features some of the best Worlds goods at competitive prices. Being a tax free port with low import duties, Dubai’s retail prices are extremely reasonable. Bargaining is a part of shopping in Dubai, while boutiques, some electronics shops, department stores and supermarkets operate on a fixed price basis, most other outlets consider friendly negotiation a way of life. It gets even better during the two shopping festivals – Dubai Summer surprises held every year from June to August and The Dubai shopping festival held in March or April.
Dubai is an extremely safe city, with almost no crime and travelers are sure to be charmed by its warmth and friendliness. Speaking of warmth – May to September is summer when daytime temps range between 40 and 48 degrees, the humidity level can vary from 30 to 100 percent. Although everything is air-conditioned, you may like to consider going in the winter months. Perhaps an ideal time of year to experience the worlds largest indoor snow skiing centre!
The desert in Dubai is the most captivating and breathtaking aspect of the place. Arabian history and mythology has revolved around it for centuries and for generations the Arabs have taken pride in the golden sands of the desert, where their caravan trails crossed and where stories of bravery and courage where told. Today you can experience the same mystique of the desert but in a slightly different way; dune driving, sand skiing, and camel riding.
The sundowner dune dinner is an absolute must. Start with an off road driving adventure through the desert dunes in 4wd vehicles, visit an oasis plantation and witness a beautiful desert sunset, followed by a delicious BBQ dinner in a Bedouin camp setting, with belly dancing.
Getting around Dubai is easy; taxis are inexpensive, safe and efficient with well trained and courteous drivers. The taximeter should read AED3 at the start of the trip. A fixed scale of charges is applicable to trips outside the city boundaries and the price should be agreed with the driver before commencing the journey. If you prefer to drive yourself Australian citizens do not require an international drivers license, although you will need to drive on the “wrong” (right) side of the road. Public transport buses also offer an extensive network that covers all areas within the city.
You will find Dubai an amazing destination in its own right or perhaps consider it as a stopover on your next trip to Europe.
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