A mod­ern break in ever-grow­ing Dubai

Jane Walsh, who runs her own travel com­pany, Freespirit Hol­i­days, ex­plains that Dubai is very much a 21st Cen­tury des­ti­na­tion for hol­i­day­mak­ers

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - GLOBE TROTTING -

THE sun shines al­most ev­ery day, the shop­ping and leisure fa­cil­i­ties are im­pres­sive, there are plenty of attractions and ac­tiv­i­ties and the ho­tels are ab­so­lute lux­ury. Where? Dubai!

Dubai is a des­ti­na­tion of the 21st cen­tury and has un­der­gone an in­cred­i­ble amount of rapid trans­for­ma­tions, from hum­ble be­gin­nings as a pearl-div­ing cen­tre to one of the fastest-grow­ing cities in the world.

It has earned a rep­u­ta­tion of be­ing the gate­way be­tween east and west and is con­sid­ered the cen­tre of the Ara­bian Gulf re­gion.

Dubai’s beaches are a hive of ac­tiv­ity and buzzing, so if you are look­ing for long empty stretches of sand, ac­com­pa­nied by the sound of quiet lap­ping of waves, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Dur­ing peak sea­son, the beaches are crowded with peo­ple play­ing beach games, pic­nick­ing, jet-ski­ing, jog­ging, swim­ming in the warm Gulf wa­ters or sun­bathing top­ping up their tans.

Many of the beaches along the Jumeirah stretch be­long to ho­tels and are only ac­ces­si­ble to their guests or those happy to pay a hefty day fee – def­i­nitely some­thing to con­sider when book­ing your ac­com­mo­da­tion.

There are also pub­lic beaches, some of which are free and oth­ers that charge a small en­trance fee, but of­fer de­cent fa­cil­i­ties that are kept rel­a­tively clean and pa­trolled by uards. he new Dubai is a blended of Sin­ga­pore and Las Ve­gas us Deira (old Dubai) which, f, is likened to a cross ween Cairo and Karachi, ecially in the car­ni­val-like ks. Here you can hear the bic sing-song echo­ing und the small lanes, while he cov­ered spice souk, ven­dors work hard on you to un­load aro­matic frank­in­cense, dried lemons, chill­ies, ex­otic herbs and spices. A visit to the gold souk is a must, with hun­dreds of stores over­flow­ing with ev­ery kind of jew­ellery imag­in­able.

As a com­plete con­trast and part of ‘new Dubai’, the Burj Khal­ifa is a ground­break­ing feat of ar­chi­tec­ture and engi­neer­ing, which is ei­ther im­pres­sive or pre­pos­ter­ous, de­pend­ing on your point of view.

The world’s tallest build­ing ierces the sky at 828m (seven mes the height of Big Ben). re you brave enough to take the view from the top? There are a vast range of otels to suit ev­ery taste, whim d bud­get! From the glitzy, op­u­lent and e of the of the most pen­sive and only seven star tels in the world, all the way through to the very af­ford­able.

Most of the re­puted global ho­tel chains are present in Dubai and you can find these along the beach fronts, Dubai creek, the ma­rina or Palm Is­land.

Get­ting around is easy enough. You can walk, travel by taxi or even make use of the train sys­tem that runs through the city.

There are many attractions to en­joy, from shop­ping in the worlds largest mall to vis­it­ing a Be­douin camp in the desert.

(Clock­wise from above) The stun­ning ar­chi­tec­ture of the At­lantis Prime ho­tel, in Dubai; on a camel sa­fari; and dra­matic fire­work dis­plays light up the Dubai sky

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