Rarely a place has been so discussed, argued, criticized but loved at the same time.
What is Dubai? The paradise on earth, or, as many says s bluff? Maybe the truth is in the middle, as almost always.
I’ll limited to the touristic aspects, naturalistic and climatic without entering in hard and boring economic and fiscal questions.
Let’s start from the climate: from June to September they say Dubai is unlivable; often there are more than 50 degrees, and they say that till 4pm there is nobody around. From the end of October to February there is instead, a nice climate especially for those coming from cold places; beware not to go during their winter: the sea water can be cold in this case.
Then we talk about the size: Dubai is huge, about 70 km extension; going from Dubai Marina to Downtown it takes 30 minutes driving and this without traffic since the roads are very big, even six, seven, lanes.
But beware not to fail: the fines are very high and they are inflexible, they have to be paid and either you can’t go leave nor enter the country.
The construction industry: maybe the most discussed theme. There is a large amount of skyscrapers, among these the highest in the world (the “Burj Khalifa“, 828mt high); are they symbol of modernity, or against nature, do they spoil the environment? Question of tastes evidently.
By my side I can say that Burj Khalifa is wonderful, especially during its “show” (in the night it enlightens with any imaginable color for some minutes before the beginning of the “fountains’ show”; not to be missed!
Very beautiful also the already mentioned “show of fountains” also its success depends on the soundtrack.
Also the “Burj Al Arab“, the famous “sail” symbol of Dubai.
Too much touristic, the “Palm Jumeirah” and the Atlantis, even if very convenient for the families.
Many very high level hotels present, from the Movenpick, the Hilton, the Ritz – Carlton and the wonderful “The Address” (the swimming pool is very beautiful) at Dubai Marina, the Kempinski close to the “Ski Dubai“, from the Four Season in the DIFC to the besides Downtown, without forgetting the Hyatt, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel and the mentioned Burj Al Arab, The Palm, the Atlantis and Burj Khalifa (where there is the Armani Hotel). And many more.
A tip: On the “usual” web sites (Airbnb, Homeaway, etc) there are wonderful apartments also over 100 sq, with two or three rooms (“studios”)at good prices (150-200 for night), perfect for families or for those who want privacy. Which area is better to choose? Both in one of the comfortable Dubai Marina and Downtown skyscrapers (swimming pool, tennis courts, porter, underground parking, etc) or in small residences directly on Jumeirah beach. It depends on tastes.
The sea: objectively it is not bad, “almost” blue and the beach is “almost” white, in an almost caraibic dimension. But it is with no horizon, no bays, without any variation. A very long beach and infinite sea in front of you, and often a little bit rough since there are no inlets. As during the winter it is cold, in the other seasons and especially in July and August it is very hot, without any cool place in the water. Not exciting the beaches maybe because of the “ disquieting” skyscrapers behind and especially of the many construction sites present; much better to go to “Jumeirah beach” and in particular at “Kite Beach” where it seems to be on vacation.
The desert: the only real Dubai pearl and the thing is very ironic. They built everything, from the ski slope to the biggest mall in the world (Dubai Mall), from Burj Khalifa to the artificial islands, but what’s the most fascinating part? The one, they always had, the desert. Right outside Dubai, it extended till Oman and the tour operator sell the touristic packages at very high prices: “go up and down” through the desert dunes on board huge off-road whose tyre are deflated before. Not bad but the real gem is to go with locals on board a “dune buggy” modified and driven very well by expert local drivers on unknown routes to most people . A wonderful experience even if dangerous since you reach also the 100km h and often you overtake very high dunes without knowing who’s arriving on the other side. Pure adrenaline.
Restaurants: many but in my opinion not at the hotels’ some level. I recommend for lunch a fast snack:
The final judjment? Hard to sat, but I feel to say that once in a lifetime you have to go.