Like China, massive and aggressive growth is taking place throughout the United Arab Emirates and Dubai is where you will find the tallest skyscraper in the world and the largest series of man-made islands. When I visited Dubai the first time and gazed out over the landscape from the bar atop the Burj al Arab, it looked like Vegas on steroids. I have watched buildings fall and rise in a matter of months in Shanghai and Tokyo, but in Dubai buildings sprout like weeds and luxury towers now line the main boulevards and surround the marinas and waterways of the city.  I even skied indoors at Ski Dubai which is 25 stories high and located in one of the worlds largest shopping centers. Big is better in Dubai. 

For years Dubai and its PR machine fueled this growth with the hope that the city would become a new global financial center and was often labeled the "new Hong Kong of the Middle East". However, with the global financial crisis of 2007-2010, Dubai was forced to dig deep into its own pockets and those of the other Emirates. Abu Dhabi came to the rescue with a financial package to keep Dubai economically sound and in a surprise move at the opening ceremony for the world's tallest building in January 2010, the Burj Dubai was renamed Burj Khalifa to honor UAE President Khalifa bin Zaed Al Nahyan for his crucial support. Time will only tell the future story of Dubai, but for now the city remains an important gateway to the Middle East and offers some of the best values in travel today.


Zafran (Indian)
Rivington Grill (Fish & Chips)
La Petit Maison (French)
Aryaas (South Indian)
Asado (Argentinian Steak & Seafood)
Rhodes Mezzanine (Contemporary)
Tribes (Wagyu Steak)
Nobu (Japanese)
Loca (Contemporary)
Ravi (Indian)
Al Hambra (Tapas)
Verre by Gordon Ramsay (Contemporary)
Rhodes Twenty10 (Burgers)


- Hire a driver and cruise the city to see the amazing architecture and man-made islands

- Visit Bur Dubai with a morning walk through the historic area of Bastakiya. Visit  the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding to gather information about Emirati culture. You can even arrange a walking tours of the old quarter here.
- Visit the Majlis Gallery, which was Dubai's first art gallery, and stop for a coffee at the Basta Art Café.

- Just to the north you'll see the Al-Fahidi fort, the city's oldest surviving building. The Dubai Museum is here, offering the emirate's best opportunity to discover the history, culture, and traditions of Dubai.

- Grand Mosque and the Bur Dubai Souk, a bustling textile and clothing market in business since the 1830s.

- Sheikh Saeed House is the carefully restored courtyard home of Dubai's former ruler. It's a good example of the 19th-century architectural style of the Gulf coast.

- Gold Souk and Perfume Souks (after 4pm)

- Jumeirah's beautiful Islamic mosque, take a walk along the waterfront and go for a swim, and as the midday heat increases, make a run for the slopes at Ski Dubai. After skiing, you can do a bit of shopping in the fabulous Mall of the Emirates. 

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