This historical city holds so many alluring memories and attractions beyond the legend. It has surpassed the caricature of a gold-diggers paradise with so many oil-rich clients to choose from. Instead the locality retains many of its wonderful monuments and spaces that equally appeal to the lone visitor or the rowdy family looking for excitement.
Dazzling Height and Class
No Dubai city tour is complete without a visit to the Burj Al Arab. Awkwardly translated as the “Tower of Arabs”, this is reputed to be the only hotel establishment in the world that has achieved the coveted 7-star status. The billing does not lie because this billowing sail structure is full of luxuries that are opulent beyond imagination. A thrilling (and frankly terrifying) view of the city is readily available near its apex which climaxes at an astonishing 321 meters. Thankfully the 4th tallest hotel in the world has not given in to the creeping commercialization which once threatened to overrun this top grade destination.
An Oasis in the Desert Heat
A much cooler reception awaits at the Dubai Fountains. Water is as precious as gold in these parts and the calmness of the place draws you in, step by step. It is the deceptive seductress that offers relief from the unrelentingly harsh weather. Thirty acres have been set aside for this paradise within the vicinity of the Burj Khalifa Lake. Forget the glitzy petulance of Las Vegas. This 500ft wonder provides the ultimate fascination. Young children cannot quite believe their eyes and that joy of discovery is immediately communicated to the parents. Running 900ft in length, this fountain forms a graceful arch that is the piece de resistance for the imaginatively named “WET” company which brought the concept all the way from California, another terribly hot place. The Fountains of Bellagio are nothing compared to their achievement here.
A Global Village that does not preach
We have all had our fill of those begging-cup-in-hand global village warriors. This city provides a great relief from all the climate change and generous giving stuff. It is a cultural hub with authentic entertainment which gives visitors a much deeper understanding of the local vibe than any glossy brochure could ever do. Of course money has to be made here so an international shopping experience is added to the mix. That concession can be ignored because Dubai city tours are all about having fun and forgetting pesky things like budgets. The live performances are professional without seeming over-staged. The cuisine is exquisite and thankfully moderates some of harsher spices for those with a bland palette. The pavilions are the United Nations of the country with all manner of displays. The thrilling rides are almost as exhilarating as Disneyland but not quite. That is good in a way because there is so much more to explore.
A Happy Denouement
Do not ask about the credit statement for another six months. All that a family wants to remember is a wonderful experience in a city that is rich in both real and metaphorical terms. It is the visit of a lifetime and worth chronicling for others to get inspired.