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City Breaks in Dubai – A Simple Guide

Dubai is a painstakingly developed Middle East metropolis which lives for attention. Located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is the second largest city in United Arab Emirates. The city draws travellers looking for something new and different, offering global level facilities blended with the adventure of the Middle East.

Dubai is a materialistic city on the surface. It is a city which has deliberately put forward its ostentatious face. It does all it can to pull the globetrotters and spend as much as they can. It is a city which invented a shopping festival for itself. Around the myriad shopping malls, Dubai has developed glitzy hotels, an array of dining options and hip clubs and bars. It’s done all to make itself the dream destination of the rich.

This amazing city has another face too. Dubai prefers to lead a laid-back life, away from the glamour of the myriads of shopping malls. It takes joy to be content with its traditional ways, songs and dance. You would catch a few glimpses of this if you spend a couple of hours by the creek, watching the dhows, traditional wooden boats moving. You would see the abras weave along their water journey whilst smoking some sheesha. Amble through multi-cultural Karama or the tranquil alleys of Batakia region to various expressions of conventional Dubai.

Dubai has earned the nickname the 'City of Gold' because of its famous gold market, and varied shopping experience – from glistening malls to teeming traditional souks. A legend suggests that the name 'Dubai' may have derived from 'Daba,' which stands for a prospering or flourishing market. The experience of shopping in Dubai is something you just cannot find a parallel of. Shopping in the city's world famous gold souks, you can discover on yourselves why it is called the City of Gold.

It is up to you to decide which face of Dubai you want to see. Whatever you choose, there is one thing for sure – Dubai is an experience which is just unlike any other city tour.

Dubai Shopping – A Simple Guide

Dubai has perfected the art of using the malls as its top attractions. These are glistening jewels of this incredible city, where the visitors go for frenzied shopping armed with their credit cards whilst getting entertained.

Dubai Mall

The Malls

Dubai hosts a galaxy of malls serving as complete entertainment centres with miles of air-conditioned space. The range of malls in Dubai is so astounding that you would not be able to browse through them in a month of Sundays!

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in Dubai, and one of the largest in the world. It is one of the malls which have lent Dubai the ambiance of a dream shopping destination. Here, you can experience one of the largest fish tanks in the world, get some books at Kinokuniya BookWorld, stroll through the gold souk area, see the indoor waterfall, catch a movie at Reel Cinemas, or relax with a quiet coffee at The Grove.

Mall of the Emirates

Hosting more than 350 stores, Mall of the Emirates is one of the largest shopping malls in the world. The mall features the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort, an indoor amusement park, multiplex cinema, a theatre, and a couple of luxury hotels.

Dubai Outlet Mall

This mall is home to over 200 stores offering top brands. Products available include clothes, shoes, lingerie, sportswear and sporting goods, electrical goods, perfumes and cosmetics,watches, sunglasses, and toys. There is a family entertainment centre and a food court as well.

Oasis Centre

This mall offers a slew of shops spread over four levels. These shops cater to Children, Electronics, Fashion, Health & Beauty, Home, Shoes, Supermarkets and Sports. Facilities include a food court, car park, and a children’s play area.

Deiry City Centre

One of the most popular malls in Dubai, Deiry City Centre enjoys central location. It hosts a huge array of stores, restaurants, fast food outlets, a cinema, a children's entertainment centre and a hotel.


Souks are the traditional markets of Dubai. You'll find some exclusive Dubai products in these souks rather than the malls. Haggling is the norm of souk shopping.


Dubai has a reputation in the region for offering the highest-quality carpets at the best prices. Fine Persian carpets, rough-knotted Bedouin rugs and colourful Turkish kilims are available. Dubai carpets are known for their stain-resistant, lustrous fibre and subtle variations in a finished carpet’s pattern.


Dubai offers phenomenal quality of gold and is available here at decent prices. A lot of competition among the concentration of dealers means feast for the buyers. Gold souks are in plenty in the city.


With Arabian perfumes, you can be confident no other lady in the room will be wearing the same scent. Shopping for perfume is absolutely amazing with great ranges on offer at decent prices.

Pashmina Shawls

Pashminas are feather-light cashmere shawls worn by the Middle East’s best-dressed ladies. In Dubai, you can find pure, silky-soft pashmina shawls available in hundreds of colours and styles; some beaded and embroidered, others with pompom edging.


Dates are the ultimate souvenir of Arabia. In a dates store, you'll find perfectly aligned pyramids of dates. Some stores package the dates for their customers in the fancy boxes of lacquered hardwood.

Shopping Festival

Dubai Shopping Festival, known in Arabic as 'Layali Dubai', was started in February 1996 by the Dubai Government to promote trade in the city. Dubai rolls out the red carpet for shoppers during the festival month, with thousands of retails outlets participating, offering everything imaginable. Every year, the festival lives up to its promise of staging the most exciting retail shopping activities.

A Guide to Dubai Attractions

Dubai breaks are not all about shopping. The city has so much to offer that the visitors are kept hooked all through the break.

Dubai Landmarks

Burj Khaleefa

Burj Khaleefa

Burj Khaleefa is the first name in mind once you think of Dubai landmarks to visit during your holiday. The tallest man-made structure ever built, is a world-class destination and the magnificent centerpiece of Downtown Dubai. The tower is surrounded by hotels, must-visit shopping destinations and a world of entertainment options. It also boasts an observation deck on the 124th floor.

Dubai Zoo

Dubai Zoo

Dubai Zoo is a famous holiday attraction among families. Its modern facilities house several indigenous Arabian species, including the Arabian Wolf, Gordon’s Wildcat and Socotra Cormorants. The Arabian species in the zoo include gazelle, caracal, foxes, wolves, hyaena, wild cat, flamingo, cormorant, herons, gulls, eagles, buzzards, vultures, snakes, skunks and lizards. There is also a small aquarium with several fish and reptiles.

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort in the Mall of the Emirates, offering an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing or just playing in the snow. The snow is real and all equipment as well as clothes are available. Even if you are an experienced skier, you will find it an entertaining experience.

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum galleries recreate scenes from the Creek, traditional Arab houses, date gardens, desert and marine life. One of the most spectacular exhibits portrays the underwater pearl-diving. The museum depicts the ancient Dubai lifestyle and has collections of traditional photographs, weapons and historical musical instruments. Military, cultural and social life of ancient Dubai can be explored in the museum. Pottery made of stones and metals is an added attraction.

Gold and Diamond Park Museum

The museum exhibits Arabian, Indian and Italian jewellery. You can also have a guided tour of the jewellery manufacturing unit, watching the craftsmen working here and explore the jewellery production heritage. Exclusive items like purple gold, Australian pinkish pearls and Tahiti black pearls can be seen here.

Desert Safari

Desert Safari

Experience the fascinating Desert Safari on the sand dunes. You can enjoy bashing up the dunes in powerful four wheelers or riding camels, the ship of desert. The thrill of going up and down the dunes provoke many a scream and laughter full of excitement. Keep your camera ready to capture the sun setting among the sand dunes. After an exhilarating ride, you can have dinner listening to traditional music in a desert camp.

Only Dubai Experience

Ladies can get exquisite designs painted on their hands with henna in a desert camp. Men can see gallant falcons sitting impressively on their owners' shoulders. A visit to Hatta, an oasis a little more than 100 kilometres from Dubai, is a rewarding experience. You will pass majestic dunes of red sand before encountering the stark but photogenic landscape of Hajar Mountains. Tour heritage villages during your holiday to catch glimpses of typical village life in the mountains. Watch out for the exicting camel racing!

White Sand Beaches

Beaches in Dubai are just loved by the holiday makers. The two most famous are Palm Beach and Jumeirah Beach. Flanked by hotels and private clubs, the beaches slip into the shallow warm turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. The beaches are ideal for relaxing, lazing or sun bathing. More active tourists can enjoy holiday water sports such as para-sailing, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaking, sailing, pedal boats and many more. For divers, Dubai coastline offers a colourful world of coral reefs and a fascinating marine life inviting to be explored.


The city has an array of amusement parks and clubs ever ready to serve their visitors with their state-of-the-art facilities and attractions. Wild Wadi Water Park at Jomtein Beach has more than 20 rides, many of which are interconnected. Wonderland is a family fun park featuring a wide variety of water attractions including surf hills, wave runners, twisters, speed slide and a Caribbean-style cruise. The city has enough to keep you engaged at night too. There are several nightclubs and bars where you can enjoy your evenings.

Dubai Transport

Dubai International Airport


Dubai International Airport has won numerous awards for its excellence in design and services. Several tax-free shopping outlets are located at the airport. For airport transfer, you can use the city's public transport system or hire a taxi. Taxis are available round-the-clock at the airport.

Public Transport - The city has developed an efficient public transport system with modernized buses. Using the public transport is the cheapest way to travel in Dubai. A metro train and tram network is also being developed. With this multi-layered system, travelling in Dubai is an ease.

Taxis and Abras - Most tourists prefer taxis to get about in Dubai. There are both government-operated and privately owned cab companies. All taxis are metered with reasonable charges. For crossing the creek, many locals use abras, the small boats. These boats operate between regular abra stations.

Dubai Weather

Dubai has an arid subtropical climate with sunny days and blue skies all the year. The climate gets extremely hot and humid in summer (between June and September) when temperature reaches 48°C. From September end to May, the temperature is cooler with an average of 20°C. In the winter season (December to March), temperatures may drop to 10°C. If you are looking for a comfortable time to visit Dubai travel between November to April when the weather is bearable. However, with excellent air conditioning in all of the malls, shops and hotels you can visit Dubai all year round!

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