Astounding mock-Arabian city, home to a string of lavish hotels and leisure facilities – the quintessential Dubaian example of opulent kitsch on an epic scale.
At the heart of old Dubai, the district of Deira comprises an atmospheric tangle of bazaars, ranging from the Gold Souk’s glittering shop windows to the aromatic alleyways of the Spice Souk.
Unbeatable introduction to the city’s history and traditional culture, housed in the quaint old Al Fahidi Fort.
Go dune-bashing, try your hand at sand-skiing or quad-biking, then settle down over a shisha for a spot of traditional belly dancing.
Home to hundreds of superb Arabian dhows moored up along the Deira creekside – one of central Dubai’s most incongruous but magical sights
Explore the Middle East’s wonderful cuisine, from tempting mezze to succulent grills and kebabs, rounded off with an aromatic puff on a traditional shisha.
Abu Dhabi’s most spectacular landmark, this monumental mosque is one of the world’s largest, with huge courtyards, domes, and minarets enclosing a marvellously opulent prayer hall within.
The world’s tallest building, rising like an enormous space rocket above the streets of Downtown Dubai.
An idyllic retreat from the heat and dust of contemporary Al Ain, with peaceful little pedestrianized lanes running through shady plantations of luxuriant date palms.
Dubai’s most futuristic road, lined with a sequence of neck-cricking skyscrapers ranging from the unquestionably wonderful to the irrefutably weird.
Hop aboard one of the city’s old abras for a breezy ride across the Creek, with marvellous views of the city-centre waterfront en route – the most fun you can have in Dubai for just one dirham.
Former home of the ruling Maktoum sheikhs, now housing an absorbing collection of atmospheric old city photographs.
Dubai’s most beautiful mosque – and also (uniquely) open to visitors during informative guided tours.
Sup a cocktail in one of the city’s chic high-rise bars, such as Neos, with sweeping views of the modern city outside.
One of the world’s most instantly recognizable contemporary buildings, this superb, sail-shaped hotel towers gracefully above the coast of southern Dubai.
A surreal slope of Alpine mountainside attached to the vast Mall of the Emirates.
One of the city’s best-preserved heritage areas, with a fascinating little labyrinth of old houses topped by innumerable wind towers.
Check out the quirky Egyptian-themed Wafi and the atmospheric Khan Murjan Souk next door, a sumptuous re-creation of a traditional Arabian bazaar.
Kitsch and eye-poppingly extravagant, this mile-long mall takes its inspiration from the journeys of Moroccan traveller Ibn Battuta.
State-of-the-art museum, showcasing the rich history of Islamic science, arts and culture.