Time in Dubai
Where the sky's the limit
Are you ready to discover Dubai?
Dubai is a city with many modes: at its most romantic, it can offer pale red deserts and sunset sundowners under pointed arches. At its most traditional, it can show you an old creek running through its heart, and unravel a spool of souks before you. At its most decadent, Dubai can show you the Burj al Arab: a hotel plastered in gold leaf, with a fleet of Rolls Royces.
As you touch down in Dubai you’ll find a welcoming, beautiful city with fantastic beaches, year round sunshine and customs new – and old. Dubai’s origin story is well known: for centuries, it languished as a little fishing port. In 1966, there were only 30 cars in the city, and hardly any roads on which to drive them. After oil was discovered, Dubai boomed. At its peak, the city contained 20% of the world’s cranes. But the city moves so fast that even this impression of it, as a kind of modern gold-rush town, is becoming outdated. Though Dubai is known for its skyscrapers, it has far fewer than New York. And now, the city makes far more of its money from tourism, not oil.
Traditionalists may be quick to dismiss the glitz of Dubai: too gold they might say, too shallow. Whether you take a trip once in your lifetime, or return time and again, you must witness this place with your own eyes – some things need to be seen to be believed.
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48 hours in Dubai
Nowhere does excess like the glamorous, beach-lined Emirate of Dubai. A heady mix of innovation, culture and pleasure for pleasure’s sake – Dubai is often referred to as a playground – you’ll be spoilt for choice. Elle Blakeman shares her recommendations for an adventure-packed weekend.
Prepare to go
Best time to go
October – March