Dubai is one of the few cities in the world that has undergone such a rapid transformation - from a humble beginning as a pearl-diving centre - to one of the fastest growing cities on earth. Dubai today is a tourism, trade and logistics hub and has earned itself the reputation of being the ‘gateway between the east and the west.’ It is also considered as the dynamic nucleus of the Arabian Gulf region.
Home to just over 2 million people from more than 200 nationalities, Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Living in Dubai has a lot to offer. It is safe, politically stable, centrally located, has a good education system and healthcare facilities, modern infrastructure and much more. The sun shines almost every day, the shopping and leisure facilities are impressive.
Dubai is without a doubt a destination of the 21st century.
But in the last few decades, that has changed dramatically. The government’s drive to uncover, preserve or rebuild heritage sites, which was initiated in the mid-1980s and gathered pace in the ’90s, along with the development of a fascinating skyline with camera-pleasing landmarks such as Emirates Towers and the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, the development of world-class shopping malls and the promotion of the emirate’s desert interior as a ‘safari’ destination for rough and ready exploration or luxury, reserve-based retreats means there are now so many places of interest that visitors can find themselves with little time for the beach – though world-class resorts such as Al Qasr in the Madinat Jumeirah will surely lure them back to the turquoise waters of the Gulf eventually.
Within the lifetime of its oldest residents, Dubai has grown from three settlements of palm-frond, mud-brick and coral-stone dwellings based around the mouth of its 15km- (9 mile-) long creek – Shindagha, Bur Dubai and Deira, each little changed from the century before – to a modern metropolis that incorporates the once-distant fishing village of Jumeira and sprawls as far west as Jebel Ali Port, some 30km (19 miles) along the coast.
Burj Al Arab
The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is more than just a stunning hotel, it is a symbol of modern Dubai.
Yet for all the wonder this stunning structure provides when you finally see it in person, it is the service within that really makes the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah so extraordinary.
Repeatedly voted the world's most luxurious hotel, this magnificent destination offers you the finest service and facilities throughout – right down to an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, UAE
The Burj Khalifa has an commanding look, seeming to pierce the sky like a crystal weapon. The tower's flashiest occupants are the 160-room Armani Hotel and an extra 144 Armani Residences. It may not cling to its status as world's tallest building for long; Mecca's Kingdom Tower is scheduled to complete construction in soon.