Shopping is a massive draw card to Dubai with a seemingly endless supply of designer boutique stores selling top-end goods such as Calvin Klein and Gucci. The beaches in Dubai are also a massive part of Dubai's tourist magnetism and although many are packed with sun loungers, there are some quiet stretches of perfect sand to be found as well.
Alcohol laws mean partying here is not as acceptable as it is in many other holiday destinations but alcohol can be consumed during meals in certain bars and restaurants throughout the emirate. It is vital to be respectful of local laws and traditions during your stay and if you are looking for a wild party on the beach until dawn, you may wish to visit somewhere else.
The latest addition to the entertainment sector in Dubai is the indoor ski center that can be found in the Mall of the Emirates shopping plaza. Snowboarding and skiing at all levels can be enjoyed here, with equipment readily available for hire and purchase at the center, and the -4°C temperature is often a welcome relief from the searing outdoor heat.
Dubai developed around Dubai Creek and some of its old shipping traditions can still be witnessed during a trip along the length of the creek. The creek is edged by the area's original custom houses and visitors can soak up the views from the comfort of a dinner cruise. The creek takes around an hour to drift up and down and there are also plenty of opportunities to hire an abra (traditional boat) complete with a driver for private tours of the creek.
Dubai is home to a wide range of different markets, all offering visitors a different experience. Deira Covered Souk Market is mainly Indian and spices, henna tattoos, clothes and textiles can all be purchased here. Gold Souk is famous for its gold with the whole street aglow with glittering jewelry at bargain prices.
Jumeirah Beach is the most popular tourist beach with many private resorts owning beach frontage on the pale white sands that lead to the turquoise waters. Al Mamzar, located in Deira, is home to playgrounds, barbeque areas and food kiosks all on the beach, which is often referred to as Palm Beach.
Trips out to the encompassing desert are a fantastic way to get out of the city and into the great outdoors with sand skiing, wadi driving (exploring the dry beds of streams), dune driving and desert dining all part of the exciting tour packages on offer.
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