Throw away everything you think you know about Dubai, as its more than big buildings, bold visions and cashed up Arab families. Dubai is a fusion of old meets new, a cross road of a vibrant Islamic society deciding on what western values to allow and ultimately, a dynamic story of an old world trading port meeting the robust new world of capitalism. The largest city in the United Arab Emirates is nothing like you imagine and everything that you never knew you wanted. Think Singapore fifteen years ago fused with Shanghai today, and nothing encapsulates this more then by traveling along the Creek in a traditional Abra and in the distance seeing the shinning Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Dubai is a true melting pot of past and present.
Yes the city is largely about wealth and if you want to shop til you drop you will be at home. From perusing through souqs of spices and gold, before buying Prada at the massive Dubai Mall. Yet, and to my greatest discovery, you’re merely ten minutes away from Bur Dubai; the rustic, charming and quiet heart of Dubai. Where winding alleyways crowded with spices and goods, meets the old world opulence of the Creek. All encased within the steamy hot weather of the Middle East, which for your perseverance, you will be generously rewarded with cool lime tea and not to mention the best kebab of your life. To me, Dubai is a juxtaposition in my mind and well worth a visit in its own right, rather than a two night stop over that it is often advertised as.
Have you travelled to the UAE? Let us know your thoughts below. I cant wait to go back and visit more of the Middle East – thinking maybe Oman next time.