If you enjoy combining a break to a bustling city with plenty of visits to the beach, you can’t go wrong if you book flights to Dubai.
This Arab nation is situated on the coast, south of the Persian Gulf, and is well placed to cater for those who enjoy soaking up the sun as well as holidaymakers who want to be in the heart of a thriving metropolis.
Located in the Arabian Desert, Dubai is a warm city perfect for beach bums, but when you arrive you’re likely to want to spend some of your time exploring the vibrant emirate.
After touching down and completing your cheap flights to Dubai, settle into your accommodation and decide what you’d like to do. If you’re near the marina, you might enjoy a stroll around this man-made harbour, complete with its numerous glittering skyscrapers, which is an especially attractive sight by night.
When you choose to take in some of the landmarks Dubai has to offer, you might want to be aware that the city is divided into two sections – north and south of the creek. To get from one point to the other you’ll need to take a water taxi, which can be an enjoyable experience in itself.
There’s plenty to see and do in the city, from visiting historic buildings and archaeological sites, to dancing the night away in some of the popular clubs or enjoying a spot of retail therapy in what has been dubbed the shopping capital of the Middle East.
Why not start your tour of the sights in the southern location of Bur Dubai? Here you’ll find the picturesque old Bastakiya district with its narrow streets and tall wind towers that were once the only way of cooling homes in the area before electricity became commonplace. You’ll also discover the imposing Fahidi Fort here, built in 1799, alongside a large concentration of traditional courtyard houses.
If you’re keen to find out more about your destination, venture inside the castle and you’ll find the Dubai Museum, which houses exhibitions relating to desert life and trade. Take in the sight of artefacts, musical instruments and weapons, among other items of interest, before heading to some architectural wonders.
One such building is the Grand Mosque, which boasts the city’s tallest minaret, over 50 domes and beautiful stained glass windows. Also in the area is the museum of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum – the grandfather of the present ruler. The house has been restored to its former glory and is now looked upon as a fine example of regional architecture.
For some more stunning buildings, take a water taxi to the northern part of Dubai – Deira. Here you can view the Burj Nahar watchtower, built in 1870. The landmark is surrounded by exotic gardens and makes a perfect spot to enjoy some greenery in the middle of the vibrant city. Head on next to the home of a pearl merchant – Heritage House, built in old bastakiya style from coral and gypsum.
There is also the coastal residential area of Jumeirah to visit, which is popular with tourists for a number of reasons. One of which is the beach, making it ideal if you’d like to while away a few hours in the sun. Another draw is the fact one of the United Arab Emirates’ most important archaeological sites can be found here.
Artefacts were dug up dating back to the sixth century and historians have said the location could actually have been in use as early as the third century.
If you’re keen to explore even more of Dubai, get a taste of the local culture by visiting the markets, known as the souks. At the Deira Covered Souk you’ll find textiles, henna, spices and kitchen wares, while the Deira Spice Souk offers what the name suggests – all manner of fragrant ingredients that fill the narrow streets where the stallholders sell their wares directly from the sacks they came in.
Meanwhile, there is also a flourishing gold market, where you can pick up some beautiful pieces of jewellery at bargain prices, reflecting the buoyant market for the precious metal in Dubai, which is fast becoming a global business hub.
Signs of this economic growth can be spotted throughout the city. For example, you might like to gaze out to sea at the World Islands – a set of artificial isles created for those with plenty of cash to buy. Or look up to the sky to see the world’s tallest tower – Burj Khalifa – which stands at 2,716 ft high.
Don’t forget to visit some of the beaches before thinking about taking your flights home, and if you haven’t managed to take in all the sights, you might want to browse more cheap flights for your return to the city.