A twenty-first cen­tury cos­mopoli­tan city of stun­ning beaches, one of the world’s most secure travel des­ti­na­tions, lux­u­ri­ous hotels and fab­u­lous beach­side resorts with world class shop­ping; Dubai is one excit­ing expe­ri­ence after another

By Umer Saud, pho­tographs by Umer Saud

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he very first sight of ter­mi­nal one really amazed me the moment I landed at Dubai Air­port, a multi– sto­ried build­ing with loads of esca­la­tors and walk­ing con­veyer belts really keeps the flow of pas­sen­gers and vis­i­tors unin­ter­rupted and smooth.

The metro lifestyle of the city becomes evi­dent from the moment you land. A truly cos­mopoli­tan city, from huge shop­ping malls to amaz­ingly designed com­mer­cial struc­tures around the main city Dubai is one of the most desir­able places in the world. No won­der all nation­al­i­ties feel right at home here. The main high­way houses most of the mega struc­tures built over the last three years, the con­struc­tion work never seems to stop. Huge cranes and men at work 24/7 make it look as if they are run­ning a race against time.

Being a vis­i­tor, my first choice was to visit the infa­mous Mall of Emi­rates – the biggest shop­ping mall in the world con­tain­ing an indoor ski­ing resort – imag­ine that in the mid­dle of a desert – a truly amaz­ing sight! Besides this, there were many attrac­tions like inter­na­tional brands, Cine­plex, Food Court, excit­ing pro­mo­tions and last but not the least, the amaz­ing super store. The mall is so huge that it takes days to explore it all.

Ibn-e-Batuta, City Cen­tre and Bur­ju­man were the other shop­ping malls that took the rest of my three days leav­ing me in awe and won­der. The cre­ative archi­tec­ture and prac­ti­cal ele­va­tions thrilled me every time I walked into a new build­ing. Desert Safari was a must for I had to see with my own eyes the skills required for dune bash­ing and still com­ing out smil­ing after a ses­sion – and mind you, I did. Going up and down the sand dunes was fun espe­cially when it ends with a mouth water­ing bar­be­cue at night in the desert.

Roads and traf­fic sys­tem was another con­sid­er­able aspect that impressed me. Strate­gi­cally planned sig­nals and cross­ings give equal respect and rights to the pedes­tri­ans. Not to men­tion the chaos there dur­ing peak hours which is still quite well con­trolled mak­ing it only a man­age­able con­ges­tion which will soon be taken care of with the con­struc­tion of new net­work of wider roads.

I made a point of check­ing out their unique hotels and beach resorts. From the facil­i­ties of a five star hotel to the raw­ness of a day out at the beach Dubai has every­thing to offer trav­el­ers who visit this beau­ti­ful place at dif­fer­ent times of the year. May it be the mega shop­ping fes­ti­val or off sea­son with hot weather, life goes on at a fast pace in Dubai cre­at­ing ever­more oppor­tu­ni­ties for the peo­ple who come and set­tle here. Despite a rise in liv­ing expenses it is still by far an attrac­tive place for many peo­ple. I would sug­gest that you do visit Dubai at least once to expe­ri­ence the vari­ety of life it car­ries and the grandeur it holds.

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This arti­cle was orig­i­nally pub­lished in the print edi­tion of Val­uemag, issue 4, August 2008

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