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Basic information

  • Area: 4,114 km² (1,588.4 sq mi)
  • Calling Code: +971
  • Currency: UAE dirham (AED)
  • Population (EST): 1,204,000
  • Language: Arabic
  • Time Zone: UAE (UTC+4)

Dubai – Overview

Unrecognisable from its early days as a small trading port, Dubai’s landscape has risen to dizzying proportions, becoming something of an Arabian Disneyland; a playground for the rich, famous and those seeking a true taste of extravagance.

Dubai is a place unlike any other, where innovation and excess is embraced and great feats of engineering are an everyday occurrence. People flock here to be dazzled – to stand on the observation deck of the world’s tallest building, sleep in an underwater hotel or to see how palm trees and whole continents can bloom from the waters of the Persian Gulf.

There is plenty to keep even the most seasoned of travellers entertained. For the Fashionista, nothing beats a trip to one of Dubai’s glitzy malls that each offer a unique, if somewhat surreal shopping experience. Alternatively for something a little more authentic, but no less fantastic, hot foot it down to Deira’s gold souq that drips with a blinding array of hand crafted jewellery. Culture Vultures can escape to the mud brick streets of the Bastakia Quarter in Bur Dubai or take time out to discover the city’s burgeoning arts scene. Thrill seekers on the other hand can stimulate their senses by a hard day dune bashing, sailing, snowboarding or even by donning a suit and giving flying a try.

As would be expected, Dubai offers a wide variety cosmopolitan cuisine, found everywhere from street stalls to award winning restaurants. For the ultimate eating experience, indulge yourself with one of the city’s famed “Friday Brunches” where champagne flows freely alongside a myriad of delicious dishes.