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Dubai - A travel report by Brad
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Dubai,  United Arab Emirates - flag United Arab Emirates -  Dubayy
14002 readers

sven_ak's travel reports

Culture clash

  9 votes
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Dubai travelogue picture
Dubai doesn't seem to know what it wants. You will see a traditional Mosque then round the corner, literally, and be in the largest prostitute center in the world (I would challenge even bigger than Las Vegas). This is not to say it is bad necessarily, just you can't figure out what this place is about. The layout of the city is broken into two parts, Diera and Bur Dubai. It is split by the creek although the creek is a good sized river. Along the creek you will find by far the most amazingly modern buildings anywhere (all on Diera side). It is very unique in that sense. Flip over to the other side of the creek and it is more traditional (along the creek only). Heading into Bur Dubai, you have two parts: Karama and Bur Dubai. If you hit Bank Street, you will find banks (duh) from everywhere. Come here to do your business. You can also find good resturants and coffee houses (Starbucks has invaded this part of the world too) with decent (decent only) coffee.

Favourite spots:
Dubai travelogue picture
Burj You absolutely must go here. It is the tallest hotel in the world (they say bigger than the Eiffel Tower, but I challenge) and it is stunning. Shaped like a sail boat, it is east of the city about 15 minutes by car. The Burj is actually built on its own man-made island. (on a side note, the Sheikh's here are like kids in a sand box. They build, build, build and where there isn't enough sand, they make islands actually in the ocean). Wild Wadi Water Park is also a great time. Doesn't matter how old you are, you should try it. Kill two birds with one stone...go to the Burj for lunch (100 dirhams, 25 US to enter w/out a reservation but you can use the $$$ on whatever you want inside) then go to Wadi Park which is right next door. Jumeria Beach is really nice with white white sand and clear water. Nothing to see snorkling though, all sand.

What's really great:
I liked that this is the one place that is completely westernized in the entire middle east. You can get absolutely anything you want here without the headaches...BUT!, what makes it fun is that Islam does not allow alcohol and other such activities so you must go to a hotel to drink. It is bad to drink according to Islam, you go to a hotel to drink, which is owned by a sheikh, who is viewed as virtually holy by the local muslims. Everything here is a complete brain twister like that. There is a reason why there are so many (and I mean many many) prostitutes here; they are giving their services to the wealthy locals and these are the same men who must wake early to pray. You can't help but laugh and try to figure out the logic.

Jan/Feb is the best time to go. The Global Village has a 2 month fair that invites all nations of Islam to come and sell their goods at a huge park. You can go in "Iraq," look at their goods and traditions, then see Indonesia Really interesting.

Bur al-Arab is about 150-300 a night. Only 7 star hotel in the world and the largest.
Closer to town and less money, but still decent and good location is the York International (on Bank St. in Bur Dubai).
Marriot, Hilton and the other major chains. If you are going to be here for a few weeks, it is best to rent an apartment for about 400 US a week.

Many clubs all located in hotels. Depending on where you go, it will be entirely western or entirely prostitutes. The York International and Imperial Palace is 110% prostitutes (attached to the hotel, but the hotels themselves are nice. Really)
In the Crown Plaza is Zinc which just opened in January, 2003. Big club that is all western (don't let the prostitutes in so women!, bring your passport. If you are from Russia, you won't get in b/c they will assume you are a workin' gal). In the Emirate Tower right across from Crown Plaza (take the underground walkway) there is Scarlets which is a lot of fun and in the most beautiful buildings I have seen. Fifth largest building in the world.

In the York International, there is a good pub on the main floor where you can watch football (soccer), cricket, whatever is going on at the time. Beer is cheapest I have found yet (12 dhms, 3.50 US), but other than that, there are not a lot of pubs.
Regent Palace Hotel has the Rockbottom which is western and live music, pool, darts. On the roof is an unknown resturant which is great to get a beer and you get a 360 view of the city. Very nice.

A good, cheap meal that is in a quirky part of town (Karama), is at Venus Resturant. Ask a taxi driver to take you to Karama and Venus, he will know. You can get a Thali (Indian meal) for next to nothing. Not many great places to eat here but the Burj, from what I am told, has the absolute best food (for about 80 US a person).

Published on Friday March 28th, 2003

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Mon, Mar 03 2008 - 05:38 PM rating by mistybleu

This is a really interesting report and will assist in my preparation for my trip to Dubai.

Tue, Aug 31 2004 - 09:10 AM rating by binmke

Nice, straightforward report...this gives a good perspective from someone who has been there, instead of all the cheesy tourist websites out there run by the hotels. Thanks!

Sat, Jun 05 2004 - 05:47 AM rating by mikeygee91

This is a great Report! I will check out more from the Author!

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