Dubai is not only a world-record-breaking city in the desert with huge shopping malls and extravagant nightlife. Dubai is also a great place to enter a parallel, luxurious universe where ancient traditions meet with ambitious and revolutionary vision.
So, you are about to move to Dubai and you want to know more about the city in the desert?
Where to start?
Start your visit in your new city from old Dubai; here you will understand, see and touch first hand how Dubai was before becoming the world-known capital of finance and investments. Here it is the “simple”, no-frills Dubai, the one made of artisans and jewellers.
Make sure to get the boat to cross the river for the true “old Dubai experience”.
The desert, which surrounds the skyscrapers and the various malls, is also an absolute must-see. Hire a jeep and a driver for a fun afternoon on the dunes and maybe enjoy the local food and dance at one of the desert camps or maybe just lie on the sand to watch the stars.
A little bit of history…
Most people seem to think that Dubai is a young, futuristic city built out of nowhere in the middle of the desert. That’s partially true, but there were people living here back in 3000BC when the area surrounding the current city was inhabited by nomadic cattle herders. Yes, modern Dubai is young and striving to the future, but its history goes back many, many centuries.
The present – The Dubai Mall
Due to the high temperatures throughout the year, lots in Dubai happens indoors, especially in the massive shopping malls that are scattered all around town. The best one is the one in downtown, which you should visit not only for the shops but also for its spectacular and fascinating architecture. Make sure to allocate a couple of hours just to the visit of the building itself and to get lost in all the different alleys and souks of the internal markets.
A jump into the future – Burj Khalifa
Once you move to Dubai, there will be one and only one thing that you will see daily, and nope I’m not talking about your boss or uni professor. I’m talking about her: the Burj Khalifa; from anywhere in the city and beyond, you will be able to catch a glimpse of its impressive pinnacle and to see the sun reflecting its rays on its shiny windows. It’s mesmerising and whenever you will be out, your eyes will keep wondering back to it. The Burj Khalifa is not only the tallest building in the world (for now), but also a spectacular work of architecture, both from the outside – visible to everyone, anywhere in Dubai – and from the inside for the ones who buy the ticket to go up to the top (highly recommended to see the entire city and far beyond in the desert).
A thing about Dubai Metro
Most people travel by taxi in Dubai as it is so hot there that walking from A to B is (almost) unbearable. But while you are there, make sure to buy a daily travel card to taste the Dubai metro experience. Get a first class ticket so that you can stay on the front or last carriage and enjoy the spectacular view of the skyscrapers. Don’t forget your camera!
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Where to live in Dubai?
Dubai Marina – Want to live in a luxurious apartment complex with a fantastic view, just seconds away from the beach and close to public transportation services?
Palm Jumeirah – Living on this man-made island feels like an absolute dream, complete with a glorious view, worthy of every penny.
Business Bay – A paradise for businessmen and entrepreneurs, comparable to New York’s bustling and buzzing Manhattan.
Bur Dubai – Not impressed by the luxury of the city? Why not settle in a more down-to-earth area, sparkling with hints of history, plenty of restaurants, shops, universities, and nightclubs?
“We in the UAE have no such word as ‘impossible’ it does not exist in our lexicon.”
– HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Sabrina Andrea Sachs is a dreamer, a rebel and a storyteller. In other words she is a traveller, a writer and a photographer.
After a 8-year career in London where she successfully climbed the corporate ladder, in 2015 she decided to leave her safety net and comfort zone to pursue her childhood dream to write and photograph this beautiful planet of ours while travelling around.
Since then, she hosted a solo exhibition in London, her work has been published on The Guardian, Huffington Post, Il Sole 24 Ore, BuzzFeed, Time Out London and one of her pictures was on the cover of Mission.