Palm Island, Dubai
Dubai, a journey to the jewel of the Middle East
Written by Faz Ali
On 27 May 2024

Our member, Faisal Ali has travelled around the world in these past years and in this story he is sharing his trip to the Arabian luxury hub.

Dubai, once a humbling vishing village on the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), underwent a spectacular transformation in the early 2010s to become a global travel destination renowned for its luxury, opulence and uniqueness.

This remarkable evolution, whilst surprising in its suddenness, was the result of very calculated and intentional efforts of the investors to create an unparalleled experience to visitors and locals alike.

The Arabian Desert, UAE

Thus, the rise of Dubai as a premier travel destination can be attributed through a strategic vision that aimed to position the city on the world map as a hub of innovation, extravagance and cultural richness.

The government’s investment in infrastructure, tourism and hospitality played a pivotal role in shaping Dubai’s identity as a playground of the affluent and a melting pot of diverse experiences.

Whilst assessing the architectural innovations visible here, it becomes certain that such spectacular display of luxury is only possible with an unlimited budget, displaying the country’s financial ability to splurge extensively in creating this out of this world location.

Upon my arrival in Dubai, I concluded immediately that one of the city’s most defining features is its skyline, offering an array of architectural marvels capable to push the conventional boundaries of design and engineering.

As I stand at the bottom of the iconic Burj Khalifa, a symbol of Dubai’s ambition and progress, searching for the entrance to the lift that takes you to the top of the tallest building in the world, I hold my breath as I am rapidly ascending into the sky.

Suddenly, the stillness of the clouds gives me a sense of tranquillity whilst I am in awe at the sight of the city landscape.

The strategically positioned observations desks allowed me to identify the prominent landmarks of Dubai, including the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree, showcasing the developer’s audacious creativity.

Falling over the Palm Island, UAE

As I returned to the ground, I found myself lost on the many levels of the Dubai Mall, situated strategically within the vicinity of the Burj.

The premises of the mall are extensive, extremely well maintained and equipped with a reliant air-conditioner system capable to provide refuge for those looking to escape the blazing sun.  

Saying that one would need a whole day to be able to explore the centre adequately is not an exaggeration. Home to an aquarium, an indoor ski slope, a traditional souk, extravagant yet affordable dining experiences with diverse international cuisine and a plethora of high-end and luxurious retail outlets, the Dubai Mall offers an unforgettable retail experience.

Outside the extravagant shopping malls displaying the Emirati richness and opulence, Dubai’s commitment to offer an unmatched luxurious experience is evident in its seven stars hotels and world-class dining scene.

For example, the Burj Al Arab emerged as a prominent landmark through its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette and promises to cater to the most discerning of guests.

Their extravagant amenities include a stay in the Royal suite, allegedly the epitome of luxury, personalised butler service, dinning experiences at Michelin-starred restaurants, access to infinity pools and private beach, featuring stylish sun loungers and cabanas where the visitors can enjoy the crystal-clear waters of the Arabian Gulf in exclusive surroundings.

Indeed, such lavish experience with access to top-notch amenities is reserved to a select category of travellers, making a stay at the Burj Al Arab reserved to the upper-class locals and travellers.

Tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa

In addition to its modern amenities, Dubai has worked diligently to preserve its allure of a fishing village and with it its cultural heritage.

Strolling through the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, with its wind-tower architecture and narrow alleyways, I sense a glimpse into the city’s past as a trading hub.

Stunned at the overwhelmingly contrasting aspects of the Old Town, the Palm and Downtown, I admire the intentional effort of the developers to create a space for artistic expression through all the segments of this metropolis.

Whether you are a fan of fine arts, design or technology, the city offers an array of venues to exemplify its dynamic spirit, blending tradition with modernity.

The Museum of the Future, the Frame, the Dubai Opera, Alserkal Avenue, Sikka Art Fair or Dubai Design District are only a few examples of the display of contemporary platforms for creativity, expression and collaboration available in Dubai.

View of Dubai Marina at night

In conclusion, Dubai emerged as a striking example of luxurious escapades and has gained an unmatched reputation of luxurious and unique source of luxurious experiences that blends adventure, culture and innovation into one destination.

Whilst the affordability of the destination remains contested, I firmly believe that Dubai truly has something to offer to everyone, making it a must-visit exotic destination for travellers seeking an unparalleled holiday.

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