The Galleon - Portsmouth's Student Newspaper



Dubai: The ‘City of Gold’

It is possible to explore the city on a budget, here's how

Dubai. Dubbed the ‘City of Gold’, is one of the seven Emirates which makes up the United Arab Emirates. Located on the Persian Gulf it borders Abu Dhabi in the south, and Sharjah in the north.

Dubai’s tropical desert climate makes it a sun safe destination all year round whilst offering some of the world’s most unique and modern attractions. Having emerged as a business centre as well as an attractive tourist city destination within the last couple of decades – be prepared for a city of extremes.

Many assume Dubai is a city well known for its extravagance and wealth and they’re not wrong, but it is still possible to affordably explore the city with clever planning in advance.

One of the must-see sights in Dubai is of course, the Burj Khalifa. It is the world’s tallest building with an incredible height of 828 metres with public access observation levels at 456 and 555 metres. Tickets prices start from £26, and it is advisable to book in advance to guarantee availability. What is guaranteed though, is the view which never disappoints.

Also located nearby is the Dubai Mall. One of the largest shopping malls in the world, it offers more than 1200 stores, an ice-rink, a five-star hotel, a massive aquarium and 120 restaurants and cafés. The abundance of the shops makes it possible to literally shop until you drop.

Dubai’s nightlife and entertainment has a lot to offer. The club scene attracts visitors from all over the world. There is also a ‘Ladies Night’ every Tuesday where beverages and cuisine are reasonable in price too.

Some local favourites are The Westin, Carters and Longs Bar. Noteworthy is that all clubs and bars revolve around the hotels since they are licensed to serve alcohol. Visitors also need to be over the age of 21 to buy alcohol and that it is well to remember that public drinking is strictly

“Travelling should always be an adventure, wherever you go”

As previously mentioned, when people think of Dubai they think of luxury and glam. But if you are the adventurous type, then it is almost essential to book a desert safari tour! The sand dunes in Dubai are something else. Adventurers will also have the chance to see camels in their natural habitat too. Although some may consider the tours to be a little bit on the steep side, they are most
definitely worth every single penny.

Most of the tours depart in the afternoon as the heat from the sun gets weaker. The tours take you across the desert with several photo opportunity stops as well. Perfect for that Instragram post. Thrill seekers who love a roller coaster can get the same feeling when taking a tour on the jeeps, thanks to their four-wheel drives, it really does feel like a fresh adrenaline rush!

If the thrill-seeker in you still feels like that isn’t quite enough, it is also possible to try sand-boarding in the desert on the sand slopes. Just think the opposite of the Alps with snowboarding and instead sand-board with a 40 degree heat on your neck instead.

Depending on which tour is opted for, they can end with a beautiful sunset and a traditional Arabic buffet dinner under the stars. Tea will also be served which might just be the cherry on top, especially for British tea-lovers.

Dubai is depicted as city which is magnificent in its size, and for those who enjoy sight-seeing via good old walking, it will be helpful to learn that Dubai’s city centre isn’t overly populated. Therefore, distances between the attractions can be relatively far apart, so the best way to get around in the city is either by the metro or jumping in a taxi.

Travelling should always be an adventure, wherever you go. Whether it’s down the road to Brighton for a day, or jetting off to sunny Dubai for a two week dream holiday, familiarising yourself with local laws and etiquette never hurt either.

Dubai: it is a destination you will never forget.