Dubai is the most populated emirates of the United Arab Emirates. Its capital goes by the same name so it's sometimes referred to as Dubai city to distinguish it. Dubai is located at the Persian Gulf's southern coast.
Dubai is new to tourist but its pace is quickly picking up. Dubai is the destination for those who like superlatives, such as biggest, tallest, largest and fastest. It is a modern desert city, with impressive buildings and comparatively more liberal policies. Add to that, Dubai has great facilities for tourists.
Even the Dubai name origin is disputable. Some say "Dubai" is Persian in origin, others say it's Arabic. Researcher Fedel Handhal say that "Dubai" might have come from the word "Dada," meaning "to creep." He says it may refer to Dubai Creek's inland flow.
One major must-see in Dubai is the Burj al-Arab hotel. This Dubai hotel is supposedly the most expensive and reserved only for the richest of the rich. It is the only seven stars hotel in the world, albeit the distinction is self-proclaimed. A quick trip for tea or cocktails will be a show of "how the rich lives." If one is really interested, tours of the hotel can be booked. However, tours are put on hold whenever the hotel is fully booked. Usually, advanced booking (one month) is needed for a room. For a meal in the hotel, one should book a couple of days ahead
The Palm Islands is also another Dubai biggie. The Palm Islands are artificially designed waterside enclaves. From the air, the islands look like one big palm tree. Sections of the islands are reserved for residential and commercial use. There are water parks and hotels for the tourists.
Dubai's Burj Dubai is another awe-inspiring structure. This is perhaps the world's tallest infrastructure. As of the last measurement, the building is already beyond 600 meters - 100 meters taller than the past record holder, Taipei 101. And yet, construction is even complete yet. It is expected to reach beyond 800 meters when construction is completed in 2009.
For people interested in the Emirates' culture and social history, the Dubai Museum shouldn't be missed. The museum houses collections of artifacts and memorabilia. A view of the al-Fahidi fort is the start of the tour.
The major transportation mode in Dubai is via private vehicles. However, the emirate has also has an expansive bus system that serve 69 routes. The Road and Transport Authority has also said that it is to add an additional 620 buses to its fleet. The taxi services in Dubai are also commendable and reliable. A Metro project is also on the way, with part of it said to be in operation by 2009. It will be in full operation by 2012. Dubai also has small boats, called "abras," that ply between Bur Dubai and Deira. The Dubai International Airport is Dubai's major airport and the hub of Emirates Airline. Another airport, the Dubai World Central International Airport, is under construction.
Desert safaris or dune bashing is a fun way to pass time while in Dubai. Trained desert drivers will drive one out into the desert for a rollercoaster ride through sand dunes.