Dubai and Las Vegas have a lot in common. Both cities share a love for the fantastical, with skylines that shine like beacons against barren desert backdrops. People from all over the world flock to these shimmering oases with the same goal: to play hard. But as a vacation spot, Dubai easily trumps ol’ Sin City thanks to its gorgeous cream-colored Persian Gulf shoreline, international culinary scene and larger-than-life attractions.
And the city’s still growing; plans are underway for something bigger and better. At one point, it was estimated that a quarter of the world’s construction cranes could be found here. If that’s any sign, even the sky may not be able to limit Dubai’s growth.
Dubai is a city of superlatives, home to the world’s tallest tower, one of the world’s largest shopping malls, and one of the world’s largest man-made marinas… but on a smaller scale, this emirate is still tied to its days as a modest port town.
Traditional wooden abras (boats) float past motorboats on Dubai Creek, the natural sands of Jumeirah Public Beach fringe the carefully sculpted Palm Islands, and the bustling Gold and Spice Souks (marketplaces) thrive amid the larger-than-life Dubai Mall. Despite constantly looking to the future, this city isn’t quick to let go of its past. It’s this dynamic that not only put Dubai on the tourist map but will also keep it there.
Expect year-round sunshine – it’s just a case of exactly how hot you like it. October to April provides the most pleasant option (small potential of rain and wind in January and February), with temperatures around 25-28C. From May, these temperatures really rocket between June and September (upwards of 40C) but Dubai offers plenty of incentives to visit then, such as shopping festivals in air-conditioned malls, indoor attractions and fantastic value offers.
These high temperatures require light, breathable clothing, but always have a cover-up for when you hit the air conditioning. Whilst a liberal and popular holiday hotspot, it’s still good to bear in mind that Dubai is a Muslim destination, so dress respectfully outside of your resort (for example, women should wear clothing that covers the shoulders and the knees in shopping malls, and if entering a mosque, hair must be covered). Desert trips are best in comfortable safari-type clothing.