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Dubai: The New Las Vegas

September 9th, 2009

dubai-uae-vacation.jpgLocated on the Persian Gulf, Dubai is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates. Flanked on one side by the gulf and on the other by desert, it is a striking city whose growth has exploded exponentially into a remarkably modern and huge resort city.

Often compared to Las Vegas, the only real difference between the two is that gambling is not legal in Dubai. In order to compensate for the lack of gambling, Dubai had to turn its attention toward building different attractions in order to generate enough global interest and lure visitors to the city.

Dubai boasts a variety of unique buildings and attractions that are either the largest in the world or the first in the world. Among the most talked about attractions are the following:

Jumeirah Beach Residence

Upon completion, this marina will have surpassed Marina del Rey in California as the largest anthropogenic (built by humans) marina. Home to over 10,000 people, the 40 residential towers sit alongside the gulf, and the entire area is master planned to include shopping, dining, and other services.

Burj Dubai

Dubbed “Dubai Tower”, this superstructure will be the tallest anthropogenic structure ever built. Expected to open in the fall of 2009, it will have taken 5 years to build at a cost of over 4.1 billion U.S. dollars. This structure will be the centerpiece of the newly created Downtown Dubai, and among the most expensive available office space in the world.

Atlantis, The Palm

Styled after the Atlantis Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, this mega resort is a city unto itself. Boasting more than 2,000 guest rooms and suites in two separate towers, this resort is one of the world’s few 7-star accommodations. Featuring a world class water park called Aquaventure, complete with river rides, rapids, and beach, this water park rivals any other. In addition, like the Atlantis in the Bahamas, the Dubai resort offers a Swim with Dolphins program. While the best of hotel names are being attracted to Dubai, so too are chefs. The Atlantis is home to restaurants under the careful eye of several world famous chefs.

Ski Dubai

As the first indoor ski slopes in the Middle East, this megalith attraction is housed in the Dubai Mall, which is in turn the world’s largest shopping mall. In addition to shopping, the mall has an Olympic size ice rink, as well as an aquarium. The indoor skiing facility is complete with 5 slopes of varying difficulty, with a consistently maintained chilly environment complete with synthetic snow despite soaring heat outdoors. This ski resort is complete with themed restaurants, available skiing lessons as well as pro shops and other related retail outlets.

Nightlife

The nightlife in Dubai is steamy enough to rival that of Las Vegas. With a plethora of themed lounges and discos, cheap taxi fares, and abundant people watching, the nightlife of Dubai lights up the evenings under pulsating strobes. Most of the larger hotels in the area boast at least one disco and several lounges, and as the only places allowed to obtain liquor licenses, all of the best night spots will be found under the management of a hotel. But if you plan to go bar hopping, keep in mind that most nightclubs will only allow couples and single women inside, and that the legal drinking age is 21.

No matter your reason for going to Dubai, be it adventure, curiosity, or business, you’re going to be seeing a vibrant city that is experiencing explosive growth. Dubai is attracting visitors from around the globe, who are all coming to witness first hand this jewel of a city which has sprung up between the desert and the Persian Gulf.


Jennifer Allen is a professional writer and chef who has now managed to achieve a total of 36 article submissions and 23 sales at Constant Content.


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