Guest Post: Arabian Nights in Dubai

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If you love luxury and shopping, Dubai should be moved to the very top of your travel bucket list. This vibrant city in the U.A.E, United Arab Emirates, is a long line of skyscrapers that are nestled between beautiful beaches and vast desert. Dubai is a hub for many expats and contractors as they travel in from and out to other more remote location. And that is how I ended up traveling there many times.


During my trips to Dubai, I explored many areas of this fun and unique city. Dubai is the world’s leading city when it comes to hospitality, shopping, and events. But it was not until the 1950s that this city started to become what it is today. The government let other countries come in and harvest oil and now 60 years later there are almost 2.5 million people that live in that in this formerly small desert port city. It is famous for its blend of cultures, mix of ultramodern and traditional architecture, and luxury services.

Based on my experiences, here are 5 ways to get a taste of all that Dubai has to offer:

  • See first hand the mix of cultures

While Dubai is modernizing, it is still very traditional when it comes to their clothes. The men wear a white tunic with a red and white checkered scarf and the women wear a long black robe (called an abaya) with a wide array of covering of their hair and face. You will definitely enjoy the surreal experience of seeing expats wearing short dresses and shorts next to the men and women in their floor length apparel. My advice, just don’t be like the gals from ‘Sex in the City’. There is a dress code and I suggest to read up on it! The more conservative you dress, the more respect you will get. And the more people will see that you respect them and the ways of their country as well.

  • Go snow skiing in the desert

No snow in the desert? No worries. Dubai has created one of the world’s largest indoor snow paradises, Ski Dubai, at the Mall of the Emirates. My favorite thing to do is ride the gondola up to the top of the L-shaped slope and speed down the hill. If skiing isn’t your thing, you can get a pass to just play in the snow, go tubing, and even pet penguins – yes, real live penguins!

Going out into the vast desert beyond the city life is a must. Find an adventure company and join a group that will take you dune bashing, sand surfing, and camel riding. The safari will take you to a desert oasis with tents where you can take pictures in traditional clothes and have henna designs drawn onto your hands and feet. You will eat a traditional meal with others on low tables while sitting on carpets and pillows. The grand finale of the evening will be a show of traditional dance and acts.

  • Journey through the adventures of Ibn Batutta … while shopping

Need a gift for the family, but also want to explore the rest of the world too? The Ibn Batutta mall is the perfect place to go. As you walk through this mall, you also walk in the footsteps of the famous sojourner Ibn Batutta and experience his travels through the lands of China, India, Persia, Egypt, Tunisia, and Andalusia . Each section of the mall is uniquely decorated to reflect the beauty of each region. There is even a life sized elephant! But unlike the penguins – this one isn’t real.

  • See the tallest building in the world

If you do anything in Dubai, you have to go to the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. Why? Because it is the tallest… building … in … the … world (which is also next to the largest mall in the world… which is next to the largest fountain show… you got it – in the world)  I  first went to Dubai right after the Mission Impossible movie came out and Tom Cruise (or his stunt double) climbed down the side of the building. I have been a couple more time since then and every time I am amazed by the massive amount of design, effort, and man-power that went into constructing this building. It is well worth it to take the 60 second elevator ride to the 124 floor.

So if you are looking for something a little different for your next adventure, I suggest giving Dubai a try!


Guest Post & Photography by Catie Funk




23 comments on “Guest Post: Arabian Nights in Dubai
  1. This is an excellent roundup of Dubai’s finest! Great guest post, interesting read on the attire also, it’s a shame when people go there and wear the skimpiest of clothing it is another culture after all.

  2. My cousin went to Dubai for her 40th and absolutely loved it. Anyone I know who has been are the same. Everything that you have mentioned, they also said was amazing. Really need to go and see it for myself!

  3. I have only been to Dubai for a few hours in a stop over on my way to India. I was amazed by the simple clothes of the people, compared with the richness of the city. I wish I could have seen more, and, to be honest, I was very impressed seeing a shark just passing by, in one of the mall’s aquarium.

  4. I agree with you that these are some of the best activities to do in Dubai. I missed Dubai upon reading your post. It’s really a great place. They also have the fastest roller coaster in the world which could be found in Ferrari World. It’s so fast that we have to wear goggles during the ride. Maybe you can try it next time 🙂

  5. My sister has been here whilst travelling and visited the tallest building in the world. She wasn’t keen as she thinks it is very materialistic (she had just spent 4 months in areas of poverty in Africa) but I love luxury and shopping so think I would enjoy it so much haha

  6. I have never been to Dubai and I probably will never make it there so reading these posts are so amazing to understand a new place. The skiing all year round sounds amazing! I don’t think I have ever been to a mall like that!

  7. OMG I’ve always wanted to go to Dubai and I think it has to be one of the most culturally beautiful places. But now that I know I can go skiing in the desert I need to go asap. Can you just be my travel guide already?!?

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