Dubai is a glittering modern city, brimming with luxury shopping, exotic souks and stunning man-made beaches. It is also home to a burgeoning arts scene, world-class hotels and stunning skyscrapers. But it is not without its challenges. A recent slump in the global economy has seen the city suffer from a slowdown in visitor numbers, but it is poised to rebound.
The capital of the United Arab Emirates, the city is a major business and financial center in the Middle East and boasts a global reputation for luxury and extravagance. A rich history of pearling and trade helped to build its prosperity, and the discovery of oil in the region has fueled its economic growth. Today the city is a global leader in tourism, finance, real estate and commerce.
In addition to being a major hub for commerce, Dubai also serves as an international flight destination and is home to a number of state-of-the-art airports including the prestigious Emirates Airline Terminals at Dubai International Airport. The airport is a hub for flights to and from Europe, Australia and Asia.
While the city is often considered a haven for the wealthy, it is also accessible to all and has something to offer visitors of every budget. Whether you want to ride camels across the unspoiled dunes, bike through pure desert on Al Qudra or simply enjoy a leisurely cruise along the Dubai Marina, there is something for everyone in this cosmopolitan metropolis.
Those who are looking for a truly special retail experience should head to the city’s opulent malls, such as the mega-sized Mall of the Emirates. It is one of the world’s largest malls and offers a dazzling array of stores, including the first Galerie Lafayette and Bloomingdales in the Middle East. Shoppers can find anything from designer apparel to fine jewellery and traditional clothing.
The mall is arranged into precincts that are dedicated to various products, making it easy for shoppers to navigate around. For example, everything fashion related is housed in the Fashion Avenue precinct where high street brands, such as Zara and H&M are found alongside designer labels, such as Gucci, Prada, and Hugo Boss. For those who prefer a more market-like atmosphere, the Souk precinct is the place to go, with stalls selling everything from traditional gold jewellery to branded denim.
The city’s shopping mall district is a popular haunt for locals and visitors alike as it provides the perfect retreat from the intense heat during the summer months. The malls are stocked with top-tier retail outlets that include a number of world-class restaurants and bars, as well as several entertainment centers, such as the VOX 4DX cinema complex.