About Dubai



Skylines and views
-Central Dubai

Sheikh Zayed Road, New Downtown, Deira, Jumeirah Beach, Palm Island


Skylines and views - from Burj Khalifa

Sheikh Zayed Road, New Downtown, Business Bay, Deira, Jumeirah


Skylines and views of South Dubai

Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Marina Beach
Al Barsha, Internet City, Media City





Bur Dubai (Old Downtown)
Dubai Creek

Heritage Village
Dubai Creek


Deira (skyline)
Dubai Creek



New Downtown
Burj Khalifa
Dubai Lake/Fountain
Dubai Mall

Dubai Int'l Financial Centre
Sheikh Zayed Road
Emirates Towers

  Business Bay






Dubai Marina
Marina Beach
Jumeirah Lakes Towers   Dubai Internet City
Dubai Media City


Al Barsha
Mall of the Emirates/
Ski Dubai, our hotel

  Ibn Battuta Mall,
Jebel Ali




Jumeirah Beach (N)
Jumeirah Road
Burj Al Arab
Jumeirah Mosque, Mercato Mall

  Madinat Jumeirah   Palm Jumeirah Island


Dubai by night
- part 1
: New Downtown

Sheikh Zayed Road, New Downtown, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain, Dubai Lake, Dubai Financial Centre


Dubai by night
- part 2
: South Dubai

Dubai Marina, Al Barsha, Ibn Battuta Mall, Internet City


Dubai by night
- part 3
: Jumeirah and Old Town

Jumeirah Road, Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah, Old Town

Al Maktoum Airport
Dubai World Central
  The metro    


Population: 1 089 000 (metro 2 107 000 )

Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE) - largest city
2014 (January)

Area: 4 114 km²
Founded year (city rights): 1833
Tallest building: Burj Khalifa (829.8m, world's tallest)


Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, and the capital of the emirate of Dubai but not the capital of UAE (it is Abu Dhabi). The UAE is situated in the Middle East, that is part of Asia, next to the Persian Gulf. Dubai is only an emirate in UAE, not a country of its own. The city is less then 200 years old, and many parts of the city are less then 10 years old! Even if the city is considered extremely new and modern, there is also an old part, just south of to the Dubai Creek, called Bur Dubai, and the even older Shindagha district. To the North of Dubai Creek you can find the old financial center, Deira, and further to the North the large city of Sharjah. If you go to the south of old Dubai, on the cities main road -the busy Sheikh Zayed Road with 7 lanes in each direction, there is a very high contrast, since you very soon will enter the ultramodern New Dubai with its many supertall skyscrapers, (many in ultramodern, islamic and postmodern styles) that creates a very spectacular skyline (the most famous are Emirates Towers and Dubai Financial Center) and the New Downtown with Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building! In New Downtown you can also find the Dubai Mall (world's largest upon completion) and the beautiful Dubai Lake where you can watch the Dubai Fountain, that makes a spectacular light/music show, especially at night. New Downtown is bordered to the south by the new Business Bay district with new skyscrapers, where the Dubai Creek will be extended. Further to the South you will find Al Barsha, a "normal" but very new residential/hotel area - where our hotel was- and even further South on Sheikh Zayed Road you will find the newly built Dubai Marina with its soaring skyscrapers and artificial lakes to the right, and the similar looking Jumeirah Lake Towers to the left. Dubai Marina was just desert some years ago, but now has some of the tallest and coolest skyscrapers of Dubai, like the twisted Cayan Tower for example! It is also one of the greenest and most pedestrian friendly areas, and home to a large number of rich westerners, and here you find the nice Marina Beach, part of Jumeirah Beach.

Dubai is a geographically very narrow city, so the distances are large in the North-South direction, while they are short in the other. That is probably because it is popular to build hotel and residences along the coast to the Persian Gulf. The long Jumeirah Road goes along the coast parallel to Sheikh Zayed Rd, filled with shopping malls, mosques, restaurants and basic residential buildings. It was less fancy then I thought, and it was not located immediately at Jumeirah Beach, but a few blocks from it. Jumeirah Beach stretches through the coast of almost the whole city, and here you can find numerous luxury hotels, like the tall and famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, and the two de luxe hotels at Madinat Jumeirah, a very beautiful enlarged and faked historic Arabic village with lakes and bridges and nice architecture in traditional style where you can find several restaurants and a souk (market).

The climate was very mild during our visit in January, 18-23 degrees C daytime, while it can reach temperatures over 50 degrees summertime, because of the desert climate. We were a bit ulucky with the weather though, since it normally only rains about twice a year; we experienced rain at 3 occasions during a single week! And the skies were grey for one and a half day.

There are many records in the city; you can find the world's tallest buildings (Burj Khalifa) the world's largest man-made harbour (Jebel Ali), the world's first 7-star hotel (Burj Al Arab, also the world's tallest hotel upon completion, but now beaten by two others, also in Dubai), the world's largest shopping mall (Dubai Mall), the city with the largest number of same first names (Muhammed), the world's tallest fountain (Dubai Fountain) and some other of the largest ones.

The Palm Jumeirah Island is an artificial island that has the shape of a palm when seen from above, that was recently built, and houses the famous Atlantis Hotel and several luxury mansions and apartment buildings. Two other palm islands are under construction (Palm Deira and Palm Jebel Ali), and "The World", a group of islands that reminds a map of the world when seen from above, just off the coast of Jumeirah Beach.

Dubai is famous for its very large and very glamorous shopping malls, inside Mall of the Emirates you can find an indoor ski slope and in Dubai Mall a large aquarium and a hockey rink for example. Another shopping mall, Ibn Batutta, is built around 6 themes from different countries. The large number of huge shopping malls can be explained by the fact that it is very hot to go outdoors summertime, and because Dubai is large shopping destination. Dubai is one of the best places in the world to buy jewelry, so if you are in the market for high-end jewelery or even women's and men's wedding bands, Dubai is the place. A man would definitely be able to find a suitable men's wedding band as well as an elegant engagement ring for his fiancée in one of Dubai's fine jewelry shops.

Dubai is very clean, the cleanest city I have ever been to. It also feels very safe, much safer then most European or American cities for example. The laws are very strict since the rule is the islamic law, however a more moderate of it then the neighbouring countries have due to the large number of western tourists and inhabitants. You have to use common sense though, and not act like at home regarding alcohol and touching in public for example, then there won't be any problems, hopefully. Alcohol is only available in hotel bars, not in restaurants and stores. The nightlife is vibrant compared to other Middle Eastern cities, but is mostly restricted to the hotel areas. People are in general very friendly and everyone speaks English (that is a must since there are som many nationalities)!

The emirate of Dubai is ruled by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (also prime minister and vice president of UAE) and his family. The president of United Arab Emirates is Sheikh Khalifa (Burj Khalifa is named after him after he saved the project after the financial crisis), the ruler of Abu Dhabi. The faces of these two sheikhs, in traditional white suits, are visible everythere all over the country; along the highway, inside the lobby of most hotels, in many restaurants, on museums, in stores, in shopping malls, even on cars and homes!

The economy was built on oil industry, but today it has been replaced by tourism since the oil is about to cease. It is important not to forget that the city was built by the guest workers from South Asia. The salaries and working conditions have been reported to be very bad, unfortunately. Because of the large number of guest workers that haven't brought their families and live in working camps, the number of males is very large, 86%!

All signs are on both Arabic and English, that makes it very easy for the tourist to navigate. However, don't expect to experience much of the Arab culture, only 23% are Emirates in the country, 53% of the population are from India, and there are large population from Indonesia and Pakistan, most of them guest workers, and rich westerners. Dubai also has a lot of influences from America (architecture, cars, roads, lifestyle, mall), sometimes it feels like you are in an Arabic Miami or LA, only the mosques and the traditional clothes of the inhabitants reminds you that you are in the Middle East sometimes.

The city is totally car oriented. In some areas there are very few sidewalks, and most roads are very big. Sometimes you find yourself walking in the middle of the road and the cars won't make consideration to that.The traffic is very aggressive with few rules, it is sometimes a bit dangerous to travel with the taxi drivers since they drive very fast and don't care about traffic rules. But they are also in general friendly and won't fool you on the price like in many other cities, since they have taxameter, and the taxi is pretty cheap. Many trafficants in Dubai generally don't care about keeping distances, they force other cars to change lanes very often, they don't indicate, and few will stop for pedestrians on crosswalks.

However, since a few years back, there is also an elevated metro system with driverless, computerdriven trains (just like in Copenhagen)! There were only 2 lines, but the red line covers most sights, (however you have to take a bus or taxi from some of them). The metro is very clean and cost only 14 AED for a daytrip (almost like a single trip in Sweden!). It also looks very futuristic; both the golden stations, the trains and the elevated tracks. The only downside is that the trains can be a bit crowded sometiems, and you have to walk through entire malls just to get to the metro stations, that is very annoying! Even more annoying is that to get enter these malls, you have to go through a parking garage, trafficated by cars that won't stop (really bad planning!). Dubai is also one of the few cities in the world that has air conditioned bus stops, due to the hot climate summertime.

There are many festivals taking place in Dubai, like the jazz festival for example. During our visit the shopping festival and the bedouin festival festival was taking place!

There are two airports, the large and very modern Dubai International that is located close to the old city center in the North, and the recently built Al Maktoum World Central in the Southern suburb Jebel Ali, that is very small but actually planned to be the world's largest airport! The latter is where we landed.


Dubai is one of the world's most modern cities, in some way also the coolest. Not the nicest or most beautiful, but it is trully one of the most excting cities on Earth to visit, especially for architecture fans, shoppers and beach lovers.

Since Dubai is situated in the middle of a desert, trees can't grow there naturally. Since the city is growing very fast, you often find yourself in newly built neighbourhoods with whole quarters with only desert sand, even in the new downtown! The old downtown however feels a lot more "natural" with its old historic buildings, the natural Dubai Creek with its old wooden ships, trees and parks and real souks and stores, unlike the artificial ones in the newer parts.

It is not as artificial and untasteful like you might think. Even if it's not a very green city since it is located in the desert, there are many beautiful areas with beautiful and cool buildings, and the beachfront that stretches through the whole city is nice with white sand and clear water. There is even an old area, Bur Dubai, that feels very natural and "working class" without historic buildings, old markets and few fancy buildings. It is mostly populated by Indians and other people from South Asia. In Bur Dubai you can find old souks (markets), a waterfront along Dubai Creek, "normal" stores and buildings, the historic Bastakiya quarters with the old restored windmill houses, the Dubai Museum, that is located inside the Al Fahidi Fort (Dubai's oldest building), and it is much more pedestrian friendly then most other parts of Dubai. Just next to Bur Dubai, on the same side of the creek, you can find the even older neighbourhood Shindagha, where parts of the Al Maktoum family (the rulers) grew up. In Shindagha you find the Heritage Village, a village with restored historical buildings in Arabic style. The government building is also in the old part.

To the North of Dur Dubai, you find Deira (that we only saw from afar) that used to be the most modern part and financial center of Dubai with a few modern skyscrapers built in the 1990s, but now almost historical compared to the New Dubai. To the East you can find Festival City and Wafi City, postmodern complexes with shopping malls, residential buidlings, artifical monuments and rivers and hotels. To the East of Dubai Marina is the new Emirates Hills, where you find some of the most expensive private mansions in Dubai.

The trip was arranged with Solresor, a bit special since I don't go on sun travels normally, but this one was to a big city so it fit well. When going home the Primera Air flight was 1.5 hours late without reason! They blamed it on strong winds and that made the plane land in Trabzon, Turkey, to refuel the tank but that only took 25 minutes. The real reason was probably that they were extremely slow with loading the cargo into the plane at the Al Maktoum Airport, nothing happened for about one hour. So the trip home to Copenhagen/Malmö took 9 hours while the one to Dubai took 7 hours, without stops. The plane flew over the mountains of Turkey and Iran, the Black Sea and the Persian Gulf, so that was interesting watching the landscape.

We stayed for one week totally in Dubai, and went for a short daytrip to Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE (not arranged by Solresor that took 400 dirhams/person, the tour arranged by the hotel took less then half of the price).

The UAE does not have any special cuisine, but Lebanese, Indian and American are the most common ones. Unfortunately we didn't have any culinary experiences, the prices were very high even for us Scandinavians, but most of the food was pretty tasteless, both on typical tourist spots and in the old town. In my opinion, there was too much fast food western influence, even in expensive restaurants, the best food we had was at a Turkish place and at the hotel's Indian restaurant.

We stayed at Grandeur Hotel in Al Barsha, a new residential/hotel district in the south part of Dubai between New Downtown and Dubai Marina. The hotel was 3+ and had large rooms with marble bathrooms (but our view was not so good), a nice lunch/breakfast restaurant and a pool on the roof. So the building itself was pretty good, but the serivice was bad, it was too slow and sometimes didn't exist.