Why I would love to visit Dubai
My travel taste has changed with time. I used to get itchy feet within two days of visiting a big city and I used to have close to zero interest for what went on behind the scenes. I did not bother exploring the alleys; I could not be fussed with museums; I did not find much interest in the daily life of the locals and found modern buildings to be quite distasteful. All I wanted to do was get out and explore nature and archeological sites. That’s what happened to me in Argentina, for example: after 2 days in Buenos Aires I was ready to move on to Patagonia.
Fast-forward a couple of years, and after visiting Bangkok, in Thailand, Saigon in Vietnam, and even Delhi in India, I found that big (and modern) cities have a unique vibe, a crazy energy that keeps me wanting to explore more. I love wandering the streets with no real purpose in mind, turning corner after corner to come across the most incredible scenes: a man pulling his bike on a narrow alley in Varanasi; a barber cutting the hair of a boy in Udaipur.
But there’s more to it. Until a year ago, if I was asked whether there were any places I wasn’t interested in visiting, I’d have no doubt and say that I had no intention of ever visiting places like Dubai or Abu Dhabi. Even this has changed, and I have lately grown a taste for these modern and rapidly developing cities – it may well be the power of social media, with Instagram showing picture after picture of fabulous shiny skyscrapers, state of the art buildings and even beautiful beaches and sand dunes. It may be the comfort they offer, in the tourist sense of the word and which I have acquired a taste for recently: luxury hotels, fantastic dining, unique experiences. I guess it shows I am getting older!
With all this in mind, I think that after all I would indeed like to visit Dubai – at least for a few days and so that I could finally see what it is all about.
So, here’s a few reasons why I would love to visit Dubai soon.
Why I would love to visit Dubai
It is a major airport hub
I have noticed that a lot of flights from Europe to South East Asia stop in the United Arab Emirates, and that the airports in the region are simply impressive. They have to be, I suppose, with so many people traveling through every day. And a lot of them, now, are taking the opportunity to actually spend a few days exploring the city (or even just go for a day trip if they have a long layover) since they are traveling through anyways. This surely is the case with Dubai, which is one of the world’s busiest airports.
It is rapidly changing
No other place on earth knows development to the same level Dubai is experiencing it. At any moment, a new skyscraper is being built and the skyline is always taking a new shape. The best part of it is that since the government is generally involved in the construction of these marvels, tourists can visit them for free (hats off for a city that is famous for being so expensive!).
It’s incredibly diverse
I would have never imagined that, but Dubai is incredibly diverse. Come to think of it, it does make sense: this is a place where people from all over the world fly in and out of, regularly. And more than that, they do work there as it is a huge business hub. This means that Dubai is a huge melting pot, with cultures mixing to give it a special international flavor. And by flavor, I don’t only refer to the actual culture that each resident brings into Dubai. I also mean the food: whatever kind of food one may wish for is apparently available in Dubai – Lebanese, India, French… you name it!
And apparently, there’s a lot of street food to be found in Al Dhiyafah Road, which means that it is not nearly as expensive as one may think of.
It’s a sand and sea extravaganza
In case nobody has noticed, I do love deserts. I have a real fascination for them. I have been to Atacama desert in Chile, the driest place on earth, and wasn’t put off by the fact that I’d wake up every night, choking for how dry my mouth was. I loved riding buggies on the sand dunes of Huacacina in Peru. I explored the desert in Israel Timna Park. And even in my very own home in Sardinia, I enjoy walking up the glorious sand dunes of Piscinas. I have some old old pictures in them, where I pretend I am a beduin.
It’s thus easy to see why I’d love to go on a desert safari in Dubai – whether a camel one or riding buggies, I do want that mint tea in the desert!
But there is more. I do enjoy a good day at the beach (well, I am from Sardinia after all) and Dubai has some amazing ones. Not only that: I do enjoy boat trips and I could even take a yacht for rent in Dubai to go along the coast.
It’s home to the best shopping
I admit not being much of a shopaholic, but I do enjoy an afternoon of browsing through shops and even day-dreaming of being filthy rich to afford luxury items. But there’s more to it: next to luxury brands, Dubai has plenty of souks where it is possible to buy at more than reasonable prices. And I do love exploring markets (and possibly engaging in haggling!).
Have you been to Dubai? What would you add to the list of things to do there that I have mentioned?
This article is written in partnership with Cozmo Yachts.