This was a wonderful experience out of the whole skyline Dubai experience. You can take a boat that won't cost you more than 50DH and cross the creek to the spice market where people are very kind and show you their goods and products. Definitively a place to bargain and get good deals. Very close by is the God Souk which is an amazing street filled with gold and jewelry shops.
D 85 - Dubai
Google map: bit.ly/w3vHlz
Having spent a considerable amount of time in Dubai, I can recommend this city for some serious retail therapy for so many reasons!
1. Dubai is home to the largest mall in the world. You can find over a whopping 1,000 stores in the mall and when you are tired of retail therapy, head to one of the many spas, cafes or restaurants (or check out the aquarium or ice rink) and then admire the views from the Burj Khalifa (yes, you guessed it, the tallest tower in the world - Dubai is very fond of superlatives).
2. Dubai is home to a large number of expats and the shops in the city reflect that. You can visit department stores like Bloomingdales and Galeries Lafayette in the same mall or head to the smaller shopping centres like Mercato (built to resemble a Venetian city - only in Dubai) where you can find smaller boutiques and one off shops such as Ivy which stocks clothing and accessories from places like London, Monaco, France and Italy.
3. Dubai isn't short of space. Located in the desert, the shops are all generously sized, and more importantly, wherever you go, never expect to queue for a fitting room (yes, even H&M and Forever 21 have a plentiful supply of them).
4. Finally, when you are done flexing your credit card (or, more likely, denting it beyond all recognition), jump in a cab and head down to one of the many beaches for some tanning and cocktails. Try ShoChos for their delectable ginger martinis.
Ignore the overhyped bling of Dubai's five star hotels and choking traffic and head out instead for an overnight safari in the spectacular rolling red dunes half an hour south of the city.
My wife organised a birthday convoy of 4x4s, hotdogging over yardangs and zeugans accompanied by the screams of fear (or delight) as we flew over crescents of mountainous ochre sanddunes.
An evening camp in a natural bowl, smoking perfumed shisha and eating a birthday dish of barbecued quail was topped by an undamaged and proudly presented black forest gateaux served under the gaze of a herd of wild camels sihouetted against an endless silent starlit sky.
You get a comfy mattress in your tent, the chance to pee in the sand under Ursa Major and fresh, unbroken eggs for breakfast transported carefully by gentle Palestinian drivers.
And to witness a spectacular desert sunrise on the morning after your birthday is enough to make anyone feel alive.
+971 4 343 9966 / 303 4888
1st Floor, Emirates Holidays Building
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
PO Box 7631
Google map: bit.ly/fU56XA
This is possibly the best hotel in Dubai, if you are looking for the type of quality you might need from a top business trip. The service is probably globally second to none. Forget the gaudiness of the Burj Al Arab, this one gets my vote
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