Once a dusty outpost in the Emirati desert, Dubai has redeveloped itself many times over. The thrum of construction constantly creates the next big thing for Dubai's residents. But contrary to some opinions, there is a rich culture, rooted in the Bedouin heritage of storytelling, song, dance and, oddly enough, falconry. It’s easy to find, if you know where to look. Sweltering for most of the year, a departure into the desert is a welcome respite from the chilly UK weather.
When it comes to the skyline, modesty goes out of the tinted skyscraper window here. There's the planet's biggest snow park, a racetrack hosting the world's richest horse race, and lush golf courses. It’s all punctuated by superb shopping malls, souks and pockets of traditional architecture from tea houses to wind towers. You can also enjoy miles of sun-bleached sand and crystal clear water. And a dhow cruise at dusk is the perfect way to end the day.