What was once a fishing and pearl-diving village on the Persian Gulf has spent the last several decades reinventing itself as the futuristic playground we can enjoy right now.
Dubai is the most populated of the seven United Arab Emirates, and although it’s not the capital (Abu Dhabi is), the desert state compensates by boasting exponential financial and population growth while dominating a number of world records. From the height of the world’s tallest building to its man-made palm islands in the sea, Dubai is the business center and shopping capital of the Middle East and a fascinating blend of billionaires, laborers, businessmen, expatriates, and all their collective cultures.
Islam is both the official and majority religion of the United Arab Emirates, and while Dubai is a fairly globalized city, there are just two mosques in all of the UAE open to those not of that faith. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was completed in the heart of Abu Dhabi in 2007 and Dubai’s Fatimid style Jumeirah Mosque opened in 1979, both breathtaking and complex inside and out.
While Dubai is buzzing with places to wine and dine, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah contains seven of the city’s very best. Start with innovative seafood artistry at Al Mahara, the understated aquarium-enclosed restaurant run by three Michelin-starred chef Kim Joinié-Maurin, before elevating to Gold On 27 for a glittering evening of top-floor views, shisha, and champagne.
Just outside the utopia of Dubai sprawls a golden sandscape as far as the eye can see. The vast expanse of the Arabian Desert begs to be explored in every way imaginable: from a private fine-dining experience for two – and we do mean private – beneath the stars, rumbling along the dunes on a quad-bike or sandboard, or joining a caravan of camels at sundown.