Norwegians are becoming more adventurous, and the hunger for new, exotic destinations is growing. Throughout the 2000s, Dubai has emerged as one of the truly great destinations, in what many refer to as a paradise with very modern standards and good economic conditions. The city is part of the United Arab Emirates, and is part of an emirate of the same name – and is by the way the largest city in the emirate, although the capital is Abu Dhabi. In the city of Dubai itself, more than 2 million people live.
Dubai’s location along the Persian Gulf means that the country and the city have a dry and hot climate, where most of what is not sand is artificially constructed by humans. And Dubai is perhaps best known for its money, so they have produced everything from artificial slalom slopes to artificial islands. There is definitely a lot to see and experience here, something over 10 million tourists experience every single year at what is one of the world’s most forward-thinking tourist destinations.
Travel to Dubai
Dubai is a distant nation for Norway, and you must expect a flight time of at least 8 hours to get there. There are no direct flights from Norway, but via Stockholm or other European cities you can get directly to Dubai. The official currency in Dubai is the Emirate Dirham. 10 dirhams corresponds to the current exchange rates of just over 8 Norwegian kroner. In general, it is cheaper in Dubai than in Norway, but as a rich nation, you will not experience the typical low tourist prices that Norwegians can often enjoy.
As a tourist, you travel safely in Dubai, but you should take the usual precautions as you would otherwise have done in other big cities. Also be aware of cultural differences in relation to Norway, and that Pakistanis and Indians (who are more than half of the emirate’s inhabitants) may have a completely different view of women than what they have in Norway. The drinking water from the tap can be used for brushing teeth, but bottled water is recommended for drinking.
Hotels and restaurants in Dubai
In Dubai, there are far more luxury hotels than budget or tourist hotels, which is quite unusual. The prices for accommodation are, however, completely affordable for most Norwegians, so when you first travel to Dubai, we believe that you should treat yourself to a luxurious and good stay. There are hotels centrally located in the center of Dubai and along the shoreline, so here you can pick and choose as to where you will spend the most time.
Dubai or the Arab Emirates in general is probably not known for its unique food culture, but there is clearly a lot of exotic food here. Many luxury restaurants serve food from various European and Asian cuisines, where you can choose from everything from fish to various meat dishes and more. We also recommend that you try a local restaurant to get a little insight into the culture that exists here.
Attractions in Dubai
As we mentioned in the introduction, much of what Dubai has to offer is man-made. With a lot of money, there are almost no limits to what you can make, something Dubai is perhaps the foremost country in the world to show. Here there is a lot of fun and excitement for both young and old.
Travel to sunny and beach-clad Dubai to ski – it may sound completely wrong to many. But the fact is that the ski park in Dubai is completely unique and must be experienced. It is one of the few artificial ski parks in the world of this standard, and the longest slope is a full 400 meters! Even though we Norwegians usually travel away from the cold and snow, Dubai Ski should be visited.
Burj al Arab
If you stay at the Burj al Arab hotel, you are at least guaranteed a good night’s accommodation. This is the world’s tallest hotel, and if you thought a five star hotel was good, you’ll be sure to enjoy this seven star hotel. It extends 321 meters above the ground and is probably the most extensive hotel complex in the world.
But the height of the Burj al Arab is nothing compared to the Burj Khalifa, which actually holds the title of the world’s tallest building (although it is being built even higher in China at the time of writing). It stretches 828 meters above the ground and is an incredible structure right in the center of Dubai. If you have a fear of heights, you may want to consider staying on the ground…
Zoo and water park
Dubai has many offers for you who travel with family and children. Dubai Zoo is an extensive facility that has everything from brown bears to more exotic animals such as chimpanzees. Here there are also lush green areas and lots of shows. The Wild Waldi Water Park is located just outside the center of Dubai, and can also be recommended for those traveling with children.
If you have had enough of luxury and skyscrapers that are several hundred times taller than yourself, then you should visit the small village of Bastakiya. This is a small town with traditional style from the Middle East, where you will really be able to taste the authentic Dubai.