If you are looking for a little wander
around picturesque streets, Dubai is not your place.
If you are looking for a vibrant, consumer-oriented haven of
contrasting cultures, a 21st century caravanserai, where the camel
has been replaced by the Beamer, the Hummer or the Merc, and the
travellers’ inn has been superceded by the 7-star hotel, for a place
where global travellers meet and cross paths, accommodating one
another side by side - with a lot of glitz and fun…..you’re there!
Surreal, soaring skyscrapers, shopping, sun, sand, sea and
Life in Dubai revolves around air conditioning for the most part of
the year. This means cars, malls, hotels – and the latter
particularly because they are allowed to serve alcohol and tend to
therefore house the best restaurants. Part of Dubai’s appeal is in
its contrasts. West meets East, contemporary meets traditional. And
construction is very much the name of the game. (For some great
shots of the miracle that is under-construction Dubai, take a look
at the photo gallery in
Dubai Under Construction.)
But what unites all who live there is the unending quest for
“success” and the possibility that the Emirate represents for
bettering one’s life – however that is defined.
ChI Stays At…..
Dubai hotels are exorbitantly
expensive, and always over-booked. There are many packages on offer
for those travelling out of Europe in particular, usually via
Emirates, but if you are travelling solo or from another direction,
Oasis at the Royal Mirage, the Kempinski in the Mall of the
Park Hyatt, or the
Radisson (in the former city centre
near the Creek, and used to be the Intercontinental).
If you are a golf buff,
The Montgomerie (www.themontgomerie.com
tel +971 4 390 5600) is a delightful boutique hotel with about 20
minimalist but extremely comfortable rooms, in Emirates Hills. In
fact, even if you are not a golf buff, it’s a super place to stay,
though only really convenient if you are planning to spend time in
that side of town (the Hills, Greens etc, the new Burj Dubai, the
Mall of the Emirates, the Dubai Marina….).
Another different experience is the (very) small boutique hotel in
the centre of town with only 6 rooms is the
XVA, which is in Bur
Dubai near the Museum.
A chic, sleek minimalist experience with a touch of arabesque
architecture, and soothing, spa-like lobby muzak, is
hotel. Excellent, friendly service. Located in Burj Dubai in the old
town. Tel +971 4 428 5888.
Alternatively, the Francophones among you might like
La Maison des
Hotes, a French-atmosphere (and language) hotel in the heart of