Add Dubai To Your Bucket List

By on December 12, 2016

Dubai conjures up images of absurd excess, a playground for the rich, built on the whim of the visionary king. Set within the dazzling  desert state of the United Arab Emirates, this intoxicating blend of new age architecture, beach resort, ultimate amusement park and luxurious shopping paradise is vying to become the global centre for the family holiday industry and a world-class business and cultural center. It can’t fail – at least that’s what its creator, the ruler of the Emirate, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum is banking on. Billions of dollars of investment have been poured into his grand vision along with millions of tons of concrete and water to create this super oasis. The statistics are bewildering and so are the buildings, impossibly high and perfectly formed. Truly a kingdom of pleasure and the ultimate escape for the weary family tired of hum drum reality.

Suitably exotic, this Arabian wonder world wipes the floor with Las Vegas. The enticing blend of luxury and decadence in the desert has none of the vices of Vegas, hence its  wholesome family appeal. Clean, safe and now, fortunately for us, due to a hiccup in the global economy, the playground has opened its doors to everyone. Hotels are still being completed at an incredible rate and are  clambering for our custom to keep occupancy rates up. Now, more than ever before, it’s time to practice your haggling techniques on the tour operators before reaching the famed Souks of this old fishing port.

Dubai’s landscape is something out of a Jules Verne story, but this is not science fiction but science fact. Ski in the desert in a domed sports centre, dine under the sea in an underwater restaurant, stand on top of the world in the world’s tallest building, and all this just a hop, skip and a jump away from your palatial abode where there aren’t enough hotel stars to keep up with the level of luxury.

Dubai was never intended to celebrate the past, although it can be found on the back streets of the Bastakiya. It’s all about the here and now and the future. Giant skyscrapers and the famed artificial islands are only the very beginning. A few years ago saw the opening of the metro train line with ten of the proposed sixty stations in operation. Hotels and attractions are being added by the day and Dubailand, the name given to the  collection of  amusements parks set to bring the world to Dubai for the world to see.

In this city of superlatives, the absurd and the beautiful come together, the choices are endless, and for the family, a vacation in Dubai is the ultimate thrill. We can swim with the imported dolphins at the Atlantis hotel, partake in the ultimate spa and be careening over the dunes in a rugged 4×4 for a spot of ‘Dune Bashing’. Swap your ride for a camel, don traditional garb and head into a Bedouin village, for a night under the stars in the timeless desert.

Alternatively, ski on the world’s only indoor black run at Ski Dubai or brave the  incredible water rides at Wild Wadi and spend the evening wandering  the streets of the Gold Souk in search of  that  illusive bargain in one of the  world’s biggest retail  gold markets. Whatever you are looking for, you will be sure to find it here in Dubai, and if not, it is probably being built for you right now.

With plans for a further two palm islands in development, Dubai’s growth  is far from over. Dubailand (named so we can tell the difference between fact and fantasy) is expected to be completed in 2020, but for now Dubai already sees itself at the centre of the tourist world. It’s even built it’s own version of the world, The World Archipelago—(a group of man-made islands built in the form of  world) to drive home  the  fact. Strike while the concrete is drying and make Dubai your future family holiday destination. 



A wonder of the modern world, these man-made palm fringed-islands house some of the most  luxurious  homes and  hotels,  and together with the  wonderfully  crass  World Archipelago, have the feel of a James Bond hideaway.


“The tallest hotel in the world stands at 321 meters on sixty floors, complete with its own helipad and underwater restaurant. The iconic six star hotel is beautiful on the outside, but the gold-and-navy interior  seems a little OTT for a quick break.”


The giant needle in the city is the world’s tallest building, has 160 floors, and has a lofty $4 billion-plus price tag.


  Ski Dubai is a must, just so you can say you skied in  the desert. Five runs, including the         world’s only indoor black run. All rental gear including clothing is included in the entrance               price, so you can go in  your swimming costume.

          WILD WADI

Based  around the Arabian folklore story of Juha and Sinbad, this  wild twelve-acre  water park has thirty of the most gnarly rides  to satisfy any  daredevil.


For culture vultures this is one of the largest and most beautiful mosques in the region.


Housed in the restored Al-Fahidi Fort, dating  back to 1799, offers a welcome relief for hose hankering for a touch of the past.


In Bur Dubai is the old  district famous for its traditional style buildings, narrow lanes and   unique wind towers.


Only thirty minutes from  the centre of Dubai, at the foothills of the Hajar mountains, lies           Hatta, full of fresh water pools and red sand dunes.  Choose your form of transport, camel, quad bikes, sand skis or 4×4.


Housed in the 124-storey Burj Khalifa building, Dubai Aquarium is a must-visit.  The Aquarium Tunnel has one of the most awe-inspiring views of 30,000 fish species children will love.


The total traveling time from Tokyo to Dubai is 11 hours 50 mins (direct non-stop flight).  Direct flights from Tokyo:  JAL and Emirates.  Flights with stopover take 14-15 hours.


About Carl Williams