FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Dubai: Passing Time

Jul 1, 2012
2012 / July 2012

From its sail-shaped landmark Burj Al Arab hotel and chic malls to its sparkling beaches and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, it’s difficult to knowingly understate Dubai. But behind its luxurious futuristic façade, Dubai managed to preserve much of its historic sites and Old World Arab charm. As a result, vestiges of pre-1970s Dubai — then an unassuming Persian Gulf fishing village famous for its pearls — still survive, hidden amid the modern glistening towers and flashing lights. This juxtaposition of ancient and über-modern provides a unique perspective into Dubai’s evolution and affords an opportunity to learn about Arabic culture in one of the region’s most open environments.

The iconic 5-star Dusit Thani Dubai Hotel in the city’s vibrant commercial district offers easy access to business and leisure pursuits. It’s only minutes from Dubai’s International Convention Centre, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Beach Park and Deira (historic old town). The hotel’s daily complimentary shuttle service whisks guests to most commercial and financial centers, the beach and malls.

Start your day early with a short orientation cruise of Dubai’s inner bay or the Dubai Creek aboard a traditional dhow. As you cruise past fishing dhows and arbas, your guide provides a brief, informative history of Dubai as he points out the many modern and historic landmarks flanking the bay.

Back at the dock, walk the couple of blocks to the souks in the Deira district on the eastern side of the creek. Here, amid the narrow alleyways, a cacophony of brightly colored fabrics, exotic aromas of spices and the lively chatter of merchants from Iran, Oman and Somalia flood your senses.

A couple of blocks north of the cramped stalls of saffron, bejeweled Arabic slippers, Persian rugs, ornate shishas (hookahs) and coin-encrusted belly dancing costumes, you’ll find the world’s largest gold souk, shop windows bursting with racks and racks of 20- and 24-karat gold bracelets, watches and necklaces.

Continue your eclectic cultural tour across the creek in nearby Bastakiya with lunch at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. The center is famous for its friendly, informal discussions of Emirati culture and its traditional Arab cuisine such as tangy tabouleh; luqaimat pastries with date syrup; sweet khobs khameer flatbread with fennel seed and saffron; and strong, cardamom-scented Arabic coffee.

After lunch, head back to your hotel to freshen up for dinner at the top of the world. Opened in 2011, At.mosphere Restaurant on the 122nd floor of the 2,717-foot Burj Khalifa is the highest restaurant in the world. The combination of magnificent city panoramas and the imaginative menu of Michelin-starred chef Dwayne Cheer, featuring wild sea bass and Moroccan spiced lamb chops, is an unforgettable experience and the perfect ending to your day in Dubai.

Weblinks

At.mosphere Restaurant
Dubai Tourism

Dusit Thani Dubai Hotel

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

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FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

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