Always expect more in Dubai

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 16 July 2019

Dubai is essentially an idea. A grand idea that markets itself as a city filled with skyscrapers and shopping malls. It’s an idea built on a single premise: If the world says it cannot be done, it will be done in Dubai.

After all, this was exactly the motivation behind the transformation of a fishing village into the business powerhouse of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

“Dubai was originally thought to be no good for anything other than a fishing village. So the royal family of Sheikh Al Maktoum decided to prove everyone wrong,” explains Hanosh, our tour guide around Dubai during this stopover on the Vodacom Red Super Rugby Final Tour. A group of 25 Vodacom Red clients won the exclusive prize of a trip to the Vodacom Super Rugby Final between the Crusaders and Jaguares in Christchurch, with a stop in Dubai to experience the wonders of this city.

The drive behind Dubai’s ever-evolving landscape is what Hanosh calls the three Bs – Bigger, Better, Best. So, if Las Vegas has the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, then Dubai’s must be taller. And it’s currently being built. This drive extends to even its own excellence. The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world at just under 830 metres. But Dubai is already planning a taller one of 1.2 kilometres high.

Also read: Highest lounge in the world opens in Dubai

“I’ve been coming to Dubai for close on 10 years now. The biggest thing that strikes you is the size of it all. It’s mind-boggling to see how they’ve created these enormous structures. There is such a diverse culture here. It’s almost like this bubble that is totally unreal and you can literally enjoy anything you want to, whether it’s bathing in the sea in 45-degree heat, or going to a snow ski slope in a mall. It’s a fascinating city,” says Springbok legend Bryan Habana, who accompanied the winning Vodacom Red clients on their tour.

You could find yourself overwhelmed when deciding what to see during your visit to Dubai.

There are 7 Emirates in the UAE, here’s a starting list of 7 sights to see in Dubai:

1. The Museum Dubai: A wonderful introduction to the history of this fascinating city, and the culture of the United Arab Emirates. The museum contains several archaeological artefacts from the earliest human settlements in the region.
2. An abra water taxi: A trip in an abra water taxi across what is known as the creek is not only an experience but also the perfect way to get from the main city to the traditional markets.
3. The souks: The traditional markets where you can purchase anything from jewellery to spices or fabrics. And fear not, it is considered impolite to not bargain about the price.
4. The Burj Khalifa: In a city of skyscrapers, it makes sense to go to the top of the tallest. The lift to the 124th-floor observation deck takes roughly one minute. And the bird’s eye view of the city is well worth it.
5. The Mall of Dubai: The length of seven football fields, this mall is the largest in the world in terms of pure square metres. With 1200 shops to choose from, that credit card of yours will be hotter than the average summer temperature of 40 degrees.
6. The Burj Al Arab: One of the iconic structures of the Dubai landscape, this is billed as the world’s only 7-star hotel. But it would be officially rated as a 5-star deluxe hotel. If you can afford a night or two here, great. But for most, a meal in this kind of luxury is memorable enough.
7. Dinner in the desert: A dinner at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and Spa is a magical experience of local cuisine and an entertaining show featuring local performers as well as even a live performance on the dunes featuring a horse battle.

Be warned. Dubai changes every single day. For example, Dubai currently has 836 hotels. By the time Expo 2020 arrives, the city will have built a further 250 hotels. And by 2021, Dubai will have a hyperloop train that will connect the city and Abu Dhabi with the result that a two-hour drive will now take 12 minutes.

In other words, what you see today will be bigger and better tomorrow.

On a Vodacom Red tour built around the premise of “Expect More”, Dubai certainly fits that bill.

Words by Michael Vlismas
Images: Supplied

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