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Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

by Andrea on December 22, 2011

614156 Dubai Today (Photo Essay) Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

People keep talking about the property bust in Dubai but it was easy for casual visitors like us to overlook. After all, the home of the world’s tallest building, tallest hotel and largest shopping mall has so many amazing attractions.

atlantis Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Atlantis, The Palm has over 1,500 rooms, a water park and a place for visitors to interact with dolphins.

dubai mall Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Dubai is still a shopper’s paradise. Here’s a peek inside Dubai Mall, the world’s largest with 1,200 shops.

40th Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Our visit coincided with the 40th anniversary of the United Arab Emirates.

wild wadi Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Family attractions, like the Wild Wadi Water Park, abound.

ski dubai Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Ski Dubai, an indoor winter wonderland is one of a kind.

burj al Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

The super-luxurious Burj Al Arab hotel, with its incredible design, stands proudly on a man-made island.

creek1 Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Back in the “old town,” a view across the Dubai Creek.

mosque Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

tree Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

While its population is mostly Arabic, Dubai is home to many different people and cultures.

hotel1 Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Madinat Jumeirah Arabian Resort


dubai mall ceiling Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

An opulent ceiling in Dubai Mall

boat workers Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Plenty of hard workers keep Dubai going.

aquarium Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

Visitors check out the huge indoor aquarium inside Dubai Mall.

towers Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

worlds tallest building Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

 Have you ever been to Dubai? What did you think of it?

614156 Dubai Today (Photo Essay) Dubai Today (Photo Essay)

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{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Cam December 22, 2011 at 8:00 pm

We were in Dubai in 2009 and LOVED it! It gets mixed reviews for its “western” feel, but we had just come from India so it was a welcomed change. Make sure you check out SkiDubai and do some indoor skiiing/snowbaording!


Cam December 22, 2011 at 8:01 pm

Nevermind, just saw the Ski Dubai photo… must have missed my first time around (duh!) ;-)


Andrea and John December 23, 2011 at 12:37 pm

Haha – no worries. We don’t ski so didn’t go in but it did make for a nice backdrop during our dinner – fun to watch everyone inside =)


Prooster December 22, 2011 at 8:09 pm

This type of development is unsustainable and frankly ugly


Andrea and John December 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I definitely wouldn’t call the new areas beautiful…


Jarmo December 22, 2011 at 8:37 pm

Seems like there is a lot to see in Dubai, quite a lot of it luxurious from the look of it.


Andrea and John December 23, 2011 at 12:36 pm

I’m not sure if there are enough people to afford all that luxury (who would want to live there I should add), but there definitely is a lot to see and do.


Amanda Williams December 22, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Dubai strikes me as someplace so over-the-top and wild that I’d love to see it in person someday. Love these photos! And SkiDubai has snow zorbing?? That. Is. Awesome.


Andrea and John December 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm

Just what I think, Amanda. I thought of you when I saw the zorbing, haha =)


Stephanie - The Travel Chica December 23, 2011 at 12:25 pm

Consumerism at its worst.


Andrea and John December 23, 2011 at 12:34 pm

It’s pretty over the top, I agree. John wasn’t into it – nothing to do there but shop, he said. I look at it more like I do Vegas – ok for a break once in awhile but I wouldn’t want to live there.


emilyinchile December 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm

How funny, we were just talking about Dubai last night! My nephew hated it and thinks it’s just horrible fake-ness that’s not sustainable, but I wouldn’t say no to seeing the over the top madness for myself someday. Just probably don’t have either the desire or the budget to spend a whole lot of time there.


Andrea and John December 24, 2011 at 5:14 am

John wasn’t keen on it. I don’t think one can stay there too long without blowing a lot of money. But I think it must be seen at least once, for architecture alone.


Andi Perullo December 23, 2011 at 7:02 pm

It really is over the top! But I want to visit sooooo badly!!!


Andrea and John December 24, 2011 at 5:13 am

I’m sure you’ll get there sometime – just do a stopover next time you head to Asia. Emirates is a fantastic airline! =)


Diana Edelman December 23, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Dubai looks amazing! What a mix of modern and regal.


Andrea and John December 24, 2011 at 5:12 am

I found Abu Dhabi to be more regal – you should see the mosque there!!


Oneika the Traveller December 25, 2011 at 9:07 am

Lovely photos but it’s crazy to think that the UAE is only 40 years old! I’m going in February so thanks for these pics! I’m excited to go now!


Andrea and John December 26, 2011 at 3:54 am

Fun! Don’t miss some of the attractions like the water parks and dolphin experience (if it’s warm enough) =)


The World Stroll December 26, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Amazing photos! Dubai seems to be beautiful..


Andrea and John December 26, 2011 at 3:41 pm

Some parts are, though it felt overdeveloped and a bit cold to us…


Annie - FootTracker January 2, 2012 at 11:23 am

Dubai looks so pretty with all the new buildings and attractions. What $$ can do nowadays is crazy. (Still want to see it sometime though with my own eyes ^^)


Andrea and John January 2, 2012 at 12:15 pm

It’s certainly a fascinating place to explore…I love architecture so just seeing all the incredible buildings was enjoyable for me!


Abby January 9, 2012 at 12:12 am

Property bust that tourists don’t see: sounds like Vegas! I’d love to see Dubai one day — the indoor ski slope kills me.


Andrea and John January 9, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Vegas is the place it reminded me of, actually! Is that still going on there?


Anne slater-brooks June 4, 2012 at 12:33 am

Dubai is fake in the way Las Vegas is…but fun in the way Las Vegas is. It’s definitely not going to give you a taste for the real middle east but you don’t have to go far from Dubai to experience that! It’s a great introduction to the Middle East for people nervous of travelling to this area but don’t be fooled by the hype. Whilst you must exercise caution in this area it is a truly fabulous, unique and amazingly cultural region!! I find it truly fascinating


inspiringtravellers June 4, 2012 at 8:02 am

Thanks so much for your comments, Anne – I wish we had more time in UAE to get out of the cities and see a bit more off the beaten track. Will have to return one day! =)


Jennifer August 23, 2012 at 10:50 pm

Fantastic photos! We’re headed to Dubai in November and can’t wait to see it in person.


inspiringtravellers August 24, 2012 at 8:46 am

Thanks, Jennifer! It’s certainly an interesting city. I recommend the hop on – hop off bus tour because you can see the whole city in one day like this for an overview (the distances can be quite far otherwise…unless you have your own car).


Rashad Pharaon November 9, 2013 at 2:21 pm

Gorgeous photos. You’ve really captured the essence of Dubai’s tourism, Andrea. I currently am on a job assignment in Saudi Arabia, and considering Saudi is far wealthier a country, I am surprised it doesn’t hold a candle to Dubai’s grandeur. We don’t even have a developed public transport system… but considering general tourism is forbidden, I can understand why. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience :)


inspiringtravellers November 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm

So glad you enjoyed them, Rashad! I’m so surprised to hear that SA isn’t as grand. Being a female I’ve never even considered a visit but my father worked over there for some time. I am trying to find some photos on your blog now but don’t see any…will you be writing about your experiences there?


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