For all the glitz and glamour that surrounds modern day Dubai, it’s easy to forget that this modernistic city was once a small coastal village, where the vibrant fishing trade once fuelled the local economy.
How times have changed.
Creative Commons credit: milos milosevic
The high rise skyscrapers, myriad shopping malls and seven-star hotels, which now dominates the city’s skyline, was the brainchild of Sheikh Mohammed- a leader who seemingly doesn’t understand the word ‘no’ and whose continuous eccentric construction projects are attracting millions of international tourists to the city each year. Dubai’s recent popularity stems from its unique ability to show off: investing millions into projects, others would only dream of giving the green light.
Airline carriers from around the world are certainly doing their bit to help tourism flourish in the emirate. Many of the world’s top airlines are now opening up routes to the city, which has stirred competition in the market and lowered flight ticket prices. As a result, more and more travel operators, like DialAFlight, are now offering cheap flights to Dubai.
I’ve been fortunate enough to visit the city a few times now and witnessed firsthand, the city’s extraordinary tourism boom. Of course, one can’t help but get caught up in the razzle-dazzle, but for those whose holiday itinerary does involve some form of relaxation- even laziness- Dubai certainly has plenty to offer.
The beaches in Dubai are among the world’s finest- at least the best I’ve seen anyway. Most of the ‘posher’ hotel-owned beaches run adjacent to Jumeria Road. Privately owned, these beaches do charge a small fee for admittance but its well worth paying if you are planning to stay at the whole day. From here you can bask in +30 degree sunshine whilst letting the gentle sea breeze cool you off. Complete relaxation assured.
One of the most popular beaches is the Marina Beach Resort. Not only is it arguably the prettiest in the city- offering stunning views of Buji Al Arab- but it’s also well equipped with showers, toilets and shelter to keep beach-goers happy.
Creative Commons credit: Sarah_Ackerman
However, lying on a beach all day isn’t to everyone’s tastes. So for those who may bore of the golden sands a little too quickly, Jumeria Beach park does offer other ‘relaxing’ alternatives: snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, jet skiing, kite surfing… to name but a few.
Of course some may argue that lying on the beach all day deters from sightseeing this extraordinary metropolis; depriving you of some of Dubai’s true magic. But you can still see the city in its entirety and be lazy.
Modelled on London’s famous open-top bus tours, the Big Bus Tour is Dubai’s official equivalent. With many routes mapped out across the city, tourists are certainly spoilt for choice. Tour guides onboard provide useful information as the bus whizzes past popular sights, so there’s a chance to learn more about the city as you sit back and relax.
The day of laziness doesn’t have to end once the sun goes down. In the evening, I walked down to the Bastakia Quarter, a traditional part of Dubai that dates back to the old fishing village days. Whilst here, it’s the perfect opportunity to indulge in the tastes of traditional middle-eastern cuisine. There are plenty of cafes and restaurants in this maze-like district; shopping markets and art galleries too. It’s the perfect place to unwind, reflect on your lazy day in Dubai and watch as the city’s lights decorate the skyline.