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Dubai is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The city is located in the Emirates with which it shares its name and this is why it is often called Dubai City. Dubai is the largest city in the state, more than 2 million inhabitants have been counted here. The city is also the economic, culturaland social centre of the Emirates. Dubai is situated in the North of the Emirates, and the estuary of the Dubai Creek runs through the city. It is the skyline of the city that is particularly well-known with its many skyscrapers. <
Dubai has two airports. Dubai International Airport lies directly in the city and it is the most important airport in the Middle East. Many international airlines land and take off here. In order to reduce the pressure on the airport, a second airport was built at Jebel Ali. Be aware of prices when you book your flight. It is possible that it is cheaper if you arrive at the Abu Dhabi airport. The journey time can take between 60 and 90 minutes and you will pay between 60 and 90 euros for a taxi.
Dubai is split into 9 sectors whose only significance is to characterise which are the agricultural and the urban areas. There are further divisions into communities and Dubai has 132 communities in total. Jumeirah is the most expensive residential area in Dubai. Up until some years ago, it was the home of the fishermen but now several bungalows have been developed here in the last few years. The rich inhabitants and the mostly rich European guest workers live here.
Mirdif is a residential area where the middle classes feel at home. However, what is problematic is that apart from three shopping centres, there is no other infrastructure here.
Dubai is deemed as the city of extremes. Above all, it is the high buildings in the city that are extreme. The silhouette of the city is shaped by the skyscrapers. There are more than 100 buildings in Dubai that are higher than 150 metres.
The Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world. The skyscraper was built between 2004 and 2009 and its consecration took place on the 4th of January 2010. The Burj Khalifa is not only the highest building but it also has the most floors and the most that can actually be used. In total, 163 floors can be used. The Armani-Hotel is located in the lower 38 floors and above it there are several offices and suites. In the 124 and 148 floors, there are lookout platforms and in the 122nd floor there is a restaurant. It is astonishing that only one year after its opening, the rental prices fell dramatically. Of the 900 residences, more than 800 stood empty.
Another building that is worth seeing is the Al-Faheidi Fort. It is built out of clay and it is reminiscent of one of the last things from old Dubai. From the tower of the fort, the guards had a very good view, all around there was nothing more than sand. If an enemy wanted to approach, the guards could therefore see the clouds of dust that were kilometres away in the distance. Today you will find a museum in the fort which tells you about the time of ancient Dubai.
The Dubai Museum can be found near to Dubai old town. Here you learn about the history of Dubai before the oil boom made the city rich and modern. You will find a settlement of Persian houses in very close proximity to the museum which you should have also seen in this context. The houses will demonstrate how people lived before the oil boom.
An entire museum village was create by the government. It is supposed to give you an insight into the life of its inhabitants. Part of it is the Diving Village. Here you will learn everything you need to know about pearl fishery, an ancient source of income in Dubai and which is being pushed ever more in to the background in contemporary life. In the Heritage Village you will see recreated stone houses which stood in the mountain and desert regions. You will even find Bedouin tents in the exhibition. Market stalls, spice shops etc., demonstrate what was important in Dubai before the wealth.
You will actually find a cafe on every street in Dubai and in which you can get a little meal. The majority of them are run by Indians and thus chili is present in most of the dishes. On the other hand, the sweet dishes are a lot sweeter than those which you are used to in your home country.
If you want to get a view of Dubai during your meal you should go to the Al-Dawaar revolving restaurant. The restaurant can be found in the Hyatt Regenca Hotel and it is located on the 25th floor. The cuisine presents you will all kinds of delicacies from around the world, the dishes are German, from the Middle East, Japanese etc., children under the age of 6 can eat for free and up to the age of 12 you will pay half price.
In the Armani Hotel in the building complex of the Burj Khalifa, you even have a choice between 8 restaurants. Depending on what dish you crave, you can pick a restaurant. The Armani Amal is the Indian restaurant in the hotel and it is only open for you on an evening. The restaurant has its own outside terrace from which you will have a wonderful view over the city-centre.
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