Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Known as the 'Pearl of the Arabian Gulf', Dubai is one of the seven emirates that comprises the United Arab Emirates. With a mix of traditional architecture and glittering modern buildings, Dubai is a place of fascinating contrasts that can best be described as the 'Middle East meets Hong Kong with a little Las Vegas thrown in for style'. It is also the home of sand, sea and sun. As you sail into the formidable city of Dubai, you can't help but to gaze up in wonder at the magnificent Burj Al Arab Hotel. Designed to resemble a billowing sail, it stands at a height of 321 metres and dominates the Dubai coastline. Visit Dubai's waterfront and take a boat trip up Dubai creek, admire the beautiful architecture of the Grand Mosque, boasting the city's tallest minaret, or barter for souvenirs in the many souks around the city. Don't miss the Spice Souk and the glittering Gold Souq - crammed full of exquisite jewellery and at prices lower than anywhere else in the world. From designer clothes and custom-made sari's, to perfumes and spices you can get anything you desire. With guaranteed sunshine the multitude of water sports is spectacular, but you might like to try sand-skiing, 4-wheel drive desert safaris or camel riding. Or for something a little more relaxing enjoy a moonlit Bedouin barbeque, deep in the heart of the desert. The nearby emirate of Sharjah, with its captivating architecture and spectacular souks, was selected by UNESCO as the cultural capital of the Middle East.