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It may be a young city, but Dubai is most certainly going places. In fact, it would have won the vote for “Most Likely to Succeed” at your high school graduation. So what exactly is it that makes this place sparkle and shine?
It’s more than just the never-ending sun (a perk to living here, by the way). Dubai is the Middle East’s number-one seductress, complete with fast cars, glittering skyscrapers, mega-sized shopping malls, man-made islands, and more.
It’s no wonder travelers from all corners of the globe criss-cross continents to get here. Here are 33 reasons why a trip to Dubai will ruin you for life.
1. It’s safe, almost too safe. Leave your bag and wallet open on an outdoor cafe table while you lollygag inside trying to order a drink? No problem. It is actually a crime not to be carefree and trusting here.
2. Because the weekend officially starts on Thursday, making it that much sweeter, that much more beautiful, and that much thirstier than any other place in the world.
Related: Living It Up Life a Sheik in Dubai
Friday brunch in Dubai is a lavish affair that goes way beyond your standard eggs and pancakes. (Photo: NKCPhoto/Flickr)
3. Two words: Friday brunch, held at world-class hotels around around the city. Did someone say Fri-yay?
4. It’s just a really nice place to visit, so nice that even the street signs here are polite and incredibly considerate.
5. Because a Mercedes or a Lexus will seem like an average-joe car with the parade of Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari, or Rolls Royce supercars flooding the streets every day.
For her third birthday, she got a Bentley. (Photo: Alexandra E. Petri)
6. I mean, even the kids in Dubai know how to ride in style.
7. Your daily forecast: Sun, sun, sun, sun — and oh, more sun! No matter what season, there are always blue skies in Dubai.
8. You can go jetskiing or wakeboarding or spend your days playing in the Persian Gulf, because Dubai is home to white-sand beaches with neon-blue waters lapping its shores.
Swim alongside 65,000 marine animals in the Ambassador Lagoon – the largest open air aquarium in the Middle East and Africa at Atlantis The Palm. (Photo: Atlantis The Palm, Dubai/Facebook)
9. Because you can go scuba diving in Dubai.
10. And Dubai knows how to appreciate the summer weather the rest of the world moans about. Waking up to 35 degrees (or 95 Fahrenheit) is an absolute God send, because here, anyone willing to spend more than five minutes outside during the months of June, July, and August deserves an award.
Ski, snowboard, or just hang out with penguins at Ski Dubai. (Photo: Ski Dubai/Facebook)
11. But just because Dubai is always warm, doesn’t mean you have to forgo winter. You can go skiing, snowboarding, or play with penguins.
12. And because where else in the world can you jump out of a plane and skydive your way back to earth looking at a man-made island in the shape of a giant palm tree?
13. Tax. Free. Salary. We repeat: Tax. Free. Salary. For expats, these are probably the only three words in the entire world better than “I love you.”
14. Dubai is so clean that you could lick the floors and it would probably make your immune system stronger. Seriously, this place is like a museum that is polished right down to the last nook and cranny.
15. Even the public toilets here are probably cleaner than your own bathroom. (Come on, they are cleaned every second, yours probably gets cleaned once a week on a good week.)
Trade in the city crowds for a night under the desert sky. (Photo: Mauro Grigollo/Stocksy)
16. While tourists are lining up to go to high-end hotel bars or exclusive nightclubs, Dubai expats know that the best way to spend a weekend is to pack up the car and head out for a night of camping in the vast and empty desert sands just outside the city.
17. You’ve learned to operate at, let’s say, a very relaxed schedule. A meeting at 1 p.m. is merely a suggestion; you know not to be there anytime before 2 p.m., inshallah.
18. Sure, Dubai is home to some of the biggest and best shopping malls on this planet, but you can easily step back in time with a visit to Old Dubai. Here, you can bargain for textiles, perfumes, spices, and gold at old world souks located along the Creek, once the heart of Dubai’s economy.
Strike gold in Dubai with the swipe of your credit card. (Photo: Alexandra E. Petri)
19. Don’t feel like bargaining for gold? No matter. In Dubai, you can just buy it in a vending machine. #obvi
20. Everyone speaks English, and I mean, let’s face it: that is a blessing.
21. There is only one way to drive in Dubai, and that is to tailgate.
22 Want to eat Italian? Mangia! Chinese? Hand over the chopsticks. Egyptian? No problem. Lebanese? You got it. Pakistani? We’re in. French? Oui. Brazilian? Bring it on. With more than 200 nationalities living in Dubai, the city is a melting pot of ingredients, flavors, and cuisines from around the globe.
Luxury at its finest. (Photo: Miroslav Petrasko/Flickr)
23. Because the Burj al Arab is here.
24. This city is home to a burgeoning art scene, making it the colorful and vibrant art hub of the Middle East.
25. Because the world is at your doorstep.
26. Drive over to Oman, an up-and-coming travel destination, for some camping or climbing or scuba diving expeditions. Make a loop around the Gulf countries. Hop on a plane and you can be in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe, or the Americas in 14 hours or less. (Sorry, Australia, but you’re only conveniently located to New Zealand.)
Dubai sunsets are on another level. (Photo: Marc Gerard Del Rosario/Flickr)
27. Because every night when the sun goes down over the clear, calm waters of the Gulf, it is the biggest, roundest, most full bodied and attention-grabbing sun you’ll ever see.
28. And because when the sun goes down, Dubai is only just getting started.
29. Sure, you might be in the Middle East, but in Dubai, you can respectfully party with the best of them like you’re in Ibiza or New York City.
Dubai is full of places to get your drink on, like the rooftop bar at Bab al Shams, a desert hotel and resort. (Photo: Iain Masterton/incamerastock/Corbis)
30. Because you can take your pick from day-long beach bars, stunning rooftop bars, and world-famous clubs.
31. And because hotel restaurants and hotel bars in Dubai are a league of their own.
32. Seriously, though: Dubai is an adult’s playground.
33. The air is saturated with opportunity that lingers on your lips like the salty winds blowing off the sea. In no other place are the avenues to success bigger than they are in Dubai. Stay here long enough, and you’ll realize that anything is possible.
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