Glitzy Dubai is the United Arab Emirates' vacation hot spot. This city of high-rises and shopping malls has transformed itself from a desert outpost to a destination du-jour, where people flock for sales bargains, sunshine and family fun. Dubai is famous for sightseeing attractions such as the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building) and shopping malls that come complete with mammoth aquariums and indoor ski slopes.
But this city has many cultural highlights as well as all the glamorous modern add-ons. Take a wander around the Bastakia district and you'll discover the Dubai of old, then cruise along Dubai Creek in a traditional dhow and you'll soon realise there's more to this city than its flashy veneer.
Dubai's landmark building is the Burj Khalifa, which at 829.8 m is the tallest building in the world. For most visitors a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor here is a must-do while in the city. The views across the city skyline from this bird's-eye perspective are simply staggering. The slick observation deck experience includes a multi-media presentation on both Dubai and the building of the Burj Khalifa (completed in 2010) before a high-speed elevator whizzes you up to the observation deck for those 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert on one side and the ocean on the other. Night-time visits are particularly popular with photographers due to Dubai's famous city-lights panoramas.
Back on the ground, wrapping around the Burj Khalifa, are the building's beautifully designed gardens with winding walkways. There are plenty of water features including the Dubai Fountain, the world's tallest performing fountain, modelled on Las Vegas' famous Fountains of Bellagio.