Al Jumeira Rd. Umm Suqeim, tel. 04-301-7777, www.burj-al-arab.com
If Paris has the Eiffel Tower, then Dubai has the 321m Burj al-Arab, the world's only seven-star rated hotel. An architectural marvel, it is shaped like a sail and rises majestically from a man-made island. Its Skyview Bar (tel. 04-301-7600), located at 200m above sea level, offers a spectacular view of the gulf.
Visitors can rediscover early-20th-century Dubai through the hundred-year-old Bastakia quarter. It still features some traditional dwellings with "wind towers," the precursors of today's air conditioners.
Al Fahidi Fort, Bastakia, tel. 04-393-7151, www.dubaitourism.co.ae
No trip to Dubai would be complete without a visit to its museum. The Al-Fahidi Fort houses exhibitions which offer visitors a captivating glimpse of the city's rich heritage. The museum's fascinating reconstructions of day-to-day life in early Dubai include traditional Arabian houses, palm groves and souks. The pearl diving exhibit is particularly noteworthy.
You can find nearly anything in the cool covered alleyways of the souks: fabric, carpets, watches, jewellery, electronics, the list goes on...The best known is the Gold Souk, where prices seem to defy all competition. The spice, fish, and fruit and vegetable souks are also bustling riots of colour.
Since Dubai is famous for its conspicuous consumption and love of luxury, it is not surprising to find it bursting at the seams with all sorts of malls. Most are easy to get to and include boutiques, supermarkets and restaurants. Shoppers will find all major brands and labels, and taxes are practically non-existent. The Deira and Bur Dubai areas are the best places to go window shopping, which is virtually a national sport in Dubai.
Islamic values are an integral part of Dubai's history, so it's not surprising to see mosques in nearly every neighbourhood. Many of them are remarkable to look at, but the Jumeira Mosque, the only one open to non-Muslims, is especially beautiful and a good example of contemporary Islamic architecture.