The World Is Not Enough
Dubai has undergone rapid change in recent years. Cars roar through the streets, huge skyscrapers, colourful billboards turn night into day. If one still recognized certain Arabic basic features on our first journey in the year 2000, it became today a megacity. The region has undergone a “disruptive innovation”.
There has long been a small colony of pearl divers and fishermen at the mouth of Dubai Creek. Pearl diving was the predominant industry until the port of Dubai became one of the most important trading centres in the Gulf region in the 20th century. Then in 1966, oil was found.
But it was not until the foundation of Emirates Airline mid-80’s that it gave Dubai’s international connections a decisive boost.
By the very early 1990s, Emirates had secured itself as one of the world’s fastest-growing airlines and continue with its expansion plans, despite the Gulf War breaking out.
Today, Emirates is the world’s largest Airbus A380 operator.
Dubai had changed entirely by the 1990s. There was a modern infrastructure with two state-of-the-art ports, an international airport, the flagship Emirates Airline, a first-class free trade and industrial zone in Jebel Ali and a growing multinational population – the city became a thriving metropolis.
Following a period of exemplary rapid development in tourism, retail, entertainment, leisure and sport started. Dubai used its hotel, hospitality and airline assets to rapidly rise to become a world-class destination for travellers from all over the world.
Since the mid-1990s, the hotel industry has been considered one of the best parameters for measuring Dubai’s growth. In 1996 there were only 293 accommodations in Dubai with slightly more than 15,000 rooms. Still, by the year 2000, a further 100 hotels with 11,000 rooms had been built in the city, including the landmark Burj Al Arab, then the highest hotel in the world and a symbol that stood on the world stage for Dubai.
Artificial or Reality
The best is just good enough. Everything has to be higher, farther, faster, more beautiful, newer, bigger and more expensive, you have to drive the latest supercar, build the tallest tower and the most prominent artificial island. Dubai is truly a city of superlatives!
No less well known are the three so-called “Palm Islands”, which were heaped up at the coast of Dubai and are often even called the eighth wonder of the world.
The Burj Khalifa is currently the highest building in the world and therefore worth a visit. The Burj Khalifa is with 829,8 meters the tallest tower of the world. Its highest point is at the top, which is neither accessible for tourists nor other purposes.
Burj Khalifa visit
For your Burj Khalifa visit, we recommend that you plan your visit. You can also come to the cash desks of the tower spontaneously, but depending on the season you have to reckon with long queues. In the hot summer months, when Dubai is low season, you won’t have to wait long for a Burj Khalifa visit.
Burj Khalifa at the top
Under the ticket name Burj Khalifa at the top, the Dubai Tower offers the exit to the viewing platform on the 124th and 125th floors. The Burj Khalifa at the top ticket gives you access to the 360-degree viewing platform inside and outside the deck.
Burj Khalifa Viewing platform
The Burj Khalifa viewing platform located on the 125th floor of the tower and offers you a fascinating view of Dubai’s skyline. On the right side of the viewing platform, you see the desert of Dubai. A little further to the middle of the platform, you can watch the water games from above and look at the turquoise shining water basins of the fountains.
But Dubai’s oil wells don’t bubble forever. To be exact, they will probably be exhausted by 2030. That’s why Dubai is already promoting tourism so that it won’t be utterly helpless after the oil wells dried up. And that is why Dubai’s reputation in the world is enormously essential.
The Difficulties of the Megacity Dubai
But what is a paradise for tourists is a nightmare for the environment. The artificial backfill of all these islands was a severe blow to the local marine fauna and flora. At least as bad is the enormous water consumption in Dubai. For example, in Dubai, there is a skiing slope in a shopping mall that used all year round and hotel rooms facing that slope give you the impression to be in a Chalet.
Also, the shops are so strongly air-conditioned that some people put on their winter jackets in summer when they want to go shopping in Dubai. So it’s no wonder that in 2007 the city was ranked number one on the WWF’s list of biggest energy wasters.
However, enormous efforts are made in this area, and anything is possible in Dubai. They reformed the tariff system for water and electricity consumption. Bulk consumers have to dig deeper into their pockets if they want to use water and electricity, and this should encourage them to use resources more sparingly.
Besides, half of Dubai’s energy consumption is to be generated from renewable sources by 2050.
Dubai is the ideal destination for holidays in October and May. The summer months were too hot for us, and the heat was pleasant. Unfortunately, Dubai has lost some of its charms, and we ask ourselves what this city will look like in 20 years. How can all these luxury buildings be maintained?
For holidays without great cultural intentions, Dubai can we recommend unconditionally. The flight alone with the local airline Emirates, from more significant destinations with an Airbus A380, is an experience in itself. You can eat anything in Dubai. The quality of the food deserves the highest rating.
We observe, however, that the prices of the hotels slowly reach a level, which is also superlative. Especially with children (in many places counted from 12 years as adults) a holiday in Dubai becomes increasingly unaffordable.
Our wish to Dubai – perhaps to take a break – otherwise, the city will become too artificial.