For us, it was to be a way-stop, a break on a 20-some-hour flight from New York to Malaysia. However, for more and more Europeans and Asians, Dubai is becoming the destination of choice for sun, fun, shopping, and a taste of a different culture.
And no wonder. The acknowledged commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi is the political center), Dubai is an exotic blend of ultra-modern and antiquebustling cosmopolitan city and expansive, timeless desert; traditional Arab heritage and hospitality, combined with a modern and liberal outlook on life.
The picturesque Creek, a natural inlet of the Arabian Gulf, bisects the city of Dubai and is lined with futuristic skyscrapers towering over narrow, winding alleys, ancient adobe-like houses, and mosques. Elegant, air-conditioned malls, where you can shop for everything from the hautest of Paris fashions to the latest high-tech toys, vie with traditional souks offering gold, silk, jewelry, Arab antiques and crafts, and spices from around the world.
Around the city, emerald-green fairways and parksthe products of modern technology and mucho mullahspring from the stark landscape, while in the surrounding desert, verdant oases and date-palm groves sprout from natural springs that are the gifts of Allah.
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