Dubai: High Temperatures and High Fashion
Published: March 28, 2014 (Issue # 1803)
There are two types of travelers: Those who enjoy shopping on vacation and those who do not. For the first category, the success of any trip is measured by the beautiful things one discovers with which to adorn home and body. For the second, it is the depth of a tan or the number of photos with which to entertain or bore family and friends.
Being one of the former married to one of the latter, few destinations cater to both sides as well as Dubai. That the country boasts some of the best weather in the region nearly all year round is an added benefit — although perhaps beside the point for those who plan to spend most of their stay indoors.
Dubai is one of the seven principalities that make up the United Arab Emirates and is the most modern and progressive emirate in the U.A.E. Easily reached with direct flights from most of Europe, including St. Petersburg, Dubai makes the perfect mid-winter shopping break and offers a taste of summer while letting you build a warm weather wardrobe for when the sun finally reaches Russia.
With temperatures that can soar to more than 40 degrees Celsius in the summer but remain blissfully sultry for most of the year, cool, shaded places are a necessity that the country has made an art of perfecting. In Dubai, air conditioning is even available at some outdoor cafes, making life a delightful dream despite the melting temperatures.
As a country of superlatives, Dubai is home to the world’s largest shopping center, which sits at the base of the Burj Khalifa. At 829.8 meters tall, the Burj beat the previous record holder, Taipei 101, by more than 300 meters when it opened in 2010 to become the world’s tallest building. The tower was recently the focal point of the country’s New Year’s Eve firework display which propelled it into the Guinness Book of World Records for launching over 400,000 pyrotechnics. The Burj is also home to the world’s highest restaurant, the aptly named At.Mosphere, which offers haute cuisine along with the altitude.
As a result, there is perhaps nowhere better in Dubai to escape the sun for both shoppers and, perhaps surprisingly, beach bunnies and kids, than in the shadow of Burj Khalifa. Home to a collection of some 1,200 shops covering a massive 350,000 square meters, Dubai Mall is a destination in itself with numerous leisure activities for young and old alike. With the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Center — another Guinness World Record holder for using the world’s largest acrylic panel as a window on the sub-aquatic world — an Olympic-sized ice rink, an “edu-tainment” zone and the SEGA Republic indoor theme park for the kids and a 22-screen cinema.
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