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Dubai: High Temperatures and High Fashion

Published: March 28, 2014 (Issue # 1803)



  • From Bedouin encampments in the desert to the worlds tallest skyscraper, Dubai aims to please.
    Photo: Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce

  • Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience attracted 400,000 visitors and heralded the arrival of Dubai on the world fashion stage.
    Photo: Emaar Properties

  • The Burj Khalifa houses the worlds largest shopping mall as well as the highest restaurant in the world.
    Photo: Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce

  • Fashion Avenue attracts the well heeled for a unique boutique experience.
    Photo: Emaar Properties

  • The Gold Souk at Dubai Mall is, perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest in the world.
    Photo: Emaar Properties

  • A pink suede shoe decorated in feathers by Paul Andrew.
    Photo: Courtesy Paul Andrew

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 theUnited 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 worlds largest shopping center, which sits at the base of the Burj Khalifa. At 829.8meters tall, the Burj beat the previous record holder, Taipei 101, by more than 300 meters when it opened in 2010 to become the worlds tallest building. The tower was recently the focal point of the countrys New Years 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 worlds 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 DubaiAquariumand Discovery Center another Guinness World Recordholder for using the worlds largestacrylicpanel 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 kidsand a 22-screen cinema.

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ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Aug. 22


Get ready to pledge allegiance to the flag during National Flag Day, paying tribute to when, 23 years ago today, the iconic hammer-and-sickle was replaced with the tricolor that now flutters in the wind. Petersburgers will be treated to a free concert on Palace Square, a military parade and a culminating air show featuring Russias Russian Knights stunt pilots.



Saturday, Aug. 23


Uppsala Park plays host to Fairy Noon today, a performance of five separate fairy tales ranging from folk classics to more haunting selections. There will be three different renditions of the tales throughout the day and tickets start at 500 rubles ($13.80) for adults and 300 rubles ($8.30) for children.


Classic Finnish cartoon characters the Moomins expect to receive a warm welcome from Russian fans during todays Moomin Festival at the Pearl Plaza Shopping Center at 51 Petergofskoye Shosse. Become a kid again or introduce a new generation to the beloved creation of Finnish writer Tove Jansson.



Sunday, Aug. 24


The tortured genius of Dutch master Vincent van Gogh gets his day in the centers Konnushnaya Ploschad during Make Art Like Van Gogh, a daylong celebration of the artist that will allow amateur artists to try and replicate the work that made the famed painter world-renowned.


Experience a variety of dances highlighting the diversity of the world around as at the final day of the Ethno-Dance International Dance Festival that has been at the St. Petersburg Humanitarian University of Trade Unions this past week. Tonights performance will feature Egyptian dancers accompanied by local orchestras.



Monday, Aug. 25


Today kicks off the Elena Obraztsovoy International Competition for Young Vocalists in the large hall of the Shostakovich Philharmonic. Talented youngsters will showcase their range over the next six days before a winner is chosen on Aug. 30.



Tuesday, Aug. 26


Love movies but hate all those words? Then check out Rodina Cinema Centers Factor of Consensus film forum this evening. Silent movie classics from the beginning of the 20th century will be screened and accompanied by a pianist, who will provide the soundtrack for the ongoing action. The screenings begin at 7 p.m. Check Rodinas website for more details.



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