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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

Wednesday, Sept. 3


Although the Peter and Paul Fortress sand sculptures are more central and therefore more visible to the throngs of tourists, the 300th Anniversary Park of St. Petersburgs own collection closes today. The World Collection of Sand Sculptures that have been on display at the park reaches its final day, so fans of the classic beach activity should get there while they can.



Thursday, Sept. 4


Vladimir I. Danchenkov, Head of Baltic Customs, will be in attendance during AmChams Customs and Transportation Committee Meeting convening this afternoon at the organizations office near St. Isaacs Square at 3 p.m.



Friday, Sept. 5


Scrabble lovers and chess masters get their chance to assert their intellectual dominance at the return of the British Book Centers Board Game Evenings tonight. Held weekly on Friday nights, the event gives both board game lovers and those hoping to improve their English the chance to meet, greet and compete. Check out the centers VK page for more details.



Saturday, Sept. 6


Athletes will relish the chance to get the latest gear and try out something new at I Choose Sport, an annual event at Lenexpo forum that plans to welcome more than 30,000 people this week to the international exhibition center. Not only will visitors get to try their hand at various athletic endeavors but they will also be able to peruse equipment that can fulfill their dreams of becoming a champion.


Local KHL team SKA St. Petersburg open their season this evening at home against Lokomotiv Yarovslavl at the Ice Palace arena next to the Prospekt Bolshevikov metro station. See their website for a full schedule and available tickets.



Sunday, Sept. 7


Check out retro and antique cars at Fort Konstantin on Kronstadt Island in the Gulf of Finland at FORTuna, a yearly car festival that highlights the eccentricities of the Soviet automobile industry. A car race, contests and a stunt show will give visitors a chance to rev their engines.



Monday, Sept. 8


This evening marks the opening of the two-week ballet festival High Season at the Mikhailovsky Theater. Check the theaters website for more details about performances and featured dancers.



Tuesday, Sept. 9


Discuss the latest news and issues at the AmCham Hazardous Waste Management Roundtable this morning in the Tango Conference Hall of the Sokos Hotel Palace Bridge on Birzhevoy Pereulok. Starting at 9 a.m., planned topics include the Krasny Bor landfill and waste transportation between Russia and Finland.


Learn more about the citys modern architectural trends at the SPIBA Real Estate and Construction Committees meeting on the topic Contemporary Petersburg Style: What is It? Participants will get the chance to discuss whats in-demand with RBI Holdings Irina Petrova and Lubava Pryanikova, and the current state of the local real estate market. Please confirm your attendance by Sept. 5 through SPIBAs website if you wish to attend.



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