Start your scenic exploration of Dubai on the water. Before you begin, take a moment to imagine the city as the somewhat sleepy fishing port it was 40-odd years ago. Now get out on Dubai Creek, the city’s major waterway, on a customized version of a dhow, a traditional Arab boat, and marvel at the soaring, constantly-changing skyline. Return at night for a dinner cruise to see Dubai’s concrete colossi blazing with light.
It was the distinctive shape of dhow sails which inspired one of Dubai’s defining landmarks: Burj al Arab, standing proudly offshore, bills itself as the most luxurious hotel in the world. Whether you fall for the extravagant swirls, royal blues and acres of gold leaf of its interior is a matter of taste, but few could remain unmoved by the incredible views from its summit. The restaurant Al Muntaha (“the highest”) is on the 27th floor, and is one of the best places to get a view of Dubai’s skyline and those extraordinary man-made features.