It all began with one man’s vision: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai. With painstakingly accurate planning, great sensitivity, skillful financing, and immigrants from Mumbai to Moscow and Paris, the former fishing village became one of the most modern metropolises in the world in less than 40 years. What was originally seen with general skepticism has, in the meantime, gained admiration. After the oil boom of the ’60s, money was increasingly invested in the city’s infrastructure—and this laid the groundwork for tourism. The bold idea to build an artificial, palm tree-shaped island in the middle of the ocean caused an international sensation. The ruler of Dubai made the impossible possible.
Today, the unique city is considered to be one of the cleanest and safest travel destinations. Caribbean-like temperatures, luxury hotels, futuristic buildings, world-class restaurants and nightclubs, as well as innumerable shopping options are part of everyday life here. In no other place do contrasts combine in such harmony. Arabic tradition is fused with Western modernity: The old gold and spice souks and the museums in the historic center are reminders of the past; the glitz and glamour, as well as the tallest building in the world, point to the future. The emirate has, at the same time, remained true to the Islamic religion and culture: Mosques, official holidays, and the fasting month of Ramadan are also respected by tourists.
Beyond the hustle and bustle, the desert provides a natural source of respite. Beyond the hectic pace and the bright lights of the city, you are reminded of what Dubai always has been and always will be—an oasis.