Solo Travel Destination Dubai Elegant Mideast Crossroads

Solo Travel Destination Dubai Elegant Mideast Crossroads where old and new meet. (Generally at a rather high price!)

Coming from another “city state”, Washington, DC, I previously found myself in Dubai, now arguably the Middle East’s most dynamic crossroads. In the mid-to-late 20th century Beirut, Lebanon and Bahrain were the heart of the banking centers in the region. Now the business world has shifted to Dubai, as the place to locate. With the launch of Emirates Airlines, it has become a true hub of the Mideast and increasingly popular with tourists.

Solo Travel Destination Dubai Elegant Mideast Crossroads:


One pleasant surprise on arrival: the desert heat was not even noticeable because everything was air conditioned, even the bus stops!  One of the most exciting features of Dubai is that it is constantly adding iconic buildings so that it appears to be a city always in motion.  With the thousands of building permits pending, the old joke is that the “native bird” of Dubai is the (building) crane.

Solo Travel Destination Dubai Elegant Mideast Crossroads:

Dubai’s history:

Although Dubai’s first settlers had arrived by 1833, its astronomical growth began after the 1966 discovery of oil. The result? An enormous boon in infrastructure  projects. Shortly thereafter, in 1971, Dubai and six other emirates joined to form the United Arab Emirates.

Solo Travel Destination Dubai Elegant Mideast Crossroads:

A Truly Unique Location:

Dubai many records as to the first or the only destination with:

  • The Middle East’s in-door commercial ski slope
  • The Palm, an engineering feat of man-made islands
  • The world’s largest shopping mall, the Dubai  Mall which eclipsed the local, famous Mall of the Emirates
  • The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world
  • The Burj el-Arab, made to look like a sail of a traditional dhow, said to be the world’s only 7 star hotel and the 3rd tallest hotel in the world
  • The largest fountain in the world that actually “dances”!

Solo Travel Destination Dubai Elegant Mideast Crossroads:

Sightseeing in Dubai:

For leisure travelers, the best way to get oriented is to take an open double decker bus for a city tour. Check to be sure whether you can jump on and off at will. In the city center, buildings are close together and a potpourri of architectural styles. Having been to Cairo, Luxor and Karnak, I was surprised suddenly to see a local interpretation of an ancient Egyptian monument.

If you only have 1-2 days, start with the half-day city tour. From there, I recommend whether you are a skier or not that you experience Ski Dubai. This indoor ski slope is located within the Mall of the Emirates. If for no other reason, it is a true novelty. After a dinner of Southern Fried Chicken in the Mall’s Food Court, I joined a colleague for a little skiing. It was very efficient. I rented a stylish one-piece ski outfits available  along with equipment. It seemed really funny to go up the escalator holding skis!  On opening the door to this indoor resort, it was a perfect 30 degrees. Of course, snow was guaranteed.  The day was complete with hot chocolate at the St. Moritz Café afterwards.



On the second day if you have already seen many major sights, relax at the Jumeirah Beach, visit the Aquarium or go sailing.

If you have a third day or longer, take a trip to the desert and the Wadis. Those dried up riverbeds can be seen throughout the region. You can take a ride in a dune buggy. Looking for more excitement? Try out the Wild Wadi Waterpark.

For more traditional sports, you can work to improve your tennis game. Alternatively, improve your golf game. For spectator sports, try the horse races. For even more excitement, try the fabled camel races. Start with the Al Marmoom Race Track. They are open from October to February!

As I left Dubai,  I journeyed back to Jordan. Follow our blog for Part 2 of our Mideast odyssey!

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