Modern Dubai is the result of the past 20 years of intensive development. Prior to that, Dubai was a small trading port, clustered around the mouth of the Creek.
Deira's many attractions include the historic quarter of Bastakia, as well as old souks and covered marketplaces. Wander along the alleys, to explore the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk. The Dubai Museum is housed within the beautifully restored Al Fahidi Fort, and is a must-see for first time visitors to Dubai. Built in 1799 to defend the city against invasion, it has served as both palace and prison and the museum's collection includes life-size figures and galleries depicting Arab houses, mosques, date gardens, desert and marine life.
On the Bur Dubai side, Heritage Village, located in the Shindagah area, is a family destination where you can watch potters, weavers and artisans at their crafts. The adjoining Diving Village offers a cultural microcosm of pearl diving and fishing. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, a museum restored from the house of Dubai's former ruler and dating back to the late 1800s, is within the same complex. With its unusual layered rooms and authentic wind towers, Sheikh Saeed's House showcases regional architecture at its best.
Driving from the west of the city centre to Jumeirah is the Grand Mosque, re-built in 1998, with the city's tallest minaret, nine large domes and 45 small domes - a distinguished landmark and an important place of worship.
Dubai a safe, tolerant and cosmopolitan city is an extraordinary leisure destination. It offers a wealth of amenities, from pristine beaches and world class hotels to upscale golf courses and first-class restaurants.
Dubai provides a broad spectrum of shopping experiences. Renowned for its ultra modern shopping malls selling the latest designer labels, it also boasts a myriad of souqs (traditional market places) selling from everything from gold to spices.
Dubai presents a kaleidoscope of past and present. Wind towers sit beside towering skyscrapers, desert dunes roll into golf courses whilst luxury yachts sail the wind along side traditional dhows.
Against the backdrop of a carefully preserved heritage, Dubai is building a visionary future. Work has already commenced on the world’s tallest residential tower, Burj Dubai, The Palm, the first man-made project since the Great Wall of China, to be visible from space, fast progressing and there are plans to build the first under-sea hotel, Hydropolis.
Dynamic, progressive advanced, Dubai a city of one million, attracts more than five million visitors a year. Both a tax free haven and a holiday resort, it appeals to both the business professional and the pleasure seeker.