Growing from a tiny fishing settlement to a sprawling metropolis in under 100 years, Dubai's developed at an exponential rate. With new construction everywhere, the city is ever-changing and it's literally growing before your eyes. With no shortage of money thanks to oil, Dubai is very showy with its wealth and it's evident everywhere, from ridiculously tall skyscrapers to gold dispensing ATMs. Due to all of this, there's always something happening and that's why it's such a unique and interesting place to visit.
In the summer months, the temperature in Dubai reaches up to 50 degrees in the day, making it impossible to walk outside for longer than 5 minutes without fear of heat exhaustion. This means you have to plan your day around avoiding the heat, which can be difficult if you're trying to do more than just sit by the pool. Despite this constant challenge, there's still plenty to do.
My top six things I enjoyed in Dubai were:
1. Desert trip – only around 30 minutes from Dubai, we reached empty roads and vast desert planes with no one in sight for miles. You can pick an off-road route at any time and start exploring. We found small dunes with golden untouched sand and watched the sun set whilst sand boarding.
2. Fujairah – our trip to the East coast took us over mountainous terrain, which was spectacular to see after all of the desert surrounding Dubai. Once at the coast, there were numerous places to go snorkelling. We swam around Snoopy island, where we saw huge schools of fish and my personal favourite the sea cucumber (it's a long black clyinder shape…)
3. The Beach – the water temperature in summer is similar to a bath and the beach is impossible to relax on in the heat. Despite this, if you go in the morning or evening, sitting in the sea or going on a surf ski is a great pass time, and the majority of beaches have great views of the city skyline.
4. Old town – despite Dubai's lack of history, the old town still has more than enough to offer as a day trip. There's colourful gold, spice and clothing souks to lose yourself in. There's also an informative museum that costs under £1 and the riverside area to explore. Just be warned, you will be pestered A LOT.
5. Dubai Mall – with every shop imaginable and many more things besides, the mall is a great experience, even if it's just for a wander around. The mall is home to such things as: a massive fish tank with sharks, stingrays and schools of fish (it also has the largest pane of glass in the world); a full size ice rink; and enormous waterfalls.
6. Local food – not renowned for its food, Dubai has a surprising selection of delicious local delicacies to try. From carb-o-licious cheese breads to moorish meat shawarmas, there's more than enough food to get your tastebuds tingling.
My only advice for planning your trip to Dubai is to try and avoid going in summer. Other than that, the city is your playground!