I showed up to Dubai expecting to be amused but not particularly overwhelmed with admiration for the UAE. The main reason I decided to stay for a week was actually because the monsoon season in Sri Lanka was still going strong as I booked my flights, and I decided a week in the Emirates was better than a week straight of rain.
The Emirates and Dubai in particular surprised me with how interesting they were, and make me want to find time to explore the Middle East. I spent most of my time in Dubai, though I had time for a day trip to Al Ain oasis and to the Emirati capitol Abu Dhabi. While these were both interesting diversions, Dubai was clearly the star of the show.
Things of note from my time in the Emirates: the world’s tallest building, traditional boats across the river at the heart of Old Dubai, the Dubai International Film Festival, a traditional desert oasis town, the Al Ain camel market, and the world’s most expensive Christmas tree.
So, keep checking. Updates on all of these to come soon.
I’ve passed through Dubai several times, both as an independent traveler and while working as a photographer for GetYourGuide. In general Dubai and the UAE as a whole are relatively easy to navigate on your own. If you truly prefer the guided tour option, though, check out GetYourGuide for a lot of options.