Ritz & Glitz in Dubai: The City of Gold Upholds Its Moniker

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A popular activity for visitors of Dubai is a river cruise aboard a traditional wooden Arabic dhow—the Dubai Creek cruise makes for a good guide to all of the city’s most fascinating landmarks.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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The 1,300-acre waterfront community of Festival City is one of Dubai’s premier neighborhoods. With Dubai Creek running throughout, the newer section of downtown is on the left, including the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, and the older on the right.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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Al Bastakiya is one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai, and houses the oldest known building in the city, Al Fahidi Fort. The lanes dating back to the 1890s are narrow and winding, and feature fascinating architecture. Each residence has a wind tower, or barjeel, which serves to trap the wind and funnel it down into the house as a form of air conditioning. The number of towers a house has correlates with the wealth of the family living within. Nowadays, many of the residences have been converted into little cafés, quirky shops, and local art galleries.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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Colorful lanterns hang in the Al Bastakiya.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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If only the walls of the Al Fahidi Fort could talk. Serving time as both a palace and a prison, it is now home of the Dubai Museum. The museum works as a timeline of the city’s history, displaying remnants of the past, as well as plans for the future.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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A typical commercial area in Old Dubai.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. With more than 160 stories, it breaks world records with ease: tallest freestanding structure, highest number of stories, highest occupied floor, highest outdoor observation deck, and the elevator with the longest travel distance.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View of the Burj Khalifa at night.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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The Burj Khalifa’s three-sided park system covers 27 lush, green acres. Some is reserved as outdoor living space for the tower’s residents, but others are open to the public. Some of the luxurious space to explore includes six different water “features,” two tennis courts, a playground and wading pool, and a lake with an island.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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View from the “At the Top” observation deck.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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Inside of the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Mall, not surprisingly the largest shopping mall in the world. Full of unique art installations, like the one pictured, the goods for sale are certainly not the only reason to stop inside the mall.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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One highlight outside of the city is a desert safari. You can find an array of options with local tour operators throughout the city.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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Most tours you’ll encounter provide a meal or two, extreme sports like dune boarding or 4x4ing, and cultural entertainment like belly dancing.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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Watch the sun set as you move camel-back across the desert.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
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Your mode of transportation for the safari.  
Credit: Scott Tracy 
 
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