Dubai Weekend Breaks

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Weekend Breaks to Dubai

Planning a short break to Dubai? Check out Travel Library's recommended Top 10 Things To Do in Dubai. It's a perfect companion for weekend city breaks to Dubai. Once you've been you can add your own tips and suggestions to help other visitors.

Bastakia Quarter

On the waterfront, east of the Dubai Square and Diwan, it features a number of traditional wind tower houses.Built in the late 1800's, the quarter was once home to the wealthy Persian merchants, most of them from the Bastak district, (hence the name) and lured to Dubai by its relaxed trade tariffs.

The quarter has been declared a conservation area and a number of the houses have had restoration work carried out.

Dubai Creek

Dubai's waterfront epitomises the city's personality and is the best way to see the grand trading port from the water.You can book a pricey cruise or hire a "abra" (small boat) or ask to go to Al-Maktoum and back. Take time also to walk around the dhow wharf on the Deira side of Dubai creek. Dhows bound for ports from Kuwait to Bombay dock here to load and offload everything, right down to the proverbial kitchen sink! The inland end of the Creek is a large, shallow lagoon, home to over 27000 birds and is a wildlife sanctuary. The most spectular of these birds is the Greater Flamingo, which has made it its permanent home.

Shopping

Dubai is synonymous with shopping and bargains and for the visitor to go to Dubai, shopping is a must.Some of the more likely places for the visitor are: Karama Market, a general shopping complex, where bargaining is expected; Deira Gold Souq, the biggest retail gold shopping area in Dubai which must be seen to be believed, Meena Bazaar, an open market selling mainly textiles and Al-Fahidi Street, selling every brand of electronic equipment. The Dubai Shopping Festival runs from mid-January to mid-February and includes entertainment for the kids, fireworks and free raffle tickets with every purchase which makes it all part of the fun.

Dubai Museum

Built in 1799, the fort is believed to be the city's oldest building.The fort was, once, home to both Dubai's rulers and the seat of government.It was turned into a museum in 1971 and aerial photographs show the city's phenomenal growth over the years. Nautical items are displayed in the courtyard, including a 'shasha", a small, palm-frond fishing boat like that still used on the UAE's east coast. A collection of antique "khanjars" (daggars with curved sheaths ) and a complete grave from the Al -Qusais archaeological sites are some highlights. Multi-media and interactive displays touch on everything from traditional to modern methods of water conservation to a presentation of the clty's development.

Grand Mosque

The mosque is home to the city's tallest minaret.While it may appear to be a beautiful example of restoration work, the mosque was only built in the 1990's in the same style as the previous one, dating back to the early 1900's, but previously knocked down.The mosque's sand coloured walls and wooden shutters blend in perfectly with the surrounding old quarter of Bur Dubai. Be aware that non-Muslims are not allowed to enter any mosques in UAE.

Shaikh Saeed al- Maktoum House

This has been restored as a museum of the pre-oil era and served as the communal residence for the ruling Al-Maktoum family.The 30 roomed house, has been built in traditional methods of coral, quarried in the Gulf and subsequently coated with lime and plaster - insulators that, along with the wind tower, keep the house cool and comfortable.Next door, the Heritage and Diving Villages have displays of pearl diving and dhow building, two of old Dubai's economic mainstays. Another area recreates traditional Bedouin and coastal village life, complete with "barasti" (palm-fond) houses and a traditional coffee-house.

Camel Racing Track

A wildly eccentric flavour to a desert camel race that makes it irresistable to watch. Camel races are not staged for tourists, it is both a passion and serious business in Dubai and are conducted every weekend in the cooler months.Particularly popular races are held on the National Day and Eid at Dubai Camel Race course on the outskirts of the city.

Desert safaris

No trip to Dubai would be complete without a trip to the desert and offers a taste of the true heartland of Arabia.Visitors can choose from half-day to full-day and overnight trips and some of the highlights include: Dune Driving - the excitement of a rollercoaster ride with the challenge of remaining mobile on the shifting sands, camel riding, exploring the wadis - a popular pastime of exploring the dry beds of streams that flow after the winter rains from the mountains and create many attractive rock pools surrounded by greenery, sand skiing, for those with a taste for speed and enthusiam and ending the day off with a traditional Arabian barbecue under the desert stars.

Dubai Zoo

Modern facilities house many indigenous Arabian species, including the Arabian Wolf, which is no longer found in the wild, Gordon's wildcats and the world's only captive breeding colony of socotra cormorants.The zoo also has nine species of large cats, seven species of primates and a large variety of regional birds all also on display. The zoo is being redeveloped to allow animals to live in enviroments as close to their natural surroundings as possible. The zoo is open daily from 10am - 6pm

Jumeira beach Park

Jumeriah beach Rd.The park is one of a few spread throughout Dubai, but this one has a beachfront. The park, itself has picnic tables, barbecue areas,small playareas for children, showers and lifeguards.

The beach is suitable for swimming and sunbathing, with the beachfront being open 24 hours a day.

The park is open daily from 8am - 10:30am with only children and women allowed on Saturdays.

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