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Property for sale in Dubai

Like Singapore, for example, Dubai is a ‘city state’ that, whilst remaining autonomous, is one of seven such territories that comprise the unimaginably oil-wealthy Middle East region on the Persian Gulf known as the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

What is now a spectacular, futuristic cityscape dominated by state-of-the-art skyscrapers emerged from an ancient, small fishing community that, in 1830, was taken over by the Maktoum family – a branch of the Bani Yas tribe – who still preside over the sovereign sheikhdom to this day. The crucial turning point for Dubai was, of course, the discovery of oil in 1966, propelling the territory towards the status of one of the world’s richest lands within just a few years. Up to that time, Dubai’s economy was dependent almost entirely on trade and fishing.

Occupying a combined area of only 83,000 sq. km, home to a population of around 1/3 that of London, the UAE was formally established in 1971 following the withdrawal of British interests from the Gulf region. The majority of the UAE is barren desert, but there is still room for wildly contrasting scenery from brooding mountains and lush plains to towering dunes, beautiful oases and beaches. It is this unexpected diversity, world-class holiday accommodation and superb family facilities that are helping turn the UAE, especially Dubai, into one of the world’s fastest developing tourist destinations.

The Middle East does not appear to be that well placed on the average holidaymaker’s destination wish-list, but Dubai’s burgeoning reputation as an extremely hospitable and safe destination totally dedicated to family leisure and quality of life is becoming increasingly understood. Offering an unrivalled range of attractions for the whole family, world class shopping and a very different kind of amazing scenery, ambitious Dubai has become a veritable vacationer’s playground with seemingly infinite sources of fascination and fun.

As an acknowledged site of important international sports competitions, Dubai has magnificent sporting facilities in most every field. Tennis, squash, golf, swimming, scuba diving, fishing and horse riding are all available to participate in, but this is merely scratching the surface. There are countless spas and fitness and health centres, and even the desert offers the opportunity of unique thrills in the form of sand skiing, sand boarding, sand karting and 4WD desert safaris!

It can be frustrating running out of ways in which to entertain the young ones on holiday, but no such dilemmas are faced in Dubai. There are children’s play areas everywhere from hotels to shopping areas to beaches, and then there is the extraordinary Wild Wadi Water Park, which is as thrilling to adults as it is to kids. Set on a 12 acre site and offering 23 hair-raising rides – some unique to this attraction – it could well take a week just to experience it all; there are few better parks of its kind anywhere on earth!

For shopaholics, Dubai is paradise! Ultra-modern, fully air-conditioned shopping malls provide the chance to buy gold, jewellery, carpets, pottery, leather goods, textiles, traditional handicrafts, designer clothing, perfumes, spices and electronic goods amongst so much more – and all at duty free prices. The older souks and bazaars in the atmospheric Bastakia quarter are an essential experience and a joy simply to wander around, giving as they do an insight into the traditional trading way of life on which Dubai was founded. Bartering is both expected and encouraged!

As for sightseeing and historical interest, it’s difficult to know where to turn in Dubai, as there is just so much to see and experience. The gleaming, high-rise towers dominate, but are breathtaking examples of contemporary architecture. Beautiful mosques, traditional Arab dwellings, lush parks and gardens.

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