Countless travel destinations promise the world's 'biggest' and 'best', but few can deliver results like Dubai's. With soaring skyscrapers, massive artificial islands and a Dubai hotel with the audacity to claim seven-star status, this is the kind of destination that redefines luxury.
The Burj Khalifa has secured this city's status as global trend-setter, and at nearly half a mile tall, it dwarfs all runners-up. The building officially opened early in 2010 to great fanfare.
Alongside luxury accommodation, world-class shopping is a defining characteristic of Dubai. The Dubai Shopping Festival is held during the first two months of the year. Glamorous shopping malls and local markets roll out incredible promotions at this time. A few of Dubai's most enthralling entertainment venues include massive indoor theme parks (including indoor ski slopes), ultra-chic dance clubs and beautiful white-sand beaches.
West of the gleaming heights of modern Dubai are Bur Dubai and Deira, a pair of historic districts straddling Dubai Creek. Life in these atmospheric neighborhoods still reflects shades of traditional Dubai. Several of the best hotels in Dubai are housed here in heritage buildings along the creek and around the wharf, with water taxis ferrying passengers between sites like the Bastakiya historic quarter and the Dubai Museum.
Dubai International Airport is the busiest travel hub in the Middle East, and it ushers greater numbers of tourists into Dubai each year. With three terminals and great airport hotels, this sleek facility is famous for its duty-free shopping. Taxis and the Dubai metro both connect to the city center.