If you want the best shopping, restaurants and luxury hotels, automatically you may think of New York, but now it’s time to look to the East. In less than six to seven hours flying time from Europe, you reach a new metropolis, built more or less yesterday but it actually feels like Utopia.
Berlinagenten visited Dubai for the fifth time to see how this new hub between Asia and Europe is developing. At first sight, it’s clear that Dubai is a show-off fairy tale built by a real life Sheik. First impressions last and they are all BIG. Playfully built skyscrapers touch the clouds (they boast the highest in the world – Burj Kalifa), multi dimensional shopping malls spread across the landscape like viruses (fact: the biggest in the world is Dubai Mall) and the insane city developments (the biggest man made island in the world is The Palms) abound at a pace.
With all of this there is one key theme: luxury! Whether it’s shopping, hotels, restaurants, bars or a club, you will be impressed by what you can build with an obscene amount of (washed) money. The police are even driving Lamborghini’s here, in order to catch fast driving rich kids in Porches!
Here are some of Berlinagenten’s top picks from our last cool hunting trip in February:
Top new hotels
- Sofitel Dubai the Palm
- Waldorf Astoria Dubai the Palm
- One & Only The Palm
- Anantara the Palm
- Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
- Le Meridien Dubai Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina
- Oberoi Dubai
Our favourite restaurants
Dubai´s crazy future plans:
- A copy of India’s Taj Mahal but four times bigger than the real one!
- A shopping mall with 2500 shops/boutiques. The Dubai Mall only has 1200.
- ‘The world’ consisting of artificial islands, shaped like the earth from a bird’s perspective. The Scandinavian part will be covered with a huge glass dome and inside will be snow and ice.
A short flight away from Dubai is the quiet and relaxed city of Muscat. The old town boasts lots of beautiful traditional architecture. When you drive around the old port, the souk and the square in front of Al Alam Palace, it feels like you’re in the movie ‘A Thousand & One Arabian Nights’.
The contrast of red dark coloured mountains, which surrounds the almost white old town is an impressive setting from the hills, as well as from inside the square. Don’t come here if you expect the same infrastructure as Dubai. There aren’t endless luxurious hotels or huge shopping malls. The new international airport is under construction and many international hotels are on the way. Yet the Sultane doesn’t want to build Disneyland. This is a low-key cultural oriented destination, with the must-see Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and the Royal Opera House Muscat.
Here are some of Berlinagenten’s top picks.