Arabian nights, belly dancing beauties and sandy sultans aside, a visit to the gleaming city of Dubai will indulge your senses. A fusion of old and new harmoniously entwined hits you from the moment you step off the plane. Men wearing dishdash, driving Mercedes and Porsches on their way to their ultra-modern office skyscraper. But Dubai is more than a modern contradiction of the past colliding with the future and there is so much for those travelling to this region to rejoice in. If you are craving a retail fix, you may have just found utopia with malls dedicated to gold, sparkling jewels, artisan handcrafts, textiles and a kaleidoscope of spices filling the air. Wait, did I mention the kilometres of marbled floor dedicated to luxury brands Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel? They’re just the tip of a global shopping iceberg. The Dubai Mall, Wafi, Mercato Shopping Mall and Mall of the Emirates are a great entree to your retail adventure.
If your desire is to step back in time, cross the river for a flavour of the old city. Narrow lanes festooned with ornate Arabian architecture of the Bastakiya district that once lined the creek where wind towers are now a charming glimpse of how Dubai once looked. The precinct is home to important historical museums, galleries, markets and restaurants commonly known as Heritage Village and a must visit on your list. Dotted with a multitude of museums, opulent palaces overflowing with gold and ancient forts, the city is a reminder of torrid times arisen from the desert sands. For architecture nuts, Dubai’s new city is a shining beacon to the modern world of just what can be achieved in a short time. Staggering sculptural towers and man-made islands are sure to impress. None more so than the famed Burj al Arab, a masterpiece of design to resemble the graceful sails of an Arabian Dhow and the most lavish hotel in the world.
But for us golfers, it is perhaps the promise of lush greens set amidst the Arabian dunes that are of greatest significance. What a feast to be had! With the spoils of Persian pearls, fossil fuels and galloping gold trade riches, along came hungry global companies and instant millionaires. Of course they needed entertaining and golf became a popular pastime for the region’s movers and shakers. And aren’t we the better for it… If you are looking for VIP treatment you cannot go past the experiences at Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club or the Colin Montgomerie-designed Montgomerie Course. The Emirates Golf Club with its unique Bedouin tent clubhouse design is often referred to as the Saint Andrews of the Middle East. More recent additions include Al Badia Golf Club sculpted into the sands by Robert Trent Jones II – an oasis theme carries through the layout whilst the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates plays host to the prestigious Dubai World Golf Championship and is also worth a round.
Kings of the Desert – Dubai and Abu Dhabi Golf Tour is departing 16-26 February 2014. Contact Go Golfing Travel for more information on (07) 5536 3280 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Go Golfing website at www.gogolfing.net.au