Gawp at the skyline
The Dubai skyline changes on (an almost) daily basis - change is the only con-stant in this glitzy, desert oasis - but mustn’t miss skyscrapers include the Burj Al Arab (the self proclaimed seven star hotel, shaped like the sail of a dhow), the triangular tips of the Emirates Towers on Sheikh Zayed Road and the wave like Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Bottom line? Whether you’re on the beach or downtown around the Burj Khalifa, an amazing view of the city’s twisting towers, majestic mosques and lavish modern souks is pretty much guaranteed.
It’s detractors may say that a pot of yoghurt has more culture than Dubai but, thanks to the arrival of a new opera house, it’s legion of fans beg to differ. Located in the glittering Downtown area, Dubai Opera - which opened on the 31 August 2016 with a powerhouse performance by the Spanish tenor, Placido Domingo - is billed as the city’s first purpose-built multi-format performing arts theatre. Developer, Emaar Properties, says that the dramatic dhow shaped exterior could one day be as iconic as the Sydney Opera House. Forthcoming shows include White Nights in Dubai (March-April 2017) starring Welsh mezzo-soprano, Katherine Jenkins. Check out the full programme at www.dubaiopera.com
The United Arab Emirates’ second largest city hasn’t always been associated with art but times - they are a-changin. The epicentre of Dubai’s art scene is arguably Alserkal Avenue (www.alserkalavenue.ae). Dubbed Dubai’s answer to Shoreditch, this edgy warehouse district is chock full of contemporary art galleries and impressive outdoor installations. And be sure to check out Cuadro Fine Art Gallery (www.cuadroart.com) over in the Gallery Village art hub, where you’ll find work by artists like Gita Meg and Dale Chubby. But whichever part of the city you find yourself in, keep your eyes open for Dubai Walls (#Dubai_Walls) - an initiative launched last March to promote street art in the Middle East.