Dubai: Something for everyone

Published: March 4, 2011

The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place at the Yas Marina circuit.

Sports fans can now enjoy tennis matches in Dubai. Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Grand Prix takes place at the Yas Marina circuit.

Contrary to popular opinion, a visit to Dubai is not just about  endless sales options, the occasional desert safari and a visit to the top of the Burj Khalifa.

There is a lot to do for everyone. My favourites remain the musicals and plays which are organised by English, Indian and Pakistani entertainers. Multicultural audiences draw in entertainers from all over the world, and Dubai is no exception.

The question is: which of these makes Dubai interesting for you?


Recently, Bryan Adams and Guns ‘n’ Roses rocked the UAE music scene. This was followed by a jazz festival that would regale any music lover’s appetite.

Culture Vulture:

The Emirates’ vibrant multicultural society also supports historical and architectural sites like museums and grand mosques.

Environment buffs:

Visit zoos, bird sanctuaries and Arabia’s most prominent wildlife reserve Sir Bani Yas Island. There are also date palm farms in Al Ain where a private visit may be arranged.

Art lover:

Art Dubai is an attraction for artists. The Emirates Palace regularly exhibits art work from the world’s best galleries. The literary scene is alive with an annual literature festival that draws in huge crowds. This year, I saw the premiere of The King’s Speech during the gala event of the Dubai International Film Festival.

Sport Enthusiast:

The Dubai horse racing carnival is at the Meydaan race course is another exciting prospect. It is another entry in the Dubai events calendar that draws large regional audiences culminating in the $10 million Dubai World Cup.

The country is fast becoming a popular destination for sports fans due to the following sporting events:

  • Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the Yas Marina circuit
  • golf tournaments in Abu Dhabi and Dubai
  • Dubai Open Tennis
  • the Laureaus Sports awards
  • cricket matches
  • Gulfnews Toyata Fun drive (a car ride into the desert)

And if you will have none of this, there is always Ferrari World, the world’s largest indoor theme park – which is fun for everyone.


Sophia Ahmed

An accountant based in Dubai who has been associated with Acumen Fund, Aga Khan University Education Foundation and Micro Drip

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Tanzeel

    What’s the human rights situation in Dubai ?Recommend

  • Saad Durrani

    Everything including RECESSION! yay!Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
  • Nadir El-Edroos

    How about “something” for the migrant workers who languish over there, and cant even step in these shinny events that you list above, unless they are working on the building site, picking up the trash or carrying luggage. What a sham to promote! Pakistani citizens are work as indentured laborers, there passports seized, pay withheld, and live in horrible conditions. Recommend

  • Quratulain Ahmed

    Dubai is not for everyone. It is for people who can afford it! There is a lot to do there if you have money otherwise it is a frightfully expensive place to have fun. Recommend

  • Maria

    Dubai may have some charm for poor Third World people who are easily impressed with big buildings and extravagant shows of wealth but no one in the developed world takes them seriously. Right now, the whole region is teetering on the brink of instability and it’s only a matter of time before some type of revolution takes place there too. As for the labourers there, let them make their money and leave the place. It’s only a matter of time before it returns to its former self as some dessert outpost of nothingness.Recommend

  • Anonymous

    Its not like the condition of “mazdoors” in Pakistan is any better, atleast with the same working conditions the pay given to the labourers is higher than what they would receive in Pakistan. Dubai is awesome! The only people who complain are the one’s that can’t afford it. They should slowly start shifting out the labourers out of Dubai since most of the infrastructure has been completed and the requirement for extensive colonies of laborers is not really relevant anymore. Its a play ground for the rich not a tourist spot for the bargain seekers.Recommend

  • Keen Observer

    Dubai is a country that has no culture of its own; it’s built on borrowed ideals. Really, there are better places to visit if ‘glitter and glam’ isn’t the only attraction for the tourist in question!Recommend

  • andrea

    When will there be a popular uprising in Dubai? Only a matter of time. Thanks but no thanks- I’m not interested in seeing some backward 3rd World Emirate boasting with il money when they have no culture or substance. I agree with the comment that the UAE people will be back to their nomad dessert lives in 50 years!Recommend