By Sharron Livingston – 01 Oct 2016

Once upon a time, Dubai, the Gulf Emirate, was just a sleepy trading post and fishing village mostly made up of sandy desert. Today it is built up with skyscrapers that hem the Creek (the natural sea-water inlet which cuts through the heart of old Dubai) and five-star hotels that overlook the beach.

Shopping is very much on the agenda and shoppers have a tough time choosing between at least seventy shopping malls.

This was all the brainchild of the enterprising Sheikh Maktoum and his family who realised that oil reserves were one day going to run out and a new revenue stream would be needed to fund the future of Dubai. What better way to entice overseas money than to make a hedonistic playground for the rich?

This cunning plan has paid off big time; expats at every corner, malls galore, hotels with underwater resorts, and a palm-shaped resort built outwards towards the sea.

You can still find the souks (Arab markets), or catch an abra (a small water taxi) to get you around the old part of town where the exotic Arabian culture still reigns.

Dubai Creek
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