Leisure and shopping

Dubai loves to shop, to the point where it even has a festival dedicated to the art of consuming, in the shape of the Dubai Shopping Festival. And where Dubai shops, it also relaxes – at the mall.

The city is home to some of the world's largest malls, including the Dubai Mall, which features an aquarium and ice rink and sits in the shadow of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Dubai's other mega-mall is Mall of the Emirates, home of the now-famous indoor ski slope.

Away from the malls, you can get a taste of more traditional Arabian shopping – and a much more varied snapshot of life – at Dubai's souks. Located around the creek, these traditional markets are open to the air, and usually come to life in the evenings. Look out for the Old Souk on the Bur Dubai side of the Creek, then catch an abra across the water to see Deira's markets, including the Gold Souk.