View of part of the Fujairah Corniche and the Hajar Mountains in the Background

Friday, October 17, 2008

Dubai the Most Overrated Tourist Destination on the Planet

Chris Guillebeau at the web site, ‘The Art of Nonconformity’ writes about ‘9 Overrated Tourist Destinations’.

Building to his climax or anticlimax he says:

“There’s one place over all the others, however, that wins the prize for being the most over-hyped city anywhere on the planet:

Dubai, UAE.
I enjoyed driving around the Emirates a couple years ago (there are seven of them – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Qwain – naturally, I went to each one), but my time in Dubai was surreal.

This is not actually that unusual, because most travelers end up thinking that Dubai is odd when they get there. The majority of the people you’ll interact with in Dubai are immigrant workers (English surpassed Arabic as the common language a while back), and seemingly permanent construction cranes fill the city. Yes, you can get anything you want in Dubai, but since sheiks and Russian billionaires use Dubai as a playground, it won’t be cheap. As for entertainment, there are shopping malls, shopping centers, shopping areas with fake ski resorts, and hotels with shopping malls enclosed within.

The Alternative: Oman, a nearby Persian Gulf country, is much more fun and a thousand times more authentic. Qatar is also OK, but seems to be on track to become another Dubai as soon as they can build a ski lodge and fake islands with huge hotels.

To read the entire article:
Chris Guillebeau, ‘9 Overrated Tourist Destinations’, The Art of Nonconformity, 17 October 2008.

What do you think about Chris Guillebeau’s rating?

What in your opinion is over-hyped?

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Burj al-Arab Hotel, Dubai.