top of page

Dubai the Dream, the Envy or a Dismal Dark Place for Foreigners?

Updated: Jul 17, 2023

Before we head into dissecting the myth, the truths and even the unbelievable variations of this enchanting isle let’s delve into what led to the formation of this ultra-luxurious city. Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum transformed a small fishing village into this monumental region deemed a pearl amidst miles of sand. Beautiful, mind-blowing and world-renowned architecture draws travelers from near and far to explore the vast and wealth driven nation that has transformed lives in many ways some for the best; achieving wealth and excellence to be envied by many while others, the often unspoken therefore unheard stories of the down-trodden tourists that their lives took a drastic turn for the worst. But let’s face the facts all over the world there are the good and the bad but Dubai is definitely a must-see vacation spot and you shouldn’t hesitate to head over to Across N Abroad travel and allow the travel connoisseur, Toni Reid to unlock a visionary masterpiece with her detailed and well-crafted itinerary for the trip of a lifetime.

There is no major city in the world quite like the Pearl of Persia located smack dab on the edge of the Arabian desert on the Persian Gulf. With luxury vehicles being driven by most if not all residents and a police fleet of vehicles equipped with Porsche Panamera, Ford Mustang GT, Chevrolet Camaro SS, and even a Bentley Continental GT. The average American is unable to attain and afford such luxuries let alone be assisted by policemen and women in such spectacular rides. Whether your dream or vision/ purpose for travel is to discover the hidden truths or revel in the beauty and grandeur that is Dubai we will discuss the many sides to Dubai and you can make that informed decision to travel or not.

When asked about the history of Dubai, the conversation generally starts with the mention of “the creek” deemed to be a natural harbor which soon after transformed this sand-covered region to the center of fishing, pearl diving, and international sea trade. It was in 1966 that Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum discovered oil and launched a tremendous push to transform revenues and reorganize and reshape Dubai’s infrastructure to create the ultra-luxurious city that it is today. If you are a lover of beauty, and exceptional monuments Dubai has many of the biggest and most grand skyscrapers. Setting sail to explore wondrous and unheard-of vacation spots boasting seven-star hotels? Burj Al Arab would be the ideal hotel accommodation for you to view the majestic landscape and live in the lap of luxury even just for the few days of your vacation. “Dubai only had a dribble of oil compared to neighboring Abu Dhabi… so Sheikh Maktoum decided to make the desert bloom.”[1] The face of the Sheikh beams down far and wide across the buildings in Dubai serving to some as a reminder of the visionary who put in motion several plans of revenue to establish sustenance in spite of the rapidly changing world. Dubai is the most luxurious city and a golden star dream vacation spot for visitors to let go of their troubles and immerse themselves in the land of the party and great fun creating memories to last a lifetime.

Others want more than the memories to last and make the leap to attain a long-lasting home in a beautiful city. Some make the most of it and grow, flourish and attain the much sought-after wealth and address while others, those who explore the underbelly of the society are less inclined to speak of how amazing Dubai is. Karen Andrews, one such individual describes the city as an “Adult Disney Land”[2]Basking in all its splendor and intrigue her and her boyfriend moved to Dubai for a job in a division in “a famous multinational”[3]. They soon discovered fun and vivacious offerings partying endlessly and doing absolutely nothing for themselves as they waited upon hand and foot. Shortly after only to stumble upon hard times ultimately losing it all, seeking to leave before they lost it all their plans were ultimately foiled and they did, in fact, lose it all. Unable to freely speak due to the harsh and gut-wrenching emotions she now lives in her car in a car park as the attendants can’t find it within themselves to ask her to move along. This Dubai exists and is just as real and even more unbelievable than the grand aspects of the city. The western concept of bankruptcy does not exist and you have to answer to all your crimes there no matter how small or large you deem them to be.

Like most things in life, there is great fun to be had and much to see and learn however there are harsh penalties to follow for behavior, not in line with their beliefs. So, imagine the dark side of National Geographic’s hit series Locked Up Abroad. Be not disheartened however nor frightened into a stiffened stupor as this is merely what happens in all nations, not the harsh reactions but more so the fact that if you act contrary to what is expected of the country you are in, you will be subjected to their punishments and not those you are used to in your home country.

Dubai boasts many luxurious and majestic monuments and is famous for its megastructures and captivating skyscrapers. Herein we’ll discuss a few of the phenomenal structures that make visiting Dubai a tremendous experience.

Dubai Museum

“It was in 1799 when Al Fahidi Fort was established and believed to be the oldest building in Dubai.”[4] The museum offers culture rich in history and an exceptional trip to desert life. If you seek to broaden your knowledge of this wondrous location and yearn for a greater understanding of how Dubai came to be the massive attraction that it is today, this is a must-visit location on your next stop. That being said, head over to our Facebook at to stay abreast of the latest and greatest in travel. across N abroad Travel is your travel agency because we are committed to you and will help you craft a trip of a lifetime that will help you experience the world uniquely designed for you. Adventure awaits, let’s go get it!

Bastakiya Quarters

This area of Dubai gives an insight into the olden Dubai prior to all the high rises and jaw-dropping structures. Think back to the village days by the creek. A tour of this region will allow the feeling of being in old-time Dubai, the sand/ fishing and pearl-diving village an era before the oil and tremendous fast-growing boom structures in existence today.

Tourists are welcome to visit the shopping mall of the Arab region, the epic center for all things luxurious and grand. Feel safe, knowing that the police force has cars as fast as or even faster than the average vehicles in the wealthy nation. Now that’s what you’d call a highspeed chase. Though there are much development and growth to be seen and experienced there is much attention played to maintain the historical value and authenticity that is Dubai history.

Grand Mosque

With grand ancient traditional Persian designs, the aesthetic is truly enamoring and quite impressive. The Grand Mosque was constructed with an Islamic design of historic and rich value, it stands incredibly tall and is a prominent landmark of Dubai’s place to worship. If you a religious type and seek to expand your knowledge of the world’s places of worship, the Grand Mosque is a must-see landmark in Dubai. Imagine beautiful arches and domes aplenty.

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House

This house was built in 1896 was declared a monument and thereafter a museum subsequent to the death of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum. “Presently this museum boasts of photos that describe the different generations of the Al Maktoum.”[5]A phenomenal means of exploring the history of the development of Dubai.

Palm Islands

The world-famous Palm Islands have most certainly become one of the best-known features/ iconic landmarks of Dubai. The Palm Islands are quite the spectacle to behold and most certainly serve the purpose Sheikh Maktoum hoped it would be as a widespread tourist phenomenon. Visitors from far and wide travel to feast their eyes upon the luxury and unmatched beauty.

Heritage House

Heritage House is the house of a rich pearl merchant built in 1890 and restored in 1994. Culturally rich, visitors are offered a traditional Emirate style snack of chickpeas and tea. Beautiful and built to withstand the comings and goings of tourists and residents visiting alike to behold an architectural beauty, unlike most others. Rooms are decorated customarily and offer a unique feel.

Dubai is a phenomenal and beautiful place to visit, a region rich in culture and has beauty for miles, whether you are an architectural guru and are enamored by the luxury offered by high rises or skyscrapers or you are a thrill-seeker wanting to ride the vast sand dunes the region offers a plethora of sightseeing. A trip of a lifetime that will guarantee memories of a lifetime! Toni Reid is a premiere travel agent and travel connoisseur, head over to Across N Abroad Travel agency and allows yourself to venture on a whirlwind adventure experiencing parties, beautiful hotel spaces, and wonderful people. Always remember to be respectful of another country’s rules and regulations just to ensure you stay on the right side of the law. I’m certain you don’t want to end up on another episode of Locked Up Abroad. across N abroad has a plethora of travel tips for you to stay safe while having the time of your life so make sure you sign up for the news blast at


bottom of page