Dubai is widely known to be one of the most vibrant cities in the Middle East and is a destination that mixes modern culture with history, adventure, world-class shopping and entertainment, as well as numerous man-made architectural feats and attractions to keep you busy year round. Surrounded by sand dunes, the city also has stunning beaches and warm waters, together with year round sunshine, so it is little wonder that Dubai was recently named as one of the most attractive destination in the world for students seeking to pursue studies abroad.
Situated on the north-east coast of the Arabian Peninsula, Dubai is the second largest of the seven territories that make up the United Arab Emirates and is home to residents from almost 200 countries across the globe.
It is this multicultural environment and Dubai's openness and welcoming approach to all cultures that makes it such a wonderful destination to pursue higher education. The fact that Dubai is a gateway between Europe and Asia is another great advantage, allowing students the ability to explore and travel during their free time.
By choosing to study in Dubai, you will have a unique opportunity to experience different cultures in a safe and welcoming environment and to develop your personal, professional and language skills in an international context.
Top things to do in Dubai
Visit Burj Khalifa
Standing at 828 metres high, the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa is hard to miss. From the observation deck on level 124 on a clear day, the view is truly unique.
Experience a shopper's paradise
With more than 96 malls across the city, you are sure to find more than just retail therapy. From the world's largest mall, The Dubai Mall, which has something for everyone, including an ice-skating rink and Dubai Aquarium or for those of you who are wanting to secure a bargain, Dubai Outlet Mall or The Outlet Village may be more to your liking.
For the thrill seekers
Dubai is fast becoming one of the most exciting adventure playground in the world. Choose from IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world's largest indoor theme park, or visit Dubai Parks and Resorts, where there is fun for all at Motiongate Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai.
The Dubai Fountain
Immerse yourself in a captivating water, music and lighting experience at the world's tallest performing fountain.
Should you wish to escape the desert heat of Dubai, a trip to Ski Dubai located inside the Mall of Emirates, is a must do.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Located in The Dubai Mall, the aquarium is home to 140 species of sea life. Stroll through the underwater tunnel or take a glass bottom boat tour.
Discover the Souk and market places
A trip to the Souk market place is a must and an opportunity to visit the heart of old Dubai, where the bustling souks will treat all your senses.
For a true Arabian experience, a desert safari is a must do. Whether it is an organised 4WD tour, an unforgettable buggy adventure, or dinner under the night sky, there are multiple options to choose from.
Explore Dubai's past
Uncover history, heritage and great food in Dubai's lively Old Town. For more information on what to see and do in Dubai, visit www.visitdubai.com/en
Culture and customs
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city that is a melting pot of diverse cultures and religious faiths. Christian, Hindi, Sikh, Buddhist and other religious communities are practiced openly throughout the UAE.
Public display of affection should be kept to a minimum while out and about in Dubai. Holding hands is acceptable; but kissing and hugging in public areas is not acceptable.
Alcohol is served in licensed establishments throughout Dubai, including hotels, bars and specialised shops to those over the age of 21 years and can be consumed within your own home. Use of illegal drugs in strictly prohibited.
Although Arabic is the official language of the UAE, English is the second most common language used in all official communication due to the large expatriate community.
Being a city with diverse cultures and religious faiths, European attire is generally acceptable. Swimwear is acceptable on beaches, pool and spa areas, but is not considered appropriate in shopping malls or the business areas. In more historical quarters of the city and places of religious worship, dressing conservatively is appreciated.
Dubai has an efficient and cost-effective public transport system that connects the city. Buses run regularly during the day from 6am and night buses operate every 30 minutes from 11.30pm until the morning service resumes.
The Dubai Metro currently operates two lines, with trains running every few minutes between 6am and midnight Saturday - Thursday. The service commences later in the day on Friday and continues until 1am on Saturday morning. Buses are available to reach the metro stations from outlying locations.
Taxis and Uber are the most frequently used form of transport in Dubai.
Dubai is fast becoming known as one of the world's greatest shopping destinations. The city is home to the world's largest shopping centre - the Dubai Mall - where you will find a host of international branded goods at high street prices. For a different shopping experience, stroll through the marketplace-style souks or the bustling streets of Karama, where you'll find a wide range of goods and spices.
Most shopping malls are open between 10am to 10pm, sometimes later, and there are a number of supermarkets operating 24 hours a day.
Restaurants and nightlife
The restaurants in Dubai are as diverse as the city's cultural fabric. You can dine out on almost any budget and experience an eclectic range of food from across the globe. Outdoor dining is common in the cooler months, providing a pleasant atmosphere to catch up with friends.
Establishments serving alcohol require a special licence and for the most part this is restricted to bars and restaurants located in hotels and their associated complexes. Outside of these venues alcohol is not served, although permanent residents are able to acquire a permit to purchase liquor from licenced shops.