The Best Destinations of 2018

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The Best Destinations of 2018

Before visiting last month, my friends painted a picture of a city hot, filled with malls and expensive stores, restaurants, lots of expats, and a bit soulless. “It’s artificial and fake like Vegas and doesn’t demand more than a day or two,” they told me. But when people tell me to zig, I always love to zag, so I decided to spend five days there, determined to find something redeeming about the city. (I picked an excellent time to visit too: an English friend had just moved to the city, so I had a place to stay and a tour guide!)

Dubai: The Las Vegas of the Middle East?

It’s a city that conjures up images of Vegas-like glitz (minus the gambling and drinking). Before visiting last month, my friends painted a picture of a city hot, filled with malls and expensive stores, restaurants, lots of expats, and a bit soulless. “It’s artificial and fake like Vegas and doesn’t demand more than a day or two,” they told me.

In a way, Dubai reminded me of most expat-heavy places in the world. It seems whenever cities attract a lot of foreigners from various nations around the world, they in large part tend to live in a little alcohol-fueled bubble — going to a small selection of restaurants, bars, and neighborhoods, often with scant interaction with locals. Dubai is still a mystery to me. I can’t wrap my head around it and am determined to return, turn over more stones, and get under this city’s skin. But one thing is for certain – this city is more than a stopover destination!

 

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