There’s no topping Dubai when it comes to extravagance and opulence: the city is home to the highest building in the world, the tallest hotel, the largest shopping mall, and a palm-tree-shaped artificial island.
There’s no topping Dubai when it comes to extravagance and opulence: the city is home to the highest building in the world, the tallest hotel, the largest shopping mall, and a palm-tree-shaped artificial island. We travel to the Land of Gold with Shabnam Arashan and discover that beyond the glitz and the glamour of the metropolis, culture and modernity co-exist harmoniously.
Beyond the sprawling malls of Dubai are the souks—traditional Arabian bazaars that sell all sorts of local, exotic wares. Souk Madinat Jumeirah replicates the traditional Middle Eastern marketplace, where a local bazaar offers a mix of exotic clothes, accessories and perfumes, as well as a selection of international brands. Madinat Jumeirah itself is a sprawling estate comprising two resorts, 29 summer houses, a theatre, numerous shops, restaurants and bars, surrounding a waterway that connects the entire property by boat.
Location: Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Gown: Marbella by Naeem Khan from Belle & Tulle
Jewellery: Enchant scroll earrings by Tiffany & Co.
Downtown Dubai is where the heart of luxury resides: this is where you’ll find the Dubai Mall, the Armani Hotel, the Burj Khalifa and more. The Palace Downtown is a Middle Eastern sanctuary within the city, boasting an opulent Arabian décor that harks back to the heritage of this part of the world. From the terrace, one can spot the famous Dubai Fountain, while the entrance of the hotel offers an unparalleled experience of the tallest skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa.
Location: The Palace Downtown, Dubai
Gown: Danny L for Alisha & Lace
Jewellery: Bow cuff and Victoria earrings, both by Tiffany & Co.
Built within a property that resembles an Arabian fort, the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa makes for a dreamy wedding destination. Shaded walkways and authentic stonewalls set the scene for a Middle Eastern vibe, while tropical gardens and water features are absolutely mesmerising. Say your vows under the starry skies, with nothing but sand dunes rising majestically around you.
Location: Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Gown: Gown and veil, both by David Fielden from The Proposal
Jewellery: Enchant earrings and ring, Cobblestone ring and Metro bangles, all by Tiffany & Co.
Down Memory Lane
Step behind the glitzy curtain of downtown Dubai and discover the heritage of the city at the Bastakia Quarter. Built in the 19th century by Iranian traders, this maze of buildings and laneways has been labelled a conservation area, boasting traditional architecture from that period. The courtyards today have been transformed into a host of museums, boutique hotels, restaurants and galleries.
Location: Bastakia Quarter
Gown: Winona by Peter Langner from The Proposal
Jewellery: Bow cuffs by Tiffany & Co.