Postcard From... Dubai, United Arab Emirates

By Tristan Rutherford

Each week Tristan Rutherford, destination expert at luxury yacht charter agency Y.CO, sends us a postcard from the world’s top superyacht destinations.

                   Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 1 December 2012

Today marks the 41st anniversary of the UAE’s independence from the UK. As an Englishman, I’m proud of my nation’s history, from Lord Nelson to the Battle of Britain. But boy, didn’t Dubai do well without us?

Put simply, if you hear someone dismissing Dubai, it’s because they haven’t been. The Gulf State is a mesmeric vision of the 21st century. Citizens of 190 nations drop by to eat, drink, shop and play.

The city distils the very best of Europe, Asia and the Americas into one elegant package. Dubai’s beach bars mix Brazilian caiperinas with beach volley. On its dance floors, British aristocracy mixes with the social elite of Moscow, Delhi and Shanghai.

Global trade is in Dubai’s soul. Vintage black and white photographs at the Sheikh Saeed al-Maktoum Museum show the city in the 1940s: a dusty fishing village on The Creek. The surrounding gold souks and gleaming towers testify to its stratospheric success. Jumeirah Beach Walk is the Middle East’s answer to Monaco. Here visitors may indulge in Kashmiri curry or Peruvian ceviche. But Dubai also offers kilometre-long watersides and tandem skydive leaps: activities that the French Riviera just can’t beat.

Superyachts are a natural extension to Dubai’s naval heritage. Los Angeles was built around the motorcar; this city was built around the boat. Yachts may soon sail up to the Meydan Racecourse and watch the racing from the sundeck.

The sandy-bottomed shallows surrounding The Palm have a Caribbean allure. Local restaurants like the sublime 101 Lounge offer a tender service, allowing guests to slip from superyacht to private salon without wetting one’s feet.

Wish you were here...


By Tristan Rutherford