InterContinental Dubai Festival City
Dating back to 1890, the Bastakiya precinct is one of the oldest residential areas in Dubai. At its heart is the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Here you can enjoy breakfast, talk to local volunteers and learn more about the Emirate's culture, religion and history. The volunteers don't believe any question is taboo, so if you have queries about the local dress, the Koran or Ramadan, this is the best place to ask. Following breakfast, take a leisurely stroll through the textile souk, with its silks, pashminas and huge swathes of cloth. Bargaining is the order of the day with stallholders that, for the most part, are a match for their colourful wares. From here, make your way to the creek and take an abra (traditional wooden boat) costing AED 1. As you sail along the creek's edge you'll be confronted with the two faces of Dubai: the shimmering glass and steel towers of Deira and the slender minarets and delicate calligraphy of old Dubai.
After exploring Dubai on foot, head to Wild Wadi Water Park, the largest in the UAE. The waterslides, 24 in total, are interconnected so you can get a suntan without losing your cool. And there's no need to worry about having to carry money for drinks and snacks thanks to the ingenious electronic wrist bands which can be topped up with credit on your arrival. If you have a head for heights try the Jumeirah Sceirah waterslide. The view from the top is well worth it and the plunge is breathtaking!
A wonderful way to end your day is to have the concierge team arrange tickets to Dubai's only live outdoor theatre, the Jumana. A visual feast on a grand scale, the performance is set against a backdrop of laser lights, pyrotechnics and three giant water screens. Images are projected onto the water, providing a visual narration of the unfolding drama. This visual feast is followed by a culinary one: dinner at the Lahab BBQ and Grill. Enjoy a shisha (hookah pipe) after dinner or take a walk through the resort's own mini souk.
The best, if not the fastest, way to cross from Deira to Bur Dubai is by boat. The cost for a one-way crossing is AED 1.
The United Arab Emirates is the fourth-largest exporter of dates in the world.
The normal working week in Dubai is Sunday to Thursday. This means the roads are much quieter on Fridays and the shopping malls busier.
The shisha pipe is a water-based pipe for smoking, very popular in the Middle East. It can be used for smoking either tobacco or herbal fruits.
The UAE is the second-largest producer of desalinated water in the world and the third-largest consumer per capita of water in the world. It is perfectly safe to drink the tap water in major cities. However, as a precaution you should stick to bottled water when travelling.