With a flamboyant, unfettered determination to go one better than everywhere else, Dubai is quite unlike any other city in the world. This is a city that wants to have the tallest, biggest and most luxurious of pretty much everything, from the splinter-like Burj Khalifa and the cavernous Dubai Mall to underwater hotel suites that take the phrase 'swimming with the fishes' to a whole new level. You can hit up the beach in the morning, take a camel ride through the desert in the afternoon, ski and snowboard in the evening – you name it, you can probably do it here (and, if you can't, rest assured that the city is almost certainly working on it).
Glamorous, glitzy and unashamedly flashy, yes. But Dubai also has substance to match that style, with its cosmopolitan composition encouraging you to meet, eat and make merry with residents and fellow travelers from all manner of backgrounds. The Old Town is something of a surprise, too, with its winding, bustling streets and traditional souqs a pleasant counterpoint to The Palm Jumeirah. Spectacular, ambitious and definitely over the top, Dubai's restless energy is positively infectious.