Few points to consider re: Dubai…
Firstly, the Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower) will be - in a couple of yrs - the world’s biggest tower (with yet another bloody shopping mall at the bottom)… however it is absolutely not being built by Armani. Don’t be so bloody stoopid!
I’ve lived here for two years now. Some feedback thus far:
Is having a beach nearby damn fine? Yes. It’s just a shame that almost everyone in this city works far longer hours than in London for instance, so getting to the beach is quite an achievement. Two-day weekends quickly become single or zero-day weekends. (“Don’t like it? Leave…” is the attitude).
And you keep working that beach body, cos I’m sure the groups of Indian men wandering around staring at anyone and everyone on the beach will appreciate it.
Culturally, Dubai does not exist. Theatre? Hardly. Gigs? Destiny’s Child and, recently, f***ing Lionel Richie. Eat me, that’s some serious art.
The city - and the Emirate of Dubai - comprises 90% expats, which means it’s main religion is shopping. Forget Islam, it’s all about spending too much on designer shit you definitely don’t need, closely followed by drinking until you can’t see. I don’t indulge myself (we’re a dying breed here), but go into hotel bar here (they’re all in hotels, as is the way here), and you’ll see I’m right.
Do NOT expect to find many - if any - heavy lifting gyms. Instead expect to pay $1300 per year fees to join a ‘health club’, which just might have some rubber dumb bells round the back of the massage mats.
There are some truly wonderful blogs detailing life here, which should keep you busy for many too many hours. Try these:
I don’t actually hate Dubai, and I know I could leave of course (but, oh, it’s tax-freeeee!), just trying to help you guys formulate a balanced impression.