Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Dubai

Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:49am EDT
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By Barbara Lewis

DUBAI (Reuters Life!) - Got 48 hours to explore Dubai? Reuters correspondents help you to get the most out of a stay in one of the world's hottest cities -- literally. Temperatures soar above 40 degrees Celsius, day and night, in the summer months.

Day One

10 am - The best place to start is at the top.

Take a taxi to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building and a powerful symbol of Dubai's vertiginous rise from a flat desert expanse in a mere half a century.

Originally it was to be named Burj Dubai (Dubai Tower), but just before its fanfare opening on January 4 this year as the emirate struggled with debt totaling billions of dollars, it was renamed Burj Khalifa after the president of the UAE and ruler of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, which has bailed out its fellow emirate.

The building stands 828 meters (yards) tall, although some of the upper levels are only finished on the outside.

Tickets to ascend in an extremely rapid lift cost 100 dirhams ($27.23) if booked in advance or 400 dirhams if you just turn up. Depending on demand, 100 dirham tickets can be available, if you ask, even without booking.

From the observation deck on the 124th floor, visitors have the strange sensation of looking down on abnormally tall buildings in their own right and can begin to appreciate Dubai's very man-made achievement.   Continued...

<p>The Souk Al Bahar shopping mall is seen in the foreground of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, in Dubai July 22, 2010. REUTERS/Mosab Omar</p>