Jebel Ali, in the astonishing (and continuously under construction) Palm Islands project, is a fabulous destination if you don’t mind paying a premium for virtually anything you might need, from lodging to activities to food and drink and everything in between. If you’ve got money to spend, the pristine beauty of Jebel Ali’s system of beaches and lagoons is a fantastic place to pursue some fun in the sun. Al-Mamzar Beach Park is a good place for travelers with children in tow, and the Jumeirah Beach area has the best white sand beaches in the region.
“The World” (or World Islands) is an artificial archipelago of manmade islands designed and constructed in the shape of a world map. Located a few miles off the coast of Dubai, the islands are mainly composed of sand dredged from the country’s shallow coastal waters. The Royal Island Beach Club opened for business on Lebanon Island in July 2012, and while there are rumors that it, along with much of the rest of the project, is literally sinking back into the sea, it is nonetheless an architectural marvel. Whatever its eventual fate, this strange undertaking conceived by Dubai’s ruler (Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum) is a sight to see. Due to major financial difficulties linked to the recent global economic downturn, development of the project has intermittently been halted and/or hindered. Construction is ongoing, but there is plenty for travelers to check out and more is likely to be unveiled as time goes on.