The Emirate of Dubai on the Persian Gulf is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Famous for it's incredible hotels (such as the 7 Star Burj Al Arab) and it's amazing architecture (the Burj Khalifa being notable for standing head and shoulders above the rest), it is also rapidly becoming one of the best places to watch sport.
Benefiting from smaller oil reserves than some of it's neighbours, the rulers of Dubai realised that for the Emirate to be stable and wealthy in the long term, it would need to have an economy aside from oil to rely on. They began looking seriously at holding major sporting events, and one of the first of these was the Dubai Desert Classic Golf, which was first held in 1989. The Dubai Desert Classic always attracts the biggest stars on the European circuit, and last year saw a dogfight between three of the world's best players (even though none of them ended up actually winning).
In addition to the Desert Classic there is the Dubai Tennis Championship which – situated as it is early in the season – is a traditional marker of who is hot and who is not on the tennis tour. This year's winner's prove that fact: Novak Djokovic (who went on to set records for an unbeaten run) and Caroline Wozniacki (World Number One) are the current holders. Before that, Roger Federer was the king of the courts, at the same time as he was dominating the global game.
Dubai is also the temporary home of the Pakistani Cricket Team, who for security reasons no longer play in Pakistan. Accordingly, the Emirate has hosted a number of huge matches in recent years, and will welcome the England National Team later this year where they will play three test matches, four one day internationals and three twenty20 games.
On top of all this, Dubai is also famous for horse racing, with many global races on home soil and a stable of horses that consistently wins all around the world. There's also a growing football culture, with the World Cup heading to the region in 2022, and high profile teams owned by the royal families of neighbouring emirates helping to further boost the appeal of the region. Finally, Dubai is the snow sports capital of the region, with an astonishing indoor snow dome which has to be seen to be believed.
There is a lot more than meets the eye in Dubai, and plenty to keep any type of visitor interested, it's not all about the shopping and the luxury. With so many cheap flights to Dubai available at the moment through the likes of DialAFlight, it's definitely worth a visit.