COLUMN: Explore the gems of Dubai by Sarah Barltrop

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When you think of Dubai, you think of extravagant cars, the Burj al Arab and pure uninterrupted wealth.

But the country also offers sea and sun, making for the best combination holiday – the beach lifestyle with world class sights.

There have often been stories involving the unsuccessful intertwining of British customs with the Dubai culture, such as public affection being coldly received.

But despite what the hype may tell you of a country where your actions need to be met with caution, the wealth in the city has attracted an influx of visitors to lust over the extravagant surroundings, and consequently has become a lot more accustom to the visitors.

If customs are respected we can all appreciate some of the country’s gems – without issues arising.

The first gem is the Burj Khalifa. Unlike the Shard in London, where going to the top will cost you another £50 in your drinks bill, once you’ve risen the floors to the top of the tallest building in the world, you’re welcomed with fresh unlimited juices and dessert canapes, all included in the price to see uninterrupted views. It is an experience worth doing.

Another top trip is the Dubai Mall. You will see things here that you would be stretched to find anywhere else in the world. British shopping centres may have a seemingly endless corridor of shops, but the Dubai mall is a maze of interlinked designated sections, to include a children’s clothes area, with the likes of Gucci school uniforms and the Chanel kids autumn line, whilst having their own aquarium.

Also, an area of Dubai that travellers must venture is the Souks. Take away from the facade of the money dense city and step into a sight more familiar for the locals. A must see is the Gold Souk, or ‘Dubai City of Gold’ where you will see more gold per square metre than you will ever see again. They don’t do anything by halves. Dubai is a lot more forward thinking than it’s made out to be and makes for an unforgettable lavish trip, seeing things you won’t likely find again.