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There's more to Dubai than its glitzy array of glamorous hotels and the ever-growing number of skyscrapers that shape the city skyline.
Scratch the surface and you'll uncover its authentic Emirati soul.
The airport is situated four kilometres north-east of the city centre and can be reached on the Metro (rta.ae) – the world's longest driverless railway – between 5.50am and midnight.
The red line runs from the airport to the city, stopping near most hotels, while the green line circles the Creek.
The hotel has an opening offer starting at AED2,244 (£423) for a double, room only.
Based in the heart of trendy Downtown Dubai, Vida (3) on Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard (00 971 ; vida-hotels.com) is a sleek, contemporary 156-room hotel with pool, i Pad check-in and open-plan bathrooms. For intimate lodgings, the boutique XVA Art Hotel (4) off Al Fahidi Street, east of the Grand Mosque (00 971 ; xvahotel.com) has 13 en-suite rooms with white-washed walls arranged around a leafy courtyard that plays host to an award-winning vegetarian café and modern art gallery. Take a view Eschew the predictable: instead of taking the lift to the top of Burj Khalifa (5) – the world's tallest building – skip the queues and the AED200 (£38) fee and take to the waters of Dubai Creek instead. It's traversed by wooden abras (water taxis) ferrying passengers to Deira for AED1 (20p) one-way, or they can be chartered for AED50 (£9) per hour.
A taxi downtown takes about 20 minutes and will cost AED40 (£7.50).
The walk is spiced with snippets of history, and is a great way to get to know the real Dubai. Dash to the desert Escape the bustle and explore the sands from which the city rose.
Platinum Heritage (00 971 ; platinum-heritage.com) organises an early morning wildlife drive in a 1950s Land Rover – where you're likely to spot oryx and gazelles – a camel ride over the dunes and a Bedouin breakfast from AED495 (£93) per adult and AED395 (£75) per child. These four-hour champagne-soaked marathons are not to be missed, especially at the Australian-style Yalumba (11) at Le Meridien (00 971 ; yalumba-dubai.com) which combines a buffet with à la carte options and Bollinger (12.30 to 3.30pm; AED399/ £76pp including unlimited champagne.
Get your bearings Seated on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai's arterial Sheikh Zayed Road links the modern districts – DIFC (Dubai International Financial Centre), Downtown Dubai and the Business Bay – with the old towns of Bur Dubai and, across Dubai Creek, Deira.
Offshore are the man-made islands of The Palm and The World.