Last time I was in Dubai, years ago, I remember enjoying it quite a bit. This time, the novelty seems to have worn off. The city has grown at a crazy rate. I spent half my time stuck in traffic, looking out at construction sites and concrete. If you like spending time in fancy shopping malls and luxury hotels, then Dubai is for you. My idea of being a tourist is wandering around all day, heading off in whatever direction seems interesting. Unfortunately when I was here it was summer and the temperatures were in the high 40's and it was very humid.
-So I escaped to the East Coast of the country (Gulf of Oman) where the temperatures were 10 degrees cooler (although high-30's is still pretty hot for a Canadian) and the marine life gave me an excuse to spend most of my time in the water. Most of the coastline here is part of the Emirate of Fujairah. It's about a 2 1/2-hour drive from Dubai across the desert and the Hajar mountains. Most of the time, I used a shuttle service provided by Al Boom Diving in Dubai. They have a minibus that takes you to the Le Meridien Hotel Al Aqa Beach Resort, where their dive boats are located. They used to run dive charters on the Persian (or Arabian, depending on your politics) Gulf side near Dubai, but the constant dredging and dumping involved in creating the offshore islands (Palms, etc.) has silted everything up and they no longer bother.