Dubai is surely one of the most tourism-centered state of the United Arab Emirates and as a tourist you sure feel welcome there although Western customs require tolerance among the locals. The traveler soon asks himself who are actually the locals and who are workers of other nationalities in the country. Dubai is packed with different nationalities, for example from India or the Philippines, and that is visible on the streets and in the restaurant supply.
We did not quite get it what is typical local food in Dubai, but we visited Lebanese, Iraqi, Syrian and Iranian restaurants, where food was usually quite similar: shwarma with mutton, rice and bread, and hummus. Tabbouleh salad and figs are quite often available. As a curiosity I tasted ice cream made of camel milk and seasoned with saffron. Another tasty dessert was muhallab, which is a milk pudding with pistachios and rose water.
The most important sight in Dubai is probably Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and it is indeed impressive. Buy your entrance ticket in advance by Internet in order to ensure access and to avoid the worst queues. The numerous shopping complexes exceed any similar you have seen elsewhere in the world. For those who wish to experience desert sand there are several day trips available. If you choose a dhow cruise to the neighbor country Oman, you have a drive through the desert in the same package. Our dhow cruise was from the Omani port city Musandam and we were transported there through the Emirates states Ajman and Sharjah.
Before going to Dubai we were a bit worried whether our clothing would be appropriate or not. Our longish shorts were apparently OK on the streets and our ordinary swimwear was good by the hotel swimming pool, although the clothing the locals use is usually much more covering. In the grocery stores there were separate departments for pork-related products and the entrance was strictly forbidden for Muslims. The metro provides separate carriages for women and children, whatever that implies of the ordinary life in Dubai.