Image: Villas are seen on the The Palm, Jumeirah
Jumanah El Heloueh  /  Reuters
The 7 Day Dubai Vacation will take you into the world's fastest-growing tourist destination. Enjoy the flashy skyscrapers, improbable attractions (indoor skiing?), and throbbing club scene of rapidly growing Dubai, located amid the sand dunes of the United Arab Emirates.
updated 6/5/2008 11:33:59 AM ET 2008-06-05T15:33:59

The Real Deal: Round-trip airfare, five nights' accommodations, transfers, breakfast daily, and a sightseeing tour, from $1,599 per person—plus an estimated $107 in taxes and fees.

When: Sept. 5 and 19, 2008; add $60 for Aug. 8; $200 for Oct. 31; $230 for June 20; $350 for Oct. 3; $380 for Dec. 12; $440 for July 18.

Gateways New York City; add $66 for Boston; $145 for Chicago; $175 for Atlanta; $244 for L.A.; $296 for Seattle; additional cities available.

The fine print: Package price includes airfare, accommodations, hotel taxes, transfers, breakfast daily, and sightseeing tours. It does not include airport taxes and fees of $107 per person. Based on double occupancy; single supplement starts at $51. Note that the taxes listed here are based on a Sept. 5 departure and may fluctuate depending on availability and your travel dates. U.S. citizens holding valid passports may obtain visitor visas at the airport for no fee. Read these guidelines before you book any Real Deal.

Book by: No deadline; based on availability.

Contact: Gate 1 Travel, 800/682-3333, gate1travel.com.

Why it's a deal: A recent Kayak search yielded a $1,079 flight from NYC to Dubai on Aeroflot in early September. For $520 more, Gate 1 is taking care of five nights' accommodations, sightseeing tours, and transfers throughout Dubai, all in one booking—with a package price that breaks down to about $267 per night. Also consider that the Aeroflot flight found on Kayak has a five-hour layover in Russia; with this package, you'll have a shorter layover in Atlanta and then a nonstop overnight flight, which means you'll arrive sooner and have a little more time in Dubai.

Trip details: The 7 Day Dubai Vacation will take you into the world's fastest-growing tourist destination—it now draws more than 6 million visitors a year.

After your overnight Delta flight, you'll transfer to the hotel, Jumeira Rotana, which is near the Jumeira beachfront and offers a pool, a sauna, a gym, and four restaurants and cafés.

The next afternoon, you'll take an included Dubai city tour by air-conditioned bus. You'll head toward the iconic Dubai World Trade Center. Then you'll go to Bastakiya, an older part of town, to visit former mansions of Persian merchants. You'll also stop at the Dubai Museum in the 200-year-old Al Fahidi Fort, which features a fascinating array of life-size dioramas. Some time exploring the cloth markets, spice markets, and gold souks rounds out the afternoon.

You'll have the next three days to explore Dubai at your own pace. It's an utterly Middle Eastern city, albeit an unusually tolerant one. Dubai gathers together all the lavish sights, sounds, and tastes of Arabia and makes them safe and accessible for Westerners—many of whom aren't entirely comfortable traveling just anywhere in the Middle East these days.

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In the early 1990s, Dubai's current ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum determined that tourism should be the cornerstone of Dubai's economy (perhaps an acknowledgement that the country's oil reserve would eventually run dry). Ever since, Dubai has been growing at a breakneck pace, with every new project an attempt to outdo the last one—so there's plenty to see and do.

The Mall of the Emirates is a popular tourist attraction. Famous for its indoor skiing, the mall also has an entertainment complex and plenty of shopping. For those willing to get a little wet, the Wild Wadi Water Park has adrenaline-pumping slides and play areas for kids. You can also take a look at the construction of the Burj Dubai, the tallest building in the world.

If you prefer to sightsee with the benefit of a guide, you can add an optional tour through Gate 1. Choose from a tour to Sharjah, the "Pearl of the Gulf," with visits to its souks and museums (starting at $41 per person), or do a full-day tour of the natural landscapes of the United Arab Emirates, for $63 per person.

You can upgrade to Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers starting from $110 per person, and you can extend your stay at the Jumeira Rotana starting at an additional $65 per person per night. There are also other airlines available for the flight.

Dubai is always warm, but the hottest months are June through September. If you elect to take a September trip, expect temperatures in the lower 90s during the day with high humidity.

For more tips on what to do, visit the country's official tourism site and see the U.S. State Department's travel fact sheet.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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