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DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Dubai and Abu Dhabi Paperback – 3 Sep 2012
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Thank goodness for Top 10 guides! (Mail on Sunday)
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For instance while the Sheikh Zayed Al Kabeer Mosque is mentioned it does not refer to it's design being based on The Taj Mahal. I've seen some wonderful mosques in various parts of the world, The Blue and the Damascus to name just two, but this one is modern, tranquil and stunning and and arguably the most lovely as a design.
Also I'm astonished that the Dubai Museum is ranked as number 1 of the sights to see. It is a very old-fashioned museum with dusty exhibits. Given how museum curating has advanced in major cities of the world, this is pretty poor. It maybe they are waiting for the Louvre museum to open.
In summary, this guide will help you find your way around and cover the main points of interest but not so much off the standard tourist trail - you'll need a fuller (and bulkier) guide to do that. Presentation of the text and maps is clear and of the usual high standard from DK. Recommended.
This book covers, for example:
' Dubai & Abu Dhabi’s Highlights
' Dubai Museum
' Dubai Creek
' Al Fahidi
' Jumeirah Mosque
' Burj Al Arab
' Madinat Jumeirah
' Dubai Souqs
' Emirates Palace
' The Islands
' Desert Escapes
' Top 10 Culture & Tradition
' Top 10 Audacious Projects
' Top 10 Shopping Malls & Souqs
' Top 10 Things to Buy
' Top 10 Middle Eastern Restaurants
' Top 10 Best Bars in Dubai
' Top 10 Beach Resorts
' Top 10 Spas
' Top 10 Activities for Kids
' Top 10 Outdoor Activities
' Top 10 Indoor Activities
(This is some, not all)
The book in its physical format is small - just small enough to fit inside a DL envelope (i.e. the standard white envelope, designed to accept a sheet of A4 paper folded twice). It is actually a few centimetres shorter than a DL envelope. This compact size makes it easy to fit into your pocket.
This book can’t provide detail – it can provide `the big picture'. I now normally take two travel guides with me – a DK Top 10 one like this and a detailed travel guide, to get the best of both worlds. If you just have a detailed travel guide, you can miss out on things that you wish you had visited.
On a separate issue, I originally bought my Top 10 books in the Kindle format (because I am a Kindle lover) and to my surprise found the Kindle format terribly irritating. It taught me that when using a travel guide, you want to be able to flick quickly through it and jump around easily - that's SO much easier with a physical book. In addition, you want it to be in colour - you can cure that by taking your iPad with you but an iPad is bigger and heavier than this book in its paperback version. You can get round that if you have an iPad mini or a large screen smartphone (neither of which I had when I bought this) but you are still left with the problem of being unable to flick around the book quickly. Travel guides just don't work well in the Kindle format, in my opinion.
You may feel otherwise but that is how I feel. I found the relative awkwardness in flicking around the Kindle book a major handicap. And this is despite the fact that I buy most of my books in Kindle format.
The beauty of these books is that they give you an overview, which means that you end up doing things that you would not have done otherwise.
You get so much information for your money - where to stay and eat (no matter what your budget is), 'must' see and do's, a streetsmart section and stunning photography - you cannot go wrong.
All of this and you can still fit it in your pocket or bag!!
The translations (and pronunciation guide) of common phrases in the local language are useful but limited.
Lots of pictures make the book more interesting in itself and makes for a nice bookshelf souvenir afterwards.
Another great thing about the Eyewitness travel guide series is that the books are always laid out in the same way. So once you start using them, you'll always know what information you can find and where it will be in any other Eyewitness guide book.
The "Top 10" format of the series is a cut-down version, reducing all the information into a smaller, lighter, and easier to carry format that is very, very convenient. Of course, the down side is there is only the limited descriptions and less information. So if you're travelling for only a few days, get the "Top 10" format, otherwise for a longer stay get the full version.
To paraphrase and old credit card ad: "Don't leave home without it".
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