For more than a few London bankers, getting out of town (for good) will be a New Year's Resolution. And more than several of them will consider swapping the Square Mile for the dizzy heights and delights of Dubai. But it's not record-breaking buildings they're interested in. It's burgeoning bank balances.
Dubai is a global city in every respect, the destination of choice for thousands of large and small businesses from around the world. Major multinational banks have set up there, too, offering a suite of services, everything from HSBC credit cards and loans, Barclay's current accounts and life insurance products, and Citibank's online and telephone banking.
But the city not only attracts expatriates from Britain and around the globe; millions of tourists also visit every year to gape and gaze in amazement at the incredible man-made islands, the five star hotels, the magnificent malls, and the towering skyscrapers which dominate the skyline. Dubai simply dazzles.
There is a lot to do and see in this dynamic city as an ex-pat or a visitor. The people are friendly and crime rates are very low indeed. It is one of the safest cities anywhere in the world, with three things you can't miss (and probably couldn't miss if you tried).
This building is the tallest in the world at 2,716 feet. It has 160 stories, 24,000 windows and its design went through some 40 wind tunnel tests to check the effects of wind on the tower and its occupants. Work started in January 2004 and the building had its official launch in January 2010. More than 30 on-site contracting companies from nations around the world took part in the construction which at its peak employed some 12,000 workers on a daily basis.
If shopping is more than an irritating necessity, then The Dubai Mall is the place to be. In fact, the mall is the world's largest shopping and entertainment destination based on total area and sixth largest by gross leasable area. It forms part of the Burj Khalifa complex. The mall, which has 1,200 retail outlets, is home to just about every major fashion brand on the planet. But there's more than just shopping on offer. The mall also boasts an ice rink, an aquarium and underwater zoo, a 22-screen cinema, an adventure play area for children and so much more. A visit to The Dubai Mall is a fantastic fun-filled experience which all the family can enjoy.
Light, music and 22,000 gallons of water shooting some 500 feet into the night sky make the Dubai Fountain more than a magical and memorable experience. The fountain is some 900 feet in length and uses 25 colour projectors and 6,600 lights to create the visual extravaganza which can be seen from over 20 miles away. It is said the fountain's central beam is so powerful it is visible from space.
But Dubai is not all shopping malls, skyscrapers and hotels. It's got some fabulous white sandy beaches, too, bathed by the blue waters of the Persian Gulf. You can enjoy balloon rides, dune bashing in an SUV or play a round or two on a world-class golf course. And with income-tax-free living for British expats (and robust packages from some employers), Dubai has a lot going for it.