Dubai offers the visitor a great many leisure activities, and the tourist is spoiled for choice - water sports for the adventurous, luxurious spa treatments for the less physically inclined or acres of shopping mall to satisfy even the most hardened power shopper. Beginning with aspects of culture, visitors should stop by the Al Fahidi Fort (built in 1787), where the Dubai Museum is located. It provides visitors with a brief history of the emirate. The Heritage House was originally a residence built around the end of the 19th century and is an excellent example of Arabian vernacular architecture. The Heritage and Diving villages, situated in the Shindagha district along the Creek, provide a glimpse of traditional life, including the emirate's maritime connection with pearl diving and fishing. Close by, at the mouth of the Creek, is the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, the former home of the Dubai's ruling family. It dates from 1896. Once satisfied that he knows a bit about Dubai's history, the visitor can turn his attention to the more serious business of the day - having some fun. Book yourself on a Desert Safari in the arid Hajar Mountains: sure to conjure images of Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky or T.E. Lawrence - immortalised as Lawrence of Arabia. The desert is amazing in its diversity of flora and fauna. Ride a camel (the ones we met were very friendly and gentle) or sand ski. Dune driving is exciting and definitely for those with strong stomachs, but go ahead, risk all. Explore the wadis - dry stream beds or streams that flow after winter rains. For aquatic activities, visitors to Dubai can scuba dive and deep sea fish. There is water skiing, sailing, and windsurfing. Then again, just lolling on the fine white sands of one of the emirate's many beaches is not a bad option either. For something a little different, why not take a dhow trip along the Creek or into the Persian Gulf? These vessels have plied the Gulf with their cargoes for centuries. Catering can be arranged for a romantic dinner at sea for two or ten. Shopping is probably one of the emirate's greatest pleasures. There are some 30 air-conditioned shopping complexes and several traditional souks as well. Great buys in carpets, brassware, coffee pots, silverware and rosewood furniture are to be had. At Deira City Centre, the Arabian Court on the top floor has some interesting furniture, art and other Middle Eastern knick-knacks. The selection is good and prices seem reasonable. Some bargaining is to be expected. Deira Tower's shopping mall has a carpet souk with rugs from Iran, Afghanistan and other countries. The spice souk is worth a turn for a glimpse of old Dubai. Situated close to the Creek on the Deira side, the spice souk is a warren of narrow lanes and shops with their wares spilling out into the walkways. Here you can buy perfumes, saffron and a host of other spices, myrrh and frankincense, but it helps to know what you are looking for. The gold souk is a conglomerate of streets lined with jewellery shops. Prices may not be that much cheaper than elsewhere, but the choice of designs is mind-boggling. For electronics, video, televisions and the sort, go to Al Fahidi Street on the Bur Dubai side. One arrives and departs the emirate feeling the need to shop. This impression is conveyed by the airport's Dubai Duty Free. It is one of the world's top duty-free operations with 5,400 square metres of retail space and is located at the US$600 million Sheikh Rashid Terminal. Duty Free is open round-the-clock. Its Finest Surprise luxury car raffle is exceedingly popular with international travellers. With draws twice weekly, punters have the chance to win top-of-the-line BMW, Mercedes, Porsche and other fine marques. The Millennium Millionaire draw will make you a millionaire if you have the winning ticket. Draws take place every six to eight weeks. In anticipation of increasing visitor numbers, the airport is undergoing a major expansion. Terminal 2 renovations will be completed by 2005, but the big news is the construction of Terminal 3. Designed as a multi-level structure measuring 300 by 500 metres, there will be 180 check-in counters and full facilities.