Just like most of greater Dubai, by all rights the Dubai Marina should not exist. As such, it seems surreal when you first see it. Built in the desert along what was once a vacant 2 mile stretch of sandy beach, it's now a towering artificial canal city with a beautiful jumble of skyscrapers juxtaposed against the water.
The construction project was complex and involved years of dredging and building, the construction still continuing. When the building phase is finally completed, it will be the largest marina in the world (currently that title belongs to Marina del Rey in California). The city of Dubai Marina can accommodate over 120,000 residents, many of them expats who enjoy the warm climate and coolish breezes coming in from the Gulf.
I spent a few hours exploring along the marina walk and enjoying the sights. Because of the 40 degree C heat, I couldn't get around to all the places I'd hoped to. I'm told the time to come here is in the evening when things cool down and the place parties, but that's not my scene. While there is excellent metro and tram access, the road infrastructure is inadequate to handle all of the traffic for this congested region.
There have been many sightings of marine wildlife (especially whales and sharks) entering the marina, because of its proximity to the sea. You can do a variety of cruises from the Marina most of which center around seeing the sites of Dubai from a Gulf perspective. There's also a very nice (and refreshingly air-conditioned) Mall in the Marina which offers an excellent place to rest and cool down. And there are many small shops, restaurants and cafes along the Marina Walk.
Here's some of what I saw during my walk around the Dubai Marina: