Dubai: Doubling Guest Rooms

Must Do
 At Atlantis, The Palm, the 42-acre Aquaventure Waterpark features rides, zip lines and waterslides that cut through shark-filled lagoons. The Lost Chambers Aquarium hold 65,000 marine animals.

 Wade through low tide for nighttime crab hunting, then cook your catch at a shore-side barbecue. From $127 per person.

 Snap a photograph of the fabulous Burj Al Arab hotel, which is best seen from Sunset Beach.

Expo Alert
Dubai expects 25 million people for the Middle East's first World Expo, in 2020.

Dubai is hot -- and not just its weather. In the first half of 2014 alone, the Persian Gulf emirate has welcomed a record 5.8 million visitors, approved a $32 billion expansion to one of its airports and announced expectations to double its number of hotel rooms to more than 160,000 by 2020. Dubai currently has 88,600 guest rooms across 634 establishments, an increase of 7,000 rooms since June 2013, and there's a push to grow the number of three- and four-star properties in the coming years.

The waterfront Mandarin Oriental, Dubai, is slated to open in 2017 on Jumeirah Beach Road, with direct access to the namesake beach. The resort will feature 200 rooms and suites, nine restaurants and bars, and an all-inclusive spa. In addition to a number of multipurpose function rooms, the property will feature a 1,722-square-foot, glass-walled ballroom opening onto a beachfront terrace.

Following a $50 million renovation, the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel & Towers reopened in May. The renovation saw the overhaul of all 268 guest rooms and suites and public spaces, as well as the property's Italian restaurant. The 2,054-square-foot Dubai Ballroom can accommodate up to 500 people, and an additional four meeting rooms total 1,050 square feet.

In September, the 1,608-room JW Marriott Marquis Dubai became the first large hotel in the United Arab Emirates to receive an ISO 14001 Certification for environmental excellence. Being the tallest hotel in the world, the property has plenty of meeting space -- 32 rooms covering 86,004 square feet. And with 14 restaurants, bars and lounges, there's plenty to do without ever leaving the hotel's two massive towers.

There is no shortage of varied nighttime activities in the emirate. Dine at Claw BBQ, where attendees can also try their luck at riding the mechanical bull. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the luxe clubs Movida and Cavalli Club offer the chance to spot celebs. At The Act supper club at the Shangri-La Hotel, comedians, musicians and dancers entertain diners. And don't miss a trip to the Ping-Pong club SPiN; this is Dubai, so perhaps it is no surprise that the club features the world's only 18-karat Ping-Pong table.