Dubai, United Arab Emirates, a world of contrasts…
Dubai is among the must-visit destinations of the world. It combines the gleaming amenities of a modern metropolis with the mystique and history of the Arabian Deserts. This treasure trove for tourists and photographers alike offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with a variety of awe-inspiring top attractions. Some of Dubai’s must-see attractions include man made islands and stunning feats of engineering like the world’s tallest building. There is a wide choice of things to do among the old and new in Dubai. So, find yourself some cheap airfare and start planning your trip to Dubai and perhaps stay at one of the most popular Dubai mansions for a dream vacation while enjoying unique views of a city with futuristic visions and an unbelievable coastline.
Visit the Burj Khalifa for a Spectacular view
The Burj Khalifa is hard to miss, thanks in part to its 828 meter height. The world’s tallest tower! ‘The Burj’ as it’s commonly known, dominates the skyline of the city and while stunning from the outside, is best appreciated from inside. The amazing panoramic views from the observation deck at the Top Sky Lounge is unforgettable, especially on a clear day. Enjoy a meal in the clouds at level 122 in Atmosphere. The visitors can enjoy stunning views of the city form the highest outdoor observatory in the world. Remember your camera! A late afternoon trip to the observation deck will give you the chance to capture epic photos of the Emirate as the sun sets. This sight alone makes me want to pack my backpack and go!
Enjoy a day at Kite Beach with a vibrant stretch of sand
Kite Beach is aptly named and is the perfect spot to enjoy watersports in Dubai. There is a lot to do and explore here. You can watch bikers and skaters fly by at the skate park or join a game of volleyball on the beach. Enjoy a great view of the Burj Al Arab (dubais largest, and coolest hotel) and plenty of beach activities. The beach is a haven for both adventurers and more laid back activities. It’s here at Kite Beach where people come to have a good time, no matter whether they’re looking for an adrenaline rush or complete relaxation. Just pack your sun lotion and towels and join the fun at Kite Beach!
Be inspired by the Dubai Fountains
The Dubai Fountain is located near the famous Dubai Mall and at the base of the iconic Burj Khalifa. It is the largest choreographed fountain system in the world (think the fountains of Las Vegas’ Bellagio Casino on steroids). Thousands of lights and colored projectors illuminate the choreographed dancing water jets. One can stand for hours mesmerized gazing at the colorful, illuminated jets swaying to various musical numbers. The fountain show is indeed one of the most popular shows in Dubai and takes place every afternoon and evening. Skip the afternoon show and go in the evening when it’s both cooler and a little more magical as the water glows under the lights.
Take in the stunning cityscape at Dubai Marina
It is indeed a great experience to walk along the water under this urban skyline. Dubai Marina is the world’s largest man-made marina. It boasts of some of the most marvelous examples of steel and glass buildings the world over. The upscale hotels and apartments in the area offer enchanting views of the ever changing Arabian Sea and the restaurants and shops lining the edge of the marina provide a great place to enjoy the atmosphere with friends! It’s easy for anyone to relax here while making memories that will last a lifetime.
Visit The island shaped like a palm – Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is one of the significant architectural triumphs in Dubai. It is one of the largest artificial islands in the world. This palm shaped feat of engineering is host to a vast array of high-end hotels, stunning Dubai Mansions and shopping & restaurants. Getting anywhere on the palm is relatively easy thanks to the ‘trunk’ that links the island to the mainland’s impeccably run tram system. For a blast of adrenaline, appreciate the scale of the Palm Jumeirah from above with one of the many skydive and flight-seeing operators of Dubai!
Explore ancient trade routes in Dubai Creek
At the core of the glitzy and glamorous city lie the winding waterways and souks of the old Dubai. The Bani Yas tribe settled at the original site of the saltwater estuary. In these waters pearl diving and fishing were popular and drove Dubai’s early economy allowing it to evolve into what we know today. Today Dubai Creek is home to a labyrinthine alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks as well as the Dubai Museum. Getting lost here is easy but enjoyable. Take your time and explore some of the less visited, local parts of Dubai! When you’re done take an unforgettable ride across the water on a traditional arab abra.
Walk across Dubai’s Desert Dunes
Drive 20 minutes from the Downtown Dubai and you’ll enter a completely unfamiliar landscape. Far removed from the glitz and glam of the city, The Arabian Desert is a sight to behold. A Dubai-style desert safari is one of the original tourist attractions of Dubai. There is lots to do and see here such as quad biking, off-roading and sandboarding. For something a little more laid back, traditional desert barbeques and camel treks can transport you back to your childhood stories of arabian nights. Experience the nomadic Bedouin culture through henna painting and age old oral poetry. Plan an adventure of your own as you drive out to explore the wonder of the desert abord a luxurious Land Cruiser or Hummer H2. Get ready for an unforgettable night amidst the dunes, via a royal desert safari.
Uncover Dubai’s past at Al Fahidi
Explore Dubai’s heritage district, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. This happens to be one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Get a nostalgic view of a bygone era as you move through this maze of narrow, winding alleyways and the traditional middle east wind towers. Join Arabic classes and heritage tours at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding to get a better understanding of the local culture. Guided mosque visits/tours are available most times aside from during prayer.
Ski Dubai – An indoor ski resort
Explore this amazing mountain-themed wintery resort. You can enjoy skiing, tobogganing, and snowboarding, all in the middle of the desert! You’ll love the newest residents of Ski Dubai, the Snow Penguins! You can participate in a number of snow sports, roll down the Giant Ball run or spiral down the tube slides. It is a great experience (and let’s face it, a nice reprieve from the heat) to enjoy a hot chocolate at minus 4 degrees celsius!
Shop til you drop at the Dubai Mall
Arguably some of the best shopping in the world, the Dubai Mall is located right next to the Burj Khalifa. Even if you were to spend an entire day here, you wouldn’t be able to explore it all. There are more than a thousand shops and over one hundred restaurants in the mall. Apart from that, when you need a break from shopping you can enjoy visiting an indoor theme park, a vast indoor waterfall, an ice rink, the giant Dubai Aquarium, a choreographed outdoor fountain or even an Underwater Zoo. Fun for the whole family is on tap at the dubai mall, no matter what you like!
For more great spots in Dubai and the UAE be sure to check out the Lonely Planet guide books!