November 7, 2023
Dubai may be the UAE’s second-largest city, but it is number one when it comes to its endless offerings and popularity as one of the Middle East’s most visited places. After all, it’s where the glitzy skyscrapers are mainstream, cultural attractions classic, and nature and wildlife at their seamless best. If you can’t wait to explore this fantastic destination, this travel guide is what you need to get started. From age-old and timeless to the most striking and stylish, this list covers it all.
Ascend atop Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is a must-visit to enjoy epic views over Dubai’s skyline, desert, ocean, and more. Rightly so, it’s the tallest building ever built on the planet, at an unbelievable height of over 828 meters. There are three observation decks on its 124th, 125th, and 148th levels, of which the latter is the world’s highest observation deck. A high-speed elevator ride plus an enlightening presentation on Dubai’s past are sure to make your Burj Khalifa visit memorable. There are also a variety of great dining choices within the structure.
Tour the Dubai Mall
Be it for shopping, leisure, entertainment, or simply people watching, this gigantic mall is a one-stop place for all! It’s justifiably the world’s biggest mall and has over 1200 shops, 200 plus dining options, and of course a wealth of recreational attractions. And this list is extensive with attractions for every ability and age group, such as Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice Rink, KidZania Dubai, Dubai Dino, Hysteria, and the largest of its kind VR Park Dubai.
Before you leave the place, make sure that you catch up with the iconic Dubai Fountain show, where this choreographed aquatic performance on Burj Lake creates a spectacle like no other.
Watch the World’s Largest Fountain Show
Dubai Fountain Show that takes place outside of the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa is a perennial Dubai favorite, but the newest Palm Fountain Show at the Pointe is an absolute must-see. Developed by Nakheel, it’s currently the world’s largest fountain show. That’s not all; this stunning choreographed show in perfect synchronization to music and light is also the region’s first and only colored fountain show. And its location on the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah makes it even more breathtaking. You can watch it for free, but you can elevate this experience by dropping in a dining venue that directly faces the fountain.
Check out Dubai’s Theme Parks
A Dubai holiday remains unfinished until you discover its many diverse theme parks. Whether you’re looking for wild, mild, or anything in between, the region’s theme park has it all. You can visit IMG Worlds of Adventure – the world’s largest indoor park to the region’s first integrated resort, or Dubai Parks and Resorts, which alone hosts four distinct parks. The majority of them even come with dedicated sections for kids, making it ideal for all age groups. What’s more, there are even amusement and edutainment attractions exclusively created for your little ones, such as KidZania Dubai and Mattel Play! Town.
There is no better way to take a break from Dubai’s dazzle and glamor than with a desert safari. Interestingly, you can embark on this off-road adventure without driving any far. Just a 30 to 40 convenient minutes’ ride from the city center will land you at this quaint part of the city which remains unscathed by any development. To get the best out of it, make sure that you choose a guided desert safari where everything from your hotel pick-up and drop-off to desert adventures, dining, and cultural activities are taken care of by your service provider.
You can choose from morning, evening, or overnight desert safari; they all come with 4X4 dune bash, camel ride, sandboarding, henna painting, and falconry, among others.
Discover Dubai Safari Park
This attraction in Dubai’s Al Warqa region is a must-experience for wildlife enthusiasts. But don’t expect this to be an ordinary zoo. Sprawling over 119 hectares, it’s one of the world’s largest safari parks. Not to mention, come prepared to encounter over 2500 unique creatures brought from different parts of the world. From tigers, cheetahs, and hippos to other varieties of mammals, reptiles, and birds, they are arranged in four sections such as Arabian Desert Safari, African Village, Asian Village, and Explorer Village.
Visit Al Bastakiya Quarter
Officially called Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, this may be one of the city’s quaintest parts. But, don’t overlook it – the quarter is brimming with culture, history, and traditions. Walk down its narrow labyrinths, which unfold some of the region’s hidden treasures in the form of museums, historical mansions, art galleries, art cafes, etc.
For an in-depth understanding of the region’s past and cultural heritage, some of the must-experiences are Dubai Museum, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Understanding (SMCUU), Coffee Museum, and XVA Art Café.
Experience Dubai’s unrivaled modernity from a breathtaking atmospheric setting of an ancient style Arabian vessel – this is what you can look forward to on a Dhow Cruise Dubai. See ultra-stylish architecture and stunning waterfront sights when you go on a cruise along Dubai Marina. For a change in scene, you can set out on a voyage across Dubai Creek, where you’ll get to experience a mix of old and new structures. Whichever location you choose for your dhow cruise, you can be rest assured of an unforgettable and mindblowing sail down Dubai’s water with stunning views, amazing food (with international delicacies), and incredible live entertainment arranged onboard.
Have Snow Fun at Ski Dubai
It’s impossible to imagine the presence of snow in the desert, especially in a place like Dubai, where the temperature rises over 50 degrees Celsius during the summer months. But let’s not forget that there is nothing impossible in Dubai. For those fancy skiing or throwing snow, you can do it at the dedicated Ski Dubai. You’ll be welcomed by a blast of icy wind with tons of snow at any given time. Not to mention, you’ll be able to enjoy all your favorite snow activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and tobogganing.
Shop at Souks
It’s obvious that you’ll discover Dubai’s massive malls, with each of its 70 plus malls vying for your attention. But, for some unique, quirky, and authentic Emirati souvenirs, make sure that you discover the traditional souks that are spread across Bur Dubai and Deira areas. Must-visits among them are Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Perfume Souk, and Textile Souk. This allows you to enjoy maximum savings on your gift or souvenir shopping, with most merchandise available here at super bargain rates.
I hope this Dubai Travel Guide will make your stay fun-filled and memorable. Dubai is an ever-evolving city that deftly merges the classic with contemporary. So it’s safe to say that no two visits to this beautiful destination will be the same. And with Dubai getting ready to host the prestigious EXPO, you can expect to see and experience many exciting sights and attractions on your upcoming visit here.