Introduction to Dubai – Arab Gulf Tiger in a Nutshell
Dubai, an ethnically diverse city in the United Arab Emirates, has emerged from a small fishing village to an extravagant holiday destination nesting by the Persian Gulf. Known as the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, this populous city functions as a major business and transport interchange of the entire world.
For the past ages, Dubai has become a typical concept of wealth and luxury by connecting its identity with the dazzling waterfront skylines, glittering dunes, tigers riding sport cars, and even ATM spitting golds.
Many of you have linked Dubai to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. However, this high-rise icon isn’t the only thing Dubai has to offer! This awe-worthy metropolitan delivers a jaw-dropping landscape of the untamed desert enclosing Dubai Mall – the world’s largest shopping center, the stunning Palm Islands, indoor skiing slopes, and the stretching beaches. If you’re hunting for a vibrant atmosphere and artistic experiences nowhere else can offer, Dubai is the right place to be!
10 Top Things to Do in Dubai to Make the Most of Your Vacation
Let’s dive into the following section to unfold the best things to do in Dubai, and choose the right activity that suits your travel needs!
Safari Tour in Dubai Desert – An Off-Road Ride to Rock Dubai in Your Own Way
Looking for the top-rated things to do in Dubai? Don’t forget to check out the one and only safari tour!
Covering a large area of the gigantic Arabian Desert, Dubai’s red sand desert is a perfect getaway for thrill-seekers. This electrifying outdoor activity is all about sand bashing and off-roading in a 4×4 wheel drive. There are three types of Dubai safari desert tours hosted at different sections of time in a day!
Getting tied up for the rest of the day but still having itchy feet? Opt for the morning safari tour! This morning excursion lasts for about 2 hours including some rip-roaring adventures to loosen up such as quad biking. A morning journey excluding dinner like this is a great way to kick start your adventurous day.
Starting in the afternoon, the evening safari journey is a real draw that you can admire the majestic mounds of sand when the sun beams down. Hop on a camel ride and embark on a sand boarding experience before getting a henna tattoo, and end up with a full-on BBQ by the campfire at night. If you want to revel in the safari ride to the fullest, opt for the evening trip and you won’t be disappointed!
It’s time to dance the night away! The overnight safari brings you closer to the calm desert ambiance because you can admire the sparkling stars while resting by the camp.
Apart from henna designing and camel riding, you can blend into the group of belly dancers and feel the desert wind caressing your skin.
Al Fahidi – A Must-Visit Place in Dubai That Brings You Back in Time
History buffs assemble! It’s time to go off the radar and travel back in time with Al Fahidi, a historical district taking root in the mid-1800s. This maze-like assortment of buildings was once known as Al Bastakiya. Nowadays, Al Fahidi is one of the most incredible places to visit in Dubai. It plays a role as a living evidence that witnessed the transformation of the old-fashioned Dubai into the city of innovation and financial hub.
More than just a tourist attraction, Al Fahidi perfectly preserves a traditional lifestyle with an extensive collection of high-air towers framed by the alleys, pathways, and public squares. Take a stroll around the neighborhood to indulge in the artistic attractions such as art exhibits, museums, cultural centers, and many more.
A visit to the Al Fahidi today lets you revive the good old days of Dubai through the storytelling sessions, dine out with an Emirati breakfast, and get your tea fix at Arabian Tea House.
Overall, Al Fahidi is a quaint and photogenic historical area that falls under the list of the best things to do in Dubai. It’s a chance to see Dubai in a brand new way. The labyrinth of alleyways and traditional houses all come together as a lavish but rustic experience.
Shop Till You Drop at Dubai Traditional Souks
Are you a culture-vulture searching for a sense of retail therapy? Don’t let your shopping time go to waste because the typical Dubai souks are ready to keep you occupied! For out-of-towners, “souk” refers to an Arab bazaar selling all sorts of products.
The majority of Dubai souks enclose the historic Bur Dubai neighborhood. Among a wide range of such markets, textile souks can be seen as the most common spot. Textile souk is used as a mecca for cashmere, wool, cotton, silk, and many other forms of cloth.
More than just a marketplace, the Dubai textile souk is an eruption of music, colors and noise. What you like to wear lifts you both physically and emotionally. Go ahead, choose some Kashmiri shawls, and you’ll never return disappointed!
Aside from the textile souk, make your way to the other side of Dubai Creek and immerse yourself in the blooming variety of dried herbs and spices. This whole area transforms into a wonderful journey of aromas and colors. Are you a fanatic of gastronomy? Bring some cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and precious saffron home to play around the kitchen.
Hunting for the true spirit of the luxurious world of Dubai? Go straight to the busy Gold Souk and unfold the magic behind the largest gold bazaar in Arabia. Jewelry, gold, silver, and gemstones are only a few to be called. Feel free to get your personalized item and any kind of everyday wear that fits your style and fashion!
Revive the Good Old Days at Dubai Museum
They claim that museums are the best representation of the country, and the Dubai Museum is the most amazing place in the city for history buffs. Located in the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum was once a fortress, a garrison, and an arms depot. Until 1971, it turned a new page in Dubai’s history book with a complete transformation into a gigantic museum. The museum houses an extensive collection of ancient Arabian tools, utensils, animal figures, pottery and an assortment of antique shops.
The entire building is divided into several wings unveiling different facets of Dubai’s former industries and lifestyles. The Markets Wing opens the door to the good old days of the 1950s, which surprises you with the life-size replicas of stores and merchants. This specific area will leave you shocked as you are about to relive the trading days of the old Dubai.
Make your way to the Monument Wing to discover a large array of hand-made pottery pieces and everyday tools such as cooking, food processing, and storage. Meanwhile, the Oasis Wing brings the Dubai pearl extracting and trading industry back to life. There are also other compartments worth finding. Make sure you’re investing a successful half-day tour of the museum to discover Dubai’s culture and history!
Take a Dip at Jumeirah Public Beach
Wanting a day out at the beach to enjoy the sunny day? Reach Jumeirah Beach and rock the waves in your own way! Jumeirah Public Beach inherits the breathtaking scenery of Burj Al Arab, making it one of the most talked-about destinations in Dubai.
Jumeirah Public Beach is not only a hot spot for visitors, but also a weekend getaway for local beach lovers. It looks like a breezy sandy beach completely furnished with modern amenities such as public wifi, change rooms, toilets and bathrooms.
Instead of only swimming in the water, you can opt to ride the waves with your surfboards, feed your Instagram gallery with beautiful angles and shots, jump on a banana boat ride, or stretch out on the golden sand.
However, these are not the only things that Jumeirah Public Beach has to offer! Sun-seekers hit the beach to catch the bright rays of the area. Passionate sports enthusiasts search for the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf and practice jogging. In the meantime, the big foodies will walk down the sandy coast and drop by their favorite food trucks.
All in all, Jumeirah Public Beach is worth trapping around and avoiding the hustle and bustle back home!
Eyes Out On Stalks at the World’s Tallest Building
If you’re a hardcore globetrotter, you may have heard of Burj Khalīfah at least once in a lifetime! Burj Khalīfah is a multipurpose high-rise skyscraper that embodies the structure of Spider Lily, a local desert flower sketched in a three-lobed footprint.
With a total height of 828 metres, Burj Khalīfah has taken the world by storm as the tallest free-standing building ever constructed by human power with the most advanced construction technology. Burj Khalīfah has spent six years developing a wide range of hospitality services, industrial projects and residential areas scattering over 162 floors.
Burj Khalīfah’s biggest star should be At The Top, a world-renowned outdoor observatory and lounge providing an absolute panoramic view of the skylight of the area. The fine-dining At. Mosphere Restaurant is a great getaway that will bring you closer to the breath of nature with its all-glass windows offering breathtaking views.
Since its inaugural year in 2010, the world has always had a torch on Dubai, which has proclaimed the city an international playground for global superstars. Until now, Burj Khalifa has held a total of 8 world records. Apart from being the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa also has the longest elevator travel distance and houses the highest restaurant from the ground floor.
Find Out Special Price: Burj Khalifa Observation Deck Ticket Package
Delve into the Underbelly of the World’s Largest Shopping Mall
There are the firsts, and there are the largest, and Dubai Mall takes the crown for being the largest in the world. This shopping mall boasts an area of 1.124.000 square meters with an insane amount of establishments inside. We’re talking about 1300 retail outlets, a skating rink, a gaming center, 22 IMAX screens, and 120 restaurants in total. From Toys, apparel, electronics, furniture, and perfumes, there’s something for everyone’s taste in shopping here at the Dubai Mall.
Hop aboard and take a traditional Abra across the Burj Lake on a ride that’s full of sights and sounds. Specifically choreographed to the music, the graceful dance of jets shooting high in the air makes the Dubai Fountain Lake a sight to behold. Aside from the grandeur as the world’s largest performing fountain, you’ll be left mesmerized by the front-row seating by the overall ambiance it delivers.
A collection of more than 300 species of marine animals including sharks and rays can be seen at the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. The massive 10 million-liter tank houses over 33.000 aquatic animals and even showcases the largest collection of sand tiger sharks anywhere. Aside from getting a mermaid makeover and a tour on a glass-bottom boat, there are plenty of activities that await!
Live it Up at Mall of Emirates
In the world of shopping, Mall of Emirates was a pioneer with its first-ever shopping resort. The expansive area of more than 233.467 square meters houses luxury labels such as Christian Louboutin and Giorgio Armani. This massive mall in the heart of Dubai is so massive that establishments like department stores, dining restaurants, and entertainment centers are available everywhere you look.
It comes as no surprise that this mall is directly connected to two 5-star hotels, namely Kempinski Hotel and the Sheraton Dubai Mall. Talking about entertainment centers, Mall of Emirates certainly doesn’t disappoint! Ski Dubai, which maintains less than freezing temperatures is home to its own ski slope, a snow-themed park, and even penguins all under one roof!
One Sale: Ski Dubai Admission Ticket
Now, who would think all of these fun activities are available in the middle of the desert? Many would feel famished after shopping and touring around, and once again, the Mall of Emirates got you covered! From fine-dining experiences to casual restaurants, you’ll find plenty of options conveniently located around the mall.
Salmontini, one of the mall’s flagship restaurants is an excellent choice. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, you might want to try Butcher’s Shop & Grill, or maybe relax at the warm and cozy L’ETO Café.
Stroll along the Awe-Inspiring Dubai Marina
The man-made wonder of Dubai Marina is coming under the list of must-visit places in Dubai. This stretching waterfront system stretches for 3 kilometers across the broad sandy coast of Dubai.
Encompassing 4.9 square kilometers, the Dubai Marina is a perfect example of the state-of-the-art wonders of the region. Strolling down the streets around the marina, you’ll be astounded by jaw-dropping skyscrapers, ritzy hotels, mouth-watering food trucks shading a million-dollar chain of yachts lined up by the waters.
Dubai Marina takes over the southern end of Jumeirah Public Beach, which marks the so-called “New Dubai.” This amazing man-made wonder was inspired by the False Creek of Canada, a canal town dotted with swanky shopping areas, sandy beaches, and the Jumeirah Beach Residence on the waterfront.
The famous Dubai Marina speaks for the city itself as a new and captivating destination in Dubai. Either a sunny day or a starry night, you’ll always find something enjoyable and special to catch your eyes. The stunning view could be the first thing that pops into your mind if anyone recalls Dubai Marina.
And as the sun goes down, this whole place is going to take another life! People start hitting the streets to dine out as the lights and shades are harmonized to get the nightlife up. At the end of the day, all that’s left in your heart is a pure and romantic atmosphere.
Make a Fabulous Day Trip to Abu Dhabi
The capital of the UAE is ranked as one of the safest cities in the world. But more than just a title, Abu Dhabi is the secret jewel of the area and is often at odds with Dubai in the fierce city rivalry.
As a cultural mecca in the UAE, Abu Dhabi is a vibrant and progressive metropolis. This city of art has made headlines as an emerging global cultural presence, while at the same time upholding heritage values at its heart. Abu Dhabi only takes you an hour and a half driving from Dubai. The capital of the city is 80% of the territory of the region.
Speaking of the best things to do in Abu Dhabi, the Louver Abu Dhabi Mega-Museum should be the first name to be remembered. It houses a large collection of creative accomplishments that are bound to add a wonderful experience on the top of your holiday.
In the meantime, the great Islamic architectural wonder of Sheik Zayed the Great Mosque speaks volumes of striking contemporary art. More than just a religious temple, the mosque is likely to hypnotize you with its pure marble walls dotted with gems.
Other than these respectable landmarks, if you’re looking for a windy and relaxed beach break, hit Saadiyat Island. Wanting a breath of wilderness? Abu Dhabi’s Mangrove National Park opens the door to a wild discovery of scuttling crabs, herons and flamingos chewing on the waters of the algae.