Dubai is a wonderful city which posses so many amazing attractions and stunning things, which are even hard to believe until you see it. It is a city of luxury and a place meant for royalty. It is grand and it is worth every single penny you spend there. While most of the famous tourist places around the world live for their rich ancient history, old monuments and a glorious past, Dubai is a city with a futuristic approach and ultra modern architecture and technology. Staying there is like staring at the future where buildings and apartments are touching the sky, man is creating a bizarre world with all the techniques available and where life is young and is at full speed. Thus, staying there and experiencing how the world in future might look like is not cheap, but as I said above, it is worth it.The eye-catching architecture, man-made islands, Indoor theme parks and the biggest shopping malls are just a few in the list. Let’s have a look on the Top 10 Attractions in Dubai.
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building of the world which is 2717 feet tall and has 160 floors. Visitors can ride the elevator to the 124th floor for the thrilling view of the city. There are special telescopes installed, which show scenes of the city from different points in time and allowing you to experience every stage of Dubai’s history. You can also travel higher to the 148th floor, the world’s highest observation deck, but it will cost you extra.
Within walking distance of the Burj Al Arab is Dubai’s best strip of public sand. Sun-seekers come to this lively shoreline to enjoy in Dubai’s bright rays, while water sports enthusiasts take advantage of the calm, turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf. Jumeirah Beach is also equipped with a children’s playground and plenty of barbecue and picnic areas. Just make sure you come early as the area grows steadily more crowded throughout the day.
Jumeirah Beach can be reached from Jumeirah Road and is open from 7 a.m. to 11 or 11:30 p.m., depending on the day. Admission costs 5 dirhams (roughly $1.25) per person. Before you hit the sand, make sure you’re armed with bottled water and sunscreen. The rays are at their strongest during the middle of the day, so you’ll want to seek shade to avoid dehydration or sun stroke. To learn more about Jumeirah Beach, visit the Dubai Tourism Board’s website.
The Dubai Mall
The massive Dubai Mall is the largest shopping center in the world and houses 1,200 stores. Even if you aren’t interested in buying anything, a visit to this immense retail center is a must: The Dubai Mall also contains numerous entertainment facilities, such as an ice rink, a movie theater and several kid-friendly attractions, including an aquarium that houses more than 33,000 underwater creatures. If you happen to be around at night, stop by the Dubai Fountain outside of the mall. Created by those who designed the Bellagio’s famous dancing fountains, the fountain features nightly shows set to a mix of western and eastern music.
Recent travelers said you should pick up a free map before you explore the mall, because you’re really going to need it. Visitors were taken by how much was at the mall – everything you could possibly need can be found inside its bowels. Few visitors were keen to point out that you might not want to shop here after all. Because so much is imported, some visitors found prices to be higher in comparison to what they’ve seen at home. Still, many say that shouldn’t stop you from popping in for a visit.
The best way to get here is to take the metro to Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Station. The Dubai Mall (and everything within it) opens its doors from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and from 10 a.m. to midnight Thursday through Saturday. You don’t have to pay to wander about, but certain attractions in the mall will charge admission. For more information, visit the Dubai Mall website.
Indoor Ski Slope at the Mall of the Emirates
Telling your friends that you went skiing in the desert is quite a boast, but Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates offers a genuinely great ski experience, with the longest run at around 1,300 feet. You can rent all the ski gear you need, and there are plenty of lockers. Insider tip: If you have kids with you, hit the snow park and let them slide down the slopes on inflated inner tubes.
Hang out at the Walk
The largest single-phase residential construction in the world is the Jumeirah Beach Walk, locally known as JBR. It consists of a wall of 36 towers along the beach front in the Dubai Marina. Along the front of the JBR is a lovely, wide promenade flanked on one side by shops, cafes and restaurants and on the other by a single-lane road. This is the ideal spot to enjoy a leisurely meal while people- and car-watching. I can guarantee you will see things that you would not have thought possible–like a gold-plated Porsche Cayenne or a two-tone Ferrari.
Everyone wants to know where to go for that special meal when they are in Dubai. You won?t be short of options; nearly every conceivable cuisine is available in a variety of price ranges. However, for that one special night out, my recommendation would be Zuma, a Japanese restaurant with a vibrant bar and lounge area. The open kitchen and excellent staff ensure a memorable dining experience. Reservations are absolutely essential. Insider tip: Be sure not to miss out on their signature black cod dish, Gindara no saikyo miso yaki.
The Lost City
An island being created from nothing with the construction of the Palm Jumeirah, and quite fittingly the Atlantis hotel sits at the very top of the Palm and makes for a spectacular landmark as you drive down the central “stem.” The Atlantis is a five-star hotel resort hosting numerous restaurants and a night club for adult fun. There is also a world-class water park, called Aquaventure, where you have to try the “Leap of Faith” slide for an exhilarating experience. You can meet dolphins up close and personal and, for the kids, there is fantastic children’s play area and a man-made beach to relax on. If, like me, you love aquariums, then your pass for the water park also allows you free entry to the “Lost World” inside the hotel.
Weekends in Dubai start on Thursday nights, and it has almost become a tradition for restaurants to put on an all-you-can-eat-and-drink brunch at Friday lunchtime. The various establishments battle for which can put on display the most elaborate array of dishes and beverages, and the choices can at times bewilder you. The very top-end buffets put others I have been to in Las Vegas or Asia to shame, but you can get by spending far less and still walk away satiated. Insider tip: The brunch at the Al Qasr Hotel or Bubblicious at the Westin Hotel score highest for high-falutin dining, with more relaxed affairs at the either the Shangri La or Spectrum on One at the Fairmont Hotel. All of these get popular, so book early.
There are numerous tour companies who will collect you from your hotel and take you out for a tour in the desert, a camel ride and a traditional Arabic meal with a belly dancer. This can be a little formulaic, but provides an accessible display of traditional Bedouin life. If you?re more adventurous, rent a 4×4 and bring a copy of the UAE Off-Road Explorer and you?ll be bathing in the natural rock pools of Hatta in under an hour or splashing around at Wadi Wurrayah, home of the UAE’s only natural waterfall. This really is a taste of the UAE that tourists rarely get to enjoy. Insider tip: It?s always best to go to such places in a convoy of at least two vehicles, and heed the advice given in the guide book: The desert can be a dangerous place for the unprepared.
If at any time in your life you wanted to buy gold, there are few better places to do that than in the Old Gold Souk (or market) in Dubai. Be very specific with the taxi driver that you want the “old” souk, otherwise you may end up in one of the newer indoor gold souks, which do not have the same charm. Walking around the Gold Souk you will see dazzling window displays of gold on a scale rarely seen in the Western world. You will be even more surprised when you are left alone to browse a whole tray full of solid gold bracelets or necklaces. Such are the joys of an essentially crime-free city. Be sure to haggle and barter where appropriate, and steer clear of the guys trying to sell you fake watches and handbags. They never have the same shine when you get them home.
Burj Al Arab
Overlooking the Persian Gulf from its perch between Jumeirah Beach and the Palm Islands, this stunning building has wowed architecture buffs since it opened in 1999. Its curved glass façade – modeled after the sails that have graced Dubai’s waterways all these years – shelters a world-class, über-luxurious hotel located on its own man-made island. The hotel not only houses the tallest atrium in the world at nearly 600 feet high, but it is one of the tallest hotels in the world. Architecture aside, amenities include revolving beds in some suites, as well as a helipad, in case you thought arriving via a complimentary Rolls-Royce was too pedestrian. But you don’t have to stay at the Burj Al Arab to enjoy it (and let’s face it, most can’t). Those who aren’t crashing at the hotel can gain entry by grabbing a bite at one of the on-site restaurants. Among them are the Al Mahara seafood restaurant, which features floor-to-ceiling windows guarding a massive fish tank, and the sky-high Al Muntaha, located on the scenic 27th floor of the building.
Recent visitors were in complete awe of both the interior and exterior of Burj Al Arab, and strongly recommended that if you have the money, stay for at least a night. Those who didn’t book a room at the hotel found that grabbing afternoon tea was a great way to enjoy a slice of the property’s famous ambiance without forking over a ton of money (make sure to schedule you tea time well in advance). However, while many found the hotel to be nothing short of spectacular, others found the property’s opulence to be garish. Whether you venture inside or not, merely getting a snap of one of Dubai’s most photographed structures is experience enough.
You can easily walk to the Burj Al Arab from the Mall of the Emirates Metro Station. You’re welcome to eat at one of the tower’s restaurants at any time of day, although you should make reservations first. You can marvel at the tower for free as you walk along Jumeirah Beach. Better yet, come after sundown to see the tower lit up. To learn more, visit the Burj Al Arab’s website.