Dubai is a thriving metropolis with world-class attractions in every corner that are easily accessible. Dubai offers its discerning visitors, debonair businessmen and proud residents an excellent and affordable means of getting around, with plentiful taxis, comfortable buses and the majestic driverless metro system that efficiently connects this bustling city.
If you were to ask anyone in Dubai, what they would do when they have visitors, each one would have their personal list of favourite things. This is what makes Dubai unique; you would be spoilt for choices on things to do within your means. This city has changed so much in the last five years, adding in breathtaking attractions along the way that brandish Dubai’s aspiration to be the home to the biggest and best on a profusion of things.
Here is our list of 25 sine qua non experiences, when visiting Dubai. We start with the historical attractions in old Dubai and move on a trail that ends in new Dubai, covering all-the-not-to-be-missed attractions along the way in a logical sequence.
A visit to the souks in Dubai is a must for their vivacious atmosphere, eclectic variety of goods and its age-old Arab tradition in doing business. Souks meaning “markets” are located on either side of Dubai creek. Items on sale in these markets have moved on from traditional spices, silk, perfumes to include the latest consumer electronic goods at good bargains.
Gold Souk, the largest gold bazaar in Arabia, is the ultimate destination for jewellery lovers. Sparkling windows adorn immaculate displays of fine ornaments ranging from bracelets, necklaces, rings, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and more, expertly crafted in the region. You must bargain hard, and you are sure to find the best deals in this City of Gold.
This museum, located in the Al Fahidi Fort, was built in 1787 and is unmistakably the oldest building in Dubai. It showcases priceless archaeological antiques and artefacts which depict the traditional life in the city as a tiny fishing and pearl diving port.
Any time of the day or night, this highly recommended Pakistani restaurant is teeming with activity. Try flavoursome and affordable signature dishes to tickle your palate from Chicken Kadai, Mutton Khorma, Dal fry, Tandoori Kebabs, Biriyani, succulent Rotis and lot more. This wayside eatery can get very busy, during weekends, and one would even wish there was a reservation system to avoid the wait.
Do not miss the astounding daily shows of dolphins and seals where you get up close and personal with graceful bottleneck dolphins and mischievous seals. You will be amazed by the interactive extravaganzas here as these sea creatures sing, dance, juggle, jump hoops and even paint their way into your hearts.
You cannot miss the stately facade of The Gate, inspired by the Arc of Triomphe in Paris that takes centre stage at Dubai’s financial centre symbolizing its open gate policy. It was instituted to provide a platform for business and financial institutions to reach into regional emerging markets. DIFC is home to large business houses, financial institutions, fine residences, art galleries, restaurants, shopping centres and celebrated hotels like the Ritz Carlton.
The Spa at Palace Downtown Dubai
Indulge your mind, body and senses with an Oriental treatment in a unique Arabic décor. The Spa offers pampering choices for ultimate luxury. Spa facilities include Hammam slab, Jacuzzis, monsoon showers, steam rooms, relaxation lounge and private suites.
Designed as the ultimate venue for horse racing, Meydan raises the bar on racing standards to international levels, with well-appointed facilities including the world’s first trackside 5-star hotel with suite rooms offering unobstructed views of all the action. Every year in March, this becomes the venue for the world’s richest race – the prestigious Dubai World Cup.
Miracle gardens hold multiple Guinness Book records as the largest vertical garden and longest flower wall in the world, with more than 45 million flowers in a variety of species and colours landscaped into stunning designs, awesome shapes and floral structures. This garden is one of the most beautiful and breathtaking destinations in Dubai; fittingly a miracle in the desert.
This is the only mosque in the UAE that welcomes non-Muslims inside an Islamic house of worship. See this magnificent mosque in all its grandeur adorned with polished marble interiors, a tribute to modern Islamic architecture. Do not miss this unique opportunity, when in Dubai, to learn about Emirati culture and religion in a relaxed, casual atmosphere.
Take to the snow, while in the desert. Surprised? Ski Dubai offers exceptional ski experience with the longest run at around 400 meters. With its unique snowboarding slopes, snow park, ice slides, snow caves and ice towers, Ski Dubai is the ultimate playground for the young and young at heart. Imbibe nature in the arctic with unique personal interactions with penguins.
Burj Al Arab
An ultra opulent hotel that treats you like a king, Burj Al Arab, a 7-star hotel offer stupendous comfort and ultimate luxury. This magnificent destination offers you the finest service and facilities with well appointed, expensive, lavish duplex suites. It offers its guests 8 signature restaurants and bars, be it dining at the tallest atrium, romancing over a meal beside an underwater wall or high tea and cocktails at a bar in the skies, the experience is superlative.
An outdoor themed water park situated beside the Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi offers 30 rides and attractions for the entire family. Cool yourself in the summer heat or feel the warmth during the winter months with temperature-controlled water. Have fun in wave pools, water slides and surfing machines. It also features a 60 feet waterfall thrill that makes you return for more.
This world class water park is located at the Atlantis hotel; it sits on top of the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island wonder shaped into a palm tree. It offers 17 fun-filled hectares of pure fun and drenching excitement. Meet dolphins up close, and if you love aquariums, you will be in awe of the giant displays of aquatic life at the “Lost Chambers.” Spectacular rides and thrilling slides make Aquaventure the most exciting day out in Dubai.
Delight your senses with the first Michelin Star traditional English afternoon tea serving snacks, savouries and light bites in Dubai’s Grosvenor House, created by none other than celebrity chef Gary Rhodes himself.
Gear up for something fun and adventurous with a Dessert Safari experience in Dubai. Drive through the expansive desert as you take in the sights and get up close and personal with the local life. Get your adrenaline pumping with a dune bashing experience or simply ride a camel. You’ll walk away from this experience with many memories to share.
Dubai balloon safari
Take to the air with the Dubai Balloon Safari. Get a bird’s eye view of the land when you gently float on the hot air balloon. Catch a glimpse of the rugged Hajar Mountains and the numerous sand dunes stretching to the horizon.
Few attractions and events in Dubai capture the essence of the land like Global Village. It’s a melting pot of cultures from around the world where you can learn, glimpse; experience and celebrate. Be it entertainment, shopping, showground rides or international cuisines, you have it all at the Global Village.