Dubai’s getting ready to unveil one spectacular landmark after another; Ain Dubai is almost ready, as is the Dubai Frame and the Dubai Canal will follow next. Is it any wonder that tourists are agog with anticipation, lining up to explore the city of magnificent man made marvels? Dubai’s glamor, its vibrancy and adventurous vibe call out to travelers from every part of the world. Dubai’s charm is an intriguing juxtaposition of historical attractions, the ancient desert and the uber-glamorous contemporary glories.
1. Dubai Creek
Dubai is divided into two parts alongside the ancient salt estuary, the Dubai Creek. There’s Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. For the price of 1 AED, you can travel up and down the Dubai Creek on a traditional water taxi, the abra. Cross over to Deira and then to Bur Dubai to explore the historical museums, ancient spice-perfume-gold souqs, fine mosques, public buildings and shopping malls. Explore the streets of Bastikaya by foot and try a traditional dish at a street food outlet.
2. Dhow Dinner Cruise
A dhow dinner cruise is a major attraction in Dubai, either on the Dubai Creek or alongside the Persian Gulf’s coastline. Dhows are traditional wooden Arabian boats that were used for trading, smuggling and general transport in the old days. Now these dhows are used mostly for pleasure cruises. They are fitted with air-conditioning and plexi-glass enclosures for a comfortable, cool cruise. Your evening dhow cruise comes with onboard entertainment, continental buffet dinner and a shisha pipe. Enjoy getting up close to major landmarks along the coastline and in-between the manmade islands off the coast.
3. Dubai Big Bus City Tour
The best way to see all of Dubai is to take a Big Bus Dubai tour. You can take one of the three big bus tour lines – Red, Green and Blue, with 35+ stops located close to Dubai attractions. Hop off and on as you like and check out landmarks at leisure. When you’re done, just hop back on to a different bus belonging to the line you’re on. A big bus tour is one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai.
4. Shopping in Dubai
The world’s largest mall, Dubai Mall has 1200 plus retail outlets selling everything you could desire. Also check out the Emirates Mall, the Dubai Marina Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, and Wafi Mall, City Center Deira, Bur Juman, Mercato, Souk Madinat Jumeirah and several others. In each mall you’ll find cinema multiplexes, game floors, food courts and more in some. The Dubai Mall has the Dubai Ice Rink, the Dubai Aquarium, SEGA Republic and much more. Feel free to haggle at the traditional souks of Deira and Bur Dubai for gold, spices, perfumes, incense, Arabian style slippers and pashmina shawls.
5. Burj Khalifa
The 828 meter-tall Burj Khalifa is a prime tourist attraction. Enjoy 360 degree views of the enchanting Dubai skyline from the Burj’s three Observation Decks – levels 123, 124 and 148. Take this opportunity to dine in the highest hotel in the hotel, At.mosphere on level 122. You’ll literally be part of the clouds, enjoying 5-Star luxuries, excellent Michelin-starred food, with the world resting at your feet.
6.The Dubai Fountain
Musical fountains are always exciting and tend to cheer up the tired traveler. The Dubai Fountain is the most magnificent that you’ll ever see. It is without doubt the world’s largest fully choreographed fountain, located on the magnificent 35 acre-large Burj Lake. Streams of multi-colored water jet 150 meters into the sky, swaying in time to lilting Arabian music and tunes from around the world. Each show awes the crowds for a full 30 minutes – something you simply shouldn’t miss.
7. Palm Islands
Explore the palm-shaped artificial island via a cruise, or from a helicopter, from which you can see the whole palm tree with its branches spread out. A monorail runs down the Palm Island’s trunk; you can use it to travel to the island from the mainland and back. Enjoy strolling among the iconic Atlantis, The Palm; Fairmont, One&Only, the Waldorf Astoria, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and other fabulous buildings on the Palm.
8. The Dubai Desert
The silent, mystical desert lies in wait for you to be done with glamorous Dubai. Enjoy the mysterious red sand dunes in every possible way – go dune bashing, dune driving, camel riding, quad biking and sand boarding. Sign up for an overnight desert safari and explore the dunes as they throw deep and inky shadows everywhere. Enjoy a barbecue dinner, get your hands henna painted and sit back with a shisha pipe while wearing a Bedouin’s robes.
9. Dubai Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden is the world’s largest natural flower garden, which has been developed in the middle of the very dry Arabian Desert. In this incredible 72,000-square-meter large garden, you can enjoy more than 45 million flowering plants that are fashioned into incredible shapes. You will not believe your eyes when they tell you that flower bushes are shaped like stars, igloos, pyramids, flower-decked vintage cars, hearts, arc-shaped walkways and more.
10. Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7-Star hotel is shaped like a dhow’s sail. It’s a mind-blowingly beautiful structure that makes for a wonderful selfie background. The Burj features an outdoor tennis court which doubles as a helipad, an underwater restaurant, the famous Skyview bar and hundreds of top luxury suites that only the very rich can afford. The Burj is a not-to-miss sight at night when fully lit up with multi-color LEDs and choreographed sculptures of water and fire.
11. Bollywood Parks Dubai
Bollywood Parks Dubai is a celebration of 5 zones inspired by blockbusters from Bollywood, spread out over 1.7 million square feet. Take your time to explore the various thrilling zones filled with immersive rides and incredible Bollywood-movie-based live shows in all 5 zones. There are several incredible restaurants offering an array of delicacies ranging from Mumbai street food to Mughlai cuisine.
Dubai’s spectacular sights are only getting better each day, as the town planners are going all out to make the city the tourist destination of all time. Make plans to visit the city soon, and keep coming back to check out the latest landmark additions! Dubai never disappoints, so you’ll always have something wonderful and new to look forward to.