Standing tall at 828 metres in Downtown Dubai, the sky-piercing Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world. The glorious tower is one of the most prominent attractions in all of the Middle-East and is called the Jewel of Dubai. Climb up to the 124th floor on the observation deck, At The Top, for an uninterrupted view of the city’s skyline and beyond. The journey begins in the lower ground level of The Dubai Mall. Throughout the journey to the top, visitors are entertained by a multi-media presentation of the exotic history of Dubai and the marvel that is the Burj Khalifa.The trick is to buy your tickets online in advance, the slots sell out fast especially the sun set ones so make sure you get booked in in time!The Burj experience is all about grandeur and splendour and is an absolute must for any visitor in Dubai. Night-time visits are particularly popular with photographers due to Dubai’s famous city-lights panoramas. Entrance Fee: Dh 100
The Dubai Fountains
At the base of the world’s tallest tower is one of the world’s most amazing fountains! In fact it is the world’s largest dancing fountain! Set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft, equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and will be visible from space making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly in the entire world. Dubai Fountain Show Timings: 1.00pm and 1.30pm 6:00pm – 11:00pm every 30 minutes
Dubai Mall is the city’s premier mall and provides entry to the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Aquarium. Dubai is famous for its shopping malls, but this mall has to be seen to be believed. It is simply huge, with something for everyone inside. The shopping and eating are almost a side attraction. With a 22-screen cinema; an indoor theme park, called Sega World; a world for children, called Kidzania; a giant Aquarium with an underwater zoo; and a full-sized ice rink you, will want for little. Just be sure to be wearing comfortable shoes. The topping on this treat is the Dubai Fountain, which has shows every evening starting at 6 p.m. that easily rival anything that the Bellagio in Las Vegas has to offer. Insider tip: Get a table outside (weather permitting) from one of the many restaurants bordering the fountain at the mall or at the nearby Souk Al Baher. From these vantage points you can relax and enjoy the shows away from the crowds.
A visit to Dubai Mall provides a complete experience in terms of entertainment, food,leisure and shopping.It is the world’s biggest mall with 1200 retail shops, ice rink, multiplexes, food courts and restaurant, the colossal candy shop- candilucious, theme parks for both adults and children, worlds tallest musical fountain, fashion catwalk, 70 stores dedicated solely to haute couture,worlds largest Waterfront Atrium, aquarium, world’s largest Gold Souk; Fashion Island, Galeries Lafayette department store and Oasis Fountain Waterfall. The aquarium includes a walk-through passageway that is spectacular to walk through. The Dubai Mall alone offers you an entire day worth of activities to participate in.
The natural seawater inlet that cuts through the centre of the city is the historical part of Dubai where visitors can take an abra (small water taxi) and view the old trading port and the dhows from the water.
A cruise to Al Maktoum Bridge will pass many of the city’s historic as well as modern landmarks. A stroll around the wharf offers a picturesque glimpse of Dubai’s trading heritage, where dhows bound for distant places dock to unload their goods. The Creek, a natural sea water inlet which cuts through the centre of the city, is the historic focal point of life in Dubai. A stroll along its banks evokes the city’s centuries-old trading traditions. Visitors will be captivated by the colour and bustle of the loading and unloading of dhows which still ply ancient trade routes to places as distant as India and East Africa.
Dubai Creek separates the city into two towns with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. After the world’s tallest building, you will love the contrast of a simple abra ride on Dubai Creek. The creek is one of Dubai’s oldest and most beautiful areas. Nothing can match the sheer joy of riding an abra across the creek for just one dirham at sunset, as the evening call to prayer is singing out across the mosque minarets. Close your eyes and you could be back in the 1960s when the city began. You can even charter a private abra for £10/hour.To travel across the creek you can either take a trip on one of the many dhows that have been restored as tourist cruise boats or take an abra (small wooden ferry) between the ferry points on the creek’s Bur Dubai and Deira banks.
One of Dubai’s newer tourist attractions is Dubai marina. The marina is set in the backdrop of the amazing buildings and has great views, walkways and boat rides available. Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marina in the world and is home to super yachts and also Dubai Marina Mall.It features apartment buildings, towers named after precious stones and Arabic scents, shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants, line the promenade.
Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is the world’s only 7 star hotel and is truly is one of the most iconic symbols of Dubai and no trip to Dubai would be complete without it! Designed to resemble a billowing dhow sail, the exterior of the Burj Al-Arab is lit up by a choreographed coloured lighting show at night. Decadent in every way possible, it is one of the most expensive hotels in the world with the most luxurious suites costing over $15,000 for one night.For those without unlimited credit, the way to experience the over-the-top opulence is to go for dinner at the underwater Al-Mahara restaurant where floor-to-ceiling glass panels in the dining room walls allow you to view sea life while you eat. There are various viewpoints you can take photos from but one of the best is from the public beach next to it… there you will get that Dubai shot of you on the beach with The Burj in the back ground. It is one of the most photographed structures in the world, and consistently voted the worlds most luxurious hotel. It is illuminated at night by choreographed lighting making it an impressive building day or night!
Dazzling white sand beaches with radiant, serene and clear waters, like the Jumeirah Beach are to be relished early in the morning or during sunset. With the Burj Al Arab providing a scenic backdrop and the fresh, unsullied breeze you are promised a tranquil, restorative experience.
Built in the last few years, Dubai Marina throngs with spectacular twisting skyscrapers, while just next door is Jumeirah Beach Residence walk (or ‘JBR walk’ if you want to sound like a local). The Marina and JBR is a city within a city with amazing architecture, pretty cafés and bars – ideal for people-watching, high-end hotels and some of the best restaurants in the city. During the day, the views are equally as stunning as in the evening, and many people jog around the Marina for that reason.
Behind the Address Hotel you can take the Dubai ferry, which is great for visitors and locals alike as it takes you out into the sea and past the famous Atlantis Hotel on the man-made Palm Jumeirah. The ferry takes you up the coast and drops you just inside the Creek at Bur Dubai where you can enjoy some of the ‘old’ Dubai after experiencing the ‘new’.
A man-made archipelago, Palm Jumeirah offers tourists a host of activities to indulge in from up-market shopping malls to hotels to luxury beach resorts. These three man-made islands, which are shaped like a palm tree, are so copious that they are visible from space to the naked eye. The marvel is also home to the popular Atlantis – The Palm and a number of exciting theme parks.
Atlantis is the majestic resort on the Palm, a man-made island that has captured the world’s imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity. From the moment you arrive, you will be immersed in a dazzling world of imagination, pleasure and luxury of 5-star hotels. This lavish5 star- resort is based on the theme of the myth of the lost kingdom of Atlantis. Each element of the structure is a true architectural spectacle. Dining, Shopping, Nightclub, Pools, Beaches, Fitness Center, Business Conference room; you name it and its offered to you at the Atlantis, just like Aladdin’s Genie.
Sheikh Ziyeed Road
Sheikh Ziyeed Road is the main road running through Dubai’s modern downtown business district. This wide, eight-lane highway is rimmed with towering glass, chrome and steel highrises along its length. Main attractions are along, or just off.Dubai World Trade Tower (Sheikh Ziyeed Road) has an observation deck on its top floor that offers visitors panoramic views.The Gold and Diamond Park and Museum (Sheikh Ziyeed Road) is a one-stop shop for jewellery lovers with 118 manufacturers and 30 retailers all under one roof.
Mall of the Emirates
Mall of the Emirates on Sheikh Ziyeed Road is one of the city’s most famous malls with the spectacular (and surreal) Ski Dubai facility inside. The shopping opportunities are boundless as are the eating options, offering every conceivable world cuisine.
Want to visit the desert – and hit the ski slopes too? Don’t miss Ski Dubai – a huge ski slope situated in Mall of the Emirates at the Marina end of the city, close to Burj Al Arab. It’s a bit of a shock to go from the 50-degree desert heat to below zero temperatures. There are instructors on hand to help, or you can just do your own thing. There’s even a café-bar halfway up the ski slope in true mountain style, so you can stop to relax and watch the fun.
Deira’s traditional markets or SOUKS
Dubai is plagued with souks or an old market. From the finest Gold souks and modern shopping centers, to the small, street souks that offer all from clothing to spices, a visit to the different souks is a great experience alone. For a truly unforgettable moment, stop thinking about the modern shopping centers and go to the ancient parts of Dubai for a walk through the ancient souks.
Deira is located on the northern bank of Dubai Creek and the winding streets here unveil the melting pot of different nationalities that have come to call Dubai home. On the shore, ancient dhows load and unload with modern banks, hotels and office buildings for a backdrop. For travelers Deira is most famous for its traditional souks (markets), which bustle with shoppers at all times of the day. Deira Gold Souk is world-renowned as the largest gold bazaar in the world and the reason that Dubai has received the name “City of Gold”.
The Deira Spice Souk sells every imaginable spice with stalls overflowing with bags of frankincense, cumin, paprika, saffron, sumac and thyme as well as the fragrant oud wood, rose water and incense. The market was established in the 1830s and features restored wooden archways and wind-towers.
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.
Located in the heart of Dubai’s commercial business district in Deira, Dubai Gold Souk or Gold Souk is a traditional market (or souk) in Dubai. Hundreds of small stalls sell gold from many countries, from actual ingots to finely worked jewellery, as well as silver, precious stones and pearls. By some estimates, approximately 10 tons of gold is present at any given time in the souk.
If adventure and thrill is what you crave for, there are many tours offering Desert Safari, with experts on the wheels taking you on a natural thrilling ride-dune bashing. Camp out individually or book a camp as part of the safari to relish the desert and its culture under a star studded sky, as the non-stop entertainment ( Tanaura dancers, belly dancers, Mehendi artists,camel ride, dune bashing on bikes, Faconery ) and Arabic cuisine spin their web of charm.The Dubai desert safari experience is an adventure that you should not miss when you are in Dubai. You can tour by a camel, 4×4 vehicle, and go sand bashing, sand board, eat and relax at night and learn how to dance the traditional belly dancing, all on one travel.
The Miracle Garden is a true miracle in the desert- an oasis with the world’s largest collection of natural flowers. There are many parks and beach parks like Creek Park, Jabeel park and Mamzar park adding to the tranquil beauty of Dubai and raising the green quotient in the city.
Bastakia (Old Dubai)
The Bastakia Quarter was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles, and were lured to Dubai because of the tax-free trading and access to Dubai Creek. Bastakia occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek and the coral and limestone buildings here, many with walls topped with wind-towers, have been excellently preserved. Wind-towers provided the homes here with an early form of air conditioning, with the wind trapped in the towers funnelled down into the houses. Persian merchants likely transplanted this architectural element (common in Iranian coastal houses) from their home country to the Gulf.Lined with distinct Arabian architecture, narrow lanes are highly evocative of a bygone, and much slower, age in Dubai’s history. Inside the district you’ll find the Majlis Gallery with its collection of traditional Arab ceramics and furniture (housed in a wind-tower) and the XVA Gallery with a contemporary art collection (located in one of the historic buildings).