The vibrant city that is Dubai has something to offer to people of all ages. It is one of United Arab Emirates’ greatest holiday spots. The city’s relentless drive towards the future has turned it from a desert outpost to a major international tourism destination. Tourists visit Dubai every day, expecting to experience the traditional Arabic culture and heritage and they get so much more.
From the Bastakia district of old Dubai to the artificial islands, the city offers a sight to everyone. From my unforgettable stay in the City of Gold, I have listed down 8 things and places that should top your priority list when you visit there.
1 Th Dubai Fountain
Start off with the Dubai Fountain, easily the rival to the infamous Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. You will find the world’s tallest performing fountain right next to the Dubai Mall, the shows starting every alternating half hour after 6pm. You can either enjoy the shows while being part of the crowd or get a table outside from one of the many restaurants bordering the fountain; this way you can enjoy the show with the company of fabulous food.
2 IMG World of Adventure
For a fun-filled day, visit one of Dubai’s newest and most exciting theme parks. The thrill rides at IMG bring your favorite superheroes to life, and put a smile or kids and adults alike. Although be sure to put your comfy shoes on, as there are nearly 28 football field sized spaces filled with attractions to try.
3 360º Lounge
By far this turned out to be my favorite bar in town. Although a Muslim state, alcohol flows liberally here. By law it can be served only in the confines of a hotel, and with 450 hotels in the emirate, you won’t be left thirsty! Located off the coast of Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai, 360 degree is an outdoor lounge where you can laze away with a light tapa, a shisha or a cocktail. When you’re just in the mood for an evening tipple, you can visit the bar and have a memorable time by enjoying your drink while watching the sun go down near Burj al Arab.
4 Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah, which looks like a stylized palm tree from above, is the most audacious of all of Dubai’s megaprojects, and is the world’s largest man-made island. It is also the only structure created by man that can be seen from space, along with the Great Wall of China.
At the Palm, you can lounge in the Atlantis Resort for lunch – a hotel with huge aquariums worth a visit. For those who like waterparks, Aquaventure is probably the most thrilling one in Dubai. You can also visit the many other things that Atlantis has to offer, including a pristine beach, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and a spa.
5 Alserkal Art District
The main arts hub is being regenerated in a part of the old Al Qouz industrial district, centered on Aleskeral Avenue. For the artist in you, witness the work of major artists as well as highlighting new Middle Eastern talent at the Alserkal Art District that has become a home to the city’s most important contemporary art galleries.
This emerging district is also the place to come for fashion boutiques by local designers, restaurants, and cafés. This area spotlights the youthful buzz of a city usually noted more for its corporate identity.
6 Jumeirah Mosque
If you have never gotten a chance to visit a mosque, this is the perfect chance. Jumeirah Mosque is considered by many to be the most beautiful mosque in Dubai. An exact copy of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque but only an eighth of its size, it is a fine example of the Islamic culture. Guided tours of the mosque are organized by the Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding to try to foster a better understanding of the Muslim faith. Tours begin at 10am daily, except on Fridays.
Whether you want to buy or not, a stroll through the glistening Gold Souk is a must. From cheap gold to haggle for to overflowing stalls of frankincense, saffron, as well as rose water and incense, a visit through Deira gives you an air of traditional souqs, bustling with shoppers at all times of the day.
Not so far from Deira, you’ll find Karama Market, where you can haggle for branded knock-offs and find the perfect souvenirs to take home.
8 Sheikh Zayed Road
Sheikh Zayed Road, the main thoroughfare running through Dubai’s modern downtown business district, is one of the best on-the-spot vantage points for Dubai’s famed skyscraper views. This impressive eight lane highway is lined with towering glass and chrome high-rises for its entire length.
Dubai is a major holiday destination for good reason! Tourists will be wowed by gleaming skyscrapers, traditional markets, artificial islands, swanky bars, and more. Visitors should add these top things to do in Dubai to their itinerary for their next visit to the City of Gold.