Dubai is one of the emirates of the United Arab Emirates. The trade hub on the Persian Gulf is today mainly known as a luxury holiday destination. The construction of hundreds of hotels and some very impressive projects such as Burj Khalifa, the Palm Islands and the Dubai Marina are some of the many signs that Dubai is now focusing revenues mainly on tourism. Whoever travels to Dubai will be overwhelmed by the enormous wealth that you are confronted with in many places. Impressive is the way in which they have been able to create a surrealistic oasis within a warm desert climate with very hot summers that manages to excite many people.
The beauty of Dubai is that the city is constantly evolving. New districts, attractions and amusement parks are being built, while the existing districts in Dubai are being improved to allow tourists to enjoy the city to the fullest.
Top 10 sights of Dubai
#1. Burj Khalifa
According to bridgat.com, the tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, with a total height of 828 meters, is very prominent in Dubai. The tower is inspired by desert flower Hymenocallis. Burj Khalifa is located at the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping mall. Visitors can enjoy the view from the tower in three ways. The most common and cheapest way is to take the fastest passenger elevator in the world to the observation platform “At the Top”. Reservations are recommended for busy times such as around sunset. Another way to enjoy the overwhelming view is from the At.mosphere restaurant. This restaurant, which is located on the 122nd floor (two floors below the visitors’ deck), has a minimum spend of AED. 300 per person applies and that children under the age of six are not admitted.
#2. Desert Safari
The best way to discover the desert is through a so-called desert safari. With four-wheel drive vehicles you head into the desert, often preceded by the opportunity to drive a quad bike or ride a camel. During the desert safari, the driver races over the desert dunes. This is a sensational experience that you will not soon forget. If you do the evening safari, you will normally also watch the sunset (beautiful). Afterwards there is usually a dinner in a desert camp where a belly dancer performs and water pipe can be smoked.
#3. Discover the old Dubai
Today’s Dubai is many times larger than the Dubai of roughly half a century ago. The modern city has heritage in several places where you can discover the old Dubai. The best example of this is the Al Bastakiya district. This old neighborhood has been transformed into a free open-air museum where you can soak up the atmosphere of old Dubai. Another place where you can view the history of Dubai is the Dubai Museum. This city museum is located in an old fort and shows you everything about the history and culture of Dubai.
#4. The Walk & The Beach
The nicest beach in Dubai is called ‘The Beach’. This is the beach that is located at the Dubai Marina. Along the beach you will find plenty of restaurants, terraces and shops. Directly behind the beach, where the skyscrapers loom, is the street whose walking area is called ‘The Walk’. Here you walk past dozens of terraces of restaurants while on the street next to you the expensive cars slowly cruise to be seen. It is therefore a feast for car enthusiasts when you see the many expensive sports cars and limousines pass by. Those who do not like cars can enjoy themselves in the many restaurants along The Walk.
#5. Dubai Mall
With more than 1200 shops, more than fourteen thousand parking spaces and more than half a million square meters of retail space, the Dubai Mall is the largest indoor shopping center in the world. In addition to an amount of shops that the average shopaholic can only dream of, the complex also offers a large indoor ice rink, a cinema complex with 22 screens and an indoor aquarium that is the largest in the world. The shopping center, which is well equipped with catering facilities, runs outside via a bridge past the Dubai Fountain (the world’s largest fountain show) to Souk al Bahar, a smaller shopping center that is completely set up in an Arab atmosphere.
#6. Miracle Garden
We have the Keukenhof in the Netherlands, in Dubai they have Miracle Garden. This is a huge garden that is filled with art objects completely covered in flowers during the winter season. The colors and shapes impress young and old alike. If you want to take beautiful pictures without other people in the picture, it is advisable to go early. Dubai Miracle Garden usually opens its doors around the beginning of November and then remains open until the beginning of April.
#7. Souk Madinat
Within the complex where the super deluxe hotels Al Qasr and Mina A’Salam are located, there is a shopping center that is accessible to everyone and is set up in authentic Dubai style. Wind towers, waterways and local products are the order of the day here. For a fee you can take a tour on a traditional abra. Those who want to have lunch or dinner with a beautiful view should eat on the wooden terrace of Meat & Co. You then look out at Burj Al Arab, the self-proclaimed seven-star hotel in the shape of a sailing ship.
The Deira district is generally seen as the center, although due to the emergence of various large projects such as the Financial District, Media City, Dubai Marina and Festival City, there is no longer a single center in Dubai. Deira is clearly an older neighborhood, which makes it seem more authentic than the new parts of Dubai. Places of interest in Deira are the Gold Souk, where dozens of jewelers sell impressive gold jewelry, the Spice Souk, where the scent of oriental herbs and spices greets you and the Dubai Creek with the traditional boats (dhows) and Port Saeed, a real trading port along the creek.
Shop till you drop! That is Dubai in its entirety. One shopping center is even more impressive than the other. Large shopping malls are the aforementioned Dubai Mall, the Mall of the Emirates and Festival City. More compact but certainly interesting because of the more middle class brands is Deira City Center, close to Dubai International Airport. If you are looking for the big fashion brands, you can hardly miss them in Dubai. Top brands such as Cartier, Gucci and Louis Vuitton have a branch in almost every major shopping center. For the bargains you should avoid shopping malls and visit the local shops in the streets. There you can still negotiate about the prices, which are usually lower than in the more luxurious shopping centers.
#10. Aquaventure & Atlantis The Palm
The fairytale Atlantis Hotel, located at the very end of Palm Jumeirah, is an attraction in itself. As a non-guest you can only freely visit a limited part of the hotel, but it is still worth doing so. Next to the Atlantis hotel is Aquaventure, a beautifully designed water park that is also very suitable for families with (young) children. from the private beach you have a beautiful view of the villas on the Palm Island. Those who want can swim with dolphins in the Dolphin Bay belonging to the complex, of course for a fee.