Dubai seems to grow greater by the minute, here’s a look at ten things to do in the lively emirate.
There are many reasons to fall in love with Dubai (and with the entire UAE, in fact), and the weather is one of them…it’s always summer here! Dubai has two climates: Hot and hotter! October to April is the best time to visit as the temperatures are pleasant and warm – it only rains six days a year here. If you’re heading here for sun, sea and sand, then spring and autumn are ideal. Rates are at their lowest in the summer, but temperatures can easily surpass 45 °C/110 °F. The sea in July and August feels like a thermal spa bath with 35º C / 95 °F temperatures.
Regardless of what time of year you’re visiting, you’ll enjoy yourself immensely. Here’s a look at ten things to do in Dubai.
Don’t miss this iconic skyscraper, the world’s tallest standing at 829.8 m / 2,722 ft! A wonder of modern technology and design, the Burj Khalifa boasts observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors with stunning, 360-degree city views that extend all the way out to the desert and the sea. The best time for picture taking is sunset or sunrise.
2. The Dubai Mall
Dubai is known for its shopping malls, souks and lifestyle destinations, and the Dubai Mall is one of my favorites. The world’s largest shopping center houses more than 1,200 stores and 200 restaurants along with the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes for all the walking!
3. The Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain, located beside the Dubai Mall, performs a water, music and light spectacle that delights thousands of visitors for free every day. Shows start at 6.00pm and go on every thirty minutes into the night. Many restaurants surround the fountain so sit at one of their outdoor tables to enjoy a great meal while the fountain dazzles you.
The Dubai Landmark is often referred to as the world’s most luxurious hotel. Designed to resemble the billowing sail of a ship, there’s nothing quite like the Burj al Arab on the Dubai skyline. If you’re not staying here, you can still visit for afternoon tea, drinks or dinner, and of course, you can admire it from the outside for no cost at all.
The most audacious of all of Dubai’s projects is the world’s largest man-made island, which increases Dubai’s shoreline to a total of 520 kilometers / 323 miles. Palm Jumeirah looks like a palm tree from above and it was the first offshore development of its kind. It’s been billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World and, along with the Great Wall of China, is the only man-made structure that you can see from space. It’s home to the famous Atlantis Hotel with celebrity chef restaurants, shops and a huge aquarium. For those who like water parks, Aquaventure is one of Dubai’s most thrilling parks.
Another unmissable locale, the Dubai Marina is the perfect place to take a stroll and sip a drink and watch Dubai come alive after the sun goes down. Surrounded by incredible skyscrapers, the dynamic and luxurious Dubai Marina has hundreds of restaurants, cafés and shops. Be amazed by the twisting Cayan Tower and ogle at the fancy yachts.
7. Jumeirah Beach Residences
Close to Dubai Marina, this waterfront location is the number one beach destination for Dubai visitors. Hotels line the waterfront, one of the most popular destinations for locals and visitors alike. The beach’s excellent facilities include plenty of sun loungers, restaurants and water-sport operators.
8. Deira Souks
Historically, it is the commercial center of Dubai for its traditional souks, which bustles with shoppers any time of the day. The Deira Gold Souk houses gold and gems and even if you’re not looking for anything specific, a stroll through the dazzling Gold Souk is a must. Once you are on the Deira side of the Creek, all you need to do is follow your nose to enter the Spice Souk: take in the breathtaking aromas of every spice imaginable: Turmeric, cumin, saffron, cinnamon, thyme as well as the fragrant oud wood, rose water and incense, all displayed in huge jute sacks.
The Dubai Creek splits the city into two towns with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. The creek has played a significant role in the city’s growth, as settlers arrived here for fishing and pearl diving. Small villages sprung up along the creek as far back as 4,000 years ago, while the modern era began with the Bani Yas tribe settlement in the 1830s. To travel across the creek, you can either take a trip on one of the typical cruise boats or an Abra (traditional small wooden ferry).
A visit to the desert is one of the most amazing and unforgettable experiences, especially for adventurers seekers, and should be on everyone’s bucket list. The easiest way to reach the dunes, approximately a one-hour drive from the city center, is via a four-wheel-drive desert safari. You will be able to camel trek, get a henna tattoo and savor a delicious dinner under the stars at the Bedouin camps.