While Dubai as a tourist destination causes a lot of debate, even controversy – this icon of mankind’s ability to overcome the harshest of environments, symbol of wealth and luxury rising from the desert – arguably has more attractions for travellers in one place than any other on Earth. Make sure to pack a healthy dose of respect for the local laws, and prepare for the experience of a lifetime!
Reaching for the stars – Dubai Skyscrapers
You can’t speak of Dubai without mentioning the world’s tallest manmade structure ever built – the Burj Khalifa. This unbelievable building dwarfs all around it – and they’re tall by any city’s standards! The view from the observation deck is one that really has to be experienced to be believed.
Traveller’s tip – there is naturally a huge daily rush of visitors for the observation deck, but you can save 75% if you book your tickets in advance.
And perhaps one of the world’s most structurally beautiful buildings, the stunning Burj Al Arab hotel is constructed to mimic the shape of a sailboat, and has acquired the nickname of ‘The world’s only 7-star hotel’, sitting on its very own manmade island.
The Lost City of Atlantis
Dubai’s talent for creating manmade islands has allowed for the creation of some magnificent aquariums. While staying at the Atlantis the Palm Hotel is most likely beyond the budget of your average traveller, you can still take in their incredible Lost City of Atlantis and Aquaventure Park, full of fantastic undersea sights complete with resident dolphins.
And if waterslides, lazing at the beach and aquatic adventures are your thing, be sure not the miss Wild Wadi Waterpark either. Both waterparks have a huge array of restaurants to cater for every taste, and Aquaventure also has many splash pools and river rides which are suitable if you are travelling with younger kids.
You have not shopped until you’ve shopped at the Dubai Mall
With an astonishing 1,200 shops, it’s own Sega Republic theme park, aquarium and underwater zoo – you will need to dedicate at least one full day to visiting the Dubai Mall! Hundreds of restaurants, an ice skating rink and 22 screen multiplex theatre almost make this shopping mall a tourist destination in itself!
And just when you thought the fun was over – why not add a mini ski holiday into the mix? Ski Dubai, located in the Emirates Mall, is a complete indoor winter wonderland. Skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing activities are all on offer, and the kids are sure to love the resident Snow Penguins!
Culture, history, and a dancing lake…
Surrounded by all this extravagance, it is easy to forget that Dubai was once nothing more than a humble fishing village – but its roots are still there for those who take the time to look a bit deeper. The Dubai Museum, located in the historic Al Fahidi Fort is Dubai’s oldest building, constructed back in 1787.
Galleries showcase local antiquities and artifacts, and several dioramas which portray life before the advent of oil.
And to round off an evening, take in the sight of the world’s largest dancing fountain on the Burj Khalifa Lake, complete with water spouts as high as a 50 storey building!
Desert adventures, camel rides and mouth watering cuisine are just a few of the other attractions this remarkable destination has on offer – if you’re the kind of traveler who wants to experience it all – Dubai is the destination for you!