Dubai is one of the most distinct cities in the world. Whether you call it the land of superlatives, the city of gold, or the Middle East’s theme park capital, Dubai is striking for its invigorating vibe which you simply won’t get to experience anywhere else. Apparently, there is no expiration to the number of things to see and do in this marvelous Arabian metropolis in the UAE. But if you find it all intimidating or don’t know what to include in your Dubai travel program, here is a brief compilation of the 10 best places to visit in Dubai.
1. Burj Khalifa
This 828-meter-high structure is so legendary that you simply can’t complete your Dubai vacation without checking out it. It’s the world’s tallest building and stands pompously amidst the glamorous sights of Downtown Dubai. Its observation decks that span over 124th and 148th levels also make a great spot to drink in the awe-inspiring city skyline views and beyond. It also features a spectrum of exquisite dining choices including the tallest of its kind At.mosphere Restaurant and world-class accommodations by way of Armani Hotel Dubai.
2. The Dubai Mall
Did you know that you can spend your entire Dubai holiday without ever leaving this gigantic mall? Placed adjacent to Burj Khalifa, it has over 1200 shopping choices, more than 200 dining outlets, and many leisure and entertainment attractions. You get to strike a pose with the 155-million-year-old Dubai Dino, watch the Human Waterfalls plunging down along the height of this colossal mall, catch with over 33,000 marine creatures at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. It doesn’t disappoint fun and thrill seekers either, with one of the world’s biggest Virtual Reality Parks plus an Olympic-sized ice rink (Dubai Ice Rink) ideal for indoor skating.
3. Dubai Fountain Show
Seen outside the Dubai Mall, it was the world’s largest fountain until the launch of the Palm Fountain recently. But it still continues to be one of Dubai’s favorite attractions, with its stunning spectacle of choreographed water in perfect sync to water. This is a free attraction, so expect it to be always packed. But if you wish to skip the crowd and want to enjoy it up-close without any hindrance, take to Dubai Fountain Boardwalk or alternatively go on an abra ride along the Burj Lake where this fountain is set.
4. Burj Al Arab
From the desert hideaways and sustainable green hotels to the lavishly appointed premium hotels, Dubai justifiably gets special attention for its amazing accommodation. And one that stands out among all is Burj Al Arab! Be it for its breathtaking sail-shaped design, the high-end accommodations, or the most stunning locale on a private island, this hotel is a definite must-experience in Dubai. It’s often acknowledged as the world’s only seven-star hotel. But if you don’t want to shell out a fortune for a stay here, a sensible alternative to take in its luxurious interiors, décor, and view it offers is to secure a spot at one of its dining venues.
5. Palm Jumeirah
Protruding into the Arabian Gulf, this archipelago is a man-made marvel like no other. It’s one of the world’s most outstanding artificial islands, meticulously designed to resemble a palm-tree shape. More than that, this splendid island retreat is one of the city’s ultimate places to get away from it all.
Take speed boat cruises, try water activities, go on a monorail ride, and visit some of its most iconic landmarks such as the scenic waterfront Boardwalk and Atlantis, The Palm, which alone hosts some of the region’s most visited amusement attractions like Aquaventure Water Park, Dolphin Bay, and Lost Chambers Aquarium.
And of course, don’t miss the world’s largest fountain show with the Palm Fountain at the Pointe. There are more activities to entice the daredevil in you; for instance, feel the epic thrill and enthralling joy of freefall as you set out on a sky diving session which further treats you with the most unobstructed views over this island and its unmatched luxuries.
6. Desert Safari
A quick drive out to the desert sands that lie within the city limits is one of the near-perfect ways to take a break from the city’s brimming scene and bustling sounds. It’s just a matter of a 30 to 40 minutes ride, but it appears as if you’re miles apart from Dubai’s dazzling modernity. From dune bash in a 4X4 vehicle and camel ride to cultural inclusions like henna tattooing, Shisha smoking, Tanura, belly dance, and falconry, many activities covered in a desert safari guarantee you an adventure of a lifetime. Subject to your choice and time, you can select from the morning, evening, or overnight desert safari.
7. Al Bastakiya Quarter
Famously known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, this remarkably restored artsy 19th century quarter across Old Dubai makes for a unique delight for art, culture, and history lovers alike. You’ll find here some of the region’s best art galleries, museums, and cultural attractions. Dubai Museum is dedicated to documenting the history as well as the ancient traditional lifestyle of Emiratis, while Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding is one of the absolute places to get culture and clarify all your doubts about the Arabian culture and religious beliefs.
8. Dubai Parks and Resorts
Opened in 2016, this integrated resort has been greatly instrumental in making Dubai a haven for theme park lovers. Of its four theme parks, Motiongate Dubai is the largest and is sure to blow you away with its Hollywood themed park rides and other attractions. Next to it is Bollywood Parks Dubai which gives you a chance to peek at the lively rides and exuberant shows that depict some of the iconic Hindi movies and characters. Moreover, there is LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park which is exclusively created for those traveling with kids from 2 to 12 years.
9. Ski Dubai
A visit to Ski Dubai is most recommended for first-timers. If you’re not aware of this, it’s the Middle East’s first as well as the largest ski resort where you can try all sorts of winter activities. It’s open year-round; this surprisingly gives you a once-in-the-lifetime opportunity to enjoy skiing and of course all your favorite winter pastimes even when the desert heat at its blistering peak. So don’t skip this place; it’s located in the Mall of the Emirates. You would definitely don’t want to leave this place once here.
10. Dhow Cruise
Most people skip it considering it touristy. But, throw all caution and speculation to the wind and instead go on a dhow cruise Dubai. No matter you wish to break away from Dubai’s congested attractions or just want to sit back and unwind in a relaxed setting with delectable foods and drinks, this cruise in a traditional vessel is ideal for all members of your group. Conducted in Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina, it not only gives you a slice of the region’s modest bygone era but also assures you of front-row views of Dubai’s iconic sights. Day cruises are available, but for the most relaxing and delightful experience, take this after dusk – it’s breathtaking to spectacle Dubai lights up around you.
With unrivaled architectural landmarks, an unspoiled desert, marvelous beaches, ultimate recreational choices, and a modest past that is timeless, there is a myriad of ways to spend your dream holiday in Dubai. While the above list represents Dubai’s unmissable, be sure to visit its exciting water parks, check out its newest / trendiest neighborhoods (like Bluewaters Island and City Walk), and mostly take in its seasonal attractions (including Global Village, Dubai Shopping Village, etc) dependent on your time and duration of your Dubai visit. No matter you’re traveling to this city of contrasts for the first time or revisiting, this compact guide would certainly come in handy to make the most of your Dubai holiday.