Dubai is one of the few cities in the Middle East that are very open to welcoming tourists. However, it must be noted that with the allowance comes the responsibility to be sensitive to the Islamic ways that are dominant and respected in Dubai. It is one of the seven municipalities comprising the United Arab Emirates. Situated in the east of the Arabian Peninsula and southwest of the Arabian Gulf, the city, is most celebrated for its constant sunshine, stunning coastline, and vast deserts, among others.
Dubai takes pride of its good enforcement of law and order all throughout the city. Visitors will feel safe and secure while exploring the area at any given the time of day. Ultimately, although Dubai is considered as a safe travel destination, it is still imperative to be cautious of yourself, your belongings and the surroundings.
The city is solo traveller-friendly as much as it is family-friendly, you can also check about different Dubai Holidays from reputable travel agencies. Also, the municipality is very strict with regards to community regulations, especially with food handlers’ hygiene and overall food safety. So you’re all good!
Here are our Top Five Reasons Why You Should Visit Dubai
1. For experience
Home to record-holding structures like the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, and Miracle Garden.
The beauty of Dubai knows no bounds. With its strength rooting from ambitious leadership and innovative minds, Dubai has countlessly proved to the world that there is truth in Sheikh Mohammed’s statement: “In Dubai, we don’t wait for things to happen. We make them happen.”
Dubai has a rich history that will give any visitor a feel of the traditional Arabic culture. A popular historic attraction is the Dubai Museum. Located inside Al Fahidi Fort, one of Dubai’s oldest structures, the museum is home to important artifacts and inspiring stories that make up the city’s modest roots.
Bastakiya is also one of the go-to places for a trip to the olden times. It is most known for its wind towers designed to provide air conditioning in the dry city in the past. It now houses several art galleries and various shops.
People who are asked about any landmark that they equate with Dubai will probably give a resounding ‘Burj Khalifa.’ Offering a view of the city like no other, the tallest building in the world gives visitors a glimpse of how much the city has changed in the past years.
Another top-of-mind architecture is the Burj Al Arab. Majestically standing on a man-made ground amidst the sea, the hotel is best known for its unique structure and lavish interiors.
2. For shopping
- Dubai Shopping Festival, GITEX, tax-free
Being tax-free definitely, has its rewards. Dubai offers a shopping experience like no other. From global brands to unique finds, the city’s shopping scene is one good reason enough to visit this glamorous side of the world.
Souks, which means ‘market’ in Arabic, thrive in the area. There are dedicated souks for textile, for fabrics, for spices, and for gold, among others. Two of the most famous souks are the Spice Souk and the Gold Souk. The Spice Souk offers a variety of different herbs and spices while the Gold Souk provides unbeatable deals on its fine-crafted jewelry.
For a modern shopping experience, Dubai sure has a lot to offer. The city is where you will find Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the world. Apart from shops and restaurants, the Dubai Mall houses a towering aquarium, a huge ice rink, and an indoor amusement center. It also features the Dubai Fountain wherein shows are being played by schedule. The fountain features world-class light and sound synchronization which, they say, can be viewed from the moon.
Another prominent shopping destination is the Mall of the Emirates. One of MOE’s key attractions is the Ski Dubai where you will find the largest indoor ski slope in the planet.
There are three major shopping events in Dubai that are anticipated by visitors and residents alike. The first and most prestigious of the three is the Dubai Shopping Festival. It is held during the month of January. The festival is famous for its huge discounts and incomparable bargains. The second one, Dubai Summer Surprises, takes place every summer. It offers drop-down rates for different purchases as well. The third festival is the GITEX; a technology-themed exposition held every October. It offers gadget bargains and package deals exclusively available only in the said event.
3. For entertainment and adventure
Up in the air
- Go skydiving with Skydive Dubai. Tick one box from your bucket list and go skydiving with the Skydive Dubai team. Feel the adrenaline rush as you dive amidst the grandeur of the Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina views. Tandem jumps start at 1,999 AED. For more details, visit skydubai.ae.
- Ride a hot air balloon with the Balloon Adventures Emirates. Explore the vast dunes and enjoy an aerial view of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. Perfect for individuals with a penchant for breathtaking sunrises, peaceful moments and natural wonders, the ballooning activity is definitely worth experiencing. Price starts at 995 AED per person. Click on ballooning.ae for other information.
On sandy grounds
- Experience the world-renowned Dubai Desert Safari. Book an unforgettable moment at the desert. Activities include dune bashing, camel riding, and sandboarding. There are also shops that offer henna tattoos and city souvenirs. Cap off your experience with belly dancing, barbecue, and shisha. This activity may be booked for daytime or nighttime, but most visitors recommend the desert safari at night. This activity is widely offered by a lot of tour agencies in the city.
Under the sea
- Explore water wonders at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Located on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is the largest suspended aquarium in the world. It is home to thousands of sea creatures, including the biggest collection of tiger sharks all over the world. Package starts at 100 AED, depending on which activities you would like to experience. Children below three years of age are free of charge. For more details, visit thedubaiaquarium.com.
- Enjoy the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. Rides, slides, sharks and so much more await you at the best waterpark in Dubai. The Aquaventure Waterpark is situated in the prestigious The Palm, the world’s largest man-made island. Park fee starts at 250 AED. For bookings and best rates, check out atlantisthepalm.com
Snow in the desert
- Go skiing at Ski Dubai. Take a tour of the Mall of the Emirates and visit the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort. Ski Dubai offers year-round snow right in the desert city, with the ambiance perfect for skiing, snowboarding or simply playing in the snow. A pass to some popular attractions in the ski center is priced at 250 AED, while a full day of fun costs 500 AED. Search for Ski Dubai at theplaymania.com for more options.
4. For food
Dubai is popularly dubbed as a melting pot of cultures. When people of different nationalities come and reside in the city, they have not only their luggage in tow; they also bring in their food, among other cultural gems. Visitors and locals alike are spoiled with an array of cuisines that cater to any tastebud.
Because of the vast history of trade in Dubai, the flavor distinct to the city is widely influenced by the countries who actively brought in and practiced business in the city. Some spices that dominate any traditional Emirati menu include cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, and turmeric.
5. For relaxation
Enjoy playing your favorite sport or treating yourself to your preferred recreational activity while in Dubai. The city boasts of its location and climate being perfect for different outdoor activities such as golf, dune driving, and windsurfing. Alternatively, there are also lots of indoor facilities that promote relaxation such as spas and other wellness centers.
For a quick escape from the fast-paced lifestyle of Dubai, head over to the city’s well-known beaches, with most of them accessible by public transport. Some of the go-to shores include:
- Kite Beach – Activities in the area include kitesurfing and stand-up paddling. The beach also offers a fantastic view of the Burj Al Arab.
- Sunset Beach – Located near Kite Beach, this beach offers a good view of the Arabian Gulf. It is a recommended venue for people looking for a quiet place to just lounge under the sun while reading a good book.
- Jumeirah Open Beach – The open area is suitable for strolling, jogging and sunbathing. Visitors and residents alike go here for a simple day out at the beach.
- Al Mamzar Beach – The beach is perfect for bikers, joggers, and picnic goers. Al Mamzar is a typical venue for fun runs and family gatherings.
- JBR Beach – Ultimate Frisbee, parasailing, and banana boating are some of the things that you can do in this area. Located near Dubai Marina and Skydive Dubai, the beach offers a view of the towering structures on one side, and of skydivers playing with the winds on the other.
This article is written in collaboration with Emirates Holidays! =)
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Here is my trip report for Dubai where I stayed for 3 days between Aug25-28. Here you go!
Day 1(Aug 25) : Landed in Dubai around 7am in the morning, went through immigration quickly (opposite to what I thought, as there were many immigration officers serving), then greeted by an Arabian Adventure assistant who gave us his contact and all necessary information regarding hotel booking and Dubai. Took some snaps at Terminal 3, which is amazing. After a short while we were taken to the hotel. A small trouble occurred when we noticed we didn't collected our baby pushchair from baggage reclaim belt, so immediately after reaching hotel we went back to the airport, and after little wait found it and came back to the hotel. Our hotel was Admiral Plaza Hotel, which was good 3-star hotel.
After resting for couple of hours, went to Dubai Mall. Honestly, it was HUGE, although very beautiful and elegant. The Aquarium was nice, took soo many snaps almost on every floor :) There were guiding assistants almost everywhere in case someone got lost, although there were direction boards almost on every turn which was good. We found the prices of stuff there far higher then what we see in UK, so didn't do much shopping.
At 6.30pm we were booked for Burj Khalifa top, so we rushed to At the Top counter, and after short wait in the queue, we were in the amazing elevator which went to 124th floor very fast. Only thing look weird to me was the elevator size which was small, so people have to queue and wait to go up or come down. Anyway, the Burj Khalifa top view was AMAZING...one can view miles from there. I saw Burj-al-arab, world islands, and fascinating view of Sheikh Zayed Road from there. Shortly the sun set and the lights were on, which multiplied the beautiful view. It was worth going there. Every corner you go will give different view of Dubai and it was soo beautiful. Stayed there for more than hour. Went striaght to Dubai Mall Food Court, had KFC which was good. You really need strong legs to walk in Dubai Mall, one have to walk alot, since its huge :)
After dinner, went out to the see the fountains show which was good. Took many snaps behind Burj Khalifa, Souk-al-bahar, and the Address hotel. The only difficulty standing outside was it was too humid and warm even in the night, which forcefully shortened our stay outdoor. After that took a taxi back to the hotel. I must say, the Taxi rank facility was amazing, and so was Taxis. They were extremely comfortable, air-conditioned, and metered. I really enjoyed taxi rides.
Day-2 (Aug 26): After having nice breakfast in Hotel, went straight to Mall of the Emirates. It was a nice, very beautiful mall, but much smaller as compared to Dubai Mall. The shops were almost same and so the prices. Saw Ski Dubai, didn't fancy going inside, took many snaps. Had Texas Chicken in lunch at the food court (as I like fried chicken very much). From there took a taxi to Palm Jumeirah monorail station as I decided to go to Palm Atlantis via monorail. The monorail was good and the views were amazing. The train was almost empty so we sat at the front to get best views.
After getting down at Aquaventure, walked to Palm Atlantis main entrance. The humidity was killing, but somehow get ourselves adjusted with it. Atlantis was good and the beach sunset looked beautiful. From there decided to go to Jumeirah Beach Walk, but unfortunately stuck in traffic on Sheikh Zayed Road, and it took almost an hour to get there. It came to my surprise that there were no lighting on the beach, and the beach was totally dark. I assumed
there will be lights on the beach if someone want a beach walk(as we have in Seaview, Karachi), but there wasnt. The hotels and building were nice though. Went back to hotel from there, and my friend took us for a treat at BBQ tonight buffet in Bur Dubai which was awesome.
Day-3 (Aug 27): Went to my family friends in Karama, and in afternoon went again to Dubai Mall on my wife wish :) Saw the leftover areas like the Waterfall and Dubai Ice Rink. Once again had many snaps, and spent couple of hours there. In evening, went to Jumeirah Public beach, and spent sometime in hot water :) From the beach it was a nice view of Burj-al-Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. Went to hotel after that as we were too sweaty, had a bath and changed, went to Deira City Centre with my friend, and after that had a nice dinner in some Pakistani resturant near Dubai Creek (didnt remembered the name). Also stood for a while near Dubai Creek to see NBD building and twin towers. Came back to hotel earlier on cz we need to pack once again for our early morning onward flight to Karachi.
Overall, I found Dubai simply amazing, highly modern, and a must-see place. The roads were huge with people driving at high speed. Loved Sheikh Zayed Road, it was huge and lovely, I cant express in words! Weather was bit of a problem which made staying outside difficult for us, but apart from that we found our first time short stay nice and good. Honestly, Dubai is amazing and can't wait to come back (but in winter.. ha ha)
Also, many many thanks to tripadvisor users for providing tons of useful information which helped alot planning my stay....Thanks guys!
Thanks for reading folks