Dubai is the most popular tourist destination in the UAE.
It is a city of skyscrapers and shopping malls that has grown on a small patch of desert over several decades. Can you see the world’s tallest building, go skiing in the heat and see sharks in the giant aquarium?
There are also plenty of cultural attractions in the city.
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world (829.8 metres) and Dubai’s main attraction. The observation deck is located on the 124th floor of the skyscraper.
At the start, you will be shown a presentation about Dubai and the construction of Burj Khalifa. A high-speed lift will then take you to the 360-degree viewpoint. Pre-purchase your admission ticket in advance to avoid long queues. Surrounding the Burj Khalifa are beautifully landscaped gardens with winding pathways.
Dubai Museum is housed in Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to protect the Gulf of Dubai. The walls of the fort are made of coral blocks.
At various times it has housed the residence of the ruling family, a government meeting place, a military garrison and even a prison. The building was renovated in 1971 and now serves as the main museum of the town.
At the entrance there is an exhibition of old maps of the Emirates and Dubai. In the courtyard you can see some old Arabian boats and a traditional palm leaf house with a wind tower. The right-hand hall is dedicated to antique weapons, the left-hand hall to local musical instruments. The basement room has rooms for exhibitions covering different aspects of traditional life including pearl-fishing and Bedouin desert life.
IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park
The IMG Worlds of Adventure theme park is thrilling fun and thrills for children and adults alike.
One zone is dedicated entirely to iconic Marvel characters, another to dinosaurs, while a third takes over from Cartoon Network. There’s something of interest for visitors of all ages.
Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al-Arab is the tallest (321 metres) hotel in the world. It is located on an artificial island next to the coast. The building is designed to resemble the soaring sail of a dhow boat.
At night, a coloured light show is projected on its walls. Burj Al Arab is one of the most expensive hotels in the world: the cost of suites here exceeds 15 thousand dollars per night.
You can go for dinner at the underwater restaurant Al-Mahara, where the glass walls allow you to watch the sea life.
For panoramic views over the city, have tea at the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor.
Bastakia (Old Dubai)
The eastern part of Bur Dubai is occupied by the Bastakia neighbourhood. It was built at the end of the 19th century with the houses of wealthy Persian merchants dealing in pearls and textiles.
Bastakia has beautifully preserved coral, and limestone buildings topped with wind towers. In the old days, wind towers served as air conditioners.
Inside the area you’ll find the Majlis Gallery with its collection of traditional Arabic ceramics and furniture. You’ll also find the XVA Gallery with a collection of contemporary art in one of the historic buildings.
Madinat Jumeirah is a modern interpretation of a traditional Arabian village. It includes a market, hotels, villas and palm-fringed waterways.
At the centre of the entire complex is Souk Madinat Jumeirah, an Arabian market with small shops. It sells souvenirs, handicrafts, and some art.
Jumeirah Mosque is the most beautiful mosque in the Emirate of Dubai. The stone structure is built in the medieval tradition of the Fatimid dynasty, with two minarets framing the central dome and exquisite stonework.
The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding offers guided tours of the mosque to promote a better understanding of Muslim faith among people of other religions.
This white sand beach is located just south of Jumeirah Beach. Kite Beach is known as a major kitesurfing destination.
You can also try your hand at kitesurfing, capsurfing and other water sports and rent equipment and get lessons right on the beach.
The Etihad Museum was opened in 2017. The museum chronicles the emergence of the UAE on the world map.
It features documentary films, photographs, artefacts and interactive displays depicting the historical milestones leading up to the formation of the UAE as well as post-unification events.
The museum building itself has an elegant design by the Canadian architectural firm Moriyama & Teshima. The roof of the museum is shaped like the piece of paper on which the unification declaration was signed. The seven golden columns symbolize the pens with which it was signed.
The Dubai Aquarium allows you to admire the multitude of marine life on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall. This makes it possible to see sharks, rays, and other marine life for free from the Mall’s auditorium.
You can explore the aquarium tunnels below and visit the underwater zoo. The more adventurous can go shark diving.
Dubai dancing fountains
The Dancing Fountains are located in the middle of a large lake at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. The fountain jets reach a height of 140 metres.
The dancing takes place in sync with the soundtrack of classical, Arabic and world music. There are many excellent vantage points around the fountain, including a floating deck where you can get up to 9 m closer to the fountain.
Dubai Mall is the main shopping mall in the city. There are plenty of shops and quick bites inside the mall. There is an ice rink, a play area, a cinema complex and an aquarium.
Dubai Creek divides the city into two parts, Deira and Bur Dubai. The bay has played a major role in the development of the city, with small villages springing up on its shores as early as 4,000 years ago.
On the shore of Dubai Creek, just north of the Al Maktoum Bridge, is a jetty of dhows, which are still used by small traders from across the bay.
To cross the bay, you can take one of the many wooden Abra boats. This is a sort of water shuttle service operating between the points on the coasts of Bur Dubai and Deira.
Travellers know Deira for its bazaars.
Deira Gold Souk is the biggest gold market in the world.
Deira Spice Souk sells every imaginable spice imaginable: the stalls are laden with sacks of cumin, paprika, saffron, sumac, thyme and aromatic oud wood, rose water, incense and other incense.
Sheikh Zayed Road
Sheikh Zayed Road is Dubai’s main thoroughfare, passing through its business centre.
The wide, eight-lane highway is surrounded by high-rise buildings of glass and steel. It is one of the best places to view the famous skyscrapers.
The waterpark is located at Atlantis Hotel on the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island. In addition to numerous slides and a special water play area for young children, there are other attractions such as the underwater show ‘Shark Safari’.
There is also a 700-metre-long white sand beach for relaxation.
Dubai’s architectural, cultural and maritime heritage can be seen at the Heritage and Diving Village museum complex. It features exhibitions related to pearl fishing and the construction of dhows. Visitors have an opportunity to experience life in a typical coastal Arabian village with its Persian houses, traditional coffee house and small souk.
There are hotels all along the beach. The beach offers excellent facilities with plenty of sun loungers, cafés and restaurants, water ski rentals and other outdoor accessories.
The Mall of Emirates
Mall of the Emirates is the city’s most famous shopping and entertainment centre, with an indoor Ski Dubai ski resort inside.
The ski slope, covered with artificial snow, is equipped with cable lifts. There is also an aviary for penguins.
Dubai Opera House
The Dubai Opera House aims to be the city’s main cultural centre. The Opera House stages renowned opera and ballet dancers, renowned companies and world-class concerts. The theatre building can seat up to 2,000 people and is reminiscent of a traditional DAU by its curved walls.
Alserkal Avenue Art Quarter
Part of the old industrial district of Al Kuz is slowly being transformed into Dubai’s main arts hub and is already a haven for some contemporary art galleries.
Not only small gallery start-ups have settled here, but also established gallery players such as Green Art Gallery, The Third Line and Ayyam Gallery.
Dubai Parks and Resorts
This gigantic complex includes several world-class theme parks.
Motiongate is dedicated to Hollywood with attractions based on blockbuster film plots, Bollywood brings the world of Indian cinema to life and Legoland Dubai offers young visitors a fun day out in a Lego world.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Miracle Garden is one of the largest flower parks in the world. The park is located away from the coastal part of the emirate and is practically in the middle of the desert in the Arjan area. Miracle Garden is not a classic botanical garden or greenhouse. Rather, it is a collection of numerous examples of floral art.
Global Village is an annual international fair. It combines international trade, family fun and entertainment for all tastes. Here you can experience the culture of 90 countries in one place.
The stalls sell national delicacies, souvenirs, wood and leather goods. You can buy spices, jewellery, clothes and shoes, perfumes and thousands of other curiosities from all over the world. The pavilions also feature free mini-concerts featuring folk costumes, music, dance, and song.
Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort in Dubai, UAE. It is located in the huge Moll of the Emirates shopping mall. You can experience a real winter fairy tale and meet penguins.
Dubai Frame located in Zabeel Park. The project represents a window on the conditional boundary between old Dubai and new Dubai. On one side there are views of modern landmarks (Burj Khalifa and the skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road) and on the other side the old parts of the city (Bur Dubai and Deira).
AURA Skypool Lounge is the world’s first pool bar located 200 metres above sea level, offering stunning panoramic 360° views of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, from the man-made Palm Jumeirah Island to the iconic Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa and the UAE’s largest Ferris wheel, Ain Dubai.
Dubai Marina is an area in the western part of Dubai City that is deservedly considered a luxury resort, and property prices here are second only to the city centre. Among the most comfortable holiday destinations in Dubai, popular with tourists, with spacious promenades, luxury complexes and yachts, it is hard to find something more famous than the Dubai Marina area.
A unique entertainment complex for families with children and beyond. This is one part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts project. The park will entertain with more than 40 attractions, shows and a collection of LEGO structures; in addition, more than 15,000 models created from more than 60 million LEGO elements in six themed areas: FACTORY, LEGO CITY, KINGDOMS, IMAGINATION, ADVENTURE and MINILAND.
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island in the United Arab Emirates, known around the world. It is often referred to as the eighth wonder of the world because of the enormous expense involved in its construction. The island is shaped like a palm tree, with a crescent moon on top.
The world’s largest Ferris wheel – 250 metres high – is in operation on the promenade of the artificial island Bluewaters Eye. It’s called Ain Dubai, which means ‘The Eye of Dubai’. The cabins offer spectacular views of the coastline, the artificial island of Palma Jumeirah, Dubai’s best hotel Burj Al Arab, better known as the Sail, the city centre and the Burj Khalifa skyscraper.