Things to do in Dubai
Things to do in Dubai
Is Dubai your dream holiday destination? And is this dream going to be true soon? Then, you would be pretty excited, and why not! Dubai is a really exciting place and is home to some of the most beautiful and unique architectural marvels that have never been seen anywhere else in the world. Moreover, while the city is an epitome of modernity and luxury, Dubai is deeply rooted in its religion, culture and traditions, making this dichotomy really interesting. If you are planning to visit Dubai for a holiday soon, here are some of the things you should do in this marvellous city of UAE or United Arab Emirates.
Sightseeing: Places to See in Dubai
One of the most popular things to do in Dubai is definitely sightseeing. The city houses some really amazing buildings, monuments and places, making sightseeing a really special experience. If you are confused about the sightseeing places in Dubai, here are a few of them you must definitely visit in the city.
The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa, is located in Dubai. You can not only see the building from outside but also visit few of the floors inside. The Burj Khalifa tour from Abu Dhabi takes you to the observation deck on the 124th or 148th floor (as per booking) from where you will be able to see an incredible view of the entire city. You also get to visit the museum on the ground floor where you would be able to get to know the story behind the construction and development of the building. If you are not interested in the tour, you can also choose to dine at one of the restaurants in the building to have a look at the interiors of the Burj Khalifa.
Before Dubai became the super luxurious and modern city it is today, it was a simple fishing village when pearl diving and fishing were the main occupation of the locals. If you cannot believe this, you must visit the Dubai Museum where the past of the city has been preserved beautifully. Located inside the Al Fahidi Fort, which is the oldest building in the city, the Dubai Museum would give you a glimpse of the life of the Arabs just a few decades ago. Right from the clothes they wore to the houses they lived in, you get to know all about the Arab life of the old times in this museum. At the end, there is also an audio visual presentation that shows the growth of Dubai from a desert land to the grand metropolis it is today.
Dubai has the ability to surprise the world with its innovations and out-of-the-box ideas. One such wonder is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo which is located right inside the Dubai Mall. Covering two floors of the Dubai Mall, you would find more than 33,000 aquatic animals in the Dubai Aquarium. The 48 meter tunnel, which is also the entrance of the aquarium, would give you the chance to have a good look at the inhabitants including tiger sharks and sting rays. Apart from strolling along the tunnel, you can indulge in some special activities like glass-bottom boat tour, swimming with the sharks, getting wet in snorkelling cage, etc. The underwater zoo with its numerous exhibits and inhabitants make an interesting tour, especially for little children.
Dubai being a coastal city, it has some of the most magnificent beaches in the world. However, many of them belong to the hotels and can be accessed by hotel guests and sometimes even others by paying a fee. However, this does not mean that Dubai does not have open beaches. One of the best and the most popular beach which is also open for public is the Jumeirah Beach. Known as the Jumeirah Beach Park, this is a pretty white sand beach which gives you an incredible view of the Burj Al Arab, known to be the only seven star hotel in the world. At the beach, you can indulge in various water sports or just lounge on the sand and relax. It is also a great place to have a BBQ or perhaps a picnic with your friends. You can also choose to have a cup of coffee at one of the cafes while enjoying the views of the deep blue sea.
Located inside Zabeel Park, the Dubai Frame is the latest addition to the architecture of Dubai. Known to be the world’s largest picture frame, the Dubai Frame is positioned in such a way that you can see the old Dubai from one side and the new Dubai from the other. You enter the Dubai Past Gallery to get a glimpse of Dubai in the earlier stages. After this, you take an elevator to the sky deck, which is a bridge that brings together the two vertical towers. Once you have viewed both the old and new sides of the city, you take an elevator down to the Dubai Future Gallery where you see how the city envisions itself in the future through multimedia presentation. If you want to see the past, present and future of Dubai in one place, there is no better place than the Dubai Frame.
Experience: Interesting Things to do in Dubai
Although the places to see in Dubai would keep you hooked, the city is not just about its places. On the other hand, there are several amazing experiences that you need to enjoy to complete your Dubai holiday. Here are some of the most important things that you should definitely do when in Dubai.
Watch the Dubai Fountain Show
Right outside the Dubai Mall is the largest performing fountain in the world. While you would be awed by the sheer size of the fountain, what would really enthral you is the beautiful fountain show that happens several times, every evening. Starting from 6 in the evening, the 10 minutes sound and light show happens every half an hour, till 11 at night and has the ability to mesmerize any audience. The beautiful choreography makes the fountains dance on the tunes of some soulful music. Whatever might be your likes, dislikes and interests, this fountain show would not fail to enchant you. Although you can watch this show as many times as you want for free, you can also choose to go on an abra ride on the fountain to watch the show up-close.
Go on a Desert Safari
This is said to be the ultimate experience in Dubai. Far from the hustle bustle of the city, the desert safari gives you the chance to enjoy the mysterious ambience of the desert. Apart from getting to know the desert, the desert safari is full of adventure, fun activities and entertainment. Dune bashing, camel riding, quad biking, sand boarding, shisha smoking, falcon show, henna painting, etc. are some of the activities that await you at the desert safari. You also get to enjoy a beautiful desert sunset followed by Tanoura and belly dance performances. The safari also offers you the opportunity to feast on a delicious BBQ dinner with the choicest dishes from Arabic cuisine. There are various types of desert safaris available. While the evening safari is the most popular, you can choose to go for an overnight, morning or even a premium safari.
Enjoy a Dhow Cruise Dinner
The dhow is an integral part of Dubai’s past. Earlier it played a key role in transportation and trade. While it is no longer used as a vehicle of transportation, you can see several luxurious dhows on both the Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina. Today, these restaurants float in the Dubai waters in the form of restaurants. If you want to enjoy a quiet evening and at the same time enjoy great views of the Dubai skyline, you must go on a dhow cruise either on the Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina. Apart from the change in scenery, the dhow cruises on both the places offer the same experiences. The dinner includes a lavish buffet with some mouthwatering dishes. You are also offered entertainment in the form of dance and music performances. If you crave for a relaxing evening after all the sightseeing and adventure, a dhow cruise dinner would give you the much needed rest and peace.
Go on a Shopping Spree
Shopping is a part of every holiday. But when it comes to Dubai, shopping becomes mandatory. Right from the traditional souks to luxurious malls, which include the Dubai Mall (the largest mall in the world), the options are endless for shopping in Dubai. If money is not an issue, you can shop at any of the malls in Dubai which are home to almost all the international brands that you have heard about. However, if you are on a budget, it would be better to hit the traditional markets and souks where you can bargain at your heart’s content while shopping. Al Fahidi Street, Meena Bazaar, Karama Shopping Centre, Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Bur Dubai Souk, etc. are some of the most popular places for shopping in Dubai. If you want to buy gold at cheap prices, you must go to the Gold Souk where you can bargain to get the best price. If you have the opportunity, you must visit the city during the Dubai Shopping Festival (during the month of January every year) to get the best deals and discounts you have ever heard of.
Indulge in a Cultural Experience
If you want to know what lies behind all the glitz and glamour of Dubai, a cultural experience is something you would really enjoy. The Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Centre is a non-profit organization which aims to spread the knowledge and understanding of the religion, culture and traditions of the Emiratis to expats and tourists. Right from tours to the various traditional places of Dubai to enjoying the Emirati cuisine, this institute exposes you to various cultural factors of Dubai. They arrange tours to the Dubai Museum, Bastakiya Quarter, Dubai Creek, the gold and spice souks and other heritage sites of the city. You also get to learn about the traditional cuisine of the place. You would be served with breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner (as per the time you arrive at the centre) where you get to taste the various traditional dishes of the Emirati cuisine. Apart from this, you would also be served with Arabic coffee and dates after the tours.
Specialties: Unique Things to do in Dubai
Every city offers something that you would find nowhere else. When it comes to Dubai, there is no dearth of the unique things to do. Here are some of the special things that you must do when in the city.
Enjoy Afternoon Tea or High Tea at Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab boasts of some of the best restaurants in the city. If you want to have a look into the stylish interiors of the hotel and have an amazing culinary experience, you must visit the Burj Al Arab for their afternoon or high tea. These happen at the Sahn Eddar (located at the base) as well as Sky View Bar (located at the highest point). If you want to check out the magnificent view of the city, choose the latter. The afternoon tea is between 1 PM to 6 PM and is a seven course meal consisting of berries tart, delicate finger sandwiches, chef’s carvery, sorbet, freshly-baked scones served with Devonshire clotted cream and delicious preserves and French pastries. You would also be served with a variety of teas and coffees. You can also opt for a flute of champagne to go with your meal.
If you miss the afternoon tea, you can go for high tea that starts at 7 in the evening and lasts for one hour. Although not as elaborate as the afternoon tea, you would get to taste the sandwiches, scones and French pastries along with delicious tea, coffee and cocktails. The afternoon and high tea at the Burj Al Arab are quite popular and hence make sure to book in advance.
Treat Yourself to the World’s Costliest Ice Cream
If you do not mind spending AED3000 for a bowl of ice cream, head to the Scoopi Cafe to taste the costliest ice cream in the whole wide world. Fit for the royals, this ice cream made with liquid nitrogen is really creamy and delicious. What makes this ice cream so special is that the ingredients for making it are not only the best but have been procured from around the world. The vanilla bean comes from Madagascar while the saffron is from Iran and black truffles from Italy. What makes this ice cream so expensive is that it contains 23 carat edible gold! It is served in style in a Versace bowl and spoon (which you can take home). Although spending so much money on an ice cream seems too much, it is one of the most unique things in the city and definitely worth a try.
Sky Dive over Palm Jumeirah
There is nothing unique about sky diving. Several countries around this world offer this adventure sport. However, what makes sky diving in Dubai special is that you get to dive over the Palm Jumeirah. While this is not the only way to get a bird’s eye view of the largest manmade island in the world, it surely is the best way of doing so. While you jump off the plane and descend onto land, you would be able to see the Palm Jumeirah in all its magnificence. Moreover, the adrenaline rush you get is unparalleled. Do not stop yourself from indulging in this just because you do not have experience. Dubai is great for sky diving not just for professionals but also for experts.
Indulge in Ice Skating at Ski Park
Dubai is a warm country with the temperature reaching around 50oC during summer. So, it would be the last place where you would expect a ski park. The most unique thing about it is that this 22,500 square meters of indoor ski park is located inside a mall. Found at the Mall of Emirates, the Ski Dubai has ski slopes for both beginners and experts and also a snow park where you can have a great time. You can not only practice skiing here but also learn the skill. Apart from skiing, snowboarding, chair lift and snow bullet are some of the interesting features of the park. Little kids would be excited to meet the penguins who are the residents of the ski park. After a great time skiing, building snow castles and even having a snow fight, you can head into the Avalanche Cafe for having a delicious cup of hot chocolate. Everything including winter clothes and skiing gear is available with the tickets to the ski park.
Visit the Largest Indoor Theme Park
It would not be a surprise to know that the largest indoor theme park is situated in Dubai. The IMG Worlds of Adventure is surely the coolest adventure and theme park in the city which has something for both kids and adults. Here, you can enjoy your rides and attractions based on your favourite Marvel and Cartoon Network shows and characters. With the size equivalent to 28 football fields, no one would get bored at this theme park. One of the main attractions of the park is the Lost Valley which is a dinosaur adventure zone where you get to interact with life size dinosaurs. On the other hand, the Haunted Hotel would not fail to give you the creeps. Apart from all these, the IMG Worlds of Adventure also has restaurants, gift shops and a cinema hall for entertainment.
Dubai is undoubtedly an exhilarating city and offers an amazing lot of things to do. You may be a person who loves adventure or someone who wants to relax or maybe someone who enjoys the luxury and good things in life, but you would definitely find something that entices and excites you in Dubai.