If you plan to visit the United Arab Emirates (UAE), you will certainly not be stuck for things to do. Here’s our Top 10 list of must-see attractions in Dubai.
Every visitor to Dubai should experience the world’s most-visited shopping destination: Dubai Mall. It includes 1,200 shops, the Dubai Aquarium, Discovery Centre, Fashion Dome, SEGA Republic theme park, an ice rink, a hotel, a 22-screen cinema, and 120 restaurants and cafés. It’s a vacation destination in itself!
Wild Wadi Waterpark
The award-winning Wild Wadi Waterpark is the perfect place to cool off. With 30 water rides, cool lazy rivers, waterslides and even a fake thunderstorm, no one gets out without a soaking. Plan to spend at least three hours here to get the best value for your money.
Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort
First-time visitors to the UAE will find the Dubai Museum fascinating. Located inside the 18th century Al Fahidi Fort, it was formerly a palace, garrison and prison before accommodating the Dubai Museum. See weapons, cannons and an old dhow before browsing the museum galleries.
The museum offers an interesting snapshot of Dubai pre-1960 through films and realistic dioramas. There is a model mosque, a date farm, pearl merchants, a Bedouin tent and a typical waterfront scene. Displays include archaeological finds, musical instruments and other exhibits from everyday life in Dubai.
Another great way to see Old Dubai is on a boat cruise around the marina and creek. See the old port buildings, customs houses and defense structures. Stroll the boardwalk or take an evening cruise on an old dhow (wooden sailboat), which adds to the historic atmosphere. Some cruises offer a buffet dinner on board. The local abra boats act as taxis across the creek and offer a cheap way to visit the souks.
Skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and more can be had in Ski Dubai. Take the ski lift up the third largest indoor ski slopes in the world, learn skills from qualified instructors or enjoy interacting with the cute penguins.
The choreographed fountains on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake provide fascinating entertainment as the fountains shoot up to 500 feet in the air in time with familiar classical tunes.
Take a trip to the 124th floor of what is currently the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. The Observation Deck offers superb views across Dubai and makes a great photo op. If you don’t like heights, the building is stunning to see from ground level, especially when lit up after dark.
Jumeirah Mosque is one of Dubai’s cultural landmarks. It is open to the public, and guided tours offer the chance to learn about Muslim practices. Visitors are required to dress appropriately and ladies should cover their head and arms with a scarf.
There is a fee to enjoy the facilities at Jumeirah Beach, but it is well worth paying to use the clean beach and immaculate park area. If you are not staying at a beach hotel, this is the place to head for.
Finally, prepare to be wowed at the Gold Souk in Dubai, which exclusively sells gold and jewelry. It is easy to reach by abra boat from Bur Dubai, and the 300 retailers offer a dazzling display of Dubai’s finest bling.