In a global city like Dubai that is classy and full of life, it is not an easy chore to narrow down the list of must-sees to only ten. But we’ve done this for you; check out here the best of Dubai’s captivating sights.
When one thinks about Dubai, probably the first thing that comes into the mind is the images of iconic Palm Islands and Burj Al Arab. Built on a private island and at a height of 321 meters, this sail-shaped structure is one of the world’s tallest hotels. The term ‘extravagant’ or ‘luxurious’ will be an understatement to describe this majestic hotel which is often acknowledged as the world’s only seven-star accommodation. While you must be exceptionally well-to-do to afford a night’s stay here, there is still a chance to take in the opulence of this hotel up-close, with a reservation at one of its restaurants offering great dining and views in an unbeatable setting.
This fascinating resort resembling an ancient Arabian citadel should be on your must-see list for its dramatic setting that fuses time-honored fundamentals with refined Emirati luxuries. Literally meaning ‘City of Jumeirah,’ Madinat Jumeirah provides everything in one place to ensure an authentic Arabian vacation, from two premium boutique hotels and 29 summer houses built in traditional style with wind towers to an Arabian-inspired souk and over 40 restaurants and bars. Enjoy an abra (wooden boat) ride to best appreciate the beauty of palm-fringed waterways as well as mind blowing desert-colored structures dotted across the resort.
Standing 828 meters high in the centre of Downtown Dubai, the world’s tallest building is also one of the most recognized works of contemporary architecture. Most remarkable for its unique design that takes after the desert flower – Hymenocallis, this is where you can imbibe the city’s invigorating modern vibe to optimum. Take a ride up to its 124th floor in the fastest elevator, and you’ll be rewarded with the breathtaking 360 degree views of the entire Dubai.
Shopping malls are not uncommon in Dubai, but the world’s biggest shopping mall adjacent to Burj Khalifa continues to stand out due to its enviably unmatched and elegant layout providing almost everything in massive scale. It has some 1,200 outlets and two anchor department stores topped off by an extensive assortment of leisure and entertainment attractions, such as Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Fountain, and SEGA Republic. Now that the offerings are so vast and exciting, you’d certainly need to take a break to replenish your energy levels when you’re here. And more than 160 food and beverage choices scattered all over the mall will take care of this.
If you wish to move away from the overly flamboyant sights of Dubai, a wonderful alternative would be to visit its traditional bazars called souks, which are a great place to get close to the Arabian culture and experience the exotic side of Dubai. Gold Souk is probably the most popular and vibrant among them. More than 300 stores, selling gold, platinum and silver ornaments in an assortment of makes, styles, and sizes, fill this souk, located in Deira. It’s absolutely exciting to stroll around these shops and discover unique jewelry pieces that you’ll never find in a big, swanky shopping centre. As an add-on, you can purchase your favorite bracelet, ring or pendant at a killer price which you can never imagine. But don’t forget to dust off your haggling skills.
Winding through the heart of the city, Dubai Creek has been central to the history of Dubai. Cruise down the creek in a traditional wooden dhow with scrumptious dining choices to see how well the historic ambience is blended with modern elegance. From traditional sand colored structures and atmospheric souks to sophisticated high-rise buildings, the cruise that normally lasts for two hours glides you past some of the remarkable sights along Deira and Bur Dubai.
Part of Dubai’s striking natural beauty is its astounding desert scenery. What at first sight may look like a desolate area actually epitomizes the real Arabia, providing an eye-opening window into the region’s Bedouin past. Believe it or not, Dubai’s desert reverberates with a unique charm and Emirati spirit, and taking a guided desert safari with inclusions like dune bash, campsite visit, camel riding, traditional BBQ dinner, and extraordinary cultural performances, is one of the best ways to experience it to the amplest.
Everything you ever wished to know about Dubai’s history and beyond can be seen in this museum, which is one of the city’s most treasured gems. Dating from 1787, the Al Fahidi Fort within which the museum is located is one of the city’s oldest structures restored to its original glory. Dedicated to the preservation of the region’s artistic heritage, Dubai Museum invites you to explore the fascinating lifestyle and culture of Emiratis before the discovery of oil, with its impressive collection of exhibits ranging from insightful dioramas and mock souks as well as Arab houses to pre-historic archeological finds.
This mind boggling, 17-acre botanical tour de force is the largest natural flower garden in the world. An exquisite illustration of the efficient desert landscaping and water conservation, Miracle Garden utilizes eco gardening techniques to nurture and care its more than 45 million flowers which can be found in several different shapes and structures including vintage cars, statues, etc. The garden’s offerings also comprise a Butterfly Garden where you can see lively and whimsical butterflies fluttering all around you.
A premier lifestyle and entertainment district developed around a man-made marina which is the largest of its kind in the world, Dubai Marina is especially known for its unrivaled skyline filled with contemporary architectural marvels. Stroll along the Dubai Marina Walk – the waterfront promenade that stretches for a good seven kilometers, or go for a dhow cruise that sets sail from the mesmerizing Dubai Marina Yacht Club to enjoy the pulsating aura of this uber chic canal city.
There are many other attractions worth visiting in Dubai, from Indoor Ski Park at Mall of the Emirates and Jumeirah Beach to beautiful Atlantis, The Palm and Dubai Heritage & Diving Village. Not to mention, Dubai can overwhelm you with its astounding variety of sights, ensuring something special to enchant every visitor.
Fortunately, with minimal or zero complication, you can enter Dubai. All you need to do is to apply for a Dubai visa online through a reputable service provider, prior to your intended visit to the emirate. But you can skip this step and straightway take your flight to Dubai, if you’re eligible for a visa-on-arrival.