Known for its luxurious lifestyle and spectacular skyline, Dubai is the largest and most populated city of the seven United Arab Emirates. Situated in the Persian Gulf, this middle eastern city attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world.
In 2013, it was elected as host for the 2020 Expo, and has since selected the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”. But what is its appeal? Luxury, ultramodern architecture, local history… All this combined puts Dubai on your destinations bucket list, but the city has more to offer. As it continues to transform itself at a rapid pace, we have compiled a selection of top 15 things to do on your visit to the Emirati city.
- Dinner in the Sky
This Belgian-based experience has already created more than 5,000 dinner experiences in 40 different cities and has now been launched in Dubai. Enjoy a meal 50 metres off the ground from a floating platform over the Dubai skyline. A once in a lifetime opportunity to see the city from a new perspective – hurry, ends 20 May 2017.
- Desert Safari
Enjoy Dubai’s magical desert at sundown. The desert safari takes you on an exhilarating ride through the dunes as you watch the sunset, and ends in a traditional Bedouin-style camping area, where you will enjoy dinner, camel rides and belly dancers.
- Skydive Dubai
Is jumping out of a plane on your bucket list? Skydive Dubai offers a life-changing experience for the adventurous (and brave) souls out there. Make your first tandem jump and feel the thrill as you freefall over the iconic Palm Jumeirah or the desert dunes.
- Cooking classes at Top Chef
Dubai is a true melting pot of flavours when it comes to food. From traditional Lebanese and Arabic cuisine to western restaurants, it has it all. Learn to make your favourite dishes at Top Chef with some of the best in the culinary industry. Perfect your cooking skills and join their cooking classes for a jovial and delicious journey.
- Al Bastakiya
Get lost in the labyrinth of the Al Bastakiya, Dubai’s most engaging neighbourhood. A trip to this historic district includes the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding to learn more about local heritage and traditions, the remnants of the Old City Wall, many art galleries and traditional restaurants. Try the local specialty, a refreshing lemon/lime and mint drink.
- Bab Al Shams
Located in the desert, like an oasis surrounded by palm trees, Bab Al Shams, which translates to “Gateway to the Sun”, offers a relaxing oriental charm to its guests. Built like a traditional Arabic fortress, enjoy a day trip to the five-star hotel for a dip in the infinity pool, a luxurious spa treatment and delicious oriental dishes served in the great dining area.
- IMG Worlds Of Adventure
Staying true to itself as a proclaimed city, Dubai has recently opened the world’s best and biggest indoor theme park. Take your family on a major thrill ride at IMG Worlds of Adventure and engage in fun activities that will help unlock your imagination. Enjoy dining experiences, rides, movies and live shows with some of your favourite movie characters.
Standing tall at the end of the Palm Jumeirah is the luxurious and elegant Atlantis hotel. Themed on the mythical island of Atlantis, the resort not only offers a mesmerising architecture on the outside but hides wonders on the inside including the Lost Chambers Aquarium and the Aquaventure Waterpark. Book a room, spend the day lounging by the pool and private beach, or enjoy a meal at one of the 23 restaurants available.
- At The Top
As one of Dubai’s most iconic skyscrapers, seeing the Burj Khalifa from up close is a must. Take on the breath-taking view of the city at night or during the day from the tower’s observatory deck. Learn about the history of the tower, its construction and design as you go higher and higher.
- Spice Souk
Dubai has many markets, or souks, from the Gold Souk to the Textile Souk to Souk Madinat, tourists and locals can find great bargains. The Spice Souk, near the Gold Souk, will awaken your senses with its delicious smells and colourful bags of spices. Discover new flavours and score high quality spices to bring back home.
- Camel and Horse Races
If you are visiting Dubai between September and April, make sure to stop by the racing clubs. The Al Marmoom Camel Racetrack hosts camel races, an old Dubai tradition not to miss. Meydan Racecourse offers a full racing season from November to March, where guests are invited to dress up in their fanciest clothes and watch the horses race towards the finish line.
- Burj Al Arab
Shaped like a sail and known as a symbol for modern Dubai, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is the most luxurious hotel in the world. Experience its stunning structure from within and enjoy exceptional dining at one of its nine signature restaurants and bars, or relax at the Talise Spa facility.
- Ski Dubai
Ski in the desert at Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort with 22,500 square meters of ski area. Built inside the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world along with the Dubai Mall, the indoor slopes create the perfect getaway. Leave the sand behind and enjoy a couple of hours in the snow, you’ll think you are in Val d’Isère.
- Qasr Al Sarab
Located in the legendary Liwa Desert of Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Sarab Desert Resort meshes traditional adventure and luxury. Experience enchanting landscapes of never-ending dunes and enjoy an array of leisure activities, including camel trekking, desert walks, spa retreats and more.
- Omani Dhows
Rent a dhow for the day and cruise through the clear waters of Khasab, Musandam. Adorned with comfortable cushions and traditional oriental carpets, the dhow takes you around the fjords of Musandam where you can visit ancient villages, swim and snorkel. Keep your eyes peeled for the dolphins who enjoy gliding alongside the boats. Situated three hours outside of Dubai, make sure to bring the appropriate documents to cross the border.