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Things To Do In Dubai
Dubai is a prosperous city, famous for its ultra modern architecture, skyscrapers, man-made islands jutting out into the sea, shopping festivals, and a lively nightlife. At the same time, traditional quarters have been kept more or less intact, and the historically inclined can roam through the older parts of the city.
Here’s a list of all the wonderful things you can do in Dubai.
Visit Burj Khalifa
When in Dubai, make sure you go and see Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world and the most famous landmark of the city. Standing at 829.8 meters, with a total of 154 floors, the building dominates the city skyline. The full extent of the architectural grandeur of Burj Khalifa can be appreciated only up close. Once you are in the building, its staggering proportions really hit you. A stop-over at the observation deck on the 124th floor is an absolute must. The view of the city skyline is simply stunning.
Go to Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall, the city's premier mall, is right next to Burj Khalifa. In fact, the mall provides an entry to Burj Khalifa, as also to the Dubai Aquarium. You will find plenty to do here. Even if you spend an entire day here, it will not be enough. There are over 1,200 shops and 150 restaurants. The giant Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is located here, apart from an indoor theme park, a huge indoor waterfall as well as an ice-skating rink, gaming zones, etc. It also features a the world's second largest choreographed fountain, the Dubai Fountains. Special events, such as live music and fashion shows are regularly held at the mall.
Go to Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island in the shape of a palm tree. It is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. It boasts of a number of high-end hotels, including the the iconic Atlantis hotel, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Waldorf-Astoria, Fairmont, and many more. The island is connected to the mainland via the 5.4-km-long Palm Jumeirah Monorail.
Check out Dubai Creek
Away from the glitz and glamour of the main city is the Dubai Creek. The saltwater estuary is the original site where the Al Maktoum dynasty was established by the Bani Yas tribe in the 19th century. Historically, the creek has divided the city into two distinct parts – Deira and Bur Dubai. Its waters supported pearl diving and fishing, which were the main sources of income in Dubai in earlier times. The area is home to the Dubai Museum, and you can also spot the gold, spice and textile souks. A ride across the water on a traditional 'abra' is a must.
Browse through Al Bastakia
The Bastakia Quarter, also known as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, represents the old Dubai. It was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants. If you are fond of history, you will absolutely love to roam around and see the old-style coral and limestone buildings, most of which have wind-towers, an earlier form of air conditioning.
Ride the Desert Safari
One of Dubai's highlights is its stunning desert, and what better way to explore these rolling dunes of sand than to take a desert safari through its forlorn paths? The Arabian Desert stretches out into the horizon, only 20 minutes away from the popular modern streets of Dubai. Here you can go off-roading, hire a quad bike, choose to try sand-boarding or just pick a camel and do it the traditional way. There are camps set up at regular intervals that serve Arabic barbecues and kebabs, offer refreshment drinks like sherbet, have activities like henna tattoos and mehendi, Arabian dances and music. Many luxury hotels and resorts of Dubai also offer overnight Arabian Desert camp stays too, where you get to revel in midnight campfires, sleep under the stars and chill in the shamianas erected.
Shop your Heart out!
If you thought Dubai Mall is the only coveted shopping Dubai has to offer then you clearly underestimated the paradise. There is a reason shopaholics call Dubai their own personal Mecca. Here, you will find that malls are brilliant for picking up luxury goods, gadgets, clothes, accessories and more. From the Dubai Outlet Mall (for heavy discounts on brands) to the Dubai Festival City Mall, the Mall of Emirates to Wafi Mall, you can choose each for a day of your trip.
But other than these, Dubai also boasts of walking and shopping streets, souks and traditional spice markets to give you a very local experience. Head to JBR for shopping combined with open-air movie theatres, live DJ on weekends, cafes and more. City Walk is another open-air maze of streets, tree-lined avenues and pedestrian areas that is home to shops, kids playgrounds and fountains with benches.
Chill at Kite Beach
The Kite Beach is Dubai's answer to beach babies. It is a great place to relax with a nice book and a cool drink in hand, sitting under an umbrella. Water sports are pretty good here and all the rage, so try your hand at jet skiing, swimming, sailing or paragliding in seasons that permit. There are smoothie bars and cafes and shacks selling all kinds of fare and nights turn the beach into a party haven. There is also a newly minted skater park nearby and also space to play beach volleyball. So choose a day to unwind and chill at Kite Beach.
Ride through Dubai Canal
The Dubai Water Canal runs from the Creek of Old Dubai to the Arabian Gulf, passing through the Business Bay. It is 3.2 km long and has created a huge amount of waterfront public spaces, parks, walking tracks and restaurants. There is also a cycling path and a dedicated jogging route running parallel to the Dubai Canal. Now you can either use one of these to enjoy or take a ride in a yacht launched in the canal. We recommend trying out the yacht ride at least once, especially after dusk, as the night falls on Dubai and the city lights come to life.