Dubai is a Cinderella story; Once a tiny fishing and pearl-diving village, this behemoth metropolis is now the leading lady in the tourism world. With the tallest man-made structure in the world to world-class entertainment, dining, and shopping, there’s nothing that will stop the fierceness that is Dubai. Seemingly on the verge of the next up-and-coming innovation, Dubai has successfully transformed into the powerhouse millions adore each year. There are places that seem out of this world and Dubai is at the top of this list. With man-made islands, futuristic architecture and indoor ski fields, Dubai is taking tourism to a whole other level. Here’s a few reasons why you should visit Dubai once in your lifetime:
Standing at over 870 metres, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper in the world. Seen for miles, this incredible structure can only be seen to be believed. Book your tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment of being sold out. There are 57 elevators that shoot you up to the observation deck on the 124th floor in less than a minute. Once you’re up there, you’ll feel like a bird in the sky, looking down on everything around you. You can also go outside to view Dubai from above. The SKY level on the 148th floor has a bar and restaurant for your dining pleasure. Everything here is either the largest, tallest, or only one in the world. Be prepared to be amazed.
The Dubai Mall
One of the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall has over 1,200 shops and boasts an indoor aquarium and zoo, skating rink and man-made ski slope. The mall itself is a work of art with impressive fountain shows, waterfalls and art installations. It’s known for it’s fountain shows outside, but the real bread winner of this mall is the Dubai ski slope. You can snowboard, ski or sled down a massive hill right in the desert. It’s surreal and it’s popular.
Man-made and shaped like a palm tree, Palm Island is best seen from the sky. With hundreds of resident villas, hotels, restaurants and its own marine habitat, Palm Jumeirah is one of three planned islands. One of the most incredible and popular tourist attractions, Palm Jumeirah is a staple to Dubai. One of the most famous hotels is The Atlantis the Palm at the top of the island. It’s home to a stunning underwater aquarium. Sunset cruises are also available from the island.
Burj Al Arab
One of the largest hotels in the world and the only 7-star hotel in the world, this insanely luxurious hotel is positioned on the beach with the best views of the city. Even if you’re not staying, it’s worth visiting to see the design up close. Architects created the hotel in the shape of a sail on a sailboat. If you want to splurge, check out the Royal Suite which goes for over $18,000 USD a night. The restaurants offer up the best views of Dubai, including one of a massive aquarium that circles the entire restaurant. All 228 rooms are suites, making this a pricey and unforgettable stay.
Mosques are religious places to worship for the Muslim religion in the UAE and the Jumeirah Mosque is one of the only few that are open for the public to visit. You can take guided tours to learn more about the Islamic culture and religion. You are also allowed to take photos so snap away at what is considered the most photographed mosque in the world. It’s stunning architecture, vibrant colours, and rich history make this a tourist destination you cannot miss if you’re wanting to explore the real Dubai.
Take a ride on an Abra
To really learn about the first type of transport and step back in time, head out on an Abra. An Abra is a water taxi that will take you around Dubai Creek to all of the popular destinations and give you a history lesson in return. This mode of transport has been used since the city was a small village at beginning of the 1900’s. Many Dubai tours give you a chance to take a ride on an Abra as part of the tour as well.
Visit the Arabian Desert
No visit to Dubai would be complete without a trip out to the desert. Book a trip out there to enjoy 4WD’ing on the dunes, watch the sunset and take a camel ride. There are popular safari packages that include dinner and a show. Enjoy a BBQ out in the desert with dancers, flame throwers, get your hands painted with henna and really learn about the Emirati culture and cuisine. You may even have a chance to hold a Falcon for the most unforgettable photo op!