United Arab Emirates’ holiday hot spot. This city of high-rises and shopping malls has transformed itself from a desert outpost to a destination where tourists flock for sales bargains, sunshine, and family fun.
Dubai is famous for sightseeing attractions such as the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and shopping malls that come complete with mammoth aquariums and indoor ski slopes.
This city has many cultural highlights and things to do as well as all the glamorous modern add-ons. Take a wander around the Bastakia district, and you’ll discover the Dubai of old, then cruise along Dubai Creek in a traditional dhow, and you’ll soon realize there’s more to this city than its flashy veneer.
1 Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and the most famous of the city’s points of interest. For most visitors, a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor here is a must-do while in the city. This tallest building is 829.8 meters high
The city skyline from this bird’s-eye perspective are simply staggering. The slick observation deck experience includes a multimedia presentation on both Dubai and the building of the Burj Khalifa (completed in 2010). It gives 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert on one side and the ocean on the other. Nighttime visits are particularly popular with photographers due to Dubai’s famous city-lights panoramas. Buy your Burj Khalifa “At the Top” Entrance Ticket in advance to avoid long line-ups, especially if you are planning to visit on a weekend.
There are plenty of water features including the Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain, modeled on the famous Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.
2 Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is considered as biggest mall in the world. it is the city’s premier mall and provides entry to the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Aquarium. There is also an ice-skating rink, gaming zone and cinema complex.The shopping and eating is endless and there are nearly always special events. The most famous of these are the annual Dubai Shopping Festival in January and February and the Dubai Summer Surprises Festival in July and August.
Aquarium Tank in Dubai Mall is one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world with 10-million liter water. Dubai Aquarium tank, located on the Ground Level of The Dubai Mall.It houses thousands of aquatic animals, comprising over 140 species. Over 300 Sharks and Rays live in this tank, including the largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world. This tank measures 51 meters in length, 20 meters in width and 11 meters in height.
3 Dubai Museum
Dubai’s museum is housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort at Dubai Creek. The fort’s walls are built out of traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime. The upper floor is supported by wooden poles and the ceiling is constructed from palm fronds, mud, and plaster. In its history, the fort has served as a residence for the ruling family, a seat of government, garrison, and prison. Restored in 1971 it is now the city’s premier museum. The entrance has a fascinating exhibition of old maps of the Emirates and Dubai, showing the mammoth expansion that hit the region after the oil boom.
The courtyard is home to several traditional boats and a palm-leaf house with an Emirati wind-tower. The right-hand hall features weaponry, and the left-hand hall showcases Emirati musical instruments. Below the ground floor are display halls with exhibits and dioramas covering various aspects of traditional Emirati life (including pearl fishing and Bedouin desert life) as well as artifacts from the 3,000- to 4,000-year-old graves at Al Qusais archaeological site.
4 Bastakia (Known as Old Dubai)
The Bastakia Quarter also known as Old Dubai. It was built in the late 19th century .Persian merchants who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles and were lured to Dubai because of the tax-free trading and access to Dubai Creek. Bastakia occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek and the coral and limestone buildings. Many with walls topped with wind-towers have been excellently preserved. Wind-towers provided the homes here with an early form of air conditioning – the wind trapped in the towers was funneled down into the houses. Persian merchants likely transplanted this architectural element (common in Iranian coastal houses) from their home country to the Gulf.
Lined with distinct Arabian architecture the narrow lanes are highly evocative of a bygone and much slower age in Dubai’s history. Inside the district you’ll find the Majlis Gallery, with its collection of traditional Arab ceramics and furniture with a contemporary art collection (located in one of the historic buildings).
5 Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek divide the city into two towns with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. This is one of most famous tourist place in Dubai. It first attracting settlers here to fish and pearl dive. Small villages grew up alongside the creek as far back as 4,000 years ago. While the modern era began in the 1830s when the Bani Yas tribe settled in the area. The Dhow cruises located along Dubai Creek’s bank, north of Al-Maktoum Bridge. Still used by small traders from across the Gulf. Some of the dhows anchored here are well over 100 years old. You can visit here, watching cargo being loaded and unloaded on and off the dhows.
Dhow workers often invite visitors onto the vessels for a tour, where you can gain insight into the life of these traditional sailors. Many of the dhows here travel on-wards to Kuwait, Iran, Oman, India, and down to Africa’s horn. This tiny remnant of Dubai’s traditional economy is still a bustling and fascinating place to wander around.
To travel across the creek you can either take a trip as tourist cruise boats or take an abra (wooden small ferry) between the ferry points on the creek’s Bur Dubai and Deira banks
6 Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum was the Ruler was the grandfather to the current ruler of Dubai. His former residence has been rebuilt and restored as a museum that is a fine example of Arabian architecture. The original house was built in 1896 by Sheikh Saeed’s father. So he could observe shipping activity from the balconies.Thirty rooms are built around a central courtyard with wind-tower details on top.
Inside are the exhibits of the Dubai Museum of Historical Photographs and Documents, with many wonderful old photographs of Dubai from the period between 1948 and 1953. The marine wing of the museum has photos of fishing, pearling, and boat building. Throughout the building there are many letters, maps, coins, and stamps on display showing the development of the Emirate. Nearby is the Sheikh Obaid bin Thani House, restored with displays of traditional interiors
7 Burj al-Arab
The Burj Al-Arab is one of the most expensive hotels in the world, with the most luxurious suites costing more than $15,000 for one night. This is the world’s tallest hotel, standing 321 meters high on its own artificial island on the Dubai coastline. Designed to resemble a billowing dhow sail, the exterior of the building is lit up by a choreographed colored lighting show at night. For those without unlimited credit, the way to experience the over-the-top opulence is to go for dinner at the underwater Al-Mahara restaurant. Where floor-to-ceiling glass panels in the dining room walls allow you to view sea life while you eat. For the ultimate panoramic views over the city, book afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar (a minimum spend is required) on the 27th floor.
8 Marina Beach
This sandy beach is the destination for Dubai visitors. Hotels are strung out all along its length, with this being one of the most popular places to stay for tourists. The beach has excellent facilities, with plenty of sun loungers, restaurants, and water-sport operators offering jet skiing.
While in the area, brush off the sand for an hour and visit the Majlis Ghorfat Um Al-Sheef. Just a short hop from the beach. Built in 1955, this was the summer residence of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al-Maktoum. The residence, made out of gypsum and coral-block, has been restored and maintains much of the original beautiful decor, giving you a better understanding of the opulent lifestyle of Dubai’s rulers. The Majlis Gardens feature a reproduction of an impressive Arab irrigation system and many shady date palms.
9 Mall of the Emirates
Mall of the Emirates is 3 metro station far from Dubai Mall. This is one of the city’s most famous malls with the spectacular Ski Dubai facility inside. The indoor ski slope is complete with chairlifts and a penguin enclosure, all at a continuous temperature of -4 degrees Celsius. There’s also a cinema complex and a family entertainment center with a whole host of rides aimed at both the big and small. The shopping opportunities are boundless, as are the eating options, offering every conceivable world cuisine.
10 Aquaventure Waterpark
This water-park is located in Atlantis, which is Dubai’s famous man-made island development – is a great place to cool off after a few days of hectic shopping and sightseeing. The water slide action here is excellent and world-class, with the Aquaconda. This is the world’s longest water slide; a nine-story-tall slide, aptly named the Leap of Faith; and water coaster rides. There’s also underwater safaris using seatrek helmets; a dedicated water play area for smaller children with slides. When all your energy has been used up, a 700-meter sweep of white-sand beach to chill out on.
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