Imagine for a second: a place run by a sheik who can’t take no for an answer and wants his city to be the best, biggest and outshine every other place in the world – and you’ll get Dubai.
Dubai is a place like no other, from starting as a small fishing village in the beginning of the 90’s it has turned into something looking more like a glimpse into the future.
They have built some of the most amazing buildings and attractions, and are also far from finished.
It’s said that Dubai has 15-25% of the world’s (building) cranes, and the locals jokingly refer the national bird of Dubai to the crane.
It’s really an easy place to visit Dubia with a family as well since there are many flights to Dubai coming in every day, and it is also very common for long-haul flights to stop in Dubai on transit, before continuing onward.
You will find many people choosing to take advantage of this, and stay in Dubai for a few days before continuing on to their final destination.
So if you’re in Dubai for a few days, here are some things & attractions for you to check out…
Shopping in Dubai
Dubai is a city soaked in luxury, created to make you and everyone else spend money (they even have an annual shopping festival), but since everything is tax-free, you will find shopping here isn’t very expensive.
Many shops are extravagantly decorated and it is worth spending an afternoon just wandering around to look at the decor – also who wouldn’t want to go inside the world’s biggest shopping mall?!
If you’re not interested in doing any shopping, it’s still worth a visit to the spice souk and gold souk just to experience it, especially the abundance of gold.
Drinking in Dubai
Even though Dubai is in an Islamic state, finding a place to sit down for a drink is easy. Only hotels are allowed to serve alcohol, but there is such an abundance that there isn’t a chance you’ll be left outside thirsty.
Obviously, the coolest place for a drink is in Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7-star hotel. A drink here isn’t as expensive as you’d imagine, but make sure you’re properly dressed – shirt, no jeans or shorts.
Things To Do in Dubai:
– In the 45 degree heat you might be longing for some cooler environment. So you can either cool down in one of the air conditioned bus stop booths, or you can spend a few hours SKIING in an indoor Ski resort!!
When you buy a pass (2 hours 180 AED, full day 300 AED) you get the ski equipment and ski clothing included, so you can just turn up and head out to enjoy 22,500 square meters of snow (real snow) and slopes.
– If you’re out for the more authentic type of adventure and experience something from the United Arab Emirates culture, then why not head out into the desert on a desert safari, which will include a drive through the sand dunes, camel ride, belly dancing show and a nice local meal.
– If you want something slightly less adventurous, you can take a boat trip across or along the creek. The view is beautiful and it’s a nice escape from the crowded city.
– Take a taxi over to Bur Dubai and visit the heritage area Bastakiya (Old Town, established in 19th century) and walk around the narrow crisscrossing streets among old sand-like buildings, museums, restaurants and art galleries.
Other Things To See in Dubai
The World’s Tallest Building
It’s pretty hard to comprehend how tall this building really is. At over 800 metres (2625 feet), it’s so much taller than any other building.
The Dubai Fountain Show
Dubai has now completed the world’s largest fountain. It is 275 m (902 ft) long and shoots water 150 m (490 ft) into the air, accompanied by a range of classical to contemporary Arabic and world music and illuminated by 6,600 lights – in other words an impressive show.
How To Spend A Great Weekend In Dubai
The city of Dubai, the jewel of the Emirates, is renowned for its futuristic architecture, all year-round sunshine and shopping – you could be forgiven for wondering what else there is to do in this popular travel destination.
The answer is – plenty! The city is surrounded by the stark beauty of the desert waiting to be explored, and in the city you can find fascinating history and culture beneath the glossy modern surface.
Dubai Desert Safari
One of the most popular activities for visitors to Dubai is to take a Dubai Desert Safari in a 4×4 vehicle.
You could choose an afternoon and evening tour and be back to your hotel by 11pm or you could camp out overnight under the desert stars.
Exploring the desert in a 4×4 vehicle is a lot of fun as you take a rollercoaster ride over the sand dunes, dipping down into the deep hollows and rising high on the peaks, and the safaris are always timed to give you the unforgettable experience of a glowing desert sunset.
Most safaris will take you to a Bedouin campsite where you can experience all kinds of fun activities like sand boarding or camel riding.
Many tours also have belly dancing shows or a barbecue and give you the chance to get traditional henna tattoos, dress up in typical Arab costumes, or smoke an authentic hubbly-bubbly pipe.
For something completely different, why not take a hop-on hop-off Dubai tour – personally I think it’s one of the best ways to get to know all sides of this amazing city.
Jump on or off as often as you like to see the sights, dine and shop.
One of the most fun things to do in Dubai city is to do some retail therapy at the Burjuman, Deira City Centre or Wafi malls, which is more of an experience than just shopping, or explore historic Dubai Creek, a busy waterway with many dhows and abras (water taxis) plying their trade.
To learn more about the city’s history, make a stop at the 18th century fort (Al-Fahidi Fort) that now houses the excellent Dubai Museum.
For sheer ‘bling’ make sure you stop off at the Gold Souk, Dubai’s most famous market.
Explore the narrow alleys lined with shops full of glittering gold jewelry, and remember to haggle!