For any number of reasons, Dubai should rank right at the top of any must-visit destinations list. This scintillating city draws people like a huge magnet, with millions of tourists arriving every year to enjoy its incredible sights and activities. The city of Dubai combines the charm and glamour of the modern metropolis with the mystique and mystery of the ancient red sands of the Arabian Desert. If that weren’t enough of a contrast to get people’s interests going up, Dubai’s penchant of going bigger and higher and more spectacular has produced such marvels that leave visitors thunderstruck. So if you’re vising Dubai anytime soon, don’t miss out on the following top things to see and do.
1. Dubai Desert Safari
For several hours, you can forget all about your modern life and your modern identity and become a Bedouin of old in Dubai’s desert. Experience the majesty of the Emirate the way traditional Bedouins have been for years, via a wonderful safari into the desert. You’ll be taken to the desert in a 4X4, and enjoy vibrant desert sports such as dune bashing, sand boarding, camel riding and quad biking. Sign up for a sunset safari and experience the magnificent desert sunset, a lovely camel ride on the darkening sands and a five star buffet with in-tent entertainment from tanura dancers and belly dancers.
2. Green Planet Indoor Rainforest
An indoor rainforest in a desert? Why not? Dubai’s recent addition, the Green Planet Indoor Rainforest, stuns you with its audacious execution. Explore the rainforest and its exotic world of rainforest flora and fauna, getting a first-hand knowledge of the natural world. It’s an educational and slightly stunning experience for both kids and adults.
3. Boat Sightseeing Tour
Whether you opt for a dhow cruise, or a yacht cruise or a speed boat cruise, be sure to sign up for a wonderful cruise on Dubai’s waters. Get up close to landmarks such as the Burj Al Arab, Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Residence, Bluewaters Island and Dubai Marina.
4. Ski Dubai
A ski resort in a desert? We can feel your incredulity. Yes, Ski Dubai is Dubai’s incredibly cold and snowy ski indoor ski resort located in the Emirates Mall. Ski Dubai also has the world’s first indoor black diamond run for professionals and experts. A café is located right on top of a ski run, from where you can sit and observe skiers trying to better themselves. The adjoining Snow Park has sled routes and toboggan runs, an ice cave and climbing towers for kids to enjoy, as well as live penguins that stride up and down the snowy floor of Ski Dubai.
5. Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Dubai Sightseeing Tour
Most of Dubai’s attractions branch off from its main highway, the Sheikh Zayed Road. Hop on the hop on hop off Big Bus Dubai tour and explore the city. Visit the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain, the Dubai Creek and Bur Dubai and many other landmarks. Enjoy the whole city while sitting in total comfort on the fully air-conditioned bus with open-top seating for a 360 degree view of the city. There’s a bus every 15 minutes so if you have a pass, you can hop off at any point, explore, and then hop on the next bus on the route.
6. Burj Khalifa – At The Top!
The Burj rises gracefully out of the desert, pointing its elegant spire into the sky at a staggering height of 829 meters, 160 floors up. Be sure to check out the stupendous views from At the Top, the world’s highest observatory which spans floors 125 to 148. From this unbelievably high perch, you can take in the Dubai Fountain Show, the whole of the city all the way to the distant sands of the desert and the sea.
7. Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai Parks and Resorts is a multi-themed park that features over 100 incredible indoor and outdoor rides. Check out the themed-parks of Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park and Riverland, which is the dining and entertainment boulevard. There are fun, exciting amusement options for the whole family at Dubai Parks and Resorts. There’s a Polynesian-themed hotel within the park, the Lapita Hotel, where visitors can stay.
8. Dubai Creek
This is something that every visitor should do in Dubai. Ride the metro to Bur Dubai and explore the perfume and spices souks there. At Bur Dubai, don’t miss exploring the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, previously known as the Bastakiya Quarter. From Bur Dubai, take an abra (water taxi) to Deira and check out the pashmina shawls and carpets on sale at the traditional souks. Explore the gold souk and bargain for the items you want to own. Take the time to check out the Shindagha Museum (‘Sheikh Saeed Al Makthoum’s House’), the Dubai Heritage Village, and the Dubai Museum. You can learn how Dubai developed from being a small fishing village from these museums. Exploring Dubai’s past is the topmost thing to do in Dubai.
9. Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis The Palm
The Lost Chambers Aquarium is located at Atlantis The Palm. The aquarium has 10 glass-tunnelled chambers where you can get up close to sharks, tropical fish, seahorses, stingrays, piranhas, lobsters, manta rays and other forms of sea life. It’s a spellbinding underwater world that’s been constructed around the myth of Atlantis. You can see several shipwrecks and broken down buildings of Atlantis just waiting for you to explore.
10. Dubai Frame
The recently opened Dubai Frameis located in Zabeel Park, beckoning tourists from all over to stand on its observatory deck at 150 meters above ground for a view of the old Dubai at the back and new Dubai to the front. It’s a marvellous structure. To reach the top, you go up in an elevator from the bottom of either of the two towers which support the top of the frame. In the elevators, you’ll see enticing interactive projections of Dubai as it was and how it developed to be what it is today.
Dubai is a record-breaker – mostly, the city is intent on breaking its own records, since no one else seems to be keeping up. Today the city is home to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower. Ski Dubai is the largest indoor ski resort in the Middle East, and the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel is the world’s tallest hotel. There are many, many more record-breaking structures in this remarkable city.
*This is a Guest Post by Neha Singh, a full-time travel blogger by profession sharing her passion to see the world.