Dubai is home to the world’s tallest skyscraper, largest shopping malls, and outstanding man-made marinas. According to official reports issued by the Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing Department, the city welcomed around 16 million tourists in 2018. That’s up by 0.8 % from the previous year. Thanks to strategic investments, long-term international partnerships, and innovative promotion programs Dubai’s becoming a top destination for all types of tourists.
With so many attractions, it’s difficult to plan your trip to Dubai. So, read this list of the hottest spots to visit in the ultra-modern Emirate for an exciting holiday.
The Burj Al Arab
Famous for being the “only 7-star hotel” in the world, the Burj Al Arab overlooks the Persian Gulf. This 321 meters tall hotel is situated between the Palm Islands and the Jumeirah Beach. The curved glass façade is designed to resemble ships’ sails, which have traveled the waterways of Dubai throughout the years. This super-luxurious hotel is built on a man-made island and houses uber-stylish suites.
If arriving at the hotel via a luxurious Rolls-Royce limousine is too mainstream, you can reach the Burj Al Arab by helicopter. To admire the interior of the hotel, you can book a table at one of the restaurants such as the Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara or Al Muntaha. Or grab an afternoon coffee at one of the cafes on site.
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. The hotel is 821 meters tall and it’s the tallest free-standing building structure worldwide. Also, thanks to its high outdoor deck, you can enjoy amazing views. Take the elevator to the 124th floor for mind-blowing panoramic views of the Persian Gulf. Special telescopes showcase different stages of the city’s development. If you visit the 148th floor, you’ll enjoy spectacular views of the city. But if you plan to ride to the top of the Burj Khalifa, book in advance. Tickets sell out fast.
Jumeirah’s Beach is close to the Burj Al Arab and it’s the best beach in Dubai. Sun-seekers can enjoy the bright rays of the sun, while sports enthusiasts can enjoy the waters of the Persian Gulf. Also, you’ll find a children’s playground here and a picnic area. The best time to visit Jumeirah Beach is during the morning, to avoid the crowds.
Although it’s a clean and relaxing place, Jumeirah’s hot sands and warm waters won’t refresh you. Your best choice is to find a nearby café and cool down while enjoying the views of the Gulf’s turquoise waters.
The Gold and Spice Markets (Souks)
Go to Dubai’s bazaars or souks to get a glimpse of what trade was like for centuries. You’ll find the Gold Souk in Deira on the South bank of Dubai’s Creek. It features mind-blowing displays of necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Over 20% of the world’s gold gets traded in this market. Here, you’ll also find other precious metals and stones such as platinum, silver, and diamonds. Thanks to government regulations and controls, you’re guaranteed to get what you pay for.
In the Spice Souk, you’ll find spices and flavors such as ginger, saffron, and chili. Make sure you negotiate prices as they can be high. A little bargaining can get you what you want for half or a quarter of the price set by sellers. Even if you don’t end up buying, a trip to Dubai’s souks is worth it for the cultural value.
Ski Dubai is the real winter wonderland. This huge indoor winter ski center comprises 5 ski runs. What’s more, it comprises a surface of 22,500 sqm, which is covered with snow. The ski runs differ in height, difficulty, and gradient. The longest ski run features almost 400 meters and has a 60 meters vertical drop. Snowboarders and skiers can enjoy the slopes all year round. And if you’re traveling with kids, they can take ski lessons at the Snow Park, which features around 3,000 sqm.
You’ll enjoy a freestyle snowboard area, a chairlift, toboggan runs, and snowball fights. On top of that, you can swim with King and Gentoo penguins. The Snow Bullet is another great attraction. You get to fly on the first indoor zipline. It’s 150 meters long and 16 meters off the ground. Ski Dubai is also home to activities such as Tobogganing and Zorbing. And after you’ve had your fun in the snow and water, warm up with a hot cup of cocoa at the North 28 Café. You’ll find it at the top of the ski runs.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
When you want a break from Dubai’s urban glam, visit the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. It’s the Emirates’ first national park comprising about 87 square miles of desert. You’ll find it just outside the city of Dubai. Although it serves as a research facility, tourists can explore the reserve. You can enjoy sand-boarding, test your archery skills or drive up the dunes with luxury SUVs.
You can book camel rides, horseback rides or take a falconry class. If you’re looking for relaxation, soak up the desert’s spirit in Bedu tents while enjoying a Dune Dinner. And if you love the outdoors, you can camp on-site. Or book a room at the Al Maha Luxury Collection Desert Resort and Spa for some well-deserved pampering and a luxurious stay.
A Bit of Fun at Wild Wadi Waterpark
You’ll find the Wild Wadi Waterpark close to the Burj Al Arab. It features about 30 exciting water rides, suitable for all ages. The park’s inspired by Juha. It’s an Arabian folklore character, which shows up throughout the entire park. Check out the Burj Surj or Tantrum Alley slides for the best thrills. If you’re looking for moderate slides, you have plenty to choose from. And kids can enjoy special surfing rides such as Riptide and Wipeout.
Dubai’s a magical place for tourists. Because of the high temperatures during spring and summer, the best time to visit the Emirate is from November to March. During winter months, you’ll enjoy blue skies and warm weather. This period is also the peak season. So, you’ll have a lot of company at Jumeirah Beach. Avoid the period between January to March as it’s the rainy season in Dubai. Book your holiday tickets months before your trip to guarantee availability and low rates.