Dubai is known for being the largest, tallest, fastest… the superlatives go on and it’s a place that likes to be number one! The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world to date, IMG Adventure park is the largest indoor park in the world, and the world’s first indoor mountain resort at Ski Dubai. However, a holiday to Dubai is recommended to be split in a multi-day itinerary to truly experience everything the city has to offer. With beaches, desert excursions, the world’s largest shopping mall, and plenty of exciting, diverse neighborhoods to explore, the city has enough to offer every type of traveller.
To help you plan your trip, here’s the 10 best Dubai attractions you’ll want to experience:
The Dubai Desert safari is a must as you travel through Dubai. You’ll leave the bright lights and skyscrapers of the city behind as you head out deep into the surrounding desert on an exhilarating safari. Both the option of morning or evening safaris are offered as the tour guarantees you’ll witness a breathtaking sunrise or sunset. Simply take your pick.
Along the journey you’ll see incredible views, sand ski from high dunes, ride on camels, and even have the opportunity to ride a four-wheeler. The evening tour includes belly dancing and a desert style dinner. This experience is a great way to spend family time, mark off an item on the couples bucket list, or even go solo!
Skydiving over the infamous Palm Jumierah will be an unforgettable experience. Adrenaline junkies and extreme outdoor enthusiasts are going to thoroughly enjoy jumping out of an airplane over the Palm Island.
For this you’ll take to the skies with an experienced instructor before freefalling at 120 miles per hour, 13,000 feet over the Persian Gulf while a videographer captures it on film in true music video style.
Beginners or experienced skydivers can participate with Skydive Dubai, who also gives lessons for the more serious jumpers that wish to go further than the A license. If parachutes aren’t your style, the company has lessons and tours using a wingsuit, allowing you to feel the thrill of flying, not just dropping. The instructors that work here are more than qualified and have over a thousand jumps under their belts, some even hold world diving records.
Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Dubai is known for having world records, and the aquarium is no exception. Along with the largest collection of sand sharks, the Dubai Aquarium is the largest suspended aquarium in the world.
A favourite attraction here is the underwater tunnel that offers a 270º view that takes visitors to the underwater zoo. The attraction features piranhas, crocodiles, otters, and much more. If you’re feeling more adventurous, the aquarium offers scuba diving, cage diving, and shark swimming.
Whether you’re an adult who loves animals or a toddler fascinated by the deep blue, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is fun for the entire family.
Dubai Miracle Gardens
The world’s largest natural flower garden is located just south of the city and provides a tranquil escape from the hubbub of central Dubai. It looks incredible! Yet, don’t be confused and think that it’s a park; the Miracle Gardens is most similar to botanical gardens. The main attractions are different types of flowers that have been sculpted into incredible designs.
Its miraculous name is serious – growing 45 million flowers in the desert is no simple task and these flowers make up famous structures such as giant heart arches, a centrepiece clock, and a replica of an A380 Emirates airplane made of 500,000 flowers.
With 45 different flower varieties, a 3D butterfly garden and spectacular floral structures, the gardens are a must-see on any trip.
Of course, any visit here must start with a trip to the Burj Khalifa. Sitting tall at the height of 829.8 metres, this world record skyscraper is hard to miss. For some, just looking at this gigantic structure is enough, but visitors without a fear of heights can head to level 124 and witness a panoramic observation deck.
There are two more observation decks that the BK has to offer. Level 125 has a Falcon’s Eye View, that allows the visitor to view the entire city from a very unique point of view. The top club, Level 148, is the most luxurious option of the tour and the world’s highest outdoor observation deck.
After enjoying snacks and refreshments, you end at the base where a behind the scenes exhibit of how the Burj was constructed awaits you. It’s pretty fascinating.
Gold and Spice Souks
Dubai’s gold and spice markets, located in the Deira area, are a spectacle in and of themselves, even when you’re on a low budget. The array of edible colours is endless as you wander through the stalls breathing in the fresh aroma through the spice souk. Amongst the spices, incense, rose petals, dried fruits, and medicinal plants can be found as well. Fresh batches of the colourful goodies arrive daily from different surrounding countries.
The gold souks are as equally attractive and popular for curious tourists. Observing the displays of gold jewellery that run throughout the souk is unlike any jewellery shopping you’ve done before. Massive golden necklaces, bracelets, tea sets, hookahs, and purses are lined up in over 300 shops.
Come evening, Dubai Marina is the place to be as it is one of the newer popular attractions in the area. Visitors can enjoy a romantic stroll along the Marina walk and observe the wealth of moored yachts and the city skyline acting as a backdrop. Perfect for Instagram.
The recommended route to view the local gem is to basically stroll around the marina by foot, taking in every detail the outdoor wonder has to offer. Restaurants and bars compete with each other to be the best, giving patrons an incredible experience at each; the menus are serious business.
If you’re willing to spend extra, hiring a yacht to go on a leisure ride for the afternoon is a great way to embrace the whole scene.
This artificial archipelago and the world’s largest man-made island is located just 20-minutes south of central Dubai. Home to grand hotels, an array of restaurants, beach clubs and an extravagant water park, there’s a lot on offer for everyone and when you’re strapped for cash, just walking around the island is enough to appreciate it.
Home to kite surfers and water sports lovers in abundance, Kite Beach offers fun for all the family thanks to its inviting white sands and turquoise waters.
Money doesn’t need to be spent here to have fun, just pack your swimwear, sunscreen and a beach towel to park up on the sands and watch the kite surfers in action.
Dubai Museum & Al Fahad Fort
The museum sits inside the Al Fahidi Fort in the cities old town district. This educational activity is suitable for families and couples and time can be spent wandering the fort, observing the galleries and reading up on the history of Dubai before the discovery of oil.
This state of the art city has a lot to give and is an all round destination anytime of the year. The city is set to hold Expo 2020 and will show history books not only why it’s a historical city to be studied for years to come, but a top destination spot for all to visit.
Have you been to Dubai and visited one or more of these attractions? Let me know if you’ve got a favourite and I’d also love to hear your suggestions to add to the list.