5 Great Reasons to Visit Dubai
In just a short amount of time, Dubai has erupted from the desert sands to become a tourist and business hub filled with some of the world’s most impressive building projects and attractions. This multi-cultural city is made up of over 200 different nationalities, providing visitors with a wide array of flavours, fashions, and cultures. Whether you’re searching for an adventure in the desert, relaxation on stunning beaches, or limitless shopping and lively nightlife, Dubai offers something for every kind of traveller. Explore just five of the key reasons to visit this remarkable city.
World Renowned Landmarks
When it comes to notable world landmarks, Dubai doesn’t shy away from creating the largest and most lavish buildings the world has known. The city is home to the world’s tallest building as well as some of the largest shopping malls on the planet. Standing 828 metres high, the Burj Khalifa is a sight to behold, dominating the city skyline and offering an observation deck, a sky lounge some 148 floors up, and a restaurant that allows you to literally dine in the clouds on those rare occasions Dubai actually sees clouds. You’ll also find the giant sailboat-shaped hotel named Burj Al Arab. One of the world’s top 5 tallest hotels, the Burj Al Arab sits on its own manmade island near Jumeirah beach.
The city is also home to the largest artificial island in the world which is shaped like a giant palm tree. Along the islands that make up Palm Jumeirah, you’ll find a wide array of luxury hotels including the iconic Atlantis, The Palm, all of which are easily accessed by monorail which leads up the “trunk” of the palm islands.
The Dubai Mall provides well over 1,000 shops and 150 eateries as well as an ice rink, indoor waterfall, and the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. More shopping can be found in the Mall of the Emirates which offers the city’s largest indoor family entertainment centre. Browse over 10 tons of gold treasures and jewellery in The Gold Souk.
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
If you’re planning to visit Dubai, you must visit the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to get a sense of the true history of the city. Experience the labyrinth of alleyways and courtyards on foot to discover the old architecture that contrasts sharply with the city’s giant modern skyscrapers. See Dubai before its modern transformation and learn about the region’s history by paying a visit to the Dubai Museum. Gain knowledge of the pearl and fishing industries which once dominated the area before it became a tourism and business hub. The museum is housed in the 18th century Al-Fahidi Fort, one of Dubai’s oldest buildings which once served as a palace and prison. Browse ancient artefacts and photos to see just how much the city has changed. Float along the Dubai Creek by taking a ride on a traditional wooden abra boat.
Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
See what Dubai looked like before all the lavish high rise buildings went up by paying a visit to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. You can experience the flora and fauna of the desert by taking a guided tour of the reserve where you might spot Arabian oryxes, sand foxes, Arabian horned vipers, and caracal cats.
Experience the dunes on foot, in adventurous 4WD vehicles, or by flying down the sand on thrilling sand boards. Learn the art of falconry, ride on the back of a camel or Arabian horse, and enjoy a traditional Bedouin barbecue. Paint yourself with intricate henna designs, try a bit of belly dancing, and practice your archery skills.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The last place you’d expect to discover a lush flower garden is in the desert, but Dubai offers up the chance to see the largest natural flower garden on the planet. The Dubai Miracle Garden displays more than 50 million flowers and hundreds of millions of plant varieties. Colourful blooms cover full-sized buildings, pyramids, sculptures, and even an actual airplane. The 72,000 square metre garden features the world’s largest flower arrangement and a giant butterfly garden that is home to thousands of butterflies. Be sure not to miss the 12-metre tall floral teddy bear, your favourite Disney characters and castles created from flowers, and an underground floral cascade. The gardens open to the public each winter.
Dubai even offers the chance to enjoy a bit of skiing in the desert with Ski Dubai, which is located in the Mall of Emirates. This 20,000+ square metre indoor ski resorts offers a 400 metre downhill ski run.
Escape the desert heat by heading inside the indoor ski resort which is kept at a constant temperature of around 0 degrees Celsius. The 85-metre indoor mountain provides five different slopes with varying degrees of difficulty to choose from. Ski tickets include the use of skis or snowboards, along with warm winter gear. Younger individuals may wish to check out the ice caves, enjoy some tobogganing, or have a friendly snowball fight. You can also book up close and personal encounters with real life king and gentoo penguins.
Ski Dubai (left):Photo by Filipe Fortes CC BY-SA 2.0