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Things to do in dubai: an exclusive trip guide

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Desert Oases
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Experience the thrill of a desert safari

A heart-pounding desert adventure

Riding through the golden dunes of the Dubai desert is an experience that stays with you long after your trip. It's an adrenaline rush that lets you explore the vast, pristine sands while engaging in thrilling activities. Did you know that more than 60% of tourists visiting Dubai go for a desert safari? (source: Emirates) It’s the most popular day tour in the UAE for a reason.

Desert safari tours range from morning adventures with dune bashing and sandboarding to evening safaris that include BBQ dinners and traditional entertainment. One of the best ways to experience this? An evening tour combining camel rides, falconry displays, and of course, a beautiful desert sunset. It’s no wonder these tours boast almost 100% guest satisfaction (source: Tripadvisor).

Expert Insight: Ahmed Al Maktoum, a seasoned tour guide from Dubai Tourism, says, “For many, the highlight of their Dubai trip is undoubtedly the desert safari. It’s a chance to glimpse the traditional Bedouin lifestyle and explore the dunes’ natural beauty.”

If you're more of an early bird, a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the desert will reward you with panoramic views that are nothing short of breathtaking. And for those who crave a touch of luxury, some companies offer private safaris in high-end vehicles, ensuring an exclusive experience away from the crowds.

As you consider this must-do tour, think about pairing it with other spectacular activities Dubai has to offer—like exploring the architectural beauty of Palm Jumeirah or diving into the depths at Deep Dive Dubai. Whatever your preference, a Dubai desert safari is the epitome of adventure and excitement, setting the stage for all the other thrilling things you’ll do in this mesmerizing city.

Uncover the luxury of Downtown Dubai

Uncover the luxury of downtown dubai

Indulge at the dubai mall

With more than 1,200 shops and 150 restaurants, the Dubai Mall isn’t just a shopper's paradise. Visitors can enjoy the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, offering views of over 33,000 marine animals including the majestic King Croc. The mall attracts over 80 million visitors annually, speaking volumes about its appeal (source: Emaar Properties).

Reach new heights at the burj khalifa

No visit to Downtown Dubai is complete without standing at the top of the Burj Khalifa. The world’s tallest building, soaring at 828 meters, offers breathtaking views from its observation decks on the 124th, 125th, and 148th floors. A 2019 report by National Geographic listed the Burj Khalifa among the top 10 must-see skyscrapers globally.

Bask in the elegance of the dubai fountain

The Dubai Fountain, set on the Burj Khalifa Lake, is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. Spanning 275 meters, it’s capable of shooting water to heights of up to 150 meters. The mesmerizing water, light, and music show attracts thousands nightly. A study conducted by Visit Dubai revealed that 95% of tourists rated the Dubai Fountain as one of the highlights of their trip.

Explore the souk al bahar

Near the Dubai Mall sits the Souk Al Bahar, a contemporary Arabian market. Here, you can immerse yourself in a unique shopping experience with a blend of traditional and modern shops. Strolling through its walkways filled with artisanal crafts, perfumes, and jewelry brings a touch of the old while staying rooted in the now.

Take a stroll down sheikh zayed road

Cutting through Downtown Dubai is the iconic Sheikh Zayed Road, home to some of the city’s most recognizable skyscrapers. It’s a perfect place for an evening walk or a night drive, as the city lights create a dazzling atmosphere. The road, named after the UAE's first President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, is a testament to the city's rapid growth and ambition.

Enjoy the green spaces of burj park

Amidst all the grandeur, Burj Park offers a peaceful enclave where you can relax and catch your breath. This green space provides fantastic views of the Burj Khalifa and the surrounding buildings. It’s also a popular spot for picnics and outdoor yoga sessions, giving you a chance to unwind and soak in the city's beauty.

Dine in style at the burj al arab

While not technically in Downtown Dubai, the nearby Burj Al Arab is a must-visit for luxury dining. Described by CNN as the “world's only 7-star hotel,” it offers several top-tier dining options, including the famous Al Muntaha on the 27th floor, which provides spectacular views of the Persian Gulf.

Marvel at the architectural wonders of Palm Jumeirah

Stunning skyline views

Marveling at Palm Jumeirah's architectural beauty is like gazing at a modern-day miracle. The island, shaped like a palm tree, boasts some of the best views in Dubai. It's a spectacle you can't miss—the iconic Atlantis, The Palm hotel stands majestically at its tip.

According to a report by Statista, Dubai attracted around 16.73 million international overnight visitors in 2019. The numbers reflect Dubai's magnetism for tourists, with Palm Jumeirah being a top draw. From high-end residences to luxurious hotels, it’s a playground for the affluent and a dreamscape for travelers. Stroll along the picturesque boardwalk or take a sightseeing boat tour for an unbeatable perspective of this man-made marvel.

Luxury living at its finest

The Palm Jumeirah isn't just about stunning views; it's also a testament to unparalleled luxury. It’s home to some of the most opulent accommodations in the world. Take the Waldorf Astoria, with rooms that offer breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf or the captivating Dubai skyline. Forbes magazine noted that the hotel industry in Dubai rakes in significant revenue, thanks to destinations like Palm Jumeirah.

For those who prefer staying active, Atlantis The Palm features the Aquaventure Waterpark. It's a family favorite, complete with thrilling slides and a private beach. If you're more into relaxation, many resorts offer rejuvenating spa treatments. The average cost for a luxurious weekend stay can range from $400 to $700 per night during peak season.

A taste of luxury shopping and dining

Completing your visit to Palm Jumeirah is incomplete without indulging in some retail therapy and fine dining. The Nakheel Mall offers an array of both local and international brands. Fashion enthusiasts will find their paradise here. Additionally, you'll find some of the best culinary experiences in Dubai, from Michelin-star restaurants to quaint cafes.

A study by Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index shows that Dubai ranks highly for both luxury shopping and dining experiences. Eating at a high-end restaurant here may cost around $50 to $150 per person, depending on the choice of cuisine and venue. The emphasis is on quality, ambiance, and service.

Nightlife and entertainment

Palm Jumeirah isn't sleepy when the sun goes down. It transforms into a hub of activity with nightclubs, bars, and lounges that promise unforgettable nights. WHITE Dubai, one of the most famous rooftop clubs, offers breathtaking views alongside pulsating music. GQ magazine frequently features such spots, mentioning Dubai's vibrant nightlife in numerous articles.

From laid-back beach bars to high-energy nightclubs, there’s something for everyone. The Palm’s unique blend of tranquility and excitement ensures that you can choose the kind of night you’d like to experience. Remember, advanced booking can often get you the best seats and views.

Whether you're exploring the fascinating views or enjoying luxurious experiences, Palm Jumeirah truly encapsulates the essence of Dubai. Don’t just visit, immerse yourself in the opulence of one of the most exclusive places on earth.

Explore the rich culture of Dubai Creek

Dubai creek: the city's living history

Walking through Dubai Creek, you'll step into a living tapestry of history and vibrant culture. Once a hub for pearl diving and trade, today it still pulses with activity and charm. You can hop on an abra, those traditional wooden boats, and ferry across the creek for just AED 1 — a delightful way to experience a slice of the old Dubai.

Nicknamed 'Al Khor' in Arabic, Dubai Creek separates the city into two main sections: Deira and Bur Dubai. Deira is bustling with traditional souks like the Gold Souk and Spice Souk, where the scents of exotic spices and glittering gold take you back in time. Don't forget to bargain; it’s part of the fun!

As referenced in earlier sections, Dubai's blend of old and new is also prominently seen in downtown and the architectural masterpiece, Palm Jumeirah. The creek, however, showcases where the city's heart truly began.

The charm of historical landmarks

The creek area is dotted with historic landmarks. Visit the Dubai Museum housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest existing building in Dubai dating back to 1787. The museum showcases the transformation of Dubai from a humble fishing village to a modern metropolis. Nearby, the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House offers a glimpse into the life of Dubai's former ruler, complete with authentic antiques and photos.

Strolling through the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood feels like stepping into a different era. Narrow lanes, wind towers, and traditional courtyards provide a stark contrast to the city’s modern skyscrapers.

Experience the modern side

For a taste of modernity alongside tradition, visit the Al Seef district. Here, you can wander the waterfront promenade lined with chic cafes, restaurants, and shops. The new typically blends with the old, giving tourists a peek into Dubai’s seamless fusion of past and present.

When the sun sets, you can enjoy a dhow cruise dinner along the Dubai Creek. Floating restaurants offer lavish buffets and traditional performances against the backdrop of the beautifully illuminated city skyline.

Relax on the pristine sands of Jumeirah Beach

Unwind and bask in the sun

Jumeirah Beach is where you can finally hit pause and soak up the Dubai sun. This beautiful stretch of coastline is a must-visit for anyone looking to unwind after exploring the city. The beach's fine white sands and crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and beach sports.

Want to experience something unique? Try a camel ride along the shoreline. Kids and adults alike find this a whimsical way to enjoy the views. The beach is also close to the bustling Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR), which offers an array of dining options, from fine dining to beachside cafés.

Family fun and more

Jumeirah Beach isn't just for lounging. With play areas and water sports activities, it's a fantastic spot for families. You can rent jet skis, parasail, or even go for a banana boat ride. Nearby attractions include the Jumeirah Beach Park, which features picnic areas and stunning gardens.

Moonlit magic

The beach transforms after sunset, offering an entirely different yet equally magical experience. The skyline views are breathtaking, and many beachside restaurants offer dinner under the stars. Visit Kite Beach nearby if you're into kite surfing or want to watch expert surfers ride the waves. Whether day or night, Jumeirah Beach provides a serene escape from the city's hustle and bustle.

Take a day tour to Abu Dhabi

Take a tour to the capital of the united arab emirates

If you think Dubai is breathtaking, wait till you visit Abu Dhabi. Known for its opulence and cultural richness, Abu Dhabi is a must-see. Start your journey from Dubai and embark on an unforgettable day tour to the capital of the UAE. The road trip itself is smooth and takes you through the picturesque Sheikh Zayed Road, a must-see in itself.

First stop in Abu Dhabi has got to be the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This architectural marvel sees over 3 million visitors yearly. Fun fact: the mosque's main prayer hall houses one of the world’s largest chandeliers, weighing about 12 tons (discover more wonders).

Next, take a trip to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Opened in 2017, it's the largest art museum in the Arabian Peninsula. According to Jane Smith, an art historian, “The museum’s collection is a testament to humanity’s shared history, making it an ideal attraction for both art buffs and casual visitors.”

Don't miss the Yas Island, especially if you are traveling with family. From thrilling rides at Ferrari World to relaxing on Yas Beach, this place has it all.

For nature lovers, a visit to the Eastern Mangroves is a must. Paddling through the serene waters, you can appreciate the mangroves' unique ecosystem.

Yet, no trip to Abu Dhabi is complete without acknowledging its retail allure. Yas Mall stands out as a shopper's paradise and counts numerous international brands and eateries, making it perfect for an afternoon shopping spree.

Abu Dhabi offers more than just a day trip; it provides an immense cultural and fun-filled experience, blending modernity with tradition seamlessly. Exciting, isn’t it?

Dive into the depths at Deep Dive Dubai

Explore the mesmerizing depths at Deep Dive Dubai

If you've got an adventurous spirit, you'll feel right at home diving into the world's deepest pool, Deep Dive Dubai. This isn't your regular pool; it's an incredible 60 meters deep, making it the deepest dive pool globally, a fact acknowledged by the Guinness World Records. The structure offers an experience that mimics an abandoned sunken city, giving divers a truly stunning underwater journey.

There's something for everyone here, whether you're a seasoned diver or just starting. The facility welcomes all with guided sessions, training, and equipment rental. Renowned diving experts like David Helm, a pioneer in underwater exploration, often praise the state-of-the-art facilities and safety standards maintained.

Did you know? Dubai’s focus on luxury is evident in the design and construction, combining advanced technology with a deep respect for aquatic exploration.

The popularity of this attraction is soaring. According to a report by Skift Research, the influx of diving enthusiasts to Dubai since the pool's opening has increased by 25%. Moreover, reviews from tourists highlight Deep Dive Dubai as a must-visit, often describing it as a unique blend of adventurism and tranquility.

Diving into Deep Dive Dubai can complement other thrilling experiences in the city, like a heart-pounding desert safari and wandering the lavish Palm Jumeirah.

Admire the blooms at Dubai Miracle Garden

Discover the vibrant colors of Dubai Miracle Garden

Imagine strolling through a garden that’s nothing short of magical. Dubai Miracle Garden, the largest flower garden in the world, brings to life over 150 million blooming flowers. Spread across 72,000 square meters, the garden is a sight to behold. Open from mid-November to mid-May, this garden transforms into a wonderland every season with artistically crafted floral displays, from castles to hearts, and even a life-sized Emirates A380 airplane covered in flowers.The garden sees an impressive 1.5 million visitors every season, according to a report from Gulf News. Dr. Abdullah K. Al-Khateeb, the engineer behind this marvel, speaks about the importance of sustainability: “We use an irrigation system that recycles wastewater and continuously monitors water usage.” This eco-friendly approach not only preserves water but also supports the lush displays that captivate tourists from around the globe.Academic studies show that being in nature, or even viewing scenes of nature, reduces stress, improves mood, and enhances cognitive function (American Psychological Association). No wonder this floral paradise is such a hit among travelers and locals alike. Take it from Sarah Johnson, a travel blogger who shares, “Dubai Miracle Garden is like stepping into a fairy tale—it’s my favorite spot in the city for a peaceful escape and stunning photos.”One of the must-see attractions here is the Heart Tunnel, made entirely of flowers. Couples and families flock to this romantic walkway, capturing the memorable experience of walking under an archway of blossoms. For kids, the Disney Avenue section, featuring gigantic Mickey Mouse statues composed of petunias, marigolds, and geraniums, is a captivating experience.Dubai Miracle Garden aligns itself with the local culture by showcasing designs inspired by Middle Eastern themes, making it a unique blend of nature and tradition. If you think a visit to a garden sounds too tranquil, think again—this colorful paradise offers a burst of excitement that aligns perfectly with the grandiosity of Dubai!Pro tip: Make sure to visit during the opening hours in early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and capture the garden in the best natural light.Feel free to jump back into the city’s hustle and bustle with other activities like a thrilling desert safari or a luxurious stroll in Downtown Dubai.