Dubai, known for its glamorous shopping malls and sky kissing tall structures is an ultimate tourist destination for all those who are looking for little bit of adventure as well as fun. It’s a perfect retreat for all the summer adventure seekers as well as for family holidays. Here is the list of ten things to do while in Dubai, favourites from our visits.
1. Burj Khalifa and Dubai fountain
Call it a Man made wonder or tallest building in the world, it is truly a breath-taking experience to visit this marvellous 2716.5 feet tall structure while you are visiting Dubai. The tour starts off by a ride in one of the fastest elevators in the world which takes you to the observatory deck at the 124th floor at supersonic speed in no time. Once At the Top we forgot the fear of being at 124th floor and wandered around the deck enjoying and capturing the 360° view of Dubai. The average price for the tour to At the Top which is in 124th floor of Burj Khalifa is between 125 to 200 Dhirams depending on the hour of visit. Tickets can also be purchased online to avoid queues.
Watch and enjoy one of the world’s largest dancing fountain show which is set on the Burj Khalifa lake, right outside the Dubai Mall. The musical show lasts for about 9 minutes and the evening shows are repeated once in every 30 minutes.
2. Shopping at the Dubai Mall
It is a well-known fact that Dubai is an ultimate paradise for all the shoppers with its sprawling shopping malls and the best shopping festival in the world. We have to confess that on our first visit to Dubai we had our inner shopping goddess unleashed and had some major damage done to our pockets. It houses one of the largest shopping mall in the world, the iconic Dubai Mall, which has more than 1,200 shops, where visitors are not just limited to shopping but also some fun activities for both kids and adults.
Dubai also hosts The Dubai Shopping Festival every year in the month of January offering best discounts on almost all the products and this year they celebrated 20th anniversary.
3. Atlantis and The Lost Chamber
Built on the apex of the man-made island, The Palm, this wonderful hotel resort has lot more to offer to its visitors than its luxury stay and fine dining. Enjoy a day at the Aquaventure water park, relax sipping cocktails lying on the Nasimi Beach and explore over 65,000 various kinds of fishes and other underwater species at The Lost Chambers.
Walking through these traditional souks of Deira we indulged our senses in the tantalising aroma of the exotic spices, sweet fragrances of Arabic Ouds and glitter and shine of precious gold. One would find bags full of fresh spices, dry fruits and various nuts from all around the world in this busy, bustling shops of Deria souk. Don’t forget to buy spices and dry fruits, especially dates while in Dubai which would be a good souvenir to take back home.
Image Courtesy: http://www.monkboughtlunch.com
5. Bastakia Quarter
Take a historical walk exploring the hidden stories of old Dubai by wandering around the narrow labyrinthine lanes of Bastakia quarter which was once occupied by the wealthy merchants before the oil boom. Admire the traditional Arab architecture by touring around the houses which are open for tourists and enjoy the excellent collection of coins at The Coin Museum. Each house is a two stored building with a spacious courtyard, numerous bedrooms and wind-towers which were used as cooling methods. This historical quarter stands over-looking the creek with its beautiful heritage villas and also houses few art galleries and cafes.
6. Dubai Museum
Visit one of the oldest building in Dubai, Al Fahidi Fort built in 1787, which is just in five-minute walk from Bastakia Quarter. The centre courtyard inside this Fort displays various weapons, different types of boats, water tanks used by the locals and a wooden mockup house displaying the efficient cooling technique used through the wind tower. The best part of this tour is the underground museum inside the Fort which gives a peek into the traditional lifestyle of the Emiratis. Walk along the beautiful detailed displays of creek, traditional souks and houses to understand their social and cultural norms. Various artifacts from the original settlements of Al Qusais and Jumeirah archaeological sites dating back to 3000 BC are also displayed in this museum.
7. Madinat Jumeriah
This recreated Arabian Town is a 5 star hotel resort, offering an environment of pure luxury and relaxation with its boutique hotels, spa, wide range of restaurants and cafes, souks, private beach and gardens. Walking around the bustling pathways of the Souk Madinat Jumeriah visitors get a glance into traditional Arabic bazaars, which is beautiful decorated with its wooden craved archways, narrow alleys, boutiques and shops selling traditional handicrafts and various spices.
Enjoy the 45 minutes fun-filled show of dancing and singing by northern fur seals and bottlenose dolphins inside the fully air-conditioned dolphinarium. The show kick starts with the Jasmine-Aladdin themed romantic aerial act dance performance and the magic show. The real entertainment starts with the entry of stars of the show: graceful and naughty seals and talented dolphins who sing, dance, juggle, paint and also jump through the loops to entertain the audience.
Trinkets, cloths, food, cultural performance from over 70 different countries can be seen and experienced in this massive cultural and entertainment theme park. Entry to each pavilion is beautifully decorated with the traditional elements from the respective country. Savouring the local authentic cuisines we moved from one pavilion to the other admiring the stalls and stopping by to purchase few souvenirs. Global Village also hosts a small theme park with thrilling rides and spectacular firework shows.
10. Desert Safari
While in Dubai reserve an evening for the adventurous desert safari which involves bumping and bashing the dunes of the Arabian desert in a 4WD. We started off with dune buggy ride with our brother who took us in turns and showed us some of his off-road skills. It was followed by the desert safari which was 45 minutes of pure thrill, thanks to our skilled driver who twisted and plunged down the steep slopes with an ease, followed by a small break to watch the sunset.
We then headed towards the camp site and enjoyed rest of our evening watching belly dance and traditional arabic dance, camel rides, savouring local barbeques and desserts and getting henna tattoos.
For more information visit: http://www.visitdubai.com