Because of the many places to visit in Dubai, it is often mistaken as its own country. In fact, it is a largest city in one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates. It’s prime location on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf is one of the draws of this contradictory land.
Although the United Arab Emirates tends towards extreme conservatism, the thriving populous of Dubai is as modern as a city can be. A shopping mecca for the rich, prices tend to turn most travelers into window shoppers at best. The people watching is extraordinary, and the architecture stunning.
Home of the world’s tallest skyscraper and a man-made island chain, Dubai should be on everyone’s bucket list. To create a truly luxurious experience, arrival by a Dubai jet charter will make you feel like one of the rich and famous, even if you aren’t. Here are a few of the best places to visit in Dubai.
As one of the most unique places to visit in Dubai, it would be impossible to not “see” Burj Khalifa. However, to truly experience it you must plan a visit. The superlatives go on and on: world’s tallest building, world’s tallest free-standing structure, highest number of stories in the world, highest occupied floor, longest elevator. The 163 floors reach to a height of 2722 feet and the observation deck may just give you vertigo.
Within the building the world’s longest elevator ride whisks you up to observation towers. These allow a 360 degree view of the city and desert landscapes. A small store allows you to take home a souvenir of such a special visit. The luxury apartments are probably out of reach for most, but a trip to the top can allow you to dream.
Al Fahidi Historic District
After experiencing the incredible modern marvel that is Burj Khalifa, it’s a great idea to step back in time. This allows you to understand the historical significance and way of life of this ancient land. The Al Fahidi section of the city dates back to the 1850’s. It’s known for its characteristic Arabic malqaf, or wind catcher, buildings, an architectural style that promotes natural ventilation.
Narrow alleyways wind their way through shops and neighborhood restaurants. Although the area declined over the years, over 50 sand-colored buildings remain and feature museums, craft shops, and art galleries to a colorful past.
Some of the best places to visit in Dubai include its manmade features. Such is the case with Palm Jumeirah. This artificial archipelago created in the shape of a giant palm tree is the first offshore development of its kind. In addition to the hotels and resorts surrounding the Palm there is much to see and do.
The resort of Atlantis is a stunning place to stay and offers up nearly endless activities both in the water and on land for the entire family. Atlantis is, quite simply, stunning, and offers dozens of room categories and restaurants in the hotel. The water park features dolphin and sea lion encounters, an aquarium, water slides and rides, and a shark safari. If all of that doesn’t tire out the entire family, there are also tennis courts, pools, shopping, and beaches to explore.
Leaving the modern world behind, once again, add to your cultural knowledge of Dubai by taking a tour of the Souks. Souk is merely the word for marketplace in some parts of the world, but what makes them endlessly unique and interesting is the vast array of possible buys, along with the concept of haggling for everything you might be interested in.
Although all souks host a fascinating display of textiles, jewelry, tourist souvenirs, and spices, Dubai hosts a couple of souks well worth seeking out. The gold souk is a must see for jewelry lovers. Store after store is gleaming with the precious metal in exotic designs. The spice market is another favorite with large baskets overflowing with fragrant spices such as saffron, turmeric and cloves. The textile souk is a favorite of lovers of all things colorful with rolls and rolls of silk, cotton and other fine weaves in all of the colors of the rainbow.
The Dubai Mall
And finally, one of the best places to visit in Dubai is the Dubai Mall. With over 1200 stores, the Dubai Mall isn’t merely the world’s largest mall, it is more like a small city. The mall features an ice skating ring, an aquarium, over 150 food stalls, and even a dinosaur skeleton. Although visitors from the United States will recognize some of the labels, be prepared for an onslaught of European brands and sizes. The best tip, wear comfortable shoes!
When you’ve exhausted your shopping perhaps you might want to catch a movie in the 22-screen cinema, check out the indoor theme park, or grab the best seats in the house for a Dubai Fountain water show which begins at 6pm each evening and rivals anything that the Bellagio in Las Vegas has to offer.
Dubai is a juxtaposition of old and new, ancient and modern, foreign and familiar. This city is made for wandering the ancient souks to barter for goods or taking a camel safari deep into the desert for the night. But it is also made for skiing at the Mall of the Emirates, dining on exotic food to your heart’s content, and pretending for just a bit that you are part of a lifestyle of the rich and famous. Perhaps nowhere else on earth do the uber-rich and the very poor cohabit so closely together making this one of the truly unique locations in the world. With so many locations and places to visit in Duabi, it is a must for everyone’s bucket list.