Dubai is known for being UAE’s vacation hotspot, and shopping and clubbing hub. A city of high-rises and awe-inspiring shopping districts has transformed itself to a destination du-jour, where people flock from all over the world to avail the biggest sales, bargains, food and fun.
Dubai is popular for its wide range of tourist attractions; from the grandiosity of the Burj Khalifa to the world’s largest malls that come with gigantic aquariums and ice skating rinks.
With the city’s breathtaking attention to detail, Dubai doesn’t hold back from showcasing its cultural history to the world through a plethora of well-preserved heritage sites. Take a walk around the city’s heritage sites and you’ll experience the old Dubai, realising that there is more to this city than its flashy exterior.
Mentioned below are some of the best places you must visit upon your travels to Dubai – the land of majestic opportunity.
- The Mighty Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is known to be the tallest man-made structure in the world. Standing at 828 metres in Downtown Dubai, the building is one of the most notoriously prominent attractions in the entire Middle East.
Exploring this exceptional work of art is the best way to begin your sightseeing journey in Dubai. With an entry fee of DHS 100 per person, you can climb to The Top, or the ‘observation deck’ on its 124th Floor to get a view of the city’s striking skyline. The experience is all about the splendour and grandeur and is a must for every visitor who comes to Dubai for the first time.
- The Three Palms – Palm Jumeirah
The three planned, man-made Palm Islands of the Palm Jumeirah are the newest addition to the list of attractions that Dubai has to offer. From courteousness of the luxury beach resorts to the up-market shopping malls, the island has a range of touristic activities to indulge in.
The artificially constructed marvel is also home to the Atlantis – The Palm and other exciting theme parks. The entry to Palm Jumeirah is free, unless you’re planning to visit Atlantis on the same day.
- The Atlantis Aqua-Venture
Atlantis – The Palm Jumeirah in its luxury and splendid extravagance is more than just a hotel. While your close encounter with the sea’s friendliest creatures Dolphins at the Dolphin Bay will leave you fascinated, the wild rides at Aquaventure will take you to a world of adventure.
The Shark Safari and Cownose Ray feeding is a great opportunity to explore marine life, feed the fish and catch an entertaining show at the Lost Chambers Aquarium, Aquatheatre.
The souvenirs from the Dolphin Bay shops are free for visitors staying at the Atlantis, so don’t forget to grab yours.
- The Snow Dunk – Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai is known to be the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort; one of the most visited tourist attractions in Dubai. Along with a beauteous wintery setting and 60,000 tonnes of white snow, there are many fun things that you can do during your visit here.
From snowboarding, tobogganing to cuddly Snow Penguins, themed restaurants St. Moritz Café and Avalanche Café, Ski Dubai has a lot in store for visitors of all ages. The entry fee is DHS 200 per person which includes a snow park entry, Mountain Thriller, unlimited chairlift rides and more fun stuff until closing time (11 pm on weekdays and 12 am on Fridays).
- Culturally Swayed – Heritage and Diving Village
Dubai’s two historic and economic mainstays include displays of pearl diving and dhow building; showcased at the Heritage and Diving Village. These were once the largest means of sustenance for the local people, and are a hallmark of the region’s architectural, cultural and maritime heritage.
The place harmoniously brings together the artistic recreations of the traditional Bedouin and coastal village life, with Persian homes, a coffeehouse and a small souk where potters practice their traditional handicrafts.
The best time to visit is between April and October where you can experience the local music and dance while getting medical advice from practitioners of traditional medicine.
- The Gaming Zone – Sega Republic
Dubai doesn’t fall short on options for its adventure-seeking visitors. SEGA Republic is an indoor theme park that consists of a wide range of adrenaline-rushing activities for those looking for fun and adventure.
While Storm-G, Initial D4 Limited, Spin Gear, After Burner Climax are not meant for the weak hearted, SEGA UFO Catcher, Whopper Water and Wild Jungle provide fun for everyone in the family! The entrance fee is DHS 175 per person and the Gaming Zone remains open till midnight on weekends.
- The Ferrari World Venture
Ferrari World is considered to be the world’s biggest themed amusement park. Located in Abu Dhabi, it’s quite a popular getaway option for adventure-seekers visiting Dubai.
The Speed of Magic, Made in Maranello, The Racing Legends, Paddock, Fast Lane and Tyre Twist and Ferrari World takes gaming to a whole new level. The more hard-boiled, adrenaline-rushing experiences for the wild-ones include the ever popular Formula Rossa, Scuderia Challenge and Fiorano GT Challenge. The entrance fee is DHS 240 for adults and DHS 195 for children.
- Dubai’s Miracle Garden – Nature’s Miraculous Splendour
As the name suggests, Dubai’s Miracle Garden boasts of nature’s miraculous beauty. The colourful floral species spread as far as the eye can see, are combined with multi-hued floret which will surely make you feel as if you are in heaven.
You haven’t experienced Dubai fully if you don’t pay a visit to this miraculous splendour of nature. The Miracle Garden is like a dreamland for people of all ages. Additionally, the garden authorities are now coming up with a plan to install a round-shaped 3D Butterfly Garden.
This will include 9 architecturally striking domes, filled with countless species of large and small butterflies. The Miracle Garden is usually accessible between the months of May and December with an entry fee of only DHS 20 per person.
From the timeless tranquillity of the desert to the contemporary bustle of the Dubai’s bazaars, malls, and streets, the city is a perfect mix of culture and modernity. Out of the 100 more places worthy of exploration, the 8 main getaways mentioned in this article are a must-visit for first-time visitors to Dubai.
By: Erica Silva