Top 10 places to explore in Dubai

Posted: 26-May-16 11:18

From driving a dune buggy in the desert to shopping the markets, hitting the beach and exploring the city from one of the highest man made locations on earth, there is plenty to see, do and explore in Dubai. Before you start your vacation be sure to take a second look at some of ten best options when it comes to exploring this wondrous big city.

Top 10 places to explore in Dubai

One of the fastest growing cities on earth, Dubai welcomes visitors with a wealth of opportunity, from exploring the region’s cultural heritage to marvelling in its bright future possibilities. Noted as residing within the largest desert in the world, the travel adventure blog the Planet D recently outlined ten of the best things to do while in Dubai. Authors Dave and Deb, award winning travel bloggers, share their advice on the places you cannot miss.

They acknowledge that things are growing rapidly in Dubai, from the tallest hotel to the tallest building, largest mall and largest aquarium on earth. In just five more years, they write, the city will also have upwards of 600 additional hotels constructed in preparation for the 2020 World Expo. Dave and Deb recommend that everyone should visit a city that’s leading the future of tourism by building ultra-luxury hotels connected to super malls that allow families to never even have to even set foot outside the huge complexes.

The couple suggests, though, that the city offers much more than this. In reflecting upon their week in Dubai, the writers offer up their own list of 10 must-see, fun and exciting sites:

The desert

The first place they recommend visiting is the desert. The authors claim there are a number of desert safaris to choose, but they chose two very different excursions. The first was a sunset dune buggy adventure. They relished in sweeping desert views then feasted on a traditional Bedouin meal, completed by watching belly dancers and a Tonoura dancer.

They also participated in an excursion to a conservation area, which they point out is a tour for viewing wildlife. While they enjoyed seeing camels and Arabian oxen they did not recommend the birds of prey show they watched, which they found a bit inhumane to the birds.

Bird’s eye view

The authors do, however, especially recommend getting a bird’s eye view of the city, specifically of The Palm. They describe this man-made island as an “engineering feat”, created by the city to provide another 650km of coastline. In addition, the authors note, there are plans to develop hundreds of additional islands off Dubai’s shoreline.

Burj Khalifa

Staying high above the city, the writers recommend scaling the highest building on the planet. The blog points out the Burj Khalifa is the same building many Americans saw Tom Cruise climb in the movie ‘Mission Impossible’ and standing on the viewing platform is a real adrenaline boost.

While the writers say the overall experience wasn’t their favourite one in comparison to other places on earth, a lift ride to the top shouldn’t be missed. They do point out the site is often crowded and once you reach the top there’s not much more than the view, although it’s spectacular.

Dubai Marina

Back on the ground, the authors admit that Dubai isn’t the most walk able city, but claim the Marina has a lot to offer. Here, they write, visitors will find numerous restaurants and coffee shops surrounding one of the largest man-made marinas in the world, plus you can take dinner cruises and boat tours.

The writers surmise this was their favourite location for enjoying the city at night, surrounded by huge skyscrapers.

Waterfall show

The authors also enjoyed the evening waterfall show that runs every night on the half hour, ending at midnight on the lake. Comparing it to a bigger and better Las Vegas Bellagio show, the entertainment includes water and light set to ever changing lights, songs and choreography.

The bloggers recommend grabbing a seat for drinks at one of the restaurants located along the lake or arriving about 10 minutes before it starts for a front row spot along the fence.

Beach

They also enjoyed their time on the beach. While the writers stayed in a hotel right on the sand they say there are plenty of places for the public to access the beaches, as well. They describe the many beach chairs for relaxation and plentiful water sports for adventure.

Dubai Museum

For culture, the couple recommends the Dubai Museum in old Dubai. They described walking through displays marking the beginning of the city’s silk route trading, on up to oil discovery and the 21st century, highlighted by listening to the call to prayer coming over the loud speakers of the nearby mosques.

Souks

For shopping, the writers acknowledged two very different options. The first included wandering around the souks of the old town. Here, they found the modern city offered a more typical Middle Eastern flair. They described a gold market, spice market and alleyways offering a glimpse of a diminishing culture in Dubai. They also mention the value of taking a water taxi along Dubai Creek in exploring the city’s older section.

Malls

On the opposite end of the shopping spectrum, they describe the skating rink, waterfalls, aquarium and name brand stores of Dubai Mall. In addition, they write that Emirates Mall includes movies, shopping, skiing and snowboarding. They were thrilled with the numerous malls to choose from in the city and explained that several hotels offer free shuttles to get there.

The article ends by giving some insight into lodging in Dubai. The authors suggest that the large city offers hundreds of options but sites are spread out. With this in mind, they recommend staying near the marina if you love the beach, in old Dubai if you want a more authentic vacation and the financial district if you want to see skyscrapers and be close to shopping.

While you may have to travel a distance to go to other places, the writers say you can always take the sky train or a taxi. They mention they used several taxis while in Dubai and found them reasonably priced. They also suggest there was much more to see and do then they were even able to accomplish in one week, including making a day trip to Qatar, which they plan on doing on their next Middle Eastern trip.

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