Dubai is a jewel of the Middle East, a cosmopolitan metropolis that is a blend of commerce, trade and sun-worshipping, beach-focused activities. Its skyscrapers are numerous and dazzling, but so are its spiritual places and white sand beaches.Dubai has been likened to Singapore as a financial mecca and New York as a “bucket list” destination for those who love international locales.In other words, Dubai has something for everyone, and a trip there (once travel restrictions are lifted and life is back to normal, of course) is a holiday that everyone who knows the city agrees is incredibly memorable.Unlike some other tourist destinations, including Rome and London, Dubai has not been around for countless centuries. In fact, it came into existence only about 50 years ago, when the United Arab Emirates achieved independence from Great Britain in 1971.The city may be relatively young when viewed through a global, historical lens. Still, it has accomplished many great things in its life thus far, and everything it has on offer experiences no curious traveller should forgo.Here are just a few of the many great destinations and activities to enjoy in Dubai.There is something for everyone on this list, whether you love hot sandy beaches, amazing architecture or downhill skiing – yes, skiing – Dubai has all those things on offer and a whole lot more!
1- Marvel At The Architecture and Relax at the Beach on the Same Day…
This city of about 6.7 million boasts some of the most impressive skyscrapers in the world. One of them is located at the Jumeirah Public Beach, called the Burj Al Arab, which houses a luxury hotel.If a room for a few nights is a little out of your price range, simply plan to spend a day walking along the beach – it’s free! — and enjoy afternoon tea at the hotel instead.At the Burj Al Arab, you can have a meal in one of its several top-notch restaurants, or simply tour the atrium that is 600 feet in the air – it’s the tallest atrium in the world, with incredible vistas of the Persian Gulf.The building’s exterior is all stunning curved glass and is a wonder to behold even if you don’t go inside. A day spent here makes you keenly aware of why Dubai has an impressive reputation for modern design and construction techniques.
2- Is It Time to Shop?
No vacation is complete without a little retail therapy, right? One place to go in Dubai – though there are plenty of options – is the Dubai Mall, a shrine to shopping that no one visiting the city should skip.There are more than 1,300 stores selling everything imaginable, but the mall has much more than that. It has an ice skating rink, cinemas, and an amazing aquarium stocked with thousands of colourful fish.Shop like crazy, then pause for a bite to eat or a coffee and enjoy the calming effects of watching the fish lazily swim by. When you’re rested up, tackle more of the amazing stores!
3- Nourish Your Soul with a Tour of the Jumeirah Mosque
The majority of Dubai’s citizens are Muslim, although churches and Buddhist temples dot the cityscape, too.This mosque is perhaps the most famous – and breathtaking – one in all of Dubai. Its image even graces one of the Emirates’ banknotes, the 500 dirham note.It sits north of the Dubai Marina and has an unmistakable white facade that makes it stand out and stand apart from all the buildings nearby.Please note: tours are offered to give a detailed history of the mosque, but it’s important to remember that modesty in dress is key. Ladies, please: no short skirts or dresses, and be sure to have a scarf or other item with which to cover your head.
4- Are You Missing the Cold Temperatures at Home?
Never fear – the tourism geniuses in Dubai don’t let triple-digit heat deter them from making your holiday truly memorable!Head to Ski Dubai, the Middle East’s first indoor winter playground, and enjoy a day of skiing, or snowboarding or tobogganing. While the rest of the city is enjoying warm temperatures, you can spend the day doing all the cold weather activities you love at home.No need to pack the gear – how inconvenient that would be! — this playground has all the warm clothing and equipment you need for the day.Prices vary depending on the package you choose, but it’s truly a unique experience to go whooshing down one of five ski runs in a desert climate. Only in Dubai!
5- And Speaking of Only in Dubai…
If you are afraid of heights, you may want to enjoy this stunning locale strictly from the street, but even so, the Burj Khalifa building is not to be missed.This structure boasts many number one rankings behind its name, including the world’s tallest building, the world’s tallest free-standing structure, and the tallest observation deck in the world.Ticket prices vary, depending on how high you want to go – all 2,722 feet? One thing is certain – if the top is indeed your destination, be sure to book early, as those spots go quickly. It is a truly awe-inspiring destination and not to be overlooked, even if you’re looking up from street level.After all, it was one of the spots featured in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, with Tom Cruise, so how could any curious tourist not visit it? 😉
If all the modern, imposing architecture gets a little overwhelming and you begin wondering what Dubai used to look like before the glitz, check out the Bastakiya Quarter.This neighbourhood was once a fishing village and now houses lower-key spots like the Arabian Tea House, a great place to kick back and chill out with a cold, refreshing drink or a cup of strong Arabian coffee.This area is also home to the Dubai Museum, funky art galleries and assorted shops on a less grand scale than those at the malls. Consider hopping a boat across the Dubai Creek and explore the wares offered by street vendors at a market there, who sell everything from marvellous perfumes to ice creams. Perfect for a hot day!
Last but not least
These are just six — six! — of the wonderful activities awaiting you in Dubai. It is a city filled with amazing architecture, dazzling beaches and plenty of cultural and sightseeing opportunities. And we haven’t even mentioned the glorious hotels, designed for every budget, from modest to magnificent to spoil-yourself luxury.The cuisine is truly international, and you can find a restaurant for every budget, whether you’re celebrating a special day or just looking for a quick bite before your next sightseeing adventure.Travelling right now is tricky, and Dubai is no different than other cities in its concern about people’s health and the strategies officials have adopted for coping with the coronavirus. Before you book tickets, check online to see what travel restrictions are in place, both in Dubai and your home country.But remember, sooner, or later the virus will be in the world’s rearview mirror, and vacationing in Dubai is a great way to begin your global trekking once again!