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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…

dubai attractions l dubai tourist attractions l attractions in dubai l dubai tourism l dubai mall 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

dubai attractions l dubai tourist attractions l attractions in dubai l dubai tourism l dubai mall 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! dubai attractions l dubai tourist attractions l attractions in dubai l dubai tourism l dubai mall

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? 😉

6‑Bastakiya Quarter

dubai attractions l dubai tourist attractions l attractions in dubai l dubai tourism l dubai mall 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!  

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