Dubai, the City of Gold, is one of the most-visited tourist destinations in the world today. Only a few decades ago, the city was a small Gulf port. Today, it has turned into a massive business and commercial hub. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to state that Dubai has truly put UAE on the global map with its eye-catching tourist destinations and massive development in all fields espceicaly when it comes to roads and safe driving in Dubai. In this article, we are going to talk about the top 10 places that you have to visit in Dubai when you plan a visit to the smallest emirate in the UAE. Hiring a driver in Dubai is definitely going to ease your tour plan.
1. The Burj Khalifa
Your trip to Dubai is deemed incomplete if you haven’t visited the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. At a whopping 829.8m of height, this building has an observation deck on the 124th floor that provides you with a panoramic view of the city of Dubai. An elevator takes you to the 124th floor within 70 seconds, giving you unlimited thrill. This building was completed in 2010 and provides a 360-degree view of the scenic deserts and oceans in Dubai.
Since this is the top-ranked tourist attraction in Dubai, it is highly recommended that you buy your admission tickets well in advance to avoid disappointments. If you don’t like standing in long queues, you should avoid visiting this structure on Fridays & Saturdays. However, during the peak tourist season (December & January), you will find thousands of tourists here all through the week.
When you purchase your “At the Top” ticket to enter into Burj Khalifa, you can try for an evening slot. This is because you can visit the famous Dubai Fountains located right next to the Burj Khalifa. This is the world’s most beautiful and tallest musical fountain. You cannot afford to miss the synchronized choreography of the illuminated waters during the evening hours.
2. Dubai Mall
You have to enter inside the Dubai Mall to purchase your tickets and gain entry into the Burj Khalifa. This mall is the biggest in the world in terms of area. It is a massive mall that contains all the leading brands in fashion and entertainment under one roof. If you are tired after walking around the mall and shopping, you can enjoy yourselves in the ice-skating rink that is quite famous here.
If you love shopping, the Dubai Mall will never cease to surprise as it has something in it for people of all age groups. Try to plan your visit during the annual Dubai Shopping Festival season that happens during the months between December and February to get exciting deals across all luxury brands.
If you are travelling with your kids, you have to definitely visit the Dubai Aquarium, and Underwater Zoo found inside the Dubai Mall. This is the place that houses the biggest collection of sand tiger sharks in the world. Watch your kids roll their eyes in excitement as they get to witness over 140 varieties of marine species under one roof!
3. Desert Safari Tours
Can you miss the sprawling and serene deserts of Dubai on your trip? Definitely not! Many travel operators are offering excellent desert safari tours for tourists all over the world. When you opt for these tours, you are in for a thrilling experience. You will get to travel in giant 4x4s while going dune-bashing on the dunes for about 10 minutes. As your vehicle goes up and down these dunes, you and your kids will be thrilled to bits.
Apart from dune-bashing, these desert safari tours also give you opportunities to enjoy camel rides, horse rides, sand-boarding and many cultural activities such as belly dancing and magic shows in the vast expanses of the Arabian Desert. You cannot afford to miss these entertaining desert tours when you come to Dubai, especially if you have kids travelling with you.
4. Dubai Museum
If you are a history lover, the Dubai Museum is one of the must-visit places for you. Built in 1787, this beautiful and historical museum is located inside the Al-Fahidi Fort. Until 1971, this fort served as the royal residence. The fort underwent massive restoration works in 1995 to become the top museum in Dubai today. You have to visit this place to understand Dubai’s phenomenal journey of growth ever since the oil boom started.
There are two halls in the courtyard focussing exclusively on the historic weaponry used during wars and ancient musical instruments. You will also notice massive exhibits that explain you the historic Emirati life that existed many many decades ago. One of the notable exhibits here is the 4000-old graves that were excavated from the archaeological site of Al Qusais.
5. Jumeirah Mosque
If you are a lover of architecture, you will love to visit the Jumeirah Mosque located on the beautiful Jumeirah Road. This is one of the luxurious residential areas of Dubai as this is where most of the expats live. Built in classic Islamic architectural pattern, this huge mosque is a replica of the Al Azhar Mosque found in Cairo.
The two minarets found on either side of the mosque blow your minds away because of their intrinsic carvings and exquisite architectural pattern. The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding offers guided tours in many languages around this mosque so that tourists can appreciate the Islamic culture better than before. These tours are available on all days except Fridays. During the evenings, the mosque looks absolutely heavenly as it is illuminated with floodlights.
If you love shopping from the local markets, Diera is the place for you. Located towards the north of the famous Dubai Creek, Deira is famous for its traditional souks. Souks mean markets in the local language. There are designated lanes of souks called Gold Souk, Spice Souk and so on. You will see thousands of shoppers here, all through the day. You can purchase some of Dubai’s famous gold jewellery from these souks for your family back home.
When you step into the Deira Spice Souk, the aroma from the extravagant spices attracts you immensely. Spices such as thyme, saffron, cumin, paprika, etc. are very famous here. After you are done with your shopping, you can get a taste of Dubai’s rich heritage and culture by visiting two archaeologically brilliant structures – Heritage House(home of a pearl merchant) and Al-Ahmadiya School (Dubai’s oldest school).
7. Sheikh Zayed Road
Yes, you read that right! There is a road that you have to visit when you come to Dubai. It is the Sheikh Zayed Road. It is one of the busiest roads here and is a neat 8-lane highway, where cars are keeping speeding by all through the day. On both sides of the road, you will find many high-rise buildings, and it is the iconic scene in Dubai.
The Dubai World Trade Tower and The Gold & Diamond Park are two famous structures on this road. The former is the poor cousin of Burj Khalifa because it also offers a panoramic view of Dubai from its Observation Deck. The latter is the one-stop destination for jewellery lovers because you will find shops of 118 manufacturers and 30 retailers in the same building here.
8. Burj Al Arab
This is yet another iconic landmark in Dubai that you have to visit while you are here. At 321m of height, it is the world’s tallest hotel today and is scenically located on Dubai’s coastline. It is constructed in such a way that its design resembles a billowing dhow sail. When you visit the Jumeirah Beach during the evening, you will get an excellent view of the illuminated Burj Al Arab – a sight that you will remain in your memories for a long time.
It is also one of the world’s costliest hotels. It charges over $15000 per night, thereby making it a destination for the super-rich only. If money is not a problem for you, don’t miss to dine in the Al-Mahara restaurant here. It contains floor-to-ceiling glass panels and gives you the chance to view exotic aquatic species as you enjoy your food.
9. Jumeirah Beach
With its pristine white sands and great weather, the Jumeirah Beach is a must-visit place for you, especially if you are a water lover. Apart from enjoying swimming in the crystal clear waters here, you can also evoke the adventure enthusiast in you by trying out water sports activities such as jet skiing. Relax in the warm sun loungers here and breathe in the unpolluted beach air to feel a deep sense of calmness in your body and mind.
10. IMG Worlds of Adventure
This indoor theme park is a must-visit place for you if you are travelling with your kids. It is the world’s biggest indoor theme park and houses the tallest and fastest rollercoaster of Dubai – the Velociraptor! This theme park is as big as 28 football fields put together. You can enjoy multiple rides, good food, and great shopping when you come here. To avoid long waiting for each ride, you should avoid this theme park during weekends and public holidays. Visit here during the morning hours in the weekdays to enjoy to the fullest.