Dubai is like a 40-year-old man with a new red Ferrari. It can’t help but show off.
The city, the second largest in the United Arab Emirates after Abu Dhabi, has an astonishing array of fairy-tale structures. You will have to visit yourself to decide if these creations are impressive or plain preposterous.
Here are 10 highlights that no tourist should miss:
1. Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa, formerly known as Burj Dubai, is the world’s tallest structure. At 828m, Burj Khalifa dwarfs the 508m Taipei 101 and the 629m KVLY-TV mast in the US.
The building construction was between 2004 and 2009, with the inauguration being on January 4, 2010.
A few current records:
▪ Tallest structure ever built: 829.84 m (2,723 ft)
▪ Building with most floors: 160
▪ Building with world’s highest occupied floor
▪ World’s fastest elevators: 64 km/h (40 mph) or 18 m/s (59 ft/s)
▪ First world’s tallest structure in history to include residential space
▪ World’s highest outdoor observation deck: 124th floor at 452 m (1,483 ft)
▪ World’s highest mosque: 158th floor
▪ World’s highest nightclub: 144th floor
▪ World’s highest restaurant (At.mosphere): 122nd floor at 442 m (1,450 ft)
In the evening you can have dinner overlooking the Dubai dancing fountains.
2. Burj Al Arab Hotel
The Burj Al Arab (“Tower of the Arabs”) is a luxury hotel in Dubai (the world’s only self titled 7star hotel), United Arab Emirates . The shape of the structure is designed to mimic the sail of a ship. At 321 m (1,053 ft), it is the fourth tallest hotel in the world.The building opened in December 1999 .
Pop in for a drink: The hotel is home to the world’s most expensive cocktail, costing AED 27,321.00 (NZ$9358.00). It’s made of 55-year-old whiskey, dry fruit bitters and ice cubes from the Macallan distillery and stirred with a piece of wood from the original Macallan sherry casks.
You can visit the interior with about 60 euros. This price include 2 drinks at the bar on the ground floor. It’s also possible to have dinner at the last floor but it is more expensive.
3. The World Archipelago
This vast engineering project sought to create an archipelago of 300 man-made islands off the coast of Dubai. The islands, created from sand dredged from the sea, were to be the playground of the rich, but since the global financial crisis hit the project has slowed in development.
At the Palm Island you can visit the hotel Atlantis The Palm. You will find there 19 restaurants (one of them 2 stars Michellin and a Nobu), shopping mall, huge aquarium filed with tropical fishes, beach and many pools. The Palm Jumeirah is a part of The Palm Island, which is the Largest man-made Island in the world .
4. The desert
The best way to get to the desert is on an organised tour. During the desert safari, you’ll ride in reinforced Jeeps over giant sand dunes at breakneck speeds Most of the tours include a safari dinner and belly dance.
We had lot of fun!
One of Dubai’s greatest attraction for visitors is its superb shopping. Some of the luxury malls include the Mall of the Emirates and Deira City Centre. Dubai Mall is Dubai’s largest shopping centre with around 1200 shops. It’s also home to a 50m long aquarium. If you like to ski in between shopping, then head to the Mall of the Emirates, which has about 500 shops, as well as an indoor ski resort. Always remember to barter with the salesman – they expect you to. Also, if you are traveling to Dubai in January, be sure to stop by one of the most famous Dubai shopping festivals of the year.
6. Indoor ski resort.
The first indoor ski resort in the Middle East! An amazing 22,500 square meters covered with real snow all year round! It is a part of the Mall of the Emirates. You have to see it to believe it!
7. Cruise the Creek .
Dubai is split right down the middle by a creek that’s responsible for the city’s location and growth. Dinner cruises are available for the utmost pleasurable experience of slowly gliding along the creek while enjoying a sumptuous meal.
A great way to begin a Dubai journey is with a tour of Bastakiya, one of the oldest traditional Emirati neighbourhoods in Bur Dubai, the old historic district. Here you can see the windtower, the earliest form of air conditioning, which was used to cool homes in the Gulf. From here wander along to the nearby Creek and board an abra, a traditional boat that now serves as a taxi, across to Deira and visit the Gold Souk.
9. Gold Souk
Dubai boasts one of the largest gold markets in the world. You have to be prepared to haggle over price here, so it’s worth noting the current price of gold before you visit. Besides gold, the shops also offer platinum, diamonds and silver and the government keeps tight control over the quality of all the merchandise, so you can rest assured that your purchases will be genuine.
Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Walk (JBW)- 100% fabricated marina with condo developments stretching into the sky. Lounging around on the beach all day is an activity that will never get old on your relaxing Dubai vacation.