the true majesty of the building is best appreciated up close
Dubai is a city that must be seen physically to be believed. From what started out as an area covered in sand has been transformed into a vibrant hotspot for tourists.
The most populous city and popular emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) features tall skyscrapers standing alongside more traditional sights.
It is a big reason why so many people visit the city. A large proportion of tourists are of South Asian origin while over 2 million Indians already live there.
From shopping to entertainment, there are lots to do when visiting Dubai.
Many activities are situated within recognisable complexes and are grouped together meaning that visitors can take part in a range of activities.
If you are visiting Dubai, here is a selection of places to see during your time in Dubai.
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at 828 metres with 160 floors.
It opened in January 2010 after six years of construction and naturally, it dominates the Dubai skyline.
While the outside looks stunning, the true majesty of the building is best appreciated up close or from inside. Visitors travel to see the skyscraper and there is much to do inside.
On a clear day, the view from the observation deck on floor 124 is absolutely stunning.
The view is even more spectacular when looking out from At The Top Sky Lounge on the 148th floor.
For those who want to make a stop and enjoy a meal, you can dine at the world’s highest restaurant, At.mosphere.
You can also head to The Lounge which covers levels 152, 153 and 154, making it the tallest lounge on the planet.
The Dubai Mall
Next to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall which is the world’s biggest mall.
Although the complex contains more than 1,200 shops and 150 shops, to call it just a shopping centre would be an injustice.
There is plenty you can do and see. The sheer amount you can do means that you would need to spend more than just one day.
The venue is home to The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo where you can see 300 sharks and countless species of fish completely free from the outside of the tank.
It also contains an indoor theme park, a huge indoor waterfall and a choreographed outdoor fountain.
Skating enthusiasts also have the opportunity to learn how to skate as the Dubai Mall houses the Dubai Ice Rink.
Visitors to the vast mall may end up doing everything apart from shopping.
The Dubai Fountain
Outside the Dubai Mall is the iconic Dubai Fountain which is the largest choreographed fountain system in the world.
At more than 900-feet in length, this popular water show jets water streams as high as 150 metres.
Each illuminated jet sways to a range of different songs, from classical music to contemporary Arabia tracks and classic pop songs.
It has become one of the most popular shows in Dubai, attracting locals as well as tourists.
For those who want to experience this unique water display, there are two showings in the afternoon at 1 pm and 1:30 pm. On Fridays, it is from 1:30 pm to 2 pm.
Evening displays start as the sun goes down and takes place every 30 minutes until the final track plays at 11.00 pm.
Normally, beaches are a place where you can relax but Kite Beach is for more active beachgoers.
While it is the ideal location to test out your watersports skills, there is plenty to do away from the water.
This location has jogging and walking tracks, as well as many open-air cafes and restaurants, just steps away from the beach.
Watch bikers and skaters perform tricks at the skate park or enjoy a game of volleyball.
In terms of watersports, there is an inflatable assault course on the sea to try out.
With a wide variety of beach activities situated near the seven-star Burj Al Arab hotel, it is easy to spend the whole day at Kite Beach.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
The IMG Worlds of Adventure is the biggest indoor theme park in the world and is the size of 28 football pitches.
It is home to some exciting rides which appeal to all the family.
Younger visitors can enjoy themed rides featuring their favourite characters while older visitors can delve into the world of Marvel.
One of the highlights of the theme park is the Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure Zone which is home to 69 life-size animatronic dinosaurs.
This area features the Velociraptor roller coaster which can reach 62 mph in 2.5 seconds.
The Predator ride defies gravity as it features a 35-metre “beyond vertical” drop.
As well as roller coasters, there are plenty of shops and restaurants to visit, meaning that IMG Worlds of Adventure promises continuous fun for the whole family.
One of the most iconic places to see in Dubai is the Palm Jumeirah which is a manmade island in the shape of a palm tree.
It is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and both locals and tourists enjoy the plethora of luxury hotels including the Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One&Only and Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
One of the most notable attractions is Atlantis, The Palm. It features lots of restaurants from Nobu to Gordon Ramsey’s Bread Street Kitchen.
It even has an aquarium where you can do yoga.
Visit the Aquaventure Waterpark and swim with dolphins or feed some stingrays.
More adventurous people can ride the Leap of Faith slide which takes you through a glass tunnel surrounded by sharks.
The Palm Jumeirah is a place to visit in Dubai and one which is easy to get to thanks to a monorail running through the centre that connects to the tram system on the mainland.
Dubai may be known for its vibrant environment but the Creek is more traditional and the real heart of the city.
The estuary is the original site where the Bani Yas tribe settled and its waters were important for pearl diving and fishing, two of Dubai’s main forms of economy.
The Creek houses the Dubai Museum as well as many alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks.
There are hundreds of retails in the Gold Souk which offer a selection of jewellery, diamonds and other precious stones.
Colourful fabrics are mainly sold in the Textile Souk.
While visiting the Creek, using a traditional abra to travel across the water is a must.
They are small boats which can hold approximately 20 people. Abras are popularly used by residents and tourists and are the cheapest means of travelling.
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city and is a fitting tribute to the city’s past.
The area presents a bygone era with traditional wind towers and winding alleyways.
Tourists can visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) where they can take part in various activities which appreciate the local culture.
Traditional Arab households and souks can be seen throughout Al Fahidi which offer an insight into Dubai’s past.
After exploring the area, take an abra ride to the unique souks on the other side of the Creek.
Madinat Jumeirah provides a unique blend of luxury and tradition.
The complex is inspired by a citadel and is a couple of miles of waterways surrounded by lush gardens.
It also encloses lavish restaurants, bars and hotels built in the traditional style. This includes the Talise Spa, the Madinat Souk and Madinat Theatre.
Even the corridors have been built to give it a traditional look.
All of this is connected by an abra service so that you can appreciate the architecture and waterways.
It is a hybridised attraction to visit where you can easily spend several hours viewing the unique scenery.
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai is known for being an entertaining tourist destination and it is more so thanks to Dubai Parks and Resorts.
The 25 million square feet complex is the UAE’s largest multi-themed leisure and entertainment destination.
Motiongate features 27 rides and attractions themed on films and is bound to get visitors excited.
There is also Legoland with over 60 rides, waterslides and attractions.
Adults can take time away from the adventure by relaxing on Riverland Boulevard where there are restaurants and entertainment programmes.
The Lapita hotel is also situated at Dubai Parks and Resorts and has a Polynesian style. It offers guests access to a plethora of facilities.
Dubai will always be a popular destination for tourists wherever they are in the world.
With so many attractions, it is easy to see why so many people visit the city.
These attractions will hopefully provide a guide on what to do while in Dubai.