Dubai is not only the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, it is a city that has like no other, gone through an incredible makeover in its landscape in a rather short period of time.
Today, it is a city where you will find the world’s tallest skyscraper, world’s biggest shopping mall, world’s largest gold market and so many other big, incredible man-made things that together with everything that Dubai represents simply scream – luxury.
Travel Map to Dubai
Top Attractions in Dubai
A sight to behold, world’s largest choreographed fountain (over 900 ft in length!) set on a 30-acre man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. Over 6,600 most advanced fountain lights, 25 color projectors create a visual spectacle of over 1,000 different water expressions with accompanying wide selection of songs ranging from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.
The fountain runs daily from 5:45 AM to 11:30 PM.
Of course, the largest shopping mall in the world where you can shop, dine, stay, and entertain yourself at Dubai aquarium and underwater zoo. In numbers, we are talking about 12 million square feet of the mall’s total area with over 1,200 retail stores!
At height of 828 meters, the Burj Khalifa is world’s tallest building situated in Dubai’s downtown. It is a fascinating example of modern day architecture with two observation decks. The one on the 124th floor is called ‘At the Top’ (at 452 meters) and the one on the 148th floor is called ‘At the Top Sky’ (at 555 meters) and a restaurant-bar on the 122nd floor.
On the observation decks, there are different VR experiences and interactive screens available where you can for an example enjoy A Falcon’s Eye View, which is to see a Dubai from a bird’s’ eye perspective. Prime visiting hours are around sunset.
At the Top is open daily from 8:30AM to 11PM. At the Top tickets are 125 AED during non-prime hours and 200 AED during prime hours.
At the Top Sky is open daily from 11AM to 10PM, with last entry 45 minutes before closing. Tickets to At the Top Sky are 350 AED during non-prime hours and 500 AED during prime hours.
Bur Dubai – heritage site
The site of the city’s original settlement with narrow alley streets all turned into pedestrian zones so you can walk your way around its many places of interest. Just to name a few – the Bastakia quarter built by Persian merchants in the late 19th century, has the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, Dubai museum and Old Souk.
Old Souk Dubai
Also known as the textile souk or Bur Dubai Souk, it is a home to many small stores selling predominantly fabrics, clothes, footwear and souvenirs.
Dubai Spice Souk
Take a deep breath and enter into the colorful and fragrant world of amazing spices and medicinal plants. You can easily find a bargain but be prepared for shopkeepers to be a bit pushy in their approach.
The world’s largest gold market where government carefully regulates the quality of all the merchandise so you can be sure you will get the real deal. It is estimated that there are approximately 10 tons of gold present at any given time in the souk. Even just to rest your eyes on the precious metals, a visit to Gold Souk is a great experience.
Dubai Museum ‘Al Fahidi Fort’ in Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
Dubai Museum ‘Al Fahidi Fort’ is located in Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood also known as Al Bastakiyo where you can see how did the life look like before, the traditional style of life that was prevalent in Dubai from the mid 19th century till the 1970s.
n the Dubai museum you will get acquainted with the very old history of Dubai, different environments where life was present (marine, coastal, desert or mountain), old monuments, pottery, weapons and more. This is a great place where you can compare the old and new Dubai.
The Dubai Museum is open Saturday through Thursday from 8:30AM to 8:30PM and Friday from 2:30PM to 8:30PM. Tickets are 3 AED per adult.
The world’s largest man-made island in a shape of a palm tree once billed as the Eighth Wonder of the World. On these series of artificial archipelagos in waters of the Arab Gulf are situated many hotels and resorts. It is possible to rent a yacht or a speedboat and sail around the entire Palm Jumeirah or walk around the grounds, take a swim, and have a cocktail or two.
It costs 25 AED for a round trip ticket on the monorail from the start of the Palm to the Atlantis Hotel.
Jumeirah Lake Towers
Over 80 towers stand impressively on an area around four artificial lakes. The total development is spread across an area of 1.35 million square feet! It makes for some fantastic skyline photography.
This stunning mosque built all in white stone and large enough for 1,200 people is one of the rare mosques in Dubai where non-Muslims are welcome under a program called ‘Open doors. Open minds.‘ Visitors can observe the prayer, learn more about the customs and ask questions. It is recommended to dress modestly and women to wear a headscarf.
The 75 minute tour takes place Saturday through Thursday at 10 AM, meeting in front of the mosque. The tour costs 20 AED per person and includes water, dates, Arabic coffee, tea, and traditional pastries.
Built as a replica of a 1900’s house of worship, the Grand mosque stands impressive, completely carved in white marble, with highest minaret in Dubai (70 meters tall) that together with 45 smakker and larger domes is covering the mosque’s roof. It is among largest mosques in the world and largest one in Dubai that can accommodate up to 40,000.
Here you will find world’s second largest chandelier and largest carpet in the world. Mirror pools, intricate carvings made of rare semi-precious stones, the tranquility of the place. It is definitely a place and experience to wholeheartedly recommend!
The Grand Mosque is open Saturday through Thursday from 9AM to 10PM and Friday from 4PM to 10PM.
Madinat Jumeirah is a contemporary interpretation of a traditional Arab village and an Arab market, Madinat Jumeirah is especially enchanting during the night with the garden lights being lit. Apart from housing a number of stands and shops with high-end brands, it is also a home to over 24 restaurants with dishes from all around the globe.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Just like so many things in Dubai had to be the biggest and largest in the world, Dubai Miracle Garden also had to be – the largest flower garden in the world. Marvel at the sight of more than 45 million blooming flowers across 72,000 square meters showcased in a variety of sculptures and designs such as pyramids, stars, igloos, and hearts. Here you will also find the record-breaking wall of flowers. Impressive!
Alserkal Avenue Arts District
Home to Dubai’s growing art scene, Alserkal Avenue Arts District is located in the industrial neighborhood of Al Quoz, in one of the most important contemporary art hubs in the UAE. Here you will find some of the Dubai’s leading galleries such as Carbon 12 Dubai, Isabelle Van den Eynde Gallery, and Green, Salsali Private Museum (Dubai’s first private museum) together with many restaurants and cafés.
Shout out to artists among you who might be interested in artists residences – this is also a home to Satellite, an alternative art space that invites local, regional, and international artists providing them with the resources to produce new and original works of art.
If you are perplexed by laws and culture dominating the UAE, the Etihad Museum is where you can learn more about it. Gain a deeper knowledge and insight into the UAE constitution and the rights and responsibilities of Emirati citizens.
Burj Al Arab
Another famous and unmissable Dubai’s graceful landmark which evokes the sail of a dhow (traditional wooden cargo vessel). This opulently decorated hotel and its 180 meters high lobby you can enter only with a previous restaurant reservation and a mandatory minimum 350 AED spent for cocktails in the Skyview Bar.
Jumeirah Public Beach
Right next to the Burj Al Arab is the less crowded Jumeirah Public Beach with clear water, lifeguards on site, bathroom and shower facilities. Swim, soak up the sun, grab a snack or two, or just enjoy people watching.
Dubai’s beach where you can enjoy and take part in various water sports or simply enjoy the view at kite surfers performing on the waters of Arab Gulf.