Famed to be the fastest growing city in the world over the past four decades developing from a small town that was formerly a trading centre, Dubai has become one of the world’s most beautiful and futuristic urban destinations. Driven by a heady cocktail of petrodollars, visionary acumen and naked ambition, the United Arab Emirates is like no place on earth. As the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, it is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai.
Filled with contrast, from the glittering skyline littered by towering skyscrapers and high rise buildings to the modern collection of restaurants and stores, that offers all the comfort for a traveller, the luxurious life of Dubai is second to none. From this lifestyle to the desert with the rolling hill of sand marked with footprints of Arabian oryx and gazelles, the souks with their stalls labyrinths, and the bins that overflow with a rainbow of spices.
The official language of the United Arab Emirates is Arabic. Modern Arabic is taught in schools, while most natives speak a dialect of the Gulf Arabic. With the capital at Abu Dhabi, Dubai has a total population of over 3 million people, With a land area of 3,885 sq km, It is located on the eastern part of the Arabian Peninsula on the coast of the Persian Gulf. With a major global transport hub for both passengers and cargo, it aims to be the business hub of Western Asia. The unit of currency used in Dubai is the United States Emirates Dirham.
Tourist Attractions in Dubai
There are many tourist attractions and dream destinations in Dubai, and this is a result of large scale construction activities. These spectacular tourist centres are responsible for a large number of yearly visitors to the country. In 2015, Dubai received 14 million tourists from around the world, ranking 7th out of the 150 most visited cities by international tourists on Euromonitor’s list in 2009.
When planning a holiday trip to Dubai, here is a list of five top-rated tourist attractions in Dubai:
- The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa; the tallest skyscraper in the world at 128 metres is the number of tourist attractions of every tourist in Dubai. Due to its height, shape and uniqueness, it has become the symbol of the city paying hosts to thousands of visitors daily. These visitors take one of the fastest lifts in the world to the viewing platforms on the 124th and 125 floors of the building.
- The Dubai Mall
Located in the city of Dubai, sitting next to the Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Mall, renowned as the most visited shopping centre in the world. With over 1200 shops and hundreds of restaurants, the Dubai Mall surely serves the shopping needs of residents and visitors alike. Other amazing features of this masterpiece are the indoor waterfalls, an aquarium, an ice rink, a go-kart rock, a flight simulator, cinemas, arcade games and a lot more. The Dubai Mall is open every day from 10 am till midnight while restaurants and food courts open till 1 am.
- The Dubai Fountain
Another of Dubai’s main tourist attractions is the Dubai Fountain (the largest water fountain in the world). It has an artificial lake located at the exit of the Dubai Mall, at the foot of the Burj Khalifa with a fountain show that takes place several times a day. The fountain show takes place every 30 minutes between 18.00 and 23.00, and the best time to go is nightfall when the tower is illuminated.
- Deira District and its Souks
Although the city of Dubai is known as a luxury consumerist, there are still traditional and authentic neighbourhoods to visit. One of the best places to visit during your trip to Dubai is the Deira district, a picturesque and popular place with several souks. The Gold Souks has a large number of shops with luxurious jewellery displays, and it is the largest of its kind in the Middle East. The Perfume Souks is in Sikkat Al Khail Street, while the Spice Souk and its colourful souks stock up on curry, saffron, cinnamon and a lot of spices.
- Bur Dubai
Just like the Deira district, Bur Dubai is another typical district you should visit in Dubai. The neighbourhood is one of the oldest in the city, and it’s located opposite Deira, on the other side of Dubai creek. Crossing to the Bur Dubai on an Abra; a small traditional wooden boat will allow you to enjoy a beautiful view and see the Dhows. Here is a list of the best places to visit in Bur Dubai:
- Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House
- Old Souk
- Meena Bazaar
- Hindi Lane
- Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Center
- Al Seef Market
- Dubai Museum
When is the best time to visit Dubai?
Dubai is hot during most times of the year, but the best time to visit this city is during the winter seasons with average temperatures ranging from high 70’s to low 80’s in December. Aside from the temperature during the winter season, another reason to visit during the winter is the Dubai Shopping Festival, which is held in January every year, with great deals, entertainment and all the fun you can ever imagine.
What to pack for a trip to Dubai?
- Summer dresses
- Summer skirts, linen trousers/harem pants
- Nice dresses for evening, summer tops
- Walking sandals, neck wallet
- Jet lag relief pills
- Dubai power adapter
- Mini travel fan
- Packing cubes
- Lipstick-sized portable charger
- Virtual private network
- Deodorant wipes and other underwears