Dubai has everything: year round high temperatures, amazing hotels on the beach, big pools and waterparks, the most amazing restaurants, the biggest shopping malls, impressive architecture and much more. But- it is all fake and artificial and you either love it or hate it. It has all the ingredients for a perfect holiday, but it has to be your type of place. It is quite flashy, big cars, luxury hotels and restaurants, designer shops: it is a ‘seen and to be seen’ place. I really wanted to go to Dubai to see it for myself and to experience it, and I am so glad I had the opportunity to do so, but it took a while before I got used to it. Our hotel was on the man made beach, and behind us was an enormous amount of sky scrapers. So, you look in front of you and you see a ‘fake’ beach, you look behind you and it is like you are in New York! It is definitely an experience like no other and unlike any other holiday destination I’ve been. But before you plan your holiday here make sure it is the type of place for you!
We stayed there for 5 days, and I think we did quite good on balancing sight seeing and activities with relaxing on the beach. Here are some tips to see Dubai’s main attractions in a relatively short time.
Admire the architecture
- Burj Khalifa
- Burj al Arab
- Dubai Frame
With the world’s tallest building and the world’s only 7* hotel in one city, architecture lovers will definitely appreciate these. Also new in Dubai, opened in January is the Dubai Frame, which is predicted to become one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai. The two tall buildings are connected by a bridge, so the building actually looks like a frame as well. Inside the building you can find a museum displaying Dubai’s transformation from simple fishing village to the world city it is now.
Party in style
- Zero Gravity
Party on the beach or in and around the pool with the amazing skyline of skyscrapers behind you. If you go to a destination with high temperatures like Dubai, I’ll pick clubbing on the beach over an indoor venue anytime! Look on the website for special events, dj’s and ticket information, as they offer all inclusive brunches on some days as well.
- Dubai Mall
- Emirates Mall
If you are a shopaholic, Dubai is the place for you. The biggest malls in the world feature ski pistes, a huge aquarium, a cinema- oh, and shops of course! We only spend a few hours here because we wanted to go to a specific area of the mall, but you could easily spend a full day here and you will probably still not see the whole mall because it simply is enormous! If you go to the Dubai Mall, the Burj Khalifa is located next to it so you can admire two in one, and also pop out to see the fountain show!
- JBR Walk
- Dubai Marina
- Souk Madinat Jumeirah
The JBR is an open-air promenade where you can walk along loads of boutiques, restaurants and shops. It is a very upcoming district, with some very cool artsy street art and hotels. It is located between the marina and the beach so a good combination.
The marina is good for yacht spotting and if you are going for a walk on the bridges you will get amazing views, or you could rent a boat for a day and tour around it!
Souk Madinat is a shopping and restaurant complex in the Jumeirah hotel complex. It is worth visiting because it is all in traditional Arabic style, from the buildings to the shops. The souks offer loads of souvenirs and jewellery, and little boats take you through the complex. There are many restaurants as well, and you will have an amazing view on the Burj al Arab.
Go on a quad or 4×4 adventure and watch sunrise in the desert. With the craziness and hectic of the major city that Dubai is, starting the day in complete darkness surrounded by nothing but sand is just an experience like no other. When the sun rises you will see the most amazing colors and if you are lucky you will get some good views of the mountains. Once the sun is up, go wild in the desert by driving on the quad bikes up and down the massive sand hills. A great half day tour with an early start, so you have the rest of the afternoon to chill!