Top 10 things to do in Dubai

Glitzy Dubai is many experiences rolled into one. A global city home to the tallest building in the world, vast expanses of sand dunes, a glimmering sea, old market places, and what have you. Discover what this Arab city has to offer in 10 stops.

1. Desert safari

When you land in a city of lights conjured up from desert sand, what better to do than go experience the desert? There are several companies that offer desert safaris and many packages that you can pick from. Go dune bashing in a hummer, or try out some quad biking. You could try a camel ride, some belly dancing and take in the beauty of a desert sunset. You may even spend the night at the camp site, if you pick an overnight package.
Desert Safari, Dubai

2. Skiing

So you’ve felt the heat and the sand. Now try out the marvel of new age cooling systems – a skiing spot in the middle of a desert! Head to Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates, a huge ski slope complete with instructors, warm clothing and equipment on hire. The temperature inside is maintained at -1 degree Celsius even as the city outside hovers around 50 degrees!
Ski Dubai

3. Burj Khalifa

All of 829.8 metres of glass and chrome, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. It has over 160 floors and an observation deck on level 124. Taking you up there will be a high speed lift – all those floors covered in less than a minute! The deck promises grand views of Dubai city as it stretches out at your feet. You could book tickets online to jump the queue.

4. Dubai Fountains

At the base of the Burj Khalifa lie the Dubai Fountains, counted as the largest dancing fountain in the world. The fountains dance to choreographed light and music shows every day. The spectacle is spread across 30 acres of the manmade Burj Khalifa Lake.
There are two shows in the afternoon: 1 pm and 1.30 pm from Saturdays to Thursdays, and 1.30 pm and 2 pm on Fridays. In the evening, there are shows every half an hour, from 6 pm to 11 pm. Plan your visit after sunset – the lights come on and it makes for a prettier sight.

5. Dubai Creek

This salt water creek separates Bur Dubai and Deira. You could drive along it or take a ride on an abra, one of the wooden boats that ply as water taxis. Take in the skylines on either sides, or enjoy a sunset. If you are in large group, you could also hire a private abra and cut out the crowd.

6. Jumeirah beach walk

In the Jumeirah Beach Residences, you will find a promenade called The Walk. Lined with stores, restaurants and activities like street painting, photography shows and sand sculptures, the walk is popular with residents as well as tourists.

 7. Burj Al Arab

Every city has its iconic photo op. For Dubai, it has been the Burj Al Arab hotel for several years now. The hotel claims to be the only 7-star hotel in the world. There are several points from where you can take great pictures with the Burj Al Arab in the backdrop, the quintessential Dubai holiday photo!
Burj Al Arab, Dubai

8. Gold gold gold!

You have bargained your way out at roadside stalls and vegetable vendors. Have you tried bargaining while shopping for gold jewellery? Well, here’s your chance. Head to the Gold Souk and try out the many stores of shining yellow bling. Haggling is not an option, it is a must. Even if you don’t buy any gold, walking past shops after shops of all possible kinds of gold jewellery can be an experience by itself. The gold souk isn’t the only place for jewellery; you could also try out places like the Gold & Diamond Park. Dubai is known to have cheaper gold jewellery, thanks to lower design and making charges.
Gold Souk, Dubai

 9. Souks of Diera

When you are done haggling down gold prices at the gold souk, explore the neighbouring souks. The spice souk may bring to mind Indian markets, with the mixed scents of spices heavy in the air. Follow your nose further and you will find yourself at the perfume souk, which sells scents and perfumes right from traditional Arabic ittar and oudh to the latest branded ones. You will also find plenty of street vendors selling fake designer goods.

10. Mall crawl

Coming back to the glitz and lights of the new city, here are two malls that can keep you occupied for a couple of days – the Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates. The Dubai mall is said to be the largest in the world and has over 600 retailers. It is home to the Dubai aquarium and an ice rink. The Mall of the Emirates also has on offer over 500 retailers and houses Ski Dubai. It also has two hotels attached to it.

If you have more time on your hands, you could hop over to the neighbouring cities of Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

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