What to do and what to see in the “city of excess”?
Dubai. The only mention of this name is enough to tell us what to expect: an oasis of upscale hotels, world-class restaurants and frankly bizarre attractions, all in the middle of the desert. Dubai is not a city to rest on its laurels, the Emirati locomotive going constantly forward (and towards the sky) and there is always something new to see.
Also Dubai is a city that offers a lot of outdoor activity, sporting activity and, as surprising as it may seem, in relation to nature. So what to do in Dubai, where to start?
Here is our guide to the best things to do and to visit in Dubai, with practical information as a result.
1. The Burj Khalifa
Visit the world’s tallest observation platform, At The Top, on floor 124 of the Burj Khalifa Tower. This tower, which gives the impression of piercing the sky, is the tallest building in the world (for now) with 828 meters of height (more than 2.5 times the Eiffel Tower) engineering. It was completed in just six years and today stands as a symbol of Dubai’s determination to reach new heights.
2. The Desert
Dubai is the gateway to the desert and there are some sports activities to experiment like the Dune Bashing (skidding in the dunes in 4 × 4 with a professional), a camel ride, sandboard (surfing on the dunes ) And BBQ feast under the stars meeting with the Bedouins … You can also sit for a while to appreciate the absolute silence of the desert, facing the sunset.
Yes, you have read it: it is possible to ski in Dubai in full desert. To do this, you have to go to Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort located inside the vast Mall of the Emirates. Take a ski lesson if you are a beginner (admit it would be unusual) or, if you are comfortable on two skis, rent your own gear and downhill. Do not miss a hot chocolate in the bar-cafe of the “resort“.
4. The beach and the Burj Al Arab
Spend time at the beach next to Burj Al Arab, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world that has been built to resemble a sail that rises. Here you can take the famous picture of you, standing on the sand, with the skyscraper in the background. From its 321 meters, it has become one of the emblematic symbols of Dubai.
5. A cruise in abra in the heart of historic districts
Here is one of the least “superfluous” tours of Dubai: a tour abra (boat taxi) on Dubai Creek. Your traditional boat will take you to the old city divided into two districts (Bur Dubai and Deira) where you will discover a totally different ambience of modern Dubai. You will admire many sights and monuments such as the Heritage Village, the Chamber of Commerce, the National Bank of Dubai, the city’s courthouses and the sumptuous souks. In the latter, you can buy souvenirs and walk quietly.
6. The Jumeirah Mosque
Non-Muslims are rarely allowed to see inside a mosque, but at the Jumeirah mosque, the project “Open Doors. Open Minds “(open doors, open minds) allows you to visit it. The ideal thing is to join a guided tour as you will not only be able to see the vast interior of this architectural wonder in Fatimid style, but you can also ask what you want from the guide, about the local culture, Islam itself.
7. Fountain of Dubai
The fountain of Dubai is actually a collection of fountains that are located in the Burj Khalifa lake. These are the largest dancing fountains on the planet, measuring 275 meters long and projecting water to 275 meters (150 meters before). There are shows every day in the early afternoon and especially every 30 minutes from 6pm to 10pm. Great for eating in the corner and watching these fountains for free.
8. Places to wander around
In Dubai, there are many green parks where you can stroll and relax. If you want to go jogging or walking, parks like Dubai Creek Park, Jumeirah Beach Park, Zabeel Park, Safa Park, or Mamzar Park are good choices. These parks are excellent for picnicking and meeting people of all nationalities. It is also pleasant to stroll along the Jumeirah Beach Residence and the Dubai Marina, with many cafes and restaurants to sit. These places are lively as busy.
9. Visit to the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding
This center aims to increase awareness and understanding between the different cultures that exist in Dubai. Created under the same project as the Jumeirah mosque “open doors, open minds”, this intercultural center tries to break down the barriers between people of different nationalities by raising public awareness of the culture, customs and religion of the Arab Emirates United. We usually go there for breakfast.
10. Fill up with adrenaline in the amusement parks
There are many leisure parks in Dubai, including water parks such as “Wild Wadi Water Park” or “Aquaventure“. The “Children’s City” is ideal for children from 2 to 15 years old. Two other sensational activities that you can test on site are fly over Dubai by helicopter or seaplane.
There is a double activity that will delight both children and adults: swim with the dolphins and go to Aquaventure Park on the same day.
Practical information about Dubai
Where to eat in Dubai at an affordable price?
Eating in Dubai is not really expensive. There are hundreds of restaurants that offer almost every meal from the four corners of the world. Some restaurants even offer home deliveries.
So you could find restaurants at Madinat Souk, shopping malls (such as the Dubai Mall), on the pedestrian street called The Walk, in the Deira district and especially on the Al Dhiyafah Road … A restaurant in particular Talk about him: the Ravi, where one says that one eats “like a prince, but one pays like a poor” and just take a bite of their delicious curries to understand why this Pakistani restaurant is so popular. Pakistani dishes such as Nihari beef or lamb stew are available for less than 5$.
Where to sleep in Dubai at an affordable price?
Accommodation in Dubai is a bit more expensive. There are few hostels with nights ranging from 28$ to 45$ per person. If you want to save money, you can stay in a hostel in the neighboring city of Sharjah (see Sharjah hotels), but transportation every day can be annoying. Otherwise, Dubai has more than a thousand hotels, and thanks to this competition, it is still possible to find good deals in world-class hotels.
What is the best time to visit Dubai?
Since much of Dubai is made up of desert, its climate is dry. Thus, during the summer (between June and September), it is extremely hot. However, during the winter (between November and April) the climate of Dubai is more pleasant, much less hot. It is therefore best to go to Dubai during the autumn and winter.