Dubai's must-see attractions
Burj Khalifa – A Record-Setting Masterpiece
DISCOVER A TRULY UNIQUE VIEW FROM THE TOP
Soaring 828 metres above Dubai and currently the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa represents a union of art, engineering and heritage. It's home to thousands of metres of office space, 900 private residences, the 160-room Armani Hotel and At the Top, the outdoor observation deck on the 124th floor. The most recent addition is At The TopSKY, a record-breaking observation deck on the 148th. At.mosphere is the world's highest restaurant, with stunning views and an equally stellar menu. The Burj Khalifa is also an art lover's paradise: There are more than 1,000 specially commissioned works of art from Middle Eastern and international artists throughout the building.
The Dubai Mall
REDEFINE THE MEANING OF SHOPPING
Right next to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall. To call the sprawling development merely a shopping mall is doing it a disservice. Even an entire day spent here isn't enough to see it all. Along with its 1,200-plus shops and 150 restaurants, the venue is home to an indoor theme park, an ice rink, a huge indoor waterfall, a choreographed outdoor fountainand the giant Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
The Dubai Fountain
WITNESS WATER DANCE IN THE CENTRE OF DOWNTOWN DUBAI
The Dubai Fountain, located at the base of the iconic Burj Khalifa and just outside the doors of the famous Dubai Mall, features the world's largest choreographed fountain system. This popular dancing water show jets water streams as high as 150 metres in the air. Each colourful, illuminated jet sways in time to various musical numbers from around the world, producing what has become the one of the most popular shows in Dubai. Two showings occur in the afternoon (1pm and 1:30pm), except on Fridays (1:30pm to 2pm) and evening displays begin at sundown and take place every 30 minutes until the final song plays at 11pm.
EXPLORE ONE OF DUBAI’S ARCHITECTURAL TRIUMPHS
A man-made island in the shape of a palm tree - there's a reason why locals say 'only in Dubai.' Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the Palm's vast array of high-end hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One&Only, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and, perhaps most notably, the iconic Atlantis, The Palm. And with a monorail running down the 'trunk' that connects to the mainland's tram system, getting there couldn't be easier.
Just south of Burj Al Arab lies another iconic symbol of Dubai, the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah. Designed in the the shape of a palm tree, its 16 extended fronds are surrounded by an 11km-long crescent, which is home to some of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels. A monorail runs along the length of the trunk to Atlantis, The Palm, the island’s flagship resort at the centre of the crescent. This hotel is not just a vision to behold, but also houses The Lost Chambers Aquarium and Aquaventure Waterpark, which is fantastic fun for all ages.
The Palm’s new Boardwalk running along the crescent is dotted with food trucks, making it a great place for a sunset stroll. Don’t miss Palm Jumeirah’s latest dining hotspot and beach club, Club Vista Mare. The bustling dining walk has seven restaurants overlooking the sand and sea, with unbeatable views off the Palm’s eastern shoreline. There’s a real mix of cuisines, from Peruvian and Italian to Ethiopian and
STEP INTO OLD DUBAI’S WINDING WATERWAYS AND SOUKS
Dubai may be famous for the glitz and glamour of its sky-high towers, but the real heart of the city is, and always will be, the Creek. The saltwater estuary is the original site where the Bani Yas tribe settled, and its waters were vital for what used to be Dubai's main forms of economy: pearl diving and fishing. Today, the area is awash with the history of the emirate, as it's home to the Dubai Museum as well as the labyrinthine alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks. While at the Creek, a ride across the water on a traditional abra is a must, and at an unbelievable AED1 per ticket, it's easily the best value tourist attraction in the city.
Look into the future at the world's largest man-made marina, Dubai Marina. Marvel at some of the world's tallest apartment buildings as you stroll along Dubai Marina Walk or see it from the water as you set sail from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.
A majestic landscape
Less than 20 minutes driving from the modernist streets of Downtown Dubai, you can experience the marvels of the Arabian Desert, the original tourist attraction of Dubai. Take a desert safari Dubai-style with off-roading, quad biking and sandboarding followed by traditional barbeques, henna and camel rides. Or just drive out and experience the wonder of the desert on an adventure of your own. Those looking for luxury should indulge in a Heritage Dinner Safari. Can't get enough in a day? Treat yourself to an unforgettable night amid the dunes at the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa or Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.
Uncover Dubai’s past
Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Best seen walking, this area offers a nostalgic view of a bygone era with traditional wind towers and a maze of winding alleyways. You can visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) where guests can take part in Arabic classes, heritage tours and guided mosque visits to better appreciate the local culture. After exploring, take an atmospheric abra ride to the souks on the other side of the Creek.
A contemporary history
Discover United Arab Emirates’ contemporary history at Dubai’s freshest cultural offering – the Etihad Museum. The magnificent new museum, located in Jumeirah 1, features a plethora of interactive pavilions where visitors can explore the UAE’s history – with particular emphasis on the significant period surrounding the establishment of the country’s independence between 1968 and 1974 – through photos, films and more. Additionally, guests can learn about the UAE’s rich heritage before the country’s founding Fathers signed the treaty that unified the seven emirates as well as the subsequent economic development.
TAKE A RIDE ON DUBAI’S NEWEST WATERWAY
Dubai Water Canal is a 3.2km long waterway extending from the Creek in Old Dubai through Business Bay before finding its way to the Arabian Gulf. Dubai Canal will create 80,000 sqm of waterfront public space and facilities, to include new recreational areas like the 3km running track and 12km cycling path. The canal’s beautiful waterfall can be viewed from Dubai’s Business Bay or you can take in views of the canal from some of Dubai’s newest hotels, like W Hotel and the St Regis. The Atrium is a series of five restaurants that are also situated off the canal’s waterfront.
Past meets present
For an experience that marries tradition and luxury, come to Madinat Jumeirah. Literally translated as 'City of Jumeirah' this complex is inspired by an ancient citadel. It encloses luxury hotels, private enclaves built in the traditional style, the world-class Talise Spa, the Madinat Souk, Madinat Theatre, and more than 40 restaurants and lounges. You can also explore on traditional wooden abras to appreciate the waterways and architecture.
DISCOVER DUBAI’S ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE
The Dubai Opera situated in the new “Opera District” in the heart of Dubai offers an enticing schedule which can be likened to that of London’s West End or Manhattan’s Broadway. With views of the Dubai Fountain and next to the Burj Khalifa, the building was inspired by the shape of Arabian Dhow ships and is sure to catch your eye. While the rear of the building arches upwards like a hull and is used as a foyer, taxi rank and car park, the stage area is designed in such a way that it can easily be converted into three different event platforms: theatre, hall or concert hall.
WALK EUROPEAN-INSPIRED STREETS IN THE HEART OF ARABIA
Take A Stroll Through City Walk
The first phase of this Jumeirah development is now open. Spanning a total area of 13,000 square metres, City Walk is reminiscent of European-style streets. Take a stroll down the walk lined with designer stores and restaurants - and make sure you look up to appreciate the striking vista of city skyscrapers, including the Burj Khalifa. Water features, play areas for children, and plenty of al fresco seating add to the appeal.
Stretching over 13,000 square metres, City Walk is reminiscent of European pedestrian precincts offering a pleasant vehicle-free stroll. Take a walk along tree-lined avenues with shops and restaurants. Look upwards and discover skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa in Dubai’s city centre. There are also fountains, children's playgrounds and plenty of open-air seating.