The capital of the United Arab Emirates is a city of superlatives. Dubai is home to the biggest or tallest structures in the world. One of which is the Burj Khalifa located in Dubai Mall. Standing at 830 -metres, The Burj Khalifa is one of the most famous and visited buildings in the world. And it is also where I begin my search for the best places to visit in Dubai.
Best places to visit in Dubai: Getting To The Burj
No matter where you are in Dubai, you can always find your way to the Burj. All it takes is a pair of good walking shoes and the metro map. When I want to visit the Burj Khalifa, I travel by train rather than any other commute. Hopping onto the Dubai Metro Red Line takes me directly to The Burj Khalifa Stop.
You will notice most people getting off at your stop are here to shop. If you follow the crowd out of the train, you will find yourself in the Dubai Mall. The only way to the Burj is through the Dubai Mall. It is one of the best places to visit in Dubai.
If you want to explore the tower further, you can buy tickets to visit ‘At The Top;’ which is the highest point of the Burj Khalifa. Once inside, the elevator inside the tower (which is the fastest lift in the world) will take you to the Observation Deck. While at the Deck you can enjoy a Birdseye view of the entire city.
Travel Tip: Dubai is prone to occasional dust storms. The best time to visit At The Top, Burj Khalifa is when you see clear skies above. Clear skies will help you click better photographs from the Observation Deck.
Things To Do In Dubai Mall
When you visit the Burj Khalifa, you cannot escape shopping at The Dubai Mall. It is one of the biggest malls in Asia. The Mall is home to international designers like Prada, Gucci, Hermes and many others. But luxury brands are not the only eye candy here.
The Dubai Mall offers an eclectic mix of restaurants and cafes too. One of which is P.F Chang’s. Which reminds me of the next travel tip. This is one of the things to do in Dubai for any tourist.
Travel Tip: If you do not try P.F Chang’s ‘Shrimp Dynamite, then you have come all this way for nothing.
Next stop is the Fountains at Dubai Mall, which is one of those places to see in Dubai at night. This ten-minute fountain show is complete with laser lights and loud music. To keep the adventure going, you can buy tickets to the Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall. This one of the places to visit in Dubai. Better yet, you can hire a pair of skates at the ice skating rink in Dubai Mall.
Other Places To Visit In Dubai
There are many more amazing places to visit in Dubai other than malls. Take Souk Madinat Jumeirah for example; which is among the most beautiful locales in the Middle East—nestled in the Jumeirah neighbourhood. Where the wealthiest inhabitants in Dubai call home.
It takes 20 minutes to walk to the Souk from Jumeirah Beach. This locale is hard to miss as the Souk is underneath another famous landmark, the Burj Al Arab hotel.
An elegant fountain at Madinat Jumeirah welcomes its visitors into its Emirati bazaar. This is one of the things to do in Dubai. By Emirati, I mean, it is complete with air-conditioning and dramatic interiors. Sober walls and bright yellow lights, hang above Arabic cafes that serve the very best Qahwa or Arabic coffee in Dubai.
Narrow lanes in the Souk have finery and food on display. Be it light-catching silk scarves or sweet-smelling cinnamon rolls. One such path opens into a balcony with a view of the Burj Al Arab.
Unlike most people who plan a separate visit to see the Burj Al Arab. I like to see this sailboat shaped hotel from the balcony in the Souk. Let us sidebar into the next tip to see why.
“Burj Al Arab Hotel”
Travel Tip: Another way to enjoy a view of the Burj Al Arab is from Souk Madinat Jumeirah. The only reason being the Instagram worthy view from the balcony in the Souk. Especially in the evening when the sunset reflects off the Burj Al Arab.
Things To Do In Dubai: If you love beaches
You can hire a cab to take you to La Mer, a famous beach in Dubai. Further down the road from the Burj Al Arab – La Mer is a beach dedicated for swimming and soaking up the sun.
“A windy day at La Mer Beach in Dubai”
The beach is one of the places to visit in Dubai known for its Miami like vibes. As white sands dotted with palm trees house colourful shacks. The mini cheeseburger here is a must-try and goes best with mocktails available at bar shacks in La Mer.
Green Places To See In Dubai
Dubai may be known as a concrete jungle, but locals often catch their breath in greener spaces here. The Ras al Khor wetlands are one such prime getaway. This sanctuary reserved for migratory birds like flamingos and herons is also a haven for wildlife photographers. A taxi is the best way to reach the wetlands which are only open in the daytime.
Things To Do In Dubai: If you love wildlife
Among many offbeat places to see in Dubai, Swan Lake at Al Qudra happens to be the best. It is a popular camping spot to admire wild birds and will need one entire day. A little ahead from the lake is ‘Love Lake’ which is an artificial lake shaped in the form of hearts. The lake is a popular site to watch wild swans, ducks and goose swim amid local fish.
Adventure Places To See In Dubai
For adventure lovers, Dubai has plenty of options at the Hatta Dam. You can hire a cab to take you to this lesser-known locale. People visit Hatta for camping. But kayaking and boating in a lake surrounded by mountains is the main retreat.
Others head to Jebel Jais, the highest peak in the UAE for a 360-degree view of mountains and ports in deafening silence. This is one of the places to visit in Dubai.
Travel Tip: Each of these locales will take up an entire day and hiring a cab will get you there sooner than riding a bus.
Things To Do In Dubai: If you love food
When in Dubai, foodies from around the world make a quick stop at Shindagha, a heritage neighbourhood. This is one of the things to Dubai. Shindagha is always alive with bistro-style cafes; washed by the gentle waves of the Dubai creek.
“Nightlife at Shindagah”
Most people come here to dine on slow-cooked Madhbi, a dish made from a meat and rice combination. Others prefer grabbing shawarma (grilled chicken wrapped in Arabic bread) from the cafeterias here. Since the restaurants here are right next to the Dubai creek.
Most people visit Shindagha for its seafood cafes. As the fare here is fresh and well priced. As a vegetarian, I stick to Manakeesh – an Arabic bread filled with cheese and spices. Along with grilled falafels and thick hummus – a Levant sauce made from chickpeas.
Best time to visit Dubai
Cold and mild weather from December to March makes Dubai a popular travel destination. It is the best time to visit in Dubai. Winter is also the time for shopping. Every year from November to January, The Dubai Shopping Festival offers many sales and discounts across malls in Dubai.
But the main winter attraction is The Global Village, an amusement park and shopping destination which sources products from across the globe.
What other are the places to visit in Dubai and things to do in Dubai? Chime in the comments below.