A veritable hive of activity, Dubai International Airport is the gateway to the Middle East and hub for airlines like Emirates, Flydubai, and Qantas. It’s also where you’ll touch down if you’re on a journey to visit the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Busy and cosmopolitan, Dubai has plenty to offer her visitors and stunning contrasts prevail throughout the emirate.
Ready to start your journey? Most flights land at Dubai International Airport, which is a mere hop away from the city centre. Transfer via metro or bus, or flag down a cream-coloured Dubai Transport Corporation taxi for the 5km journey. If special requirements dictate that you need a female driver, just look out for the taxis with a pink trim.
Once you’re in the city, get ready to explore Dubai’s top attractions. The Burj Khalifa is not-to-be-missed. The world’s tallest building, this skyscraper is 829.8m in height and an architectural feat, with its jagged appearance and pointy top. Located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd, it towers above all the other buildings in the city and stunning views await at At The Top, the building’s observation deck that’s open day and night. Keen to add this to your itinerary? Allocate an hour for your visit and get Fast Track tickets from The Dubai Mall. And, don’t miss Dubai Fountains, which is located at the base of the towers.
Be sure to marvel at Dubai’s other architectural and man-made attractions. From the Dubai International Finance Centre to Dubai World Trade Centre, the list is endless. Don’t miss the Burj Al Arab (Tower of the Arabs), the world’s only 7-star hotel and the fourth tallest in the world; Atlantis, a majestic resort that has its own water park, Aquaventure; Dubai Marina, a great spot for dinner or an evening stroll; and, other attractions at the Palm Jumeirah area. Fancy some adventure and activity? Dubai Zoo and Wild Wadi Water Park guarantee fun for all ages and at Ski Dubai, you’ll be able to ski, snowboard, or ride the toboggan.
Prefer being outdoors? Jumeirah Beach has a long stretch of white sand and parks like Miracle Garden, Safa Park, and Mushrif Park offer respite from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can even go horse-riding at the latter. Or, would you prefer to indulge in some retail therapy? Head to The Dubai Mall. Its 440,000 square feet Fashion Avenue is home to the world’s largest collection of fashion brands under one roof, including many designer brands. Hunting down Middle Eastern goods and treasures? Souk Madinat inside the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel is a good place to go, or head to Global Village or the palatial Souk Khan Murjan at WAFI Mall if you’re after variety and a host of F&B options.
And, don’t miss the cultural side of Dubai. Learn all about the traditional way of life in the Middle East at Dubai Museum. Located at the Al Fahidi Fort, the building itself was erected in 1787 and remains the oldest existing building in the emirate. For an insight into Islam, join one of the organised tours at Jumeirah Mosque, said to be the most photographed mosque in Dubai.
Dubai’s also a good base for visits to other parts of the UAE. Consider a daytrip to the capital of Abu Dhabi, or head to the East Coast, to marvel at the oasis of Al Dhaid or the mountain ranges of Fujairah or Al Hajar, which borders Oman. Elsewhere, there’s also Sharjah. A mere 20 minutes away from Dubai, the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization is based here, and there are also traditional souks that beg to be explored.
Moving around Dubai is a cinch with the Dubai Metro, an air-conditioned inter-city train that connects many of Dubai’s top sights. Buses are also regularly used and the best route for visitors is at Jumeirah Beach Road. And, with relatively affordable fares, Taxis are another way of getting around. A tip: opt for the Dubai Taxi Corporation’s Ladies Taxis or ‘In Safe Hands’, if you’re a single female traveller or travelling with children.
Did you know…
As Dubai is situated right within the Arabian Desert, it does get hot and steamy. Prefer slightly cooler temperatures? Aim to visit between November and March when it’s cooler.
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