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Dubai is a city like no other, with its ancient and modern history displayed in large proportions. With impressive skyscrapers, vast desert and history, Dubai can be a bit overwhelming to the people visiting it for the first time. It is a mix of ancient customs and cosmopolitan modernity and, believe me, you will want to see everything at your first visit. Fortunately, with this article you will get all the information about the diversity that Dubai can offer.
1. Burj Khalifa – At the top of the world!
Burj Khalifa is located right next to the Dubai Mall and is the center of the city extravagance. The huge building will take your breathe away. Being around 829 meters tall, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.
During our visit we booked tickets to the 124th floor. On this floor there is a viewing deck with great view of Dubai and the vast desert. The cost was about 50 USD per person for a standard daily ticket. If you want to visit during a sunset or sunrise, or if you want to go on a higher floor or give yourself a feast, you have to dig deeper into your pockets. But it’s definitely worth the visit if it’s within your budget. From here you can truly immerse yourself in the strangeness of this gigantic cosmopolitan city, surrounded by nothing but sand dunes and miles of desert. The feeling is like looking at a city of Lego. Unfortunately, there was also a slight sandstorm and we were not able to see all the splendor of the view.
If you are looking for cheap tickets to visit Burj Khalifa – click here.
2. The Dubai fountains – enjoy one of a kind magic!
They, as well as the skyscraper, are located within the Dubai Mall. One bullet – 3 rabbits. Even the Magic Fountains in Barcelona can not be matched by this synchronicity of melody and water dance. The performances are 2 during the day: from 13:00 to 13:30 (13:30 and 14:00 on Fridays) and at the evening they start at 18:00 and continue until 11:00 on every half hour. If you want your experience to be even more memorable, you can hop on to one of the boats that swim in the lake. I had the pleasure of looking at this magic right at sunset and I tell you – it is worth it.
3. Malls of Dubai – way more than shopping centers!
One of the most sophisticated things you can see at the Dubai Mall is not the fountains or the skyscraper. It is the Ski Resort located in the Mall of the Emirates. There you can even play with penguins. Other interesting attractions that can be found in their malls are a huge aquarium again at Dubai Mall, where you can even feed sharks, find camel milk ice cream, amazing show with lasers projections and water, have a 3-course menu in theater and more and more kind of unbelievable things you did not even think about doing, not to mention in a mall.
4. The Old Dubai – Rediscover this place
Old Dubai is a mystical place, covered with secret tales and fascinating history. Nowhere else you can get closer to the origins of Dubai and the Arabic traditions, as here as you wander through the labyrinths of abandoned streets and narrow paths.
Explore the historical district ofAl Bastakiya, shop in the Dubai Souks (markets) and discover the history of Dubai Creek, which has divided the city between tribes and dynasties. Immerse yourself in traditional Arab culture by visiting one of the tea houses in Old Dubai. Or take some traditional clothes in the textile souk as a souvenir. And do not forget to stop at one of their herbs and spices souks.
If you want a mix between old and new Dubai, you can visit the bazaar just outside Burj Al Arab – Madinat Jumeirah. And for even more impressive sights here you can go on a boat and enjoy the surrounding fairy tale.
5. Dubai Desert – Endless serenity
When you’re ready to escape from the chaotic city life, head to the desert of Dubai. It is only an hour’s drive away and opens a new world of Arab culture. From huge luxury skyscrapers you will enter into a world of intact and empty natural landscape. Here is the place where the bedouins reign, and the camels roam .. Place nothing like anything you’ve ever seen.
There are many companies that offer desert tours. We chose a desert safari, including a dune bashing, dinner and attractions. We booked our from Raina Tours , but for more luxurious trips to the desert, I recommend Platinum Heritage Tours . Most will take you from the hotel and take you to the desert, where you can see the sunset, eat the incredible Arabic cuisine and experience the silence and the vastness of the desert Dubai.
6. Night Dubai – Perfect ending
After a long day, when you get lost in the city, there is no better way to relax than to visit Dubai’s nightlife. And it is truly magnificent. Surrounded by cocktails and hookahs, you will feel more bohemian than ever. One of the places I’ve left for my next visit is Sky 43 the 43 level salon of the top of Sheraton Four Points. From here you can dive into the shimmering center of Dubai at night while enjoying one of the many exclusive drinks and snacks served at the bar. This is a unique sight and the perfect way to end an unforgettable vacation in Dubai.
How to dress properly in Dubai:
As a first-time visitor, it is important to know how to dress properly in this conservative city. Some places have tougher rules for dressing, while others are more open. Always keep in mind that your underwear should never be visible. So when you wear a transparent shirt, always wear a sweater or scarf over it. Leave short skirts or shorts at home and try to cover shoulders, knees and chest.
As long as you are on the beach, you are allowed to have a swimsuit, but never sun bath topless. It’s strictly forbidden, and security is everywhere. Do not forget to cover up before leaving the beach and returning back to the city.
When visiting mosques or places of worship, women should be prepared to fully cover themselves. Sometimes mosques have special bathrobes (abayas) that are available to visitors. If not, wear your own scarf to cover your head and wear a long, loose dress that covers your arms at least to the elbow.
In the Malls, however, the code is much less strict. You can wear shorter dresses and sandals, but try to cover your thighs unless you want unpleasant looks from passers-by.
From extravagant luxury to ancient history, Dubai is one of the most charming and unique cities in the world. There are so many things to see, from beaches to sand dunes to skyscrapers to historic quarters. Everything is way bigger in real life than you can imagine and believe me – it’s worth to be seen!
I hope this article inspired you to visit Dubai. If you have questions about the destination or new information, please leave them in the comments below.
Places, I can recommend for staying in Dubai:
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