Soaring at a height of 828 metres, Burj Khalifa is the tallest man-made structure in the world and a must visit in Dubai. This 164-storey skyscraper houses a residential complex with 900 private residences, thousand metres of business space and Armani hotel with 160 rooms. There are two observation decks – ‘At The Top’ on 124th floor, and ‘At The TopSky’ on 148th floor. The design of iconic Burj Khalifa is inspired by spider lily. It is an exemplary work of art and engineering that makes you think what wonders human hands are capable of. Board the world’s fastest elevator which moves at a speed of 10 metres per second. The observation deck gives you a bird’s eye view of the entire city. Everything looks so diminutive and trivial from here and you get a heady feeling. Get to know the history of Burj Khalifa, shop for the souvenirs and dine at the world’s highest restaurant ‘At.mosphere’ on 122nd floor of the building. Lastly, enjoy the captivating musical fountain show in the evening at the foot of Burj Khalifa and click your favorite memories. It is advisable to book your tickets in advance to skip the long queue.
2. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is one of the largest indoor aquarium in the world. It is located within the renowned Dubai Mall. The main tank of the aquarium is 51 meters long and 20 meters deep and contains 10-million-litres of water. It allows a clear visibility of around 33 thousand marine animals of over 140 species. The main tank can be accessed free of cost through the mall wall that rises from the ground floor to the third floor. However, you need to buy tickets to access the entire underwater zoo. Take a stroll through the 48-metre tunnel to get the fish-eye view of the marine life with sand sharks and stingrays swimming overhead. You can also opt for immersive experiences like glass bottom boat, scuba diving, cage diving, snorkeling or shark encounters where you can feed the sharks. The underwater zoo brings you close to the fascinating aquatic life. Meet the penguins, water rats, sea horses, sea snakes, crabs, piranhas, jellyfish, crabs and many more. The main attraction of the Underwater Zoo is one of the world’s largest reptiles – King Croc and his female companion. The 40-year old reptile is over 5-metres long and weighs over 750 kg. Check out the ‘Night Creatures’ section of the Underwater Zoo to discover the nocturnal wildlife of UAE. Confront the Fruit Bats, Giant Camel Spiders, Hedgehogs, veiled Chameleons, Arabian Toads and a lot more.
Ski Dubai is an amazing indoor snow park located in the famous ‘Mall of the Emirates’. Equip yourself with the complimentary snow suit and feel the chills of winter at minus 1 degrees temperature. Opt for basic or advanced level ski lessons on a 22500-square-meters of ski area featuring an 85-metre high mountain with 5 different slopes. Enjoy a variety of rides on a 3000-square-meters of play area that is comprised of sled, ice body slide, climbing towers, giant snow balls, toboggan runs and an ice cave. Board the Snow Bullet Zip Line to soar 16 meters high and get an enthralling view of the slopes and skiers below you. Try out the thrilling Giant Snowball ride in a bubble shaped ball and enjoy the exhilarating experience as you roll down the slope. Interact with the adorable penguins that are let out of their enclosures into the snow park several times a day. Click with huge ice dragons and sip the soothing hot chocolate topped with candies and marshmallows. This winter-themed park will make you forget the hot and humid climate of Dubai.
4. Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park
Aquaventure water park is situated in La Atlantis hotel on Palm Jumeirah Island. The park offers you a day filled with fun, thrill and excitement. With its record breaking rides, unique marine experiences and numerous dining options, it happens to be the best water park in Dubai. Get your adrenaline pumped up with the world’s largest slide, ‘Aquaconda’, taking you through a dark and twisty tunnel into the world’s largest fibreglass tube. Conquer gravity and experience the exhilarating bursts of buoyancy with ‘Zoomerango’. Take ‘The Leap of Faith’ from a 9-story tall vertical mega-slide with a view of the sea. Dare to go for the ‘Shark Attack’ to emerge in a clear acrylic tube surrounded by a shark-filled lagoon. There are many more heart-stopping rides that will send you in a frenzy of excitement. Swim with the dolphins or get an amazing encounter with sea lions and enjoy their big fishy kisses. Take a 1.6-kilometre river ride on a rubber tube and enjoy numerous rapids and torrents on the way. There is also a ‘Kids Play Area’ that offers super slippery rides, cool climbing frames, dumping buckets and wild water games. After the rides, relax and rejuvenate yourself on the 700-metre private beach, and choose to eat from 15 dining options. Don’t forget to venture into ‘The Lost Chambers Aquarium’ to see the ancient ruins of the lost city of Atlantis, and around 65,000 marine creatures that include two very rare white-skinned baby Alligators.
Marina Dhow Cruise is a two-hour cruising experience with live music, amazing dance performances and sumptuous dinner. Board a traditional two-tiered wooden dhow decorated with glittering lights and colorful decorations to discover the night life of Dubai. Venture through the 2-mile stretch of the Persian Gulf shore to explore Dubai’s significant landmarks and inspiring sights. Being surrounded by mesmerizing skyscrapers while floating on the world’s largest man-made canal in the night lights of the city is a visual treat. Soothe your senses with blissful background music and a 5-star buffet dinner. The fascinating Tanoura dance performance with Arabian music adds icing to the cake. Whether you want to enjoy a romantic ambience with your special someone or relish some quality time with your family and friends; Marina Dhow cruise offers you both.
6. Al Fahidi Fort & Museum
Al Fahidi Fort and Museum is a historical landmark that proudly stands at the south of Dubai Creek. Built in the 18th century, it is the oldest existing building in the city. The fort was originally built with coral and shell rubble fused with lime. It was constructed with a purpose of guarding the city from enemies approaching by land. The fort museum showcases country’s prehistoric period as well as objects dating back to 3000 BC. The rare collection of artefacts includes huge wooden boats, weapons such as daggers, swords and cannons and other archaeological digs. Walk through the three-dimensional display of ancient Arab houses, souk markets, landscapes, deserts and waterways to get the glimpse of Dubai before the discovery of oil.
Desert Safari is a desert camping experience you simply cannot miss in Dubai. Get an adrenaline rush with the vigorous dune bashing adventure at the Red Dunes of Al Hibab. Admire the beauty of the vast desert that changes colors throughout the day and click memorable pictures. There are numerous experiences you can opt for once you reach the desert camp that include camel ride, quad biking, falcon show, getting clicked with the falcon and mehendi art tattoo. Relish the Arabic coffee, hookah, drinks and luxurious dinner at the camp followed by captivating Tanoura and belly dancing. The entire camp atmosphere will remind you of ‘The Arabian Nights’ TV series. You can opt for a 5-hour safari trip or an overnight stay at the camp. This true Arabic experience is one of a kind. So, do not miss it!
Watch the astonishing performance of adorable bottlenose dolphins and playful fur seals at the Dubai Dolphinarium. The incredible intelligence of these creatures will leave you spellbound as they perform various tricks. Watch them paint, dance, sing and perform unbelievable acrobatics; while sitting on your comfortable seat in the fully air-conditioned stadium. You can also opt for the VIP tickets and get an opportunity to be close to these lovely creatures and get clicked with them. If you know swimming, you can opt for a once in a lifetime experience of swimming with the dolphins. There are various other exclusive experiences in the Dubai Dolphinarium that include Illusion Show, Exotic Bird Show, 7D Cinema and Mirror Maze.
9. Global Village Dubailand
Leisure, shopping, adventure, entertainment, cuisines and cultural display of more than 50 countries at one place – that is what makes the Global Village Dubailand. The smell and lavish decorations of each pavilion will transport you to their native land. There is a large variety of global products to shop from – the incense burners and perfumes from UAE, delicious sweets from Bahrain, Argan Oil from Morocco, dry fruits from Thailand, intricate jewelry from Qatar, daggers decorated with gems from Yemen, exquisite carpets from Afghanistan, silk fabrics from India and a lot more. The ‘Fantasy Island Rides’ offer more than 50 adventurous rides and skill games for the thrill seekers. Go through a scary maze at the ‘Haunted House’ that will throw chills down your spine, or get a virtual ‘Submarine’ experience through 3D techniques. Enjoy the thrill of ‘Ferris Wheel’ and get an amazing aerial view of the Global Village. There are cute little rides like ‘Mini Train’ and ‘Crazy Golf’ for your junior travellers. Not only this, the Global Village offers a variety of stage shows, concerts, adorable Globo shows and the heart-stopping ‘Speed Chase Action’ stunt show. The park is operational only in the pleasant weather of Winter – November till April.
With 96 fully operational malls across the city, Dubai justifies its name as the ‘Shopping Capital’ of the world. Located at the foot of Burj Khalifa, ‘The Dubai Mall’ is the largest mall in the world by total area. This huge shopping and leisure center houses more than 1200 shops, 250-room luxury hotel, 22-screen cinema, 120 restaurants and cafes, over 14000 undercover vehicle parking space spread across three levels, an Olympic size ice skating rink, an aquarium and underwater zoo, and a 24-metre tall man-made waterfall adorned with fiberglass figures of divers. The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping complex that offers a unique shopping and dining experience. You can shop from over 1200 retailers from Armani to Zara. Whether it is the international perfumes and skin care products, intricate jewelry, classy watches, high-end designer clothes, a wide range of footwear, electronics, books or delicious candies and chocolates – The Dubai Mall has it all. You’ll find exclusive brands like Chanel, Lanvin and Dior, as well as reputed departmental stores like Bloomingdale’s and Galeries Lafayette. So, eat, drink, enjoy and shop till you drop!
Souk represents the traditional markets of Dubai where a variety of goods are bought, sold and exchanged. Souk markets are located at the heart of the old Dubai. Enter the narrow streets of the world-famous Gold Souk with 300 retail shops dedicated to gold showcasing their authentic work in glass display racks. You can buy glittering jewelry and gemstones crafted in genuine 18k and 22k gold. Enter the vibrant trading floor of the Spice Souk to explore the exotic side of Dubai. Pick the authentic flavours from colorful sacks of traditional herbs and spices, high-quality saffron, sun-dried dates, organic fruits, candied nuts, locally-blended teas and the list never ends. Follow your nose to the Perfume Souk that deals with everything scented. Here, you can shop for incense sticks, essential oils, perfumes and traditional ittar. You can also get a personal fragrance created and bottled by proficient perfumers. The Textile Souk houses a vast array of shops displaying colorful fabric rolls of fine silks, glamorous palm fond weaves, light cottons and stunning sari fabrics. A variety of other products include silver jewelry, brass lamps, colorful hookahs etc. Try the delicious honey-drizzled Arabic pastries, shawarma, and local street food. Don’t forget to bargain as it is a part of the fun of shopping at the souk markets.