The hallmarks of contemporary Dubai are visible in its magnificently modern cityscape. Wondrous things to do in Dubai include visiting a novel palm-tree shaped island and the Burj Al Khalifa, until recently the tallest building in the world. Atlantis Aquarium and Ski Dubai are suitably superlative leisure destinations. Then, for a flavour of vintage Dubai, head to the cobbled streets and period houses of Bastakiya.
As the world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab is the pinnacle of luxury and opulence in this city known for lavish extravagances. The hotel’s distinctive sail-like architecture is hard to miss, offering a preview of the extraordinary experience that you’ll find here. The Burj Al Arab itself features a number of restaurants for fine dining experiences and its atrium has exclusive shops for high-end shopping. The Skyview Bar, in particular, has often been cited by visitors as an outstanding place to enjoy afternoon tea, enjoy some drinks, and bask in its magnificent views.
Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, the Ski Dubai resort is a remarkable attraction that makes you forget that you’re in the middle of the Arabian Desert. This is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and a great place to sharpen your snow skills or perhaps even experience snow for the first time. Here, you can ski, snowboard, go tobogganing, or simply relax in the snowy environment. Other highlights include a ski camp, a snow penguin exhibition, and the Snow Bullet, the world’s first indoor snow zipline.
For many first-time visitors in Dubai, a trip to this majestic city is incomplete without visiting the world-famous Burj Khalifa. Otherwise known as the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is an engineering marvel that has to be seen up close to be fully appreciated. Standing over 800 metres tall, you can only imagine the incredible views from its top-level observation deck, which is simply called ‘At the Top’. It’s also home to the lavish Armani Hotel and The Park, an 11-hectare greenery and water exhibition space.
Amid all the shopping and modern comforts that Dubai is known for, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve stands proudly as a wonderful reminder of this city’s natural wonders. Select tour operators conduct a variety of outdoor activities here, providing intimate experiences of the desert and its mysterious environments. These activities include camel treks, dune driving, sand boarding, camping, horseback riding, and wildlife expeditions. The reserve also hosts the world-class Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa, a high-end accommodation designed in the vein of a Bedouin encampment.
Dubai’s first themed entertainment destination, this massive indoor amusement park will certainly get the adrenaline pumping. Home to five unique adventure zones, including Marvel, Lost Valley, Cartoon Network, IMG Boulevard and Novo Cinemas, you’ll get to ride heart pumping rides and play arcade games with all of your favourite characters. If rides aren’t your thing, there are cinemas onsite, multiple dining venues in each themed area, shopping and more.
If there is anywhere you’re going to feel like a little kid again, this is the place. The Dubai Aquarium has an interactive virtual reality zoo experience that allows you to see endangered and exotic animals up close and in their natural habitats around the world. It’s also home to a number of aquatic experiences include cage snorkelling, a shark encounter and scuba diving. If you’re not up for an adrenaline rush, there are plenty of things to see from the massive underwater viewing platforms in the underwater zoo.