There really is nowhere quite like Dubai. Cultures collide as all the glitz and glam of the international elite mixes with traditional Arabian souks and Middle-eastern values to create a fast-paced, vibrant caldron of excitement. Whether you are visiting Dubai for a weekend or a month, you will never be short of things to do in this young, modern city. Here are my top unmissable activities to do while in Dubai.
It would be extremely difficult to be in Dubai and not catch a glimpse of the world’s tallest building at some point during your stay. Standing at an incredible height of 823 meters, over 1 kilometre, it is visible from just about every part of the city, shimmering in the desert heat waves. It’s so high you will feel your ears pop on the way up to the observation deck on the 124th floor. Here you can take in the mesmerising views of The Palm and Jumeirah beach from the clouds.
After you have taken a trip to the top of the Burj Khalifa, head down to one of the restaurants next to the foot of the building next to the man-made lake where an incredible water fountain show takes place every half an hour. In true Dubai style, it is bigger, fancier and more spectacular than any other water fountain show in the world with lights and music. For the ultimate experience try and be there around the sunset so you an experience it in the light and dark.
Aquaventure – Atlantis The Palm
A fun day trip for all ages, Dubai is home to two fabulous water parks. The most famous is the Aquaventure park located in the grounds of the world-famous Atlantis hotel on The Palm. Boasting a mile worth of interconnected pools and no less than 42 tropical areas, it’s hard to believe you are in the dessert at Aqaventure.
If you are feeling particularly daring take the plunge on the Leap of Faith slide. This near-vertical drop from the top of the Tower of Neptune plunges you into a clear tunnel running through shark lagoon at the bottom in under 2 seconds! There is also a great selection of family rides and kids pools so the whole family can enjoy the water park together.
After a long day at the water park, enjoy all Atlantis has to offer, by heading over to the grounds of the hotel. Here you will find an aquarium, clothes shops and a fantastic selection of restaurants showcasing a variety of international cuisine. My particular favourite is the Japanese style restaurant, Nobu.
Like everything in Dubai, the beaches are grand and luxurious with elaborate restaurants and beach side bars around the sand. Mostly joined onto hotel complexes, they are the best place to escape the fast pace of the city and relax. Head over the The Palm and take in the Skyline of mainland Dubai while you paddle board and jet ski around the bay or rub sun burned shoulders with celebrities on Jumeirah Beach. With every water sport you could possible imagine on offer, water jetpacking in particular is becoming very popular, you will never find yourself stuck for things to do on a Dubai beach.
If you are looking to enjoy a cocktail while you sunbathe, make sure you go to a beach that is part of a hotel complex. It is illegal in Dubai to drink alcohol outside of hotels. Fortunately, just about every hotel has its own beach front with all the facilities you could dream of and at a small fee you can enjoy all of their amenities without staying at the hotel. The majority will have a number of pools near the beach area. One of my favourite hotels in Dubai is Fraser Suites Dubai with a great range of facilities and reasonably priced, it’s an ideal option for those looking for luxury accommodation in a great location.
Get out of town and experience the magical beauty of the desert with one of the many safari tours on offer. You can spend the day, a few days, or even a week out in the desert. Here you have the opportunity to try out some traditional cuisine and ride camels. If you are a bit of an adrenaline junkie you can choose a tour which includes a sand buggy trip, where you drive around the dunes at high speed in an ultra-light weight sand buggy. This is a great opportunity to experience the local culture, and life before the oil boom. Make sure you do your research and choose a tour which
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