Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates, located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf.  Situated on the emirate’s northern coastline, Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub of the Middle East.  Its economy is based on revenues from trade and, to a smaller extent, oil exploration.

Dubai’s economy relies in large on revenues from its Western-style model of business coming from tourism, aviation, real estate and financial services.  The city is iconic for its skyscrapers and high-rise buildings.  The world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is found in the city along with a rich collection of buildings and structures of various architectural styles. As of 2012, Dubai was voted the 22nd most expensive city in the world and the most expensive city in the Middle East.

Since tourism is an important part of Dubai’s economy, the city has more than 70 shopping centers, including the biggest in the world, the Dubai Shopping Centre, while maintaining its traditional souk districts located on either side of the Dubai Creek.

Dubai has a hot desert climate. Summers in Dubai are extremely hot, windy, and humid. The hottest month is August with January as the coldest month.

You have to see Dubai in order to believe its wonders.  Standing alongside traditional quarters are record-breaking architecture and man-made islands along its coastline.  Here are some of the places to go while in Dubai.

1. Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa, also known as the Burj Dubai, is a megatall skyscraper at 828 meters high and the tallest building in the world. Its structure was inspired by a desert flower named Hymenocallis. It has 163 floors and was constructed beginning of January 2004.  It is located at No. 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard.

2. Burj al -Arab

The Burj al-Arab (Tower of the Arabs) is the third tallest hotel in the world, however, 39% of its total height is made up of non-occupiable space.  This luxury hotel, which stands on an artificial island 280 m (920 ft) from Jumeira beach, is connected to the mainland by a private curving bridge.  The shape of the structure mimics the sail of a ship.  Its helipad near the rooftop is at a height of 210 m (689 ft) above ground. The hotel is frequently described as “the world’s only 7-star” hotel although the hotel management said that they never made that claim.

3. Dubai Mall

Opened in May 8, 2008, Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world by total area.  It is the nineteenth largest shopping mall in the world by gross leasable area.  It is located in the Financial Centre Road، Downtown Dubai.  The Mall opens from 10:00 AM till 12:00 AM.

4. Palm Jumeira

By 2000s and 2010s, Dubai started to build several man-made islands.  The Palm Islands are three artificial islands on the coast of Dubai, namely Palm Jumeirah, Deira Island, and Palm Jebel Ali.  However, as of November 2014, only Palm Jumeirah has been completed.  This artificial archipelago was created using reclaimed land.  It is the smallest and the original of the three Palm Islands.

5. Dubai Creek

A saltwater creek spanning four bridges:  the Al Garhoud Bridge, Business Bay Crossing, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Crossing, and Al Ittihad Bridge, Dubai Creek  played a vital role in sustaining the life of the community in the city, which originally drove the economic boom in Dubai.  It has been proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage site as of September 2013. The creek, which was constructed in 2016, previously extended to Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary but became part of the new Dubai Canal that extends through the Persian Gulf.   The Dolphinarium, Cable Car, Camel Ride, Horse Carriage and Exotic Bird Shows are some of the most famous tourist attractions found in Dubai Creek Park.

6. Ski Dubai

An indoor ski resort with 22,500 sq. m. of indoor ski area, Ski Dubai is located in the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world.  It was opened in November 2005, and features an 85-meter-high mountain with 5 slopes of varying steepness and difficulty, including a 400-meter-long run. It has the world’s first indoor black diamond run, and various features (boxes, rails, kickers) that are changed on regular basis.  Skiers and snowboarders are carried up the mountain by a quad lift and a tow lift.  The Snow Park area has sled toboggan runs, icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs and ice cave.  The resort also houses penguins and encounters with the animals can be booked separately.  In 2007, Ski Dubai was awarded the Thea Outstanding Achievement Award by the Themed Entertainment Association.

7. Dubai Gold Souk

One cannot visit the Middle East countries without indulging in their famous gold jewelry. Dubai Gold Souk or Gold Souk, is a traditional market found in the city of Dubai. The souk is located in Dubai’s commercial business district in Deira, in the locality of Al Dhagaya. The souk consists of over 300 retailers, most of whom are jewelry traders.  The shops open from 4:00 to 10:00 pm.

8. The Dubai Fountain

Located at the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake at the center of Downtown Dubai development.

9. Dubai Miracle Garden

On Valentine’s Day  2013, the Dubai Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural flower garden, was launched in Dubailand.  Covering an area of 72,000-meter (236,000-foot), the garden has a total of 109 million flowers planted reusing waste water through drip irrigation.  Temperatures get extremely hot (40 °C/104 °F), during summer seasons from late May to September, the garden stays closed.

In April 2015, the garden was awarded the Moselle Award for New Garden Experiences of the year by the Garden Tourism Award 2015.

10. Wild Wadi Water Park

An outdoor water park in Dubai, the Wild Wadi Water Park is situated in the area of Jumeirah, next to the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The vast water park has zip lines, slides through shark-filled lagoons, and a splash area for kids.  Its exact location is Jumeirah Road, next To Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai. It opens from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.

11. Jumeira Mosque

Said to be the most photographed mosque in all of Dubai, the construction of Jumeirah Mosque, began in 1976.  The mosque is built in traditional Fatimid style.  Organized tours are available for non-Muslims.

Where to go in Dubai at night?

Due to the relative conservatism of the UAE, most of Dubai’s bars and clubs are confined to hotels. However, you will find stylish and glamorous bars and night clubs as anything in cosmopolitan Europe in most  hotels around the city.

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