So you are looking for a few awesome things to do when you hit the heat of Dubai? It's all here from one of the worlds most iconic hotels, to indoor skiing. It's diverse, its crazy hot, it's Dubai!
Burj Khalifa — The World's Tallest Tower
The Burj Khalifa Tower is a stunning construction with many superlatives; this iconic structure stands proud at over 800 metres tall and holds a number of world records including the Tallest building in the world, Highest occupied floor in the world, the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world and the highest outdoor observation deck in the world to name a few. At the height of its construction over 12,000 workers and contractors representing over 100 nationalities were on site each day. The tower consumed over 100,000 tonnes of concrete in its foundations along with over 39,000 tonnes of reinforcing steel rebar and took 22 million man-hours to complete, this truly amazing construction should be top of most things to see and do on a visit here.
Wild Wadi Waterpark
The Wild Wadi Waterpark is located in the Jumeirah area next to the spectacular Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel. This stunning outdoor water park is home to 30 fantastic family rides and attractions themed around a yarn about Juha a legend from Arabian folklore. The park has heated and cooled wave pool, two surfing machines, a 59 foot waterfall, multiple waterslides, gift shops, snack stands and three restaurants. Some of the rides are specifically aimed for the younger ones while others are clearly catering for the thrill seekers such as Wipeout, Burj Surj and tantrum Alley.
Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai)
Dubai creek has played an important role in tourism showcasing some of the most popular attractions in Dubai such as the cable Car, Exoctic Bird and Horse carriage shows, Camel Ride and Dolphinarium. This seawater creek dissects the very centre of Dubai from the huge trading seaport to the Ras al Khor bird sanctuary situated on the boundary of Dubai’s desert. A cruise here is very popular allowing tourists a fantastic view of the impressive skyline full of the high–rise skyscrapers that line the creek. It is the vibrant heart of old Dubai with some of the emirates oldest buildings located here and this has been recognized by the area being proposed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Attractions here include the Al Fahidi Fort, the Grand Mosque, Bur Dubai Suq, Diwan (leaders office) the Shindagha Waterfront and numerous alfresco eateries.
The Dubai Mall
Dubai is unashamedly known as the "shopping capital of the Middle East" with more than 70 shopping centres including one of the world’s largest the Dubai Mall. Continual expansion here is working towards welcoming over 100 million visitors to this shopper’s paradise destination. Everything here is on a huge scale with over 600 retailers based in 1,200 shops, a 440,000 square feet fashion Avenue dedicated to every major fashion house in the world. The mall is a great family destination with epic leisure and family entertainment to be found here such as KidZania, Dubai Aquarium, SEGA Republic indoor theme park, The Dubai Fountain, Underwater Zoo or the 22 screen cinemas. With over 150 dining outlets offering fine cuisine, al fresco dining to light snacks you never have to leave the confines of the mall with local, Mediterranean, Continental or Asian menus readily available to suit the most discerning of visitors.
This stunning and beautiful development is located on the Jumeirah coast of Dubai and is the world’s largest man-made island with a central trunk 2 kilometres in length with a palm crown of 17 fronds. Work began on this exclusive development in 2001 and after five years of sand reclamation the island’s first residences were able to move into their luxury apartments and villas. Today the development is complete with all the tourist leisure and retail elements in place creating one of the most spectacular tourist and residential destinations in the world. The futuristic Palm Jumeirah Monorail (first in the Middle East) connects the Atlantis Hotel to the Gateway Towers at the base of the palm trunk.
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Madinat Jumeirah the Arabian Resort
Located just 25 minutes from Dubai International Airport is the luxurious 5 star resort of Madinat Jumeirah it is the largest and grandest resort in the emirate covering over 40 hectares and designed to replicate a traditional Arabian town. Within the resort are three boutique hotels Mina A’Salam and Al Qasr and the stunning courtyard of 29 luxurious summer houses called Dar Al Masyaf with wonderful vistas of the beach and landscaped gardens. There are over 5 km of waterways linking different areas of the resort together; travelling is made super easy with an efficient water taxi service. Included in the resort are over 40 bars and restaurants and a traditional retail and dining experience at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. There is a world class gold course, watersports, private beach, luxury yachts, a theatre and Sinbad’s Kids Club. Also located here is the renowned and luxurious Talise Spa, offering a plethora of treatments catered to your individual needs. With over 20 different treatment rooms and exclusive couples suites total relaxation and a wonderful experience is guaranteed.
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BURJ AL ARAB JUMEIRAH
One of the World’s most iconic hotels is found here in Dubai! The Burl Al Arab Jumeira is the third tallest hotel in the world and the world’s only 7 star rated hotel. It is a stunning structure that is instantly recognised worldwide due to it resembling a huge sail but it is the level of service that makes it truly stand out amongst its rivals, with a private reception on each floor, numerous personal butlers and unrivalled hospitality. Despite its huge size there are only just over 200 suites on 28 double story floors so the hotel never feels crowed. It is consistently voted the world’s most luxurious hotel, this high level of service and accommodation doesn’t come cheap the Royal Suite costs a staggering $18,000+ per night, yes that’s correct, per night! but don't worry you can experience this luxurious hotel with low cost holidays help. There are two stunning restaurants at the hotel the Al Muntaha located at over 200 metres high offering an amazing outlook across the Persian Gulf and the Al Mahara reached via a simulated submarine journey. Within the Al Mahara restaurant is a huge seawater aquarium holding over a quarter of a million gallons of water held at bay by 7 inch thick acrylic glass walls.
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Is the Dubai heat getting to you? if so head for one of the most remarkable and unlikely destinations in the emirate "Ski Dubai". This is an indoor ski resort covering a vast 22,500 square meters; it is located within the Mall of the Emirates. There's an 85 metre-high indoor snow covered mountain with 5 slopes of varying degrees of difficulty including the world’s first indoor black run! For beginners and young children there is a 3,000 square metre Snow Park with toboggan runs, ice caves, climbing towers and icy body slide. A nice feature and very popular with visitors are penguins which are released from their enclosures on numerous occasions throughout the day. The price of admission includes the use of quality winter clothing and ski and snowboard equipment. Take a look at our overview of Dubai. Had enough of checking in to a small hotel room? Fancy renting a home away from home? These guys have the answer....
Millions flock here, will you be next?
Dubai is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf; it is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates and is the most populous city in the country. Dubai has expanded into a global city and is a major business and transport hub of the Middle East and South Asia with millions of tourists visiting the emirate each year. Since oil was discovered in 1966 the revenue received has helped this rapid expansion and development of the city and today only 5% of the emirates revenue is received from oil production. Tourists are attracted here by large iconic construction projects which have received worldwide recognition and praise for both the scale and ingenuity required to construct them. The city is one of the most expensive in the world to stay in with the selection of luxury hotels rooms rating it second only to Geneva, the upside is it is also rated one of the best places to live in the world and a real magnet for tourism.
Dubai has developed into a multi-ethnic city with Islam and traditional Arab culture seen all around in its architecture, cuisine, music and lifestyle. Only a small percentage of the population is Emirates with over 80% made up from other sizeable majorities including Iranians, Pakistanis and Indians who arrived in early 1900s and 1960s. Dubai's culture has certainly evolved overtime into a much more open society with a craving towards opulence, luxury, and of course lavishness with an increasing desire towards leisure related extravagance. The weather here is extreme with summer temperatures in August soaring to 40°C in the daytime and an uncomfortable overnight low of 30°C, thank goodness for air conditioned hotels and shopping malls. Winters are far more comfortable with average highs in January of 24 °C and overnight lows around 14 °C.
What's the big deal?
So what makes Dubai such a mega tourist hotspot? The government’s plan shorter term is simple; replace the dwindling oil revenues with longer term revenues from tourism. It has invested heavily in its infrastructure to accommodate the ever growing number of tourists, allowing them easy access to all of the fabulous attractions once they arrive in the emirate. Tourists arrive via the Dubai International Airport which handles over 70 million passengers annually with plans to develop the Al Maktoum International Airport into the largest airport in the world capable of handling 160 million visitors. There are five main road routes connecting the city to other municipalities and emirates with several intra-city routes connecting popular localities in the city. Getting around the city is made easier with a large fleet of air-conditioned buses, five different taxi services, the Dubai Metro system, the Palm Jumeirah Monorail, trams and the impressive air conditioned Dubai Water Bus service. The government plan for tourism is proving very successful with Dubai now the 7th most visited city location in the world. At night Dubai pulsates with chic cocktail caverns and dance temples, buzzing beach clubs, trendy rooftop terraces, outdoor concerts, community theatre, restaurants, bars and popular sheesha lounges.
OK then, let’s dive right in and take a look at some of Dubai's major tourist attractions.