Visit Dubai – Burj Khalifa
Visit Dubai to see the Burj Khalifa Tower. The tower is the tallest building in the world with an observation deck on the 124th & 125th floors. For an additional fee, there is another observation deck on the 148th floor. The entrance to the tower is in the Dubai Mall. Late at night, a continuous light show operates from thousands of lights on the side of the building. The patterns and colors keep changing constantly. The lighting creates ebbs and flows over more than a hundred stories of the building. In 2016 plans were already under way to build an even taller building in the city.
Visit Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is famous for its shopping and being the largest mall in the world. It also includes a 22 screen theatre, the Sega World theme park, an ice skating rink and the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo with the largest aquarium window in the world.
Visit Dubai Fountains
The Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa tower are nestled up against the Dubai Fountains. So you can see all three at the same time when you visit Dubai. The fountains are technically the same as those in Las Vegas, but they cover a much greater area than the Bellagio Fountains. The fountains make regular displays throughout the evening. The music accompanying the aquatic displays is mainly Arabic, but don’t be surprised to hear classical compositions such as Delibes. At night, take a boat tour on the Dubai Fountains lake and enjoy the fountains up close and personal. During the day, technicians on land operate underwater vacuum cleaners to keep the fountains clean, while divers check to make sure the fountain equipment operates perfectly for each performance.
Visit Dubai Marina
The Dubai Marina is a gigantic harbor protecting luxury watercraft from the open ocean. The entrance wanders through a long winding channel surrounded by skyscrapers and unusual architecture. Each evening, dhows set out through the channel on dinner cruises through the Dubai Marina. The channel is lined with pedestrian paths known as the Walk. Views of the architecture are impressive. The Dubai Marina is located west of the Palm Jumeirah and quite a distance from the Dubai Mall. Dinner cruises include pick up and return from most hotels.
Visit Dubai – Palm Jumeirah
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island in the ocean, designed in the shape of a palm tree. There is a main street, with access to gated communities of it. A monorail crosses from the mainland to reach the Atlantis Hotel, while vehicles reach the hotel through an undersea tunnel. At the Atlantis Hotel, you will find the Lost World Aquarium, the Aquaventure water park and Dolphin Bay. The Aquaventure includes the Leap of Faith which involves a gigantic straight slide that continues through an underwater tube in the pool below.
Visit Dubai – Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab Tower is somehow so good that 5 Stars isn’t enough, so its rated 7. The Burj al Arab is built in the ocean with a causeway to the shore and it has an underwater seafood restaurant. Cocktails at the Skyview Bar need to be booked weeks in advance. Tourists will find that they cannot enter the hotel without a reservation to one of its venues. Wild Wadi Water Park is located on the mainland at the causeway to the hotel.
Dubai Hotel Recommendations
Dubai hotels are more expensive near the Dubai Mall, but it’s worth it to be in the tourist center of the city.
- The Ramada Downtown Dubai with views of the Fountains. These are great suites worth the price of the view and the proximity to the Dubai Fountains, Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa.
- The Holiday Inn Express Dubai Safa Park offers reasonably priced accommodation and a great lunch buffet. This hotel is a great option as a base for tours. Book a city tour, a desert safari or a dinner cruise and transportation to and from the hotel is included. You’ll need to cab to the Dubai Mall and the Fountains though.
- The Holiday Inn Airport Express Dubai Airport offers clean, comfortable accommodation with an amazing dinner buffet. Its free airport shuttle service helps make this hotel an excellent choice for a layover night between flights.
Visit Dubai – See More Sights
- Jumeirah Beach Park – an extensive beach near the downtown and north of the Burj al Arab.
- Jumeirah Mosque – the only mosque in Dubai allowing non-Muslims to enter. It was built in 1978. A night visit is the best option due to the lighting.
- Old Gold Souk – for some old fashioned souk bartering. This is not high end mall shopping.
- Heritage and Diving Village for displays of local artisans at work.
- Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort – the fort is the oldest surviving structure in Dubai, built in 1787.
Visit Dubai – See Even More
- Dubai Creek – Dinner cruises and Creekside Park. The Creek is actually a saltwater inlet. In 2016 construction was underway to extend Dubai Creek to create a second channel to the sea, but that is typical of the frantic rate of mega projects in the city. New buildings are already being expropriated and demolished in order to build a river through the middle of downtown.
- Palm Jebel Ali and Islands of the World – both are man-made residential islands.
- Ski Dubai – at the Mall of the Emirates.
- Nad Al Sheba – Horse racing at the most impressive series of tracks in the world.
Day Trips from Dubai
Get to Dubai
Dubai International Airport (DXB) is the main access point to get to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. This airport is also the headquarters for Emirates Airline. The cab ride from the airport to the Dubai Mall takes about 30 minutes. Taxis are licensed by the government and all of them have meters. Rates are reasonable and English is widely spoken. Pink taxis are operated by female drivers and will only take fares if a female passenger is present.
The Dubai Metro system has two lines. The Red Line follows the coast line and also services the airport. The Green Line intersects with it and does a U shaped loop near the Creek. There is a monorail that takes passengers from the mainland out to Palm Jumeirah and the Atlantis Hotel. The Dubai Tram runs in the Palm Jumeirah area between the Dubai Marina and Al Sufouh.
The Dubai weather is pleasant from December to February when average highs are about 77 F (25 C) and average lows are about 60 F (16 C). The hottest months of the year are July and August. Expect averages highs then of 105 F (41 C) and average lows of about 86 F (30 C). There is no rainfall for most of the year, but slight amounts of precipitation occur from December to March.
Visit Dubai – Background
Dubai is located in the United Arab Emirates and has seen explosive growth since 2005 when it transitioned from its origins as a fishing village to one of the world’s greatest cities. It will remind North American visitors of Las Vegas in some ways, but the fountains and malls are much bigger. Gambling and shows are missing. By using millions of dollars in profits from its extensive oil reserves, the most amazing modern architecture on the planet has been created. This includes the tallest building in the world, indoor snow skiing runs and intricate residential districts created on man-made islands off the coast. Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai, and Mohammed bin Ali Alabbar, the Chairman, are the driving forces behind the opulence. They have made Dubai one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.