Standing 828 metres high, the Burj Khalifa is hard to miss. The world’s tallest tower naturally dominates the Dubai skyline, but the true majesty of the building is best appreciated up close or, even better, from inside. On a clear day, the view from the observation deck on level 124 is absolutely stunning, topped only by that of the view from the luxurious At The Top Sky Lounge on the 148th floor. And for those who would like to linger for a meal in the clouds, At.mosphere on level 122 is the place to be.
Right next to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall. To call the sprawling development merely a shopping mall is doing it a disservice. Even an entire day spent here isn’t enough to see it all. Along with its 1,200-plus shops and 150 restaurants, the venue is home to an indoor theme park, an ice rink, a huge indoor waterfall, a choreographed fountain and a giant aquarium and underwater zoo.
A man-made island in the shape of a palm tree – there’s a reason why locals say ‘only in Dubai.’ Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the Palm’s vast array of high-end hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One&Only, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and, perhaps most notably, the iconic Atlantis, The Palm. And with a monorail running down the ‘trunk’ that connects to the mainland’s tram system, getting there couldn’t be easier.
Dubai Creek is one of the emirate’s most picturesque locales that particularly stick out for its traditional aura and charm. When you visit Dubai Creek, be sure to take a traditional ‘Abra’ water taxi from one side to the other to fully experience how Dubai Creek defines the city. The shimmering water, traditional dhows, historic houses, modern buildings, and lively souks and maritime trade will give you a first-hand view of Dubai’s development into a global commercial hub and not to mention a glorious and memorable views. The creek is also home to the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, comprising an 18-hole tournament golf course, clubhouses, residential developments.
For those who like to shop, dine, see a movie and go to the beach all in one place, consider a trip to The Beach opposite JBR. With guest DJs pumping out the tunes on weekends, a regular open air cinema and a popular water park to entertain the little ones for an hour or two, JBR is always buzzing with activity.
Look into the future at the world’s largest man-made marina, Dubai Marina. Marvel at some of the world’s tallest apartment buildings as you stroll along Dubai Marina Walk or see it from the water as you set sail from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.
Less than 20 minutes driving from the modernist streets of Downtown Dubai, you can experience the marvels of the Arabian Desert, the original tourist attraction of Dubai. Take a desert safari Dubai-style with dune bashing, quad biking and sandboarding followed by traditional barbeques, henna and camel rides. Or just drive out and experience the wonder of the desert on a drive of your own. Those looking for luxury, should indulge in a Heritage Dinner Safari. Can’t get enough in a day? Treat yourself to an unforgettable night amid the dunes at the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa or Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.
The Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Best seen walking, this area offers a nostalgic view of a bygone era with traditional wind towers and a maze of winding alleyways. You can visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) where guests can take part in Arabic classes, heritage tours and guided mosque visits to better appreciate the local culture. After exploring, take an atmospheric abra ride to the souks on the other side of the Creek.