Historical monuments, large parks, art collections, a market and modern malls. Dubai city has plenty of experiences to delight the eye and feed the soul
In this post, I am going to share with you some top places to visit in Dubai for tourists whether you are visiting for a few days or an extended stay.
14 Top Places to Visit in Dubai if You Are a Tourist
- Open Daily 8:30 am until 1 am
Only one nation can have the tallest building in the world. Currently, it resides in Dubai. The city’s growing styling continues to morph and evolve, yet the Burj Khalifa towers over everything else. At 829.8 meters in height, few buildings in the world even come close to its mass. Check out the 360-degree observation deck, located on the 124th floor. You’ll receive a bird’s eye view of the rest of the city.
Click this link to book your Burj Khalifa Tickets now!
The illusion Dubai often presents to the world is the city is brand new as if it sprung up overnight. However, this is far from the truth. Bastakia, also known as Old Dubai, welcomes you to a city of the past. Constructed in the late 1800s as a destination for wealthy merchants (as a tax-free zone, it brought in wealthy traders from around the world). The buildings are constructed from the traditional limestone and coral, presenting you with a visage you’d expect out of a period piece movie. To understand and appreciate where the city is today, you should take in what it use to look like. A must-visit for residents and tourists alike.
- Open Monday Through Friday, 10 am to 10 pm. Saturday through Sunday, 10 am until Midnight
As one of the major tourist attractions in Dubai, this aquarium is one of the largest in the world, featuring over 140 different species of sea life. Located on the ground floor of Dubai Mall, you can always do a bit of shopping when done with the aquarium. One great feature of the aquarium is the free viewing. Plus, with multiple tunnels surrounded by ocean wildlife, you can walk amongst the fishes on your way to the mall. Some options to consider while exploring the aquarium includes cage snorkelling, shark diving and glass bottom boat tours on the top of the tank.
Click this link to book your Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo Experience now!
This mosque is a replica of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, only in traditional Dubai form, it is much larger (eight times bigger, to be exact). This building is a beautiful display of Islamic architecture. It features excellent displays of medieval architecture as well, which helps set the building apart from most other constructions in the city, which is another ready why it is one of the major tourist attractions in Dubai. You don’t need to be a follower of Islam to take in these constructions and designs. If you are unfamiliar with the ways of Islam, inside you will find the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding, which provides guided tours of the mosque.
- Open Daily (varying hours depending on time of year)
Constructed on the interior of Fort Al-Fahidi to defend the Dubai Creek, some areas of the construction date bat to the late 1700s (although much of the building is restored and new). The museum features an authentic look made from local coral blocks and lime welcomes you to an entirely different world from the upscale, modern city. One of the museum’s crown jewels are the restored boats sitting in the courtyard. While the museum does not boast an extensive collection of Renaissance period art or what you might find in a European or American museum, you can track the evolution of Dubai and Arabian tribes through this museum.
Click this link to book your Tour of the Old Town and Dubai Museum now!
Burj Al Arab
While dwarfed in comparison to the world’s tallest building, the world’s tallest complete hotel is also located in Dubai. You may know this building as the “sail” building, thanks to the curvature of the building, like a sail stretching out from the mast. At 321 meters high, it provides exceptional views over the water on an artificially built island. If you already have a hotel booked, consider experiencing the Al-Mahara restaurant, which is located completely underwater with floor to ceiling glass, giving you a unique water view. When you’re through, check out the Skyview Bar for an after dinner drink or afternoon tea.
Click this link to book your Afternoon Tea at Burj Al Arab now!
Most of the world’s major cities were built around a body of water. From a lake to a river or ocean, water typically has something to do with the beginning of a city. With much of the Middle East located in a desert environment, this holds true. The Dubai Creek is located nearly right in the middle of the city, separating it in two. Villages began to develop around the creek nearly 4,000 years ago as fishing settlements developed. The discovery of pearls helped bring in additional money into the region, and while travellers now come in through other means, the Dubai Creek is a beautiful display of water in the midst of a desert. Whether you spend a day around the water or just take a trip from one side or the other, make sure to experience the water on an aura, which is a traditional, small wooden ferry.
Click here to book your Dubai Creek 2-Hours Dhow Dinner Cruise now!
Are you looking for beautiful accessories or gifts to take home? If so, this is one of the major tourist attractions in UAE. Within this area, you’ll find an assortment of old constructions merged with modern facilities. The gold bazaar is one of the largest in the world, and you’ll see all sorts of jewellery shops here. If there are a particular look and design you’re going for, this might be the best place on earth to buy. Past the jewellery shops, there are spice stalls of nearly every season here. There’s even a fish market with local produce.
Take time away from the busy city life to enjoy the beach. As one of the major tourist attractions in UAE, Jumeirah Beach welcomes visitors from around the world. There are services for soaking up the sun, renting jet skies, not to mention plenty of restaurants. If you want, many of the best hotels in the city are around the Jumeirah beach.
Sheikh Al-Maktoum House
- Open Saturday through Thursday 8:30 am – 8:30 pm and Friday 3 pm – 8:30 pm
For centuries, Arab nations were made up of tribes (similar in that to the native tribes of North America). Unlike tribes in other countries, many of the former tribe heads maintain prominent positions within the city and national government around the Middle East. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum ruled Dubai from the 1920s into the 1950s and is the grandfather of the current ruler. Now, his former home has been converted into a museum, thanks in part to the beautiful Arabian architecture of the period. The home, as is the case with many buildings around the Old Dubai, feature wind towers, which provided an early form of air conditioning. Inside the museum, you’ll find a collection of old photographs, fishing artefacts, maps, coins and other artefacts connected with the history of Dubai.
Mall of the Emirates
- Open Saturday through Wednesday 10 am until 1 am, Thursday and Friday 10 am until 2 am
For a shopping mall, which also stands as a tourist attraction, Mall of the Emirates is the place for you. The famous Ski Dubai is located inside, providing indoor ski slopes (with a penguin enclosure), plus a movie theatre complex, small amusement park and just about every kind of shopping opportunity you might desire. When you grow tired of shopping (or just need a break), you can find one of the best mall dining halls in the world, with an extensive selection of global cuisine.
Sheikh Zayed Road
This is where all of the major buildings come to a point. As a city that has seen a boom in construction over several years, many of the brand new structures are centred right here. The view is amazing. Most other cities have grown slowly over time, so city streets are tight and taking in the skyscrapers hard. That is not the case here as you’ll see the modern business district thanks to the eight land highway. There is something to see on each side, plus with Dubai Metro running along the side as well, you don’t even need to drive if you’d rather sit back and take in the city as a passenger. After taking on the street, consider stepping out and wandering the street. It has some of the best shopping you’ll find anywhere in the world.
There are plenty of beautiful mosques in Dubai. Bastakia might be the most photogenic of all of these. The lattice tile work throughout the halls is unique and completely different from anything you’ll find in the other major tourist attractions in UAE. If you enjoy architectural design, this is a must for you to experience. Next-door you’ll see the original city walls, constructed in the 1850s.
Heritage and Diving Village
This heritage museum showcases the city’s vibrant waterway history. As Dubai grew out of villages constructed around the Dubai Creek, there are thousands of years of history right here on the shores. The Heritage and Diving Village in Shindaga area is a major tourist attraction in UAE thanks to the brilliant display of boats, tools, displays and other examples of village life. There is a traditional coffeehouse located on the grounds, plus traditional dance and music are performed from October to April. You can even learn about traditional Middle Eastern medicine, should you have the desire.
Wadi Bih, Al Quoz, Hatta Pools, Dubai Falcon Hospital and the newly opened Dubai Canal project on Sheikh. Zayed Road, are top places to visit in Dubai for all residents and tourists alike.
What is missing? Let me know your top places to visit in Dubai in the comments.
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