“Visit the land of skyscrapers, glittering shopping festivals, culinary delights and loads of adventure. Visit Dubai.”
An blend of ultra-modern cosmopolitan lifestyle and ancient Arabian culture, Dubai has plenty to give. It has every single thing from adventure activities like hot-air ballooning, skydiving and desert safaris to shopping at state-of-the-art malls and delectable cuisine.
Don’t leave Dubai before you:
- 1. Burj Khalifa: Standing tall at 828 metres in Downtown Dubai, it is the huge man-made structure in the world. It displays rare work of art and it is not without reason that it has been called the Jewel of Dubai. Climb up to the 124th floor on the observation deck, At The Top, for an steady view of the city’s skyline.
- 2. Palm Jumeirah: A man-made archipelago, Palm Jumeirah offers tourists a host of activities to indulge in. From up-market shopping malls to hotels to luxury beach resorts, it has it all. Palm Jumeirah is yet another example of Dubai’s uninhibited fantasies put perfectly in perspective. A 6-lane highway bridge leads to the man-made island which clearly stands out among all other Dubai attractions. The marvel is also home to the popular Atlantis – The Palm and a number of exciting theme parks.
- 3. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: Go scuba diving, opt for a glass bottom boat ride, swim with the sharks and explore the many species of fish at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Otters, piranha, Humboldt penguins, caiman crocodiles, lionfish, giant spider crabs and more – you will find them all here. It’s a must visit, especially if travelling with kids. Don’t forget to shop for exciting souvenirs at the Aquarium store.
- 1. Enjoy a Desert Safari: Dubai is a huge playground for adventure enthusiasts. Hitting the desert sands in a monstrous 4×4 SUV is where the fun begins. While you’re here, indulge in dune bashing, sandboarding, quad biking and camel desert safaris.
- 2. Go for the Dhow Dinner Cruise: A dinner Dhow Cruise takes you through the magical Dubai Creek and gives you the opportunity to create beautiful memories with your loves ones. You will be welcomed with an exotic Arabic tea as you board one a traditional ship decked with lights. Enjoy the breathtaking views and don’t miss clicking pictures against the stunning backdrop of Dubai’s city lights.
- 3. Shop till your drop at the Dubai Shopping Festival: Dubai is a paradise for shoppers and it reflects in the fact that the country has an entire festival dedicated to shopping. The Dubai Shopping Festival attracts millions of people from around the world and is renowned for the endless shopping opportunities it offers. Thinking of what all you can buy here? Well the answer is, everything under the sun!
- 1. Shawarma: An Arab snack and the signature dish of Dubai, shawarma is a must-try. Pita bread filled with the meat of your choice (lamb, chicken, beef, turkey) makes a shawarma. It is often served with pickle, hummus or tahini. Every restaurant and all street side vendors serve shawarma.
- 2. Falafel: Falafel is another local food item to keep a lookout for. It is made by deep frying chickpeas and/or fava beans and is traditionally served in pita bread.
- 3. Hummus: This Middle Eastern and Arabic food dip is loved by people across the globe. Typically made by blending mashed chickpeas with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic, hummus is best enjoyed with pita bread. Try it out with pita bread at one of the many fine dining restaurants in Dubai.
Read more about what you can do in Dubai here.
When to Go:
November to March: Dubai winters are from November to April and this is the best time to visit Dubai. The weather is pleasant and suited for all kinds of outdoor activities. What’s more, the much loved Dubai Shopping Festival is held during January-February. Since this is the peak season, hotel rates and airfares tend to go really high. Book well in advance to get the best rates possible and avoid any inconvenience.
April to October: The temperatures begin to rise (even start hitting the late forties) by April and May. Summer months in Dubai are really, really hot and humid, making it almost impossible to explore the outdoors. However, all malls/stores are air-conditioned and you can indulge in as much retail therapy as you would like. It is a good time to visit if you want to avoid crowds and get the hotels/airfares less expensive.
By Air: The Dubai International Airport is the only airport in the metropolis and the busiest in the UAE. The airlines servicing the airport include Emirates Airlines (Dubai’s official international airline) that connects the city to more than a 100 destinations worldwide, FlyDubai (an LCC) and Etihad. Other ways to enter the city are through the Sharjah International Airport with Air Arabia.
By Bus: Emirates Express connects Dubai to all other emirates. There are frequent bus services between Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Masafi, Abu Dhabi and others.
By Road/Self Drive: The only way to enter Dubai if your are driving is through Oman which won’t require you a permit, only an exit charge of 3000 Omani Rial. On your way back, you’ll need to produce the payment receipt in order to re-enter Oman.
Tempted to Spend Some More?
Shopping: A great way to shop on a budget is to visit a local market or souk, and check out everything from jewellery to spices.
Day Trip To Abu Dhabi: A Rs. 450 bus ride is all it takes to visit Abu Dhabi, the wealthiest of the Emirates, from Dubai. Since it’s a short 2-hour journey, you can easily make your way back to Dubai in the evening, provided you start early.
Desert Safari: Hit the sands in an SUV and indulge in some dune bashing, sand boarding and even quad biking. Desert Safari packages start at approximately Rs. 3,500 per person.
Travel Off Season: While Dubai is at its hottest during the summer months of April to August, it’s also the time when airline fares are the cheapest.
Book in Advance: You can save up to Rs. 6,000 on your return flight ticket if you book your travel at least a few months in advance.