When you drive into the city all you see are skyscrapers and tall buildings littering the skyline. This city is home to the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa and one of the most, if not THE most luxurious hotels in the word, The Burj Al Arab.
It is a city of contrasts and a city you will never forget. I visited Dubai a few years ago and would love to go back one day. Here is my guide to the top things to do in Dubai.
Afternoon Tea In The Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al Arab
This beautiful hotel's claim to fame is that it is the only '7-star' hotel in the world. Standing on an artificial island, it is known for its shape, which is designed to mimic the sails of a ship. Inside the luxurious hotel has butler service, dancing fountains and 24 carat gold pillars, whilst every whim is catered for. There is even a helipad on the roof for the millionaires that stay here.
Inside The Burj Al Arab
One Of The Many Courses Of Afternoon Tea
Tiny sandwiches, little pastries, scrumptious cakes and warm delicious scones, with a glass of bubbly, is served up with smiles and a touch of class.
The attention to detail is amazing, the champagne is even poured in a certain way so the bubbles come up the centre of the glass.
Go To The Top Of The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is World's tallest hotel at over 829m or 2722 ft. No other building compares in size and it is three times as tall as The Eiffel Tower. You may recognise it from the Mission Impossible films where Tom Cruise famously filmed his own stunts on the top of this skyscraper. Recommended is a trip to the top, to see the views from the safe enclosure. It has the longest single elevator in the world and you are whisked to the top at speeds of up to 600m a minute.
Top Of The Burj Khalifa
To be at the top of the World's tallest building is an amazing but surreal experience, with other buildings almost minuscule in the distance.
Shopping In A World Of Contrasts
The Gold Souk
The Mall Of The Emirates is a shopper's paradise with over 700 stores from luxury brands such as Burberry to high street stores such as Top Shop, it is all here. As well as shops, it also caters for hungry shoppers with over 90 food outlets and cafes, as well as a multi-screen cinema and entertainment centre and an indoor ski centre. Yes, you heard me correctly, in this country where temperatures can reach 45 degrees C in the summer, you can go skiing indoors. A slightly surreal experience I can tell you!
If you want something more traditional head to the city's souks for a vibrant and interesting experience. The sites that meet your eyes in the Gold Souk are jaw dropping. Every store has shelves and shelves of beautiful gold chains, and every precious stone imaginable can be found here. Then further on, there are the colourful sites of The Textile Souk and the wonderful smells of the Perfume and Spice Souks. Haggling is acceptable in the souks although in the Gold Souk the cost is based on the market rate of gold so savings are small.
Family Fun In The Water And In The Sand
Jumeriah Beach Hotel
For family fun head to Aquaventure water park at the Atlantis Palm hotel. This attraction has river rapids, waves, waterfalls, and slides. If you love animals it also has an aquarium, with dolphins and sea lions, and you can even learn to dive at the 5-star PADI dive centre. If you want to relax and take it easy there is also a lovely beach area. A great place to spend a day, Aquaventure has something for all the family.
Jumeriah Beach has beautiful sand and warm water. Take a boat trip on the water or ride on an inflatable with beautiful views of the iconic Arabic hotels in the distance.
While you are here why no go 'dune bashing'. Slap on the sunscreen and don't forget the water then strap yourself into a twin seater buggy. These vehicles have a full roll cage, and safety harnesses to take you at speeds up and down the dunes for an exhilarating activity.
As you can see Dubai has something for everyone. A true shopping destination in the middle of the desert, with activities for everyone. With the highest building in the world, the most luxurious hotel in the world, and even a ski centre in the middle of the desert I think you can see Dubai is surreal, surreal but so much fun!
Tell me have you ever been to Dubai?