This was my fourth visit to Dubai! I’ve shared several blog posts from my visits here before, but here’s more of an updated version! I’ve seen and done so many things in this wonderful city over the past few years and was so glad to be brought back by the Tourism Board to show you some of the activities you can get up to in the city. What I love about Dubai is how diverse your experience can be. You can have a relaxing resort/beach like experience one day, and then find yourself shopping in the largest mall in the world on another day, or even end up in the desert for a truly unique nature experience. Often seen as a layover destination for a few nights, there is so much this city has to offer for short or extended stays! The list of things to do is endless! Below you’ll find just a few of the many things you can see/do in Dubai, and what we got up to on our latest visit. Hopefully I’ll return soon and can keep updating this list for you guys! I’d also love to know what you’ve seen or done here that I need to save for my next trip.
The Miracle Garden
This floral garden was truly incredible. Built for that WOW factor, you’ll find so many photo opps in this garden filled with so many types of flowers. I’d recommend an early morning visit to avoid the crowds, and allow approximately 1-2 hours time to see the whole garden.
The Dubai Mall
Bigger is truly better in this city. Everyone knows you can find the tallest building in Dubai, but it’s also home to the largest mall in the world. Here, you will find everything you are looking for from luxury designer stores to your everyday retailers like Zara, and H&M as well as many department and home stores, cafes, restaurants, pretty much anything you can think of can be found here! I think I’ve been to this mall well over ten times, and yet I can never get my bearings each time. It’s huge!
The Burj Khalifa
Even though I’ve been up the Burj so many times, it’s such a bucket list item, I had to go up again just to show Damian! The entrance to the Burj can be found in the Dubai Mall. I’d also recommend booking an earlier timeslot just to avoid the crowds. You can actually visit for sunrise, which I did last time and it was one of the most magical sunrises I’ve ever seen!
IMG Worlds is a theme park filled with themed rides from Marvel to Cartoon Network. I don’t have any pictures to share from the day, but we found ourselves on nostalgia lane with the Powerpuff Girls, Adventure Time, Ben 10, and even The Hulk. It’s a great day out for the family, and for those thrill seekers who love a little gut drop or two! Oh and the wings we ate here were some of the best I’ve had – must try! The staff were so passionate about their wings as we walked by their stall. I was sold immediately, and had no regrets!
Find more information about IMG World Here
La Mer Beach
A little out of town, La Mer Beach is one of the newer spots for tourists to have a real relaxing time! This area is filled with so many restaurants, it was really hard for us to choose! Most people come here for the day to spend it by the beach, and we did just that. You can find every restaurant here from Dunkin Donuts to several Steakhouses, Chinese from P. F. Changs, and so many delicious cocktail serving restaurants along the boardwalk!
Atlantis, The Palm
Below are some pictures of the second largest suite in all of Dubai, located in the extremely extravagant hotel, Atlantis. Although we didn’t stay here, we did get to peek around this suite, which will set you back a couple tens of thousands per night!
If you’re more of a baller on a budget, you can still definitely swing by the Atlantis to check out a variety of activities the hotel has to offer. I don’t have any pictures to share (sorry!), but we had the best time in the waterpark, where we spent one whole day on waterslides! It’s one of the most fun days I’ve had in a long time. If you’re interested in seeing more, just check out my ‘Dubai’ stories highlight on my Instagram! Tickets can be bought onsite or in advance. There is also an aquarium to check out, but we kind of whizzed through it just so we could spend more time at the park (Big Kid Life)!
From the Atlantis, you can also book a helicopter ride over the city. When we arrived, we were told the ride is only fifteen minutes long! I thought that was incredibly short for a heli ride as ones I have taken before tend to go for an hour, but it’s actually plenty of time to fly over downtown Dubai to see the Burj and the city, as well as see The World Islands and The Palm from above.
The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
I actually visited this spot as well several years ago, but it’s a new experience every time you go. The Centre for Cultural Understanding is a great place for tourists to come and learn more about the Emirati culture. Here, you are able to dine with a local Emirati woman, who will explain some of the cultural traditions, and allows for a question time where you can ask her anything. Literally, anything! Questions that might be considered taboo are welcome here. It’s sometimes a little awkward in the beginning as people might want to not offend with their questions, but she really encourages all questions to be asked from marriage, cultural dress, money, laws, religion, lifestyle etc. No questions are considered rude or offensive and she openly explains how certain traditions work in their culture. Both times I visited I found it to be a really enlightening experience, and would encourage others to visit! Also, the food is really, very good!
Spice & Gold Souq Shopping
I always love a little market shopping, and getting into my haggling mode! Some of my favourite things we found here were jewellery and accessories! The market is quite spread out throughout the neighbourhood from the spice souk through to the gold souk. So much can be found here beyond spices and gold, from lamps to rugs to clothing and shoes, as well as plenty of homewards, but make sure you arrive with an empty bag!
Burj Al Arab’s Talise Spa
One of the most luxurious spots on our trip was the Burj Al Arab Spa. This hotel is one of the most extravagant hotels in the world. Officially a five star hotel, but is often referred to as ‘The only seven star hotel in the world’. While that is not an official rating, it definitely says a lot about how grand this hotel is! We came just to visit the spa, and spent quite a few hours lounging by the pool before and after our treatments. If you feel like splurging during your vacay and truly ‘treating yourself’ this is one of the better ways to do it!
A Night in the Desert
We took a tour with Arabian Adventures to experience a night out in the desert. It’s basically an hour drive from the city to reach the desert, and from there the ride begins! The cars drive in a convoy along the sand dunes to reach a sunset spot for photos, before reaching the final destination which is an Arabian style camp set up in the middle of the desert for a buffet and belly dancing show. The drive is part of the entertainment, as you’ll find yourself holding on for dear life so you won’t hit your head on the roof! The whole experience is roughly six hours, from hotel pick up to hotel drop off.