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Dubai is a must-see for architects.

We bring you Dubai, your ultimate travel guide. Generally, a 3-day or 4-day visit should suffice to see the best of Dubai, but not if you’re an aspiring architect or already practicing. Add another two days at least.

Dubai is also known for its luxury shopping and lively nightlife.

Dubai landscape

What you should know about this desert hotspot before you go

Dubai considers some social behavior as unlawful. For example, PDAs (public display of affection) and consuming alcohol in public.

Keep your dress code conservative. For instance, cover your shoulders.

Time zone: UTC+04:00 (UAE Standard Time).

Currency:  AED, i.e. the United Arab Emirates dirham (also known as, Emirati dirham – abbreviated to DH or Dhs). The dirham is subdivided into 100 fils.

Best time to go to Dubai

May to September is very hot and it may be rather uncomfortable on a desert safari. November to March is the best time to explore Dubai because it is not unbearably hot. Winter temperatures are around 20⁰C average low in January.

Things to do; Places to see

Burj Khalifa

Go up to the 124th floor in the Burj Khalifa building. The building is known for being the tallest building in the world at 829.8 m. 

The gravity-defying view from the observation deck is jaw-droppingly beautiful.

Dubai Fountains

Grab a light lunch or at least some coffee at a café near the Dubai Fountains (at the foot of Burj Khalifa). Sit back and enjoy the magnificent fountains with jets and lights choreographed to music.

The same team that was behind the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, was behind the Dubai Fountains.

Miracle Garden

Flora-lovers must go to the Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural flower garden located in Dubailand. The 72,000 sq. m garden features over 50 million flowers and 250 million plants! It’s a spectacle of colors and scents.

Dubai Burj Kalifa building amongst other skyscrapers
Dubai Fountains

 

Fun Fact: Dubai has the world’s longest driverless metro line in the world.

The 52 km red line combined with the 22.5 km green line makes for a Guinness World Record. 

Ski Dubai

If you always wanted to ski or snowboard but never had the opportunity, now is the time. At Ski Dubai, which is part of the Mall of the Emirates, you can play around in the snow. It’s about 22,500 m in size and even has a chairlift. Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. Of course, it is not real snow, but it’s remarkably close to the real deal. Dress warm because you can expect temperatures of -1ºC to 2 ºC.

Burj Al-Arab 

Make a dinner reservation or stop for cocktails at Burj Al-Arab hotel. The hotel is not only the tallest hotel in the world, but it has an underwater restaurant. So, if dining amongst sea creatures sounds attractive to you, make your reservation well in advance to avoid disappointment.  

Museums

At the 18th century home of the Dubai Museum, the Al-Fahidi Fort, you’ll get to know about Emirati musical instruments, and the effect the oil boom had on the Emirates.

They also have a Coffee Museum where you can see coffee artifacts from around the world. Participate in a Bedouin coffee ritual, an Arab tradition.

Dubai Creek

The Dubai Creek divides this United Arab Emirates city into two towns. Namely, Deira (north) and Bur Dubai (south). Go see the Dhow Warfage, known for its fishing dhows.

Fun Fact:  Camel racing is one of the most popular sports in the city.

Ski Dubai Exterior
Ski Dubai Exterior
Surfing with the Burj Al Arab in the background
Surfing with the Burj Al Arab in the background

 

Marina

Dubai plans for the Dubai Marina to be the largest man-made marina globally. A boat excursion to view the spectacular skyscraper architecture from the waterside is highly recommended. Take a boat cruise on an abra. i.e. a traditional boat.

Meander in the small alleyways of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Pop in at a gallery or two, and grab some local cuisine. 

Marina United Arab Emirates
Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek

Wild Wadi Water Park

The fun-filled amusement park not only has iconic city views, but it’s also the perfect place for adrenaline-pumping adventures. Set amid Jumeirah’s beach hotels this outdoor water park is also a great spot to spend a lazy afternoon at the poolside. The fun-themed park (based on the tale of Juha, a popular character in Arabian folklore) offers rides and attractions for young (a guaranteed hit) and old, all year through.

Address: Opposite Burj Al Arab – Jumeirah St – Umm SuqeimUmm Suqeim 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Aquaventure Water Park

The park is an adventure waiting to happen with zip lines, slides through shark-filled lagoons, and a splash area for the kiddies. Aquaventure water park will have your pulse racing, no doubt about that! Also, consider going down Dubai’s longest river, the Lazy River – it’s fun.

Address: Atlantis The Palm – Crescent Rd – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Aquaventure Park Dubai
Aquaventure Water Park

Shopping

The Dubai Mall is not just for shopping. It is an experience on its own with a games center, a cinema, and an ice-skating rink. Also, it has an entrance to Burj Khalifa.

Property investments

If you want to invest in secluded properties, The World Dubai about 2.5 km off the coast is it. Shaped in the form of a world map, this artificial archipelago unique in the world.

Palm Islands

Go see the Palm Islands, the world’s largest artificial archipelago created out of only sand and rocks. It took over 3 billion cubic feet of sand from the seabed and 7 million tons of rock from the Hajar Mountains.

Explore the Palm Islands on a fun jet ski ride. Alternatively, why not enjoy a thrilling tandem skydive to get another great view of Dubai?

Palm Islands Dubai
Palm Islands Dubai
Dubai desert
Dubai desert camels

Desert Conservation Reserve

Go on safari! The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is a natural reserve. At about 225 sq. m the reserve comprises about 5% of the Emirate of Dubai’s total landmass.

A vast variety of tours are available day or night, depending on your preference. 

If you have not yet been on a camel’s back, this is the place to tick off another bucket-list item as “done”!

More THINGS TO DO at your favorite destination

Is Dubai expensive?

International airport

Dubai International Airport (DXB)  is Dubai’s primary international airport.

 

Where to stay

Check it out! The LATEST PRICES AND GETAWAY DEALS, or go to BOOKING.COM for more of the best places to stay.

Jumeirah Beach is a great location not only because it has a wide variety of accommodation on its coastline, but also because it’s the best sandy beach in town. It’s also ideal for walks on the beach and to cool off from the intense sun with a great view of the city.

Use the map below to scroll and zoom around for accommodation. 

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Atlantis Palm Island Dubai
Atlantis Resort, Palm Island, Dubai

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