Holidays to Dubai Things to Do vs Sample Seven Day Itinerary vs Best Time to Go ... and 6 more
Edited by Kathy McGraw, Maria Quinney, Alma
Dubai is a city located on the Persian Gulf in the small, oil-rich country of the United Arab Emirates. The fast-growing city boasts many resorts and hotels and welcomes tourists from all over the world. With its beautiful and unique architecture, such as the Burj Al Arab and the Palm, a man-made archipelago where a string of huge beach resorts are located, and huge shopping malls that are attractions in and of themselves, Dubai is a world location that everyone should visit at least once.
Method 1: Things to Do
Dubai has many attractions and sights, so this list is not meant to be exhaustive of everything that you can do there. Rather, it is a selection of attractions and activities that are unique to the region.
- 1Ski Dubai. Do it if only for the novelty of it: skiing in the desert where you can fry an egg on the pavement outside. Be transported from the arid desert heat to a snowy expanse with five ski runs, an area for snowboarding, a chairlift to take you to the top of the "mountain," a colony of penguins, and much more. And yes, the snow is real.Advertisement
- 2Burj Al Arab. While too expensive for all but the fabulously wealthy to stay in, this beautiful building is worth a look to admire its stunning architecture and the sheer scale of it. The building's distinct exterior is designed to look like the sail of the traditional Arabian cargo boat, the dhow while inside, its lobby rises 180 meters skyward and is large enough to fit the Statue of LibertyAdvertisement
- 3Jumeriah Beach. With views of the Dubai Skyline and the nearby Burj Al Arab, which looks like a gigantic sail tacking toward shore is the beautiful Jumeirah Beach. Popular for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports of all types, this beach also has picnic areas and a children's playground. Because the days can get very hot, don't forget your sunscreen and bring plenty of water to drink.
- 4The Gold Souq. A market for buying and selling gold, silver, and jewelry made from these precious metals, this unique throw-back to the open bazaars of the past. It is also one of the world's leading trading centers for gold, with an estimated 20 percent of gold in the world passing through it. You don't have to buy anything; it's a treat to watch the haggling and other goings-on while experiencing its flavor. If you do want to buy some jewelry, you may catch a bargain here, as well.
- 5Wild Wadi Waterpark. If you have kids, this waterpark will be a sure hit with them. With tall 100-foot tandem slides drop you into a vast pool, a lazy river, smaller slides, a dedicated kids' area, and an authentic surf simulator, one of only four in the world, the park has something for all ages to enjoy.
Method 2: Sample Seven Day Itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Dubai and settle in your resort or hotel. Have a nap to recover from your travels, then hit the Wild Wadi Waterpark for a refreshing splash or a dive at Yas Waterworld. Close the day with dinner at Aquaventure Waterpark.
Day 2: It's time to explore the natural environs around the city. Spend the day on the Desert Safari where you will travel over sand dunes, berms, and rocky desert terrain in a four-wheel drive vehicle.The tour operators pick you up where you are staying and return you there at the ride's conclusion, which is very nice. While on the Safari, you'll be taken to a traditional Bedouin village where you'll be treated to best of traditional Bedouin hospitality, food, and culture.
Day 3: Visit the Jumeriah Mosque in the morning followed by a trip to the Mall of the Emirates where you can get out of the heat and hit the slopes at Ski Dubai. After a few slaloms and snowball fights, head out into the mall for a day of shopping before having a drink at Burj Al Arab while gawking at its impressive architecture and ending the day with dinner, drinks, and dancing at Madinat Jumeriah
Day 4: Spend the morning touring Hatta Heritage House and Sheikh Saeed Al Makhtoum's home, which are authentic old-style Arabian buildings made from mud and featuring classic Arabian architecture, including arches and tall ceilings. After lunch, head to the Gold Souk where you can buy genuine gold, silver, platinum, and diamond jewelry at a decent discount if you are a savvy negotiator. End the day with dinner aboard a dhow where you will be treated to the beautiful lights of the nighttime Dubai Skyline while munching on the classic Arabian fare.
Day 5: Visit Dolphinarium where trained dolphins and seals perform tricks and stunts for your entertainment. Children can also swim with dolphins, a real treat for them.
Day 6: Spend your next to the last day in Dubai relaxing on Jumeirah Beach as you recover from your busy explorations of the Gulf city. If you have kids, they can play in the surf or in the attached playground area while you work on your tan and cool off in the water.
Day 7: It's your last day in Dubai, so head out for some last minute shopping at Jumeriah Beach Road, or if your resort has its own shopping district, take advantage of it to buy odds and ends, and gifts you want to take back home. Then, it will be time to pack for your return trip home.
Method 3: Best Time to Go
Dubai is a desert city, for all that it is located on the Persian Gulf. It is therefore quite hot all year around, and especially so in the summer. Accordingly, the best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months of November through March. During this time, the weather, while still hot, is marginally cooler than in the summer.
Method 4: Facts About Dubai
- The crime rate in Dubai is pretty much at zero percent, making it one of the safest cities in the world. The reason the crime rate is so low, however, is due to the city being under strict Muslim law under Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
- Men and women tourists should dress conservatively in respect for Dubai's Muslim laws. Wear clothing that covers the upper arms and legs, including the knees. Bathing suits must show no cleavage and provide adequate cover.
- You need an International Drivers License or a license from a GCC country to rent a car in Dubai.
- Women can drive in Dubai.
- Dubai has a zero-tolerance policy for drugs, including some over-the-counter drugs, such as codeine. Leave the cough syrup with codeine at home and make sure that you have proper prescriptions for all of your medications to be safe.
- You'll hear the Call to Prayer five times a day, but non-Muslims are not expected to participate. Just remain respectful and realize that some businesses may close during this time.
- Avoid public displays of affection; save it for the privacy of your hotel room.
- With a population of just over 2.3 million people, Dubai is the most populated city in the United Arab Emirates
- The Dubai police ride around in Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
- Dubai is home to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which stands at an incredible 2,722 feet tall.
- During January, the coldest month of the year, temperatures in Dubai reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit while summer temperatures regularly soar above 106 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Residents can be jailed for missing a credit card payment. If you're not a citizen, you'll get deported.
- Dubai is the world's fastest growing city, and because of that, it doesn't have a normal address system. Instead, an address is denoted by the landmarks and other buildings around it.
Method 5: For a Family Reunion
While planning a family reunion in Dubai won't be cheap, it will be memorable. Where else can you see as many Lamborghinis on the road as there are Hondas? In Dubai, even the police drive super cars. Choose between elegant suites and posh hotel rooms from which you can launch forays into the city that your family is sure to enjoy.
- 1Sheraton Jumeirah Beach Resort. This centrally located resort is close to Ibn Battuta Mall, Ski Dubai, Wild Wadi Water Park, and much more. It has four meeting spaces you can book for your reunion festivities, as well as plenty of room to house family, no matter how distant the relation. Outside of the reunion meeting, laze on the beach or explore the resort's beautiful grounds at our leisure. The hotel offers a 13 percent group discount.
- 2Coral Boutique Villas. A perfect spot for a reunion, you can book multiple family members per villa, each with four bedrooms and capable of sleeping 8 people. Each villa is a self-contained unit with its own kitchen, laundry room, two-car garage, and maids' room. Since each villa is so large, you can opt to hold the reunion in one of the villas rather than booking an event room to save some money.
Method 6: For a Family Vacation
This year, bring your family somewhere exotic on your family vacation: the coastal city of Dubai shines brightly on the desert landscape with activities and sights for the entire family to enjoy. Whether you want to spend your days on the beach swimming in the waters of the Gulf, shopping at exclusive Dubai stores, or splashing around with your kids at one of the waterparks, Dubai has something to offer you.
- 1Atlantis, The Palm. On a man-made island in the Persian Gulf is this sprawling resort complex with everything from a shopping mall with many of the luxury stores you will find in Downtown Dubai, a huge water park, a diving school, and a marine sanctuary where you can find a pod of dolphins, sea lions, and colorful fish. Your kids will love this watery playground of water slides and pools, while you will love the shopping, sunning yourself along any of the 2 kilometers of beach on the island, or getting a massage from a number of different specialities, including a Japanese Ritual massage.
- 2Jumeirah Dar Al Masyaf at Madinat Jumeirah. Almost a city unto itself, this massive resort has a lot going for it for adults and kids alike. Your children will enjoy a visit to the turtle sanctuary, as well as the numerous water sports to occupy them, while you can do some shopping in its shopping districts or get some sun on its private beach. There is also a rock climbing wall to challenge yourself with as well as live shows and even a theater.
Method 7: Private Rentals
Are the hotels and resorts of Dubai too crowded for you? Do you want to be in the center of the action but have your very own space to return to each night without worrying about housekeeping staff poking through your stuff? Try renting a house, condo, or apartment in the city instead of booking a stay in a hotel. Sites such as Vacation Rentals By Owner (VRBO.com) and AirBnB.com have listings of available rental properties for you to browse through. Contact the owner directly and skip the middleman for affordable rates, and enjoy your time in Dubai hassle-free.
- 1Modern Apartment. This two bedroom, two bathroom apartment is centrally located with quick access to the metro station so that you can easily get around the city. It has stunning views of the Dubai skyline and the marina and is well-appointed with comfortable furnishings and modern appliances. It has an in-suite laundry so you can do your wash without the hassle of finding a laundromat, and it has a furnished balcony so that you can enjoy the views.
- 2Studio Apartment. Although small, this little apartment is located across from Burj Al Arab and the Marina and is close to the major Dubai attractions from the beaches, to the waterpark, to the high-end shopping district. Enjoy the views from the large floor-to-ceiling windows or from out on the balcony and make yourself at home.
Method 8: For a Honeymoon
Let yourself get swept away by the cool breezes blowing off the Gulf each night as you celebrate your new marriage with your beloved. Pamper yourself with spa treatments, go shopping, and take in the opulence that is Dubai or relax under the desert sun with your love. From romantic cocoons on the beach to sharing magnificent sunsets over a balcony, you'll enjoy your first moments as a married couple in a romantic setting full of opulence and exoticism.
- 1Westin Dubai Mina Seyahi Resort & Marina. Enjoy large rooms with luxurious appointments, balconies with seaside views, and much more. The resort has 11 restaurants with varied cuisine from Italian to Spanish, to Thai, among others. There is much to do with your honey, from getting a massage to sunning yourselves on the beach. Walk together along the surf as you sip champagne and enjoy the starlit night or party in one of the many clubs.
- 2Anantara Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa. For a real treat on your honeymoon, choose a villa situated over the water for the ultimate in luxury and privacy. Enjoy a glass of champagne with your new mate on your balcony tiled with glass flooring so you can look down into the water below. Enjoy the white sand beaches and swimming in the three lagoon-style pools, or the infinity pool. If you want some privacy while you are on the beach, repair to a beach cocoon with your spouse and share a moment.
Method 9: For a Wedding
If you want a luxurious wedding, Dubai is the place to have it. Known for its expensive shops, outlandish architecture, and large living style, this city on the desert coast of the Gulf of Arabia is the jewel of the United Arab Emirates. Whether you are having a large wedding or a small one, the resorts and hotels of Dubai are ready to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.
- 1Dubai Park Hyatt. This hotel has two wedding packages, one which includes the ceremony and the other does not. If you choose the one that includes the ceremony, you will be wed in the hotel's beautiful gardens and repair to the ballroom for the reception. Among other extras are a group rate for wedding guests and a wedding menu designed by the hotel's executive chef.
- 2Conrad Dubai. Conrad Dubai has a number of wedding packages with a variation of themes from Arabic to European. Each theme has a range of choices from which you can customize your wedding to suit. Choose from between an indoor wedding in one of the two elegant ballrooms, or an outdoor wedding in the resort's carefully tended and manicured gardens. The hotel's wedding planners are happy to work with you to make your special day unforgettable
For More Information
If you want more information about Dubai, please go to Visit Dubai.
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Categories : Travel & Leisure
Recent edits by: Maria Quinney, Kathy McGraw