Dubai is one of the hottest tourist destinations nowadays. With an incessant amount of money being poured into the city, Dubai rates as probably the topmost destination among today’s desi traveller. We bring you the bucket list of all the places to visit in Dubai.
What to DO/SEE?
- Dessert Safari– Its a different experience all together from the car drive on the sand-dunes to live belly dance to dessert biking to their hookahs. This activity is a must for all first-time visitors.
- Sky diving– Skydive Dubai, it is at one of the world’s premier skydiving location, neighboring the luxurious manmade island The Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai Marina. With these beautiful and breathtaking views, Skydive Dubai should definitely be in your to-do list!
- Water show near Burj Khalifa– The Dubai Fountain features water that jets as high as 450 ft (140 metres), which is equivalent to a 45-storey building. It is definitely worth a watch.
- Ferrari World– If you have one full day, you should definitely go here. Situated in Abu Dhabi, it is a 2 hour drive from Dubai. You can easily find a bus service from Dubai. This is largest indoor amusement park of the world and is the home to the World’s fastest roller coaster. So if you have time, definitely visit it.
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque– Situated in Abu Dhabi, this mosque is UAE largest mosque. I went here after completely drained from Ferrari world and this place simply relaxed me. It is such a beautiful visual delight, you can just sit and stare at it the whole night. The work on the walls and the beautiful chandeliers, the gorgeous carpets to the breathtaking ceilings, all are complete visual treat to the eyes. It feels as if you have entered in the palace of “Jasmine” from Aladdin series. This should be definitely on your to-go-to places.
What to EAT?
- Cheesecake Factory– Walk through the front doors of The Cheesecake Factory and you will know you are in for something special. The size of the cakes, the serving size of each dishes and their smoothness. Personally I enjoyed smoothies more than their cake while my friends were enjoying the cakes more.
- Aroos Damacus– One of the best places in Dubai to have authentic Arabic food. Situated in the Old Dubai, its all localities favourite for their Arabic food craving.
- Le Pain Quotidien– After a long flight to Dubai, this place was a welcome delight. What really works for me is that everything is organic, you can actually taste the freshness and crispness of the ingredients in the food. Their jams (inhouse produced) were super yum. The cappuccinos were made the way I like. Absolutely in love with their salad dressings!
Other places which I didn’t get time to try but were recommended by my fellow foodies friends were- Five guys and shake shack for burgers, Joe’s crab in dubai mall, Ravi in satwa for Non veg, Karam Express for pocket friendly and delicious Lebanese, Salt and Mooyah for burgers, Zaatar W Zeit, Mythos for great Greek food, Bu Qtair for seafood in Jumeirah, Tom & Serg, Aprons and Hammers for seafood and Paul for great deli fare and Shakespeare for desserts, coffee and sheesha. The list of suggestions is quiet long, so choose wisely! 🙂
Where to CHILL?
- Barasti Bar– If lazy beach days are your thing, there’s no better place to while away the hours than the award winning Barasti Beach. Barasti offers the perfect mix of great music, delicious food and divine cocktails against the stunning backdrop of Dubai Marina.
- Siddharta Lounge By Buddha-Bar-Luxurious deck with welcoming hosts, good view of marina and some amazing sheeshas. It is located on the 20th floor and the minute you walk in, you are in for a visual treat. Do not come here for food or expect amazing food service, please have your dinners and pre-drink before coming cause the service is slow and the place is a little on a pricier side. Simply come here for the ambiance and for the visual treat.
- Pulse, Move & Pick Hotel- If Bollywood music is your thing, then you’ll find a little India in the heart of Dubai. Stag entry is 100 AED which is not redeemable on drinks or food inside, so make sure you go in a couple.
Other places which were on my to-chill list were Pacha, Cavalli Club, Armani Prive and Pier 7.
Where to SHOP?
If you have gone to Dubai and not shopped, then it’s not a proper holiday. We tell you the places where you should shop.
- Global Village– is the leading family cultural, shopping and entertainment destination in the region, with a unique shopping experience at 32 pavilions representing more than 75 countries with different cultures. So be prepared to “oooh” and “aah” cause you’ll find some really great things to buy.
- Outlet Mall– The mall is dedicated to being a true and ultimate value retail destination and you can snap up discounts of between 30%-90% on the majority of products available in the 240 stores. They house brands like Burberry, Diesel, Banana Republic etc.
- Meena Bazaar– In dilliwala’s language “Dubai ka Chandani Chowk”. You can shop here for Pakistani Suits, Gold and Itar. Bargaining is the trick here to get good stuff at cheap prices.
- NYX and Victoria Secret Makeup– these makeup brand are dirt cheap in Dubai. So make sure, you go and stock up these brands.
- Baklava and Dates– Specialty of Dubai. Junk the duty free chocolates and instead invest on these, they are simply delicious. If you are worrying about the weight, you can easily find a lot of Baklawa and Dates stores at the airport and shop here after checking in.
Where to stay in Dubai?
With the summers right around the corner, Dubai is going to be a hotspot for families. We suggest you some places where you can keep your kids busy while getting to enjoy some quality time with your loved one.
Atlantis, The Palm
A dream resort for any family, Atlantis, The Palm offers innumerable experiences for all ages! . This popular destination in Palm Jumeirah provides family-friendly facilities, as well as room layouts and services for families of any size, plus a kids club and a Zero Entry pool, ideal to unwind with a variety of activities for families. In addition to culinary hotspots like Nobu and Seafire Steakhouse and Bar, Atlantis The Palm is also host to Ossiano, a seafood restaurant with floor-to-ceiling views of a huge aquarium.
Location: Atlantis, The Palm Jumeirah, near Crescent Road, Tel: +971 4 426 2626
Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa
Get a taste of old Arabia at the Bab Al Shams Desert Resort and settle into one of the luxurious suites overlooking the sands. Authentic Arabian dining at Al Hadheerah restaurant comes with live shows featuring falconry, camels, and singers.
Location: Al Qudra Road, opposite Endurance City, Tel: +971 4 809 6100
Fairmont The Palm
The secluded beach of Fairmont offers the perfect opportunity for your kids to run around. There are some complimentary fruit kebabs, ice-lollies, and sunglass-cleaning service for the whole of your family to enjoy.
Location: Palm Jumeirah, Tel: +971 4 457 3388
Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa
The amount of activities at the Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort & Spa will keep your kids busy for a long amount of time. There is a private beach, three temperature-controlled pools and acres of tropical gardens to play in. In addition to a nine-hole crazy golf course, a grass football pitch and beach volleyball for the big kids, there’s a playground with climbing blocks, slides, and swings.
Location: Al Sufouh Road, Tel: +971 4 399 5333
JA Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa
A 5-star holiday destination at the doorstep of the Arabian Gulf, it’s definitely worth the 40-minute drive from Dubai International Airport for the award-winning facilities at this family-friendly beach club and golf resort. In addition to a freshwater and saltwater pool for adults, the hotel also offers mini golf, horse-riding, croquet, camel rides, table tennis, water polo and petanque.
Location: Jebel Ali, Tel: +971 4 814 5555
An authentic recreation of ancient Arabia, Madinat Jumeirah comprises of three grand hotels, over 50 restaurants and bars and a dedicated child-friendly entertainment centre. Their vast array of pools, onsite Sinbad’s Kids Club, and the adjacent Wild Wadi Waterpark™ is perfect for the little ones. There’s another bonus in-store as well! The youngsters can join in for a free public turtle feeding experience in the Mina A’Salam.
Location: Al Safooh St – Al Sufouh, Tel: +971 4 366 8888
Check out this review of Traders Hotel.
These are my top picks for Dubai, feel free to add in the list or share your experience with me in the comment section. 🙂