The Dubai Fountain
The world’s tallest performing fountain is situated on the 30-acre, man-made Burj lake. The water, music and light spectacle is choreographed to the catchy tunes of several popular songs, including Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” and pop band Exo’s “Power.” The fountains are spread over an area equal to two soccer pitches and throw up 22,000 gallons of water at any given point of time. Set sail on the Burj lake on a hired boat to get a closer view.
The tallest building in the world, Burj Khalifa rises above the city at a height of 2,716 feet (828 m) and is thrice the height of France’s Eiffel Tower. Guests can visit the At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY lounge, the world’s highest outdoor observatory. The view of the city with its global landmarks is unparalleled from this bird’s-eye view.
A narrow waterway, the Creek separates the city into two towns — Deira and Bur Dubai. Visitors can come here for a stroll. It is also interesting to see traders load and unload cargo on and off traditional dhows. There are cruise boats and ferries to take tourists from one bank to the other.
Dubai’s primary historical museum chronicles its journey from a fishing city to a center of commerce and tourism. Set within the Al Fahidi Fort, one of Dubai’s oldest structures, the museum showcases a variety of archaeological exhibits from ancient tombs and shows life in the desert and sea through recreated historic mosques, date farms, houses, souks and marine life.
The long, pristine beach is famous for water sports. Situated in Jumeirah, this place offers a wide variety of activities like beach tennis, kayaking, kite surfing, paddle boarding and soccer. Each year, during spring, kite flying enthusiasts from about 25 countries gather on the coast for the annual International Kite Festival. What’s more, one can get a nice view of Burj Khalifa and indulge in some shopping at the seaside market on weekends.
Sheikh Zayed Road
It is a wide, eight-lane highway covered on either side by imposing steel and glass high-rises throughout its length. Running roughly parallel to Dubai’s coastline, at 203 miles (327 km) it is one of the longest LED-lit roads in the world. The most popular malls of Dubai are located along the Sheikh Zayed Road and Dubai World Trade Tower offers a panoramic view of the road.
One of the most thrilling water parks in Dubai is situated in Atlantis, The Palm on Palm Jumeriah, a man-made island. The waterpark boasts of 17 rides, among which the most noteworthy are Aquaconda, the world’s longest water slide, and Leap of Faith, a nine-story-tall slide covered by an acrylic tube and surrounded by marine life.
Located in Downtown Dubai, the mall is another jewel in the crown of the global destination. Dubai Mall is the world’s largest and most visited retail and entertainment destination. Shopaholics and food lovers will be spoilt for choice with over 1,300 retail and 200 food and beverage outlets to explore in the mall. Dubai shopping festival is the best time to visit the mall, which is also home to an aquarium and underwater zoo.
Burj Al Arab
The hotel stands on an artificial island and is built in the shape of a dhow’s sail. Visitors can view a choreographed light show in the evening on the exterior of the building. Another luxury option is to dine at the hotel’s underwater Al-Mahara restaurant, which has floor-to-ceiling glass panels that let guests view sea life as they eat.
Built in the late 19th century, this historical neighborhood was home to wealthy Persian merchants who traded in pearls and textiles. Situated along the creek on the eastern side of Bur Dubai, it has narrow and winding lanes. The houses here feature wind towers, an early form of air-conditioning seen in Iranian homes.
This is the only mosque in Dubai open to non-Muslims. Visitors of all faiths can visit the mosque six days in a week. Women are required to cover their head before entering. Made from white stone, the Jumeirah Mosque has a large central dome with twin minarets. It is a visual delight to see the mosque lit up at dusk.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
The 10-million-liter aquarium tank is located in the Dubai Mall and is one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world. It is home to 300 sharks and rays, including a large collection of sand tiger sharks, and other marine creatures. The Underwater Zoo is located a level above the aquarium and presents three ecological zones: rainforest, rocky shore and living ocean.
The white-sand beach is surrounded by luxurious hotels like Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah. While hotels occupy private stretches of the beach, tourists who are not hotel guests have the public portion of the beach to themselves and can indulge in a number of water activities or try different cuisines at the nearby restaurants.
Visit this garden to view brightly-colored butterflies flutter by. The circular garden has nine flower-clad domes, which are climate-controlled to provide the ideal habitat for the butterflies. There is also a butterfly museum and a butterfly flower park nearby.
The artificial canal comprises hotels, shopping centers, restaurants, walkways and cycle paths. Where the canal meets the Sheikh Zayed Road is a mechanical waterfall which is motion-operated to stop pumping water when a boat is approaching. Guests can cross the canal using five pedestrian bridges and take in the various sights.
Located in Deria, one of Dubai’s oldest parks is a must-see attraction for its World Village, which displays traditional houses from across the world. Activity options include electronic gaming sessions, game areas, pool services, bicycle track, train rides and a theater.
This Hollywood-inspired theme park features a wide range of rides inspired by hit movies from studios, including Dreamworks Animation, Sony Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate. The movie theme park also has multimedia theater shows, real-life movie sets and interactive play zones — all based on Hollywood.
Laid out in the form of a palm tree, this is a man-made island built using a process called land reclamation, wherein sand is dredged from the seafloor and aligned using global positioning system (GPS). The islands are protected by a crescent-shaped breakwater formation made of mountain rocks. The island spells luxury with its hotels and malls. Go skydiving to catch an aerial view of the man-made wonder.