Dubai is a remarkable metropolitan area containing nearly two million people. It is a brash, extravagant, self-confident modern city which is bursting with amazing architecture and man-made attractions. If you are on a short visit then here are some things to do.
1. Savour afternoon tea at Burj al Arab
Burj al Arab is the symbol of Dubai. It is an outrageously opulent hotel styled in the shape of a sail. You cannot just stroll in there – it would be swamped with visitors. So book afternoon tea before you go to Dubai. It is certainly expensive but the seven courses are delicious, the service is outstanding and the surroundings are breath-taking.
2. Take a boat ride on the Creek
The old town centres around the creek, a wide channel reaching in from the Arabian Gulf. The best way to see it is to take a boat ride. You can take a tourist rip or go on one of the dhows which the locals take like buses to cross the Creek. Afterwards stroll around the old town, visit the museum and then walk along the dhow wharf to see the old ships loaded with strange and exotic cargoes.
3. Ride the bus.
Taxis are cheap in Dubai and the metro is great but it is still worth jumping on the hop-on hop-off bus for a guided tour with commentary on all the highlights. It takes you to the end of the artificial Palm island so you can see the Atlantis hotel.
4. Ascend the Burj Khalifa.
Book in advance and then enjoy the fast ride to the top of the world’s tallest building for some fantastic views. The view at night looking down on the lit city is particularly impressive.
5. Gawp at the Dubai Mall.
Reputedly the largest mall in the world, this place is well worth a visit. Stroll down fashion alley which contains the world’s most expensive designer stores. Time your visit to catch the remarkable dancing fountains.
6. Visit the Gold Market
Wander though some of the old souqs and there is none better than the gold and jewelry souq where you can barter for a memorable gift for your loved one.
7. Catch some rays on the beach
There are plenty of fine beaches where you can enjoy the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf and admire a view of the skyscrapers of the Dubai skyline. Madinat Jumeirah is an extravagant beachfront complex which is well worth a visit.
Take the metro, stroll the city, admire the fantastic architecture, shop in the malls and enjoy the fabulous restaurants. It is a great place to visit.