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Dubai has come a long way from being a little fishing village in the United Arab Emirates to being one of the premier tourist destinations in the world. Even with other destinations such as Jordan and Saudi Arabia in the vicinity, Dubai still grabs the headlines and sparks the curiosity of many around the world. From some of the tallest buildings in the world, to man made islands and underwater hotels, there is plenty to see and do in Dubai. If you are planning a trip to this sandy and sunny part of the world, there are a couple of things that you simply must do. There is no shortage of what to do and see in Dubai, but below are just a few of the things that might peak your interest.
#1 - The Dubai Creek
The Dubai Creek stands out as one of the most beautiful and oldest places around. Down at the creek, you can take a ride in an abra, which is a traditional boat made out of wood. The scenic views are definitely a great way to relax and soak up the city. The best time to do this is in the evening to catch the beautiful sunset as you float lazily on the water. The surrounding beauty, and Muslim calls to prayer make for an atmosphere like no other. Make sure to take a walk in Deira, an old beautiful area known for its incense and frankincense, beautiful old alleyways and an overall experience like no other.
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#2 - Take in the Dubai culinary experience
The difference between the super wealthy and the poor in Dubai is almost like no other place in the world, and it doesn’t become any more obvious than in the culinary experiences. Dubai is home to some of the best restaurants in the world, including the Michelin Starred Raffles Hotel and Grosvenor House. Get a taste of exquisite cuisines from some of the best restaurateurs and chefs in the world who have an outpost here including notable names such as Gordon Ramsay and Gray Rhodes. On the other side of things, there is the Al Dhiyafah Road (now 2nd of December) where you can literally get a taste of the ‘real’ Dubai away from all the glitz and glamor. These roadside eateries offer Indian, Lebanese and Iranian cuisines that are both cheap and tasty. This diverse culinary experience will definitely be something to write home about.
#3 - Explore the Lost City
The Palm Jumeirah is a man made island created out of nothing. If that is not reason enough to visit, the Atlantis Hotel on the island is everything you would expect from Dubai and more. This 5-star resort in itself has plenty of activities to keep you occupied. There are plenty of 5-star restaurants to choose from here, and a nightclub to give you a taste of Emirati nightlife. There is also the chance to get up close and personal with dolphins. The world class water park (Aquaventure) is home to the Leap of Faith, which is one of the most exhilarating water slides you can find anywhere in the world. There is also a manmade beach, and the Lost World where you will find great aquariums if you have an interest in aquatic life.
#4 - Go on top of the Burj Khalifa
Dubai is synonymous with everything big. It is of course no surprise that the world’s tallest building is to be found here. The Burj Khalifa has a lot more to offer rather than just being tall. Start with the exhibit where you will get an interesting history lesson about the building. You of course have to take a ride in the fastest lift in the world, but be warned, it is extremely fast, getting you to the top in only a few seconds. At the very top of the building, you will get the sensation of being on top of the world. With sweeping views across the city, both amateur and professional photographers will have the time of their lives here. You want to go in the evening, just before sunset so you can get a bird’s eye view of what the city looks like during the day and at night.
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#5 - Take a desert safari
While in Dubai, you have to take a desert safari. This involves getting into a four-wheel vehicle and driving across the desert, and possibly stopping over at a campsite for the night. You will get to try Shisha (hubbly bubbly) and get a little taste of what life might have been like in the years gone by. There are few things better than staying up late under the desert stars dreaming up adventures. You will get to see falcons in their natural habitat, and the simple pleasures that the desert brings. There are many companies that offer these tours, so you might want to be a little careful about whom you choose. Make sure that the stopovers, if any, are convenient for you. Also ask what food will be made available, as well as any extra charges that you may be expected to incur during the excursion.
#6 - The Dubai fountains
It is often said that the best things in life are free. Forget the Bellagio fountains, true to Dubai, the ones here are bigger, better, taller, louder and more dramatic. At night, you get a bonus light show that you will not forget anytime soon, and all this for free. The Dubai Mall and the base of the Burj Khalifa are the best places to see the show. There are also restaurant that line up the fountains, so dinner at the terrace as you enjoy the show will be an experience. The Dubai Mall in itself is an adventure on account of being the biggest mall in the world. The fountain show comes paired with an unforgettable music repertoire and the whole experience surreal and awe inspiring.
Image source: http://www.extravaganzi.com/dubai-fountain-worlds-tallest-and-most-expensive-fountain-in-the-world/
Make your trip to Dubai unforgettable
You will be spending quite a bit of money on airfare, meals, accommodation and generally experiencing Dubai, so you want to get your money’s worth as much as possible. You can save money in all these places by searching the internet for deals. Also book your trip as early as possible to ensure that you get bargain prices. One place you can potentially save tonnes of money is to get the best travel insurance possible. Depending on your cover, you can save on healthcare, emergency evacuation, cancelled flights, lost or delayed luggage and unforeseen interruptions to your trip. It is a good idea to get insured in case things don’t go as smoothly as you hoped. The devil is always in the details. It is these little ‘inconveniences’ such as falling ill or losing your luggage that may end in taking up a huge chunk of the travel budget, or worse, force you to go back to your pocket to spend additional money that you possibly don’t even have in the first place.
Written by: Ana Grgic