Dubai is a bustling metropolis of sun, sand and shopping that has become a global hotspot for tourism in recent years. Perched on the edge of the Arabian Gulf, the Emirate pulled in over 16.73 million tourists in 2019. Whether visitors chose to stay in Dubai for a fortnight or just a few days, the city has something to offer everyone at every price point! Dubai can be a confusing and overwhelming place for first-time visitors so we decided to compile a list of the top 10 places to visit in Dubai in 2021.
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For now, let’s jump in to the top 10 places you must visit in Dubai (2021)!
1. The view from the burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa put the city of Dubai on the map when it became the worlds tallest building upon completion in 2010. The famous building is home to a slick observation deck. This unforgettable experience starts with a multimedia presentation of the history of Dubai. After this, a high-speed elevator whizzes you up 163 floors to the observation deck for those 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert! Evening and night visits are particularly popular with photographers due to Dubai’s famous city-lights panoramas.
2. The Dubai Fountain
This spectacle of water, light and music is located in the Downtown Dubai district just in front of the Burj Khalifa. As the sun goes down, sit at one of the many restaurants or bars lining the edge of the manmade lake and enjoy the show!. The fountain is choreographed to music and jets shoot water as high as 500 feet in the air–that’s as high as a 50-story building!
3. JUmeirah Beach RESIDENCES (JBR)
If you head towards the far west of the city, you will find the Jumeirah Beach Residences (JBR) neighbourhood. Lined with many 5 Star hotels, this area is the perfect spot to spend the afternoon relaxing with friends. JBR is also home to great shopping and dining experiences that are sure to leave you feeling like you’ve lived the true Dubai lifestyle. The white, sandy JBR beach is also a popular spot with tourists and ex-pats alike, so be sure to bring a towel and a swimming costume with you when you visit.
4. Deira and Dubai Creek
Towards the east of the city, you will find the Deira neighbourhood. This is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Dubai and is very much the cultural centre of the city. Here you can get a sense of how life was like before the construction boom. Take a ride down the Dubai Creek on a traditional wooden dhow or browse the many world-famous souks; including the Dubai Gold Souk and Spice market. Be sure to take your camera to capture the many beautiful scenes of this great neighbourhood!
5. The Dubai Frame
This ginormous 150-meter-high building in the shape of a picture frame is one of Dubai’s latest sights. Inside, a series of galleries whisk you through the city’s history and help you to understand more about Emirati heritage. After this, head up to the Sky Deck. There you will be greeted by fantastic panoramas of both old and new Dubai to be snapped on the viewing platforms.
6. Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis the Palm Resort, promises a world of excitement for all the family. Get your pulse racing on 30 slides and attractions, laugh your way down Dubai’s longest Lazy River, and relax on 500m of private beach. Thrill-seekers can scream down the infamous Shark Tank slide, young families will enjoy the safety of Splashers Island, and animal lovers can get up close with dolphins, sea lions, sharks and stingrays. A day pass to the park is a great way of experiencing the Atlantis Resort without having to pay the often very high hotel room rate!
7. Burj Al Arab
The Burj Al-Arab is often considered the world’s most luxurious hotel. Standing at 321 meters high on its own artificial island; the hotel was the first-ever 7-star establishment upon opening its doors in 1999. Of course, this level of luxury comes at a price. The Burj Al-Arab is one of the most expensive hotels in the world; with some suites costing more than $15,000 a night. But don’t worry, you can still experience the wonders of the Burj al Arab on a budget. For the ultimate panoramic views over the city, book an afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar on the 27th floor.
8. MADINAT JUmeirah
Tucked away behind the world-famous Jumeirah Beach, you will find the Madinat Jumeirah Complex. Although this complex is made up of 3 luxurious 5-star hotels, the site is also open to the public. In the complex, tourists can find a glamorous shopping street in the style of a traditional Souk, alongside many outdoor cafes and restaurants. If the summer heat is too much for you, head inside to the airconditioned theatre and cinema. You can even take a complimentary water-taxi ride around the site and get a great vantage point of the famous Burj al Arab hotel!
9. The Dubai Mall
Sprawling over an incredible 12 Million Square Feet, the Dubai Mall became the biggest shopping centre in the world upon opening in 2008. With over 1300 outlets, the Dubai Mall has something for everyone. From the ultra-high-end brands such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton to high street favourites such as H&M and Zara, the Dubai mall is your one-stop-shop for all your fashion needs. If you get bored of shopping, check out the Dubai Aquarium which can be found in the heart of the complex or enjoy one of the 120 dining outlets.
10. Go explore the Arabian Desert
No top 10 list would complete without mentioning the fabulous Arabian Desert. Staying within the boundaries of the emirate, tourists can embark on desert safaris. Catch a glimpse of the local desert wildlife and experience the wonders of a Bedwin style entertainment show with traditional belly dancers and great food. For the most adventurous, tour companies offer overnight experiences where tourists can camp in the desert, this is a great option for photographers who want to capture the beauty of sunrise and sunset over the sand dunes!
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