Top 5 things to do in Dubai this summer
Pull on your excited pants and tick off Dubai’s must do hit-list this summer.
1. Rise to dizzy heights at Burj Khalifa
You’ll spot Burj Khalifa through the window of your descending plane before you’ve even touched down in Dubai. As the tallest building IN THE WORLD its size is truly impressive.
Our top tips:
• Book in advance – This is one of Dubai’s most popular attractions and tickets get snapped up quick-smart so be organised and plan ahead.
• Bring your own guidebook / smart-phone – At the time of writing there’s limited info about what attractions and sites you’re staring down at from 829.8m.
• Book a table at Atmosphere – If you’re after a luxe dining experience with an unparalleled view, bag a table at Atmosphere restaurant. Again advance bookings are a must.
2. Step back in time to Traditional Dubai
Standing amidst the glittering skyscrapers that grace Dubai’s skyline you’d be forgiven for forgetting that Dubai used to be a quiet fishing village. But the waterside district of Dubai Creek is a must-visit to get an appreciation of the city’s history and culture.
Things to do:
• Get lost in the Arabian souks – The traditional souks that dot either side of Dubai’s Creek are a must-visit for an almost Aladdin like marketplace experience. The textile, gold and spice souks are the best. Make sure you schedule your visit during the cooler periods of the day and dress appropriately to the culture.
• Learn about the city’s history at the Dubai Museum – Escape the heat and admire recreated scenes of bustling old street markets and pearl diving in the city’s oldest building – Al Fahidi Fort.
• Enjoy a refreshing drink at the Arabian Tea House – This leafy traditional courtyard café is located in the labyrinthine laneways of the atmospheric Bastakia Quarter. The Tea House serves a delicious lime and mint juice – the perfect antidote to a busy day of site seeing.
3. Shop ‘til you drop at one of Dubai’s mega-malls
Dubai has a mere 69 shopping malls (!) for you to get your retail therapy on. The malls have a mix of European High Street brands, US favourites and high-end luxury. From L. K. Bennett to Chanel and Topshop to Michael Kors all your shopping desires will be fulfilled.
Top shopping centre picks include:
• Dubai Mall – The world’s largest shopping mall with 1,200 stores and even a world-class aquarium to appease shop-a-phobes.
• Souk Madinat Jumeirah – If you want to add a touch of Arabian glamour to your shopping trip a visit to Madinat inside the Madinat Jumeirah Hotel is definitely on the cards. Weave round small trinket stores, meandering laneways and waterways graced by restaurants and bars.
• Mall of Arabia – Scheduled to open later in 2013 in Dubailand this 50 million square-foot mall is set to surpass all shopping centres. This mega mall is definitely one to watch.
4. Play big kid at Dubai’s theme parks
Only in Dubai can you slalom in the morning, frolic in a sunny waterpark in the afternoon and dine underwater at night. Dubai is a playground for adults and kids alike.
Choose your own adventure from:
• Snorkel at Atlantis The Palm – There are more than 65,000 marine animals at the Ambassador Lagoon and you don’t need to be a hotel resident to get in on the action. Or if you’re feeling brave take the ‘Leap of Faith’ water-slide ride at the hotel’s Aquaventure park where you shoot through a clear tube surrounded by sharks! Yikes.
• Carve up some powder at Ski Dubai – This indoor ski resort is a whopping 22,500 square metres complete with five slopes, a snow park play area and penguin encounters.
• Splash and surf at Wild Wadi – Who doesn’t love a waterpark that’s open until 10pm every Friday? The 560ft Rushdown Ravine downhill slide will surely add some hair-raising excitement to your holiday adventures.
5. Brunch in luxurious surroundings
If your holiday in Dubai includes a Friday (the first day of Dubai’s weekend) you can experience one of the city’s legendary brunches, a popular past time of tourists and ex-pats alike.
Hosted in Dubai’s swanky hotel restaurants a buffet feast awaits that runs for the best part of a day and sometimes into some suspect dancing and raucous entertainment. Outside of the summer religious festivals (Ramadan and Eid) you can pimp your brunch to a champagne-fueled one – ooer.
Our favourites include:
• Al Qasr, Madinat Jumeirah – Probably Dubai’s largest brunch spot offering European, Arabic and a vast selection of Asian cuisines. The fussiest of eaters will be catered for here.
• Saffron, Atlantis The Palm – If a party atmosphere is what you’re after, Saffron has regular entertainment that keeps the crowd lively including a magician and a pop-spinning DJ.
• Imperium, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray –A classier affair with grand fittings and features and a more European selection of food including roasts and brasserie-style fare.
Do you have a must-do in Dubai? Share your thoughts below.
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