Planning a visit to the town of gold? you’ll be wanting to try to to quite just patronize the mall. With a huge array of adventure activities, some top-notch beaches, and a seriously beautiful historic quarter, Dubai ranks together of the foremost culturally interesting destinations on the earth . Here, our list of where to eat, drink, relax, and yes, shop.
Chill out at 1,821 feet within the air.
Of all Dubai’s novelties (skiing in a mall, man-made islands, an aquarium restaurant) the one attraction you should not miss is Burj Khalifa. Not only is it the world’s tallest building (941 feet taller than the planet Trade Center), the spiraling steel-and-concrete tower, whose silhouette was loosely designed after the hymenocallis flower, may be a marvel of engineering. Do yourself a favor and ride the elevator up to the world’s highest observation deck, which broke (yet another) record when it opened in 2014. At 1,821 feet above ground, the views won’t disappoint. Tickets from AED 350.
Fly a kite, at the beach.
There are many decent spots for a leisurely dip within the Arabian Gulf, but Kite Beach, located in Umm Suqeim (between Jumeirah and therefore the Palm), is one among the foremost unique. Unpretentious, hospitable the general public , and wonderfully development-free, it is a wide-open stretch of sand where kite surfers gather to try to to what they love most. It makes for a few great photo opps; and if you are the sporty beach type, there’s also a gym, stand-up paddle boarding, volleyball and kayaking.
Have a drink the sky.
It’s hard to call a Dubai trip complete no end in at Burj Al Arab—often cited because the world’s most luxurious hotel. Perched right the ocean, with a singular sail-shape design, non-guests can spend a night at the 27th-floor Skyview Bar, with unrivaled views of the town and surrounding coastline. Sip a specialty cocktail, enjoy the nightly live jazz, and for goodness’ sake, do not forget to decorate up.
Walk The Walk.
To see and be seen, head to The Walk at JBR. a part of a residential complex where many expats live (the city is home to over 200 nationalities, because of the massive number of international corporations with offices here), this mile-long strip is that the Santa Monica of Dubai, with high-end shops, plazas, street performers, and many of outside restaurants. The vibe is especially western (in some ways , it is the opposite of Deira’s souks), but a fun, and lively scene nonetheless.
Get a taste for Emirati food.
Since you’ve flown halfway round the world, plan on getting adventurous together with your meals. Middle Eastern cuisine is notoriously rich, with its mezzes, dips and salads, and dishes like al mochboos (cinnamon- and clove-spiced rice and chicken) and fraeeth (meat and vegetables layered with thick slices of bread). Plan a dinner at the new Al Barza, which offers traditional Emirati plates during a contemporary setting. If food is high on your list, visit the first-ever Dubai Restaurant Week, happening February 25 to March 5, with 30 top restaurants round the city.
Skydive over the Palm.
Why walk or drive Dubai’s palm-shaped island once you can view its entire shape from above, as you hurtle down from the sky at 130 miles per hour? Skydive Dubai opened in 2010, and its popular tandem jumps (from 1,999 AED)—in which you’re safely hooked and harnessed to knowledgeable instructor—can be avoided any prior skydiving experience. During the 60-second free fall, you will get a wide-view glimpse of the man-made island, followed by a 5-minute parachute glide to the bottom . (Note: booking dates are announced in batches, so check the web site before your trip, and confirm there are available dates when you’re in town.)
Enjoy your layover. Really.
It’s one among airports, and after a couple of hours exploring the shops (Terminal 2 boasts the world’s largest duty-free facility), Zen gardens, Snoozecubes, pool, and spa, you will see why. DXB became the world’s busiest airport in 2015, and it is the home base of international carrier Emirates, which suggests travelers are likely to possess a connection here at some point. If you’ve got many time, simply use the bag drop-off facility in Terminal 3 and do some sightseeing within the city, 20 minutes away by metro.
Cross Dubai Creek in an abra.
For an inexpensive , easy excursion, mount a motorized water taxi (abra in Arabic), which costs just 1 AED, and runs from 5 a.m. to midnight. You’ll undergo Dubai Creek (where the city’s pearl trade took off within the early 1900s) which is lined with gorgeous mosques, old-fashioned homes, and a couple of resorts. Once you’ve crossed to the Deira side, browse many jewelry stalls within the gold souk, then buy frankincense and dried fruits within the spice souk—and do not forget to haggle, the shopkeepers practically expect it!
Stay at the city’s only gallery hotel.
Inside XVA, Dubai’s only gallery boutique hotel, you’ll desire you’ve left the town behind altogether. The 14-room hotel is made around three open-air courtyards with wicker chairs, hanging plants and original artworks hung abreast of every wall (the space hosts regular art exhibits and events, too). Each room features a different theme, though all are tastefully furnished and filled with character—no, the hotel doesn’t break any Guinness world records, but the vibe sure is pleasant.
Go desert cycling.
A 15-minute drive outside the town , the Al Qudra Cycling Track charts a 62-mile course through pure desert, with frequent sightings of camels and Arabian onyx. Riders within the know show up around 5 a.m. to observe the sun come up over the dunes (not to say beating the heat—midday riding isn’t recommended). better of all, the well-equipped Trek Bikes has affordable rentals, with helmets and helpful staff to urge you on the proper path. Who needs malls, anyway?
Visit a luxe Turkish hammam.
Inside the Palm Jumeirah Hotel, the Talise Ottoman Spa claims the center East’s largest hammam—a heated marble slab surrounded by tile mosaics and complex carved wood panels. For the complete detox effect, there are cabanas, saunas and a snow room (day passes from 1,925 AED); it is a good Valentine Day spot, too, with the couples’ facilities taking over a whole floor of the building. After sweating it call at the hammam, book a 60-minute “Gold Mask” treatment (519 AED). You’re in Dubai, after all.