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5 Top Things to See in Dubai
Posted on Nov 15, 2012 by Amber
Dubai has a wealth of choices for activities. Check out what UMI suggests!
A decade ago, this desert destination started receiving visitors from all over the globe. The booming economy of Dubai has brought corporations and businesses from all parts of the earth to the emirate, and the international community of this vibrant city continues to grow on a daily basis. When Dubai’s own prosperity and respect started growing worldwide on top of it’s rapid financial success it was no wonder that the tourism industry started to thrive.
When transiting, visiting or living in Dubai. Here are the 5 must do’s:
1. Don’t desert me!
Our first choice is the ever present desert. Enjoy the natural surroundings, take a fresh breath outdoors, and maybe try out some Sand dune surfing in an environment which is one of the most breathtaking on the planet. Although touristy, the desert is an adventure in and of itself. While trips to the desert are known to have hoards of tourists, stale barbeques and belly dancers, you are still able to get the rare glimpse into old world Arabia.
Take a look at what Lonely Planet has to say: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/travelblogs/1050/45076/Dubai+Desert+Safari-+A+Not+To+Miss+Experience+!?destId=361166
If you are able to, try and rent an SUV and take it out in a guided desert tour, or make sure you have a well equipped SUV and trusty friend who can show you the ropes of desert life – a solo trip with some friends can be far more relaxing and exhilarating than if you tagged along with a tour group.
Although possibly cliché, it is an experience and worth going even if just for the story to tell. Do your research into the desert exploration company and make sure its well approved by fellow travelers and locals alike.
2. “All that glitters is not gold. ” Well, it is in Dubai…
The gold Souk is an old style market (think Aladdin’s market), that sells the most precious metal; gold.
It is rumoured that at any given point, the gold market has approximately 10 tonnes of gold, just waiting to be bought. Historically speaking, the biggest buyers of Dubai’s gold have been the countries of India and Switzerland. It can be in your hands too, if you visit the old market. Be sure to specify the, ‘old’, market as there is more than one gold souk.
Be wary of pickpockets and do your best to haggle for the best gold prices.
3. Where’s the chairlift?
Skiing!? Yes, skiing in this desert wonderland is spectacular. The indoor skiing arena is located in Dubai, at the Mall of the Emirates. You are able to enjoy the comforts of shopping, eateries, relaxation and a day out on the slopes if you so choose. Send the kiddies to the snow park while the adults hit the 85m high slope with enough space to enjoy a ski run just as if you were in the Alps themselves.
It may sound wild, but skiing in the desert is a once in a lifetime experience. Take the opportunity to burn some calories, have an après ski drink and walk back into the air conditioned mall of a desert nation. It’s a good break from the mall at least!
For more information about desert skiing please visit:
4. Cheap Eats in Dubai
For centuries United Arab Emirates have been at the center of the Asian-European Trading routes, and having only been formed as a nation in 1971 the UAE’s status as a historical trading hub has meant that the history of the nation’s borders are blurred.
However, the location of the UAE (and Dubai in particular) has created a local population including a large number foreign workers; resulting in the unique creation of a cultural mixing pot in the Middle East. Throughout history many of the foreign workers entering Dubai were of Indian, Pakistani, and Filipino origin; but recently there are growing communities of expatriates from western nations, including the UK and USA. The different nationalities live in different areas throughout the city and different city sections are aptly named as such, ie; Little Manila, Little Karachi, etc.
Luckily due to this, there are a large number of fantastic restaurants, food stalls and cheap eats from all different nations. Not everything in Dubai is Michelin starred, but we can direct you to areas where it might taste like it without paying the price of the stars. To have swoon worthy shawarmas and savoring curries, head to areas such as; Diera, Bur Dubai and Satwa.
Some of the best guides for finding great international cuisine in Dubai (at excellent prices) can be found at:
5. Bear the heat at the beach!
Well, if you can bear it, get yourself to one of Dubai’s famous beaches. Just don’t bare it – in the literal sense. Although in recent years, authorities have been relatively relaxed, the UAE is still a Muslim country with strict regulations, so still bring a cover-up and don’t plan on going topless.
The best beaches are said to be Jumeirah, Jebel Ali and Mamzar beach are known to be famous with white sand, and sparkling turquoise water. They are renowned with tourists and locals alike, with Jumeirah having a load of cafes and restaurants for your pleasure. Jebel-Ali beach, located on the outskirts of town, is a popular favorite as well. Its stunning views are surrounded with luxury resorts and hotels. And if the beach isn’t your style then be sure to check out the Abu Dhabi Cable Park for all those wakeboarding enthusiasts – located a short drive away from central Dubai. Surely, Dubai can cater to every beach traveler.
Some of the best beaches in Dubai include:
So there you have it, out top 5 things to do while in Dubai. If you’re a tourist or a long-term resident all of the above activities should be able to keep you busy while getting to know the sights, sounds, smells, and culture of your new home.
Have we left out your favorite activity? Or is there anything that you would recommend that a visitor absolutely must do? We’d love to hear from you in the comments, or you can get in touch with us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/UAE.Medical.Insurance.