The independent city-state of Dubai is part of the United Arab Emirates. The location in the Middle East makes it quite convenient for travelers from Asia, Europe and Africa. Although there are certainly many ancient architectural sites and historic landmarks within Dubai, many of the largest attractions for tourists are the thoroughly modern sites found throughout the city. From upscale dining and abundant shopping opportunities to indulgent spas and giant market souks, Dubai truly does have it all.
Here are five of the greatest attractions in Dubai:
1. Burj Khalifa: This incredible building is one of the most visited attractions in all of Dubai. At 160 floors, the Burj Khalifa is by far the tallest building on Earth. While the majority of the building’s floors are devoted to private business and residences, the 124th story is an observation deck for interested visitors. Tickets for entry cost AED 100 per person and you can expect to wait a few hours until you are granted entry. However, for those in a hurry the AED 400 tickets will allow you immediate entry for the guided tour titled At the Top. The Burj Khalifa is located in what is known as the Downtown area of Dubai. Accommodations are abundant and include upscale hotels as well as self catering apartment rentals.
2. Palm Jumeirah: The Palm Islands are three incredible artificial islands made from reclaimed land off the coast of Dubai. The Palm Jumeirah is currently the only island open for public recreation. The island is much like a luxury beachfront resort, offering shopping malls, luxury resorts and upscale dining options. Travel to the Palm Jumeirah is convenient thanks to a surprisingly affordable monorail that transports travelers from the mainland to the island and back. Palm Jumeirah is where you can find some of the most lavish and upscale Dubai villas. Many celebrities and wealthy businessmen own private villas on the island and there are also many available for private rental. Expect to pay very high prices for these incredible villas on Palm Jumeirah.
3. Ski Dubai: Although most visitors to Dubai expect warm weather and sand, few predict that one of the biggest attractions consists of cold temperatures and even snow! The indoor ski resort is located in the Mall of Emirates and allows individuals to try skiing for the very first time or even perfect their skills on challenging slopes. A full day pass for adults is AED 300, which includes entry, equipment, helmets and even a full outfit for skiing. Private and even group lessons are available for additional costs if desired. Within the Mall of Emirates are accommodations like the Kempinski Hotel and the Pullman Hotel.
4. Dubai Marina: This is one of the completely free tourism attractions in Dubai. The Dubai Marina boasts a spectacular skyline at night as the many modern buildings light up the sky. The Marina Walk is a boardwalk that runs parallel to the water and is home to a number of upscale dining establishments, charming cafes, stores and more. There are several hotels around this area of new development in Dubai but few budget accommodations.
5. Wild Wadi: This amusement park in Dubai is one of the top amusement and theme parks in the entire Middle East. Guests can expect to find dozens of exciting water slides, rides, pools and more. Thrilling performances are scheduled throughout the day for your entertainment. Adult admission to the park for the entire day costs AED 215 per person.
Each of these incredible attractions in Dubai allows visitors to get a feel for the history, culture and excitement of the city.