To begin with. In my opinion, I don’t think it should be a question of “is Dubai worth visiting?” but rather “Why is Dubai worth visiting”. Sounds like a quick conclusion right? Well, I have my reasons.
In recent times, Dubai has impressively developed from being just a desert in the past into a great tourism hub and global business city. It has become popularly known for its world-class shopping experience, dynamic nightlife experience, and its display of ultramodern architecture which is second to none. Some fondly call it “the city of excess”, for it is depicted for having everything to the extreme (structures that do not have competition globally). These and more have earned the city its position as being one of the best places to travel to for a vacation. One interesting thing about this city is, everybody gets attracted to it at some point. Trust me, it’s worth it.
At times, when you see posts online about the city of Dubai, you’ll notice some negative comments that tend to discourage you about the city. If I had not known the city pretty well, I would have concluded that many people hate the city of Dubai But the fact is, most of these people have never visited the city before. This article covers the wonderful reasons why Dubai is worth paying a visit to, I will highlight the treasures harbored in the city which you would want to take good note of for your next trip to the city.
Believe it or not, Dubai is indeed a city of tourism. Below are the great features that earned the city its place in the tourism world. Let’s see if you’d still have that negative impression after reading this.
Why is Dubai worth Visiting?
Here are some of the reasons why Dubai is worth a visit.
- Best Shopping experience – EIther biggest malls of the world or business local markets
- Home to the world’s tallest skyscraper – the view from the top is fantastic
- Dunes that are fun-filled – Desert Safari
- Jewelry makers and perfume makers (they can make any fragrance you ask for)
- Great beach experience – (You can wear beachwear here)
- Cultural diversity
- Museums and Art Galleries that portray the rich middle eastern history
- 360-degrees mindblowing city views
- Amazing delicacies
- Sailing Experience
- Cool skiing experience (They built an ice ring in a desert country)
- Underwater Zoo
- Flower Decorations – Miracle Garden
- Performing Arts
- Unparallelled man-made structures such as Palm Island and Frame
Best shopping experience
One of the great experiences you can enjoy in Dubai is its extravagant shopping opportunities at the Dubai Mall. The Dubai mall is rated as one of the best places to go as a tourist, this is one place that requires a whole day if you desire to have the full of it. It is not just a marketplace, but also a place to have fun-filled experiences. The mall is divided into different sections containing hundreds of shops, restaurants, multiple movie theatres, an aquarium, an ice-skating rink, a park, amongst others, there is hardly any human need you wouldn’t find here in the mall (world-class right?). The Dubai shopping festival is hosted here yearly and lasts for a whole month with discounts up to 90%. Whether you are the type that is naturally in love with shopping or not, this is a place you would want to be when you visit the city of Dubai.
Asides from the luxurious Dubai mall, The city also has some other market places (popularly called “Souks”) where you can get things at more reasonable prices. These local markets are an experience in itself. There is Gold Souk, Spice Souk, and so on.
Home to the World’s Tallest Skyscraper
Another record-breaking characteristic of the city of Dubai is the fact that it currently owns the tallest building in the entire globe (Burj Khalifa) which is 829.9m tall (by the figures, you can imagine how tall that is), this is indeed a 21st-century architectural wonder. This building is known as the symbol of the city and one of the most famous places people want to visit upon their arrival in Dubai, nobody dares to miss a visit for any reason. One experience you should never miss when you visit this place is the amazing view from the Observation Deck which is on the 128th floor of the building. From there you can have an overview of what the beautiful city looks like, trust me it’s a classical experience. If you are a photographer, you should consider going there at night (thank me later).
Meanwhile, the surrounding is something I must not forget to talk about. It is a pleasant view featuring a choreographed fountain which is known as the “Dubai Fountain”. This is currently the tallest fountain in the entire world.
And not to mention, Tom Cruise clicked a picture sitting on its antenna on top while he was shooting Mission Impossible. This is why Tom Cruise is Tom Cruise.
Dunes that are Fun-filled
Dubai is a desert region in which some of its lands are occupied by sand. Meanwhile, the city has been able to convert what was supposed to be a weakness to become one of its strength by turning some of these sand-hipped areas into tourism attractions.
Desert safaris are a trip to the desert in 4×4 vehicles with a skilled driver who would drive through the loose dunes (dune bashing). Like nature’s own roller coaster. Followed by camping in the desert to engage in fun events like riding on camels, sandboarding, getting a henna tattoo, and enjoying a belly dance.
These sand dunes are indeed one of the best places you should be to in Dubai. Make sure to take appropriate precautions to protect yourself from injury and wear loose clothes to be comfortable while in the desert.
Great Beach Experience
Asides from having wonderful sand dunes, one of the wonders of the city is that most of its beaches are Man-made, designed to look amazing. The most popular beach here is the Palm Jumeirah, an island designed just to look exactly like a palm tree. This is a place where you can not only feel the beachy enjoyment but can also engage in some parasailing experience which gives you a spectacular visual perception of the palm Islands. You can solely board a parasail, and up to 3 persons can sail together- which is even more fun-filled.
You might want to enjoy a better experience by renting a yacht to explore the Dubai Marina. But if don’t have that much time to spend, you can consider a fast boat tour which will save you more time. Meanwhile, if you are on a large budget, then a luxury boat tour is the best option.
The Kite beach is another wonderful beach to consider which is located in the south of Jumairah. As the name implies, it is a nice place where water sports like Kite surfing and Paddleboarding are performed. It is also a relaxation spot where you can just lay to enjoy the warmth of the sun. But if you prefer a less commercial beach, then I will recommend you try Mamzar.
You talk of a place that accommodates expats (Foreigners) whose population is even more than that of the natives, then you are referring to the city of Dubai. As said earlier, it is the most populated Emirate in the United Arab Emirates, with foreigners constituting about 83% of its total population. These foreigners include immigrants from nearby Asian countries to as far as African countries, so you are bound to meet people from different nationalities here (Residents and Visitors alike). The city’s trade policies are very accommodating to foreigners, which is why you’ll see foreigners running their businesses freely. The presence of various cultures makes the city a melting point of vast cultures which in turn adds the International flavor to the city.
360-degrees mindblowing city view
Have you by chance heard of the Dubai Frame? Well, this is not the kind of picture frame you’ve always known. The Dubai Frame is a two-arm tower 150m high having a 95m long bridge connecting the two arms together, it is situated in Zabeel Park. From it, you have the privilege of getting a stunning all-round view of the entire city of Dubai, from the Arabian Gulf through the Sand dunes of the Arabian desert, all through to Dubai marina (imagine the beauty, now stop imagining, you have to go see for yourself). This was first opened in 2018, since then it has attracted a lot of visitors trooping in mass.
Amazing Delicacies that suits your taste
While on a tour, starving is not an option, who on earth goes for fun-filled experiences while starving. Do you know that Dubai is one of the places you can get the most variety of food? Being a place with diverse culture harboring people from different works of life, I don’t think there’s any delicacy you’ll not find here- Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Turkish, Chinese, Indian, the Philippines… name it! No matter where you are coming from, you will surely find what you love.
Meanwhile, since you’d be visiting an Arab city, you should as well try out the Arabian delicacies. There are lots of local street food you’ll see on Al Dhiyafah road which is not as expensive as you might have heard. Though if you are on a fat budget, you have the option of the five-star restaurants. It’s very easy to locate one that suits your budget. Don’t forget to try Kunafa!
Wonderful Sailing experience
Another reason you should visit Dubai is to enjoy a nice boat ride at the Dubai Creek. Some people feel this should be the first place to visit as a tourist, which ways, this is one of Dubai experiences you have to include in your plan. Dubai creek is a saltwater bay that divides the city into two- Deira on the northern side and Bur Dubai on the southern side.
Another sailing experience you must consider is visiting the Dhow Wharfage which stretches along Baniyas road between Dubai Creek and Deira. It is known for its old looking urban touch of trade. Here you will see ancient type ships known as Dhows, most of the Dhows here have been operating for over 100 years. You can visit the floating market in the Al Seef area by boarding any of these ancient dhows or alternatively, by using an Abra (which is a small wooden ferry).
If you are looking for a more premium sailing experience you can get it from Dubai Marina. There are several luxury yacht companies here. You could get a table in a regular yacht or book a private tour.
Deira is known to be the area with the most multicultural heritage as this is where most of the resident foreigners live. There is a very popular Gold Souk here. Get used to the word “souk” as people around here usually refer to a market as “Souk”. The Deira Gold market is the largest gold marketplace in the world. So, why would you not want to see what it looks like?
Cool skiing experience
Ever experienced indoor skiing and snowboarding experience? This is what Dubai Ski holds in store for you. This is a 22,500 square meters indoor ski resort situated in Dubai Mall. Dubai ski features an indoor mountain which 85m high having 5 different slopes that vary in steepness and difficulty (more like, according to your level). Lifts are available to transport skiers and snowboarders to the mountain top. It also hosts many penguins that are available for tourist encounters (but you have to book a ticket). You do not need to pack everything while coming here, all you will need are readily available for rent, so be rest assured. Meanwhile, you always thought, experiences like this is only peculiar to cities that experience very low temperatures and have snow. Well, Dubai can make even the unimaginable come to reality.
One of the best Underwater zoo
When Dubai does its things, they are always one of the bests in the entire world. The case is no different with its Aquarium which is one of the largest in the entire globe. It houses numerous species of aquatic life (about 140 species). It is equipped with a walk-through tunnel which gives a kind of direct encounter feeling to tourists. This is of course one of those places you should not skip.
A Waterpark that that spells Relaxation
To add to the numbers is an outdoor waterpark known as the Wild Wadi Water Park. This park is situated in the Jumairah area, close to the beach. The park features a heated and cool pool alongside a quite number of water slides. It also has a waterfall, coupled with a few restaurants, gift shops, and snack stands. This is one of the coolest places you can be in Dubai.
Meanwhile, another park you might want to see is the IMG Worlds of Adventure. This is an indoor amusement park that is truly amazing for both adults and children. Known to be the first mega themed entertainment destination
Home of Flower decorations
Another very popular spot in Dubai is the “Dubai Miracle Garden” which is yet another of the city’s signature creations. It is located in the heart of the city occupying an approximated area of 72,000 square meters earning it the title of being the largest known flower garden in the entire globe. It is made up of about 150million flowers designed to form different shapes and patterns that are appealing to the eye. Do you love the feel of nature, then this place is very pleasing for an evening walk after a stressful long day. This particular garden has won the Guinness records for two different years (2013 and 2016), you’ll have a feeling of true nature here.
Center of Performing Arts
Are you interested in having a day out to enjoy live concerts, ballet dance, and lots more, then the best place for experiences like this in Dubai is the “Dubai Opera”. This is an iconic building constructed to have the shape of a dhow, this design theme is attributed to represent the city’s maritime history, it is situated at Opera street in Downtown Dubai. Amazingly, this building can be transformed into three different modes depending on the proposed event it is to be used for- from a theatre, can be turned to a concert hall and also to a flat floor that can be used as an event hall. This special ability makes it possible to host almost any event here. Dubai Opera brings music and art to life in the city and with its large audience capacity of 2000, a lot of cultural activities are hosted here.
Home of Jewelry
If you are a lover of jewelries, then the city has a nice stop for you. Dubai Gold Souk is a very large market where over 300 well established and small retailers are into selling of jewelries. It is situated in the business district in Deira. A large number of real gold jewelry is always available here (estimated at about 10 tons). There are different varieties to choose from. If you are a business-minded person, you can as well buy a number of them to go sell to your locals (that’s a little secret).
Convenient Transportation system
As a visitor who desires to tour the length and breadth of the city. Most of these tourist attractions are not so close to each other (not a walkable distance). You do not need to worry, the city’s transportation system has your interest at heart. You have different options to go for according to your budget. One of the best you can consider is using Taxis as it is more private and more comfortable. Meanwhile, if you desire a more pocket-friendly option, then you can make use of the commercial buses, they are also comfortable and they are air-conditioned so you do not need to worry about the heat. Other means of transport available are by train, by boat (at the water parts) and by bike.
In addition to the numerous tourist destinations in Dubai, another thing the city is well known for is the hotel experience which is second to none. This feature alone is okay to keep you longing for more holidays to days in the city.
One of the most exclusive hotels in the city is Burj Al Arab, this is an astonishing seven-star hotel whose architectural design is made to look like the sail of a boat. It is currently one of the tallest hotel building in the entire globe. If your budget is very robust, then you should consider lodging here and experience its exclusive suites coupled with its amazing restaurants. One of its famous restaurants is Al-Mahara which is situated underwater. Staying here is indeed an adventure itself, just that staying here is very costly (not just for anybody).
Meanwhile, there are still other hotels that are even more pocket-friendly and you’d still enjoy a classic experience. As there are so many hotels in Dubai, prices are very competitive and year-round offers make them better. As a rule of thumb, find a place to stay within city limits are all your attractions are within city limits. This way, you spend less time traveling to reach your spot.
It is prompt access to other Emirates
You should remember that Dubai is only one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE. As rich as Dubai is in terms of tourism attraction, each of the other emirates also has attractions you would love to experience. Another amazing thing is you can use Dubai as a base while fixing day trips to the other emirates and returning to Dubai to have a night rest. With this, you will appreciate the united Arab Emirates even more.
Memories of the Old Dubai
Are you interested in having a feeling of what the old Dubai looked life back in the days then, the Bastakia Quarters is somewhere you would surely want to be. This area is also called Al Fahidi. It is located on the eastern side of Bur Dubai, close to the creek, and was built during the late 19th century. This place was initially intended to be occupied by the wealthy Persian merchants and this is particularly evident as the theme of the architectural design of the buildings is synonymous with the coastal houses of Iran. To complement the old-fashioned look are wind towers that are connected to the buildings to serve as a cooling system. These wind-towers are able to trap wind from the atmosphere and funnel it down into the building. This is indeed a very nice place to be in Dubai
Astonishing Arts galleries
Another treasure that can not be left behind is the fact that there are nice Art galleries in the city, so if you are a lover of art then you should consider heading to Alserkal Avenue situated in the Al Quoz industrial district of Dubai. This area is known to harbor a few art galleries (Some of the best in the city), for example, the Ayyam Gallery, the Third Line, and a few others. This area is also popular for boutiques that deal in local designs, pop-up restaurants amongst others. Trust me, this place has a real young vibe which is very welcoming.
There are other nice galleries like the Majlis gallery which is situated in Bastakia, this specific one is popularly known for housing a great collection which includes traditional Arab ceramics and furniture. There is also the XVA gallery, this also has a display of wonderful art collections. Also, you should check out Al Serkal Cultural Foundation, another historical building situated in Bur Dubai, here you will also find a lot of art exhibitions. Trust me, these are places you should not be told about, go see for yourself and experience the wonderful world of art.
The city also has an old museum that speaks about the history of Dubai, known as the Dubai museum. The Dubai museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort and its history is dated back to 1787 is the oldest building in the city. The museum was established to protect Dubai Creek. Though, for some time it didn’t function very well but was restored in 1995. It is currently the most popular museum in the city and has become a popular tourism hub. Things you’ll find displayed here are the old maps of the city, weapons used in the past, local musical instruments, alongside artifacts that give insightful knowledge about the Emirati life. One interesting history about this specific museum is that the building has been used for different purposes in the past, it once served as local governors residence, as a prison, and also was used as the seat of the government. Some of the artifacts here are said to have been brought from Al Qusais archeological site.
Isn’t Dubai worth a visit?
The city of Dubai, the precious treasure of the UAE. This is the second largest (in terms of landmass) and the most populous Emirate in the country. Dubai is indeed a nice place to be. The wonderful experiences in the city of Dubai are something that cannot be explained by mere words unless you are there to feel the experiences yourself, only then will you understand better.
Dubai airport is literally the world’s busiest airport by passenger traffic. You will find a flight from any corner of the world here. And more than often, Dubai is the layover location if you are traveling via Dubai. There are plenty of tourists who get a 48 hours visa for a quick Dubai tour while waiting for a connecting flight. Do you need some more reasons, here you go:
- Dubai is one of the safest places on the planet. Don’t worry if you are a solo traveler or woman. You are safe.
- Though it is an Arabic country, Dubai is ultra-modern. You don’t have t cover your face or wear a long black dress that covers head to toe. Just wear what’s comfortable. Don’t go too extreme for that will be frowned upon.
- Everyone here speaks English everywhere.
Meanwhile, while you are planning on that vacation you should know that the weather in Dubai is usually harsh and even becomes unbearable at some point. You can read more about the things you need to know before planning a visit here. That will assist in helping you plan your visit properly.