The Emirate of Dubai is the second largest of the seven United Arab Emirates but has the biggest population at over 2.1 million inhabitants. Size has been synonymous with Dubai as it continues to build the first, largest and the biggest constructions in the world. Dubai’s dynamics are always transient and ever-changing with its constant urge to construct something better and bigger than the previous. If there was a Palm Island, Nakheel thought of the World Island. Burj Al Arab seemed too timid when Burj Khalifa cropped up, distancing itself to being a loner in the crowd. Dubai constantly dwells in a suppressive competition with itself trying to magnetize tourists to a dreamy world of attractions and unheard of luxuries. The emirate’s scoring points lie in its entrepreneurial abilities to create the inconceivable found in its tourist attractions, landmarks, shopping centres, nightlife and hotels. Although it strictly safeguards its traditional practices, it allows space for other religions to breathe, a rare quality amongst the conservative Arab world. Thankfully, it has been successful in shielding itself from extremism, much-needed for it to survive. Today, Dubai has emerged as a cosmopolitan metropolis that has grown steadily to become a global city and a business and cultural hub of the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region.
A newbie tourist to Dubai can get confused as it offers an exciting abundance of attractions, activities, shopping and nightlife. Here’s a top list of things to do when holidaying in Dubai.
Top 10 Dubai Landmarks
Downtown Dubai used to be called Downtown Burj Dubai and is home to several of the city’s key landmark sites., including Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain . Downtown Dubai has a population of about 100,000 and covers an area of 2 square kilometres. On completion, it is estimated to cost in the region of US$20 billion.
The Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping centre and is part of the new Downtown Dubai mega-complex. It opened at the end of 2008 with 635 retailers. In 2012, it attracted 65 million visitors – more visitors than New York City attracted over the same period.
The Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain is a record breaking, musical fountain show located on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. Water is shot up in the air to an altitude of over 500ft and accompanied by classical & contemporary music from around the world. The fountain opened in 2009 but in 2010 the fountain’s length was increased to 275m.
When it comes to Dubai constructions, the sky is the limit in the literal sense of the word. Presently, Burj Khalifa tops the list for the tallest skyscraper in the world at a height of 2,717 ft. Part of the new development called Downtown Dubai; the tower is the address to the most elite hotels, shopping centres, residences and offices in the world.
Burj Al Arab
Everyone dreams of staying at the Burj Al-Arab, the most extravagant hotel in the world. However, world’s first seven star hotel developed by Jumeirah Hotels & Resorts chooses its customers and not vice versa. Burj Al Arab’s billowing sail enjoys being a focus of public attention with its glittery gold interiors, ultra-spacious suites and the heightened level of luxury offered.
When innovation meets hard work, the results are astounding as seen at the Palm Islands in Dubai, an ambitious project visualized by Nakheel Properties; these man-made islands were constructed to accommodate the ever-growing tourist influx in Dubai. Shaped to resemble a palm tree, the Palm Trilogy defines everyday luxury living.
Today Dubai is all about modern, hi-rise constructions, but a part of it remains umbilically connected to the narrow lanes and wind-towers of the historic Al Bastakiya district. The oldest residential district in Dubai dating to 1890, the area is significant for its old-time architecture and the unaffiliation for the busy lives of Bur Dubai.
The words winter and desert are diametrically opposite yet Dubai manages it by constructing a Ski resort inside the Mall of Emirates, the largest mall in the world. Featuring 22,500-square metres of ski area covered in snow all year round, the indoor ski resort features various ski jump slopes and play areas to entertain children and adults alike.
A major landmark in Dubai, Deira Clocktower has been a silent witness to the city’s changing faces when it was built in 1963 to mark the country’s first oil exports. Also referred to as Dubai Clocktower, it stands at the gateway of Maktoum Bridge, one of the significant constructions in Dubai Creek linking Bur Dubai and Deira.
Located in what is known as ‘new Dubai’, Dubai Marina is a man-made canal city built to encourage luxurious lifestyles through exclusive waterfront constructions along the Persian Gulf shoreline. These include swanky hotels, aristocratic residential palaces and extravagant shopping and entertainment centres.