Dubai is an immensely popular tourist destination and there are countless landmarks to be seen but to note down, here are our top picks which are an integral part of the city.
These iconic landmarks, some very modern and a few traditional, are famous all over the world and a must-see whether you’re in the city to work or play.
The Palm Island and The World
Dubai is a very ambitious city and this can be seen even from space. The man-made Palm Islands and World Islands on the coast of Dubai can be seen from up above.
Frequently called the eighth wonder of the world, the Palm Islands of Dubai are the world’s largest artificial islands, each manmade into the shape of a palm tree. The Palm Islands are a popular travel destination but only Palm Jumeirah is open to visitors.
The islands took shape under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and the Ruler of Dubai.
In total, the Palm Islands house 60 luxury hotels, 4,000 residential villas, 1,000 water homes, 5,000 shoreline apartments and multiple marinas, restaurants, shopping malls, sports facilities, health spas, cinemas and dive sites, and of course the iconic hotel The Atlantis, according to All World Best.
The World, another imaginative development in the city is a collection of 300 private islands in the shape of continents located off the coast of Dubai.
The Burj Khalifa skyscraper is a world-class destination and the magnificent centrepiece of Downtown Dubai, Dubai’s new urban masterpiece. The world's tallest building is surrounded by hotels, must-visit shopping destinations and a world of entertainment options.
Burj Khalifa is surrounded by The Old Town, a residential area with its intimate streets and architectural detail that creates a special ambience with the mystery of yesteryears’ Arabia. Old Town features every kind of restaurant from five-star dining to outdoor cafes overlooking parks and waterways.
The Dubai Mall
Located in the heart of the prestigious Downtown Dubai, The Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world, is the premier lifestyle destination for shopping and entertainment. It is a shopper’s paradise featuring 1,200 retail outlets, two anchor department stores, a 220-store Gold Souk and more than 160 food and beverage outlets – all masterfully spread over an astonishing area totalling 12.1 million square feet.
The Dubai Mall offers an unparalleled retail mix combined with world-class dining, entertainment and leisure attractions that revolutionise the concept of the shopping mall experience.
Here, you’ll find the world-class Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo featuring a 270-degree walkthrough tunnel and the world’s largest indoor Gold Souk. There is Fashion Avenue, a 440,000 sq ft precinct dedicated to haute couture. The Dubai Mall opened its doors to the world on 4th of November 2008.
Burj al Arab
The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab is more than just a stunning hotel. It is a symbol of modern Dubai.
Yet for all the wonder this stunning structure provides when you finally see it in person, it is the service within that really makes the Burj Al Arab so extraordinary.
Repeatedly voted the world's most luxurious hotel, this magnificent destination offers you the finest service and facilities throughout – right down to an optional chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce.
Burj Al Arab suite-only accommodation offers discreet check-in within your rooms, a private reception on every floor and a host of personal butlers, each a warm messenger of the hotel’s unparalleled hospitality.
Set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, the fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft (150 metres), equivalent to that of a 50-storey building. The fountain is 900 ft (275 metres) long and has five circles of varying sizes and two central arcs. It has been designed by California-based WET, the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The Dubai Fountain performs daily. Over 6,600 WET Superlights – the most advanced incandescent large fountain lights available today – and 25 colour projectors create a visual spectrum of over 1,000 abstract attractions. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and will be visible from space making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly in the entire world.
The Atlantis hotel
Atlantis, The Palm is a resort located on Dubai’s reclaimed artificial island The Palm. It was the first resort to be built on the island and is based on the myth of Atlantis and includes distinct Arabian elements.
The Atlantis beach resort is an aquatic wonderland by the sea offering relaxation and thrills. The Signature Underwater Suite in the hotel is a 3-story suite where the walls provide a fish-eye view into the aquarium.
Atlantis is also home to 65,000 marine animals, which you’ll find in unique marina habitats at The Lost Chambers Aquarium. You can also get up close and personal with the dolphins at Dolphin Bay, learn to scuba dive and swim with sharks at the Atlantis Dive Centre, or experience the number one water park in the Middle East and Europe, Aquaventure Waterpark.
The Miracle Gardens
New in its league, The Miracle Gardens is home to more than 45 million blooming flowers in stunning designs, awesome shapes and structures.
Miracle Garden is one-of-its-kind in the region and in the world for such a unique display and extravagant outdoor recreational destination. Miracle Garden has sealed its place in the Guinness Book of Records for having the longest wall of flowers.
For those who want to dig a deep into history, Al Bastakiya, is a must see. It is one of the oldest residential areas in the city of Dubai. The locality lies along Dubai Creek and includes narrow lanes and wind towers, as well as the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest existing building in Dubai.
The construction of Al Bastakiya dates back to the 1690s. In its prime, the locality was capable of supporting 60 housing units, most of which were separated by narrow, winding lanes.
Take a trip to the Gold Souk and you will know why Dubai has earned itself the title of City of Gold. The place has numerous shops with an enormous collection of for jewellery lovers. Some estimates have it that approximately 10 tonnes of gold is present at any given moment in the Dubai Gold Market.
A visit to the place is recommended even if you have no intention of buying a piece of jewellery. For many visitors it’s their first time to see so much of gold.
Dubai Spice Souk is a traditional market that comprises of several narrow lanes which are lined with open and closed-roof stores.
Stores in the Spice Souk sell a variety of fragrances and spices from frankincense and shisha to the many herbs used in Arabic and South Asian food. In addition, several textiles, incense, rugs and artefacts are also sold in the Spice Souk.
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