Have you ever dreamed of waking up in the future where everything seems too perfect to be real? Dubai looks like a futuristic city where everything seems to be perfect. However, there are little-hidden treasures to be discovered that are not as polished as the rest of Dubai.
1. Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, at least for right now. Saudi Arabia is trying to compete with the UAE and build even a taller building. Burj Khalifa is the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai, and it is easy to see why. There are 163 floors, but the public can only go up to the 148th floor. Tickets for 124 & 124 floor are around $30. If you want to go a little higher to the Sky Deck it will cost you around $150. Sky Deck has a private lobby, tour guide and you will be served cold drinks and snacks. Views from all levels are the same, but lower levels are much more crowded.
2. Jumeirah Beach
Jumeirah Beach has a beautiful view of the Burj Al Arab hotel, which is the only seven-star hotel in the world. The only way to get inside this fancy hotel is by booking a room or restaurant reservation. Jumeirah Beach will give a chance to look at its sail shape and take many photos. The best part of visiting this beach is that it is free of charge, There are public bathroom and snack shack for anyone who wants to spend there more time, There is no nearby public transportation, so taxi and Uber are the best options.
3. Desert Safari
Desert Safari in Dubai is a must for all visitors that won’t disappoint! It is a fun and educational experience at the same time. Most organized tours include hotel pickup, barbeque dinner, dance show, and camel ride. Desert Safari will give you a chance to see how Dubai looked without all the skyscrapers. The best part of this trip sees the different colors of the desert. Make sure to take many photos!
4. Al Fahidi Historical District
Al Fahidi Historical District is an excellent example of old Dubai. It has buildings from the mid 19th century, built with traditional materials. Another architectural must see at Al Fahidi Historical District are wind tunnels (Barajeel), which functioned like natural air-conditions. There are many galleries and local coffee shops that are great for a break. There is no fee to enter this historic district.
5. Al Fahidi Fort
Al Fahidi Fort is another excellent example of old Dubai architecture, and it is only a few blocks away from the Al Fahidi Historical District. Dubai Museum is inside Al Fahidi Fort. For just a dollar you can enter this fort and transport yourself back in time, It shows you how Dubai transformed itself from an impoverished desert nation into a wealthy and futuristic city.
6. Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai is just a crazy experience! It is just unbelievable to ski in the middle of the desert. Located inside the Mall of Emirates, and its skiing slopes are visible from the outside. Ski Dubai is not a cheap experience. It will cost you $50 to ski for dollars, and it includes skiing outfit, helmet, and socks. Gloves are extra, and a hat is extra…so if you are planning on skiing in Dubai bring your hat and gloves. They will be better quality and cheaper. Skiing indoor is not the same as skiing in Colorado or Alps. Snow feels more like ice. For nonskiers, Ski Dubai has an option of other winter activities and penguins.
Shopping in Dubai is a national sport. Most stores are pretty luxurious, but there are also more average prices places. The Dubai Mall is the most popular place for shopping right now in the UAE, and its enormous size is overwhelming! This mall has ice-skating rink, aquarium and water fountain show at night. It is also the entrance to Burj Khalifa. Mall of Emirates is another huge shopping mall that is famous for its indoor skiing. Ibn Battuta Mall is a more local mall that themed into six different countries. All three malls have public access transportation. For more local shopping go to Gold and Spice Souk. Both of them are in an older district of Dubai. Most of the gold is an Indian style and is 24 karat. Spice market doesn’t look very interesting, and spice selection is limited. Sale men are very aggressive there and will harras women. It is easier and safer to buy tea and spices at the airport.
8. Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is a trendy place that is fun and relaxed. Its main attraction is Marina Promenade. Beautiful place for a stroll or to start your dinner cruise. Dubai Marina has many restaurant and hotel options. It is a place for beach lovers and people who like things a little more chill.
9. Dubai Magical Garden
Dubai Magical Garden is pretty much magical. It is hard to believe that something so beautiful can exist in the middle of the desert. Many fantastic flower sculptures are always in full bloom. Amazing floral smell is everywhere! You will need 1-2 hours to see everything fully. Dubai Magical Garden is only open from November to March, and it is about $16 to enter. There is no nearby public transportation, so taxi and Uber are the best options. It is pretty far away from most tourist places in Dubai.
10. Camel milk
Try camel milk while in Dubai. Camel milk ice cream is sold widely throughout Dubai. They have familiar flavors like chocolate and pistachio, but for more flavor hungry there is saffron honey flavor. Chocolate made out of camel milk is prevalent. It honestly tastes like a bar of regular milk chocolate.
If you are visiting Arabic country for the first time, Dubai is a perfect option. It is very friendly and tolerant towards western culture and outfits. However, remember to be respectful towards Arabic literature and the Muslim religion. Dubai is an excellent example of how the past and present can coexist.