Dubai is known for their amazing tourist attractions – they don’t do things by halves and when you check out some of their main tourist spots you will not be disappointed! We will do separate blog posts on each of these attractions for a personal review of what we found and tips when booking. These are some of the must see places:
Desert Safari – One of Dubai’s famous experiences – the desert safari. There are many companies who offer a full desert safari experience from pick up to drop off at the end. Although some packages vary in the actual desert safari these are the general things you will experience – 4×4 drive into the desert, camel ride with photo opportunities, BBQ meal, henna art, hookah/shisha pipes, bellydancing, quad biking and drive back to your starting point. Booking required.
Burj Khalifa -During this experience you are able to go to the 124th/125th floor of the tallest structure in the world. You get to walk around one of the balconies and take beautiful photos of Dubai. There is a more expensive option and this allows you to go the 148th floor and to the Sky Lounge for beverages. Booking required.
Dubai Fountains – These fountains have to be one of the places where there are constant streams of people going to view them. Fountain shows are outside Dubai mall and run at set times throughout the day. Fountain shows last around a minute or so. No booking required.
Abra Rides – Various areas around Dubai offer Abra boat rides. They’re small boats that are popular for a range of things – romantic tours around the Madinat Jumeirah canal, to cheap journeys from different parts of the old Dubai side. There is also an Abra ride available near the Dubai Fountains. No booking required.
Madinat Jumeirah – The ideal place to soak up Arabian culture and architecture. There are what seems like endless amounts of stalls set up in a traditional Arabic Souk (market) theme. This is definitely an ideal tourist place as there are Abra rides, stalls with touristy items, restaurants and it is linked to four luxurious hotels as well as offering luxury villa style accommodation.
Jumeirah Beach – If you’re into beaches, Jumeirah beach is one you definitely will have heard of! It feels like this beach goes on forever as there are several areas you can access this beach from. There are the tourist areas where you can access water sports, top restaurants like Cheesecake Factory but also places directly on the beach so you can grab a bean bag and relax on the beach. During the winter months (October – March/April) there are things like carnival stalls and Latin festivals etc that take place. There are other parts of Jumeirah beach which are more secluded but open to the public – we’ll go into more detail in our blog.
Global Village – This is one of the biggest events that Dubai runs annually. Global Village is a spot that offers food, entertainment, open air theme park and is known for the representation of around 70 countries. Each country that takes part has an allocated shopping area which sells items typical to that country and stalls are set up in or behind an iconic building – for example, Eiffel Tower for Paris and the Petronas Towers for Malaysia. This place is huge and you can easily spend a number of hours here. It reminds us of Winter Wonderland but a million times better! Global Village is set to open in November and runs through until April 2017!
Miracle Garden – If you love flowers, you love colour and love creativity then Miracle Garden is a place you need to go! It is vibrant, full of amazing flower art and you can wander around aimlessly admiring the beauty around you for hours. There is an eating area if you feel peckish. As it is open in Winter months you won’t be dying of thirst whilst you walk around but taking a decent camera is highly recommended! Miracle Garden should be opening again in November 2016 until May 2017.
Butterfly Garden – This place holds one of the most memorable days for us. Butterfly Garden allows you to walk around admiring the beautiful butterflies and the workers around the attraction will help you if you would like to hold a butterfly. This place seems to bring out the David Attenborough in everyone lol! There is a small cafe on site which adds a nice final touch. Butterflies are flying freely so if you don’t like flying insects please do not risk going as you will be escorted out if you are found to be screaming or running. Butterfly Garden is right next door to Miracle Garden so worth going to both on the same day.
Dubai Dolphinarium – For anyone who loves watching Dolphins, this is definitely the place for you. There are several shows throughout the day and booking is recommended. Show lasts one hour in total and includes a magic show, seal performance and the main show is the Dolphins performing a range of fun and amazing tricks. They also do a mini competition during the show which allows kids to get involved and the winner gets a free mini boat ride with a dolphin!
Ski Dubai – The first indoor Ski attraction in UAE which is located in Mall of the Emirates. This place is deceiving! You wouldn’t expect it to be big but it is huge!! It allows you to ski down a big slope, roll down in a giant ball, snowboard or just relax on the chairlift. Ski Dubai also offers a Penguin encounter where you can get up close to Penguins and get to know them! There are a range of packages so you can choose just to do the Penguin encounter or do both the skiing and Penguin encounter! Bare in mind this place is below 0 degrees!
Wild Wadi Water Park -An amazing water theme park with rides for all ages and they offer temperature controlled pools so it’s safe for even the smallest of thrill seekers! Wild Wadi has a number of rides that suit all types of people – whether you want to get your adrenaline pumping or if you just want to relax in a rubber dingy. Operating hours do tend to change so it’s best to check the website before arriving as they have the site updated. Worth booking beforehand to avoid any queues and the closer to opening you arrive the more likely you get to enjoy the rides before the crowds arrive!
Aquaventure Water Park – Another water park which offers a range of water rides, beach area, restaurants, Splashers Area for kids and other experiences like Shark Safari, Dolphin Bay and Cownose Ray feeding. Entry to the park is a separate cost to the additional experiences. Same rules apply as the Wild Wadi park – arrive early to beat the queues.
IMG World of Adventures – This is the worlds largest ever indoor theme park! IMG World of Adventures is based on superheroes and popular cartoon characters – undoubtedly a hit with the kids! There are a range of things to do from the obvious rides to live shows, restaurants, shopping and a meet and greet area where you can relax with some of your favourite characters like Spiderman. They are planning to open a cinema inside also! There are rides for all ages and the minimum height I’ve seen for a ride is 1m so keep that in mind if you have mini people with you. World of Adventures does get packed out during the afternoon so it is definitely worth going earlier. The attraction opens at 11am all year around – but keep an eye on the website for any changes.
Dubai Parks and Resorts – Here you can choose which part of Dubai Parks and Resorts you would like to enter – there is Riverland which is free to walk through and is the centre of all the parks and resorts – this is where restaurants and cafe’s are based also. The paid parks are Legoland, Legoland Water Park, Motiongate and Bollywood. Each park has separate entrances and you are able to buy a multipark ticket which will give you full access to all parks (excluding water park). Each park has rides and attractions based on their theme, i.e. bollywood park has bollywood themed attractions. As there are so many areas it doesn’t feel as hectic as IMG World of Adventures so this is definitely worth visiting with all the family.
Dubai Autodrome – This is a car racer’s heaven! It offers super car driving experiences around a professional race track (Audi’s, McClaren and Lotus cars), as well as a Kartdrome where you can have a fun race with friends/family in racing karts. If you’re a thrillseeking driver with a sporty car, there are track days where they allow you to bring your own car onto the track and test the limits of your car in a safe environment. There is also a Laserdrome section which is similar to paintballing. Booking is required.