Ever restless, ever changing, Dubai’s metamorphosis from trading post to global megalopolis is one of the world’s great urban transformations.
Visit Dubai for futuristic desert modernism, vast shopping complexes and fine, white coral sand beaches. Between seeing boundary pushing attractions like the world's biggest shopping mall (Dubai Mall), tallest building (the Burj Khalifa) and largest natural flower garden (Dubai Miracle Garden), you can wander the narrow alleys of Al Bastakiya and make the most of a culture shaped by Muslim traditions and its ethnically-diverse population.
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You won’t want to miss the vast marbled malls, gleaming glass towers and the adrenaline-pumping fun of Ski Dubai, but here are a few more things to do.
- Take a hot air balloon to watch the sun come up over the Arabian Desert
- Explore the souvenir-saturated Souk Madinat Jumeriah
- Take a traditional abras boat across Dubai Creek
- Visit one of the city's incredible waterparks Aquaventure Water Park or Wild Wadi Water Park
- Mingle with the locals over cheap eats on Al Dhiyafah Road
- Discover the spice souk in the old town of Deira.
If you are travelling for leisure, you’ll find yourself mostly on the beaches in Jumeirah, at the shopping malls and developments of Downtown Dubai, at the restaurants along the Dubai Marina or in the old streets of Bur Dubai.
Jumeirah is home to many of the city’s top luxury hotels and resorts, such as the Burj Al Arab and Madinat Jumeirah, as well as many marvellous restaurants, malls, and boutiques that attract Emiratis, expats, and visitors alike.
Beaches beckon along this 15 kilometre stretch of coastline, while inland Safa Park offers a vast area of sports fields, manicured gardens, playgrounds, and green lawns. Wild Wadi Waterpark is a popular family destination.
North of Dubai Creek, this is one of the oldest parts of Dubai and home to its many colourful souks and markets, like the Gold Souk, Spice Souk, and the Deira Fish Market.
The Corniche winds its way along the waterfront and is a wonderful place for a walk, as are the labyrinth of narrow lanes leading to the souks. Deira is also the location of many modern businesses, malls, and entertainment centres.
Considered to contain the oldest parts of Dubai, Bur Dubai on the south side of Dubai Creek is home to many historic sites and old buildings.
Browse the living museums of the Heritage and Diving Village in Al Shindagha and explore the souks. Or wander through the lanes of the historic Al Fahidi District, home to some of the only original Arabic wind-tower houses left on the Arab side of the Gulf, built by wealthy traders and pearl merchants.
The Dubai Museum is located inside the majestic Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to guard the landward approach to the city. The quarter is also home to many restaurants, art galleries, cafes, boutique hotels, and interesting shops, and is generally a lovely area for a stroll.
Dubai Marina is one of the best established modern districts in town. It’s built around the largest man made marina in the world and contains a number of top restaurants as well as outdoor recreation and entertainment complexes.
You’ll find many delightful diversions in this waterfront area, from the restaurants, boutiques, and markets located along the seven kilometre long Dubai Marina Walk, to the boat and dhow trips that set sail from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.
The spectacular man made islands that make up Palm Jumeirah extend city life out into the aquamarine waters of the Arabian Gulf. Seen from above, it looks like a palm tree consisting of a trunk with 17 fronds, encircled by a crescent shaped island. It was the first offshore development of its kind, and was originally billed as the eighth wonder of the world.
The Palm’s most famous landmark is the colossal Atlantis The Palm resort, with its water park, private beach, and Dolphin Bay. Hop aboard the Palm Monorail that runs to the Atlantis resort on the Palm’s outer crescent.
From the airport
In and around the city
To get around Dubai, hail one of the cream taxis – the different coloured roofs indicate different operators – or use the public bus or driverless metro system that runs between the major financial and residential hubs of the city. There’s also the option of the hop-on hop-off bus which offers multiple departure times to the major sights in the city and the beach.
You can cross Dubai Creek by water bus, water taxi or abras, the local passenger ferries. Or take to the skies in a seaplane or hot air balloon and see the megalopolis of Dubai in all its splendour. Don’t miss your chance to get into Dubai’s desert with popular tours such as desert camel safari, camp safari.
Dubai car hire
Book car hire with Avis, Budget, Hertz and Thrifty. Qantas Frequent Flyer members could earn Qantas Points^ with Avis and Budget.
Your flight with Qantas
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