Dubai is one of those cities that has always fascinated us and the idea of visiting it came to us in a flash. Is there anything better than celebrating Alessandra’s birthday there, escaping from the freezing Milan? So, we made our decision and on January 14th, we left for Dubai on an Emirates flight. The first impression has been undoubtedly positive. We had the idea of a city that continues to evolve and so it was. A place where Eastern and Western cultures merge so naturally, a city full of attractions where you certainly can’t get bored. So, here’s our guide of Dubai, 10 places that you absolutely cannot miss!
Our guide of Dubai could only start from Palm Islands, a complex of three artificial islands called Deira Island, Palm Jebel Ali and Palm Jumeirah. Palm Jumeirah is the most famous one. Here, you can find some of the most luxurious resorts in Dubai, including Atlantis the Palm and FIVE Jumeirah Beach. If you are looking for relax, this is the place for you! The most popular city beaches are located here! Reaching Palm Jumeirah is really simple, you can use car, taxi or monorail. At sunset, don’t miss a privileged view of the Atlantis The Palm. Just go to The Pointe, a large outdoor shopping center, and enjoy the show from the beach. You will really be amazed! Unfortunately, the monorail station at The Pointe is not yet open, the only way to reach this place is to use a taxi.
Burj Khalifa is undoubtedly the emblem of the city and we could not include it in our guide of Dubai. With its 828 meters, Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper in the world. There are different types of tickets to visit Burj Khalifa. We opted for the ticket which includes a visit to the 124th and 125th floors with a 360 ° view of the city below. Visiting the building is really worth it, not only for the spectacular view of Dubai, but also to learn more about the history of this majestic skyscraper. Did you know that it took 6 years to build it and that in 2004 there was only desert around?
The cost of the ticket varies depending on the time you decide to visit it:
– From 9 to 15.30 and from 18.30 to closing time: AED149
– From 16 to 18: AED224
Although the ticket price isn’t so cheap, we believe that it is really worth it. We suggest you buying your ticket online in order to avoid long queues or to go to the ticket office at the Dubai Mall unnecessarily. Once we arrived at the Mall, we discovered there was no place for a visit to the 124th floor. The only way to buy the ticket was through the site. We don’t want you to do the same!
The Dubai Fountain is a truly sensational show that you cannot miss. It takes place every evening with 11 shows from 6pm to 11pm, one every 30 minutes. It’s located in the Dubai Mall area, inside the artificial lake in front of Burj Khalifa. The shows last from 3 to 5 minutes and are accompanied by very famous soundtracks. We recommend enjoying the show from one of the restaurants overlooking the fountain. Dining with a privileged view of the dancing fountains is very impressive. If you want to admire the show from a different perspective, you can do it from the top of Burj Khalifa.
BURJI AL ARAB
Burj Al Arab, the famous sail-shaped hotel which soon became a symbol of Dubai, is definitely a place not to be missed. With its 321 meters, it’s the third tallest hotel in the world (you will not be surprised to know that the first classified are always in Dubai). Burj Al Arab dominates the scene, you won’t be able to take your eyes off it. We advise you to go there at sunset, because you will be enchanted by its beauty. We were speechless! It’s really amazing admiring it as the sun drops over the sea and it slowly lights up in its majesty. If you cannot access the private beach, we advise you to go to the public one. From here, you can enjoy a beautiful view of this luxurious hotel.
BUR DUBAI – AL SEEF
A trip to Dubai cannot be complete without a visit to the historic Al Fahidi district, the old city, also known as Al Batakiya. The neighborhood is located in Bur Dubai, on the western side of the Creek, and it’s the home of historic and important monuments. Among these, the Grand Mosque, the Dubai Museum and the textile souk stand out. Since 2017, in this area there’s also the brand new area called Al Seef. A place that blends tradition and innovation together. Between bars with outdoor tables and shops for all kinds, Al Seef is the perfect destination for shopping. You can reach the neighborhood by taxi or subway. The closest stops are Al Fahidi and Burjuman.
DUBAI CREEK – DEIRA
Deira is a historic district of Dubai, located on the eastern side of the Creek. The main attractions are the souks, the famous open-air markets. There are several of them, but the most famous ones are the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk. If you are in Bur Dubai and want to reach this part of the city, you can cross the Creek with the typical wooden boats, known as abra. The cost of the ticket is AED1 (approximately € 0.25). In a few minutes you will be at destination!
In a self-respecting guide of Dubai, you’ll find the shopping centers. Here are the most famous two:
– Mall of Emirates: inside the Mall there are many shops, bars and restaurants for all budgets. Here, there’s also the Ski Dubai, the famous ski slope that you have certainly seen in some pictures. The Mall of Emirates is easily accessible. Also, many hotels offer private shuttles to go there.
– Dubai Mall: inside the Mall is full of shops, bars, restaurants and attractions. It’s located in Downtown, close to the Burj Khalifa. The entrance to visit the skyscraper is right inside the shopping center.
THE WALK AT JBR
If you want to relax walking by the sea and doing some shopping, you cannot miss The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). It’s an open-air commercial area where sea and city merge perfectly. It’s so famous for all the murals, bars, restaurants and shops. From here, you can also see the Ain Dubai, the largest Ferris wheel in the world, located on the island of Bluewaters. We suggest you visiting this area at sunset.
DUBAI DESIGN DISTRICT
The Dubai Design District, also called D3, continues to evolve and it’s one of the most modern and luxurious neighborhoods of the city. Not far from Downtown, here you can find lots of bars, restaurants, shops and galleries of emerging artists. We discovered this place on Instagram and it immediately struck us. We decided to visit it because we thought it was not a tourist area, different from the usual places in Dubai, and so it was. We were not disappointed! Not far from the center of D3 stands The Block, a large outdoor park surrounded by many colored concrete blocks. Inside, you can find a skate park, a volleyball court and a basketball court. We obviously took a picture here… you know we love basketball courts! The view of Burj Khalifa from here is really amazing!
DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN
Our guide of Dubai ends with another emblem of the city’s majesty. Opened in 2013, the Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest natural garden in the world. It’s located outside the center, but not far from the famous Palm Jumeirah. Here, you will find incredible and almost unimaginable floral sculptures. The most famous one is the Emirates A380 covered with more than 500000 flowers. The cost of the ticket is AED50 (about €12) for adults and AED40 (about €10) for children from 2 to 12 years old. The garden opens every year from mid-November to mid-May, in periods of excessive heat it’s closed to the public to protect the flowers and plants inside. Visiting hours are from 9 to 21 from Sunday to Thursday and from 9 to 23 on Friday and Saturday.
In our guide of Dubai, we could not provide some advice about transport. Dubai is a very large city and so, it doesn’t have a real center. Attractions are not always close to each other and transports are essential. You can choose between:
– Taxi: the cost of rides is cheap and compared to other cities, Uber is more expensive. Taxis are all equipped with a meter and you can also pay with credit cards. Pay attention to abusive ones! They’re much more expensive, without a meter and don’t have the sign on the car.
– Subway: Dubai was the first Middle Eastern city to build a subway. The two lines, red and green, are fully automated. Each ride can be paid exclusively through a card, called the Nol Card. For more information about the card that best suits your needs, please see the website.
For more pictures of Dubai, we’ll wait for you on our Instagram page!