Not only is it built on a desert, it is also one of the most well planned cities in the world!
Not only does it have snow, it has the largest indoor snow park in the world!
Sports Cars? You’ll find the most expensive, unheard of and luxurious ones here!
Oooh yes! There are Penguins too!!
Er.. yes, you’d also find amazing beaches here!
And yes, I repeat – this is all in one place..
All of this in one place? We’ve got to be talking about Dubai !!
Dubai is like a wonderland displaying some of the most unique buildings, path breaking structures, diverse cultures, some highly modern technology, admirable infrastructure and umpteen excursions for tourists.
Despite extensive research on the place before visiting (I can’t help doing that!), the place surprised me nonetheless. We marvelled at the overlapping bridges, gawked at the flawless roads, admired the amazing structures and were stunned at how a barren land has been ingeniously converted into a well-planned modern city!
How to make the most of 5 days in a place like this, you ask?
It’s a good question I’d say! Considering how diverse this place is, planning is paramount. What we did was first identify the places we do not wanna miss and set them in our itinerary. We then filled up the blank slots with the things we wanted to see/do if we got a chance. Finally, this is what our itinerary looked like:
So much has been said and written about the history and stories of the Dubai attractions. So I’m gonna cut out the lengthy narratives and let pictures do the talking for me!
An extremely sweet and romantic evening cruise, where they take you in a illuminated and decorated boat around the Dubai Creek. There’s buffet dinner on board and a cozy evening to spend. It is impressive how a small creek has been put to optimal use for tourism
City tours may sound dull (it did to me as well) but this one is not to be missed! The Dubai museum, the drive down Jumeirah beach road, the Jumeirah beach itself, the Burj al Arab, the Atlantis, the king’s residence (Za’abeel Palace).. all of them were brilliant experiences that gave us an insight into the culture of the place.
An extremely unique experience and one of the tour highlights! The dirt biking on the dunes and the Dune bashing in the land cruisers were fantastic experiences! You really gotta experience them to understand them! (Warning: if you have motion sickness, this one’s not for you. DO NOT TRY). The desert safari was followed by dinner and performances including the Tanoura, an act where a man literally played with fire and the much talked about belly dance.
It is the biggest mosque in the UAE and it’s admirable!! A superb experience. We were told that materials and artisans from as many as 13 countries were used in construction of the mosque and 1000 craftsmen from Iran were specially brought to make the carpet that adorns the floor of the mosque!
This was again a tour highlight!! We spent a super awesome day ogling at the V12 engine kept on display, the mind blowing (literally!) cars on display, the fastest roller coaster in the world, the Italy street, all the other rides and photo stops! It was undoubtedly a day to remember!!
A walk down old Dubai gave us a peek into how the traditional-day Dubai was – the culture, the way of living, even some of the artwork. It was quite different from the modern developed Dubai that we see today.
This is the world’s largest natural flower garden with over 45 million flowers planted!!! The minute you enter the place, it makes you feel you have entered a fairy tale! The horticulture and flower arrangement is impeccable. The garden has been designed brilliantly and it has a lot of cheesy filmy romantic photo stops – no wonder then, that this garden was inaugurated on Valentine’s Day in 2013! 🙂
An extremely interesting concept – global village is a world market! There are sections for almost all major countries. For each country, a miniature of a famous monument/structure of that country is built and behind the monument are various stalls selling specialities of that country and in front of the monuments are food stalls specific to that country. They have done a great job bringing so many countries’ markets under one roof.
Built in the mall of the Emirates, this is the biggest indoor snow park in the world. It maintains sub-zero temperatures and has snow throughout, has a few rides, a ski zone and best of all – penguins! A great experience, though we felt it was tad overpriced.
Burj Khalifa: As we all know, this is the tallest building in the world. The view from this place is BREATH-TAKING! It gives you a bird eye’s view of the whole city and is sure to leave you spell bound! We spent a good 2 hours on top and watching the Dubai fountain from up there was another experience! The 2-minute fountain is again enough to leave you amazed!
Apart from the above, one can visit the lost chambers and aquaventures which are located in the Atlantis, visit the Dolphinarium and Dubai zoo, do sky diving, visit the gold and spice souks, go to the Ibn batuta mall and all the other malls for your shopping endeavours.
The food varieties are several and there’s something for everyone. Cuisines are wide spread too from Arabic to Russian to Greek to American – u name it. You would find places for all budgets as well. So there would be absolutely no food problems here.
STAY & COMMUTE: If you are explorers like me, who love to NOT stick to a schedule fixed by others and love to go venturing out on your own to explore the localities, then Dubai offers hassle free commute options too. The metro as well as buses are totally convenient.
A UNIQUE THING WE DID? We did not go crazy shopping! We went at a time when Dubai Shopping Festival was over and we knew there wouldn’t be too many attractive shopping offers. We chose to spend our time seeing the place over mall hopping. But for avid shoppers, Dubai offers unlimited options from the malls to the local markets.