Dubai is a fascinating destination and it has so much to offer that I really needed a well-planned itinerary to make sure I get to explore all the major attractions without missing out on the true essence of this phenomenal place.
Let’s explore together all the places I got to visit during my Dubai tour.
Palm Jumeirah – This man made island has fascinated every traveler to Dubai and I am no different. First I took the Palm Monorail that ran down the trunk of the Island and took in the sights as the train headed towards the Atlantis Hotel. It is good to know that you can enter some parts of the Atlantis Hotel even if you are not a guest here. That’s what I did when I got here. I also wanted to see the palm tree shape of the Island so I headed to the View at The Palm Dubai and got to the viewpoint on level 52. The 360° view of the Palm Jumeirah and beyond from the outdoor terrace was absolutely spellbinding.
Dubai Dolphinarium – This is one of the most popular attractions in Dubai and limited seating for the Dolphin and seal performances. So, to make my visit more convenient I booked the Dubai Dolphinarium tickets in advance. The interactive performances of the 6 bottlenose dolphins was the highlight of my visit. The dolphins and seals sang, juggled, danced and did so many other tricks while the audience clapped and cheered the whole time. I also visited the Creek Park in the Dolphinarium which houses over 20 different species of parrots and other exotic birds.
Museum of the Future – This is one of the latest attractions of Dubai and its structure itself is an architectural marvel. The torus-shaped building itself was so captivating with its Arabic calligraphy and massive steel panels that I was completely entranced for some time. The interior is equally spellbinding and the exhibits are spread across five floors. The Museum of the Future gives the experience of being in the year 2071 and everything is different. The 5 floors showcased 5 different themes which were climate change, health, ecology, wellness, spirituality and what the future looked like in space travel. The visit was so enthralling that I completely lost track of time as I moved from one exhibit to another.
Dubai Aquarium – Everything in Dubai is larger than life and spellbinding and the Dubai Aquarium and Underground Zoo is no different. I had set aside a good part of three hours just so I could explore this magnificent place at leisure. Walking down the Aquarium Tunnel I could see the divers feed the sharks and rays. The Aquarium holds over 33,000 marine animals including penguins, otters, sharks, rays, jellyfish and lots more. The absolute highlight of my visit was the ride on the glass-bottomed boat on the suspended 10 million liters water tank and the Aquarium shark dive. Being face to face with so many sand tiger sharks was an experience that can have no equals.
Miracle Garden – The world’s largest flower garden is in a desert country is miracle enough but the Miracle Garden Dubai takes gardening to a whole new level. What really caught my attention was the innovative ways in which these flowers are displayed. There are these phenomenal arrangements and replicas of iconic structures like the Burj Khalifa, a life-size Emirates A380 plane, an 18 meters high floral Mickey Mouse structure and floral castles to name a few. Besides the floral attractions there is the Lake Park that I found perfect for a leisurely walk and then there was this Trampoline Park with customized large sized trampolines.
Dubai Fountain – The Dubai Fountain is the tallest fountain in the world that performs to wonderful melodies. The simplest way that I would describe the Fountains is that it is immensely captivating. You forget everything while the jets of water sways and dances with the music drawing patterns in the air. The light, sound and music mesmerizes you to a point where everything around the Fountain seems ten times more beautiful. The new Boardwalk made it possible for me to get really close to the Fountains making this one of the most phenomenal experiences I have ever had.
Burj Khalifa – Burj Khalifa is one of the most iconic structures in Dubai and it is the tallest tower in the world. Although everyone knows what Burj Khalifa looks like, seeing it first hand is a whole different experience. The structure itself is really spellbinding but I was more interested in the view from the 152nd,153rd and 154th floors where the viewing decks are. I boarded the fastest elevator on earth and headed straight to The Lounge Here there is a floor to ceiling glass wall and the view is completely beyond words from here. You can see the city all the way to the Arabian Gulf.
Al Bastakiya – Al Bastakiya showcases a different side of Dubai which holds an old world charm and showcases the traditional lifestyle of the people here. This side of Dubai is so different it felt as if I had been transported back in the 1800s. The best way to explore this part of Dubai is on foot so I put on my most comfortable shoes and headed for a day of exploring the many attractions of the Al Fahidi neighborhood. There are art galleries, museums, traditional shows and events that showcased Dubai’s rich cultural heritage and so much more here. The best for me was the Al Fahidi Fort which has been converted into a museum now but also functions as a defense base for Dubai.
Dubai Mall – The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping malls in the world and there is more that you can do here besides shop. From ice skating rinks to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, to VR Park, to Kids adventure zones to aircraft flying simulators; the Dubai Mall has it all. I found the sculpture of the Human Waterfall really fascinating. This cylindrical sculpture is 24 meters tall and 30 meters in diameter and along the surface there are figures of men diving down. The whole structure spans three floors of the Dubai Mall.
Deira – During my trip I wanted to take a look at Old Dubai and soak up a little Emirati cultural heritage. My main purpose for visiting this part of Dubai was to explore the Gold and Spice Souks. I headed to Deira in the evening to avoid the scorching Dubai heat and it is best to explore this area on foot. The vibrance of the Gold Souk completely mesmerized me; I have never seen so much gold in one place. The Spice Souk was a treat to the eyes as well as the senses. The aromas of the different spices and the old world charm was so engulfing and entrancing. I filled my shopping bags with a variety of herbs, spices and nuts and also explored the other shops selling hookahs, rugs, carpets, tobacco pipes and so much more.