The pinnacle of structural engineering and craftsmanship, Burj Khalifa demolishes the surly bonds of earth as the world’s tallest man-made structure at a towering 2,716 feet (828 meters.) Observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors provide stunning 360-degree panoramic views of Dubai, the Arabian Desertand gulf. Note that visitation of Burj Khalifa’s observation decks should be made in advance online to avoid extensive wait.
SHEIKH MOHAMMED CENTRE FOR CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING / AL FAHIDI HISTORIC DISTRICT / JUMEIRAH MOSQUE
Nestled inside the Al Fahidi Historical District, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding offers an opportunity for exploration of Dubai and Emirati culture, customs and traditions. This non-profit centre provides tours of the historic district, Arabic language courses and guided visits to the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque, one of the few mosques opened to non-Muslims in the UAE. You may explore the Al Fahidi Historic District on your own by foot, but we suggest a guided tour through the centre to dive deeper into the cultural significance of the area.
SPICE AND GOLD SOUKS
While Dubai’s modern shopping venues are unparalleled, its traditional souks are still bustling centers of commerce and provide an exciting glimpse of the city’s old-school trade and commerce centers. Dubai’s aromatic Spice Souk, located near the Dubai Creek in Deira, features everything from cinnamon, chili, nuts, oils and prized saffron. The nearby Gold Souk focuses on gold jewelry in addition to silver and diamonds. One of the most esteemed marketplaces for gold, nearly 20 percent of the world’s gold finds its way to the souk. Government oversight of Gold Souk is stringent, so you can be confident in the legitimacy and quality of any products purchased. Be sure to brush up on your negotiating skills since haggling is expected at both souks.
DUBAI MUSEUM / AL FAHIDI FORT
The Dubai Museum captures the essence of life in Dubai prior to the impact of oil discovery. Located in the 18th century-era Al Fahidi Fort, the museum outlays the rapid evolution of Dubai’s transformation from a fishing and pearling village to a premier global city. You’ll explore elements of Dubai’s past through exhibits and artifacts that define life as it once was in the region.
DUBAI MIRACLE GARDEN
Given that the world’s largest flower garden exists in the arid hostility of Dubai’s desert environment, the Dubai Miracle Garden is indeed a miracle. This floral oasis boasts 72,000 square-meters of horticultural bliss that includes an astounding 50 million flowers. Located in Al Barsha South, the garden features endless pathways, a butterfly garden that is home to 35,000 species of butterflies and a Guinness World Record certified largest flower arrangement in the shape of an AirbusA380 jumbo jet.
RIDE AN ABRA
For the price of a 1 Dirham (approximately 27 US cents), you can ride an abra (a traditional wooden boat) across Dubai Creek. These boats carry up to 20 people and riders typically sit on a wooden bench mounted in the center of the craft. This is an authentic way to see the modern and traditional elements of Dubai and it’s a unique experience that most travelers seek during their visit to Dubai. The abra stops are located on both sides of Dubai Creek near Deira and Bur Dubai.
Dubai Frame, located in Zabeel Park, is a colossal rectangular structure reaching 492 feet (150 meters) in height and is considered the largest “picture frame” in the world. Championing Dubai’s past, present and future, Dubai Frame includes galleries that regale with tales of Dubai’s past and projections of Dubai’s future, in addition to observation centers that show present Dubai. A top-level platform with a glass walk-way offers an exhilarating view of the grounds surrounding Zabeel Park nearly 500 feet below.
Climb into a rugged 4x4 vehicle for an exciting outing to the desert’s giant sand dunes for an adventure safari, featuring the flavors of a BBQ dinner along with traditional music and dance.
While on safari you are driven through camel camps before arriving at the camp in the desert, which is maintained in traditional Arabic style. Savor a wonderful BBQ dinner, be entranced with the lithe movements of a belly dancer and enjoy time at leisure. A henna artist will show you how, for special occasions, the people of this region have their feet and hands painted with delicate colors of henna. If you want, you may even meet with the Bedouin way of transportation—the camel.