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Top Things to do in Dubai for First Time Visitors

Dubai, the golden city personifies discovery, grandiose, and a juxtaposition of traditions both present-day and traditional. The dynamic metropolis provides multifarious experiences for a first-time visitor, encompassing serene desert landscapes, splendid skyscrapers, to lip-smacking traditional delicacies. Irrespective of the traveler being a lover of everything opulent, a history buff, or an adventure soul, the golden city has ample on its platter to captivate all.

Things to Do in Dubai

  • Desert Safari

Dubai’s quintessential experience, a desert safari cannot be sidelined once here. From the city, the Arabian Desert is a brief drive that awaits with its serene exquisiteness and diverse, undulating dunes. It is here where culture and adventure cohere. These safaris are of 3 kinds-morning, evening, & overnight. Key attractions encompass dune drives, camel treks, falconry displays, henna art, sandboarding, quad biking, and more. The evening concludes with delish barbeque dinner complemented with Tanoura shows & belly dancing. Lastly, stargazing is a sight to behold.

  • Real Madrid Dubai

This recent Dubai addition will take football lovers by storm. Perched in Dubai Parks & Resorts, it features 40 plus attractions and experiences promising a day replete with adventure & thrills. Key attractions entail the 3 key zones-Stars Avenue, Champions Avenue & Celebration Plaza. Other immersive concepts encompass The Factory of Dreams, Hala Madrid, Stars Flyer, Hands Up, and The Wave La Ola. Real Madrid Dubai tickets can best be booked online at AED 295 onwards to keep the queues at bay.

  • Jumeirah Mosque

There cannot be a better way to study UAE’s culture than stepping into one amongst its gorgeous mosques, the Jumeirah Mosque. It holds about 1200 plus worshippers and crafted from dazzling white stone in archaic Fatimid tradition. Tours are conducted both in a friendly and welcoming milieu, with special programs that are age-appropriate. Every visitor is advised to dress modestly and act respectfully while in such premises.

  • Burj Khalifa

Dubai and Burj Khalifa go hand in hand. A visit to the golden city can never be complete sans observing the world’s tallest edifice up close. This architectural wonder provides drop dead gorgeous city vistas from 124th & 148th observation decks. Visitors can take pleasure in multimedia presentation pertaining to the city history or the tale behind Burj Khalifa’s construction prior to heading on to speedy elevator. The Arabian Gulf, the expansive desert, and cityscape’s panoramic vistas are a sight to behold.

  • Dubai Mall

Famed as a shopper’s haven, the Dubai Mall undeniably is at the core of the experience. Amongst the world’s largest, it provides unparalleled shopping experience thanks to the presence of 1200 plus retail outlets encompassing specialty stores, electronics, high-end brands, and more. Besides shopping, the Dubai Mall also houses miscellaneous entertainment variety entailing multiplex cinema, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice Rink, KidZania, amid others. In short, it promises entertainment galore.

  • Historical AI Fahidi District

To survey Dubai’s yesteryears, head to AI Fahidi Historical District. To get an insight into the city’s times of yore, exploring this place is crucial. Also referred as AI Bastakiya, it is amongst Dubai’s oldest neighborhoods characterized by deep rooted cultural heritage, traditional wind-tower edifice, and narrow lanes. People can also survey the wonderful Dubai Museum that is housed here. It acts as a window into Dubai’s transformation to a metropolis from a little fishing village. Walking through the district, people can discover several cultural centers, museums, and galleries, comprising Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

  • Palm Jumeirah & Atlantis

World’s biggest man-made island, Palm Jumeirah is the city’s testimony to ambitious spirit. Having a palm tree appearance, it is abode to outstanding residential villas, luxury hotels, and multifarious entertainment and dining options. A standout attraction here is Atlantis, The Palm that offers visitors multiple activities. The Aquaventure Waterpark perched within Atlantis, is amongst the world’s largest waterparks that features river rides, thrilling water slides, and a specially dedicated space for kids. Besides, the resort also has The Lost Chambers Aquarium that lets visitors discover marine exhibits along with familiarizing about the lost city myth of Atlantis.

  • Dhow Cruise

If visitors seek to experience The Land of Dreams from a unique perspective they can opt for Dubai Creek’s dhow cruise. The wooden traditional boats provide a charming means of observing Dubai’s historic areas and skyline. Although cruises are available all through the day, an evening cruise is much loved for its incredible vistas of illuminated cityscape coupled with romantic milieu. On the cruise people can relish a delish buffet complemented with live entertainment and music. While the boat glides through the creek, people can witness iconic landmarks-the Gold and Spice Souk and the Heritage Village, offering a mix of new & old Dubai.

  • Global Cuisine

In Dubai, the culinary scene is undeniably diverse offering a gamut of dining choices from the world over. From delish street food stalls to restaurants that are Michelin-starred, Dubai wonderfully caters to each wallet and palate. For instance, AI Mahara at Burj AI Arab provides an exclusive underwater dining adventure and the Hamachi Tartare is its signature dish. Relish Tandoori Lobster at Armani/Amal, or Black Cod Miso at Nobu. And for some Emirati flavors step in to Logma, Seven Sands, or Siraj. The annual event, The Dubai Food Festival is an excellent opportunity for savoring Dubai’s gastronomic delights. Do not skip the street food delicacies like shawarma in Jumeirah Beach or AI Fahidi Street.

  • Dubai Beaches

Dubai’s stunning coastline with pristine beaches is a sight to behold. Here azure waters and golden sands cohere, paving the way for an idyllic introduction to Dubai’s vivacious beach culture. Right from Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach, La Mer to AI Mamzar Beach Park visitors are spoilt for choice. Key highlights comprise beachfront shops, lively promenade, food trucks, wide sandy shores, iconic views, and excellent watersports from paddleboarding, to kite surfing and more.

Vital Facts

  • Religion-Islam
  • Weather-Hot desert climate
  • Currency-AED/Dhs
  • Language- Arabic, yet English also is extensively spoken
  • Mode of Transportation-metro, bus, trams, Abras, water taxis, ride sharing, car rentals
  • Best Time to Explore-Winter months (November to March)
  • Top Events-Dubai Shopping Festival, Dubai Food Festival, Dubai International Film Festival, Dubai World Cup, Eid Festivals, Dubai Summer Surprises
  • Traditional Dishes-Shawarma, AI Harees, Falafel, Luqaimat, Gahwa
  • Dress Code- Modest dresses
  • Nightlife- Vibrant and pulsating
  • Accommodation- Luxury Stay-Burj AI Arab, Mid-Budget Stay-Rove Downtown, Pocket-Friendly Stay-Dubai Youth Hostel
  • Behavior-no display of affection in public
  • Tipping- not obligatory yet appreciated

Bottom Line

Apart from this, Dubai has much more on its platter awaiting to be unfurled by first-time visitors including The Global Village, Dubai Miracle Garden, Legoland Water Park, Arte Museum, IMG Worlds of Adventure, The Dubai Fountain, The Green Planet, amid others. There is an array of experiences and attractions with each providing an exclusive peek into what makes Dubai so special.

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