Dubai offers an extensive horizon of things to do, see, experience and
learn. It is surrounded by mysterious deserts, sand dunes and the
stunning Hajar Mountains, it is divided by the Creek which is
essentially an inlet from the gulf splitting the commercial centre of
Dubai in two, and within the city you'll find amazing beach resorts,
incredibly high tech buildings all side by side with old traditional
houses and mosques giving you a peek of just what variety you can
expect from your time in Dubai.
History & Heritage
A trip to the Dubai museum will give you a glimpse into Dubai's
fascinating past. You can also visit Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum's house
to view a collection of old photographs. The heritage and diving
village at Dubai is a must see for all traditional arts and crafts
A one-and-a-half hour drive along east Dubai's road leads to Hatta.
This pleasantly green valley is a small enclave in the dramatic, arid
Hajar Mountains and is completely surrounded by land belonging to
Oman, Ajman and Ras al-Khaimah. Here, the charming Hatta Fort Hotel
with its beautiful gardens give a warm welcome to visitors.
Nearer to Dubai, and only about 20 kilometers inland, are the twin
oases of Khawanij and Awir. These oases can be reached in 25 minutes
from the town center. They have been extensively developed over the
past 20 years and boast fine country houses with superb gardens for
some of Dubai's leading families.
Boat racing has cultural and historical significance in Dubai with its
roots in dhow (traditional wooden trading vessels) racing, which still
takes place today, especially on government holidays such as the UAE
National Day on December 2. It is considered as one of the most
spectacular and graceful of sports, the traditional dhow sailing
witnesses more than 80 traditional boats take to the clear blue waters
surrounding the DIMC in precisely the same manner as it was done in
the ancient past. Adhering to age-old tradition, the hulls are
varnished teak wood with billowing white sails made from canvas. The
three different racing categories here include 60ft, 43ft and 22ft.
Participate in the Dhow racing which takes place throughout the winter
months and well into the summer. Racing usually takes place off the
coast of Mina Seyahi from 2 pm on a Thursday or Friday.
For a glimpse of Dubai's fishing-village roots, wander the Jaddaf
district and watch local craftsman hand-carving dhows.
Al Bastakia Area in Bur Dubai dates back to the early 1900s, and
occupies the eastern section of the old town along the Creek,
extending to a length of 300 meters, and depth of 200 meters in the
southern direction. This area represents an important area in the
history of architecture, and the urban development of town. The
masons, who constructed the building, have left a permanent mark on
the town's heritage.
To the east of Al Fahidi Fort is the largest concentration of
traditional courtyard houses within wind towers. In the past, the city
was famous for a mass of wind towers which lined the creek on either
side. These were not merely decorative but served as the only means of
cooling houses in pre-electricity days.
One of the largest and most beautiful mosques is the Jumairah Mosque.
It is a spectacular example of modern Islamic architecture and is
built of stone in medieval Fatimid tradition, the mosque is a city
landmark in Dubai. It is particularly attractive at night when subtle
lighting throws it artistry into relief.
You can book an organized tour that is held every Thursday and Sunday.
Tip: Please call 9714 344 7755 for more information.
'Souk' is the Arabic word for market or place where any kind of goods
are brought or exchanged. Traditionally, dhows from the Far East,
China, Ceylon and India would discharge their cargos and the goods
would be bargained over in the souks adjacent to the docks.
You can find the wonders of aromatic spices and the beauty of
hand-crafted gold through the labyrinth of narrow winding alleys on
the Deira side of the creek. In the spice souk you will find perfumes,
incense, and delicious foods piled in sacks awaiting your attention.
Walk a bit further toward the gold souk and you will be dazzled by the
glittering displays in each shop window. Choose from gold necklaces,
earrings, bracelets, and you can even design your very own jewelry.
At the Perfume Souk you will literally find thousands of aromas, and
if you can't find the one that you want, shopkeepers would be able to
conjure up a unique concoction that suits your tastes exactly.
You will find the antique market near the souks where you can buy
coffee pots, Arabian chests, daggers, Bedu jewelry and carvings at
excellent prices. If interested in buying textiles or silk, head for
Cosmos Lane in Bur Dubai or the streets of Satwa, where numerous shops
sell a vast array of colorful fabrics.
Tip: There is a guided jewellery tour at the Gold and diamond park for
30 minutes. The tour is for free and you can call 04 3477788 for more
This luxurious amphibious bus is brand new state of the art vehicle
and is approved by US coast guard and Emirates Marine Services Dubai.
The total number of passenger capacity is 44. The bus takes you around
the beautiful city sights and entertains you to wonderful sceneries of
the classy past and the modern present of Dubai.
Open Top Bus
The Big Bus aims to give you the most enjoyable and memorable
experience of your life in Dubai. From the towering sail-shaped Burj
Al Arab hotel to the mysterious gold and spice souks, what better way
to see Dubai's breathtaking views? So, hop onto the big red double
decker bus for a quick tour of Dubai's main attractions starting and
finishing at Wafi City.
Another arial view of Dubai would be to take the cable car ride that
runs the 2.3km length of Creekside Park (between the Creek's two
bridges) in under half an hour. Suspended 30 metres in the air, you
can see for miles in each direction.
Twelve cable cars traverse the Creek Park affording a view of the
creek area from 25 meters above ground.
The cable car system spans 4,200 meters from the park's amphitheatre
to Al Maktoum Bridge. Three stations have been set up where passengers
can be picked up. Each car accommodates up to four passengers. A
private company has been commissioned to operate the project.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
The souk is a colorful and vibrant market or part of a market in an
Arabian city. Lively trading culture, animated, interactive - this
defines Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
Meandering paths lead visitors through a bazaar-like atmosphere in
which open fronted shops and intimate galleries spill onto the paved
walkways. The sounds of craftsmen and women at work mingle with the
aroma from street cafes and boutique restaurants. Souk Madinat is
exclusively known for the unique brands, crafted quality and an
Dubai is labeled as the "shopping capital of the Middle East". With so
many shopping malls and souks, there's no better place to find
products at unbeatable prices. It is truly a duty free shopper's
paradise that gives you more for your money. Dubai's numerous shopping
malls cater to every consumer need. Cars, haute couture clothing,
jewellery, electronics, furnishing, sporting equipment, and any other
goods will likely all be under the same roof.
Ibn Battuta Mall
Ibn Battuta Mall, a Nakheel Project, was conceived to celebrate
Dubai's increasing role as one of the world's top shopping
destinations. Located adjacent to Sheikh Zayed Road between
interchanges 5 and 6, the Mall combines retail, entertainment,
restaurants and family activities all within a uniquely themed
environment that is designed to reflect the unique combination of
various heritages and cosmopolitan lifestyle that is the very essence
Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab is a part of The Jumeirah Beach Resort, situated 17km
south of the city of Dubai. It is designed to resemble a billowing
sail; the hotel soars to a height of 321 metres, dominating the Dubai
coastline. At night, it offers an unforgettable sight, surrounded by
choreographed color sculptures of water and fire. This all-suite hotel
reflects the finest that the world has to offer.
You can take a two minute submarine ride to the Al Mahara seafood
restaurant and catch a hearty meal.
Take an aerial tour of Dubai. Helicopters and plane tours offer a
bird's eye view of the city and operate throughout the year. Prices
start from Dhs. 250 for a 45 minute to 1 hour flight.
See the countryside in a Hot Air Balloon as you have never seen it
before. A flight in a Hot Air Balloon gives you the power of the
winds. You can fly high above the haze or skim the sand dunes, float
on a gentle breeze or ride with a cloud.
Tip: Call Amigos balloons on 04 2899295 for more details.
There is plenty to see and do water wise in Dubai. The Dubai
International Marine Club has been the driving force behind the growth
of national and international water sport events in the Middle East.
Dubai International Boat Show, the largest marine industry exhibition
in the Middle East, is a classic showcase of yachts and boats from
both local and international builders together with the latest
innovations in marine equipment and accessories.
Apart from this there is parasailing, snorkeling, diving and surfing at the beach.
Tip: Contact the Dubai International Marine Club at 04 3992278 for more details.
Located next to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Wild Wadi offers
thrill-seekers and families hours of fun at one of the world's most
advanced water theme parks. Featuring the tallest and fastest water
speed rides outside North America, other attractions include Log
River, Ring Ride, Flood River, Wave Pool, Flow Rides, Lazy River and
much more. Check opening timings and discounted 'sundowner' rates as
these vary from month to month.
Tip: Call Wild Wadi on 04-348 4444 for more details.
Fun & Games
Located just off the Garhoud Bridge, Wonderland is a family fun park
that caters to all ages. Attractions include numerous water rides and
slides, roller coasters, a log flume, bumper boats, games of skill and
a nightly water mist show.
You can also spend your day with the little ones at the encounter zone
at Wafi mall which has the popular crystal maze, horror chamber and
fascinating 3D films.
Trips to the desert can be a great way to explore the sandy expanses
and safaris are generally half day and can include an overnight stay
in Bedouin tents.
Wadi bashing, a popular amusement with both residents and visitors is
all about exploring the wadis or dry beds of streams that flow after
the winter rains from the Hajar Mountains. Many wadis offer scenes of
unexpected beauty like attractive rock pools, some with water
year-round, surrounded by greenery.
Driving in sand is an exciting activity. It is an adventure in itself
which combines the excitement of a rollercoaster ride with the
challenge of remaining mobile on the shifting surface.
Even for the non-golfer, Dubai's golf clubs are worth a visit, both
for the spectacular architecture of their clubhouses and as examples
of the successful greening and landscaping of the desert.
More than one visitor has mistaken the lush greens and freshwater
lakes of the Emirates Golf Club and Dubai Creek Golf Club for a desert
mirage. Man-made oasis of rolling green fairways, bunkers and lakes
materialize miraculously from a desert haze with superbly designed
clubhouses as their epicenters.
Dubai Zoo is the oldest zoo of its kind not only in the United Arab
Emirates but also in the Arabian Peninsula. Dubai Zoo also happens to
be the first Arabian zoo to breed the rare Chimpanzee and Arabian wild
cat. It is a special place of interest and fun for tourists and
residents of Dubai.
H. H. Sheikh Rashid bin Maktoum, the late Ruler of Dubai, permitted
Otto J. Bulart to build the Zoo on a two hectare plot in Jumeirah. The
Dubai Zoo became a landmark as it indicated the "town's end". Timings
of the zoo are as follows: Open 10am to 6:30pm, Wednesday to Monday.
Camel-racing, a traditional sport, is extremely popular in the
Emirates. It was originally staged in an informal setting, at weddings
or special festivals, but now customized tracks have been built
throughout the country where race meetings are held in the winter
months from October to April, culminating in the annual camel race
festival at Al Wathba which attracts entrants from all over the world.
Sheikh Zayed's sponsorship of the Zayed Grand Prize camel races, also
held at Al Wathba racetrack to celebrate UAE National Day, is an
indication of the special focus and encouragement given to the revival
of heritage sports and camel-racing festivals as an occasion for the
gathering of UAE citizens.
Dubai Horse Racing
The World famous Dubai world cup is held in Dubai annually at the Nad
Al Sheba club which boasts of a 2000- metre turf course. The evening
features the Dubai World Cup, the world's richest horse race,
supported by the UAE Derby and the Dubai Kahayla Classic for Purebred
Arabians. The Dubai Duty Free, Dubai Sheema Classic, Dubai Golden
Shaheen and Godolphin Mile complete a night of history. This is also a
rare opportunity for ladies to wear hats to the occasion.
Dubai Autodrome is the first fully integrated automotive and motor
sports facility in the Middle East region, incorporating a world class
FIA sanctioned 5.39 km motor racing track, international standard pit
lane complex with a "state-of-the-art" grandstand accommodating over
7,000 spectators as well as providing modern hospitality suites for
Providing a "real home" for the automotive industry in the Gulf with a
comprehensive business park being developed around the racetrack, it
will also feature an international and local racing calendar will be
established on the Autodrome to include Single Seater Racing, Touring
Cars, Motor Bikes, Sports Cars and Karting.
Dragon Mart, the largest trading hub for products from China being
developed outside the Chinese mainland, is taking its final shape at
the International City development of Nakheel, in the Al Warsan area
in Dubai. The 1.2 km long dragon shaped structure is a permanent
exhibition space comprising showrooms and business facilities
including: post offices, meeting and negotiation rooms, full
commercial and general services and will assemble the most exhaustive
collection of Chinese products under one roof. The project is also a
realisation of the longstanding relationship between the Chinese
government, the expatriate Chinese community and the UAE.
Dubai Knowledge Village (KV) is a vibrant, connected learning
community that will develop the region's talent pool and accelerate
its move to the knowledge economy. KV was set up to develop Dubai into
a destination for education for both regional and international
learners. This new education and training hub is also set up to
complement the Free Zones other two clusters: Dubai Internet City and
Dubai Media City by providing the facilities to train the clusters'
future knowledge workers.
Dubai Knowledge Village provides the infrastructure for developing,
sharing and applying knowledge. In addition, Dubai Knowledge Village
has expanded to include the mega-campus Dubai Knowledge Universities,
the first stage of which will be completed in 2006.