Once a sleepy fishing village on the shores of the Arabian Gulf, Dubai has emerged from the desert sands to become a world-class city of superlatives. With avant-garde architecture, a myriad of shopping malls, as well as a standard of living full of lavishness, this bustling, Middle Eastern city has no problem drawing in the masses to its doorstep.
In need of some retail therapy? Shopping malls in Dubai are considered the best in the world, and with 96 of them (and counting), you’d be hard pressed not to find the perfect outfit.
Mall of the Emirates, the second largest in the city, presents shoppers with 560 international brands to choose from. What’s more? You can conveniently stay in one of the mall’s two five-star hotels in case you shop til you drop and need a nearby bed to catch your fall. The mall also has a 14-screen cinema, a theater and community center that seats 500, and 90 dining venues to regain some energy after all that shopping.
Yet, if you hear the faint call of the retail mothership beckoning you home, it’s most likely coming from the Dubai Mall—touted as the world’s “largest shopping and entertainment destination.” Department stores like Bloomingdale’s and Galleries Lafayette are among the 1,200 stores under one expansive roof.
If it’s gold you’re after, then make a beeline to the glittering Gold Souq and its 300 shops in one of Dubai’s oldest neighborhoods: Deira. Of course, there’s silver to buy and other precious stones too.
Although this desert oasis doesn’t conjure up images of a doing figure eights on ice or hitting the slopes with fresh powder, it does cater to locals and tourists alike who may want to indulge in winter sports.
Located in the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is comprised of a 22,500-square-foot winter wonderland, with ski lifts to reach the 60-meter high mountain. Depending on your level, their are five slopes of varying degrees of difficulty to ski. Of course, snowboarding, tobogganing, and ski jumping off a 10-foot ramp are also available. Though the average low temperature in Dubai can reach 15°C (59°F) in winter, locals may find Ski Dubai a bit chilly at -4°C (24.8°F).
If skiing isn’t your thing, how about ice skating? Dubai Mall has an Olympic-sized ice rink that allows visitors to learn the basics or brush up on their skills for up to two hours. And, if ice skating and disco music are your two favorite things, you’ll be able to enjoy them both here every night.
Sun, sea, and sand
Dubai’s beaches are popular, and swathes of them along Jumeirah Beach belong to many of the resorts and are free to their guests. It’ll cost you a pretty penny if you want to sunbathe at their stretches of beach for the day. However, Dubai is all about having options:
- Al Mamzar Beach is free and offers water sports activities, barbecues, a swimming pool, and a playground for kids.
- Kitesurfing Beach is ideal if you like beach volleyball, playing soccer, kayaking, and, of course, kitesurfing.
- Jumeira Beach Residence (JBR) Beach is popular for its stretches of sand and The Walk, a promenade lined with hotels, restaurants and, of course, shops.
Dubai Autodrome enables racing enthusiasts to fulfill their dreams by choosing from one of the nine Experiences, ranging from the McClaren Experience to the Lotus Experience. Drivers receive safety instructions and driving techniques from an instructor, laps around the corresponding circuit, a certificate, and any necessary equipment (e.g. a helmet and safety clothing for the Single Seater Experience).
If you’re looking to take it down a notch but still enjoy the thrill of racing, the nearby Kartdrome and its fleet of go-carts will satisfy the need for speed. The outdoor circuit is 1.2 kilometers long with 17 corners (minimum age is 17), while the indoor track is 620 meters long and ideal for kids seven and up.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
Touted as the only 7-star hotel in the world, this world-class, all-suite hotel is undoubtedly the iconic symbol of Dubai. A staff of private butlers cater to guests’ every need upon checking in to this exclusive world of luxury. Not only does the hotel have its own helipad and chauffeured Rolls Royce car service, but it also boasts a 10,000-square-foot terrace that extends 328 feet into the waters of the Arabian Gulf, offering two infinity pools and even air-conditioned cabanas.
The 2717 ft tallest building was opened in the year of 2010. From the top of the building, you can enjoy the stunning view of the city. It is also known for having the tallest restaurant of the world on the 122nd floor at 1350 ft up in the sky. There is a lot more to explore in Dubai during your tour. You have to choose the right tour package.