Discover Dubai, Beyond The Burj Khalifa
The joy of making your way to the top of the highest building in the world, and the charismatic sight that greets you from the top, is more than enough reason to make your way to Dubai. But folks, this glittering emirate has much more to offer than the majestic Burj Khalifa. Read on, as Alefiya Rashiq tells us all about Dubai, beyond Burj Khalifa!
Let’s go back in time a little bit. In the early days, Dubai was best known as a market for pearls and then as a fishing and trade port with a lot of business emerging from its ‘Creek area’. Later in the 1960s, oil was discovered and it changed the face of the city completely. Today, with breathtaking architecture, luxurious hotels, unbelievably enormous malls and scores of entertainment avenues, this emirate is certainly one where you cannot just stop your explorations at Burj Khalifa. Here are 6 things you can do on your trip to Dubai:
#1 Adore The Dubai Skyline
The 125th-level Observation Deck of Burj Khalifa is not the only way of seeing the magnanimous city of Dubai. A cruise ride through the Marina and Creek also have beautiful sights to offer. Picture a romantic starlit evening on a dhow cruise, while you sail through the backwaters and are surrounded by splendid views of glamourous skyscrapers on both sides. Dinner aboard, and a traditional Tanoura Dance act later, you can surely consider this to be your best evening in Dubai.
#2 Indulge In The Luxury
From Burj Al Arab, the world’s richest hotel, to a set of artificial islands, The Palm, Dubai personifies luxury. While you may require some hefty Dirhams to explore it all, there are ways of enveloping yourself with the extravagance. An ‘Afternoon Tea’ at the Skyview Bar, which is perched on the top-most level of Burj Al Arab is priced at AED 620 and requires prior reservation. If you book a window table (at an additional price), you even get to gorge on views of the infinite ocean beyond. Albeit a heavy price, it can be considered a worthwhile expense because apart from the meal, it gives you access to explore the hotel’s grandeur and ambience and also lets you capture some great photos!
A personalised yacht, a helicopter ride through the clouds, an encounter with the dolphins, and a ticket to the race course are other options that you may indulge in.
#3 Explore Theme Parks, Gardens & Concerts
The Miracle Gardens are nothing short of a dream. You can lose yourself in the many colourful flower formations (read: pyramids, igloos, a clock and even a castle) and end up discovering a completely new facet of this vibrant garden. Closer to the Burj Khalifa, a captivating symphony of lights, water and sound makes you gape and groove with it many twists and turns. Yes, the Dubai Fountains are what we are referring to. For the fun-loving traveller, there are amusement parks such as IMG, Ski Dubai, Legoland, Dubai Aquarium and the plenty of live concerts to choose from. There’s always more to do in Dubai than you have time for.
#4 Laze On Sandy Beaches & Drive Across Sand Dunes
Dubai is a versatile land. In the sense that it has a varied range of experiences to offer, on one day you could be sun-bathing by the beach, while on another day, you can be venturing onto the sandy dunes of the desert.
The Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach are easily accessible to the public and offer a range of water sports to choose from. Then there are also the private beach resorts, where you can stay for a day or two to make the most of the beaches. A desert safari gives you just the right amount of adrenaline, but the defining moment certainly has to be an after-safari barbecue dinner in Bedouin tents with fire and belly dancing acts as a finale. It can’t get any better!
#5 Shop. Souk. Shop
The biggest international brands reside within the swanky malls of Dubai. The Dubai Mall and the Mall of The Emirates are among the popular ones and are ideal for a day out, with something to excite every one. If malls are not your thing, make your way to the ‘souks’ or traditional Arabian bazaars located in the older part of the city. A one dirham ‘Abra’ ride (a traditional boat made out of wood) across the creek leaves you right in the centre of a bustling marketplace. The flamboyant spice and gold souks are also where you will get a glimpse of the local culture and merchandise.
#6 Revel In The Food, Drink & Parties!
As night falls, be prepared to expect the unexpected. You will be left bewildered by the kind of dining experiences that Dubai is ready to impress you with. Dining in the sky, dining in the dark, dining underwater, what’s next? If you don’t bend towards the fancier side, and would rather just pick up your drink and hit the dance floor, the charming nightlife of Dubai will not disappoint. There are plenty of nightclubs, beach parties and even yacht parties, to keep you engrossed with where to head to on each night of your trip!
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A Pune’ite who is in love with the world, Alefiya Rashiq is a copywriter and a communications professional. Breaking into jigs, making quirky observations and her untimely giggles keep her going when she is not writing. Life is NOW, she believes!