Sun worshippers, water fans, action fans, nature lovers, culture enthusiasts, bon viveurs – Dubai has something for every one. Every holiday wish finds fulfilment here – and the right offer. no two days in this desert metropolis are the same and there is a host of attractions just waiting to be discovered. The must-sees in Dubai promise exciting, fun experiences on the arabian Peninsula.
Perfectly formed markers: the Palm Islands
Construction of the two artificially created Islands in the form of a palm tree began in 2001. But only the Palm, Jumeirah has since been built and can be driven on. Here, alongside residential complexes, there are luxury hotels like the Atlantis The Palm, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and One & Only The Palm. In the Palm, Jebel Ali, so far only the land reclamation has been completed. If you want to discover the Palm Islands from the water, then a tour in a yellow rubber speed boat is not to be missed. You will really enjoy the ride in the yellow boats and get to see Dubai from a completely different angle. www.theyellowboats.com
Amazing fountains: Dubai Fountains
At the foot of Burj Khalifa, lies Lake Burj Dubai. Here, every evening between 18:00 and 23:00, people are treated to a fascinating spectacle: the dance of the fountains. The illuminated water columns move gracefully along a length of 275 metres and 150 metres high to pop, rock or classical music. The show that lasts approximately five minutes sees the fountains shoot 100,000 litres of water into the air. This impressive water, light and sound show takes place every half hour and if you want to experience the fountain dance during the day, you can do so between 13:00 and 13:30. The show can be combined by the way, with a visit to the adjacent Dubai Mall.
Shopping and skating: Dubai Mall
In an incredible area of 350,000 square metres, shopaholics can find everything their heart desires. The Dubai Mall with over 1200 shops is one of the largest shopping malls in the world and this shopping paradise in downtown Dubai is easy to get to on the Dubai Metro. And you don’t have to walk the 800 metres from the station Burj Khalifa/ Dubai Mall, there is a rolling gangway. Typical Dubai: the Mall is not just the place for shopping and enjoying good food; how about skating on an Olympic-size rink or a visit to an aquarium featuring over 30,000 sea creatures in 10,000 cubic meters of sea water? www.thedubaimall.com
Beauty at the city gates: the desert
No matter how exciting Dubai may be, the most beautiful part is located at the gates of this million-strong metropolis: the desert and you need to experience it up close. Professionally organised Desert safaris by jeep, on a camel or on foot are an unforgettable experience. Such a tour can be excellently combined with a trip to the chocolate manufacturer Al-Nassma. Here, around 3,400 camels provide milk for the sweet delicacies, produced under the direction of Martin van Almsick from Germany. The former head of the Cologne Chocolate Museum is a master of his trade. www.al-nasma.com
Ancient charm: Bastakiya
Narrow streets, tall wind towers, traditional houses with courtyards – the old Bastakiya district has its own very special charm, where the visitor can still discover the old Dubai. The district offers a delightful contrast to the ubiquitous buildings of steel and glass. Complex renovation and revitalisation measures are in place to preserve Bastakiya and a small village for tourists is in the planning. The Bastakiya district also hosts the SMCCU, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding and it is absolutely worth a visit. The Bastakiya district is quite close to the Dubai Museum, located in the Al Fahidi Fort.
HOT SPOTS: Dine and more
New place to be: The Walk. Here you can go for a leisurely stroll past the marina, shops, restaurants and hotels. This is something of a rarity in Dubai. Then head to the beach, located just before the trendy promenade. www.thewalkdubai.com
New and very hip: 40Kong. Open-air rooftop cocktail lounge cum restaurant, all very trendy. Located on the 40th floor of the H Dubai hotel. www.40kong.com
The Uptown Bar in the Jumeirah Beach Hotel boasts excellent cocktails and stunning views of the Burj Al Arab, the Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai skyline. A magnificent sight especially after sunset. www.jumeirah.com
Text: Petra Dietz
Photos: © DTCM