Dubai, UAE

Known for its luxurious shopping outlets, ultra-modern and futuristic architecture, lively nightlife and impressive Mosque’s like the Grand Mosque and Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai is one of the most popular cities not only in the United Arab Emirates but also around the world. The emirate of Dubai is also known for its luxury and culture and has some of the tallest buildings in the world including the Burj Khalifa, which stands at 830 metres tall and dominates the skyscraper packed skyline of the city. Why not enjoy a breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea or even dinner at the Atmosphere Restaurant on Level 122 or enjoy cocktails and canapés in The Lounge on levels 152 to 154. At the base of the Burj Khalifa sits the Dubai Fountain beside the enormous Dubai Mall. The fountain explodes into different choreographed aquatic dances with a sound and light show every 30 minutes from around 18:00pm.

Dubai’s other major hubs include the Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina with al fresco dining and sandy beaches to relax on, the old town historic Deira district, where Dhow boats sail between lively souks and the historic Bastakia Quarter and Bur Dubai, where you can visit the 18th Century Al Fahidi Fort. Jumeirah is full of hotels and resorts and Palm Jumeirah a tree shaped island known for its exclusive hotels, posh apartment towers and chic restaurants. The most iconic views are of the luxurious Dhow boat shaped Burj Al Arab Hotel. The interior is one to behold with its rainbow coloured atrium, dancing fountains and aquariums. Lastly but definitely by no means least is the artificial islands located just offshore of Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine animal parks.

There is so much to see and enjoy on any visit to Dubai from the numerous Souks that sit on both sides of Dubai Creek in the Al Fahidi historical district. The souks are full with gold, perfumes, textiles and of course spices. Why not take a traditional Abra water bus and sail between the alleyway bazaars or visit the Coffee Museum, Dubai Museum and Arabic Calligraphy Museum, sampling authentic street food en route. Dubai is definitely a shopping mecca with the Dubai Mall being the 2nd largest in the world, spread over 502,000 square metres. The mall stays open until 02:00am and includes over 1,200 shops, a 250 room hotel, 120 cafés, restaurants, 22 cinema screens, an Olympic size ice rink, an indoor theme park, a A380 aircraft simulator and an expansive aquarium.

For those who are looking for the city’s modern Art scene and Museums then Dubai again will not disappoint with the Dubai Museum, The Al Shindagha Museum, Etihad Museum, Jameel Arts Centre and the Carbon 12 Gallery in the Alserkal Art District. Alserkal has emerged as the launchpad for many of the Middle East’s most sought after artists, including eL Seed and Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian.

Thrills and spills are another way to enjoy Dubai with Skydive Dubai, a free falling experience at 193 kms per hour over the desert or Palm Jumeirah. The only snow you are ever likely to enjoy in the U.A.E. is located at Ski Dubai. There’s no better antidote to desert heat than snowboarding, skiing and enjoying other frosty frolics, including zorbing in big transparent balls. Featuring the world’s first indoor black run, the ski centre includes five runs of varying difficulty and lengths from 60 - 400 metres.

A tour of the desert is also a must on a Desert Dune Safari equipped with camels, quad bikes, sand boarding and thrill rides over the sand dunes plus a whole lot more. Finish the evening with an Arabian feast and watch the stunning colours of an amazing desert sunset of orange and red.

Test your nerve on the petrifying sky high tube slides of the Jumeirah Sceirah and Burj Surj. One of three water parks in Dubai, Wild Wadi Waterpark is also home to an aquatic adventure playground, a lazy river, a wave pool and Wipeout and Riptide FlowRiders. At Aquaventure Waterpark, the two aquatic rides Leap of Faith and Poseidon’s Revenge separate the hedonists with a head for heights from the vertigo sufferers. The former slide drops from the height of a nine storey building, while the latter features a floor that falls away, letting riders plunge at 60 kilometres per hour before looping upside down. This white-knuckle water park is part of Atlantis, The Palm.

Before leaving Dubai a Dhow Cruise on old Dubai Creek will show you the other side of Dubai’s highly mesmerizing charm with breathtaking skyscrapers and luxurious shopping venues to the ultra-modern of Dubai Marina.

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