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Things to See in Dubai

Updated on December 3, 2007

Believe it or not, the tiny little Middle Eastern city-state of Dubai is a hot spot for economic growth and the tourist industry. And unlike most other areas in the region, people flock to Dubai not for the historical or cultural sites, but for the modern amenities and shopping.

There is an international airport in Dubai, making it relatively easy to get there from any other major city. Dubai is a very modern and consumer-oriented place so you won't have any trouble finding quality hotels and restaurants. There is a decent public transport system that can help you get around, or you could chose to take one of the many taxis.

Burj Dubai
Burj Dubai

Burj Duabai

One thing that you might want to see is the Burj Dubai, what will be the tallest building in the world once completed. It's slated to be completed some time next year, and currently stands around 156 stories high. It is still under construction, so doesn't offer a lot to see or do at this point. But it would be worthwhile to take a peek at this landmark, and to get a photo at this stage. Even unfinished, it is quite a sight and stands dominant over the skyline.

Indoor ski slope at the Mall of the Emirates
Indoor ski slope at the Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates

You may not consider a shopping mall to really be much of a tourist attraction, but you really can't miss seeing the Mall of the Emirates. It is the largest shopping mall outside of North America, with more than 200 stores. It's claim to fame is the indoor ski hill. In a country with an average winter temperature of around 30C (90F), this is no small feat. Rent skis or a snowboard, as well as warm clothing and hit the slopes.

Burj al-Arab
Burj al-Arab

Burj al-Arab

The Burj al-Arab is quickly becoming a well-known landmark in Dubai, both for its architectural beauty and luxurious services. It is advertised as the only 7-star hotel in the world, and it stands like a ship's sail on a small man-made island. Staying at the Burj al-Arab will cost you at least $1000 for a night, for one of their smallest double-floor suites. Given the size of the building, there are only 202 suites in the hotel. The largest suite is quite a bit bigger than my house, at 8,400 square feet. If staying at the Burj al-Arab is out of your reach, you could just stop in for dinner or drinks. Even for a quick visit you will need to make a reservation as general passers-by are not permitted.

Wild Wadi

A typical tourist-style attraction, but worth a visit nonetheless, especially if you are in Dubai during the hot summer months. The Wild Wadi is an outdoor water park, complete with a wave pool, water slides and artificial surfing machines. The park is located in the heart of the city, nearby the Burj al-Arab and Jumeriah Beach hotels. Because Dubai is a coastal city on the Persian Gulf, there are also natural beaches available for swimming and sunbathing.

Traditional Souks

For the traditionalist traveler who wants to see more historic Dubai, there are many older souks, or markets that you can visit for a less-modern style of shopping. The gold souk is particularly popular, though a very expensive place to buy souvenirs. No matter what you are shopping for at the markets, it's expected that you are going to haggle over the price.


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    • profile image

      Carla 3 years ago

      It was such a pleasure being a part of this weidndg! I love the images you captured of the rhinestones I so carefully placed on her shoulder and arm it was a lot of work! You did an amazing job theyre such a fun, quirky couple and you can see it in the pictures!

    • Lemon Slice profile image

      Lemon Slice 5 years ago from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

      dubai is getting indeed getting better and better .. the first one mentioned in the hub "burj dubai" is now completed .. and its been renamed as "Burj Khalifa" ! :)

      As of this date its the tallest building in the world .. with 160 floors .. there is a observatory on the 124th floor and costs about $35 (USD) to go up there .. whenever u decide to visit dubai .. do bookmark this website

    • NP.QUEEN profile image

      NP.QUEEN 7 years ago from Dubai

      Dubai is becoming an attractive spot in the world

    • sid_candid profile image

      sid_candid 7 years ago

      Excellent Hub on Dubai. Well Terri, have to say that this hub gives good information to anyone planning to visit Dubai.

    • profile image

      imurzz 8 years ago

      Dubai is my Love , i was amused to see latest Dubai Fashion week info on

    • jimmyred profile image

      jimmyred 8 years ago from Brisbane

      I definitely have to go back now that the burj dubai is finished!

    • profile image

      Dubai Visit Guide 8 years ago

      Dubai is one of the most interesting places to visit ,but i would recommend people to go there in winter when the weather is much nicer than the hot humid summer.

    • nettech profile image

      nettech 8 years ago from London (UK)

      Its an absolutely incredible place to visit. I was aprehensive when my friend first told me about Dubai a few years ago, ever since 2004 I have visited the Emirate and plan on residing there one day....great articles, that just made me miss Dubai even more, lol

    • nettech profile image

      nettech 8 years ago from London (UK)

      Dubai is an absolutely incredible place and hoping to move there one day.

      Everytime I go there, its amazing how tall the Burj Tower keeps on

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 8 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Dubai is become Modern now. thanks for share. great hub

    • dubaiagentlimited profile image

      dubaiagentlimited 9 years ago

      Mr Nice your view point about Dubai being artificial is quite true. Dubai in literal sense can be called a businessman's dream and as far as I know its development brainchild were by a group of people who were both fond of luxury living and business.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 10 years ago from New Zealand

      To answer MrN -yes you can = though you would probably want a coverup to stop yourelf burning in the sun -they spray the paths with water to cool your feet!

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      I recommend visiting Thailand or India, where you can find every thing from natural to artificial. Dubai is all artificial no natural beauty. I visited both countries few years ago and liked both of them very much.

    • Terri Paajanen profile image

      Terri Paajanen 10 years ago from someplace in Canada

      My goodness Lissie, you've been everywhere. Your travel stories make me so jealous. :)

    • Mr Nice profile image

      Mr Nice 10 years ago from North America

      Can people wear swim costume or shorts to enjoy in the wild Wadi water park.

    • Lissie profile image

      Elisabeth Sowerbutts 10 years ago from New Zealand

      Wild Wadi is fantastic - its a great water park anyway and filled the day in before a late night flight perfectly. There is a standing wave ride where Ihad to wear a rash vest over my 1 piece -all the guys were lined up strategically and because you are on a board there is a chance that something will fall out if you get my drift - they aplauded though because Iwas quite good compared to the local girls ! The site of seeing completely burqa clad women having a wonderful time one the slides was one that will stay with me forever - if you go make sure you take a waterproof camera!

      Oh and the museum is wonderful - its in an old mud fort in the old part of town - it cost about $1 from memory - we expected nothing much - it was fantastic starting with well displayed artifacts and ending with a multimedia extranvagansa - we spent hours there!