The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a constitutional federation of seven emirates. Formally established in December 1971, following an agreement between rulers of the seven emirates or sheikdoms to form a union, these emirates are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah (which joined the union in early 1972) and Fujairah.
The UAE occupies an area of 83,600 sq. km. along the southeastern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Qatar lies to the west, Saudi Arabia to the south and west, and Oman to the north and east. Four-fifths of the UAE is desert, yet it is a country of contrasting landscapes, from awe-inspiring dunes to rich oases, precipitous rocky mountains to fertile plains.
Dubai is the second largest city in United Arab Emirates and it is one of the few cities in the world that has undergone such a rapid transformation - from a humble beginning as a pearl-diving centre - to one of the fastest growing cities on earth. Dubai today is a tourism, trade and logistics hub and has earned itself the reputation of being the ‘gateway between the east and the west. It is also considered as the dynamic nucleus of the Arabian Gulf region.
Home to just over 2 million people from more than 200 nationalities. Dubai is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. Living in Dubai has a lot to offer. It is safe, politically stable, centrally located, has a good education system and healthcare facilities, modern infrastructure and much more. The sun shines almost every day, the shopping and leisure facilities are impressive, and the salaries are tax-free.
Dubai is constantly on the move, striving for greater heights and more facilities and comfort for its residents and visitors.
Dubai has emerged as one of the 21st century cities with its rapid growth and iconic structures and with its many world's first, there are numerous places to visit and see. Be it be a heritage site, the Al Fahidi District, the Dubai creek, the landmarks such as Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, the Palm, the Atlantis, Ski Slope, the theme and beach parksor the unique nature reserve among others. Or if you wish to go out of Dubai and see the neighbouring emirates and even take a trip into the desert or sea, the choices are plenty. Use this section to plan what you want see and when.
This area has veranda-covered shops on both sides enticing you to “buy, buy, buy”. A wide range of goods is offered at below average prices. There are selections from T-shirts and sports apparel to the usual souvenirs – stuffed camels, shisha pipes and Arabic clothing. Bargaining is expected.
Al Nasr Leisureland
Located in Bur Dubai, off Zabeel Road, it is a modern leisure park offering a variety of sports facilities including an ice rink, a bowling alley, swimming pools as well as a children's amusement park. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Near the Creek mouth is the very traditional Al Shindagha area. Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s residence, which was one of the first in Dubai, is now open to the public as a museum. The Ruler of Dubai from 1912 – 1958, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum is the grandfather of the current Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed.
A thrill-seekers’ paradise, Atlantis Waterpark is the ideal getaway for the entire family, providing a world of excitement for all ages. Nestled amidst a lush tropical setting, the theme park features four stunning attractions, including Aquaventure, Dolphin Bay, The Lost Chambers and Atlantis Dive Centre.
Catch a panoramic view of the Dubai from the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa is a world-class destination and the magnificent centerpiece of Downtown Dubai, Dubai’s new urban masterpiece. The world’s tallest building is surrounded by must visit shopping destination, entertainment and leisure options.
The Bastakiya district is made of traditional old wind-towers and mud walled houses. The wind tower is one of the oldest forms of air-conditioning. The towers rise 15 metres above the bedrooms or sitting rooms – the shaft is open at the top on all four sides and traps any breeze, directing it downwards.
The sensational Dubai Dolphinarium is the Middle East’s first completely air-conditioned dolphinarium. The establishment offers exciting family-oriented entertainment as well as educative information about dolphins, seals and other ocean inhabitants.
One of the world’s largest shopping mall, there are lots of things to do in The Dubai Mall. Offering over 440,000 square feet of fashion, dinning, entertainment and leisure options, this is one mall you shouldn’t miss.
One of the leading attractions in Dubai, the Dubai Museum is located in the imposing Al-Fahidi Fort in Bur Dubai. Originally built as a sea defence against foreign invasion, the structure was eventually transformed into a museum.
Along Jumeira Beach Road, you’ll find the Zoo. Although small, it has a fine collection of mammals, birds and reptiles. The zoo is open Wednesdays to Mondays: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and is closed on Tuesdays. There is a small entrance fee of Dhs 2.
Dubai’s Gold Souk is ranked as one of the largest retail gold markets in the world! There is an amazing display of gold and silver jewelry that is 18K or 22K gold. The prices are primarily determined by their weight with a little added for the workmanship.
Opening hours: 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Saturdays to Thursdays 4:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. on Fridays.
Heritage & Diving Village
Also situated in the Al Shindagha area is the Heritage & Diving Village. It provides a glimpse of Dubai’s traditional culture and lifestyle focusing on the Emirates maritime past, pearl diving traditions and architecture. The centre offers displays of a tented Bedouin village, armor, and wooden chests ad handicrafts. Camel, donkey and pony rides are available on some afternoons.
Jumeirah Beach Park
Jumeirah Beach Park is one of the greenest places in Dubai with lush green grasses, palm trees, and a long stretch of beach with lots of space for games and picnics. Barbecue pits are available for public use, as well as a volleyball area. Lifeguards are on duty along the beach between 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and swimming is not permitted after sunset.
Opening hours: 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Mondays to Fridays.
Cost: Dhs 5 per person.
The mosque, located on Jumeira Beach Road, reflects Egyptian FATIMID design with many arches and is faced with richly carved golden sandstone. It is especially striking at night when it is floodlit.
You are not permitted to enter the mosque unless with an organised tour. Photo-taking is permitted outside, provided you do not photograph the worshippers. Tours are offered every Thursday morning at 10:00 a.m. only. The tour meets outside of mosque.
Nad Al Sheba
Nad Al Shiba is one of the world’s leading racing facilities, with top jockeys from Australia, Europe and the United States regularly taking part in races throughout the season (November – April). General admission is free with access to most areas. Gambling is not allowed.
One of the most popular attractions to visit when holidaying in Dubai is Middle East’s first indoor ski resort known as Ski Dubai. Located within the famous Mall of the Emirates, this snowy winter wonderland is one of the largest indoor ski resorts in the world, attracting crowds of locals and tourists looking to enjoy a fun filled time.
Souk in Arabic means market or bazaar. The winding alleys are full of exotic spices, incense, rose petals, perfume oils and traditional medicines.
The Dubai Creek has been described as one of the city's loveliest and most picturesque locations. A natural inlet of seawater that cuts into the heart of the bustling metropolis, the Creek is definitely one of Dubai's most celebrated attractions.
Wild Wadi Waterpark
Wild Wadi Waterpark is one of the top attractions to visit in Dubai for tourists looking to enjoy an incredibly fun and exciting time. Ideal for families and adventure seekers, the park is an oasis of spectacular water rides and attractions, which are centred on an Arabian theme. This popular water park covers an area of 12 acres in the Jumeirah region of Dubai, attracting crowds of locals and tourists on a daily basis.