In a way, Dubai sort of reminds me of Las Vegas. You know, the fact that it once was a desert with nothing but sand for miles and miles, but somehow it has been transformed to a bustling metropolitan city and the business hub of the Middle East.

If I had to describe the Emirate to someone, I would tell them, think the U.S. on steroids or in the year 2050. It’s so developmentally advanced it’s almost magical. Not to mention they have “the world’s largest” of almost EVERYTHING!!!

With so much to take in, here’s a quick guide of the things you don’t want to miss…

 

Big Bus1. Hop-on Hop-off Bus

These are the same bus tours that are offered in many major cities from, NYC to, Paris, to Hong Kong. This is a great place to start because the Big Bus offers 3 different routes for you to cover at your leisure over a 48-hour period.

It gives you a quick overview of Dubai as a whole, as well as the opportunity to hop off and peruse the sites for a while. The tour includes many freebies, such as entry to over 10 museums, Atlantis Aquarium, a desert sunset tour, a ride on a water bus and much more.

http://eng.bigbustours.com/dubai/home.html

 

Burj Khalifa2. Burj Khalifa

Not only is it the crown jewel of Dubai, but it’s also the world’s tallest building. From the top, you can get the most amazing views of the city. It’s almost unreal. They also offer dinner options for a hefty price tag. If possible, try to book your visit around the time the sunsets…you can thank me later.

http://www.burjkhalifa.ae/en

 

Dubai Fountain3. The Dubai Fountain

Designed by the company responsible for the fountain at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, this happens to be the world’s largest choreographed fountain system.

 

Mall of Dubai4. The Dubai Mall

The world’s largest mall, grossing close to 1 million visitors per week. Think of ANY store in ANY city, state or country that you have been to…they have it. The even have a Magnolia Bakery (founded in NYC) that sells my favorite cookie. And if shopping is your thing but you need something for the kids, there is an indoor amusement park, ice skating rink and aquarium.

 

Underwater5. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Located in the Dubai Mall, it’s one of the world’s largest suspended aquariums. Over 300 Sharks and Rays are housed in this tank, as well as the world’s largest collection of Sand Tiger Sharks.

http://www.thedubaiaquarium.com/en

 

Ski Dubai6. Ski Dubai (Mall of the Emirates)

If you want to take a break from the scorching temperatures, come from a climate where it’s always warm or you just want to see what a below freezing winter feels like…Dubai has got you!

The Mall of the Emirates has a fully equipped indoor ski resort with everything you need, even ski clothes and boots…all you need to do is show up.

 

Al Burj Al Arab7. Burj Al Arab

The world’s 1st and only 7-star hotel. The Burj Al Arab is located on it’s own man made island and is only steps away from Jumeirah Beach.

 

Jumeirah Mosque8. Jumeirah Mosque

The most popular and most photographed mosque in all of Dubai. However, if you can’t make it to the Jumeirah area, any mosque will do. I can honestly say, that every mosque I came across was simply amazing.

 

Helicopter9. A Helicopter Tour

This may not be for everyone, but if you decide to book this tour, you will undoubtedly get the best perspective of certain sites, such as Atlantis, The World and Palm Islands.

 

Atlantis Dubai10. Atlantis the Palm

Much like it’s counterpart in the Bahamas, it’s a multifaceted resort. There is something for everyone and you don’t have to be a guest of Atlantis to take advantage of its amenities.

 

The Islands11. The Palm and World Islands

Remember when I mentioned that Dubai was so “developmentally advanced it’s almost magical”, well these islands are part of what I was referring to. They are a group of man made islands that were not just built to be built, but, they contain a number of housing developments, leisure and entertainment centers.

While you can get a tour of these islands via bus or boat tour, the best view comes from being overhead.

 

Water Taxi12. A Water Taxi

For a very nominal fee, it’s an alternate form of transportation. We took it from one souk to another. I believe we paid 1 Dirham each, which is equivalent to .27 cents in USD.

 

Clothing-Souk13. Al Souk Al Kabir

If you’re interested in some traditional clothing and/or fabric, this is your place. The prices are really reasonable but they do allow you to negotiate. Also, if you find something you like and it needs alterations, they will do them for you right there while you wait.

 

Spice Souk14. Spice Souk

Right across the water, we hopped on the water taxi and arrived in a matter of minutes. This was absolutely paradise. I think I spent more money here then anywhere else in Dubai.

 

Gold souk atm15. Buy Some Gold (Gold Souk or Gold ATM)

Dubai is known for having high quality gold for really good prices. The best part is, because this reputation, the government highly regulates this market to ensure you are getting a genuine product. If you can’t make it to a local souk, they have gold ATMs in malls and hotels.

 

Boat Tour16. Pier 7/Boat Tour

No reason, we just felt like it. We ate, drank and took pics.

 

Wild Wadi Water Park17. Wild Wadi Water Park

What goes better with the heat than water???

 

Dubai kartclub-track18. Dubai Autodrome

If you like fast cars, this is for you….

 

Architecture19. Architecture

As someone that has studied architecture, I was totally enthralled by this city. Everything, everywhere was just…stunning!

 

Pic Backdrop20. Photos/Selfies

Make sure you take advantage of the breathtaking sunsets, beautiful architecture and awesome backdrops by getting some epic photos and selfies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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