Dubai is famous for being one of the most luxurious destinations in the world. What’s more, it’s also among the most varied in terms of attractions, with everything from vast shopping centers and water parks to nature reserves and fine dining on offer. Today, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best things to do and see while you’re here.
Stay in a lavish hotel
Now, being synonymous with luxury, Dubai is somewhere a stay in a lavish hotel is a must. In fact, it’s famous for being home to the world’s first seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab.
You don’t have to go up to seven-star standard to experience utter luxury, though. There’s a huge array of five-star establishments here that are just about as luxurious as you could imagine – so much so that it’s hard to envisage just exactly what else seven-star could give you!
Among the hotels you can book through luxury travel specialists like Sovereign is the One&Only Royal Mirage, which is perched on the ever-popular Jumeirah Beach. A five-star resort, it’s nestled in an impressive 65 acres of beautiful gardens, with plenty of sea-facing, Arabian-style rooms and suites that are perfect for really getting into the spirit of the place.
Visit Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
When thinking of Dubai, high-rise buildings and man-made beaches usually spring to mind – but there’s another side to the city. Head to the end of Dubai Creek and you’ll reach Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, which spans around 6.2 sq km.
Created to preserve the local natural ecosystem, it is home to more than 500 species of flora and fauna and in winter more than 20,000 water birds can be spotted here.
Dine out in style
Dubai has as strong a reputation for fine dining as it does for luxury hotels, so you really can’t miss treating yourself to a meal out at an upmarket restaurant. One of the interesting things about eating here is that there’s such a wide range of choice when it comes to cuisine, with food from all over the world available.
Among the establishments to look out for are those that have just received praise from the Time Out Dubai Restaurant Awards 2013, including Reflets par Pierre Gagnaire, which won the much-coveted Restaurant of the Year. Japanese restaurant TOMO, meanwhile, snapped up Best Newcomer and was applauded for its authenticity. And if you are a wine lover, this post is a great one.
Hit the shops
Because of the sheer wealth of Dubai and the staggering array of stores its home to, hitting the shops is a must.
It’s best to aim for a mixture of shopping centers and traditional souks to get a comprehensive image of the destination’s culture.
For the ultimate mall experience, head to Dubai Mall, which is the largest in the world – and is, in fact, also being expanded so it’s able to welcome even more visitors than before. There are well over 1,000 stores here, as well as around 160 places to eat and drink. And, just in case that wasn’t enough, there’s also a cinema, an aquarium and an ice rink – and much else besides!
Deira Gold Souk, meanwhile, gives you a slightly different taste of the city. Here you can see dazzling jewellery; go to Sikkat al-Khail Street to find it.