Once just a barren wasteland, Dubai, with their international airport only opening in 1979- is now one of the fastest growing and most incredible cities on the planet.
With so much to see and do it’s little wonder that over thirteen million tourists come to visit every year, yet there are still so many out there that don’t know too much about this fantastic place.
What is it about Dubai that tourists and travellers love so much? Here are just five reasons.
There’s an enormous variety of attractions and things to do in Dubai, so there’s plenty on offer for those wanting a bit of an adventure, a dose of culture or simply to relax.
One of the most popular attractions would have to be the luxury shopping, in particular at the iconic Dubai Mall.
Here alone you can find you can find an Olympic sized ice rink, an indoor ski field, water parks, a zoo, aquarium, cinemas, not to mention the shopping itself.
Other top attractions include skydiving with the most incredible view you could imagine, riding a camel, exploring local markets, going on a sunrise or sunset desert safari and relaxing at the beach. Taking to the waters on a yacht cruise is an especially exciting way to spend the day and see tremendous views of the city.
|Riding a camel is one of those must-try experiences!|
|Indoor skifield at the Mall of Dubai|
|A sunset safari is a thrilling activity|
One of my favourite things about exploring a new place is trying the local food.
Due to the strong focus on tourism in Dubai- there are quite literally hundreds of eateries to choose from! You can find any type of international cuisine; so there’s something for everyone. Dine in a luxury restaurant or keep it casual and call into a cafe to grab a bite. There are all sorts of markets as well offering delicious street food which are well worth sampling. Dubai’s cuisine takes inspiration from all over the middle east as well as Asia, so if you want to eat like a local be sure to sample popular local dishes.
There is no pork since it’s a religious Muslim destination, but they have chicken, beef, lamb and even camel meat on offer!
Popular local dishes include Shawarma- Dubai’s take on a meat kebab, usually served with fries, Falafels- deep-fried balls of chickpeas or fava beans, Meat Skewers, Hummus- accompanied with pita bread, and Machboos/Kabsa- a spicy rice, meat and vegetable dish.
|Falafel, pita and hummus|
|Local sides and a selection of skewers|
3. The History
Dubai might be an incredibly glamorous tourist destination now, but under the surface it has a rich history and fascinating culture. Dubai is a religious place whose culture is rooted in Islam, which touches all aspects of everyday life.
Tourists are charmed by the courtesy and hospitality of the Arab people, who are known for their warmth and friendliness. You can explore and learn more by visiting the many beautiful museums, galleries and the mosques which are open to the public.
|The Dubai Museum|
|Sheikh Zayed Mosque|
Dubai is known for some of the most ultramodern and breathtaking architecture you will see anywhere in the world. It’s one of the places when you fly over (and lucky enough to have a window-seat) your mouth is quite literally hanging open looking down!
The Burj Khalifa dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline- at 830 metres, it is the tallest structure in the world.
Here you’ll find an observation deck to view the incredible city sights, luxury hotel rooms and world-class restaurants. The whole building is surrounded by beautiful parks and at its foot lies Dubai Fountain, with jets and lights choreographed to music.
|The Burj Khalifa|
Last but not least is the incredible weather! Dubai has a tropical desert climate making it the perfect destination for those who like their vacations warm and sunny.
Dubai has plenty of fabulous resorts on offer if beach and seaside vacations are what you like. The gorgeous weather means spending time outside relaxing on the beach and swimming with that stunning skyline in the background.
The coldest month is January which averages at 19°C, with the warmest month being August, averaging at 36°C.
Just offshore on artificial islands is Atlantis, The Palm- one of the most popular resorts in the world with water and marine animal parks and perfect views of the Arabian Gulf.
|The infamous Atlantis Resort|
I hope you’re inspired to stopover in Dubai the next time you’re travelling through the UAE, even if just for a couple of nights to help break up that journey. It’s a fantastic place whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, culture, shopping and food or all of the above!
Have you ever been to Dubai? What did you think of it? I’d love to know!
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*This post contains affiliate links and images that are not my own.