Standing 828 metres high, the Burj Khalifa is hard to miss. The world’s tallest tower naturally dominates the Dubai skyline, but the true majesty of the building is best appreciated up close or, even better, from inside. On a clear day, the view from the observation deck on level 124 is absolutely stunning, topped only by the view from the luxurious At The Top Sky Lounge on the 148th floor. And for those who would like to linger for a meal in the clouds, At.mosphere on level 122 is the place to be.
Right next to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall. To call the sprawling development merely a shopping mall is doing it a disservice. Even an entire day spent here isn’t enough to see it all. With its 1,200-plus shops and 150 restaurants,there are plenty of things to do, and the venue is also home to an indoor theme park, an ice rink, a huge indoor waterfall, a choreographed outdoor fountain and the giant Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
For an experience that marries tradition and luxury, come to Madinat Jumeirah. Literally translated as ‘City of Jumeirah’ this complex is inspired by an ancient citadel. It encloses luxury hotels, private enclaves built in the traditional style, the Madinat Souk, Madinat Theatre, and more than 40 restaurants and lounges. You can also explore on traditional wooden abras to appreciate the waterways and architecture.
The Dubai Opera situated in the new “Opera District” in the heart of Dubai offers an enticing schedule which can be likened to that of London’s West End or Manhattan’s Broadway. With views of the Dubai Fountain and next to the Burj Khalifa, the building was inspired by the shape of Arabian Dhow ships and is sure to catch your eye. While the rear of the building arches upwards like a hull and is used as a foyer, taxi rank and car park, the stage area is designed in such a way that it can easily be converted into three different event platforms: theatre, hall or concert hall.
One of Dubai’s most famous tourist landmarks, the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah often stands among the top five – if not the absolute peak – of the world’s most iconic hotels.
Since its opening in late 1999, the hotel with its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette, has thrust Dubai onto the global luxury tourism landscape. Built on a triangular man-made island reclaimed from the sea, the hotel and its billowing sail-like structure rise 321 metres above the sea, offering panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf.
Colourful is one description very apt for Dubai’s Spice Souk. Aromatic is another.
Brace yourself for a sensory sensation, as myriad flavours and recipes will greet you as you make your way through the traditional spice market in Dubai’s heritage area.
Savour the atmosphere of the past as you are introduced to the mounds of aromatic herbs and spices spilling from large baskets at every turn. Some may be just a tad overwhelming, whereas others are light, airy and sweet.
A world of floral wonder awaits at Dubai Miracle Garden.
The 72,000sqm garden showcases identifiable structures completely covered with flowers. Here you can immerse yourself among more than 50 million blooming flowers throughout the different exhibits.
Another great feature worth seeing is the Butterfly Garden, housing 15,000 butterflies in nine custom-built domes. Make sure you time your visit, as the park usually closes during the summer while new exhibits are installed and others renovated.