12 Must-Dos in Dubai

A city where you can visit the desert, hit the beach and ski on the same trip.

1. Burj Khalifa

Dubai is known for ostentatious lifestyle include setting records for the worlds largest and tallest records. Burj Khalif is the worlds tallest building in the world, standing at 2,722 feet. To get to the top, you take the worlds fastest elevator. Access is from the Dubai Mall, and you visit the 134 floor for about $60, or 160th floor for about $100. Tip: Grab a drink at At.mosphere, an upscale restaurant on the 122nd floor. There is no admission and you can grab a drink.

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2. Dubai Mall

A shopping paradise where you can find LITERALLY every store you could ever imagine. Check out a show at the Dancing Fountains. They run every 30 minutes and best of all – it’s free! Tip: grab a bite to eat or a drink at a restaurant overlooking the fountain and Burj Khalifa. I love Mango Tree, incredible thai food with a terrace with front row views.

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3. Souk Al Bahar

Across from the Dubai Fountain and the Dubai mall. It’s an arabic style shopping mall with antique, carpet and other miscellaneous stores. I got my henna done in one of the stores for about $60.

4. Indoor Skiing at Ski Dubai

The word’s first indoor ski resort which is over 240,000 square feet inside the Mall of Emirates. There are 5 slopes with varying difficulty and its kept at a brisk 30 degrees. If you didn’t pack your ski gear, there are rentals of snow boots, jackets, pants and helmets are available. Snow passes start at $70.

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5. Zip Line through Downtown Dubai 

An adventurous way to catch breathtaking views of Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai. Buy you tickets ($165) in the Dubai Mall at the ticket counter, next to Social House.

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6. Dubai Miracle Garden

Experience Dubai in full bloom at the world’s largest flower garden. Tip: Go during the coolest part of the day, I went in the middle of the day and it was very hot. There are also cafes and places to get water, juice and ice-cream. Admission is $8, and it’s about 15 minutes from Downtown Dubai.

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7. Desert Safari

I highly recommend Platinum Heritage Tours to experience the depths of the Dubai Desert. There are plenty of companies who offer tours throughout the desert, but I’ve heard some horror stories on unprofessionalism and an overall low quality experience. Platinum Heritage Tours is extremely professional with the best local experience, it’s priced a bit higher than other companies, but trust me, it’s worth it.. Plenty of packages and services to choose from, from Camel Safari to Hot Air Balloons.

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8. Rooftop Bars

Drinks and a view, look no further. Head to Level 43 Sky Lounge, Uptown Bar, Story or Rooftop Dubai.

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9. Dubai Marina

A man-made canal city which is built along a 2 mile stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. If you’re sick of shopping – hire a Byky bicycle from the automated stations and explore the entire perimeter of the Marina in a fraction of the time it would take you by foot.

10. Soak up the sun at Kite Beach

A beach with a vista of the Burj A la Rab (the world’s only 7-star hotel). Whether you agree or not, it is Dubai’s most photographed and iconic buildings. You can get the best picture of it on the beach. Tip: Grab a drink at the hotel opposite of Jumeirah Beach hotel and sit on the terrace for an A+ photo opp. Grab a bite to eat at La Ola Beach Restaurant or Operation Falafel.

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11. Party + sunbathe at a Beach Club 

Unlike any place you’ve ever experienced – Dive deeper into Dubai at Zero Gravity, Fairmont Palm or Westin Mina Siyah.

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(Fairmont Palm)

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(Barasti – Westin Mina Siyah)

12. Friday Brunch

Fridays are the start of the weekend in the Middle East. Brunching is expats favorite activity. Most brunches are buffets which are opulent affairs, with unlimited bubbly/liquor and tasty food. All of these brunches are in hotels or 5 star restaurants, the only places to legally hold liquor licenses. Some of the best in the city are at: China Grill, Bubbalicious and Nobu. For a budget option, head to the Hive at Warehouse in Le Meridien Dubai.

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