Dubai is one of the world's most dynamic cities and offers an abundance of things to see and do. From architecture and shopping, to theme parks and museums, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
The world's tallest tower stands just over half a mile tall and dominates the Dubai skyline. The global icon has two observation decks with spectacular views of the city, desert, and the Arabian Gulf — one at the At the Top lounge on the 124th and 125th floors and the world's highest observation deck on the 148th floor. Prices vary.
The Dubai Fountain
Just outside the doors of the Dubai Mall is the world's largest choreographed fountain system. Illuminated water streams shoot as high as 150 meters into the air to various musical numbers from around the world. Showings occur in the afternoon (1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.), except on Fridays, and evening displays are every 30 minutes beginning at sundown until 11 p.m.
Located at the base of Burj Khalifa, this world-famous shopping mall has a total internal floor area of 5.9 million sq. ft. and over 1,200 stores. It is also home to world-class attractions such as the Dubai Aquarium, the Dubai Fountain, and a year-round ice skating rink.
Etihad is the Arabic word for union, and this modern museum chronicles the joining of the seven emirates that founded the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1971. Visitors can explore various exhibitions and programs that present the chronology of events that concluded with the creation of the UAE.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
The world's largest indoor them park is the size of 28 football fields. It houses more than 20 rides and attractions across four themed zones — Marvel, Cartoon Network, Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure, and IMG Boulevard — and 28 restaurants. Prices vary.
This beautiful white mosque is just one of few in the UAE that are open to non-Muslims. One-hour guided tours are operated by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Modest dress preferred; traditional clothing may be borrowed for free. Tours are conducted Saturday through Thursday at 10 a.m. (arrive by 9:45 a.m.). Cost is 25 AED per person and includes water, dates, Arabic coffee, tea, and traditional pastries.
Meander through narrow alleyways, wind towers, and courtyard houses in the charming historic district of Al Fahidi, built in the early 1900s. Visit the Dubai Museum; stroll through textile, spice, and gold souqs (markets); or take a trip on an abra, a traditional wooden sailing vessel.
An architectural triumph, this island in the shape of a palm tree is one of the largest artificial islands in the world. It is home to high-end hotels such as the Waldorf-Astoria, Fairmont, Jumeirah Zabeel Sarya, and Atlantis, The Palm. A monorail system runs down the "trunk" that connects to the mainland's tram system.