Exclusively in Dubai: 16 Unusual things to do

Dubai is a treasure trove for tourists which combines the Mystique and history of the Arabian desert with the gleaming amenities of a modern metropolis.

If you and your family are looking for the top things to do in Dubai, here is the most recommended list of best things to do in Dubai.

1. Enjoy the beautiful view of the city from the Burj Khalifa.

Burj Khalifa, the magnificent structure is a highlighting tourist entry in Dubai. With its superfast elevator it reaches the 124 floors in 60 seconds. Just hold your breath and you will be at the top to experience the night/day view of Dubai.

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2. Watch the musical performance of the dancing Dubai fountains.

One of the best thing to do in Dubai  – is to watch the musical performance of the fountains found in the Dubai mall. These can also be viewed from the top of the Burj Khalifa. With the gleaming lights this dancing fountain is a must to galore and adore!

Dancing Fountain Show
Dancing Fountain Show

3. Go on a shopping spree in the Souks.

Souk is an Arabic word which means ‘market’. Prior to the lavish malls in Dubai, there were souks that were used to buy things. If jewelry is your thing then head to the Gold Souk and get lost in a wave of glittering golden watches, bracelets, pendants and everything in between.

Naif souk, is the oldest souk in Dubai, which was earlier used as a market-place by the Bedouin tribes to trade camels. Now Naif Souk is one of the busiest souks in Dubai. When traders from around the world would come here, they’d unload their stuff at these souks. Which explains why most of the souks are located on either side of the creek. Many other souks are however spread all over the city. All these souks are mostly open till 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM, but few shops within these souks may close down for lunch.

Spice Souk
Spice Souk

The narrow streets bustle with shoppers and have a very vibrant atmosphere. Bargaining is a common rule in these souks, wear a comfortable outfit and carry lots of water and sunscreen to accommodate your shopping spree. Located right next to the Gold Souk, this street is one of those whose aroma would last in your mind forever.Yes, the Spice Souk is filled with colourful spices, such as cinnamon, saffron, cloves etc., coming in from various countries around the world.

Though you can buy perfumes from even the independent stores in the malls, if you want variety, then Perfume Souk is your place. This street is a collection of Perfume shops, in Sikkat al Khail Roads, Deira. It has the traditional Arabic ittars and also the latest collection of perfumes. Some shops even offer to create your personalized fragrances! This souk is well-priced, and bargaining is a custom here whether you want to buy perfumes, ittars, incense sticks and more. The souks and shopping malls here make Dubai a ‘Global Shopping Destination’.

4. Dash the sand dunes with Dubai desert safari and a special BBQ dinner.

Go for the desert safari and experience the thrill when the jeep bashes the sand dunes. Reach in the middle of the desert and get yourself clicked with the sand or with the ancient eagle or vultures.

Enjoy the sunset views in the Desert

Swap the city life for solitude moments in the desert. Observe the camels roam in the habitat.

 

Feel the grains of the sand on your fingertips!
Feel the grains of the sand on your fingertips!

5. Visit the historical Dubai Museum.

When you visit the Dubai Museum – housed in the Al Fahidi Fort which was built in 1787, one of the oldest existing building in the city – you’ll encounter colorful dioramas and exhibits that depict everyday life in the days before the discovery of oil.

The museum, which was opened in 1971, features galleries that recreate historic Arab houses, mosques, Souks, date farms and desert and marine life. It also includes an exhibit on pearl diving, with sets of pearl merchants weights, scales and sieves. You can view artefacts from Africa and Asia, as well as local finds from several archaeological digs that date back to the third millennium BC.

6. Have fun in the Jumeriah beach.

The glorious Jumeirah Beach lies along Dubai’s coast, providing stretches of soft white sand on which to relax and play. Visitors to Jumeirah’s hotels, like Burj Al Arab, enjoy private beaches offering water sports. If you’re not a hotel guest, you’re welcome to relax at Jumeirah Beach Park, the public portion of the beach. You can barbecue, stroll around the café, or simply grab a mat, lay back, and take it easy while the sun sets.

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Here am I, posing like Shah Rukh Khan at the Jumeriah beach.

7. Tour the snow-white Jumeriah Mosque.

One can gain an insight into Islamic life at this beautiful mosque. This mosque is one of the most iconic and much-photographed landmark in Dubai, especially when lit up against an evening sky, it’s also the only Dubai mosque to open its doors to non-Muslims.  Tours to the Jumeirah Mosque are organised six days a week from Saturday through to Thursday at 10:00am. You don’t need a reservation to attend, but you should arrive at the main entrance to the mosque at around 9.45am.

The tour, which is as much fact-finding as it is sightseeing, lasts around 75 minutes. Please remember to wear modest dress – however if you need it traditional attire can be borrowed from the mosque.

Most unusually, photography inside is allowed, so it’s worth bringing a camera.

 

Jumeriah Mosque

8. Marvel the stunning Burj Al Arab.

The distinctive sail-shaped silhouette of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is more than just a stunning hotel, it is a symbol of modern Dubai.

Yet for all the wonder this stunning structure provides when you finally see it in person, it is the service within that really makes the Burj Al Arab Jumeirah so extraordinary.

 

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The magnificent Burj Al Arab

9. Ski or play a game of bowling at the mall of Emirates.

Ski Dubai, located in Mall of the Emirates offers a variety of activities and gives you a chance to ski, snowboard, toboggan, zip line, take a chairlift ride and enjoy the views or just take part in a friendly snowball fight with friends and family in the Snow Park and experience a penguin encounter all under one roof. Magic Planet is the leading family entertainment center in the region. For those after a more laid-back experience, bring your friends and family to the incredible Yalla! Bowling and battle it out to see who can walk away with that top score at this state-of-the-art attraction.

10. Stroll down the Dubai creeks to get a picturesque view from a Dhow cruise.

Dubai Creek is one the Emirate’s most picturesque locales that particularly stick out for its traditional aura and charm. Running through the heart of the city, the creek segregates Dubai into two major districts: Bur Dubai and Deira. A retro feel is evident in every nook and corner of the creek and its surrounding areas. Old-style buildings that reflect rich Arabian hospitality, traditional style wooden dhow, and bustling souks – all make Dubai Creek a must-visit landmark of the city.

Cruising down Dubai creek is a novel experience, one which you cannot miss when in Dubai. Imagine yourself on having dinner on a Dhow Cruise with the fascinating lights of Dubai creek with Music and Tanoura Dance show with a sip of your favorite drink and BBQ buffet dinner.

 

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Night view of the Dhow Cruise in the Dubai creeks

11. Spend a day at the Atlantis Palm.

The legend of Atlantis comes to life in Dubai and it more than lives up to the myth! This lavish marine-themed resort combines luxury with a whole host of unique attractions that will keep you and the kids awe-struck from the first day of your holiday right through to the last.

12. Get spinned by the Tanoura dance.

Tanoura means skirt in English and Tanoura dance is a kind of folkloric dance which is very common in Islamic countries. The tanoura dance developed from sufi dance in Turkey and Egypt, distinguished by the use of a multicolored skirt.

The philosophical basis for the spinning is from the idea that says the movement in the world begins at a certain point and ends at the same point, therefore the movement has to be circular.

When the tanoura dancer moves he is like the sun and the dancers around him are like the planets.The dancer unties and removes four different skirts during the finale.Their various roundabouts symbolize the succession of the four seasons and their anti-clockwise movement is exactly like the movement around the “Kaaba” (the holy Shrine in Mecca) When the dancer raises his right arm up and points his left arm down, this represents the joining of earth and heaven together.

When he turns himself around, it is said that he enters a trance-like state, trying to become light and go up to heaven.

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Tanoura dancer performing during the BBQ dinner in the deserts

13. Capture the best sunset in the deserts.

Let the setting sun’s warm glow caress your mood. Sunset is still my favorite color!

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14. Wonder the twist on the Cayan Tower.

Built at a cost of around Rs. 1578 crores, the 80-storey residential Cayan Tower is  twisted at 90 degrees from top to bottom and boasts 570 plush apartments.

Twisted Cayan Residential Tower.

15. Eat Dates

While in India, I rarely eat them but in Dubai, dates are part of my nutrition. Try out dates – they are healthy, vegan, sweet, and a traditional snack of that region. They also make a great gift for your loved ones back home, so why not buy a little package when in Dubai Deira?

16. City Walk

There are so many new areas in Dubai that you might not be able to visit all, but add City Walk to your itinerary. Whether you visit with kids (they surely will love it wit all the activities they offer for younger tourists) or as an adult.

It is an interesting place to stroll along – especially in the evening when all the stores and places get illuminated and you have a lovely view of Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Street Art
Dubai Street Art
You will even find some street art there and you have plenty of options to dine here, too.

Enjoy your time in Dubai!

I Love Dubai
I Love Dubai

…The end 🙂 Though I could probably add many more things, I stick to these great things to do in Dubai.

Hope, this list inspired you and you´ll have found great ideas what to do when in Dubai.

 

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Stunning Singapore – A man made beauty!

Singapore !!!!

It’s a total man-made beauty. A small and beautiful country. The country known for its cleanliness, which also wears the crown for being the most cleanest country of the world !!!
Singapore is just a 5 hours flight from Mumbai. As soon as you land, be ready to enter the best airport in the world called the “Changi Airport”. Let me tell you that it has already won the award for being the Best Airport 5 times in a row up till now.
There is no best time to visit Singapore. It is an all year destination as the weather is almost same throughout the year. However, if you want to enjoy the Christmas celebration and decoration then December is the best month (which was my travel month too).

 

The climate is mostly rainy here. You can expect 15-20 mins heavy showers almost daily but after that it is dry as a desert. The temperature is always around 25 – 30 degrees Celsius and very humid. So while roaming, don’t forget to carry umbrellas or your rainy wears!
Singapore government claims of having one public transport at a distance of 300 meters from any part of the country, and to my surprise the claims are true! At any point you will find a bus stand or a metro only at a walking distance of 300 meters. The tickets available are at nominal rates and cheaper for Singapore residents. Other than this, Uber has its presence here.

 

At the Changi Airport
At the Changi Airport

Places to Visit:

  1. Universal Studios –

    Universal is basically part of Sentosa island. But you actually need to dedicate one entire day to enjoy all the rides and shows here.
    I would advise you to visit this on a week day, as on weekends it is generally way too crowded and you will spend most of your time standing in those long queues.
    Universal Express Pass is one of the way to avoid those long queues.And is two times your normal ticket price.So weekends can get sorted after buying this pass. Recommended Rides are Transformer and Gallatic.
    Other than this, they have the Mummy, the Shrek and Jurassic Park, etc.

    Universal Studios
    Universal Studios
  2. Sentosa –

    Sentosa island is basically a place where you can find s.e.a aquarium, resort, trick eye museum, sky luge, etc. Trick eye is a place, where you can find illusion creating things to click photos. S.e.a aquarium is a well maintained aquarium with different species of fishes.

     

    S.e.a Aquarium
    S.e.a Aquarium
    Aquarium
    Aquarium

    Sky luge is a different experience. It’s a type of go-carting where you have to drive a luge on a track. In Madame Tussaud’s museum, you will discover the statues of many renowned Bollywood and Hollywood celebrities. You can avoid this, if you are a little tight on your budget. I avoided this as I was least interest in doing it. Wings of time is the best laser fountain show.

    Trick Eye
    Trick Eye

    Cable cars help you travel to and fro Sentosa island from the start point i.e. Mount Faber. You will find many bells hanging here, it is said that these bells are to bring in good luck. These bells can be brought from the local vendors available there.The cable car also has an amazing VIP arrangement where the car is given to you for 45 mins along with which you get a complimentary dinner with wine/champagne to enjoy the beautiful view of Sentosa island. Sounds like a perfect romantic date. But yes it’s a bit on the high-end.

    Sentosa
    Sentosa
  3. Marina Bay Sand –

    A must visit luxury seven star resort with an excellent view. To stay here will be a dream for so many and the view from the top is something that can mesmerize you and just so we don’t miss the view, the hotel has made a Bay deck which is accessible for other people as well. If you are doing this, you can avoid going to Singapore flyer as the view which both of them offer is same and hence no point in spending double. In my opinion, Marina Bay is far better option than flyer as you have freedom to move anywhere you like, unlike flyer where your moments are restricted to a small cabin. The flyer ride is of 45 mins so you can imagine how slowly it is going to move.

  4. Gardens by the Bay –

    Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore, adjacent to the Marina Reservoir. The park consists of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden

  5. Singapore zoo –

    For those who love to visit zoo especially family along with kids, this place will definitely surprise you. Famous among tourist is the opportunity to have a breakfast with the orangutans. From polar bears to Giraffes, from cheetah to White tiger to Kangaroos, you will find all the known and some unknown species of animals and birds here. This zoo is well maintained with sections dedicated to species from various continents of the world. Kids are definitely going to love this. One of the another attraction at the Zoo is River Safari. Here you can also see pandas which generally are only seen in China. On this ride, you are taken around the zoo in a boat.

    Singapore Zoo
    Singapore Zoo
  6. Shopping – Mustafa

    A super market where you can find anything and everything from a needle to a wedding gown. And also remember that they claim NOTHING can beat their price here as it is the cheapest market in entire Singapore.

 

Food options:

If you are an Indian and plus a vegetarian like me then there are food options outside Mustafa shopping centre. This place is like Mini India. They have Balaji, Kailash Parbat and many more Indian Vegetarian Restaurants where you can enjoy your food. But other than this part, Singapore is little difficult for vegetarians as you hardly find pure veg food anywhere.

It was an awesome vacation. We had a fabulous time, and I would change absolutely nothing. We did a lot but it was all fantastic and achievable in our time frame. I recommend everything we did.
It is really an amazing place to visit, believe me, just do it!

 

Thank you Nikita Mehta for sharing and contributing your travel experience about Singapore. Get in touch with Nikita on Facebook by clicking here.