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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Dubai – The Queen of the East

 

You can take everything I have,

You can break everything I am,


But you’ll never tear me down,


As I’m rising from the ground.


Like a skyscraper.


– Demi Lovato

Dubai, the Queen of the East is a city of superlatives. With all the record-breaking landmarks and destinations, it also has kept it’s most of the old charm preserved. Allow me to present to you – the most well rounded experience I’ve had during my stay in Dubai.

Just a three hour flight away from Mumbai is this epic city where one can drive a Ferrari or a Hayabusa on the roads.They have lots of cool cars!

The work week of the Arab world is from Sunday to Thursday. Working on Sunday might seem a little boring but who wouldn’t if you have to pay no income taxes…..hahaha!

Playing in sands is so fun!
Playing in sands is so fun!

A great expanse of the Arabian desert surrounded all around with sand dunes and palm trees that will overwhelm you. Then comes the buildings, neatly arranged like monopoly houses, roads which are ruler-straight. Then you see the human habitation and suddenly realize that the desert is gone. Wow!

Dubai skyscrapers
Dubai skyscrapers

Dubai is divided into two main parts: ‘New’ and ‘Old’ Dubai. New Dubai has all the expensive malls and stores and large skyscrapers. The conservative culture of this Middle Eastern city with strict laws don’t really apply here. The Old Dubai has all the Mosques, Museums, Souks and the Dubai river where one can afford a budget living and mixing with the locals. You are unlikely to see a place where the divide between the “have nots” and the “have yachts” is so apparent.

Rain in Dubai is similar to a drink that we drink so fast after the marathon exertion has just passed… hahahahah and don’t forget that water is expensive here!

Also, Dubai is located in a stable zone with minimal risks of Tsunamis or earthquakes.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Dubai is in between February and April when the temperatures are in twenties but this is also the peak season. Remember that during the Ramadan most of the restaurants are closed and this lasts for a month.

How to save money?

Dubai is expensive, so be prepared to pay! You can still save a little by using some of the following tips:

  • Use Local Transportation – Metro pass for a day costs 14 AED. This is the best option over taxi services. You can also try the bus.. although I haven’t.
    View of a tunnel from a metro.
    View of a tunnel from a metro.
  • Try local food – The local food is a must try..if you still don’t like the Sultan dishes then try the hoppers
  • Shopping – Try the Souks and the Kamara instead of the expensive malls for souvenirs.

Save all this money and wait for my next article to do amazing things in Dubai!

Do you think, Dubai is a sustainable city? 

With its Skyline being the most sparkling in the Middle East…are the grounds on which these skyscrapers built struggling from environmental problems? Do comment what you feel until my next article.