From the dizzying heights of the Burj Khalifa to pungent spices of the souks, Dubai is a culture collision and a half. Get insider tips on the top attractions in Dubai for your next city break.
1) Burj Khalifa
Dubai runs on superlatives, from the glitziest, biggest malls on earth to the world's tallest building - the Burj Khalifa. Check out the exhibit on the building’s history, then take the fastest (of course) lift in the world.
Hold on to your hat - it only takes a few seconds. It's not for the faint-hearted but is well worth it, as the views will blow your mind. If you're a serious photographer, you can even take a tripod with you to capture the endless panoramas towards the beach and over the city. Go at sunset if you can, as you get to see both day and night from the top.
Opening times: Daily, 8am - 3pm ('non-prime hours') & 3pm - 6.30pm ('prime hours'). Early opening from 5.30am Fri & Sat.
Location: 1 Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. The Burj Khalifa Metro Station is a 10 minute walk away.
2) Dubai Creek
After the ultra-modern heights of the Burj, there's nothing like the contrast of a simple abraride on Dubai Creek. Take one of these beautiful old roofed boats from Bur Dubai Abra Station on the southern side, and ride across the creek for just one dirham at sunset, as the evening call to prayer is singing out across the mosque minarets. Close your eyes and you could be back in the 1960s when the city began.
At the other side you'll be met with the aromas of Dubai’s spice souk, the place to buy an incense burner and a handful of frankincense. Make time for a stroll around the old area of Deira while you're here, with its quirky alleyways and skinny alley cats. Talk about atmospheric!
3) The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
If you've always wanted to know about Islam but were too afraid to ask, this is your chance. Founded by an Emirati man who married a European woman and hosted by the charismatic general manager Nasif, the centre is a great place for a cross-cultural experience, as the name suggests. Don’t be surprised if you leave with a whole new understanding and appreciation of the Muslim world.
Traditional Emirati cuisine also makes it a treat for breakfast or lunch, or just to pick up a bar of Camel chocolate on the way out. If you're feeling bold, when everyone has left, ask kindly if they would mind you climbing on to the roof to admire the views over the old Persian district, the Bastakia Quarter. Time it right and you can be up there when the call to prayer is sung at sunset - a real goosebumps moment.
Opening times: Sun to Thurs 9am - 5pm, Sat 9am to 1pm. Breakfast every Monday & Wednesday at 10:00am; Lunch every Sunday through Thursday at 1:00pm; Dinner every Sun, Tues & Thurs at 7:00pm; Cultural Brunch every Sat at 10:30am.
Location: House 26, Al Mussallah Road, Al Fahidi District.
Click HERE to head on over to our website.