Home to the world’s tallest building and with opulent attractions ranging from huge designer shopping malls to the impressive man-made Jumeirah Palms, Dubai is a luxury destination that is globally known for its extravagance, and is certainly not one to do things by halves. So, if you’re planning a lavish getaway and want to pull out all the stops to ensure it’s one to remember, then there’s no better place to visit than here.
Oozing wealth and glamour, some may describe it as rather ostentatious – but there’s no denying this little slice of UAE paradise stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to high-end hotels, fine dining, and all manner of over-the-top spectacles, events and pursuits. You only have to stroll down the street to see the locals parading their huge collections of luxury supercars, so if you’re a lover of the high life yourself, then you’ll soon feel right at home.
So, where to start when planning a short break here? With so much to pack in, our first piece of advice is to extend those first class flights and stay a little longer. But, if you can’t, then these six spots are thoroughly unmissable, and will give you a taste of just what this mind-blowing destination has to offer for next time.
Visit the Burj Khalifa
Towering above Dubai’s impressive and expansive skyline, the Burj Khalifa has been recognised as the tallest building in the world since it opened more than 12 years ago, and attracts scores of affluent visitors each and every year. Standing at over 828 metres tall and featuring 163 floors, it takes inspiration from Islamic architecture yet still effortlessly reflects the modern community, and is home to not one, but three observation decks, which are some of its main attractions.
The At the Top experience, which includes levels 124 and 125, is actually only halfway up the building, but is often the busiest, making the quieter Sky Lounge on level 148 a great spot to enjoy a classy cocktail as you watch the sunset. Private dining at the lavish At.Mosphere restaurant is also a must if you’re feeling flush, as is a stay in the tower’s sumptuous Armani Hotel, which was designed by world-renowned fashion designer Giorgio Armani himself.
See the Dubai Fountain
The Dubai Fountain, at the base of the Burj Khalifa, offers show-stopping choreographed light and sound displays every 30 minutes, and is something you won’t want to miss while you’re in the vicinity. There are a range of different ways to enjoy the experience, but for the best views, set sail on a Dubai Fountain boat tour, which will allow you to take it all in from the water – and don’t forget to take your camera. Book a private boat for added exclusivity, and watch whilst sipping champagne.
Indulge in a spot of thrill-seeking
From taking a ride on a towering rollercoaster to skydiving above the Jumeirah Palm, there’s more than enough to keep adrenaline junkies entertained in Dubai, and with a thriving water sports scene, too, there are plenty of ways to keep cool while doing so.
Visit the aptly named Kite Beach to try your hand at kite-surfing, or seek out the best jet ski rental Dubai has to offer to zoom around one of its spectacular bays at nail-biting speeds. Or, if you’re more of a winter sports fan, then make your way to Ski Dubai – an indoor ski resort with 22,500 metres of indoor ski area, to have a go at skiing or snowboarding, and even meet some penguins.
Take in the Palm Jumeirah from The View at the Palm
Enjoy stunning 360-degree views from 240 metres above the iconic Palm Jumeirah – a spectacular artificial archipelago created in the shape of a stylised palm tree. Home to a plethora of lavish private residences and hotels, it’s a bucket list sight you won’t see anything similar to anywhere else in the world, and as one of Dubai’s proudest and most extravagant creations, it’s a must. The View at the Palm is undoubtedly the best place to take it in from, with tickets available for the ‘Next Level Experience’ available from 100 AED.
Venture into the Dubai desert
Less than a 20-minute drive from Downtown Dubai, you’ll find the intriguing Arabian desert, where a luxury desert safari will take you on a memorable exploration that includes off-roading, sandboarding and a camel ride. A unique experience you won’t want to miss, book yourself a night at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa for an unforgettable sleepover amongst the dunes.
Splurge on designer goods at the Dubai Mall
One of the major reasons the world’s wealthy flood to Dubai is to visit its opulent shopping malls, which are awash with designer stores from some of the most renowned designers from across the globe. From Chanel to Gucci, Armani to Fendi, you’ll find it all at the Dubai Mall, but once you’ve finished racking up a sizable spend on your credit card, there’s plenty more to keep you here besides. Aside from a broad range of smart eateries, there’s even an aquarium and underwater zoo inside, so if you’re planning to visit, then allow yourself the whole day to really make the most of it.