Over the last few years Dubai has certainly made a name for itself. What was once just one section of United Arab Emirates (a country many probably could not even locate on a map,) is now one of the world’s hottest tourist destinations, attracting millions of visitors – including many celebrities, annually.
With so much to see and do it may be a good idea to narrow down the list a bit. To get you started, here are three of Dubai’s coolest, must-see attractions.
The Palm Islands
Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali are two palm-tree shaped artificial islands in Dubai. Together, the two islands are made of roughly 3,500,000 cubic feet of sand and rock and are being developed by two European contractors, Jan De Nul and Van Oord.
While construction is still in progress, the final project will offer a stunning number of sights and venues. These include theme parks, malls, spas, athletics facilities, restaurants, and more than 100 luxurious hotels. Residential property, including villas and apartments right on the beach, will also be available for lucky prospective buyers.
The idea behind the project was for Dubai to transition to more of a service and tourism-based economy, rather than one based on oil. This diversification effort became a global sensation and was definitely a smart move.
Construction on Palm Jumeirah began in mid 2001 and the announcement of the upcoming Palm Jebel Ali came shortly thereafter. By the end of 2006, new residents had begun moving into Palm Jumeirah properties.
While the property did take a hit during the global financial crisis, it has since made a remarkable recovery and an 80 percent residential occupancy rate was reported by October of last year.
This incredible skyscraper has held the title of the world’s tallest man-made structure since 2010. Standing at a jaw-dropping 2,722 ft, Burj Khalifa is part of the Downtown Dubai development area close to the main business district in the city.
Burj Khalifa’s attractions include one of the world’s highest observation decks, ‘At the Top’ located on the building’s 124th floor. One stand-out feature here is the Behold Telescope, a device which not only allows visitors to check out the amazing landscape in real-time, but also look at saved images of the same landscape during different hours of the day or under alternate weather conditions.
Another must-see at Burj Khalifa is the 27-acre park that features gorgeous gardens, tree-lined walkways, flowers, and a water room made up of water jet fountains and pools. The six water features at the park were developed by the same minds behind the Dubai Fountain, another of Burj Khalifa’s famous attractions. The fountain is just over 900 feet long and prides itself as the largest choreographed fountain system in the world. It shoots water as high as 500 ft into the air and is complete with a stunning 6,600 lights and 25 colored projectors which unite to create spectacular displays.
The Dubai Mall
A shopper’s ultimate paradise! The Dubai Mall comprises an area of more than 12 million square feet and includes a staggering 1,200 shops, a luxurious 250-room hotel, 120 dining venues, an ice-skating rink.
Two of its largest attractions are the Dubai A quarium and Discovery Centre, an underwater zoo of over 33,000 marine animals housed behind the world’s largest acrylic panel (as lauded by Guinness,) and SEGA Republic, an indoor theme park with over 150 games.
Last year, the Dubai Mall single-handedly attracted more visitors (65 million) than did Los Angeles (41 million) or New York City (just over 52 million.)
Are you intrigued yet? If so, check out options on Dubai holiday packages and get a jump start on planning for a vacation full of non-stop thrills!