Our Guide to Dubai: what to do, visit and taste

Dear fellow travelers,

Are you planning to visit Dubai? Then read my post and you’ll know what you shouldn’t miss!

I’ve spent 4 days there and I think it’s enough to enjoy the city, visit the different neighborhoods and take the time to relax as well. You can move around by tram, metro and bus, but sometimes it’s easier to take a cab, that you’ll find easily everywhere and that will bring you directly to destination at a reasonable price.

So here are my suggestions for your stay.

Take a stroll at Dubai Marina and enjoy an evening on a rooftop. Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city, famous for its modern shiny skyscrapers and its nice pedestrian walk with restaurants, bars and hotels with rooftops. It is quite lively at night and you’ll find a great choice of restaurants with a beautiful view on the canal and the skyline. We had dinner at Reem al Bawadi where you can taste delicious Middle Eastern dishes, like mezza, the meat skewers and sweet Umm Ali (a pudding with almonds, pistachios and dried raisins 😋). In order to have a good view of the Marina from the top, I particularly recommend you the Observatory, a restaurant located on the 52nd floor of the Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel, where you can enjoy the panorama and have a delicious meal. We went there for lunch, but if you prefer to have a romantic dinner, then you should book in advance. Another good rooftop is Shades, the restaurant/bar of The Address Hotel: it’s really nice and glamorous with a sparkling swimming pool, the perfect place to drink a cocktail or have a dinner with a view.

Dubai Marina by night

Take the ferry to enjoy the skyline. I would strongly recommend you to take the ferry to enjoy the view of the incredible architecture of Dubai from the sea. I took the ferry from Dubai Marina to Al Ghubaiba ferry station. You can buy the tickets directly there: it’s 50 Dirhams for the Silver Ticket and 75 Dirhams for the Gold ticket (a premium access with more comfortable seats, definitely not worth it – we took the silver tickets and were very happy with that!). There is also a circular tour for tourists, you can find all the infos here.

Explore the Gold and Spice Souk. As most of the Arabian cities, Dubai has its own souk, with spices, textile and… gold! The Emirates are known for really cheap gold, so if you’d like to invest in sparkling jewels, then head to the Dubai Gold Souk where you can find shop windows literally covered with gold! 😮 The Spice Souk is also interesting, with several shops displaying all kind of colorful spices. It is quite small though and does not offer much choice as the souks in Marrakesh or Istanbul.

The Dubai Fountain Show

Enjoy the Dubai Fountain Show at sunset. Next to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world (more than 800 meters high!), there’s a huge artificial lake where each night a fountain show takes place. The first show is at 6pm and it’s then repeated every 30 minutes till 11pm. We went to the show at sunset (and quite in advance since there are lots of tourists) to watch the dancing fountains with typical Arabian music.

Get lost in the Dubai Mall. If you want to understand Dubai and live like a local, then you should visit the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world. With its 1200 shops, 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens and 120 restaurants and cafes, it is the perfect microcosm of luxury and entertainment where wealthy locals can spend their days when it’s too hot to walk in the sun. Inside the Mall you can find an incredible vertical  fountain, a huge aquarium and an ice rink!

Discover the desert near Dubai. As I told you in my previous post, we discovered the desert near Dubai during a day tour with Viator. It’s a very touristy experience, but I enjoyed it all the same. It was the first time in a desert for me and, even though it’s not the Sahara, it was really fascinating! We visited the desert on a 4×4 car in the late afternoon and waited for the sun to set. The tour also included an Arab dinner at the camp in the desert with bellydance show and henna tattoos. The moment of the evening that I enjoyed the most was when all the lights went off and we could watch the stars shining right above us.

Dubai desert

Shop at Madinat Jumeirah. It is a recreation of an ancient Arabia village, with shops, restaurants and luxury hotels. You can find typical products and souvenir shops. From there you have a good view of the Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel in the shape of a sail of a ship, that stands on an artificial island near Jumeirah Beach.

Take selfies with flowers at the Dubai Miracle Garden. The Miracle Garden has been created as an oasis in the desert in 2013 and it represents the biggest natural flower garden in the world. In the garden there’s a fairytale atmosphere with small houses and alleys made of flowers. Since the garden is a bit far from the city center, we took a cab from Dubai Marina and it took 20 minutes togged there. The ticket price is 40 AED and you can find all the info here.

Relax at the beach. Once you are in the Emirates, you can take advantage of the hot weather to relax at the beach. I visited Jumeirah Beach, that we reached by foot from Dubai Marina. It was full of people, tourists and locals, but it was clean and the water quite warm. You can take a walk along the shore to enjoy the view of the skyscrapers just behind the beach.

Dubai was a surprise indeed! I’ve heard lots of things about it, some of them not really positive, but I was happy to visit it because it has a lot to offer and it’s really a different universe!

New post on Abu Dhabi coming soon!

Go Eat the Road 😊




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