People say that you can either love or hate Dubai. Yet, of course, this several decades old city in reality makes a monumental impression. Dubai is the synonym of luxury and modernity but it does not lack soul. Where should you visit to feel the authentic atmosphere of an oriental metropolis?

The most interesting places in Dubai

Dubai Marina ©iStock

Dubai Marina ©iStock

Dubai Marina

Marina is a rich and very elegant district of Dubai famous for impressive multi-storey residential skyscrapers with a view to Palm Islands (a complex of the largest artificial islands in the world). There is also a large leisure complex Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) known for exclusive restaurants, cafes, hotels and places for sunbathing and water sports.

The characteristic element of the landscape of this part of Dubai is the famous sail – Burj Al Arab. This skyscraper erected on an island is constructed approximately 280 meters from the Persian Gulf bay. The building includes a luxurious hotel, SPA zone, swimming pools, museum, library and a helicopter landing area.

Also featured is Dubai Marina Walk – a several kilometres long walking route extending along the canal and marina. From here you can admire the incredible architecture of the city and luxurious yachts berthed in the port. There is also the Dubai Marina Mall nearby – a modern commercial centre with dozens of shops and food courts.

The green Dubai ©iStock

The green Dubai ©iStock

The Green Planet – tropics in the heart of the desert

It is wrong to think that Dubai is only concrete and glass. Contrary to what one might expect, there is no shortage of green corners, where you can feel real closeness to nature. One of them is Green Planet – a tropical forest with an abundance of animals and plants. Green Planet is an ecosystem closed under an artificial dome. You may come across sloths lounging on tress, habitats of various bird species, bloodthirsty piranhas, or even bats living in the cave. A visit to the Green Planet complex will be a good idea to spend time with your family. Ticket prices start at 99 dirhams.

Burj Khalifa ©iStock

Burj Khalifa ©iStock

Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world

The 829 m high skyscraper still remains the tallest building in the world. It was erected in the years 2004-2009. It has 163 storeys and is one of the most important symbols of Dubai and the entire Emirates. A visit to the 124th storey takes less than 60 seconds. From the tower there extends the spectacular panorama of the city and its environs. The building itself has broken a few records: it has the largest number of storeys in the world, and the uppermost mosque, hotel and swimming pool. The building was named after Sheikh Chalifa ibn Zajida Al Nahajjan – President of the United Arab Emirates.

Arabic coffee ©iStock

Arabic coffee ©iStock

Coffee Museum

The Coffee Museum is mecca for baristas. The Arabs love to drink coffee and offer it to their guests. In 2015 traditional coffee brewed in Arabic was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Through this prism, it is worth taking a closer look at the exhibits displayed in the Dubai Coffee Museum. It is a modest but very climate building situated in the beautiful district Al Fahidi. The aromatic scent of freshly brewed coffee can be smelled from a few miles away! Perhaps it is the only place of this kind in the Emirates where you can try dozens of types of coffee during one session.

In the desert ©iStock

In the desert ©iStock

Desert safari

A camel ride, belly dance shows, jeep ride in the desert, henna tattoos, sandboarding and tasting oriental culinary specialties are just some of the attractions served by the local agencies specialising in the organisation of safari trips.

How much does this pleasure cost? Prices for a few hours adventure in the sand start at 80, and end at 300-400 dirhams depending on the offer. A rally on the dunes is an exciting experience for everyone, regardless of age!

Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountain

Do you like shopping? The commercial centre with an area of over 1 million square meters will satiate your shopping hunger. Even if you are not planning on spending a fortune on fashionable clothes from the leading designers, it is definitely worth to see Dubai Mall – the largest retail complex in the world. It is not just exclusive shops and restaurants, but also an entertainment centre: cinema halls, Dubai Aquarium, skating ring, interactive entertainment park for children, and even ‘Hysteria’ haunted house.

Dubai Mall ©iStock

Dubai Mall ©iStock

On top of that, near Dubai Mall there is one of the most popular attractions in the city – beautiful fountains eagerly watched by tourists. Fountain shows with water dancing to the beat of the music take place every day in afternoon and evening hours. The largest fountain in the world is 275 meters high and can shoot water at 150 meters! Participation in the free show is also a great occasion to see the incredible illumination of Burj Chalifa.

Modern buildings in Dubai ©iStock

Modern buildings in Dubai ©iStock

The Land of Ice in Dubai

By the Mall of the Emirates commercial centre there is the incredible complex ‘Snow Penguins at Ski Dubai’, where in winter scenery you can admire shows with king and Papua penguins, go crazy on the skis on the snow-covered ski run or ride on the chair lift. Upon entrance every guest receives their costume (warm jacket, trousers, helmet and shoes) and the necessary gear (snowboard, skis, sticks). Anyone wishing to can use the offer of a professional ski school. If you’re tired of the heatwaves, you can stop by the first ski resort in the Middle East!

Madinat Jumeirah ©iStock

Madinat Jumeirah ©iStock

Madinat Jumeirah

A place which has managed to reconstruct the atmosphere of the ancient Arab bazaars. The complex of restaurants and stores is intersected with a canal on which traditional wooden abras float (for a small fee, you can treat yourself to a short boat trip). It therefore comes as no surprise that Madinat Jumeirah is called the ‘Little Venice’ of Dubai, from this side there extends a beautiful view across the famous Burj Al Arab. The perfect place for a walk or a dinner with friends.

Old boats in Dubai ©iStock

Old boats in Dubai ©iStock

Deira – the Dubai Old Town

One of the oldest districts of the city and, according to many – the most authentic. You can get lost in the labyrinth of alleys with booths, taste camel milk ice-cream or hide in a cafeteria with a cup of karak tea – black tea with milk, clove and saffron. Deira is a dreamed-of place for enthusiasts of oriental bazaars. Here you can buy fish, herbs, gold articles and all kinds of textiles. The prices, compared to those at Dubai Mall, are not exorbitant.

Dubai astounds with its architecture, surprises with scale and makes you want to see, taste and experience more. Are you dreaming of an unforgettable holiday in the city of world records? Book a flight and prepare for an incredible adventure in the middle of the desert!

Created in cooperation with Dubai Tourism.