Dubai, Discover all that's possible
First stop: Dubai
With fast connections to anywhere in the city, world-class hotels, and tax-free shopping, Dubai is perfect stopover destination. A whirlwind tour might take you to the souks of old town, followed by dinner overlooking the Dubai Fountain before the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa (conveniently located right in front of The Dubai Mall). If you have more time to spare, you might go out to the desert to experience a falconry demonstration, or a four-wheel drive tour across the dunes or take in some of the destinations vibrant arts and culture.
Fun for everyone
Dubai is now officially the capital of fun with one of the world’s most exciting arrays of theme parks. Water, movies, dolphins, cartoon characters and plenty of world firsts - there’s a theme park for every interest. It’s the ultimate family holiday activity.
Feel the rush at the brand new IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world’s largest indoor theme park. Or indulge your love of Bollywood, Lego or Hollywood at the mega theme parks from Dubai Parks and Resorts. You can also cool off with the pools, slides and steams at the iconic Aquaventure or Wild Wadi waterparks.
There is so much on offer for families of any age range and size. Take the family out on a desert safari to go sand boarding, ride a camel and enjoy an arabic meal. Prefer to stay in town? Catch the record-breaking fountain show that kicks off every half hour from 6pm outside The Dubai Mall, and then head to attractions in the mall such as KidZania or Sega Republic or the Olympic sized Ice Rink to give your kids and yourselves – a well-earned break.
Mall capital of the world
Dubai’s 95-plus shopping centres are more like mini metropolises. Start with the country-themed sections of Ibn Battuta Mall before visiting the penguins at Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates and the stunning Aquarium at The Dubai Mall. For bargain buys, head to Deira Souq. Modern interpretations of the traditional marketplace can be found at Souk Al Bahar and Madinat Jumeirah.
Dubai’s latest addition of a discount shopping hub, The Outlet Village opened in September 2016. At this Italian-themed indoor shopping spot, you’ll find luxury handbags for circa 50 per cent off, making it well-worth the 45-minute drive from the city centre. Plus, right next door is the ultimate theme park destination, Dubai Parks & Resorts, so combine fun and fashion for a fine day out.
Eat with locals or take a gourmet tour of the world
Dubai boasts a rich gastronomic scene, from the street-side cuisine of Zaroob and legendary Ravi, to the celebrity chef outposts of Gordon Ramsay, Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Sanjeev Kapoor. Of course, the best accompaniment to any meal is stellar views – At.mosphere in the Burj Khalifa is the place for city panoramas, while the Jetty Lounge offers relaxed Palm Jumeirah vistas. Try one of the legendary Friday Brunches where you can eat and drink as much as you want for 3 to 4 hours with fabulous entertainment and there is now some Saturday Brunches on offer too or the evolution on the streets of Dubai of Food Trucks
There is always a new culinary experience to discover in Dubai. As the region’s gastronomy capital, there’s a taste or treat to satisfy everyone in Dubai.
With the recent opening of Dubai Opera, and the growth of arts in Dubai, it is fast evolving into a cultural hotspot. From its beginnings as a neglected warehouse district to one of the Middle East’s hottest emerging creative hubs, Dubai's arts district Al Quoz has come a long way. The District offers edgy art events, endless pop-up concepts, cutting edge galleries, and now even a small theatre.
Discover the city’s past on Dubai Creek, once a bustling trading port, then follow the city into the beginnings of modern Dubai, or gain a greater appreciation of Dubai's culture and customs at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). Located in a beautifully restored wind tower house in the historic Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai, take a seat on Bedouin-style carpets and pillows and enjoy a selection of traditional dishes while your local host answers questions about life in the emirate and no question is out of limits
An adrenaline rush
Hurling oneself out of a plane at 13,000 feet is par for the course in Dubai, as is sand-boarding down a 300-foot dune; galloping across the desert on an Arabian thoroughbred; and teeing off on a floodlit golf course at midnight. Whatever adventure you seek, Dubai delivers.
From sport to art, music and food, there’s always an event on in Dubai. If your idea of sport involves a little retail therapy, then start your year with the Dubai Shopping Festival, with bargains and entertainment for the whole family. The internationally renowned Dubai Rugby Sevens and the lavish Dubai World Cup Carnival are staple sporting events, while Dubai Art Season,Dubai International Film Festival and Dubai Jazz Festival round off the major arts offerings. Epicureans should not miss the Dubai Food Festival, while fitness enthusiasts can partake in the annual Dubai Marathon or Cycle Challenge.
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