10 reasons to visit Dubai

Dec 06, 2012

by KENDALL HILL

In Dubai, nothing succeeds like excess. This metropolis has the planet’s tallest building, biggest mall and one of its largest fleets of chauffeured Rolls-Royces. Kendall Hill nominates 10 reasons to visit.

1. Dune bashing

Abu Dhabi is an easy 130km drive from Dubai and, at 70 per cent desert, is an ideal spot to thrash about in a 4WD. Once you’ve plunged down a 100m, almost-vertical dune cliff, there will be no turning back.

2. Dubai Mall

The world’s most expansive shopping centre, at the base of Burj Khalifa, has more than 750,000 visitors every week. This air-conditioned bazaar is home to Bloomingdale’s, the dancing Dubai Fountain (afternoon and evening shows daily), Galeries Lafayette and the Dubai Aquarium.

The Dubai Mall website.

Related: Dubai: Five malls to blow your mind - and maybe your budget

3. Spice & gold souks

Go via abra (a rustic water taxi). The souks are said to have the world’s cheapest gold, though the offerings can seem gaudy to anyone hankering for modern designs. But the spice market, heady with frankincense never fails to thrill the senses.

4. Burj Khalifa

The world’s tallest structure is a spectacular 828m needle. The 124th-floor observation deck affords city and Arabian Peninsula views. Book ahead via the Burj Kalifa website.

5. Palm Jumeirah

A sprawling, visible-from-space island shaped like the tree, it contains mostly private villas, but the Atlantis Hotel offers a water park, bottlenose encounters at Dolphin Bay and the Lost Chambers Aquarium, with its 65,000 marine animals.

6. Mall Of The Emirates

The only Middle East shopping centre with an indoor ski slope.

Mall of the Emirates website.

7. Sunset at Jumeirah Beach

Watch the red sun sink into the Arabian Sea then savour the relative coolness of evening.

Related: A date with Dubai

8. Bastakiya

Old Dubai lives on in this remnant settlement of coral walls and wind towers. XVA is a charming boutique hotel and art gallery. Dubai Museum in Al Fahidi Fort (1787) gives an insight into the emirate’s rise to riches.

9. Oman

One of the most captivating Arabian countries is an easy drive, bus ride or flight from Dubai. It’s an idyllic land of deserts, rugged mountains, crystal seas and chic hotels.

Oman Tourism website.

10. Burj Al Arab

On a manmade island off Jumeirah Beach, its sail shape is the city’s best-known symbol of brash prosperity. Dine at one of the hotel’s panoramic restaurants or have afternoon tea at Sahn Eddar, where Champagne spreads cost AED395 ($AUD105). Dress codes apply.

Find airfares to Dubai and check out our destination guide to find out popular things to do.

Source Qantas The Australian Way November 2012

Related: Aussie Bloggers in Dubai

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