City Trip Dubai


City Trip Dubai

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City trip Dubai: The Ultimate Guide


Dubai is a big city with several special sights. It is a place where traditional historic low-rise buildings and ultramodern skyscrapers meet. Dubai is one of the most visited cities in the world. Only Paris, London and Bangkok receive more international tourists every year.

Dubai takes it big. In the city you will find the tallest building, the largest aquarium, the largest butterfly garden, the largest shopping mall, one of the largest indoor ski halls and the largest fountain show in the world. You can also enjoy Dubai by the beach or take a trip to the impressive desert.

Dubai is a surprisingly inexpensive destination for a city trip. If you go shopping, eating and drinking and spend the night in a hotel, you often lose less than in other cities. On the other hand, there are plenty of hotels, restaurants, shops and nightlife if you go for super luxury and money is not an issue. Dubai is also a city where you can do excellent shopping. Both in old-fashioned souks and modern malls. The kitchen in Dubai is excellent and the nightlife is known to be very vibrant. In short, Dubai has a lot to offer!

1. City trip Dubai: characteristics of the city

Do you want to go on a city trip to Dubai for a day, weekend or week? You can also take a day or weekend in Dubai if you are travelling to another destination. The characteristics of the metropolis can be found in the table below. What is there to do in Dubai? In this article we have listed the most popular sights of Dubai for you.


DubaiUnited Arab Emirates

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Dubai Dirham
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City trip characteristics Dubai

Land United Arab Emirates
Number of inhabitants Dubai 3.1 million
Number of international tourists per year 16.7 million
Flight travel time (direct flight) 6 hours and 30 minutes
Currency Dubai Dirham
Language Arabic
Time difference with the Netherlands In Dubai it's 3 hours later
Price level Layer
Distance from Utrecht 6,700 kilometres
Best travel period Winter, spring
Climate Desert climate
Activities City, culture, art, shopping, beach, skiing.

2. Explore the historic district of Al Bastakiya

El Bastakiya is Dubai's historic quarter and a beautiful open-air museum. Here you get a good impression of the history of Dubai. The district is surrounded by a 200 year old city wall. You walk through narrow streets and along traditional stone buildings. Special are the wind towers, the sand-colored buildings and the beautiful carved wooden doors and wooden slats. Along the way you'll come across shops, restaurants, art galleries and museums here and there.

In the old Al Fahidi Fort in Al Bastakiya there is the Dubai Museum. Here you can learn more about the history of Dubai and its surroundings. Other places of interest in the historic district are:

3. Admire the skyscrapers along Sheikh Zayed Road

The most famous motorway in Dubai is the Sheikh Zayed Road. Along this road are numerous skyscrapers that together form an important part of the Dubai skyline. Some well-known skyscrapers along the Sheikh Zayed Road:

Sheikh Zayed Road DubaiSheikh Zayed Road

4. Jumeirah Beach: Sandy beaches, iconic buildings and a cool water park

Jumeirah Beach is located on the east side of Dubai and borders the Persian Gulf. The 15 km long sandy beach and crystal clear waters are an attraction for locals and tourists alike. You can sunbathe, swim, dive, snorkel and surf along the coast. Along Jumeirah Beach in Dubai is also the iconic hotel Burj Al Arab.

4.1 Wild Wadi Water Park

Wild Wadi Waterpark, designed around the story of Sinbad the Seaman. In the park you'll find slides, rapids and wild water slides, a large wave pool and artificial waves for surfing. There are also all kinds of water attractions for the little ones.

4.2. Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque. This is the largest mosque in Dubai and beautiful to see. It is one of the most popular sights of Dubai. The Jumeirah Mosque has two towers of 70 meters high, sandstone walls and a modern Islamic architecture. Inside you will find beautiful chandeliers, plasterwork and decorations. The mosque is accessible to Muslims and non-Muslims. You can join a guided tour.

5. The unique islands of Dubai

Long Jumeirah Beach are several artificial islands: The Palms and The World. The World is a collection of 300 islands that together represent the world map. Construction work on the island has been halted for some time due to financial problems.

The project 'The Palms' consists of two islands in the shape of a palm tree. Palm Jumeirah is the only island that is completely finished. The second island has already been built, but construction has been halted there for years due to financial problems. It is the intention that a third palm island will be added in the future.

Dubai Beach Dubai Beach

6. The Palm Jumeirah: Aquaventure Water Park & Dolphin Bay

The Palm Jumeirah is one of the palm islands along the coast. It belongs to the must-see sights of Dubai. On the island you will find about 2000 apartments, 1000 luxury villas, large luxury hotels and resorts, 2 shopping centers, several marinas, dozens of restaurants and of course many beautiful beaches. Palm Jumeirah is also called the 8th wonder of the world. The island is 5 by 5 kilometers and connected to the mainland by a bridge and monorail.

6.1. Aquaventure Water Park

On the island you will find the Aquaventure Water Park, the largest water park in the Middle East. A perfect choice for an adventurous day in Dubai. The water park has several slides, rapids, playgrounds and swimming pools. Unique is the 75 metre high slide that lets you slide through a shark pool.

7. Enjoy in the snow at tropical temperatures

The indoor ski slope has 5 slopes, a chair lift and a large fun park where you can toboggan, toboggan or roll down a course in an air ball. The children can cuddle with penguins. Ski Dubai is located in the Mall of the Emirates.

8. On a city trip? Visit Dubai's impressive shopping malls

The Dubai Mall is even the largest shopping mall in the world with 4 floors, 1200 shops and a floor area of half a million square meters. You will also find the largest shoe store and the largest aquarium in the world. As if that wasn't enough, the largest building in the world is located next to the Dubai Mall: Burj Khalifa.

In the Dubai Mall you can do excellent shopping, that won't surprise you. In addition, there are plenty of restaurants and cafes to catch your breath. Tip: choose a terrace with a view of the largest fountain show in the world: the Dubai Fountain. You will also find an indoor ice rink, a huge dinosaur skeleton, an indoor amusement park and a mega cinema. In the Dubai Mall you can buy everything. Branded clothing, jewelry, souvenirs, electronics, local specialties, toys, books and much more.

8.1. Dubai Aquarium

The Dubai Aquarium in the Dubai Mall is the largest aquarium in the world. You can admire more than 33,000 marine animals here.

Dubai MallDubai Mall

8.2. Mall of the Emirates

Mall of the Emirates. A complex with more than 700 shops and about 100 catering establishments, spread over 4 floors. In 2005, the shopping mall was opened, and soon received the title: 'The World's Leading New Shopping Mall'. It is one of the largest shopping malls in the world with 600,000 km2 of floor space.

8.3. Ski Dubai

In the mall you will find the indoor ski hall: Ski Dubai. There is also a large cinema and a game centre. The Mall of the Emirates has a varied shopping offer. Think of clothing from well-known chains, electronics, home accessories and furniture and a supermarket.

9. The tallest building in the world: Burj Khalifa

In Dubai stands the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. The skyscraper has a height of no less than 828 metres and is clearly visible throughout Dubai. The building contains mainly offices and apartments. For this you count at least 1 million dollars. Then you also have a view to tell you.

In the tower there is also a hotel, as well as some restaurants, a nightclub, several swimming pools and even a mosque. Visitors can take the lift to one of the two observation platforms to enjoy a magnificent view over Dubai and the water. A ride to the top is a real experience during the day as well as in the evening!

Burj KhalifaBurj Khalifa

10. Gardens of Dubai

That everything's great in Dubai, that's obvious. The city also has the largest butterfly garden in the world: Dubai Butterfly Garden. A beautiful indoor garden where you walk among the tropical plants, trees, flowers and butterflies. More than 15,000 butterflies fly around and have arrived in Dubai as caterpillars

10.1. Dubai Miracle Garden

Directly next to the Dubai Butterfly Garden lies the Dubai Miracle Garden. A huge flower garden with more than 100 million flowers in a variety of colours, shapes and sizes. In the garden you will find, among other things, the largest flower clock in the world, floral decorated cars and all kinds of animals from plants and flowers.

11. Dubai Creek, Al Seef District & Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

Dubai Creek runs across the city centre of Dubai. Book a boat trip to explore Dubai from the water. Along the way you'll have views of several of the city's skyscrapers. The Dubai Creek has recently been connected to the sea by a canal. You can also cross the Creek by water taxi.

Dubai CreekDubai Creek

11.1. Al Seef District

On the banks of the Dubai Creek lies the Al Seef district. This is a new district with a long boulevard with several shops, restaurants and hotels. It is the newest attraction of the city. The architecture of the buildings is beautiful and the views over the water are magnificent.

11.2. Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

At the end of the Dubai Creek you will find the Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This wetland reservoir is a breeding ground for crustaceans, mammals, fish and birds. Especially the flamingos steal the show. You can also spot herons, cormorants, stilts, beach runners, ospreys and many other birds. The Ras al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected nature reserve and completely fenced. There are three locations where you have access to the area at certain times of the day.

Ras al KhorRas al Khor

12. Dubai Frame: transition from old to new

Since January 2018 there will be a large frame on the border between the old and the new part of Dubai. Dubai Frame is a striking building of two towers connected at the top by a 93 meter long glass bridge. At a height of 150 metres you can enjoy a magnificent view of both historic and modern Dubai from the glass bridge. Traditional low-rise buildings on one side and high skyscrapers on the other. The Dubai Creek is also nicely visible from that great height. The Dubai Frame is beautifully illuminated at night.

Dubai FrameDubai Frame

13. Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Dubai is in the desert. You'd almost forget that when you're in the center of town. If you go on a city trip to Dubai, it is recommended to visit the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. This reserve lies about 70 kilometres from the city and you can admire the desert at its most beautiful.

The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is the largest nature reserve in the United Arab Emirates. A place to enjoy nature and rare animal species, such as the Oryxen. The nature reserve covers an area of no less than 225 square kilometres. You can visit the reserve with an organized excursion.

Dubai DesertDubai Desert

14. Discover Dubai: shopping, Arabian cuisine and nightlife

'Dubai Shopping Festival' at the beginning of the year, prices are even lower. Also in restaurants the bill at the end of the evening is often lower than we are used to in the Netherlands.

In Dubai live many expats and that is what the kitchen of Dubai is tuned to. There are restaurants in the city in all shapes and sizes. The Asian cuisine is of course well represented, as well as Indian, Italian, Spanish and Mexican cuisine.

Dubai is one of the best cities when it comes to nightlife. There are a large number of clubs and discotheques. These can be found all over the city. Popular DJs such as Martin Garrix and David Guetta are increasingly spinning in popular clubs or at festivals. There are also several live shows, beach parties and pool parties that you can visit.

15. Burj al Arab hotel and other accommodation in Dubai

Dubai is a metropolis and very popular among tourists. The city is still growing and new hotels are regularly built. During a city trip to Dubai you can stay the night in a hotel. You can choose from budget hotels as well as star hotels. The high season runs from September to May. Most normal hotels are reasonably priced. You will often spend less for a hotel room than in other cities.

The most famous hotel in Dubai is the Burj al Arab hotel on an artificial island on the coast. Impressive with a height of 321 meters and the shape of a spherical sail. The Burj al Arab hotel is one of the most famous buildings in Dubai and is visible in almost the entire city. It is the only 7 star hotel in the world. Super luxurious, but not cheap.

Burj al Arab DubaiBurj al Arab

In addition to hotels you will also find a number of bed and breakfast accommodations, hostels and guesthouses in the city. In the vicinity of Dubai you can also camp, namely on the beach of Jebel Ali. Somewhat unusual and you also have to pick up a permit at the town hall. You can then take a jeep to the beach and pitch a tent on your own. Highly recommended if you are adventurous.

16. Fly to the impressive city of Dubai

On a city trip to Dubai? For a city trip to Dubai, the airplane is the preferred means of transport. From several Dutch airports you fly directly in about 6.5 hours to this impressive desert city. Sometimes you fly to Dubai with a stopover in for example Milan, Paris, Zurich or Frankfurt. Then you are about 8 to 12 hours on the way. You can also take a day or weekend in Dubai if you are in transit to another destination.

The largest and most famous airport in Dubai is Dubai International Airport. This airport is only 4 kilometers from the city center. So you can quickly get to the heart of Dubai, for example by taxi or bus. Once in Dubai it is best to take the bus or taxi to get around. Downtown is easy to explore on foot, the distances are good for that. A special way to explore Dubai is by taking the water taxi. This sails over the Dubai Creek.

Watertaxi DubaiWatertaxi Dubai

17. Citytrip Dubai: our tips

Below are some tips if you are going on a city trip to Dubai.

  • Sturdy shoes: Wear sturdy and comfortable shoes during the city trip. During a day or weekend and certainly during a week in Dubai you usually walk a lot.
  • Tourist maps: Do you want to visit several places of interest in Dubai? Then you can choose one of the special Tourist maps. Each pass gives access to certain sights in Dubai and is valid for several days.
  • Best travel period: You can plan a city trip to Dubai during all seasons, but late autumn, winter and early spring are most ideal. Temperatures vary between 20 and 32 degrees between November and April. In the summer, it's usually very hot in Dubai. Often unbearably hot even. Temperatures above 41 degrees are not uncommon. The water temperature of the sea is about 30 degrees, so there is no real cooling. The heat starts around May and lasts until October.

18: Book a city trip to Dubai: compare travel providers and accommodations

Dubai is the city where beautiful historic low buildings and modern high skyscrapers meet. Where you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of the city, but also experience the impressive tranquility of the desert. A place where temperatures rise to great heights, but where you will also find one of the largest indoor ski halls in the world. With real cold snow. A city where you can enjoy beautiful architecture and vast sandy beaches.

Are you ready for an unforgettable experience? Then opt for a city trip of a day, weekend or full week to Dubai!

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