5 Must-Visit Spots for First-Time Visitors in Dubai

Back in 2015, I almost had a chance to explore Dubai. We happily scored a roundtrip promo ticket but then later on decided to skip Dubai and go straight to Europe instead. I thought then that it was such a brilliant decision—afterall, I was able to fulfill my lifelong dream to have a whirlwind European adventure.

If I could have another chance again today, I would definitely spend a few days in Dubai instead of heading straight to Europe. But this time, I wouldn’t scrimp on a promo fare; I would pamper myself and travel comfortably with Emirates Airlines.

Everything in Dubai seems luxurious and shiny and flying with Emirates Airlines would surely be a proper start to a glitzy adventure in this exotic city. Everywhere you look, there’s something to admire and be amazed of. It’s a treasure-trove of stunning man-made and natural landscapes, diverse culture, and good food. For Dubai first-timers like myself, here are the five best places that should be on our list.

1. The Spice and Gold Souks

Photo by Guilhem Vellut | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

Dubai has been long known for its trade of spices and gold. Up to this day, the city has preserved these souks. If you’re looking to experience Dubai’s local trade culture, the spices and gold souks of Dubai are a great place to explore.

It can get crowded as the souks are extremely popular amongst tourists so plan for an early morning visit.

2. The Desert

Photo by NKK | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

A definite must-do when in Dubai: going on an exhilarating journey across the expansive Dubai desert. You’ll get to experience sand bashing, walk on the red desert sand, and see the mesmerizing Dubai sunset. This desert safari tour would usually take around seven hours—expect to ride a 4x4 jeepney, taste a variety of Arabian cuisine, and enjoy traditional Arabian entertainment.

3. Burj Khalifa 

They say that a trip to Dubai is not complete without going up to the top of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. Towering at 828 meters high, this iconic structure is hard to not miss. On a clear day, view of the city from the observation deck at the 124th level will leave you in awe. And here’s another series of facts that will make your jaw drop: Burj Khalifa is not just the world’s tallest building; it’s also the tallest free-standing structure in the world, highest outdoor observation deck in the world, tallest service elevator in the world, elevator travelling with the longest distance, highest number of stories in the world. In short, this building is record-breaking!

Pro-tip: get your tickets ahead as the lines can get impossibly long.

4. Burj Al Arab

From the world’s tallest building, let’s now go to the world’s most luxurious hotel—the Burj Al Arab. Situated in its own man-made island, the Burj Al Arab prides itself as the world’s only 7-star hotel. Like Burj Khalifa, it’s one of Dubai’s most famous landmarks. Burj Al Arab is defined by its shiny gold pillars and extravagant dancing fountains. Each suite is not only provided with full-sized Hermes amenities but also with its own 24-hour personal butler. How’s that for service!

5. The Palm Jumeirah 

Photo via Good Free Photos | Licensed under CC BY 2.0

As you fly in or out of Dubai, you’ll surely notice this man-made island in the shape of a palm tree. With lots of luxury hotels, apartments, beach clubs, and parks lining up the island, The Palm Jumeirah is definitely a symbol of opulence in Dubai.

Is Dubai on your bucketlist as well? What's your must-visit in Dubai? 

Follow my adventure on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook by searching for the hashtag #GirlChasingSunshine. Thank you for dropping by! :)

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