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  • Last Updated: 23rd July 2014

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Dubai - Sightseeing

When you travel to this fascinating and beautiful land, there’s so much to do you won’t know where to start. From the abundance of shopping opportunities to amazing attractions and stunning beaches, Dubai caters to everyone no matter what they want to do.

Shopping

f you enjoy shopping on a big scale, then Dubai is definitely the perfect holiday for you. As the retail capital of world, Dubai is a ‘duty free’ price zone, meaning the glittering shopping malls aren’t always as expensive as you’d have thought. With so much competition and so many places to shop, this often leads to prices being forced down; opening you up to an array of luxurious bargains.

So what’s your shopping style? Do you prefer the ultra-sleek modern malls, which come complete with extensive food courts, thrill rides and even snow domes? Or do you prefer a more authentic shopping experience where you can sample the culture, like at a souk, where the age old traditions of bartering and haggling cling on.

Mall of the Emirates

This bustling shopping paradise is like a mini-city of shopping gold, with stores like Harvey Nichols, Prada and Chanel, amongst many other designer brands dispersed throughout. They all sit alongside a magnificent ski centre too.

Dubai Mall

The slightly larger Dubai Mall will leave even the most hardcore shopper spoilt for choice. With over 1,200 shops featuring high end fashion brands like Burberry, Diesel, D&G and McQueen, sitting alongside shops specialising in everything from gadgets to beauty and art. There’s also an ice rink, aquarium, and a whole plethora of restaurants, all next to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Souks

If you want the more authentic souk experience then head to the Gold Souk, where a little patience and a firm haggle will get you a real snip. This land of bartering is the perfect place to get a new and interesting shopping experience; just don’t start the haggling process if you aren’t committed to finishing it. If you’ve got a nose for heady scents, then head towards the Spice Souk or if you want an array of enticing perfumes the Perfume Souk can conjure you a signature scent of your own.

Jebel Ali

If you’re looking for duty-free outlets, then head to Jebel Ali, where most of them can be found. Here you’ll find a number of bargains on a range of items, from electrical goods to big brand sportswear.

Principal attractions

Aside from the shopping bonanzas on offer in Dubai, there are amazing attractions around every corner.

Wild Wadi Water Park

With the sun beaming down on you all day long, cooling off is something that can be every bit as fun as the rest of your holiday. Wild Wadi Water Park offers you a complex array of water chutes, lazy rivers and a massive 33 32 metre high, almost vertical, water slide. This park has everything you could want for a wet and wild afternoon, with tidal waves you can surf on, paddling pools for children, sports activities and areas to relax and sunbathe.

Dubai Creek

If you enjoy relaxing, but don’t want to spend every moment of the day on the beach or around the pool, then head to The Creek Park. This oasis of green lawns and flower beds offers the perfect relaxation alternative, with children’s play areas, a golf course, cafes and an amphitheatre adding a musical soundtrack all year round. It’s a little slice of Dubai heaven. The Dubai Creek is also surrounded by informal bars and restaurant complexes, making it an excellent place to spend your evenings.

The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

If you want to learn more about your holiday destination, then have a day out at The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding in the historic Bastakia Quarter of Dubai. Here you can get a greater understanding of the local customs, culture and Arabic food as you take a guided tour of area. This includes traditional breakfasts, lunches and Arabic tea, along with a question and answer session, so you can expand your Dubai knowledge.

Burj Khalifa

If you’re looking for a view unrivalled by others, then head to the Burj Khalifa. Standing at an impressive 2,717ft, the building is the tallest manmade structure in the world. If you head to the 124th floor you’ll find the observation deck, giving you exceptional views of the majestic landscape.

Burj al-Arab

Another famous landmark in the Dubai landscape is the Burj al-Arab. This seven star hotel is shaped to represent the curved sail of a dhow, and even if you’re not staying here it’s definitely worth a visit. Maybe you could check out the impressive Al Muntaha restaurant, which is suspended 300m above the sea; now that’s a dining experience like no other.

Burj Dubai Lake

Situated next to the Mall of Dubai is the Burj Dubai Lake; home to the world’s largest dancing fountains. Shooting jets of water 500 feet into the air, this is a water display like no other and an extremely popular tourist attraction.

Beaches

Visiting Dubai wouldn’t be the same without taking a trip to one of its many glorious stretches of sand, providing the perfect relaxation spots. If you take a 20 minute drive from the centre you’ll find Jumeirah Beach, which comes with beautiful clear and safe waters, along with a whole host of beach-side amenities. Mamzar is a private beach resort, which is definitely worth paying that little extra for. For a non-extortionate fee entrance you’ll be treated to stunning shallow waters, white sands and various snack shops and children’s facilities.