Before we take a look at some of the tourist attractions in Dubai, here are some facts and information about this Middle Eastern city.
Dubai is one of the seven emirates that made up the oil rich United Arab Emirates commonly referred to as UAE. This city sits snug in the eastern Arabian Peninsula and is also UAE’s main city.
The emirate of Dubai was created with the formation of the UAE in1971 although there are some documents to suggest that the city was already in existence a century or two before the formation of UAE. Dubai has a population of about 1.5 million people at the time of writing. It has the largest population in comparison to the other emirates and is the second largest emirate by land area, after Abu Dhabi.
However, according to the census done by the Statistics Center of Dubai, only about 17 percent its population is made up of UAE nationals and the rest are made up of expatriates, foreign workers and tourists.
Arabic is the official language of Dubai, but Persian, Malayalam, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, English, Hindi, and Tagalog are widely spoken because of the many foreigners living in Dubai.
Dubai City is not a tour destination that it is easily explored on foot because many of its tourist attractions such as Deira and Jumeirah Beach are located far apart from each other. Here are some tourist attractions you must visit if you are heading to Dubai for your vacation.
Bastakiya – Bastakiya district is located at East of Dubai Souk on Al-Fahidi Street.
Way back in the days before there was electricity for fans and air-conditioning, Dubai Creek used to have numerous wind towers that kept the homes cool from the blistering dessert heat. Touring the Bastakiya district is like taking a step back in time travel because of the many traditional courtyard houses still have the wind towers.
The Bastakiya district is now undergoing massive reconstruction for its transformation into a “tourist village”.
Palm Islands – The famous Palm Islands (so called because of its palm like shape), is actually a grouping of three islands and is said to be visible from the moon. The Palm Island is an incredible largest manmade island in the world. A large part of Palm Islands is still undergoing tremendous construction at the time of writing this article.
There are about 7,000 apartments and 1,800 villas and townhouses on The Palm, Jumeirah. Jumeirah will also offer an outstanding array of retail and lifestyle options for residents and tourists when construction is fully completed.
The Golden Mile when completed will offer the world’s most exclusive brands with an international array of boutiques, shops, restaurants and cafes.
As an exclusive tie up between The Trump Organization and Nakheel Group, The Palm Jumeirah will feature a number of Trump properties, including The Palm Trump International Hotel and Tower.
The Crescent Island will feature luxurious international hotels in Dubai and situated near The Crescent are a number of fascinating dive sites to thrill scuba divers.
Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House – Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House, near Al-Shindagha Tunnel, Al-Shindagha Road is one of the oldest homes in the city, as well as one of the best examples of traditional Arabic architecture. The house was built exclusivly with sandstone in 1896 and offers panoramic views of the sea. Sadly though, the fantastic view is now slightly obscured by the more modern developments.
The Sheikh who was a former ruler of Dubai used the house to monitor trading in and out of the country. This tourist attraction was reopened as a museum in 1986 contains an exhibition showcasing the development of Dubai from 1940s to1960s.
Children’s City – Tourists with children will be delighted to take the kids the Children’s City, located at Creekside Park. The Children’s City was opened in 2002 and is a smashing hit with children and their delighted parents.
This 7,700 sq-m (83,000 sq ft) wonderland takes young minds on a journey through the human body, science and space, with the help of different ‘zones’. There are also plenty of hands-on activities to keep even the most playful children occupied. All exhibits in this city are in English and Arabic.
Jumeirah Mosque – The Jumeirah Mosque on Al-Jumeirah Road is perhaps the most photographed building by tourists in Dubai because of its impressive example of modern Islamic architecture. Built along medieval Fatimid lines and entirely of stone, the Jumeirah Mosque with its two minarets is particularly beautiful in the night when subtle lighting increases the mosque’s dramatic effect.
Grand Mosque – The Grand Mosque in Ali ibin Ali Talib Street was only rebuilt in 1998 with the city’s tallest minaret standing at an impressive 70m (231ft) tall.The Grand Mosque is made up of nine large domes and 45 smaller ones. This mosque can accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers.
Souks – The souks, or traditional markets, are one of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions. The souks are located on both sides of the creek, with the most impressive ones on the Deira side.
The highlight of this tourist attraction is the colorful and bustling Spice Market where tourist can find local delights like exotic perfumes and watch noisy locals bargaining with vendors.
Dubai Museum – Not to be missed is the Dubai Museum in Al-Fahidi Fort. The museum itself is actually a historic fort, dating back to 1799. It was only converted into a museum in 1970. The exhibits in the museum ranges from ancient weapons, pearl-diving outfits to an impressive range of military artifacts.
Some of the most intriguing exhibits are those discovered from the 3000 to 4000-year-old graves at Al-Ghusais.
Heritage Village – The Heritage Village is located at Shindagha Tunnel, Al-Shindagha Road and as the name suggests, it is an attempt to weave in some local traditional heritage in contrast to Dubai’s rapidly developing modern skyline.
The objective of the project is to recreate the Bedouin way of life, with locals dressed up in traditional Arabic garbs, exhibit traditional handicrafts, music and dance.
Jumeirah Beach – Although much of the famous pristine crystal clear water of Jumeirah Beach located at Al-Jumeirah Road is dominated by luxury hotels and 5 star accommodations, some of the hotels do allow non hotel guests to use their pools and stretches of beach if they dine at the hotels or pay a nominal usage fee.