Dubai Travel Guide and Itinerary

The Dubai skyline at dusk

A city where the world meets and where the impossible is made possible every day, Dubai has countless claims to fame. Here’s what you can expect when you visit the global financial hub. 

About Dubai 

The capital of the Emirate of Dubai, one of seven that make up the United Arab Emirates (along with Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain) the eponymous city of Dubai has grown in prominence over the past two decades. While it was a historically important port of call on the Arabian Peninsula going back to the 1960s, it was in the 2000s that the city really began to solidify its place in the minds of travelers 

Images of the ultra-luxe Burj Al Arab hotel, the Palm Jumeirah archipelago and the Burj Khalifa the world’s tallest building captured the imagination, as Dubai International Airport (DXB) rose to become the world’s busiest airport in terms of international passenger traffic. At the same time, Dubai became a key destination for events and conventions, as it cemented its status as a global financial hub. 

 

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Dubai isn’t entirely about architectural marvels and brisk business, however; it is a place where quality of life takes center stage the UAE has a Minister of State for Happiness, after all. As part of the Smart Dubai initiative, the Dubai Happiness Agenda seeks to “make Dubai the happiest city on earth”. The good food and drinks, cultural pursuits and natural retreats within easy reach help that movement along nicely. 

The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter months, between November and April. Temperatures during this period tend to vary from the mid-20s to the mid-30s, so dress for summer (including beach gear!), but do bring along a light jacket as temperatures can drop to below 15°C on winter mornings. 

 

Highlights for the Traveler 

To get a perspective on the city, head to one of its many vantage points: Skyview Bar & Restaurant on the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab is a classic stop for afternoon tea or cocktails at sunset, while the Dubai Frame, one of the newer additions to the skyline, provides a complete picture of Dubai, from its past to its present and its future. Of course, the tallest building in the world would have some of the city’s loftiest observation decks At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY on the 148th floor, shows you the city from over half a kilometer up (555m, to be exact). 

The foot of the Burj Khalifa is also home to two other essential stops — the Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountain. The former, one of the world’s largest malls, is home to more than 1,300 retail outlets, including 200 F&B options. The latter, the “world’s largest performing fountain”, has 83,000 liters of water spraying into the air at any point in time. 

Start planning a trip to Dubai Between October 2021 and March 2022 that’s when Expo 2020 Dubai is now slated to take place. Expect a feast for the senses that showcases the best of the world through 192 country pavilions. 


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