Dubai is the most popular emirate in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and not only is the city a popular destination for tourists from different parts of world, but also many outsiders often confuse the ever glamorous and bubbly city for a country.

So if you are one of those people who often refer to Dubai as a country, be assured that you are not alone on this, as many residents from time to time use the word ‘Dubai’ when actually referring to UAE.

About Dubai

Image Credit: Fred Ohlander

Dubai is one of the seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates and the most populous city in the Persian Gulf country. As a global city, it is known for its ultramodern architecture, fast cars, luxury shopping and exuberant nightlife among many things. Also a business hub and popular destination for tourists seeking all year round summer.

Over the past few years Dubai has held many records including the tallest building in the world by the name of Burj Khalifa, the world’s largest flower garden known as Dubai Miracle Garden, the Dubai Mall which is considered the world’s most visited mall and the largest shopping mall by area, the largest indoor snow park known as Ski Dubai, the world’s tallest hotel named JW Marriott Marquis, and the highest restaurant called the At.Mosphere located on the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa.

Even with all the mentioned records and many others, Dubai has not relented; instead, it continues to create more attractions to lure more tourists to the city. In 2017 alone, over 15.8 million people visited Dubai and this figure is expected to increase considerably in 2018.

Considering the city is a popular destination for all sorts of tourism, below are the top 5 tourist attaractions to visit in Dubai.

1. Burj Khalifa

Image Credit: Denis Harsch

Located in Downtown Dubai, at 828 meters tall and over 160 floors, Burj Khalifa currently holds the record for world’s tallest building. Since its official opening in 2010, this iconic structure has attracted millions of visitors worldwide with its magnificent sight and offerings, including an observatory deck which attracts around 2 million visitors yearly. This spectacular building is not only admirable for its structure, but also for its offerings and surroundings.

Firstly, the building is within a walking distance to Dubai Mall, a shopper’s paradise and notably the world largest mall by area.

Secondly, in-between The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa is the Burj Khalifa Lake which hosts The Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain system.

Within Burj Khalifa itself is the observatory deck known as At The Top Burj Khalifa where visitors enjoy a breathtaking view of Dubai from the top, while also able to take striking photos of the sunset. Moreover, within the building are luxury restaurants and bars where guests and visitors can lounge or enjoy a romantic dinner coupled with spectacular view of the city. Overall, Burj Khalifa is so tall and can be seen from most parts of Dubai. No wonder the structure has become a visual display for celebrations and commemorations in recent times.

While you may not be lucky to witness Tom Cruise climbing Burj Khalifa again for his Mission Impossible series, be rest assured you will find this structure fascinating as many others have.

2. Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain after sunset

The Dubai Fountain also known as The Dancing Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. Located in Downtown Dubai, the fountain is set on a 30-acre manmade lake in between the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. Illuminated by 6,600 lights and 25 colored projectors, it is 75 meters long and can shoot water up to 500 ft. into the air.

The fountain’s chorography is typically accompanied by various music genres, ranging from contemporary Arabic to classical and world music. Popular songs among the fountain’s repertoire include “Thriller” by Michael Jackson, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston, “Sky Fall” by Adele, and “Con Te Partiro (Time to Say Goodbye)” by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman.

Performance at the fountain is daily, with increased shows on weekends. However, considering the hot weather in Dubai and for better experience, visiting is most ideal in the evening between 6-10pm on weekdays and 6-11pm on weekends.

3. Dubai Frame

Image Credit: Dubai Frame

The Dubai Frame is one of the recent additions to Dubai’s attractions. Described as “the biggest picture frame on the planet” by The Guardian newspaper, the architectural landmark has become the new center of attention because of its interesting views of the city.

Looking through one side of the gigantic frame is a view of the old Dubai and the other side reveals the view of a new Dubai. Located in Zabeel Park, the Dubai Frame stands at 150 meters tall and 93 meters wide.

4. Dubai Mall

Photo Credit: Pixabay

For those who love shopping while on vacation, the Dubai Mall is definitely the ultimate place for endless shopping experience. Located in Downtown Dubai and opposite Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, the Dubai Mall is considered the world’s largest shopping mall in terms of total area, offering over 1,300 retail outlets and over 200 food and beverage outlets.

Annually, the mall attracts over 80 million visitors from all over the world and it is a home to other notable attractions, including the world-class Dubai Aquarium and the Underwater Zoo, which features thousands of aquatic animals. Also located at the Dubai Mall are Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink for people who love skating, Reel Cinemas megaplex, VR Park, KidZania, Bloomingdales, Galleries Lafayette, The Fashion Avenue and many more.

The best part of the Dubai Mall is that it enjoys direct access to the Dubai Metro via a link bridge and also within a walking distance to the Dubai Fountain and Burj Khalifa.

5. Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden is home to approximately 100 million blooming flowers

Labeled the world’s largest flower garden and built on a 72,000 square meters of land, the Dubai Miracle Garden features over 109 million flowers of various species all in one large garden. The garden attracts over 55,000 visitors per week and features a remarkable live size Emirates Airlines plane decorated in blooming flowers.

As an outdoor recreational destination, the Dubai Miracle is one of a kind, not only in the region but also in the world. This is definitely a place worth visiting for couples and flower admirers. It is located in Barsha South 3, Dubailand.

From tourism point of view, the above-mentioned tourist attractions never disappoint. Tourism contributes a great deal to Dubai’s GDP and the government of Dubai has ensured its strategy maintains the flow of tourists into the city through the creation of attractions and shopping malls in various parts of Dubai.

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