Dubai is a vibrant city known for its unique attractions wrapped in opulence, technology, and innovation. The “City of Gold,” as it is fondly referred to, has emerged a global player in family-firmly travel destinations with innumerable exciting things to do. Rich history and contemporary luxury go hand in hand to bring you one of the finest holiday experiences you will ever experience in your lifetime. From its avant-garde theme parks and colossal man-made islands to the premier shopping malls and record-breaking skyscrapers, the city has emerged from just being a pearl-diving and fishing region to the flamboyant metropolis of today.
As the Department of Economy and Tourism reported, Dubai saw an influx of 14.36 million international visitors in 2022, a substantial increase of 97 percent compared to 2021. The Dubai Expo 2020, held in 2021, has been one of the major driving factors for such a flood of tourists.
The first half of 2023 saw more than 8.55 million visitors, and one can only imagine the statistics once this year is over.
The driving forces behind this exceptional boom in tourism are world-class amenities, mind-blowing infrastructure, one-of-a-kind attractions, and a strategic geographical location. The top-notch safety regulations and tax-free shopping just sweeten the deal more. We have curated a list of the most landmark developments in the city’s tourism journey, propelling Dubai to the top of the charts.
Milestones in the Rise of a Global Tourist Hub
A brilliant example of innovative engineering and technology, Burj Khalifa is indeed one of the path-breaking inventions that has contributed immensely to the tourism industry. Going to the summit of this renowned structure and enjoying the captivating views is an experience on any Dubai bucket list.
The Dubai Marina is an affluent neighbourhood along the waterfront with towering skyscrapers, five-star hotels, trendy apartment complexes, and several fine-dining restaurants. A dhow cruise here will provide a wholesome dinner and entertainment package and takes you around the city’s waters, where you can enjoy the breathtaking skyline and admire the staggering development of the city.
Atlantis, The Palm
Hotel Atlantis, The Palm, sits on the edge of the magnificent Palm Jumeirah. It’s well-known for its marvellous architecture and many world-class restaurants, spas, and other entertainment avenues. One of the best Dubai waterparks, Aqua venture, is within the hotel and promises a fun day filled with adventure and excitement.
This indoor tropical rainforest is another comparatively newer attraction in the city, bringing the much-needed green oasis to Dubai. The bio-dome is an enclosed ecosystem segregated into four distinct levels: the canopy, the mid story, the floodplain forest, and the forest floor. It provides a safe home to more than 3000 species of exotic flora and fauna, and you can learn about their lives through many immersive experiences.
Dubai Mall and Fountain
Your Dubai travel is incomplete without a visit to this phenomenal one-stop entertainment hub. Dubai Mall is the one place everyone flocks to as it offers an outstanding shopping experience like none other. Its humungous size is equal to fifty football fields. The mall is not just for shopaholics; it has multiple unique entertainment and dining spots. The Dubai Fountain outside the mall entrance is a treat to the eyes, creating a symphony of water, music, and lights.
Another iconic structure worth applying for your Dubai visit visa for is the stunning Palm Jumeirah, a massive archipelago that is said to be visible even from space. This is another masterpiece built on the sea, which felt like an impossible feat. It is definitely one of the finest places to spend an evening in the city, with its myriad spas, boutiques, hotels, resorts, restaurants, etc.
As soon as you drive for a few minutes from Dubai International Airport, one of the first things you see is a tall, gold-colored picture frame standing in all its majesty. That is the iconic Dubai Frame for you, which was built as a landmark between the old city and the new. Enjoy a jaw-dropping bird’s-eye view of two diverse sides of Dubai from the transparent glass bridge at the top. Unravel the city’s past, present, and future through a 3D screen and visual effects before you exit the building.
Ski Dubai is a huge indoor ski park and is one of the top Dubai theme parks for offering snow activities in the middle of the desert. You can enjoy tobogganing, skiing, zorbing, tube slides, and snowboarding, and finish your day with a cup of delicious hot chocolate at their Avalanche Café. The March of the Penguins show is the highlight, where these cute inhabitants entertain you with their antics.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Can you imagine how it feels when several fascinating marine creatures swim all around you? Walk through Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo’s award-winning tunnel these exotic aquatic animals surround you; it makes you feel like you are under water. Get up close and personal with this mysterious world and its inhabitants. They will leave you speechless with their beauty, ability, agility, and intelligence.
Burj Al Arab
The sail-shaped hotel was the talk of the town when it was newly constructed and still continues to garner interest after all these years. Counted among the popular Dubai attractions, Burj Al Arab can very well be called a global icon where you can experience top-notch Emirati luxury and hospitality. As the only seven-star hotel in the world, it stands proudly on a private island and is coveted for its gold interiors, extravagant suites, bespoke luxury, and splendid views of the sea.
Trust this city to pull off creating a natural flower garden in the heart of the desert. When it comes to records, Dubai is often known for offering diverse and distinct attractions. Miracle Garden is one of those family-friendly places where you get transported to a fantasy land. You are surrounded by colorful flowers and plants that are a rare sight in a desert city. Floral arches, elaborate pathways, and large installations with flowering plants and flowers greet you at every turn.
If you are an Instagram fanatic, you can click some of the most beautiful pictures in a gorgeous backdrop here.
Museum of the Future
You would have seen this eye-shaped steel structure in photos and on TV. The Museum of the Future is another feather on the city’s cap that combines state-of-the-art technology and futuristic vision to offer some of the most incredible experiences for its visitors. Instead of giving you a history lesson like other museums, this Dubai museum takes you on a delightful journey to the future, showcasing how this city and the entire world will look 50 years from now.
Sheikh Zayed Road
A special mention is required for the notable Sheikh Zayed Highway that connects all seven emirates and has contributed immensely to the entire tourism experience. The gleaming highway is flanked by iconic landmarks, high-rises, serviced apartments, lavish hotels, etc., and it is a pleasure to drive on this beautiful road.
Dubai is always churning out brand-new attractions that are difficult to find anywhere else. The new and upcoming projects include Dubai Reef, Floating Mosque, Palm Jebel Ali, The Island by Wasl, and Tower at Creek Harbour. It has successfully overcome challenging barriers and built a mega-metropolis on the desert, thus ensuring a strong place for itself on the global map.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ’s)
1.What are the other unique attractions to enjoy in Dubai?
- Global Village
- Ras Al Khor Sanctuary
- Dubai Dolphinarium
- Desert Safari with adventure sports and dinner
- Hatta mountain range
- Al Bastakiya Quarter
- Dubai Garden Glow
2. Which are some of the best theme parks in the city?
- IMG Worlds of Adventure
- VR Park
- Wild Wadi Waterpark
3. Can you recommend some good shopping malls in the city?
- Dubai Mall
- Mall of the Emirates
- City Centre, Deira
- Marina Mall
- City Walk
- Ibn Battuta Mall
- Mercato Mall
- Dubai Festival City Mall
4. Which are the best souvenirs or products that I can carry home from Dubai?
- Aladdin Lamps
- Incense holders
- Ouds and attars
- Camel milk chocolate
- Herbs and spices
- Persian rugs and carpets
- Pashmina shawls
- Arabic coffee, and
- Gold jewellery