Like a modern glittering jewel rising out of the surrounding desert sea, Dubai is a destination that must be experienced to be believed. With pockets of heritage neighbourhoods nestled amongst the cosmopolitan luxury, Dubai is renowned for its high-end shopping, beautiful coastline, and some of the largest and tallest structures in the world.
In this city of bigger and better, a visit to the world’s tallest building is a must. Burj Khalifa points straight into the sky at a stunning 828 meters. Splurge for the At the Top Sky level tickets for a more exclusive experience and access to the 148th floor. The main entrance to Burj Khalifa is through the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest. Full of experiences, this is no ordinary mall. In addition to endless opportunities for shopping, the mall boasts an aquarium and underwater zoo and an ice rink, proving that Dubai is a city where expectations are defied. Yes, you can go ice skating and skiing in the middle of the desert!
Situated directly outside Dubai Mall is the world’s largest dancing fountain. Dubai Fountain’s jets shoot water as high as a 45-storey building. Get this: the beam of light shining upward from the fountain is visible from space, making it the brightest spot in the Middle East! For a front row seat to the show, book a lake ride on a traditional wooden abra and enjoy the sights and sounds of the fountain as the world’s tallest building rises just behind it.
Of course, there’s more to Dubai than modern excess. Stroll through the recently restored winding streets of Al Fahidi Historic District brimming with cafés, galleries and shops, and take note of its signature wind towers, which provided natural air conditioning before electricity came about.
Al Fahidi Fort, considered Dubai’s oldest structure, now fittingly houses Dubai Museum, dedicated to preserving the history of Dubai and explaining the fascinating transformation it went through to become the modern city it is today.
Non-Muslim guests are welcome to Jumeirah Mosque six days per week. Built from white stone in the medieval Fatimid style of architecture, Jumeirah Mosque’s central dome is flanked by twin minarets. The guided tour is focused on giving visitors an introduction to Emirati culture and religion in a relaxed, open environment.
Dubai’s souks, or traditional markets, buzz with activity, especially just after morning prayer, and are a must-see spectacle for the senses. Divided distinctly by product, market options include the Gold Souk, Textile Souk, Spice Souk and Perfume Souk. For a souk that blends old and new, visit Al Fahidi Souk, which combines traditional architecture with a modern, energy-saving infrastructure.
Head back to Fairmont Dubai for a seriously unique dining experience at Noire, where night vision-equipped servers escort diners to tables. This fascinating restaurant is in complete darkness, designed to heighten the senses and explore the tastes and smells of gourmet cuisine in an unexpected way.
To unwind after dinner, head to Dokuz, Fairmont’s 9th floor rooftop lounge. Dokuz offers Turkish-inspired cuisine set against beautiful skyline views. Cap off the evening with a Turkish coffee, traditional Turkish delight and flavoured shisha.
Feats of nature
For a truly stunning display of the intersection of man and nature, visit Miracle Garden, the world’s largest natural flower garden. The expansive garden sprawls over 72,000 square meters. In addition to the over 45 million flowers planted there, over 15,000 butterflies reside in the butterfly garden.
Artificial islands have been added to Dubai’s coastline, creating a unique attraction. The first of the islands to be completed, Palm Jumeirah, is constructed in the shape of a palm tree. Jet through the world's largest man-made island on its Monorail and marvel at this unique feat of nature.
Just a few minutes from the spectacular superlatives of the city, your room at Fairmont Dubai awaits. Whether your style is more of an energetic night out at one of Dubai’s trendiest nightclubs or a relaxing day at the spa, Fairmont Dubai has everything you need. The newly renovated hotel features two trendy nightclubs and a 40,000 square foot spa and health club.
The culture and beauty of Dubai make it a stunning travel destination, truly unlike any other place in the world. Experienced from high atop the world’s tallest building or down below from the famous coastline, Dubai is a city of awe-inducing firsts and natural wonders.
Cover Photo - Flytographer: Abbi in Dubai
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