8) Dubai Creek
Acquaint yourself with the creek that historically divides the City. Walk along Dubai Creek, which separates Deira and Bur Dubai, the city’s two main sections. You can take an Abra (wooden boat) trip to admire the tall buildings on the side, the dhows that ply the creek and the 4 bridges that span across it. For USD 1, you can already enjoy this invaluable thrill in Dubai.
9) Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina is a man-made residential complex intended to give special attention to urban living with emphasis on pedestrian-friendly facilities. This residential area is one of the largest man-made marinas in the world. Enjoy a walk along promenades lined with apartment buildings, towers, cafes and restaurants, and shops.
10) City Tour via the Metro Green Line
The Metro’s Green Line will bring you to Dubai’s heart and soul – where the heritage sights are. Go through commercial scenes, markets or souks, hospitals, apartments and hotels, and into residential areas, museums and churches. Many art galleries and cafes dot the area and you can spend a day appreciating contemporary or Middle Eastern art. You may also like to shop textile from fabric souks, this should be a fine opportunity to do so. You will need a Nol Card for riding the Metrorail and fares range from USD 0.50 to USD 2 on one trip, depending on the distance between stops.
Where to Eat
Dubai has home-grown restaurants, as well as foreign restaurants serving international cuisines. Embark to try different tastes and culinary styles. You can even try the more exotic ones if you don’t have a picky stomach. Listed below are some of the restaurants in Dubai that you may want to try.
1) Reflets Par Pierre Gagnaire
If you would like to eat French cuisine in Dubai, this place shouldn’t be missed. The restaurant’s chef, Pierre Gagnaire, has 3 Michelin stars, and takes pride in the restaurant’s impeccable food, ambiance and service. Dubai’s top restaurant has won several awards in the past. A meal for two here starts at USD 273.
Address: Inter-Continental Dubai Festival City
2) Abdel Wahab
For a mid-range dinner, try this restaurant with a nice warm ambiance and a view of the dancing fountains. They serve Arabic, Lebanese, and Middle Eastern cuisines. Try their tabouleh and hot bread, and their juicy grilled fish and shrimps are not to miss. Prices range from USD 55 to USD 96.
Address: Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai
3) Butcher Shop & Grill
When you are in the Mall of the Emirates and you find yourself hungry, this steakhouse is going to be a good gastronomic solution. A huge serving of juicy Wagyu rib-eye steak costs USD 55.
Address: Mall of the Emirates, Barsha
4) Nasimi Beach Restaurant
This restaurant in Nasimi Beach serves Asian and Mediterranean cuisines and is a rare find for budget meals in the Palm Jumeirah. When planning to eat here, make sure you wear casual clothes. Prices for food range from around USD 14 to USD 55.
Address: Atlantis the Palm, Palm Jumeirah
5) Fish and Chips Room
Walking along the Dubai Marina can make you famished. Look for this restaurant and dine on British cuisine and sea foods along breezy seaside. Get the taste of chunky cod and hammour chips, chicken nuggets, and a variety of squid and sausage options. Price is midrange from USD 14 to USD 55.
Address: Dubai Marina
Where to Stay
For unrivaled luxury, JW Marriot Marquis Dubai or Burj Al Arab should be the first hotels of choice while in Dubai. However, when opting for much less expensive accommodations, here are hotels that may not be so stately and regal, but they offer equally luxurious accommodations at reasonable prices.
1) The Address
Sitting in the center of Downtown Burj Khalifa, The Address is flanked end-to-end with several attractions. This is a desirable position for any traveler. Nearby are the Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall, and the Burj Khalifa. All rooms of this modern hotel offer views of Dubai from the balcony. The facilities include four restaurants, a huge infinity pool, spas, and a children’s club. Room rates start at USD 245 per night.
Address: Downtown Burj Khalifa
2) Jumeirah Al Bab Shams
What about spending a couple of nights of luxury in a hotel amid miles of sand dunes? Bab Al Shams looks like a charming lonely fortress in the middle of a desert with nothing but dozing camels. The hotel ensures an incredible experience by providing a patio and balcony in every room; facilities and amenities like, buffet restaurant, infinity pool, Jacuzzi, spas, even mini-golf, and entertainment. Room rates start at USD 215 per night.
Address: desert next to Endurance Village
3) XVA Hotel
Staying in this incredibly affordable boutique hotel is a truly Arabian experience. Situated in the heart of old Dubai, the XVA gallery has allocated six art-inspired rooms for guests. The six rooms face a courtyard and every uniquely-designed room emits a distinctly Arabian ambiance. Food is available at the XVA Café and the art gallery is just around the corner. It’s often fully-booked as there are only 6 rooms. The price starts at USD 70 including breakfast but excluding taxes and government fees.
Address: Bastakiya, Bur Dubai
4) Al Manzil Hotel
Just across the Dubai Mall is a new hotel that offers great value for your money. It is a 4-star hotel that blends in well contemporary facilities with Arabian tradition and architectural style. The hotel offers guests with comfort and luxury in their spacious and cozy lobby, café and bar, restaurant, swimming pool and fitness center. Room rate starts at USD 133 with additional USD 26 for breakfast for 2.
Address: Downtown Burj Khalifa
5) Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa
This hotel is just a few meters from the Dubai Creek, the Arabian Courtyard Hotel & Spa and offers a practical option for those visiting Dubai who would like to be near urban Dubai but spend non-Dubai rates for a room. The Courtyard gives you an authentic traditional Dubai experience, with ornately decorated rooms, an outdoor pool, a gym, spa and sauna. WiFi is free. Room rate starts at USD 68, breakfast costs USD33.
Address: Al Fahidi Street, Bastakiya District
Dubai is symbolic of the Arabian pride and desire to rise amid sand dunes, perpetually changing the world’s perception of a desert country. It has also been representative of massive urban development, both vertically and horizontally. Laterally, Dubai has the largest man-made islands reclaimed from the sea. Beneath this grandeur lies the traditional Arabic charm of Dubai– a mystery any traveler ought to unravel.