Fast cars. Jaw-dropping skylines. Glittering architecture. Super highways. Futuristic hotels.
Welcome to Dubai.
Fast becoming one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, Dubai has its fair share of strange sights and extravagant experiences. Discover our top Dubai travel highlights and some of the more bizarre things you can do as a tourist.
The ACE-FX Dubai travel highlights
Climb the tallest building in the world
Even if the sight of a really, really, tall building doesn't sound that amazing to you, prepare to be stunned. The 829-metre Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and it is pretty difficult to register just how stupendously big it is.
The view from the observation deck, some 148 storeys high, is simply mind-boggling; miniature kids toys far down below. It’s not the most affordable of tourist attractions, but it’s worth every dirham.
Shop til you drop
Well known for its plethora of (huge) shopping malls, Dubai is a shopaholic's heaven. You can buy almost anything, whether it’s jewellery, exotic spices or designer clothing. Each year, Dubai hosts one of the world’s most immense shopping festivals.
At Dubai Mall, there’s even a “gold to go” ATM – where the wealthy shoppers can withdraw one-ounce bars of solid gold.
Push your limits in the desert
One of the most fascinating things about travel in Dubai is that one moment you can be standing in the midst of mirrored skyscrapers, towering and glittering in the sun; and (literally) a few minutes later you’re standing in the middle of a scorched desert – nothing for miles but sand and dunes and more sand and dunes.
What is a trip to Dubai without a venture into its natural habitat: the desert? Unsurprisingly, there are countless companies offering desert tours and a myriad of ways you can experience the mars-esque landscape. From four-wheel-drive safaris, to sand-boarding escapades, to romantic dinners under the stars.
Experience snow in scorching temperatures
How about skiing whilst the temperature beats at a searing 40 degrees outside? Almost any absurd thing you would wish to do, you can do in Dubai. That includes the indoor Ski Dubai centre, playing golf on a lush green course in the middle of the desert, driving an F1 car, swimming with dolphins and… well, we could go on and on.
Explore the culture
While it may be easy to become bedazzled by the bright lights and flashy interiors of the world-class hotels and restaurants across Dubai, traditional culture is there for those who want to find it.
As well as numerous art galleries and venues to watch live music at, the hidden markets and local gems of the city are where to find the best food and insights into local culture. The Dubai Opera also hosts regular concerts and events; perfect for a romantic evening.
Watch a spot of camel racing
So much about Dubai is bizarre, including the country’s favourite sport: camel racing. If the actual idea of that was not enough, it’s worth mentioning that the camels do not have jockeys astride them, but little robots controlled by someone nearby.
The controllers keep up with the camels on the sprawling race-track by following their progression on four-wheel-drives. We’re not kidding when we say this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, folks.