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Famed for its futuristic visions and record-breaking architecture, Dubai has set the bar high. From its towering skyline to its unbelievable coastline, this Middle Eastern hub is a city of superlatives that spares no opportunity to shine out.
Discover Dubai’s extended shoreline with its luxurious villas and resorts, or explore the desert at your doorstep. Blending old charm and innovative glamour, the dazzling city offers travelers an alluring mix of opulence and tradition. One would be hard-pressed to find a destination that simultaneously has you stepping back in time and looking towards the future.
With its distinctive and rapidly-growing skyline, Dubai is a real treat for architecture lovers. Perhaps one of Dubai’s biggest claims to fame is its man-made archipelago of islands, from the famous Palm Jumeirah, shaped like a palm tree, to unfinished World development. The best way to appreciate these engineering wonders? Skydiving, of course.
While in Dubai, make sure to explore the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, otherwise known as the tallest structure in the world, which pierces the clouds at an impressive 828 meters. Journey up to its viewing deck to experience a panoramic view unlike any other. As you peek down towards the city’s landmarks and far out towards the desert, you're bound to get an adrenaline rush.
A visit to Dubai‘s iconic Burj Al Arab is also a must. Built on a man-made island and designed in the shape of a billowing dhow sail, the building won’t fail to impress with its spectacular atrium, lavish underwater restaurant, and vertiginous helipad-turned-tennis court. Make your way up to the extravagant Skyview Bar on the 27th floor for afternoon tea and unrivaled views of the Palm Jumeirah and The World islands.
Spending the day at Dubai Marina? You’ll be perfectly poised to appreciate the sheer grandeur of the Cayan Tower, a 73-story structure that is anything but ordinary. Indeed, the spiraled skyscraper features a 90-degree twist, inspired by the transitional sands of the desert.
Dubai has no shortage of prime shopping opportunities. From luxury brands to artisanal hand-made goods, the city is brimming with invitations to stock up on treasures and souvenirs.
Escape the soaring temperatures with a visit to one of the city’s grandiose shopping centers. More akin to a covered city, Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest and most visited malls. While you’re there, don’t miss a chance to marvel at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, which features one of the biggest suspended tanks in the world. Alternatively, go for a spin at the mall’s Olympic-size ice rink, and end the day with a breathtaking show of sights and sounds at the Dubai Fountain.
And if you ever find yourself missing the thrill of speeding down freshly prepared slopes, fret not — you can drop by the city’s renowned indoor ski resort for a day of skiing, snowboarding or tobogganing! As cold as a winter destination, you can even spot penguins and bounce down a mini-slope in a gigantic bubble ball. How’s that for unbelievable?
For a more traditional experience, Dubai is home to many lively markets, also called souks. The Deira Souk should be your first stop if you’re hunting for gold jewelry. The Grand Souk, also in Deira, is packed with burlap sacks overflowing with colorful spices, luxurious textiles, and delicious local treats. For a mix of it all, visit the Old Souk, a traditional Arabian marketplace where vendors sell everything from shoes, to novelty items, to freshly made fare. And above all, make sure to barter! The practice is part of Dubai’s culture, and vendors usually expect a friendly negotiation.
A charming aspect of Dubai is the opportunity to blend the new with the old. The morning can be spent reveling in the futuristic city designs, while the afternoon can have you strolling through an ancient Arabian district. As a matter of fact, a visit to the city wouldn’t be complete without a step back in time.
The historical neighborhood of Al Fahidi, also known as the Bastakiya quarter, is where you will be able to walk the streets of old Dubai. Once inhabited by wealthy merchants, the area is a maze of small winding alleys now populated by varying craft shops, courtyard cafés, and art galleries.
Looking to dive further into Dubai’s history? Wander around the charming Al Shindagha neighborhood, where Dubai’s ruling family lived between 1912 and 1958. Located on the shores of the historic Dubai Creek, which was the primary path for all trade, the area is home to traditional wind towers, coral stone houses, and sites such as the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House, and the Heritage and Diving Village.
The question of what to wear in Dubai, especially for women, is one that often gets asked. While the city is cosmopolitan in many ways, travelers are expected to dress in a manner that respects the Islamic culture. It is best for women to cover their legs and shoulders, and avoid showing any midriff or wearing low-cut shirts. A few long, lightweight skirts, along with tee-shirts and button shirts are your best bets. When entering mosques, take note that women must cover their hair, so keep a shawl handy when wandering the streets.
Fitting in with Dubai’s lavish cityscape, Luxury Retreats’ vacation rentals in Dubai are nothing short of spectacular. Come home to a haven of peace and tranquility in your luxury apartment in Dubai after a busy day exploring the city.
Many of our luxury villas can be found on this palm-shaped island. Lined with secluded shores, Palm Jumeirah’s houses offer privacy, tranquility, and exclusivity.
The Royal Residences at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray offer all of the above, along with coveted access to unbeatable resort amenities and a private beach. Tastefully decorated with modern touches and Arabian flair, each property is appointed a private butler.
Looking to linger on the sands of Palm Jumeirah’s fronds? Our Nasma Holiday Stays are just the spot for you and your guests. Each one of these exquisite properties lies along the narrow turquoise shores of the island, with a private pool overlooking the view.
For travelers who want to be right in the heart of the action, staying in on the marina is an excellent choice. Wake up to spectacular views of the city at one our Dubai Marina apartments, and enjoy a morning swim in the pool to prepare for the day ahead.
For a high-end stay unlike any other, treat yourself to the comforts of a downtown pied-à-terre. The floor-to-ceiling windows allow you to spot Palm Jumeirah and the Arabian Sea from your wrap-around balcony. With ample space for large parties, you’ll have all the lavish amenities needed to create an unforgettable holiday experience.