Dubai City Guide
Fueled by the global demand for oil, the coastal city of Dubai rises from the desert of the United Arab Emirates, embracing modern landmarks such as soaring skyscraper Burj Khalifa
and the man-made island, Palm Jumeirah
, while retaining its Bedouin heritage.
From the souks in Deira, hugging Dubai Creek, to bustling business hotels, Dubai skillfully juggles multiple identities. For the visitor it’s a hedonistic experience, combining sun, sand and sea with extravagant shopping malls and a wealth of entertainment.
Dubai City Layout
Dubai Creek runs east through the city from Port Rashid. Bustling, business-oriented Deira lies on the river’s northern bank, while on the south bank, quieter Bur Dubai is home to the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood.
Choose a Dubai hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road and follow it 40 km through the city’s spectacular modern towers to Abu Dhabi. Along this road is the DIFC financial district, with its restaurants, shops and art galleries, and the bustling waterways, restaurants and bars of the Dubai Marina
Shopping in Dubai
Dubai takes shopping to a new level. Boasting more than 1,000 shops and services, Dubai Mall
is also home to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
, and you can admire daily water shows outside at Dubai Fountain
. If you’d rather combine shopping with skiing, Mall of the Emirates
is home to Ski Dubai
, an eye-popping indoor resort.
If you’re staying in a luxury hotel in Dubai Festival City, cross Dubai Creek by water taxi to haggle for spices and household goods in the souks of Old Dubai. You can explore tiny artisan shops at the Gold Souk
, or pick up colourful local fabrics in the Textile Souk
Eating Out in Dubai
Whether you’ve chosen a luxury hotel in Dubai Festival City using your IHG® Rewards Club points, or a family-friendly option downtown, you’re close to tempting restaurants and cafes.
You can sample local favourites such as Shawarma, the classic Arabic fast-food sandwich, at food trucks around the city, and at The Beach
, the strip of restaurants and shops bordering the sea side of Dubai Marina.
Culture & Nightlife
In Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue
is an art lover's oasis in an industrial area, with numerous small galleries, arty restaurants, a theatre
and cool shops. Dubai Opera
opened Downtown in 2016, providing a busy programme of top-notch opera, ballet and classical music.
At Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum
in the Shindagha Heritage District, cutting-edge technology tells the story of a remote 3,000-year-old desert site for metalworking. Or walk through the Bur Dubai neighbourhood to Dubai Museum
. It’s part of the city’s oldest building, Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1787, and exhibits range from the story of water to local folklore.
With many theme and water parks, Dubai offers endless family-friendly activities. IMG Worlds of Adventure
delivers high-octane fun in four adventure zones. There’s indoor skydiving at iFly Dubai
. If you’re not afraid of heights, the 125th-floor observation deck at Burj Khalifa offers a 360-degree view of the Arabian Gulf.
If your Dubai hotel doesn’t have its own beach, there are excellent public beaches. Kite Beach has white sand and safe waters. For a calmer vibe, Jumeirah Beach Park
pairs a lovely beach with lush green gardens.