Dubai City Guide
Dubai, the largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was originally a fishing and trading settlement on Dubai Creek. Today, the Persian Gulf city has spread more than 50km along the coastline, balancing a its Bedouin heritage with an audacious approach to the 21st century.
Visit Dubai to explore everything from the artificial island, Palm Jumeirah
, to Arabian Gulf beaches
, theme parks, futuristic shopping malls
, and ancient souks selling spices, textiles and gold.
Dubai City Layout and Attractions
Bur Dubai, the oldest part of Dubai, sits on the south bank of Dubai Creek, is a historic district with the traditional shopping souks. The financial district around Deira, on the north bank, is home to the best business accommodation in Dubai.
Sheikh Zayed Road runs for 40 kilometres along the coast to Abu Dhabi. Here, you’ll find the DIFC financial district, restaurants, shops, art galleries and bars in the Downtown area and the Dubai Marina
Downtown, you can step out on the 125th-floor observation deck at the iconic Burj Khalifa
for a 360-degree view of the city and the Arabian Gulf.
It’s impossible not to eat well as a visitor, whether you choose fine dining at a luxury hotel in Dubai, or local treats at the city’s food trucks, shwarma stands and curry houses.
The best way to sample Dubai’s ethnic eats is to take an off-the-beaten-path foodie tour of the backstreets with Frying Pan Adventures
. Every February and March, the city-wide Dubai Food Festival
takes place at dozens of outdoor events and restaurants across town.
Culture & Nightlife
Dubai enjoys a glamorous nightlife scene, from authentic Irish pubs to glitzy nightclubs. Alserkal Avenue
, the region’s arts hub, provides a backdrop for galleries, artists’ studios and performances.
A visit to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
(Bastakiya) in Bur Dubai offers a glimpse of history as you wander its winding alleyways and peek into courtyards. Dubai Museum
is housed in the city’s oldest building, Al Fahidi Fort, and has exhibits on the city’s history, local life, pearl diving, and fishing.
Shopping in Dubai
Shopping in Dubai is reason enough to visit, and often combines retail therapy with family fun.
Mall of the Emirates
is home to Ski Dubai
, where kids can meet penguins or attend ski school while you shop. At Dubai Mall
you’ll find Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
, with crocodiles, sharks, and the chance to explore underwater on a miniature submarine.
The best places to shop in Dubai for traditional gifts are the old-style souks. If you’ve taken advantage of IHG® Rewards Club member benefits for exclusive rates for your Dubai accommodation, turn your savings into a memory by visiting the Gold Souk
, where you can buy jewelry directly from the artisan who made it.
As a coastal city, beaches and water are plentiful in Dubai. Kite Beach
offers trampolines, an adventure gym and play areas for children.
Numerous exciting theme parks include the huge, indoor IMG Worlds of Adventure
, and Legoland Dubai, with 6 themed lands and more than 40 rides for kids.
For more grown-up thrills, whizz down the slides at Aquaventure
, or try out jetskis and flyboards at SeaRide Dubai.