A Five Minute Guide to Dubai: The Magical City In The Desert

Located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dubai has positioned itself as one of the most interesting places in the world to vacation. You’ll enjoy superb hotel suites and delightful cuisine.

Although the city is only 25 miles across and you can easily rent a car or get a taxi to travel its breadth and width, you will need a long stay if you hope to take in all its attractions.

Here’s my five minute guide to Dubai.


Although Dubai offers a variety of recreational sports, it’s world-famous known for two in particular: golfing and indoor skiing.

  1. Dubai golfing: Explore the golfscape Dubai golf courses booking options well-ahead of time is recommended.If you love to golf, then you’ll be delighted to learn that Dubai has world-class golf courses. However, it’s always a good idea to book ahead, especially if you want a chance to play on some of the most beautiful courses in the world. For instance, the Emirates Golf Club on the Majlis Course is often considered the crown jewel of Dubai’s golf courses. This is a huge endorsement by some of the top golfers and golf magazines because many of the city’s other golf courses are fierce competitors.
  2. Indoor skiing: You may hear a few chuckles when you go home and tell your friends that you went skiing in the desert, and you may have to share your vacation pictures of people snowboarding, skiing, and tobogganing on the snowy mountain slope in the Mall of the Emirates to prove that you’re not fibbing. Incidentally, if they quip about ice skating, share your videos of gracefully skating in the ice rink at the Dubai Mall.


Towering above the city, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. It’s 2,717 feet high and has 164 floors. While you can’t exactly go all the way to the top, the 134th-floor observation deck will allow you to see the whole city. Since this is a popular venue for visitors to Dubai, you should book your ticket online rather than hoping to buy it at the door.

A water show at the Dubai Fountains consists of massive water jets artfully choreographed to dance in tune with the broadcasted songs by megastars like the late Whitney Houston. Many visitors consider it to be more colorful and grander than the world-renowned Bellagio Fountains in Las Vegas.

If you travel with young children, then take them to the Dubai Mall, where they can role play at KidZania, pretend to fly an Emirates A380 aircraft in a large simulator, and gasp at the sight of Dubai Dino, a real 155 million-year-old dinosaur fossil, a Diplodocus longus dinosaur. Your kids will also love the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.

London is famous for Hyde Park, San Diego for Balboa Park, and Dubai for Zabeel Park… which is big enough to accommodate an IMAX theater, sporting grounds, and a capacious manicured garden.

Some interesting places to visit outside the city are Hatta, a rock pool, and Wadi Wurrayah, a waterfall. Although beautiful in their own right, getting there is half the fun. One option is to rent a four-wheeler, another is to take a camel ride. Tip: the camel ride may be more fun because the tour company arranges belly dancers to entertain you as you sample the traditional Arabian cuisine.


Many enterprising restaurateurs from all over the world have made Dubai their home. Consequently, you can find a wide diversity of ethnic dishes from Indian to Italian and from Middle Eastern to Malaysian. In fact, Global Village features as many as 22 international cuisines.


What can you expect when you shop at Dubai Mall, the largest mall on earth? The top brands, the finest restaurants, and the most stunning overall mall ambiance. If you can’t find what you’re looking for at the Dubai Mall, chances are it hasn’t been invented yet.

Souks are traditional marketplaces, and each specializes in a specific type of product. The Gold Souk, for instance, specializes in gold jewelry. Other souks sell spices, perfumes, textiles, and so on. Each souk offers some of the best commodity of its kind available anywhere. For instance, it will be hard to find exotic spices superior to those sold in the Spice Souk.

In brief, when thinking of a getaway vacation, plan on a luxury fix. Consider an exotic location that will blow you away–like Dubai.

Featured image by Michael Theis used with Creative Commons license