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Things to Do in Dubai for a Decadent Desert Getaway

Dubai, with its stunning modern architecture, mega-malls and man-made islands, is one of the most opulent and lavish places on the planet. While the city - one of the seven emirates, along with Abu Dhabi, which includes the United Arab Emirates - flaunts its riches, you can also go to the beach, take a desert safari, and shop in the traditional souks. Here are the must-see things in Dubai.

Take selfies atop the tallest building in the world

For a bird's eye view of Dubai, visit the observation deck atop the Burj Al Arab, the tallest building in the world, with its 160 floors. You might remember Tom Cruise hanging from the top of this 2,700-meter-high skyscraper in the Mission: Impossible - Ghost protocol, but you'll have the chance to view the sites from the comfort of a glass bridge open air.

Things to Do in Dubai

See the Dubai fountain

If you are a fan of the Bellagio dancing fountains in Vegas, you will love the Dubai Fountain. Located on the 10-hectare man-made Burj Khalifa Lake, this free attraction features powerful illuminated water jets choreographed to songs like Andrea Bocelli and Andrea Bocelli's “Time to Say Goodbye”.

Shop in a mega mall

In the huge Dubai Mall you will not only find designer boutiques such as Gucci, Ralph Lauren and Chanel, but also dozens of restaurants (including a Shake Shack and an Eataly), an ice rink, an aquarium with a huge pedestrian tunnel. filled with fish and a 22-screen cinema.

Visit the Etihad Museum

You'll definitely want to snap a few photos of the eye-catching futuristic facade of the Etihad Museum before heading inside. The museum, which opened last year, traces the history of the United Arab Emirates, which did not come together until 1971, following the discovery of oil in the 1950s.

Things to Do in Dubai

Go out into the desert

Sign up for a desert safari, where you can ride a camel, sand board, take selfies on the dunes, and enjoy a traditional Bedouin-style meal as the sun sets. Another option is to spend a night or two at the luxurious Al Maha eco-resort, set in a stunning desert landscape.

Take a tour of the Burj Al Arab

Often considered "the most luxurious hotel in the world", the Burj Al Arab is a matter of decadence. It is closed to non-guests, but you can get there if you dine in one of the restaurants. Have a chic afternoon tea at Sky View Bar or dine on seafood by an aquarium at Nathan Outlaw, Al Mahara.

Explore Dubai's famous souks

Shop in the souks - traditional Arab markets - including the Gold Souk, which features glittering displays of 24-karat necklaces, rings and bracelets. The Spice Souk is filled with mountains of colorful spices, and the nearby Textile Souk sells silk, patterned fabrics, and souvenirs.

Things to Do in Dubai

Have a drink - really!

Although the UAE is a Muslim country, visitors can drink alcohol, which is limited to restaurants, bars and nightclubs. The Siddhartha Lounge and 40 Kong are rooftop hotspots, while the Jetty Lounge sits on the sand and McGettigan's Irish pub is always a good time.

Things to Do in Dubai

Hit the beach

Wide and sandy, the kite and surfing beach is one of the most popular areas of the city, especially for expats. It's known for kitesurfing, and there's also stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, and beach volleyball. When you need a snack, join the line of burgers and fries at the Salt Food Truck.

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