Dubai knows nothing better than the best. It’s not a city. It’s an idea that hinges on superlatives. With a fanatic structuring, packaging, building and redrawing of the skyline, the city continues to grow capturing the imagination of the world and how.
Its tapering spires grazing the skies, malls that almost sparkle, islands built in whimsical shapes of the world to a leaf, underwater hotel with fish keeping you company while you settle in for a snooze, or penguins born in the desert. Dubai’s spectacular fancy universe where impossible is possible is sometimes formidable.
And extravagance knows no bounds here. Like a seasoned socialite it charms everyone with its glamour and flamboyance. And plays a perfect host too. No wonder there is a plenitude of Dubai packages curated for different tastes offering the best of Dubai
Here is a definitive guide on what all to expect from the Dubai holiday packages doing the rounds on the internet.
Digging up the best Dubai tour packages from the inventory of travel portals takes some time to weigh up the options. Dubai has a way to flummox people. With the world of experiences the emirate throws up, it does get a little difficult to pick the best Dubai tour that fits the bill.
The family fun
Dubai was made to entice the families or so it seems with all its leisure and entertainment hubs. Strike these spots off if you are going to Dubai with kids.
Situated in the Mall of Emirates, Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort with a 85-metre high snow mountain and five slopes. The Snow Park is the area with several rides. The place also allows people to take up lessons on ski or snowboarding in a dedicated ski area.
With snow, comes the creature of snow. At Ski Dubai you can see, touch and even hug Gentoo penguins who gather up for a march typical to their natural habitat in Antarctica. Learn more about the life of these penguins in an interactive session with the trainers.
The largest suspended aquarium in the world, Dubai Aquarium is a family delight. With a gigantic 10-million litre tank, it is home to exotic marine life of over 140 species including sharks and rays.
The moment you enter the 48-metre long tunnel, the world of blue welcomes you with the sea creatures swimming overhead and around you. There are various attractions and activities to indulge in such as snorkelling cage, a glass-bottom boat tour or swimming with sharks.
The largest indoor themed-amusement park is a go-to family entertainment destination sprawling across 1.5 million square feet. The theme park is divided into five zones out of which two belong to Marvel and Cartoon Network. The rest two – IMG Boulevard, Lost Valley have been conceptualised by the IMG Group while the fifth zone – Novo Cinema is a tie-up between the IMG and Novo.
The place has several rides for kids and adults, themed retail stores where you can buy Marvel or Powerpuff Girls merchandise, the Haunted Hotel – not for the faint-hearted, restaurants serving global cuisine and a cinema complex.
The largest themed entertainment and leisure destination in Dubai, this one is spread over 25 million square feet and features over 100 rides and attractions. The park is divided into three theme zones: Legoland Dubai, Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks Dubai.
The last zone, Riverland Dubai is a dining and a retail hub. The parks also house a Polynesian-themed resort called the Lapita Hotel Dubai. There are tons of Indian tourists who make sure to include Dubai Parks in the itinerary while booking Dubai tour packages from Delhi.
Situated next to the flower garden, is the first butterfly garden in Dubai comprising nine domes which can accommodate up to 300 people. Each climate-controlled dome is home to numerous butterflies and is covered with flowers giving out a bright, paradisaical vibe to the place.
The park includes an aromatic garden and peacocks as well. The place breaks the common image of the city known for its skyscrapers and presents Dubai in a fresh light.
You can’t miss Dubai’s blindening glare, the swank and the glamour. Its grandeur is unmatched and unparalleled. Here are the top must-visits for the ultimate sybaritic pleasures.
Synonymous with Dubai city, Burj Khalifa is undoubtedly the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai and holds a place in many bucket lists the world over.
Standing at 2,722 ft, it is the tallest building in the world. Visit the two observatory decks – the one on 125th floor and the second being the 148th floor. A design marvel, Burj Khalifa draws in a horde of tourists from across the world every year. It is symbolic to the Dubai’s spirit of achieving the impossible.
Dine at Atmosphere – the lounge cum restaurant or admire the views from The Lounge – the highest lounge in the world. You can reach the Burj from the ground floor of the Dubai Mall.
The largest mall in Dubai, the mall is located next to the Burj Khalifa and gives a direct access to its top floors. The sheer size and scale of the mall astonishes the visitors. There is no way you can explore the entire mall in a day. For the convenience of the people there are shuttles plying in the mall.
It houses the largest aquarium in the world – the Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Ice Rink, Kidzania, more than 1,200 retail stores including premium luxury brands, Gold Souk, a level for designer shoes, restaurants, cinema complex and more.
Don’t miss the highlight of the mall – the indoor fountain at the centre of the mall.
The five-star luxury hotel themed on the legend of the Atlantis situated on The Palm features underwater suites called the Neptune and Poseidon. Book a stay at the hotel or visit the Aquaventure Waterpark or The Lost Chambers Aquarium. Encounter the sea lions at the Dolphin Bay to other marine creatures at the underwater aquarium or enjoy the water rides at the waterpark or shark safari starting at AED 240.
Sit down for a meal at the finest restaurants at the Atlantis serving Japanese, Italian and Asian fare. Some of the noteworthy names are Nobu, Ronda Locatelli, Hakksan and Ayamna.
One of the most famous landmarks in Dubai – Burj Al Arab finds a mention in the world’s most luxurious hotels. Its iconic helipad featured in several movies made an impact on the global tourist map and drives a number of tourists to see the sheer splendour of the hotel.
Dine at Al Mahara – the underwater aquarium restaurant or admire the sweeping views of the Arabian Gulf from the top of the hotel. From the plush interiors to the terrace pools, nine restaurants including bars, a private beach, to a transfer in a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce – Burj Al Arab doesn’t offer luxury, it redefines it. Live the adventure
The city offers the best to the thrill seekers be it in the skies, water or land. Hold your breath for the adventure awaits you.
Book an experience with Skydive Dubai offering the best of aerial sports in the city. Get a bird’s eye view of the Palm Jumeirah or the Arabian desert while experiencing the rush of the free-fall. The beginners who want to try skydiving needn’t fret as the trainers will instruct you well before you jump out of the plane.
The landing on the ground is as breezy as the fall. The more adventurous souls can explore the options such as solo skydiving, canopy formation, free load and more. Don’t forget to be snapped while you are in the air to take home memories of an adventure. Dune bashing
Choose from the many tour operators offering desert safari packages which includes a ride in a 4×4 over the undulating dunes of sand, a traditional Bedouin-style barbeque, and other Arabic exotica such as the flavoured hookah or the traditional coffee.
Some packages may include belly dancing, camel ride, encounter with a falcon, and more. Try a dune buggy or a quad bike for a better adrenaline rush and a lot of sand in your face. Off-road driving
If desert safari is too commercial for you then opt for the off-road driving in Dubai. Drive on the unpredictable terrain of Dubai ranging from the sands, rugged mountains to dry ravines. Book the tour operator who will arrange the experience in a 4WD with a trained driver.
You can also choose to drive yourself after taking a short course on desert driving.
Take the route from Nazwa Road to Pink Rocks known for the spectacular sights. An hour-drive from Dubai lies Hatta with rugged mountains and a landscape made of dry valleys or wadis. Climb the rocky ridges of the Hatta or cover the stretch with a mountain bike available for hire.
The beginners who want to try scuba diving in Dubai can book themselves an experience at Dubai Jumeirah. The first-timers or scuba enthusiasts can both book a session here and also get themselves clicked underwater.
The session takes about 2 hours including demonstration. You will get the diving gear and equipment except the diving suit which you can rent for AED50. Smell the spice
Get a glimpse of the traditional Dubai in Bur Dubai by exploring the old-world charm of its souks.
Hit the Deira Spice Souk situated in Deira holding the secrets of Dubai’s past and traditions. Get lost in the whiff emanating from a heady mix of sundry spices and attars. Think of a spice and it is available at the souk making it a popular tourist attraction. Buy the most premium quality saffron for biryani or dates typical to the region, pashmina or other artefacts.
Take an abra from Bur Dubai to reach here and amble along the alleys of the bazaar adorned with lanterns and wooden arches. Textile souk
Situated in the neighbourhood of Bur Dubai, the textile bazaar is full of shops displaying rolls of fabrics and dress material such as silk, palm frond weaves, linen, Egyptian cotton, and even sari weaves. The stretch also houses tailor shops if you want something stitched. You can also buy the traditional Emirati attire, abaya and kandoura.
The beachside story
Dubai is not all desert. It can get as blue as an island in Oceania. Hit the beaches in Dubai and soak up some sun, get some sand in your hair and a splash of the sea.
The beach is a hit with families and you can indulge in activities like paddle-boarding or kayaking. If water sports is not your thing then try your hand at beach volleyball, skatepark or more. There is a kid-friendly area too at the beach. Head for a meal at the several cafes lined up at the beach.
Spend a day at the beach and explore all its offerings from cafes to boutiques. Indulge in wakeboarding, kayaking or fly boarding while kids can get busy at the outdoor trampoline park. The shower cabins with a blast of colours on the walls brighten up the day.
Also called Umm Suqeim, this one is a public beach. Come here to capture the early or the late sun with the iconic Burj Al Arab in the backdrop. Nearby the beach is the Surf House Dubai for those who want to indulge in surfing. The beach is situated near the Jumeirah Hotel and you can surf, sail, swim, paddle and more.
You will find all the facilities here from the changing rooms, shower rooms, parking and more.
The best time to visit Dubai is from October to March when it is pleasant with average temperature of 28 degree Celsius. The days are balmy while the evenings are breezy with occasional spells of rain.
Keep a light jacket handy in case it gets too windy. These are also the peak months so expect the tourist rush. The months of December to February witness a footfall of visitors due to the Dubai Shopping Festival. Since it is the high season, the hotels in Dubai also tend to fill up fast as the crowd thickens.
Dubai experiences year-round sun, typical of a desert. Avoid the months from June to August when the heat gets unbearable and it becomes difficult to step out let alone sightsee. September is considerably better to plan a Dubai trip so is the first half of April. Brace up for the sporadic sandstorm or haboob during April or May that covers the city in a sepia haze. Getting around
Dubai Metro is an advanced, driverless system and the best mode of travel in the city. Buy a Nol card to pay for the ride which can be used for the trams and buses as well. Opt for the Dubai Tram which connects centres like Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeirah and more. The tram also links to the Palm monorail.
Call at +97142080808 for a Dubai taxi at any time of the day. The prices are reasonable but vary with the rush hour. App-based cabs like Uber or Careem can also be booked or opt for a pay-as-you-go car rental with apps like eKar or UDrive. Go for a car hire if you feel like sitting behind the steering wheel or get driven in a luxury car by renting Bugatti or Bentley.
With air conditioned shelters and around 1,500 buses zipping across the city travelling in Dubai by a bus is a great option for tourists. You can also book the hop-on hop-off bus and strike off the key landmarks in the city. Get a Nol smart card to pay for the bus ride which can also be used for the metro travel.
Get aboard the Dubai Ferry with tour prices starting at AED15 departing from different points at regular intervals. Hop on a traditional abra to take a ride down the memory lane through Dubai Creek. Book yourself a Dhow cruise and enjoy dinner while admiring the skyline. The ones who want to sail in style can book a yacht online.
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