Dubai is sci-fi city of iconic skyscrapers, palm-shaped islands, football ground-sized malls, indoor ice skating rinks and beautiful beach resorts. With all the record breaker – from having the tallest building in the world to the most expensive hotel – Begin your Dubai experience with a full dose of glitter and glamour.
Since my sister is studying in Dubai, it was time for me to plan a trip. After all, nothing can be more special than exploring this beautiful city with your sibling 🙂
In this post you will find a lot of spots/places which are not so touristy but yet one of the best places to visit when in Dubai. You will also find all the information related to how to get UAE Visa on Arrival and some top restaurants to visit in UAE below.
During my 10 days stay in Dubai, along with my office work and my sister’s college we explored in slow-pace and covered most of must-do offbeat places in Dubai.
Here are some of my favorite places/spots in Dubai:
1. Explore Dubai Mall
I wouldn’t normally recommend visiting malls or shopping as a valid tourist activity but The Dubai Mall is an attraction in itself – it is bigger than 50 football pitches! Apart from the 1,200 shops, ranging from designer stores to souk-style villages, there’s also an Aquarium, an ice skating rink and a cinema. Grab lunch at a fountain-side restaurant and don’t miss the Waterfall.
2. Top of Burj Khalifa
You can’t go on a Dubai Holiday without getting to the top of the world’s tallest building. Although there’s no bad time to visit the top of the Burj Khalifa, it’s extra special around twilight when you can watch the city transform into a glittering jewel.
3. The wing frame
You cannot miss it, and while there are many great rooftop bars with great views of Burj Khalifa, you can also take nice shots from Burj Plaza, the Frame, or just while standing in front of it (next to the Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall).
For more unique views, just head to one of the cafes or restaurants listed below to see Burj Khalifa in its full, astonishing glory.
4. Burj Al Arab – Kite Beach
If you have been looking for Dubai photo locations, you have probably seen the pics of a beach with Burj al Arab in the background. And one cannot leave the country without visiting this oldest treasure. One can spend a beautiful evening just by sitting along the beach or by even taking few dips in the water!
You can also visit Beach Lounge Cafe in Jumeriah Hotel, which is right next to Kite beach. From here you will get a different perspective of Burj-Al-Arab and you can enjoy the best sunset views along with few drinks and Sheesha.
5. Spend 1 day in Atlantis Hotel – Palm Jumeriah
Atlantis is one of the most iconic hotels in Dubai. The unique shape has made this place one of the best for taking pictures. Whether you take images from above (via a relic flight), from a boat (e.g. a Palm Boat Cruise), or visit it by stopping by cafes (like Nassima), or beach area, this hotel is amazing for that perfect picture. You can book a boat tour and get to take pictures of the Atlantis from the distance – or book a night (or even day ticket to the beach) at this luxury hotel.
6. Visit Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
If you find yourself in the United Arab Emirates then a visit to Abu Dhabi’s Grand Mosque – Sheikh Zayed is a must because it’s certainly the Grandest Mosque I’ve ever seen. Unlike many tourist attractions, it’s completely free to enter here so do not miss this beautiful mosque when you are in UAE!
Opening times are 9:00am-22:00 Saturday-Thursday and 16:30-22:00 on Fridays. As with many touristy destinations it is worth visiting this place during the week to avoid crowds.
also, as this is a Holy Muslim site you need to cover up and wear appropriate dress to enter. They do however provide women with a Abaya free of charge.
7. Louvre Museum
The iconic Louvre Abu Dhabi is the first universal museum in the Arab World that translates the spirit of openness of cultures.
The artichect designed this place keeping in mind the integral cultural elements or UAE. He was inspired by ancient Arabian engineering and the spectacular lace dome borrows inspiration from the interlaced palm leaves traditionally used as roofing material in many parts of the country that results in an enchanting play of light.
The contrast of different civilizations in the same space, the Louvre Abu Dhabi illustrates similarities and exchanges from the shared human experience going beyond geography, nationality, and history.
Ticket: Regular tickets cost 60 AED and 30 AED for the ages between 13 and 22
8. Go Clubbing in Dubai
Clubs are open from 10:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. with prime time around 1:00 a.m. Be sure to dress to impress. Some bouncers can be selective and only the chicest heels and dresses will get you in. Some of the best clubs in Dubai are WHITE, INKA, etc
9. La Mer
If you like to take outdoor pictures that have some nature and city life in them, then head to La Mer. This area is newly created and recently opened, and it is one of the hotspots of 2018.
It is perfect if you just want to escape the craziness of Dubai Downtown (while still having a cool view on Burj Khalifa and the Dubai skyline), enjoy some beach time and water sports, go shopping, have a nice lunch/dinner.
10. The Global Village
Global Village is the first family destination for culture, entertainment and shopping in UAE. It is a unique and integrated destination to enjoy the world’s finest shopping, dining and entertainment experiences and offers guests a wide range of events, shows and activities that are the largest and most varied.
It highlights the best of culture from different countries of the world in a lively festival and takes guests on a journey through a group of pavilions, each representing the richness and culture of a different country. It offers unique international cuisine and awe-inspiring entertainment experiences across a wide range of entertaining games and interesting tours.
All its exceptional experiences can be enjoyed by purchasing a ticket worth only AED 15. The Global Village operating season starts in November each year and runs until April the following year.
Must visit Restaurants in Dubai:
1. Brunch at Bebabel
Speaking about brunch, Dubai is quickly earning itself a reputation for world-class food, dishes and award-winning restaurants.
Bebabel is a “modern, chic, innovative concept” and the interiors look swanky too, with seating both inside and on the terrace, which boasts views of the Burj Khalifa and serves shisha. Originating from the award-winning Lebanese brand ‘Babel’, casual café concept, Bebabel has now opened at The Dubai Mall.
3. Dinner at Awani
Awani is a contemporary oriental restauran serving fusion Laventine food with a creative culinary twist – inspired by Arabian hospitality. It gets even better at night, when there is a laser show or the building is illuminated, it gets even more photogenic.
4. P.F.Changs, La Mer
P.F. Chang’s is an American restaurant chain founded in Scottsdale, Arizona in 1993 by Paul Fleming. The restaurant serves an American Chinese cuisine from a menu originally conceived and planned by Chef Philip Chiang. P. F. Chang’s is the namesake of Paul Fleming (P. F.) and Philip Chiang.
P.F. Chang’s is committed to provide us you with an exceptional dining experience. Each dish on the menu wa s prepared using the freshest and highest quality ingredients.
The “Dynamite Prawns” are a must-try here.
5. Smoky beach, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR):
Located right in front of the beach JBR, this place offers great cocktails, quick food and a fantastic range of sheeshas which makes it a perfect place to hang out with family or friends.
How to get UAE Visa on Arrival:
Before you apply for a visa or an entry permit, check if you are eligible for a visa-free entry or to receive visa on arrival or you need eVisa prior to travel or an entry permit pre-arranged by a sponsor based in the UAE. Passport holder of few country or territory need no advance visa arrangements to visit the UAE.
Also, As of 1 May 2017, Indian nationals holding a normal passport valid for a minimum of six months from the arrival date, and a visit visa or green card issued by the USA which is valid for a minimum of six months, or a valid Residence Permit from any Schengen Country, can obtain a visa on arrival for a maximum stay of 14 days for a charge of AED 120 (subject to change). You can visit “Marhaba” counters at the airport near immigration area and they will help in issuing Visa on Arrival.
For those who require a prearranged UAE visa can now apply and pay for their visas online.If you are travelling to or stopping over in Dubai with Emirates Airlines, you can submit an application and receive your UAE visa entirely online – without having to submit your passport for stamping.
So to conclude, I think me and my sister had a best time together after a very long time. And we hope this post will help you to plan your trip to UAE soon.
For any questions/information regarding out trip or itinirary do comment below and we will get back to you at the earliest.