Gain a greater appreciation of Dubai's culture and customs at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). The SMCCU opened in 1998 to help visitors gain a better understanding of the culture and customs of the UAE. The institution invites guests to take part in their full schedule of activities, including a range of Arabic classes, heritage tours, and guided mosque visits.
Exploring the dunes, the wadis (dry river beds) and mountain passes is essential if you want to experience Dubai at its fullest. Your tour operator will pick you up at your hotel and take you off-road in a sturdy 4x4 to power up the sand dunes and slide down the far side, or drive along the narrow, rocky mountain passes or through the wadis. Explore the rocky wadis, head to the Hatta Pools to trek in the mountains or swim, or drive through the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve to hopefully catch a glimpse of a rare oryx or gazelle.
When you visit the Dubai Museum - housed in the Al Fahidi Fort which was built in 1787, the oldest existing building in the city - you'll encounter colourful dioramas and exhibits that depict everyday life in the days before the discovery of oil.
Dubai Safari Park is home to 10,000 animals from around the world, with 350 species of animals, some rare and endangered. The good news is that the Dhs1 billion safari park-zoo will be over 119 hectares (to put that into perspective, the very famous San Diego Zoo is just 40 hectares). Animal-wise, the park is split into a safari village, an Arabian village, an Asian village and an African village. There is also a butterfly park, a botanical garden and educational and veterinary facilities.
There are many waterparks in Dubai, which offer different rides and attractions in each of them. Some of the popular ones are Wadi Adventure, Aquaventure, and Yas Island in Abu Dhabi.
If shopping is your passion, then you're sure to love The Dubai Mall, located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa. Sprawling across 1.1 million square metres, it is the world's largest shopping, entertainment and leisure destination. You can shop at more than 1,200 retail outlets, from Armani to Zara, and visit the Dubai Aquarium.
Have you ever seen water dance? You have the chance every day at The Dubai Fountain located at the base of the Burj Khalifa and next to the Dubai Mall. Featuring the world's largest choreographed fountain system, this popular son-et-lumiere show jets up to 22,000 gallons of water as high as 150 metres in the air at any one time. Each colourful, illuminated jet sways in time to music, producing what has become the most popular show in Dubai. The beam of light shining upward from the fountain can be seen from more than 30 kilometres away.
Dubai Frame is an impressive new project in Zabeel Park, costing approximately Dhs.120 million and opened in 2018. It comprises a 150 metre-high, 93 metre-wide structure resembling a huge picture frame, with a walkway made entirely of glass. Visitors can follow a path depicting the history of Dubai using modern technology, before taking a panoramic elevator up to the top of the frame for spectacular views.
The definitive destination for performing arts in Dubai, bringing arts and music to life like never before. Located at what's billed as 'the most prestigious square kilometre in the world' in Downtown Dubai, Dubai Opera is the radiant centre of culture and arts in Dubai and the shining pearl of The Opera District. Dubai Opera passionately embraces its role as the creative heart of the city, producing and hosting the finest, most authentic, and engaging performing arts experiences from Dubai and the world.
Soaring high at 555 meters, At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY is fittingly Dubai's most iconic destination. You can enjoy exclusive access to the redefined, highest outdoor observatory in the world, spread across levels 148 and 125 of Burj Khalifa. Your journey begins when you step into the At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY lounge, from where you will be personally escorted to a dedicated elevator. Inside, watch in amazement as specially designed projections give you the feeling of flying over global landmarks as you ascend to Level 125.
Dubai is in the process of becoming a real entertainment paradise - thanks to the opening of the Dubai Parks and Resorts. Children will not be able to contain their excitement in the labyrinth of enormous theme parks such as Motiongate™, Bollywood Parks™ and LEGOLAND®, while the adults can relax on Riverland™ Boulevard which is home to restaurants and exciting entertainment programmes. The luxury Polynesian-style hotel, The Lapita™, is situated in the theme park offering guests easy access to the facilities on offer.
Fun, excitement, speed - and even 5D, you can expect all this in the enormous indoor, climate controlled theme park, which is the size of 28 football pitches. With the most up-to-date and exciting rides, IMG World of Adventures will bring your favorite characters to life. There are Cartoon Network themed rides for younger visitors with Ben 10, Gumball, the Powerpuff Girls and LazyTown, while older visitors can delve into the world of Marvel heroes: Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers. You will also come across life-size animated dinosaurs and thrill rides in the Lost Valley. The range of entertainment promises round the clock fun for the whole family, and there are also plenty of restaurants and shops.