Upscale shopping, family fun
and international dining
The mega-malls of Dubai are world-acclaimed, sprawling palaces dedicated to high fashion and bling. For a bona fide Emirati shopping experience, head for the centuries-old Deira Gold Souk, where narrow alleys resound to the clamour of merchants haggling over precious stones. Neighbouring souks offer aromatic spices, hand-embroidered shawls or perfumes based on fragrant Arabian oud.
Jump in an abra boat taxi to explore Dubai Creek and witness the chaos of daily life along the waterway. Peaceful Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood showcases traditional Bedouin wind towers, with its palm-shaded courtyards revealing chic art galleries plus cafes serving mint tea and shisha. The emirate’s distinguished cultural heritage is narrated in the Etihad Museum, and dioramas dedicated to the historic pearl-fishing trade are found in Dubai Museum.
Arabian Gulf beaches are spotless, so take advantage of year-round sun-soaked temperatures to swim in invitingly warm seas. Known for adrenaline-busting rides at its water parks, Dubai is also the home of themed resorts including Bollywood Parks and IMG Worlds of Adventure. And there’s the lure of the desert. Popular family trips include sunset dune bashing, or nightly feasts and belly dancing in Bedouin encampments.
The city’s international dining scene features Michelin-star restaurants, panoramic rooftop bars and beachside juice cafes. Friday’s renowned brunch buffets are long, leisurely affairs, but you can rediscover the real taste of Arabia at simple street stalls selling aromatic falafels, samosas and shawarma in downtown Bur Dubai.