A city of contrasts, Dubai unfolds like a tale of two worlds. While the skyline dazzles with skyscrapers defying imagination, modern stores and eateries cater to every traveler’s desire—and luxurious hotels await even the most discerning guests—the desert still whispers with its rolling sand hills imprinted by Arabian gazelles, the souks beckon with labyrinth of spices, and traditional abra boats glides through Dubai Creek.
This unique Middle Eastern city offers something for every pocket and preference, from budget travel to extravagant experiences. Here are the best selections for you.
Best Hotels & Resorts
Nestled within the iconic Burj Khalifa, Armani Hotel Dubai occupies several floors of the world’s tallest tower. Designed by Giorgio Armani, the rooms boast soothing colors and sophisticated decor. As iconic as the Burj Khalifa, the Burj Al Arab stands as a luxurious sail-shaped edifice.
Colorful rooms with Hermes amenities, butler service, and a private beach redefine opulence here. Amidst rolling sand dunes, Al Maha offers an escape with individual suites and private pools overlooking the pristine desert. Once a cruise ship, the unique Queen Elizabeth two offers refurbished rooms, restaurants, a spa, and a theater. Not bad!
Best Shopping Spots
Holding the record for the world’s largest shopping center, the Dubai Mall boasts 1,200 retail outlets, two major department stores, an aquarium, and an Olympic-sized ice rink. With over 630 brands and an indoor ski slope, the Mall of the Emirates offers a diverse shopping experience, to say the least!
Stretching along the beachfront, The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence features international designers and pop-up markets. Embracing Middle Eastern tradition, Dubai’s souks present a different facet of the city. The Textile Souk in Bur Dubai and the Gold Souk across Dubai Creek offer an array of treasures, encouraging the art of haggling between buyers and sellers.
A blend of museum and eatery, Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant in Old Dubai offers Michelin’s Bib Gourmand-designated food. The covered dining courtyard, live music, and traditional attire create a unique Middle Eastern experience. Renowned for its Syrian fare, Al Farooj Al Shami serves grilled meats, flavorful sauces, and a tempting array of hot appetizers.
Transporting visitors to a bohemian ambiance, Comptoir 102 offers organic delights like avocado crostini and gluten-free pancakes. The attached concept store complements the cafe’s trendy vibe. Dining at Al Hadheerah at Bab Al Shams is an immersive experience in the desert. With live cooking stations, classic dishes, and a stunning setting, it’s a journey into the world of Arabian flavors. Enjoy!