Dream Vacation: Dubai, an urbanized city of intriguing culture

Most people have a dream vacation destination. Maybe your desktop background is of a tropical beach in the Bahamas, or you have a Pinterest board full of tips for touring Europe. If you love to travel, our “Dream Vacations” series will help you pick the perfect location for your next trip (if you can convince your parents to take you).

Located on the Persian Gulf, Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates. With a tasty variety of food and beautiful attractions, Dubai has something for everyone.

Must Sees/Must Dos
Burj Khalifa
Towering over 2,700 feet, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. You can buy tickets to go to the top. On floors 124 and 125, you can pose in front of a green screen to take pictures and buy souvenirs. The highest floor open to the public is floor 148, with a glass balcony that allows you to see the whole city. When you come back down, you can also enjoy the dancing fountains. I think the best time to go is in the evening because you can see the beautiful city completely lit up. It will also be cooler when you watch the fountain show afterwards.

The Palm
The Palm is a manmade island that stretches out into the Persian Gulf. On the island is Atlantis, one of the most expensive resorts in the world. You can also enjoy the beach and get a nice view of the city’s skyline. I recommend taking pictures here because of the beautiful scenery.

Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is one of the biggest malls in the world, with plenty of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options. One of the most famous attractions of the mall is the indoor aquarium. With tickets, you can also take a ‘backstage’ tour to see where they feed and breed sharks. The aquarium itself is three floors and has a variety of sea creatures including penguins, sharks, jellyfish, dolphins, and more. The mall also has an indoor ice rink, which is almost always crowded. I recommend grabbing a map when you get there so you don’t waste time looking for your destinations.

Food
The food in Dubai is usually spicy, giving it a little kick. I personally enjoy spicy food, so in my opinion the cuisine is delicious. Most of the food in Dubai includes meat, making it a meat lovers’ paradise. Common dishes include shawarmas and kebabs, which can be found at local stands and shops.

Shawarmas are typically prepared in wraps and the main ingredients include chicken or meat with chopped vegetables, all wrapped in pita or other bread. Kebabs are grilled skewers of meat and vegetables cooked with various spices and seasonings. Delicious sides, such as hummus, olives, and salads are usually paired with them to complete the meal. These dishes are not only popular in Dubai, but actually enjoyed all over the Middle East

Traveling tips
Before arriving in Dubai, make sure to convert some of your money to dirhams. While this can be done at the airport, it may be less expensive to get it done beforehand. This will give you the chance to have money to buy basic necessities, such as food and transportation, when you first get there rather than having to wait for conversions to be made.

Before you pack, check the weather; it is typically warm and humid year round. With this in mind, be sure to pack accordingly, bringing water bottles, hats, sunglasses, and so on. Despite warm weather, it is still a good a idea to pack a light jacket or sweater in case it gets cooler at night. To avoid the heat, go shopping in the evenings rather than the mornings because the sun isn’t out.

Do some research while planning your trip. Take advantage of the public transportation the city provides because it is much cheaper and faster than taking a taxi. Also be sure to book tickets for attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa, before you go. I recommend getting the city pass because you have the opportunity to visit many attractions for a lower cost.

I would recommend spending three to four days in Dubai to make the most of the experience. With its various must-see attractions and intriguing culture, it’s important to dedicate enough time to each of the activities to appreciate all the city has to offer.

Things to consider
Still not sure if Dubai is the right place for you? Consider the following to help you decide:
-Do you prefer to sightsee on vacation? Dubai has many attractions that are world famous, including the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall.
-Do you mind walking? A lot of Dubai attractions, such as the Dubai mall, include a lot of walking and sometimes, even running.
-Do you like trying new kinds of food? Dubai has a lot of different options for food that are both exotic and delicious.

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