Sightseeing in Dubai

In the last few years you’ve probably been hearing more and more about Dubai. The country has made a conscious effort to boost its tourism appeal and become a must see destination for travelers from all over the world. The good news for Dubai is their ploy worked. With such noted sightseeing hotspots as Deira and Jumeirah Beach, a number of souks or Arabic markets, the Dubai Museum, Grand Mosque, Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House, Dubai Creek, and even the upcoming Dubailand drawing in crowds by the thousands Dubai’s tourism future looks more brilliant than ever before.

Palm Islands

The Palm Islands in Dubai are a collection of three of the world’s largest manmade islands and are composed of The Palm Jumeirah, The Palm Jebel Ali, and The Palm Deira. The islands feature luxury hotels, exclusive housing structures, single family homes, shoreline apartments, marinas, water parks, restaurants, shopping destinations, sports arenas, health spas, cinemas and incredible dive locations. Really they provide every convenience a modern created community can provide and then they up the luxury quotient a bit. Each of the islands has a little bit different feel and appeal. Remarkably, from the air you can see that each island (or series of islands) is in the shape of a palm tree topped by a crescent.

Souk/Arabic Markets

As mentioned before, a Souk is an Arabic Market which used to be open booths set up at the docks to handle cargo from foreign cities. Now the souk has gone a little more modern and more closely resembles a shopping mall. But the deals you can get at a souk are just as amazing as they used to be, and you can get bamboozled just as easily too. But a trip to Dubai is just not complete without a visit to the Souk.

Dubai Museum

The Al Fahidi Fort, built around 1787 was renovated in 1971 to serve as home for the Dubai Museum. The museum is one of the things on the island that has been around before the tourism boom and gives tourists a glimpse into what life on in Dubai was like before the discovery of oil. Dioramas let you see what life was like and galleries give you a glimpse into the day to day life of the locals. One of the more interesting aspects of the museum are the artifacts from excavations into graves that date back to the third millennium.

Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque in Dubai is one of the largest mosques in the entire United Arab Emirates and can hold up to 1200 worshippers. The mosque opened in 1900 and originally served as a kuttab or a Quaranic school where children learn the Quran. In 1998 the Grand Mosque was rebuilt to be even more impressive and beautiful.  Although this mosque is a favorite among tourists and a particularly good photo op its interior is closed to non-Muslims.

Jumeirah Mosque

The Jumeriah Mosque is one mosque that allows non-Muslims to enter and in fact tours are arranged through the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding to boost cultural awareness. Schedule your tour prior to your visit to be sure to get in at the time that works best for your schedule. It will no doubt be an enlightening experience.

Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum’s House

Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum was the leader of Dubai from 1921 to 1958 and his home has been turned into a national monument and museum. Built in 1896 the original home had an incredible view of the harbors but as with many of the older structures in Dubai, it was destroyed to make way for a bigger and better structure. The current home was build next to the original and contains restored architectural elements. Inside the home is the Museum of Historical Photographs and Documents of the Emirate of Dubai which a large number of photographs from 1948 to 1953 that are available to the public. For further dissection the documents, maps, treaties, coins and stamps are also available.

Dubai Creek-Lori Greig217Creative Commons License Photo credit: Lori Greig

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek

The Dubai Creek divides the city into two areas, Deira and Bur Dubai. The region around the creek was the first part of the city that was settled and became very popular due to its access and transportation. Many industries grew up on and around the creek further solidifying the region’s importance. The creek has key significance to the city’s development and offers many sightseeing options along the route.

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East, letting locals and tourists experience snow and snow sports year round. Ski Dubai features five runs for skiers and snowboarders, a Snow Park with 3000 square meters of snow, two themed restaurants, a retail shop, Snow School and professionals to help you along the way. And for locals who don’t own winter clothing or travelers who don’t want to lug their parkas along, the resort carries ski clothing and equipment for everyone.

Burj al Arab

The Burj Al Arab Hotel-jonrawlinson631Creative Commons License Photo credit: jonrawlinson

The Burj Al Arab Hotel

Burj al Arab is the most popular hotel in Dubai and one of the most photographed structures in the world. From a distance it actually looks like a billowing sail on a ship as it reaches 321 meters into the sky and is brilliantly illuminated at night to alternate between water and fire images. For visitors to the hotel, you’re in for a real treat as everything is designed to ooze luxury and give you a vacation you’ll never forget and possibly a destination that you’ll never want to leave.

Wild Wadi Water Park-robertpaulyoung764Creative Commons License Photo credit: robertpaulyoung

Wild Wadi Water Park

Wild Wadi Water Park

Wild Wadi Water Park is a themed water park centered around the local tale of Juha the outdoor water park’s highlights include a heated/cooled wave pool, multiple water slides, two artificial surf machines, and the largest waterslide outside of the United States. Fans of the Amazing Race may remember seeing the park in both the American version Amazing Race 5 and the Asian version Amazing Race Asia 1.


Dubailand is a huge entertainment complex that is still under development. The target for completion of the first segment is some time before 2011with three other phases due to be completed before the end of 2020. When done Dubailand will be twice the size of Walt Disney World. Current estimates are for 45 mega projects with 200 subprojects that cover basically the entire realm of attractions.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Joi