Discovering Dubai in a day

The towering Burj Khalifa – the tallest building in the world.

DUBAI in the United Arab Emirates is known as a city of superlatives.

It’s a deserved reputation.

The city holds the highest building, the biggest enclosed shopping mall and the only seven-star hotel in the world.

Dubai is a city that likes to show-off, offering a multitude of entertainment and places for tourists.

But what if you have only one day to tour all these places?’s Svetlana Malukha presents a few ideas about what to visit in Dubai in one day.

Before you go to Dubai, you should decide exactly what you want to visit, which places you can skip and which are a must for you.

And while you are deciding, I want to share my own experiences in Dubai and what I saw there in one day.

The Dubai Mall – the largest enclosed shopping mall in the world.

The Dubai Mall – the biggest enclosed shopping mall in UAE and in the world.

It was the first place I visited in the city. It is extremely large, almost overwhelmingly so, I got lost there four or five times in search of an entrance. There are plenty of exits, various levels and hundreds of shops. The ground floor hosts plenty of gold shops with very high prices, so if you want to buy gold in Dubai, I suggest go elsewhere.

The Dubai Mall impressed me with its Aquarium full of an array of aquatic life including sharks and stingrays. You can enter the aquarium for US$14 per person.

The multi-storey waterfall in Dubai Mall.

There is also a striking waterfall wall with an unusual style, made as if people are diving from it, which is well worth seeing. In total there are nearly 1,200 shops to be found inside the mall, so you shop-’till-you-drop. There is also an extensive food court, which due to the sheer scale of the mall I admit I struggled to find.

On the doorstep of the mall you will find the tallest building in the world – Burj Khalifa. I had heard a lot about it before I went to Dubai, so was looking forward to seeing it. It did not disappoint. It was impressive, but confusing – the building itself looks artificial and not real. The building’s style is unusual, with a tapering architectural style that only serves to emphasize its height. For about US$30 (booked in advance, otherwise expect to fork out US$100) per person you can get to the 124th floor and take a bird’s-eye view of the city.

A few steps from Burj Khalifa and you will see the famous dancing fountains. When I was told that these fountains dance, I though that it is just a ploy to attract more visitors and the only thing I expected was to see is a flow of water, accompanied with music. What a surprise it was when I realized that these fountains actually dance and I must admit it was the most spectacular show I have ever seen in my life. Ensure you are near the fountains at 6pm, when the first show starts, every 30 minutes the fountains dance to different songs. The best performance, in my opinion was to the Michael Jackson’s Thriller.

These three Dubai attractions are located within a few steps from each other, easy to find and you do not have to spent time navigating from one place to another.

For me it was not enough, I wanted to explore more.

So I took a taxi, which are uniformly all Toyota Camrys only (National Taxi) and went to Deira, which is the center of the city and is famous for its Golden Market. It cost almost 40AED (about US$10), in 20 minutes and you are in Deira. The prices for gold are lower than anywhere else, however the quality of it should be double-checked, the same goes for silver. The choice is wide, the number of shops is extensive. The only thing I disliked about The Golden Market was the hawkers – plenty of strange sellers were standing at every corner and offering in an overly-persistent way (meaning they follow you and bombard you with sales patter) fake designer bags and watches. So you have to have patience if you want to buy something there. As for the price for gold, one gram of 22 Karat gold costs nearly 200 AED (US$55)

Dubai is also famous for its Palm Islands, which are an artificial archipelago and the most luxurious hotel in the world Burj Al Arab, but unfortunately I didn’t have time to go there.

Maybe next time.

One Response to Discovering Dubai in a day

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