Dubai is the most populous and glamorous of all the Emirates; aptly called the pearl of the UAE. The Emirate of Dubai is the second largest in size with over 2.1 million inhabitants living in an area of 4,114 km.sq.
In the 1830s, Dubai was established as a prominent port in the Middle East, with the business focusing on trade, pearl diving and fishing; the city we know today was little more than sand. From its humble beginnings, it took Dubai less than four decades to be transformed into a bustling cosmopolitan metropolis. Today this city enjoys the global spotlight as a tourist, business and trade destination. There are many exciting things to do in Dubai.
At the Top of Burj Khalifa
At an astonishing height of 828 meters (2,717ft), the Burj Khalifa is the tallest free-standing structure in the world. It is located on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, near The Dubai Mall. A trip to the top of the viewing area will set you back approximately 83 AED ($23 USD) where you can catch a glimpse of Dubai in all its grandeur. This 160 storey tower opened in 2010 and is a mixed-use space with corporate offices and other luxurious spaces. The Burj Khalifa is visited by approximately 1.87 million people every year, making it one of the most popular attractions of Dubai.
Dubai World Cup - The Equestrian Exhibition of the Year
Meydan Racecourse hosts the Dubai World Cup, an annually held horse races with 9 events consisting of 8 Thoroughbred contests and 1 Purebred Arabian contest. The inaugural run of the Dubai World Cup was held in 1996 at the Nad Al Sheba Racecourse when the total prize money was around $3.41 million. Today, the races have one of the biggest prize purses of US $35 million eclipsing the Epsom Derby Festival, Royal Ascot, The Breeders’ Cup and Melbourne Cup, making this one of the biggest sporting events of 2019. Over the years the World Cup has been headlined by many by A-list talents like Jennifer Lopez, Sia, Kylie Minogue and Janet Jackson.
This year the one and only ‘Hollaback Girl’, Gwen Stefani performed. Although gambling is frowned upon in Islamic culture, patrons are legally permitted to use online betting sites (operated from outside the UAE) for participating in one of the most prestigious races in the world. Similar to the Dubai World Cup, some young people play lottery in Dubai that can be played from anywhere.
Desert Safari- A Day Out on the Desert Dunes
Visitors can get away from the concrete jungle and visit the pristine sands of Dubai; desert safaris provide an opportunity to escape the heat and live the Bedouin (nomad) experience. A typical Dubai desert safari consists of dune bashing in a 4x4 car on the hot sand, sand boarding, camel riding, falcon taming and camping. At the end of the safari, tourists usually enjoy local delicatessen such as barbecued meats, dates while sipping on Arabic coffee and beautiful sunset views. There are several luxury safari experiences available at hotels such as the Al Maha Resort, located inside the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.