There are some attractions that you simply must see during your time in Dubai to get the whole experience.

At The Top, Burj Khalifa
You’ll spend a lot of time gazing at the heights of the tallest tower in the world, if only to get your bearings from practically any point in the city. But you can’t leave Dubai without visiting the 124th floor and turning the perspective around.

Desert safari
Dubai’s biggest playground is waiting to be explored, whether you go bashing through the dunes in a 4WD or rampaging through the sands on a dune buggy. End the day with shisha and Arabic entertainment as the sun sets and the rolling dunes take on a lustrous orange hue.

Ski Dubai
To try an experience that is beyond comprehension, skiing in the desert tops the lot. Leave the bikini at home, don some thermal gear and take to the snowy slopes of Ski Dubai, where the temperature hovers around a chilly -3 degrees.

Al Fahidi & The Creek
Get to the heart of Dubai with a wander around the creek area. This ancient trading hub oozes character, from the old traditional windtowers of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to the abras that continue to transport people across the water.

Downtown Dubai
After a day spent navigating Dubai Mall, marvelling at the enormous window of Dubai Aquarium and having fun at SEGA Republic, watching the Dubai Fountain is a must. Join the crowds lining Burj Lake, or settle on the candlelit terrace at Souk Al Bahar’s Mango Tree or Rivington Grill for a romantic evening.

Skydive Dubai
For the ultimate in adrenaline experiences, it doesn’t get more exciting – or maybe just plain scary – than a skydive and nothing says you’ve ‘done Dubai’ like plummeting towards it from 12,000 feet with Skydive Dubai. Take in the stupendous views of desert, city and sea, while the perfectly formed Palm Jumeirah is laid out beneath you.

High tea at the Burj Al Arab
This Dubai icon is as extravagant inside as its spectacular architecture suggests. Head to Sahn Eddar for a champagne afternoon tea, followed by a cocktail at the Skyview Bar to enjoy the stunning vistas. It’s the pinnacle of the Dubai high life.

This sprawling water park at the famous Atlantis, The Palm is worth visiting for its multitude of adrenaline-fuelled rides. Take the monorail to Aquaventure for a great view of the Palm Jumeirah’s exclusive fronds and then head to the top of the Tower of Neptune for panoramic views of the Dubai skyline – before whizzing down the Leap of Faith through tunnels surrounded by shark-infested waters.

The Souks
You may have shopped till you drop in one of the city’s gigantic malls, but you haven’t had the true Middle East experience until you’d haggled in one of the souks – head to the Gold and Spice souks in Deira, or the Textile Souk across the creek.

Dhow cruise
Step aboard an atmospheric wooden dhow and cruise the calm waters of the creek amid the twinkling evening lights. Dhow dinner tours also take place around Marsa Dubai at the other end of town. Traditionally trading crafts that ship cargo between the Gulf and Iran, these dhows have been converted to become floating restaurants; sit on the top deck, beneath the stars, while an Arabian buffet is served up.

Friday polo
The Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club stages Friday and Saturday chukka events during the polo season (the cooler winter months) and rather spiffing they are too. Don’t worry if you don’t know the first thing about polo – you’ll be in good company, plus polo events are all about the social aspect anyway. For Dhs.50, you can drive pitchside and set up your picnic chairs and blanket, bringing along a cool box full of the finest fare you could find.

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