Dubai’s attractions are endless, with something for absolutely everyone. In this city, there’s always something new happening. With buildings going up all over the place and new Dubai hotels appearing, every time you visit something’s sure to have changed.
With its dazzling ‘larger than life’ modern skylines soaring out of desert landscapes, the world’s first seven-star hotels, opulent beach resorts that offer every activity under the sun and decadent shopping malls, holidays in the UAE mean you get maximum bling for your buck.
Blazing a trail when it comes to the latest technological innovations in hospitality and leisure, high-rise building design and all things brighter, bigger and ever more luxuriously ‘experiential’, the leading holiday destinations in the United Arab Emirates never stand still.
Yet, despite their full throttle embrace of all things futuristic, you can still hear and experience the heartbeat of the world that once inhabited this space in the ancient souks and mosques that huddle alongside the thoroughly modern and ultra-shining skyscrapers. The fact that it’s a land of such contrasts is one of Dubai’s cultural attractions.
And as for the desert, you’re never very far away from the historic lands of the Bedouin. Whether you dream of a romantic night camping out under the stars or you’re looking for active things to do in Dubai and fancy an action-packed quad bike safari, there are all kinds of options for exciting desert excursions.
Things to do in Dubai: discover the new city
Dubai Marina, one of the most elegant and sophisticated new spots in Dubai, is all about a more laid-back vibe that dials down the bling without losing the wow factor.
Tapping into the growing trend for travellers seeking the privacy and comfort of a ‘luxury home from home’, the new Barceló Residences Dubai Marina is ticking all the right style boxes.
Opened in 2018 and set in the very best of locations just south of Palm Jumeirah, at the heart of Dubai Marina, Barceló Residences Dubai Marina offers a range of 220 spacious, modern apartments all beautifully designed and fully equipped with top-of-the-range entertainment, relaxation and catering facilities.
The city oceanfront location makes it a perfect choice for everyone, whether you’re travelling as a family, a couple or with friends. The spacious, modern and elegant apartments provide a fantastic hub for travellers, boasting a range of amenities and stunning views of the city and seafront.
A swimming pool lined by palm-trees and open-air hydro-massage bath, solarium and full-equipped gym provide a spectacular space to keep active, relax and rejuvenate. The unparalleled location offers guests a taste of the ‘New Dubai’, a haven of al fresco dining, shopping and sandy stretches.
Location, location, location: one of the best beach hotels in Dubai
The hotel is located within easy reach of some of the best Dubai attractions. It’s on the doorstep of The Marina leisure port, 700 m from Dubai Marina shopping centre, offering some of the best shopping in Dubai. It’s also less than ten minutes’ walk from the beach and the Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk.
Want to chill out, in the true sense of the word, and try one of the best things to do in Dubai? Ski Dubai, which has five ski slopes (it’s the first covered ski station in the Middle East) is just 7 km away.
And when it comes to airport transfers, both Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport are only 33 km away.
New attractions in Dubai for 2019
If your idea of the perfect holiday is discovering the latest attractions in Dubai, then you’ve come to the right place. Read on to find out what’s new.
New Dubai sights: the tallest picture frame in the world
Named the world’s best new attraction in 2017, the 150-m-high Dubai Frame that literally frames the city (just like a gilt picture frame) is one of the latest Dubai attractions to open to the public. This sensationally surreal landmark proudly erected in Zabeel Park has to be seen to be believed.
Step inside and you’ll be whizzed up to the glass bridge at the top of the frame via a panoramic lift, where you can take in magical views over both the old city of Deira to the north and the skyscrapers of Sheikh Zayed Road to the south.
Then journey through the ‘vortex’, a neon-lit tunnel that leads to a fantastic interactive exhibition predicting the future of Dubai 50 years from now, utilising super cool AR technology.
The newest Dubai shopping centre: Cityland Mall
It could be argued that Dubai didn’t really need another mega mall but when it comes to innovations in retail therapy it’s really about want, not need, isn’t it? After all, shopping is one of the biggest Dubai attractions there is.
Besides, Cityland Mall has managed to make ‘shopping in nature’ a reality. Yes, it’s the first nature-inspired shopping centre.
Designed by the same team that created Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Butterfly Garden, the shopping mall is packed with plant life and botanicals.
The Emirate of Sharjah: Sharjah sightseeing
Bigger than Dubai, the lesser-known emirate of Sharjah covers 1000 square miles of desert with coastline on both the east and west of the peninsula.
Its capital city of the same name, along with the smaller towns and enclaves of Kalba, Dibba Al-Hisn and Khor Fakkan, offer a tantalising array of experiences to be discovered by travellers with a thirst for culture who want to get a little off the beaten track.
In fact, it’s the richness of cultural places to visit in Sharjah that have meant this has recently become a trendy place to visit, despite its strictly ‘dry’ (alcohol-free) status that might otherwise be off-putting.
Sharjah moved into the spotlight in 2014 when it was named Capital of Islamic Culture. It had previously been crowned Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO in 1998).
Sharjah’s Heritage Area situated in the neighbourhoods of Al Sheyoukh and Al Maraija is home to a wealth of intriguing historic sites and monuments along with some cutting-edge contemporary art galleries and museums.
Its restaurant scene is also an experience to be savoured. For lunch or dinner, the Al Majaz waterfront is a dazzling destination.
In addition to a sumptuous choice of restaurants and cafés with front row seats overlooking the water, this beautifully landscape-designed hot spot comprises a lovely public park and recreation areas, including state-of-the-art children’s playgrounds. At night, the scene is lit up by colourful fountain shows.
Enjoy Sharjah’s attractions from the comfort of a luxury hotel
The newly opened Occidental Sharjah Grand Hotel is situated in a prime position next to Sharjah Beach, with views of the Persian Gulf.
The hotel features a variety of stunning rooms that all provide panoramic views of the sea and city of Sharjah, with outstanding facilities, which include a state-of-the-art gym, wellness area and extensive room-service options.
As it’s a ‘dry hotel’, there’s no alcohol served but the wide range of restaurants more than make up for it with intoxicatingly good food.
The charming onsite swimming pool and slide, and children’s games area makes this a fantastic choice for families, promising both endless fun and relaxation.