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United Arab Emirates

Dubai: Great experiences in a few days

A sunny holiday destination with delicious hotels, white beaches, impressive architecture and old town. Kristian Bräuner gives his tips for Dubai here.
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Dubai: Great experiences in a few days is written by Kristian Bräuner

United Arab Emirates, skyline, travel

Big, bigger, biggest - Dubai

Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. In city in rapid development, where one wants to be the biggest and best at it all. "In Dubai we have everything - and if we do not have it, then we build it", it reads.

You probably know the city best for the tall skyscrapers, large shopping malls and the warm desert climate. And despite the city's reputation for being the number one charter holiday destination for jet setters, there's plenty to experience.

Dubai can be an expensive city, but if you plan your trip carefully and travel at the right time, it does not require the whole big wallet. Here is a guide to some of the most exciting attractions and sights that can be easily experienced on a good extended weekend.

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Burj Khalifa

In Dubai, everything is great and the Burj Khalifa is no exception. With a height of 828 meters, it is the tallest building in the world. The Burj Khalifa has 163 floors, and here it is possible for visitors to get either 125 or 148 floors up.

It's clearly one must see on a trip to Dubai, because here is the ultimate opportunity to see the whole city from above. It feels almost unreal to stand there and look down over the other skyscrapers, which look like ordinary, small buildings from above.

Tip: It is best to visit the Burj Khalifa before 10am in the morning or in the evening after 18.30pm. This avoids an excessively long queue and a huge crowd.

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Dubai Mall

After the Burj Khalifa, it is obvious to take a walk in the Dubai Mall, which is right next door. Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall, but it is much more than just a shopping mall.

In addition to the 1200 shops and a large number of well-known and lesser-known restaurants, the center contains several major tourist attractions. For example, take a ride on the ice rink, in the cinema or try the fearsome haunted house Haunted House.

Dubai Mall is - in addition to shopping - best known for housing the beautiful Dubai Aquarium. The more than 300 sea creatures and the opportunity to jump in a diving suit and get really close, make it a completely unique experience.

In the evening, there are light shows on and around the Burj Khalifa, and it is a large tributary. It costs nothing to attend and you can see it best from the square in the middle of the Dubai Mall.

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Desert safari

Set the alarm clock to five o'clock one morning and drive about 45 minutes out of the big city until you hit the desert - then the day is on a desert safari. In a four-wheel drive vehicle, you can really feel the rush as you drive up and down the golden brown dunes.

In addition to driving in the sand dunes, it is possible sandboarding, dinner with the locals and camel riding. Desert safari is a great experience, which is available in different variations.

It's a good idea to leave early in the morning to avoid the bright afternoon sun. You can drive your own car, but many hotels and tourist agencies also arrange trips out there.

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Dubai Old Town

Travel back in time and visit Dubai Old Town. Here you will find real Arab cultural heritage, historic buildings and not least the iconic markets 'Dubai Souks'.

In the Gold Souk, it glitters with gold, diamonds and jewelry in long lanes. And there is a guarantee that it is genuine goods. Spicy Souk offers all kinds of spices. The scents here are a sumptuous experience for the sense of smell. In Textile Souk, everything from raw silk to cotton is traded - both in all sorts of colors.

The markets are very affordable and the locals expect people to haggle over the price. If you visit the Dubai Souks, you can both find good goods and make a good bargain.

In the old town around the river Dubai Creek you will also find the historic quarter Al-Fahidi, which is cozy - albeit a bit touristy - and a great place to get an impression of ancient Arabia. If you want a small boat trip on the river, then a trip by water taxi, called 'abra', costs only 1 dirham or less than 2 kroner.

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Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina functions as a cozy canal city - man-made, mind you. It is about five kilometers long and offers both restaurants, shopping and a great view of tall skyscrapers and expensive yachts.

Take a boat trip along the canals; this is how you experience the area best. The surroundings are beautiful both during the day and in the evening. If you would rather see Dubai Marina from the land side, a walk along the Marina Walk is also a great way to get around. Here there is also ample opportunity to quench your thirst in one of the city's many bars and cafés.

Dubai Marina is located right next to Jumeirah Beach, one of the most popular beaches in Dubai.

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Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, travel

Abu Dhabi round trip

Take a trip to the country's capital Abu Dhabi. Many people consider the trip to the capital when they are in Dubai, but do not get it done due to lack of time. But it's a shame, because the trip does not take very long. It can kind of be done as a half-day trip.

In Abu Dhabi is the famous mosque, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which is the country's largest of its kind and a cultural hub. It is free to visit the mosque and it is a very special experience. If you are more into adrenaline rush, you can visit Ferrari World - the world's largest indoor amusement park.

The trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi takes an hour and a half by car or just over two hours by bus.

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Tips for the trip to Dubai

  • It is best to go in the winter, as the sun in the summer months is too bright to be comfortable outdoors.
  • Familiarize yourself with the Arab culture before departure. The culture of Dubai is different from ours with different values ​​and norms.
  • It is easier to take a taxi than a public transport in Dubai. And it is also cheap compared to in Denmark. Although Dubai Mall is open until midnight, the metro stops running at 23pm and then taxi is the only option.
  • In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, they each have their own 'travel card' for public transport that you can put money on. In Dubai it is called Christmas and in Abu Dhabi it is called Hafilat. Be aware that unfortunately you cannot use the same card in both places.
  • Groceries in supermarkets are expensive and many locals often eat out as it can pay off better. The prices at the restaurants are reminiscent of the Danish ones.
  • The GetYourGuide app is really good to have when you need to book excursions and tours in the United Arab Emirates.

Find other city guides here

Really good trip!

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About the travel writer

Kristian Bräuner

I love to travel and I travel as often as the opportunity presents itself. I got my passion for travel already as a child, where my parents took my sister and I out into the big world.

My travel experience ranges from the classic city breaks in Europe, over road trips in the US, to backpacking in Asia and Australia.

Experiencing new cultures, unique nature and different societies, where people live very differently from life in Denmark, is what drives my desire to travel.

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