Wondering why you might go on a family vacation to Dubai?
Perhaps your even wondering where Dubai is! Archaeological findings suggest that humans have been living in what we know as Dubai, since at least 3000 BC! Other evidence link the peoples of what are now the United Arab Emirates, (UAE) and Oman – to the mysterious Bronze Age Magan civilization. In more modern times – oil was discovered in 1966, and the economy was kicked into hyperdrive. In 1971, Dubai became the seventh emirate, of the newly formed UAE.
Today, tourism matches trade as well as oil in importance to the emirate’s economy! And that’s great news for you, if you visit!
Dubai is actually the second largest city in the United Arab Emirates. And due to it’s heavy tourist economy, there are lot’s of places in Dubai, and it’s surrounding areas (for instance Abu Dhabi) that cater to both European and American tastes, as well as some wonderful more traditional, cultural experiences for a family visiting.
Here are a few must go locations!
1. Visit Burj Dubai – The world’s tallest building, opened in 2009! Not only can you go up inside the building, and see sweeping views of the city – but there are also beautiful night time fountain shows near the building in the evening. The building is part of a 2 km development called ‘Downtown Dubai’ and is located at the “First Interchange” along Sheikh Zayed Road at Doha Street.
2. Explore Traditional Dubai. Bastakiya Street was originally built in the 19th century, as a home for visiting Iranian merchants. It’s cobblestone streets paint a very different portrait of the Dubai area. The Al Fahidi Fort, the largest museum in Dubai is located nearby, and the surrounding area is lined with great ethnic cuisine. Restaurants that also offer foods from Iran, Lebanon, Morocco, India and Egypt are available in Dubai as well.
3. Visit Children’s City – An 80,000 square feet kids museum, full of educationally themed areas for kids, between the ages of 2 and 15 years old. Children’s City blends activities based on nature, space, science, culture and the human body – all with an eye towards making them fun for kids. A great kid focused activity.
4. Tour the Grand Mosque, in Abu Dhabi, UAE! Abu Dhabi is very near to Dubai, and has many attractions worth making a trip for! In fact, 2 of the three picture collages on this page were taken in Abu Dhabi! The Grand Mosque, is a real chance to experience and appreciate another culture. Beautiful architecture and history make this a must do, but do note that Mosque manners may dictate some in your party changing before touring.
5. Ski Dubai! There are very few places where you can ride a camel in the dessert during the morning, and ski on perfect powdery snow in the evening – but Dubai is one of them! Ski Dubai explains it makes it’s snow by using “pure water, with no chemicals added. It is then sent through pipes, to the snow guns which are on the ceiling. When the cooled water is blown out into a freezing cold environment it crystallizes and makes snow. The final product is real snow, as if it came from nature!” The family can hit the slopes together, or take lessons based on their skill levels. The novelty of skiing in the dessert makes this a fun family outing!
There are so many other locations that could easily be called “must do” in Dubai, and the surrounding areas – that I encourage you to do your own research and pick the places that most appeal to your family.
But Dubai is certainly worth considering if your family is looking for a real change of pace for vacation!