National, January 2024: This year Dubai is all set to offer even more reasons to top your holiday list. There will be thrills galore with exhilarating indoor and outdoor adventures, as well as aerial and underwater excursions. Visitors can maximise their experience with Dubai Pass – all-inclusive pre-paid card that ensures cash-free, hassle-free access to 33 key attractions.
The Green Planet is an incredible bio-dome home to a tropical rainforest housing more than 3,000 plants, birds, and animals. MOTIONGATE™ Dubai offers a labyrinth of fun to keep young hearts enthralled. Elsewhere, at IMG World of Adventures, Dubai’s largest indoor theme park, guests can explore five themed adventure zones including Marvel, the Lost Valley, Cartoon Network, IMG Boulevard, and Novo Cinemas. Dubai boasts various water parks that feature a range of rides and waterslides to suit visitors of all ages, including the Arabian-themed Wild Wadi next to Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Palm’s Aquaventure, officially recognised by Guinness World Records for the most waterslides in a waterpark. Global Village brings 90 cultures together, featuring more than 27 pavilions from around the globe, ranging from Korea to Qatar, India to Iran. Visitors can explore countries, traditional crafts, delicacies and more in just one day.
Dubai is a dynamic adventure hub, offering diverse experiences, from exploring Hatta’s hiking trails to diving into the world’s deepest swimming pool at Deep Dive Dubai. Whether trying the world’s longest urban zipline at XLine Dubai Marina or quad biking on majestic desert dunes, embarking on a hot air balloon ride, or a motorsports adventure at Dubai Autodrome, the city is an adrenaline enthusiast’s dream. From the exhilarating mountains and adventure-filled campsites of Hatta to the family-friendly experiences of Mushrif National Park, Dubai offers an array of outdoor activities suitable for everyone. Whether it is the zipline adventures at Aventura Parks nestled amid a vast forest of Ghaf trees or the breathtaking vistas and chance to spot Arabian oryx along the desert trail at Al Qudra Cycling Track, Dubai truly has it all.
A trip to Dubai is never complete without a visit to its Gold Souk, Spice Souk, and Textile Souk, where you can haggle for exquisite jewellery, saffron, or authentic Arabian fabrics. For custom-designed jewellery, consider exploring the Gold and Diamond Park, a quieter alternative to the bustling Gold Souk. Foodies should not miss the vibrant Deira Waterfront Market, which offers fresh seafood cooked to your liking at a number of nearby restaurants. Souk Madinat Jumeirah, exuding traditional charm, and The Ripe Market, supporting local businesses, are other must-visit shopping experiences.
The Etihad Museum, situated at the site of the UAE’s establishment in 1971, tells the story of the country’s founding through experience-driven exhibitions and interactive activities. Elsewhere, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) offers visitors an immersive experience to understand Emirati culture. Additionally, the Coffee Museum celebrates ‘gahwa’ (Arabic coffee) and its cultural significance, while the Al Shindagha Museum narrates Dubai’s evolution from fishing village to futuristic metropolis.
Experience Emirati flavours in the heart of Old Dubai at Al Khayma Heritage Restaurant or Arabian Tea House. Then there’s Al Fanar Restaurant, recreating 1960s’ Emirati culture and serving authentic flavours as part of its mission to preserve local heritage for everyone to enjoy.
There are always plenty of new restaurants readying to open their doors and serve up something special. New hotspots for your next visit include The Guild, spearheaded by Tom Arnell and housing five unique concepts; Nola Bijou Bistro & Bar, which offers diners a fusion of French and Caribbean influences; Blue Box Café, an exclusive Tiffany & Co. dining experience; La Petite Ani, a French culinary haven introduced by renowned Chef Izu Ani; and KashKan, led by Indian celebrity chef Ranveer Brar and offering an authentic approach to modern Indian cuisine.
Experiencing a show at Dubai Opera is unparalleled. An iconic contemporary venue situated in the heart of Downtown Dubai, it boasts acoustics and state-of-the-art facilities that ensure an extraordinary experience. Dubai Opera’s 2024 calendar of events is already filled with a spectacular schedule, including the adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s timeless tale, The Little Prince from 26 to 28 January, and the captivating production of The Phantom of the Opera from 22 February to 12 March. The city’s first Film Music Week is also slated for May, promising a historic celebration of cinematic masterpieces such as Star Wars and Pirates of the Caribbean.
The Middle East’s foremost international art fair, now a major contributor in local, regional, and global art dialogues, returns to the city from 1 to 3 March 2024 at Madinat Jumeirah. Art Dubai provides an opportunity to explore and expand perspectives with insightful discussions on topics that shape the art world, ranging from NFTs to Generative AI.