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The 10 biggest factors that make Dubai the city of luxury

DUBAI: Luxury in the middle of the desert.

There is no shortage of superlatives that describe Dubai’s opulance. I went in to some of these in my blog post earlier today. But now, I wanted to drill into what makes Dubai a city unmatched in amenities and indulgence. Here are 10 of the biggest, boldest luxuries that capture the quintessential Dubai.

1. Burj Khalifa — This building stands as the world’s tallest skyscraper. Opened in 2010, it is home to the fabulous Armani Hotel, as well as residential and corporate suites. An outdoor observation deck is available so travelers can gaze at the wonders of Dubai from the 124th floor and view the city from the third-highest observation deck in the world. Outside, the Dubai Fountain is illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors — a true sight to be seen.

GREAT HEIGHTS: Take in the city from the world’s tallest skyscraper.

2. Burj Al Arab -- The world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab is built on a man-made island off of Dubai’s Jumeirah Beach strip. The hotel is designed in the shape of a sail as tribute to the nation’s seafaring heritage. It’s the fourth-tallest hotel in the world, and is outfitted with 22-carat gold fittings and furniture throughout. Upon arrival to Dubai, guests can be transferred to the Burj Al Arab via Rolls Royce or helicopter. The reception at the hotel is superb! Guests are welcomed with rose water, cool towels, dates, and authentic Arabic coffee.

TOTAL LUXURY: The Burj Al Arab defines contemporary architecture.
3. The Palm Islands and The World Islands — Dubai is known for its creation of artificial archipelagos-man — made islands created in recognizable shapes. These two archipelagos house residential, commercial, and entertainment properties, and each can be seen from space. Any traveler who visits Dubai must visit this massive project.
AMAZING ARCHITECTURE: This man-made island chain can be seen from space.

4. Ski Dubai — Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, Ski Dubai is the world’s only indoor ski slope. It’s open year-round to the public with five slopes, as well as sled and toboggan runs, an icy body slide, climbing towers, giant snowballs, and an ice cave. But perhaps the most magical aspect of Ski Dubai are the penguins that make an apprearence several times a day.

DAY AT THE SLOPES: Cool down in the desert in the world’s only indoor ski slope.

5. Dubai Marina – Located in the heart of what has become “New Dubai,” the Dubai Marina is one of the finest waterfront projects in the world. Completely man-made, the canal city was carved along a two-mile stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline. The hotel and resident properties have the capacity to accommodate over 120,000 people.

EXPANSIVE STYLE: Explore the largest man-made marina in the world.


6. Wild Wadi Water Park — Located between Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, this water park boasts the largest water slide outside of the U.S., as well as the largest heated and cooled wave pool in the Middle East. With over 30 rides and attractions to choose from, one can surely spend all day staying cool in the midst of the hot desert atmosphere of Dubai.
WATER FUN: Enjoy over 30 rides in this expansive water park.
7. Dubai Mall — At the base of the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall is the world’s largest shopping mall by total area. The mall spans 5.9 million square feet — the equivalent of 50 football fields! It houses over 1,200 retail locations, 160 food and beverage outlets, 95 elevators, and 150 escalators across its four floors.
EVERY AMENITY: Shop ’til you drop in this luxurious mall.


8. Dune Safari Dubai – For those who crave a little adventure, Dubai has an awesome “ocean” of sand dunes for heart-thumping four-wheel drive adventures in the Rub’ al Khali desert, the largest sand desert in the world. Enlist the help of a professional driver and cross the desert in your vehicle, taking in the awe-inspiring landscape. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a beautiful sunset.
GET ADVENTUROUS: Kick up sand by exploring the expansive desert on a four-wheel drive adventure.
9. Gold Souk — Home to over 300 merchants, the Gold Souk’s stores sell gold in any size and karat you’ll ever need. By some estimates, there are approximately 10 tons of gold in the souk at any given time. Travelers who visit the souk can spend hours looking through the shops for the perfect keepsake.
GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES: Explore the wares of over 300 vendors to find the perfect piece of jewelry.

10. Barbecue and belly dancing in the desert – Part of the essence of Dubai’s culture, we offer this as an optional excursion on our Dazzling Dubai tour. After a short drive a mile or two outside of Dubai, travelers enjoy a spectacular night under the stars with a delicious catered dinner and belly dancing.

DUBAI CULTURE: Experience belly dancing entertainment under the stars.

Would you add anything to this list of what makes Dubai so extravagant? Let us know in a comment below.

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About Peggy

Peggy Goldman is a specialty tour operator and travel expert, who owns and operates Friendly Planet Travel, a full-service company that specializes in tour packages to exotic worldwide destinations at affordable prices.   More about Peggy

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