Dubai Sights

Several distinct zones and quarters, each with its own purpose and atmosphere, make up the city of Dubai. The older districts around the mouth of Dubai Creek—Deira, Al-Rigga, and Bur Dubai—have developed over the last 150 years into a maze of narrow streets and alleyways that are often choked with traffic. However, the museums and attractions here are clustered close together, making this

area the most walkable in the city. You'll need to cross the creek on the abra (boat) service, about seven or eight minutes long, to get from one bank to the other.

To venture beyond this downtown core you'll need to take transportation. If you have time, buses are very cheap, new, and air-conditioned, and their routes pass by many major attractions. However, taxis are efficient, inexpensive, and metered, making them a more flexible option if you're only in Dubai for a short time and every minute counts.

Sheikh Zayed Road is the multilane road that links old Dubai with the newer Dubai districts to the south—about 15 mi to the southernmost communities. It runs 3 mi inland from the ocean and parallel with the coastline. Every well-marked intersection off Sheikh Zayed Road leads to a different district—including Dubai Marina, Emirates Hills, and Knowledge City—as well as that area's major attractions. This road is the thoroughfare for most of the traffic traveling north and south, so it's always busy. By taxi, the trip from Deira to Dubai Marina takes about 45 minutes.

Dubai doesn't use building numbers in its street addresses. People navigate by referencing major hotels, roads, intersections, or other well-known landmarks. Taxi drivers know how to reach all the main attractions, but if you're looking for something off the beaten path—say, a particular specialty store—find out which hotel, mall, or other geographical marker is close to your destination. Direct your driver to that location, so he knows the general area to which you want to go.

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Fodor's Choice


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Bur Dubai and the South Bank 14

Deira and the North Bank 13

Jumeirah Beach 11

Dubai Marina 7

World Trade Centre Area and Burj Dubai 6

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Amusement Park/ Water Park 1

Archaeological Site/ Ruins 1

Body Of Water/ Waterfall 1

Building/ Architectural Site 3

Castle/ Palace/ Chateau 1

Commercial District 1

Educational Institution 3

Festival–Sight 1

Financial Institution 1

Government Building 1

Historic District/ Site 1

Hotel–Sight 1

House/ Mansion/ Villa 1

Island 2

Marina/ Pier/ Dock 2

Museum Village 2

Museum/ Gallery 1

Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 1

Neighborhood/ Street 3

Park/ Playground 3

Promenade/ Boardwalk 1

Religious Building/ Site/ Shrine 3

Resort–Sight 2

Sports Venue 1

Sports–Sight 2

Store/ Shop/ Mall 5

Town/ Village 2

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Family 6


Dubai Sights

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Dubai Internet City

  • Neighborhood/Street

A center for software development, e-commerce, consulting, and sales, Dubai Internet City offers a top-of-the-line business platform.

Dubai Media City

  • Neighborhood/Street

A regional hub for businesses of all types, Dubai Media City is a one-stop shop for projects in printing, publishing, broadcast, advertising...

Emirates Hills

  • Neighborhood/Street

To the east of Sheikh Zayed Road, inland from the Marina area, is Emirates Hills, a spacious residential area favored by families looking...

Jumeirah Beach Residence

  • Building/Architectural Site

The largest single-building project on the seaward side of Dubai Marina and, according to the developer, the biggest single-phase construction...

Knowledge Village

  • Educational Institution

This development, opened in 2003, is a self-contained community designed to promote high academic and research opportunities for the...

Marina Walk

  • Promenade/Boardwalk

The landward side of Dubai Marina has a 7-mi-long waterside promenade that brings outdoor living to the area. European-style boutiques,...

Palm Jumeirah

  • Resort–Sight

Dubai's first foray into large-scale coastline extension, Palm Jumeirah caught the world's attention when plans were announced in 2001.