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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Burj Al-Arab

  • Hotel–Sight

The building of Burj Al-Arab put Dubai on the map. The hotel has triumphed since its opening in 1999, and its curved exterior has been...

Iranian Mosque

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Although not open to the public, this mosque is worth visiting to see the exquisite enamel and ceramic decoration blanketing the dome...

Jumeirah Beach Park

Jumeirah Beach Park is Dubai's most popular public beachfront park, with a sandy strip that stretches nearly two-thirds of a mi. A lifeguard...

Jumeirah Mosque

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

The finest masjid (mosque) in Dubai, Jumeirah Mosque pays homage to the classical architectural style favored by Cairo's Egyptian rulers...

Kite Beach

Kite Beach is the section of public beach just south of the Dubai Offshore Sailing Club, and this is a real action beach. Known to many...

Madinat Jumeirah

  • Resort–Sight

Translating to Jumeirah City in Arabic, Madinat Jumeirah is a vast resort that pays homage to the best of classical Islamic architecture...

Russian Beach

Russian Beach, also known as Open Beach, is Dubai's most popular public beach, which sits at the northern end of the Jumeirah strip.

Ski Dubai

  • Sports Venue

As the third-largest covered ski park in the world (22,500 square feet), Ski Dubai caused a wave of excitement to spread through the...

The World

  • Island

Riding out his success with real estate sales on Palm Jumeirah, Nakheel (the developer) launched The World, a series of 300 artificial...

Umm Suqeim Beach

Umm Suqeim Beach, which has incredible views of the Burj Al-Arab Hotel offshore, is a favorite of touring groups that briefly step onto...