Dubai has become one of the world’s great business hubs and capitals. It is also a mind-boggling cornucopia of architectural marvels, aesthetic excess, superfluous wealth and luxury.
This is definitely not an ideal destination for the budget-minded traveler, but whatever your net worth, there are more than enough affordable attractions to justify a day trip to Dubai City; particularly if you’re stopping over while en route to more affordable destinations on what is increasingly becoming a go-to itinerary in the region for the backpacking set.
Perhaps the most unforgettable activity in the area is on offer by one of the many Dubai hot air balloon cruises that are advertised. You’ll want to get in early or even the night before (the best of the best actually take off at dawn), but rest assured, the extra effort is worth it.
If it’s shopping you’re after, the Dubai Mall (complete with a three-story aquarium and other marvels designed to entice visitors) has everything you could possibly desire.
One easy activity to partake in is a day at the beach. Jebel Ali in the astonishing (and continuously under construction) Palm Islands project is a safe bet if you don’t mind paying a premium for supplies and sustenance. If you’ve got money to spend, the pristine beauty of Jebel Ali’s system of beaches and lagoons is a fantastic way to pursue fun in the sun. Al-Mamzar Beach Park is a good place for travelers with children in tow, and the Jumeirah Beach area has the best white sand beaches in the region.