Our city offers unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. Here are seven to add to your itinerary.
1. The highest high tea at the Burj Khalifa
Sitting on the 122nd floor of the iconic Burj Khalifa you can enjoy fresh scones and pastries with the finest teas, and a spectacular sunset. At.mosphere is the world’s highest restaurant, offering a sophisticated, contemporary ambience of polished mahogany and plush furnishings, to complement the unbeatable views of the city and beyond. The restaurant section of the venue offers a contemporary European menu during lunch and dinner, while the lounge area turns into a luxe nightspot after dark, with light lunches and afternoon tea prior.
2. Camel cuisine
For food that is truly unique to Dubai, sample a camel burger at Local House in the Al Fahidi Historical District. It is a nice introduction to this lean beef-like meat, as are the other dishes that incorporate camel meat such as kebab and shawarma, steak and biryani. Camel milk and milkshakes are available, too.
Supermarkets also sell camel milk ice-cream, flavoured milk, and camel cheese: look for brand names such as Camelait and Camelicious. Gourmet camel milk chocolates are another novelty: Al Nassma in Dubai Mall offers a range of chocolates made with premium ingredients, including pralines, chocolate bars, and camel-shaped chocolate boxes, which make for great edible souvenirs.
3. Withdraw solid gold from an ATM
Using an ATM for cash is so last year. In Dubai, you can simply withdraw gold bullion (as well as other precious metals such as silver) and commemorative coins at the touch of a button. The gold is available at current market prices. Find unique Gold ATMs at Dubai Mall, Madinat Jumeirah and Atlantis the Palm Dubai.
4. Ski in the world’s largest indoor ski resort
Dubai is well-known for its enormous indoor ski slopes, with the 400m Ski Dubai in the Mall of the Emirates holding the title of “world’s largest” since 2005. It’s also home to a colony of resident penguins, as well as toboggan slides, an indoor chairlift and a café located halfway up the slopes, where a pit-stop for hot chocolate is almost mandatory during your visit.
5. Recharge your phone on a palm tree
Most of Dubai’s beaches and public parks are getting equipped with Smart Palms – solar-powered energy stations that not only offer recharging points for phones and tablets, but also offer latest updates on weather, sea conditions, beach rules and tourist information via display screens and PA systems. The innovative six-foot high palm-shaped structures also act as Wi-Fi hotspots.
6. Fly over the world’s largest manmade island
Take a scenic seaplane ride over the city and you’ll get to see the Palm Jumeirah, and iconic structures on it, such as Atlantis the Palm, from a vantage point unlike any other. Apart from seeing the true palm shape in all its glory, the luxurious aerial trips, which operate on various routes, offer views of – and the opportunity to land on – the World Islands (a manmade archipelago meant to represent the world map), and the historic Dubai Creek.
7. Dine in an aquarium
Enjoy underwater-style dining in the unique Al Mahara restaurant at Burj al Arab, surrounded by fish – observing their antics and trying to identify each species will provide all the dinner entertainment you need. Encased within an oversized aquarium, the intimate, refined restaurant simulates the feeling of dining underwater, complete with a faux-submarine experience at the entrance.
The contemporary European menu specialises in seafood, including fine oysters and caviar. The grilled wild sea bass is delicious, and there are adequate choices for non-seafood fans as well, with each dish artfully presented to match the flavours.