Live your story

Karin, Egyptian designer


One of the best things about Dubai is there’s so much variety, each part of the city is so different from the next. While the city has a reputation as a thriving modern metropolis, traditional Arabian markets or souks are still a crucial part of daily life and trade. Like Gwyneth, you could spend the day wandering through the souks chatting to people and discovering hidden gems. And if you’re at all like Gwyneth or me, you’ll end up pointing your camera at everything you see.

There’s definitely something special about having no plan at all, but in case you aren’t sure where to start, here are some suggestions. See where you end up.

Kite Beach
Sunset Beach
Burj Al Arab
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Find your favourite beach

Debra, Kiwi journalist

We’re lucky here in Dubai – not only is the sea easy to get to (from anywhere in the city), there are 365 days of sunshine to make the most of! There’s Kite Beach for activities, Black Palace Beach to escape the hustle and bustle, or Sunset Beach for the iconic picture with the Burj Al Arab in the backdrop. Don’t miss La Mer or The Beach by JBR for a hive of seaside activity – from beach-front dining and juice bars to an inflatable waterpark and a host of watersports. You could spend days here.

Beach by JBR

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Get your camera ready

Your friends won’t believe your Dubai story without some photos! You can get great snaps of old Dubai if you visit Al Seef, but you really can’t go home without the shot of the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Fountain or that quintessential Burj Al Arab shot. If you need more ideas check out #myDubai on Instagram.

Burj Khalifa

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Explore the souks

Olga, Russian chef

If you really want to lose yourself and discover something new, a trip to the souks is a must. Venture to the famed Gold Souk for statement gold jewellery, then head on to the vibrant alleyways of the Spice Souk where you’ll find everything from exotic spices and herbs to dried fruits, candied nuts and locally-blended teas. Nearby, Deira’s Perfume Souk is a haven for perfumes, essential oils, incense sticks and traditional oud fragrances. Whatever it is you are looking for, you can probably find it in a souk. Don't forget to bargain.

Spice Souk

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Try some local food

It’s no surprise that Dubai is a foodie’s paradise; it is after all home to nearly 200 nationalities from around the world. While you’re here though, you must try some local Emirati food. Logma at The Dubai Mall or Al Fanar at Al Seef are among a range of options where you can combine a meal with shopping or sightseeing. While you’re there, do try lugaimat – bite-sized sweet dumplings dipped in date syrup.

Emirati food
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