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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 18, 2021
Headline for 5 Top-rated attractions in Dubai and Ibn Battuta – A vacation filled with culture, shopping and fun
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Top-rated attractions in Dubai and Ibn Battuta – A vacation filled with culture, shopping and fun

Once a desert region with nothing to sustain life, Dubai has transformed itself into a glitzy modern city with high rises, shopping malls, man-made beaches, indoor ski slopes and gigantic aquariums.


About Dubai

Dubai is the city of the rich and the interface of the UAE. Ranging from cultural highlights to sightseeing attractions, this desert city offers a lot to tourists. The Burj Khalifa is among many glamorous creations of Dubai. Among the cultural highlights and historical highlights are Dubai Creek and the Al Fahidi quarter. The ease of finding a luxury hotel in Dubai is another reason why this city is a hit with tourists; the likes of Oaks Ibn Battuta Gate Dubai are just one example of Dubai's many accommodation options.


Al Fahidi Quarter (Old Dubai)

Known to locals as Bastakia neighbourhood, Al Fahidi Quarter was the home of the Persian merchants in the 19th century Dubai. These merchants, who dealt in textiles and pearls, were drawn to Dubai for its tax-free trading. Winding along the creek, Al Fahidi has numerous historical buildings made of limestone and coral. The top of these buildings constitutes wind towers which work in the way of modern air conditioners; an architectural element brought to Dubai by the Persian merchants. A visit to this ancient neighbourhood of Dubai is a sure way to understand the Dubai culture and its people.


The Souks of Deira

Occupying a considerably large portion of the banks of Dubai Creek, the Souks of Deira is another quintessential element of Dubai culture. These types of markets are what preserve the old cultural elements of Dubai. The winding alleys of the markets are bustling with tourists and locals all the time. Deira Gold Souk is considered to be the largest of its kind. The spice section sells every type of spice, including paprika, turmeric, thyme and saffron; you can also find incense and rose water here. Apart from shopping, the Souks of Deira also feature two architectural and cultural treasures: the Al-Ahmadiya School and Heritage House.


Dubai Aquarium

This mammoth aquarium speaks for the modern and wealthy side of Dubai. Found inside the Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium is a gigantic tank where nearly 140 marine creatures live. The tank is suspended and can be viewed from the upper floors of the mall. If you decide to visit the Underwater Zoo, you can take a tour of the aquarium through its tunnels.


Jumeriah Mosque

Reveling the religious facet of Dubai, Jumeriah Mosque stands among the most beautiful religious houses in the world. Citing an example of Islamic architecture, Jumeriah Mosque is a replica of Cairo's Al-Azhar Mosque – its size notwithstanding. The mosque is constructed in Fatimid tradition which is evident from the two minarets that stand at the top of the mosque. The subtle intricacies of the stonework are better seen in the evening when floodlights light up the mosque and the area. For a guided tour at the mosque, tourists can contact the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding: the place offers a range of programmes, Arabic classes, tours, and authentic Dubai meals. Tours usually begin at 10 am, keep in mind that you cannot visit the mosque on Fridays.


Jumeriah Beach

For Dubai visitors, Jumeriah Beach is the primary beach destination. Being a popular tourist spot, Jumeriah Beach has given rise to a plethora of hotels. Restaurants, water sports operators and sun loungers are aplenty here as well. Jet skiing is a popular sport among those visiting Jumeriah Beach. It would be better if you could visit the beach in the morning when the temperatures are bearable.