Things to do in Dubai

Dubai's Burj Al Arab hotel is one of the world’s most extravagant, managing to garner seven stars; it also has the unusual distinction of being able to choose its customers. Similarly opulent, the Burj Khalifa tower is the tallest skyscraper in the world, and has the highest observation deck of any building. Attracting almost two million visitors a year, it's an unmissable landmark of down town Dubai.

Staying with the height theme, the Dubai Fountain shoots up 500 feet and is accompanied by classical and contemporary music from around the world, while the Lost Chamber Aquarium gives visitors the opportunity to explore the imagined ruins of Atlantis surrounded by 65,000 marine animals.

As with much of the Middle East, eating and shopping are favourite past times: Dubai may well be the global capital of shopping, with a choice of dining to suit.

Burj Al Arab

Possibly the most extravagant hotel in the world, the seven star Burj Al-Arab hotel chooses its customers. Its billowing sail, glittery gold interiors and extraordinary level of luxury make it one of a kind although not to everyone’s taste – assuming they let you in – or budget.

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Burj Khalifa

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest skyscraper in the world at a height of 2,717 feet. Visit the observation platform for a giddying, glittering view of city, sand and sea. The aim? To gain attention in order to diversify from an oil based economy to one based on service and tourism.

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Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is home to several key landmark sites, including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountain. It has a population of about 100,000, covers an area of two square kilometres, and was the recipient of enormous investment – estimated at around US$20 billion.

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The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is a record breaking, musical fountain show located on the man-made Burj Khalifa Lake. Opened in 2009, its water shoots up to an altitude of over 500ft, accompanied by classical and contemporary music from around the world. A steady stream of visitors marvel.

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The Dubai Mall

The world's largest shopping centre, the Dubai Mall is part of the new Downtown Dubai mega-complex. It opened in 2008 with 635 retailers and is now home to more than 1,200 stores, an aquarium, cinema and souks. Yes, this is shopping that takes itself very, very seriously.

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The Lost Chambers Aquarium

The Lost Chamber Aquarium allows visitors to explore a recreation of the mythical ruins of Atlantis – surrounded by 65,000 marine animals. Live out your Atlantis fantasy by exploring underwater mazes and tunnels surrounded by the enquiring eyes of sharks, eels, seahorses, and piranhas.

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