Things to do in Dubai – Burj Khalifa, Kaleidoscope buffet and Montgomery’s
Things to do in Dubai
When you think of Dubai, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind?
Decadence and bling, with streets lined with Swarovski? Or the Palm Beach and sand dunes?… Well Dubai offers a lot for anyone seeking a luxe destination.
I’ve visited twice and been meaning to do a roundup. However as both times we’re stop offs en-route to the Far East, they were more chilled breaks than adventure holidays.
Nonetheless, below are the things we did, but first, here’s a brief 101…
Dubai is one of the most exclusive destinations in the United Arab Emirates. Possibly the most westernised and liberal country in the Middle East, it is a haven for expats seeking sunshine and a tax-free lifestyle.
However, Dubai is not cheap. The malls are often more expensive than the UK, and given the bling factor and celebrity regulars (David and Victoria Beckham own a property on the Palm – the man-made extension of Dubai), restaurants, tourist attractions and shopping comes with a price tag worthy of its palatial surroundings.
But there is another, not-so-nice side to Dubai, where workers – mainly from Bangladesh, Pakistan and other parts of Asia – work in labour intensive roles, in scorching heat for a very lowly wage. In fact it is these workers – cramped in camps – that are said to have built Dubai into the exclusive holiday hotspot it is today. Yet more often than not, they are kept out of sight so as not to damage the marble veneer so carefully curated.
From discussions with family that live in Dubai, I’m told that the plight of these workers is very slowly improving, with charities bring set up to help. But I suspect it will be a while, if at all, before Dubai has any real rights for its workers.
But I’ll get off my soap box and put the world to rights another day. So back to my ‘things to do in Dubai’ list:
Things to do in Dubai #1 – Enjoy the view from the Burj Khalifa
No trip to Dubai is complete without a trip to the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world.
The dizzying heights show you the breadth of desert Dubai is made from, away from the city centre interior. There was a viewing station, and a glass floor, though this may prove too intense if you’ve got vertigo.
Things to do in Dubai #2 – Visit the Dubai mall
The malls in Dubai are some of the biggest in the world, and to add to the wow factor, one mall even has the largest indoor aquarium, featuring a crocodile from Australia as well as other exotic species.
Things to do in Dubai #3 – Pop into the Atlantis Resort and eat a Kaleidoscope of food
One of the great destinations for holiday goers in Dubai is the Atlantis Resort, which has hotels, restaurants and shisha lounges.
We ate at the fancy buffet Kaleidoscope in Atlantis Resort, which offered scallops, mussels and more dessert than you could shake a stick at. So a little more fancy than some of the other all you eat places I’ve frequented, and at around £60 per head, it had a price tag to match its extensive menu.
Things to do in Dubai #4 – Enjoy a round of golf
If you’re a golf fan like my hubby, Montgomery’s is a great place to do a few rounds against the Dubai skyline.
The views are spectacular, the restaurant serves good food and it makes for a great day out for the family.
Things to do in Dubai #5 – Do shisha (or hookah) like the Arabs
While this is not a delicacy for me, shisha is all the rage in Dubai.
As the habit originated in the Middle East, this is unsurprising, Arabs had been using shisha – a long pipe from which you puff flavourful smoke – for centuries before it became trendy in the UK.
There are plenty of places to try shisha in Dubai, as it’s as commonplace as tea in a cafe. In fact, it’s almost un-cultured not to indulge.
I however chose to stick with my ignorant ways and avoid the habit as it’s just not my cup of tea.
Now of course there are a tonne of other things you can do in Dubai, go dune buggy-ing in the desert, ride camels and the usual fayre that comes with a sandy resort. But as our trip was a stopover visiting family, we didn’t get to see and do it all.
However, if you ever do visit Dubai yourself. I hope this roundup is useful.
If you’ve been to Dubai and tried done thing I’ve missed out on, please leave a comment below so I can try I next time I visit. In fact I might be popping there again this year.
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About the Author
I’m a British-Bengali Muslim mum-of-two. My pictures aren’t filtered and neither are my words. I’m not a makeup artist, chef or lifestyle guru. I’m just me, sharing honest beauty reviews for brown skin, halal restaurant finds, travel inspo, mum life hacks, easy Bengali recipes and more. If that’s your bag, keep reading!