It’s hard to believe Dubai was a simple fishing village as recently as the 1960s. Then it struck oil and underwent a radical transformation into a city of extremes. There are vestiges of the old town in there, but what puts this uber-wealthy emirate on the map are the over-the-top architectural feats, fantasy shopping malls and mind-boggling attractions that seem to be bigger, better and more outrageous anything else on the planet. Visitors can’t help but be dumbfounded by its oppressive heat and obscene excess. Love it or loath it, it’s an amazing modern Middle Eastern metropolis everyone should see at least once in a lifetime. Here are ten definite things to do in Dubai.
1. The Burj Khalifa
You literally can’t miss seeing this skyscraper when visiting Dubai. Just look up. It’s officially the tallest building and free-standing structure in the world (plus a few other record-busting titles), and it pokes its pointy head well above the other relative pipsqueak buildings in the cityscape. It’s a marvel of modern architectural engineering and a source of great pride in the UAE. Plan on whizzing up to the 134th floor observation deck for a spectacular stratospheric city view, day or night.