Dubai is one of the most beautiful and luxurious cities on the planet. It is almost unbelievable that this towering, sprawling metropolis was once a tiny fishing village. Today, it is the home to the tallest building in the world, has the second-most five-star hotels, and is one of the most popular destinations for Hollywood A-listers and elite sports stars to visit and enjoy some rest and recuperation. Dubai has it all.
This fantastic city had a population of only 1,200 in 1822, but that number has exploded to more than 3.5 million today. The rapid growth and vast investment in Dubai have seen some incredible architecture spring up. The city has a rich collection of impressive structures, many of which are modern interpretations of Islamic architecture and are a sight to behold if you ever get to see them in the flesh. Heading to Dubai? You have to check out these locations.
Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab is one of the tallest hotels globally, standing at a vertigo-inducing 1,053 feet tall. Not only is Burj Al Arab a magnificent structure, but it is also built upon an island of reclaimed land some 280 meters from the beach and is connected to the mainland by a curved bridge. Some of the world's best-known sports stars who play for teams listed at BetUS are known to have stayed at this iconic venue. Golf legends Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy have stayed here while one British journalist said the hotel should be given seven stars, not five because of the sheer luxury it offers.
Those of you with an unlimited budget may want to look into renting the Royal Suite, although it will cost you upwards of US$24,000 per night!
Do you want to cast your eyes on the tallest building in the world? Then head to 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard where you will not be able to miss the Burj Khalifa building. Opened in 2010, this epic skyscraper stands at 829.8 meters (2,722 feet) and is the tallest human-built structure in the world. This makes Burj Kalifa approximately 2.5-times taller than France's famous Eiffel Tower!
It is here that you find the gorgeous Dubai Fountain that is illuminated by 6,600 lights and shoots water 150 meters into the air! You can also get a fantastic view of Dubai via the building's observation deck, known as At The Top. If the tide is low and visibility is high, you can see the shores of Irn some 153 kilometers away.
Palm Jumeirah is eye-catching at ground level, but you simply must see an aerial view of this archipelago of artificial islands to discover its true beauty. Take to the skies, and you soon discover where Palm Jumeirah gets its name: it looks like a massive palm tree in the middle of the sea!
Dutch specialist companies Boskalis and Van Oord were tasked with creating Palm Jumeirah, and it is safe to say they achieved their goal of creating an architectural masterpiece. More than 20 hotels and resorts now occupy this amazing location.
The same Dutch companies that built Pal Jumeirah also created The World, another archipelago of artificial islands. As the name suggests, The World is designed to look like the Earth when viewed from above. It features 300 islands, with sections representing the world's seven continents. Each island is named for its representative country's landmark or region, including New York, Buenos Aires, and Mount Everest.
Dubai Miracle Garden
The Dubai Miracle Garden opened to the public on Valentine's Day 2013 and is the world's largest natural flower garden, thanks to it spanning some 72,000 square meters. There are more than 50 million flowers and some 250 million plants.
The fact this beautiful, stunning garden exists in the middle of the desert is a miracle! However, you can only visit the garden between October and April because of the high Dubai temperatures are not conducive for flower viewing.