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Deira Spice Souk is one of the vibrant markets of Dubai and is filled with shops in narrow alleys. It is next to the Gold Souk and will lure you in with its sweet and pungent aromas of spices and fragrances. You will find herbal products, dried fruits, common and rare spices, incense, saffron, frankincense, rose petals and hibiscus. It is also among the best places in town to buy quality spices at bargain prices. Only thing is you have to haggle a lot and carry cash.
A trip to Dubai is not complete without visiting the Dubai Museum, located in Al Fahidi Fort. Originally built as a defense against foreign invasion, it was later transformed into a museum and allows visitors to delve into the rich and unique heritage of the city. Exhibitions offer visitors an insight into desert life, depicting traditional Arab homes, mosques, fishing, pearl diving and trade. One of the highlights at the museum is an exhibit featuring artifacts from excavated graves in the Emirates from the 3rd millennium BCE.
Al Bastakiya is a bustling market and cultural center of Dubai. Named for the Bastak region of Iran, this Dubaite district is filled with traditional courtyard houses and classic wind towers, which offer a charming glimpse of how Dubai once looked. The surrounding historic buildings are home to museums, galleries featuring local artists, restaurants and markets. Al Bastakiya is a district you will not want to miss, especially if you are interested in learning what Dubai is all about.
Children's City Dubai is a unique educational city in Dubai and it opened in 2002. Directed towards the education of kids between the ages of two to fifteen years, this place has several interactive displays and other exhibits that give information on several topics ranging from science to history. Children will get to know more about the human body, different animals and plants and computer applications. The special attraction is the planetarium which is a must go for information on several celestial bodies.
One of the largest sacred structures in Dubai, the Jumeirah Mosque is a dominant city landmark. Built in the medieval Fatimid tradition, this mosque is open to non-Muslims only on organized tours. While strolling through the mosque at sunset, you will be washed in shadows by this elegant edifice. A favorite destination for tourists, it is the city's most frequently photographed mosque. Tours are available, however, apart from the admission charge, traditional attire is a pre-requisite of the entry at Jumeirah Mosque, these can be borrowed from the visitor center.
Designed by the US-based WET Designs, who are also known for designing the iconic Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, the Dubai Fountain is spread across a sprawling 12.14-hectare (30 acres) area on the Burj Khalifa lake. Considered to be one of the greatest choreographed fountains in the world, this marvelous structure features over 20 color projectors and more than 6,500 lights. Shooting jets of water to about 500 feet (152.4 meters) up in the sky, the musical fountain boasts of scintillating shows throughout the day. But the as the sun sets, a fantastic vibe takes over the place - that's when the plethora of lights are turned on. It is said that the fountain's upward-beaming light shines so bright that it can be seen from the space! Whether or not seen from space, the lovely Dubai Fountain can definitely transport you to another world, thanks to its magical illumination, choreography and music!
Located in the Dubai Creek area, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is home to more than 500 species of fauna and flora. The sanctuary features lagoons, mangroves, mudflats, shrub lands and more. Visitors can take-in this pristine environment from one of the three bird viewing stations or choose to walk the surrounding trail. Counted among the few urban protected ares of the world, a visit to this unique wildlife sanctuary is a must when in Dubai. Admission is free.
One of the city's favorite landmarks, the Safa Park is a great picnic spot. Children have a field day with the maze, ferris wheel, electronic games parlor, bumper cars and other games. Facilities for volleyball, soccer and basketball are also available. Add to it a jogging track, barbecue areas and a lake with a waterfall amidst a vast expanse of greens. A wonderful family experience is guaranteed. Tuesdays are reserved for women and children only.
Some of Dubai's prettiest beaches are located along the Jumeirah strip. This long stretch of beach is lined with palm trees and has plenty of lifeguards on duty. Jumeirah Beach is especially appealing to women, as here they have their own days to bask in the hot sun without the unwanted male attention. Next to the beach is the Jumeirah Park, which provides a nice break from the sun and sand to eat lunch or gather with friends. A perfect spot to play some outdoor games, dip into the salty waters and just gaze at the marvel that is, Dubai. At Jumeirah Beach, only one word escapes your lips, Mashallah!
Located in the Al Quoz, Carbon 12 is one of the most sought-after galleries in the region. Organizing a diverse array of high-profile exhibitions since 2008, the contemporary art has expanded the knowledge and interests of curious visitors. This place gives an opportunity to budding as well as renowned, local and international talents to showcase their works, and inspire many more creative artists. For event schedules, bookings and more information, visit the website or call ahead.
Located at the Al Quoz Industrial Area, the Green Art Gallery focuses on contemporary art. The gallery displays prominent works of various artists hailing not only from the Middle East but also from Africa, Southern Asia and even parts of Turkey. The gallery promotes every artists' research-based approach and encourages participation without age and nationality barriers. Feel free to keep a track of up-coming exhibitions on their official website. If you are an art connoisseur a visit to the Green Art Gallery is a must when in Dubai.
With two venues, one in Doha and the other in Dubai, the Third Line Gallery works towards creating awareness about contemporary art forms. In this regard, the gallery regularly presents established and amateur artists who are eager to tap into new avenues and project new themes. And for those who love collecting modern art, this is the perfect place.