Last month, on a mission to explore Dubai, i found some absolutely Instagram-worthy spots. So here I am, sharing with you these lovely spots i discovered. Over the past few years, i have seen Dubai evolve extensively and come up with a spate of attractions, turning itself into a fun-filled tourist destination. Being in Dubai for almost half my life, turns out there're many more reasons to call it home.
1. Riverland Dubai
This is a large outdoor venue, part of the Dubai Parks and Resorts with dining and retail outlets. It comprises 4 zones and i found The French Village to be the most Instagrammable of the four. Riverland is open on all days and entry is free. A tram takes you to Riverland from the parking lot. So get your poses ready and explore!
2. Last Exit Al Khawaneej
Burgers, wraps, coffee or karak, tickle your tastebuds with the food scene here. Check out my Instagram page for some inspiration and get your creative eye for some great clicks.
3. La Mer
La Mer literally means 'The Sea', in French. Chill by the beach or take a laid-back stroll through the waterfront, get spoiled for choice with the numerous dining options, or shop at one of the concept stores, and if that's not enough jump your troubles away at the outdoor trampoline park. La Mer has something for everyone.
4. Al Serkal Avenue
The first time i visited Al Serkal Avenue was to watch a stand-up comedy at The Junction. I was pretty fascinated by the set-up of this place. A creative community which houses art spaces, concept stores, black box theatre, and some chic cafes.
5. Al Seef District
Old world charm meets modern contemporary Dubai. Intrigued to know and get a feel of the old Arabia, I spent most of my time in the heritage area of Al Seef district. Meandering through the paths of this neighborhood, one gets transported to the early Emirati years and retraces the steps of the fishermen, pearl-divers, weavers and tradesmen that once came to trade here. You can get down at Al Fahidi metro station and walk your way here. You can also opt for underground self-parking or valet parking, or take the abra service to get here. Stores, restaurants and cafes are open daily from 10 AM to midnight.
6. Textile Market
A 30 minutes walk or a 10 minutes cab-ride from Al Seef district will take you to the textile souk. Spend some time here in the alleys dotted with textile, antiques and spice shops. Some bargaining skills might come in handy.
Having lived for a considerable time in this city, it's funny that i had never taken a ride in an abra until very recently. Abra is a boat - Dubai's most traditional mode of transport. I hired a green lacquer-coated abra and had it all to myself for a 30 minutes ride. It couldn't get any better! Caught some new and interesting viewing angles of the old city too.
8. Miracle Garden
Did you say 100 million blooming flowers? Now that's some miracle. From the tallest topiary structure in the shape of Mickey Mouse to the largest flower arrangement forming the shape of an Airbus A-380, we have it all here. Head to their website for rates, timings and visitor's guide.
Located at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah island with stunning views of the Arabian Gulf, this luxury hotel looks nothing less than a palace plucked straight out of Arabian Nights.
10. Burj Al Arab
I always had this frame in my mind and now that all the celebrities have had their share with this one in the background, it's my turn. I was hunting for the right place for an ideal frame and found the perfect spot in front of Waldorf Astoria on the Palm Jumeirah.
11. Burj Khalifa
As rightly mentioned in their vision, more than just the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa is an example of the new, dynamic and prosperous Middle East. From all the high-rises of Dubai's skyline, this one stands out not just because it is the tallest, but it truly is a work of art, and an absolutely stunning one at that. This perfect view is from the terrace of Treehouse lounge in the Taj Dubai.
12. Dubai Desert
Now that's not too difficult to find. The best way to enjoy an authentic desert experience is to sign up for a desert safari with one of the tour operators. Enjoy an evening of dune bashing, sand-boarding and camel riding all culminating in a barbecue dinner, which you can enjoy while watching the elegant, swerving moves of a belly dancer, or the handsome twirls of a tanoura dancer.