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Unlock the City: Enjoy Dubai Tourism with a Rental Car in 2024

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Within five decades, Dubai has made an incredible transition from a humble fishing village to the world's favourite commercial hotspot. Every year, the city welcomes twenty million visitors from all over the world to marvel at its glorious architectural feats and cosmopolitan glory. Extravagance and luxury lend a distinct charm to the Grand Dubai experience. The city boasts towering skyscrapers, beautiful stretches of beaches, and magnificent hotels and bars while retaining its traditional and cultural essence. Dubai's public transport system is undoubtedly one of the best, with its fully automated metro system being one of the world's largest. Yet most residents and tourists find there's nothing better than exploring the city in rental cars.

Why is renting a car is better?

  • Rental cars are a better alternative for their ease and convenience. One can access any part of the city from anywhere, anytime, which might not be the case with public transport.
  • Taxis do provide an end-to-end ride, unlike metros and buses, but their prices can take a toll on your budget if you have to use them quite often.
  • A single 20-minute trip can cost you 50 AED. Rental cars start at 80 AED (21 USD) per day. What most people don't realise is that driving on the immaculate roads of Dubai is in itself a rich experience. It allows for exploring hidden treasures of the city that may not be found on travel blogs and maps. The well-maintained highways, effective road laws, and hefty penalties make the drive safe.
  • Exotic cars are a common sight on the road. Here, tourists can fulfil their most outrageous desires of owning the latest models of fancy cars for a day.
  • Riding in a luxury car around the affluent suburbs is the icing on the cake. Rental companies provide all sorts of cars to meet the budgets of their customers: regular, luxury, and vintage. Now let's embark on an unforgettable journey.

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Where To Go

1. Burj Khalifa:

The first thing you would naturally want to see would be the Burj Khalifa. This architectural marvel, standing 828 metres tall, is the tallest building in the world and dominates the skyscraper-filled skyline. The observation deck offers a splendid bird-eye perspective. However, Khalifa's record will soon be defeated by Dubai's Creek Tower, another ambitious engineering venture in progress

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2. Palm Jumeirah:

Palm Jumeirah is one of Dubai's most aspiring projects. This artificial island is known to be the world's largest. The island resembles a palm tree from overhead. It harbours an array of majestic hotels and affluent villas. Aqua Venture Park, Royal Atlantis, and Lost Chambers Aquarium are some notable tourist spots. The 52nd floor of the Mariot Harbour Hotel offers a wonderful view of the island.

3. Dubai Miracle Garden:

The garden is the world's largest flower garden, expanding over 72,000 square metres with 45 million flowers. The miracle garden is indeed a miracle, almost making you forget you are in the middle of a desert with its lush greenery and breathtaking splendour. It welcomes visitors from mid-November to mid-May. The Guinness World Record-breaking floral rendition of an Airbus A380 superjumbo aircraft is the most noteworthy site besides the Butterfly Garden, Disney Avenue, and Floral Clock.

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4. Dubai Frame:

An astounding example of modernistic architecture is the Dubai Frame, the largest frame on the planet. The colossal frame provides panoramic views of New and Old Dubai at 150 metres above the ground. Golden motifs in a honeycomb pattern adorning the frame make it a dazzling sight at night. It also has a grand museum showcasing the grand past of the city and a string of restaurants and cafes.

5. Al Bastakiya:

The Al Bastakiya Neighbourhood presents a glimpse into the pre-modernization era when wind towers (rudimental air conditioning structures) made the skyline instead of skyscrapers. The Majlis Gallery and Al Serkal Cultural Foundation hold many early Arabic engineering marvels. The 18th-century quarter is also home to supposedly the oldest building in Dubai: the Al Fahidi Fort, where presently the Dubai Museum is located. The astounding evolution of the city, from a fishing village to a futuristic metropolis, is shown by the historical artefacts and archaeological findings displayed in the museum.

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6. Sheikh Zayed Road:

Driving along Sheikh Zayed Road, the main thoroughfare running through downtown, with the mesmerising Dubai Skyline in the background, is more than anyone can ask for. The glorious skyscrapers can be seen brushing shoulders with each other from here. The eight-lane highway offers a great vantage point. The Dubai World Trade Centre, along with numerous malls and other remarkable landmarks, stands proudly on the main artery of Dubai.

7. Burj Al-Arab:

Located on Jumeirah Road is another sky-soaring wonder: the 321-meter Burj al-Arab, the world's tallest and most expensive hotel, perched on its own artificial island. Those who can't afford a stay in the luxurious suites can certainly experience its rich ambiance by having dinner at the underwater Al-Mahara restaurant or lunch at the California-style fusion restaurant Scape. Do visit the Sky View Bar at the tip of the hotel to catch staggering panoramic views.

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8. Deira:

Deira is the oldest neighbourhood in the city, with its wooden archways, courtyard houses, and traditional souks (markets). The streets of Deira are a blend of various cultures, traditions, and nationalities. This area is mostly inhabited by immigrants from all over the world. Even after waves of industrialization and modernization, the souks have retained the essence of Old Dubai. Gold, spice and perfume souks dispersed over the district offer a great contrast to the recently developed malls. The world-renowned Gold Souk, Women's Museum Bait al Banat, and Heritage House are definitely worth a visit. This side of Dubai is relatively less expensive in terms of restaurants and hotels.

9. Alserkal Art District:

The favourite place of art fanatics and connoisseurs would be the Alserkal Art District, the vibrant creative conclave of the city. The place houses contemporary art galleries, arts organisations, artisanal workshops, fashion and accessory boutiques, restaurants, and cafes, making it a vibrant blend of art, music, fashion, and food. Besides established galleries like Ayyam Gallery, Green Art Gallery, and The Third Line, you will find small art startups showcasing street art and local talent and nurturing communities of visual and performing artists.

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10. Heritage and Diving Village:

The Emirates maritime history, early Arabic architecture, and pearl diving traditions enchant many tourists. At the Heritage and Diving Village, you would get to witness the ancient crafts of weaving, embroidery, and pottery in their former glory. Their products can be purchased as souvenirs of a bygone era. There is a string of local shops where traditional clothes, pearl jewellery, pots, and baskets can be purchased. Cultural performances, camel rides, and exotic dishes add a cherry to the top of the experience. You can also gain knowledge about the 7,000-year-old pearl diving industry

11. Crossroads of Citizenship Museum:

This museum highlights and provides insight into Dubai's historic role as a trade link between the east and the west. It exhibits the beauty and bounty of all ancient civilizations. Artefacts from the Ubaids, Babylonians, Greeks, Romans, and other civilizations that passed by the region are displayed here. A large number of letters from different travellers, explorers, kings, traders, autographs, and manuscripts are also put on display. Annexed to it are the Rare Books and Manuscripts Museum and the Armoury Museum.

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12. Jumeirah Mosque:

The mosque is one of the most iconic landmarks in Dubai and adds to the collection of the city's astounding architectural specimens. The mosque has the capacity to hold 1,200 visitors. Carved entirely in white stone with intricately designed twin minarets, the mosque boasts a sacred beauty that gets more accentuated by dusk. The tours organised by Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding helps tourists better comprehend and appreciate Emirati culture and tradition.

13. Dubai Opera:

Located in downtown Dubai, the Dubai Opera is the city's most robust entertainment hub. It hosts a wide range of operas, theatricals, musical and cultural performances, and comedy nights. With the capacity to hold 2000 people, Dubai Opera entertains tourists and locals throughout the year with astonishing performances by local as well as international artists.

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What To Do

1. Go mall-hopping:

Dubai is a shopper's paradise. Dubai Mall is the city's premier mall with an in-built theme park, ice-skating rink, gaming zone, and cinema complex. The Mall of Emirates is another delight, its key highlight being the spectacular indoor ski facility. With thousands of international brands and exotic cuisines, malls are another alternative to escape from the scorching heat. The city has nearly 65 malls unique in their own way: the Egyptian-themed WAFI Malls, the Mercato Mall with an air of European Renaissance, and many more.

2. Desert Safaris:

The ideal way to enjoy the seething heat of the Arabic desert is to go off-roading, sandboarding, quad biking or even better, traversing the sand waves by renting four wheels and bashing dunes. Camel rides will give you an authentic taste of the Emirati lifestyle, followed by the traditional Emirati buffet. You can also go for the deluxe over-night safari package and wake up to the morning desert sunrise.

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3. Sky Diving and Hot Air Ballooning:

With stunning skydiving locations and professional instructors, Dubai is one of the best places for this thrilling sport. You can enjoy the thrills of freefall and fulfil your daredevil fantasies or if you're a little hesitant, you can always try indoor skydiving first. A little less thrilling and more relaxing way to navigate the Dubai skies would be hot air ballooning.

4. Aerial View in a Helicopter:

The best way to admire the stupefying beauty of Dubai is to take a helicopter tour. Observation decks and skydiving have their own charm, but if you wish to marvel at the city's astonishing engineering feats in less than an hour, you should make a go for it. An aerial view of the Palm Islands and the World Islands is incomparable to anything in the world.

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5. Cruise Rides and Sails:

Gliding along with the towering skyscrapers on glass-enclosed luxury cruises and savouring the magnificent views offered by the city lights at night is pure bliss. You can board these cruises from Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina, the largest artificial marina. These panoramic tours provide stellar views of landmarks like the Cayan Tower, Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Al Fattan Towers, Deira Tower, Clock Tower, and many more. Another relish would be a sweet sail on Abra between Deira and Bur Dubai.

6. A Walk by the Beach:

Dubai has a pristine stretch of beaches, dotted by a plethora of restaurants, food joints, and bars where you can bask under the sun and listen to the song of the waves. Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach offer so many fun activities like jet skiing, paragliding, water skiing, and surfing, which will definitely flood your veins with adrenaline. The beaches are always bustling with activity: DJs pumping out music on weekends, water sports avenues, and people lining up for an open-air cinema. You can also take a lazy walk along the sandy shore of La Mer or relax in some spa resorts lining the beach.

7. Visit amusement parks and aquariums:

The Dubai Aquarium is the world's largest underwater aquatic zoo and offers awe-inspiring sights of the sea world with about 140 aquatic flora and fauna through a 48-meter-long tunnel. IMG Worlds of Adventure is the perfect place for a family adventure with superheroes and princesses-themed rides, animated dinosaurs, and all sorts of entertainment packages. And don't forget to visit Bollywood Park, Lego Land theme and water park, and Ferrari World.

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8. Nighttime Extravaganza:

The city never sleeps; instead, it becomes more alive and vibrant as the sun goes down. The lights of Dubai's Global Village ignite the whole city. The place is a confluence of culture, fashion, food, music, and art from all over the world, with more than a hundred themed kiosks selling exotic street food, a succession of amazing performances, musical concerts, games, and a lot more. The glorious fountains located below the Burj Khalifa are another visual treat for tourists.

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