Dubai Marina (out of Dubai past the Palm going towards Jebel Ali) – Built along a two-mile stretch of waterfront, this man-made marina has created a complete waterfront community with apartment towers and villas set against a watery backdrop. The development itself is as big as a medium-sized UK/US town accommodating more than 120,000 people. With public walkways, loads of great restaurants and cafés, plus yachting, fishing, and a beach on the doorstep, coupled with a vibrant nightlife, it’s a great environment that can be split into two specific areas:
JBR Walk is a recently opened area by the sea with plenty of shops and great places to eat. It’s right next to the beach so you can wander across from the beach at lunchtime. Lovely and busy with good vibes in the evening. Marina Walk (my name for the promenade area right in the marina itself which is surrounded by tower blocks). It’s an amazing, almost futuristic, and surreal place, especially at night when everything is lit up again loads of shops and restaurants, and only 300 yards from the Marina Metro station.
Creekside Park – Adjacent to the Creek on Riyadh Road on the Bur Dubai side but further inland. Includes children’s play areas. Has a cable car ride that gives you good views of the city and Dubai Creek Golf Club. Ideal for two or three hours – rent a cycle, admire the themed gardens, or use the provided BBQ pits.
Jumeirah Beach Park – For an inexpensive and relaxing day in the sun take a taxi to Gate 3, walk through the parking area to the beach, hire a sunbed in the shade of the palm trees at the back of the beach or nearer the sea in the open sun and refresh yourself with a dip in the Arabian Gulf. You’ll find dining possibilities and changing facilities on hand. One of the most popular beaches in Dubai, but big enough not to be too busy. There’s a small entry fee. (Monday is a ladies and children-only day)
Jumeirah Grand Mosque – Learn more about the Muslim religion and culture with a visit to one of the few mosques in the Middle East that’s open to non-Muslims. Tours are available Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 10 am but plan to get there early. The entrance is 10Dhs.
Grand Mosque – Bur Dubai – Considered one of the largest mosques in the UAE, it’s an important landmark in Dubai able to house 1200 worshippers at the same time. It has Dubai’s tallest minaret (listen out for the call to worship), many beautiful domes, and lots of hand-made stained glass. Regrettably, non-Muslims are not allowed in the mosque, but it’s worth a visit just to see where it is to put it into a Dubai context, to see the incredible exterior and no doubt take a photo or three.