Start planning your Dubai vacation immediately with these hot tips
Dubai is the city of extravagance—bigger, better, faster, stronger. With the help of local blogger/influencer Dragana Radosavljevic, we give you five things that should be on your radar for your
next Dubai trip, through the influential eyes of a local.
Dragana Radosavljevic, who goes by @dubaiblogger
on her Instagram page
and dragana.net on her lifestyle blog, is a Serbian journalist that has
lived in Dubai since 2010. With almost 100 thousand Instagram followers, she works as a social media influencer, public relations specialist, and political scientist. She loves the United Arab Emirates’ biggest and most glamorous city for its endless opportunities for exploration for both locals and tourists seeking a Dubai vacation: “Anything you can think of,
you can do in Dubai,” she says. Here are her top picks for the city.
Explore the Architecture
Burj Khalifa in DubaiA recent study by Sony Mobile and OnePoll
listed the world’s 30 most photographed landmarks. While Paris’
Eiffel Tower topped the list, with London’s Big Ben in second place,
two Dubai skyscrapers were also ranked highly: Burj Khalifa
(5th most photographed), and Burj Al Arab (18th most photographed).
“Dubai always wants to have the biggest, the best,
the most expensive, and the most amazing,” Dragana says.
Burj Khalifa has been the world’s tallest building since
2008. It was built to be the centerpiece of Downtown Dubai
and with the intention of making the city a more attractive
tourist destination. Head up the highest elevator in the world
and get off on the 148th-floor observation deck for an incredible
panoramic view of Dubai. For another typically showy Dubai
building, check out the luxury hotel Burj Al Arab, the
third-largest hotel in the world. Its outline resembles
the sail of a ship, and it sits on an artificial island,
only accessible by bridge. Finally, the Ain Dubai is a
massive Ferris wheel that, once completed in 2018, will
carry 1,400 passengers, offer undisturbed views of the
skyline, and will be fully air-conditioned. In typical Dubai
fashion, the Ain was built specifically to stake claim as
the world’s largest Ferris wheel, overtaking the London
Eye—it was originally called Dubai Eye—and the current leader,
High Roller in Las Vegas.
The Dubai MallAfter your visit to the Burj Khalifa,
head across the street to one of Dubai’s top attractions,
The Dubai Mall. Stop us if you’ve heard something
like this in the last few paragraphs, but The Dubai
Mall is the world’s largest mall (did we mention Dubai
likes things big?). Along with 1,200 shops—including the
world’s largest sweet shop—the mall is home to an
ice rink, and children’s amusement center, and an
aquarium. As far as actual shopping is concerned,
you’re in good hands here. Looking for high-end brands?
Radosavljevic explains, “Anything you can find in Milan,
New York, or Paris, you can find at The Dubai Mall.”
Street fashion brands popular in American like H&M and
Guess are also found easily, and sales happen frequently.
The mother of all shopping events is Dubai Shopping Festival.
The annual month-long event spans December and January
and chops prices as much as 90%, so shoppers, plan your
vacation to Dubai accordingly.
Dubai at nightDubai might not be immediately synonymous with
nightlife, but for those in the know, the party scene is
legendary. Thursday and Friday nights (Dubai’s weekend is
Friday and Saturday) are vibrant at many of the city’s bars
and nightclubs, often located in hotels (to get around the
strict alcohol laws), and Tuesday is a popular ladies’ night.
Dragana says of Dubai’s nightlife: “It’s incredible that you
can go to one place and meet people from so many different nations.
Everyone brings something special from their country and
culture, so the mix can be quite amazing. But it’s not necessarily
about one particular nightclub; it’s about the people—both
locals and tourists.” It’s also about the high-profile North
American names that frequently pop up at Dubai’s extravagant
nightclubs. If you show up on the right night, you could easily
encounter performers like Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, and Chris Brown,
or DJs like David Guetta and Martin Garrix. While the UAE has a pretty
strict dress code, Dubai is relatively liberal, and when it comes to
the swankiest of nightclubs, typical clubbing attire like short
skirts are commonplace. Don’t plan a Dubai vacation without
thinking about its energetic nightlife, but be sensible about
where and when you drink and make sure you respect local laws
Desert safari in DubaiOne of the best ways to get a
taste of Arabic culture while in UAE is by taking part
in a desert safari. Start with dune bashing—where a
skilled driver takes you on a thrilling 4×4 ride across
wide open sand dunes. Then try your hand at some sandboarding,
which is a desert take on snowboarding. Other stops along the
way could include visiting a camel farm for a desert ride or
stopping for traditional henna tattoos. Your tour typically
ends with a live show—belly dance, tanoura dance, or fire
Pro Tip: Couples should try the romantic VIP midnight safari
for two which includes a dinner of traditional Arabian cuisine
under the stars. “If you only have one day to spend in Dubai,
you should try the desert safari,” Radosavljevic says.
The Palm Jumeirah
Many of Luxury Retreats’ new high-end villa offerings in
Dubai can be found at the Palm Jumeirah. The artificial,
tree-shaped island is one of Dubai’s top attractions, but
for those lucky enough to afford it, the Palm can be more
than just a passing diversion; it can be home. The largest
man-made island in the world (last time, we promise), has a
“trunk” that’s more than a mile long and 16 “fronds”
(the tree’s leaves) each lined with luxury beachfront villas.
Stay on the crescent for views of the Arabian Gulf, or on the
fronds for serene beachfront privacy. The surrounding crescent
features a waterpark, a nightclub, and luxury hotels. The best
way to see the Palm is by hopping on the 2,400-passenger monorail
that tours the development end to end in about 10 minutes.
Celebrities that have reportedly owned homes on Palm Jumeirah
include soccer star David Beckham, Bollywood actor Shahrukh Khan,
and former basketball star Michael Jordan, so you’ll be in good company.
PS Ask me anything related to Dubai in the comments below
and don’t forget to check out my Instagram gallery
@dubaiblogger for the
photography inspiration. Welcome to my city!