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Must Try Dubai

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Desert Safari

For dune bashing, adventure and a taste of rich Arabian tradition a Safari is one for you. Popular local tour operator Arabian Adventures runs dozens of different types of excursions, such as the ever-popular "Sundowner" package.

This all-inclusive deal includes a four-by-four trip over the dunes, a falconry show, a camel ride and traditional belly-dancing performances, plus an Arabian buffet  and star gazing at a desert camp.

Dhs375 (per person). Pick-ups across Dubai. www.arabian-adventures.com (04-214 4888).

Dubai

The shoppers’ delights is home to more than 1,200 outlets, stocking everything from high-end designer labels to kiosk selling kitsch souvenirs from your visit. If you feel you need a breather from scouring the multitude of shops, you can rest your feet and refuel at a host of eateries.

The vast centre is also home to the Dubai Aquarium and underwater Zoo, as well as a massive ice rink.

Open Sun-Wed 10am-midnight, Thu-Sat 10am-2am Downtown Dubai. www.thedubaimall.com

Dubai Water Canal

The Dubai Water Canal is a 3.2km long waterway which winds its way to from The Creek on Old Dubai through Business Bay to the Arabian Gulf.

Along its waterfront, the Westin, the W Hotel, the St. Regis, a whole range of new lifestyle precincts, a 3km running track and 12km cycling path. The waterfall, where the Canal meets the Sheikh Zayed Road bridge, is a beautiful motion-operated water feature that is visible from the promenade, and switches off a sensor detects a boat nearby.

There are five pedestrian bridges available including three across the Canal, so you can take in the stunning views. It also brings a non-stop way to travel, with a free-flowing commute from Deira to Dubai Water Canal and Dubai Marina.

Visit www.rta.ae for the route map.

Falcony Balloon Trip

After a memorable desert adventure? Why not take a hot air balloon trip?

For an extra special ride, Balloon Adventures Dubai has teamed up with falcon trainers so you can see falcons fly up to 4,000ft above the ground as they take off from the balloon.

From Dhs1,055 www.ballooning.ae (04-388 4044).

Gold Souq

Get more karats for your cash with a trip to the Gold Souk, where many visitors from overseas will be able to get their hands on a few new jewelry pieces at a fraction of the price they might normally expect to pay. Cookery fans should also stop by at the nearby spice souk while there. Deira.

Helicopter Ride

For a special treat, it’s time to take off from Atlantis The Palm for stunning views across Dubai from an unusual vantage point; soaring in a helicopter. From Dhs 795. www.alphatours.com

Madinat Jumeirah

A sprawling five-star resort encompassing a number of luxurious hotels, the Madinat is designed to resemble a traditional Arabian town ("Madinat" means "city|" in Arabic) with its sandy-hued exterior.

A maze of corridors with kiosk selling trinkets and souvenirs lend the effect of a souk, but the complex also houses a huge number of restaurants and bars.

Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (04-366 8888).

The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain is a captivating water, music and light spectacle in Downtown Dubai. One of Dubai’s most compelling tourist attractions, it delights thousands of visitors for free every day and is the world’s tallest performing fountain.

At over 900 feet in length – equivalent to over two football pitches – it is situated on the 30-acre Burj Lake and performs to a range of different songs from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.

With The Dubai Fountain Lake Ride you can set sail on the ultimate ride front row seats to the best show in town for Dhs 65 per person.

Show schedule: afternoon shows, daily (except Fridays) at 1:00pm and 1:30pm. Afternoon shows (Fridays only) at 1:30pm and 2pm. Evening shows, daily from 6:00pm to 11:00pm every 30 minutes.

Call 04-3627500 or email info@thedubaimall.com.

The Green Planet

Anything is possible in Dubai – even a replica rainforest in a land dominated by desert. The Green Planet boastsan ecosystem that brings a rainforest environment to life by regulating temperature and humidity levels – and is home to 3,000 species.

With help from leading scientist, zoologist and architects from around the world, the giant, 45-metre-tall cube-like structure has been developed as an educated space.

While you’re there don’t miss a wander around the shopping area of CITY WALK which is home to plenty of restaurants and street art.

Dhs95 (adults), Dhs70 (children.) Open daily 10am-10pm. CITY WALK, Jumeirah 1 www.the greenplanetdubai.com (04 317 3999)