Tour Dubai’s Souks and Skyscrapers Before Heading to Capital City Abu Dhabi
Over the past 10 years, the city of Dubai has undergone an unprecedented transformation that has turned it into one of the world’s most extravagant places. Its skyline is studded with fantastical structures, including a hotel shaped like a giant billowing sail, an interior “city” styled after ancient Egypt, complete with pyramids and towering columns, and Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Much of the old, traditional Dubai is still sprinkled amid the sprawl in sacred mosques and bustling open-air marketplaces, called souks. You’ll see both sides of this dazzling city during a seven-day tour from Gate 1. The tour includes roundtrip airfare from New York City.
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Shopping: Home to souks, shopping festivals, and the world’s largest mall, Dubai is a shopper’s paradise. The Dubai Mall fills nearly four million square feet with 1,200 shops and an amusement park, making it the largest mall in the world by total area. The Mall of the Emirates isn’t quite as big, but it does have world-class department stores sharing space with an indoor ski resort. For a more traditional shopping experience, haggle for jewelry, electronics, and hand-woven textiles at the souks clustered along Dubai Creek.
Burj Khalifa: The tallest building in the world stands 2,716 feet tall, and you can see its silver needle from 60 miles away. On day 3, the group will journey to the top for panoramic views of the city, ocean, and desert.
Optional Safari Tour: On day 4, guests can enjoy the city at their leisure or go “dune bashing” in the desert in 4x4 jeeps. The excursion also includes a camelback ride, an open-fire barbecue dinner, and a traditional belly-dancing performance.
Abu Dhabi: The last full day of the tour is dedicated to exploring Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Its crown jewel, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, boasts 82 domes, a 60,000-square-foot hand-knotted carpet, and seven chandeliers encrusted with millions of Swarovski crystals. Another attraction is Heritage Village, an interactive museum that re-creates the region’s past with a goat-hair tent, a traditional mosque, and a complex irrigation system, among other exhibits.