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Dubai - Burj Al Arab - Helicopter View by Sam valadi, Flickr, 2012Photo by Sam Valadi licensed under CC

From the tranquillity of the desert to the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world), Dubai is a modern tourist paradise and one of the most visited cities on the planet. Here is a highlight of the traditional and modern attractions Dubai has to offer.

Indulge in luxury at the Gold Souk

As you walk along the narrow passages of the Gold Souk in Dubai you’ll be astonished by what looks like walls of gold chains and bars. With Dubai being a free trade zone, it’s estimated that at any given time there is approximately 10 tons of gold within in the market, and very little visible security. Take a trip to the souk and maybe pick up a golden bargain.

Get a historical perpective at Dubai Museum

See the transformation of a pearling village to global metropolis at the Dubai Museum which is housed in the oldest existing building in Dubai, the Al Fahidi Fort. The museum presents the traditional way of life with life-sized dioramas of reed huts, Bedouin tents and the natural elements of the desert and surrounding sea. Visit the museum to get a snapshot of Dubai’s humble beginnings.

Learn about Islam at the Jumeirah Mosque

Decorated in beautiful Arabic calligraphy and a glorious example of Islamic Architecture, the Jumeirah Mosque is the largest in Dubai. It is also one of the few Mosques that is open for visits by non-Muslims. Guided tours and a question and answer sessions are hosted by the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. The mosque is particularly beautiful at sunset when the shadows create an elegant formation. As it’s a place of worship it is only open for tours at specific times of the day and you will need to dress respectfully.

See the modern wonder of the Palm Islands

The Palm Islands of Dubai are an artificial archipelago with over a billion cubic meters of rock and sand. A major urban development project, it has added a significant amount of upmarket beach front property to Dubai with luxury shopping areas, resorts and even a monorail. Large enough to be seen from space the islands have been created to look like date palm trees. Try and stay in one of the hotels on the islands to capitalise on its central location and proximity to the amenities and attractions of the city.

Play in the sand

Dubai’s beaches are some of the best in the world, offering both white sand and crystal clear water for sunbathers. Along with the hotel resorts, there are many public beaches dotted around the coast to take advantage of. If you're an adventure seeker you should head towards the desert. With sand-skiing, dune driving and feasts with Beduins, tours of the deserts will open your eyes to the beauty surrounding Dubai

More ideas of what to do in Dubai

Further information

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174