The Abraham Accords that link Israel with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were signed over two years ago, yet Israeli tourists’ excitement of having a new destination to explore has not begun to fade. Even during the boiling months of August and September, record numbers of Israelis flew to Dubai for a long weekend.
The next few weeks, before the busy winter season begins (December-March), is an ideal time for Israelis to visit the UAE, since tourist attractions and hotels will not yet be crowded. There are numerous flights every day between Tel Aviv and Dubai on Israeli airlines, as well as Emirates and Fly Dubai. It’s actually quite easy to be spontaneous and find a last-minute deal on an extravagant getaway to any of a number of popular locales in the UAE.
Once you’ve visited the main attractions such as the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, the Dubai Miracle Garden, the aquarium, the underwater zoo and marina, you can move on to a number of lesser-known attractions. Here are a few sites you definitely should not miss.
1. SLS Dubai Hotel
Dubai has an extremely high number of luxury hotels, some of which have been rated among the best in the world. In fact, almost everywhere you go in Dubai, you’ll hear over and over how this attraction and that monument are the most magnificent – or the tallest – in the world.
For example, on the rooftop of the SLS Dubai Hotel, you’ll find an overflow pool that was recognized by Guinness World Records as the highest overflow pool in the world. Located on the 75th floor, the pool offers a stunning view of the entire city. Moreover, the SLS, which is one of the tallest hotels in the region, has 254 guest rooms, 321 suites, two gourmet restaurants, a spa and, of course, a fantastic view of the city.
2. Dubai Frame
Since Dubai is known for its tall buildings, it’s not surprising that one of its most famous tourist attractions – Dubai Frame – offers a great view of the area. You can see the golden picture frame, which is 150 meters high and located in Zabeel Park, from almost any point in the city.
While walking around the park, you will also see the illuminated dancing musical fountain. Then, you can ride up one of the panoramic elevators to the top, from which you will have an amazing 360-degree view of the entire city.
While there, you will also hear stories and learn about the history of the UAE. And if you’re brave enough, you can take a selfie of yourself standing over the glass floor that is more than 100 meters above the ground.
Price: Around NIS 50Hours: Daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Details: www.dubaiframe.ae
3. The View at the Palm
If you take the elevator to the 52nd floor of the iconic Palm Tower, you will be met with a stunning 360-degree view of the famous Palm Jumeirah, part of an archipelago of artificial islands that is one of the hallmarks of Dubai. On this archipelago in the Persian Gulf, you will find hotels, restaurants and lots of private mansions.
During your visit to the View at the Palm, which is 240 meters above the ground, you will hear the story of how the city was planned and can visit the exhibition that shows the stages of its development.
In addition, if you’d like to shop, visit the Nakheel Mall, conveniently situated in the Palm Tower.
Price: Starting at NIS 100Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to p.m.Location: Nakheel Mall Rooftop, level 2
4. Museum of the Future
It’s hard to ignore the flamboyance in the UAE, which sometimes can be perceived as detached and rootless. However, after you’ve spent some time visiting Dubai’s Museum of the Future, you might change your mind.
The five-floor museum features immersive exhibitions, covering topics such as outer space, ecosystems and bioengineering, health and wellness, as well as showcasing near-future technologies that could transform our world. And there’s an entire floor where children can explore and solve challenges.
Throughout the museum, visitors will see how Emiratis strive to combine historical ties to their traditions with their desire to jettison into the future. The museum is situated in one of the city’s most gorgeous buildings.
Price: Around NIS 145. Free for visitors under 3, over 60 or disabledHours: Daily, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m
5. Platinum Desert Safari
There’s a lot more to see in the UAE than its capital Dubai. A great way to venture out into outlying areas is by joining a day trip. Take an all-inclusive, five- or six-hour safari adventure into the heart of the desert.
Participants are picked up from their hotel and taken on a tour through the desert dunes, followed by a meal of local cuisine in a tent in the desert, a camel ride, a musical performance, and star gazing.
6. Al Fahidi historical neighborhood
If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Dubai, visit Al Fahidi, one of the city’s older neighborhoods. Al Fahidi began as a poor village where fishermen and pearl divers lived. Nowadays, the old buildings have been turned into fashionable art galleries and government offices.
From there, continue to El Sif, where the old intertwines with the new. El Sif is full of souvenir shops and boutiques, and you’ll find restaurants and food trucks all along the riverbank. Save your outing to El Sif for the evening, when temperatures are milder.
7. Arabian Tea House
Located near the entrance of the Al Fahidi neighborhood, the Arabian Tea House features a variety of teas and Arabian-flavored drinks. Visitors can also enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, which includes meats and a slew of sambucas with a variety of fillings.
Don’t be misled by the name, though – you can also order delicious coffee there as well.
8. Crystal clear kayaks
If you’re in the mood for some athletic activity, you might want to rent a transparent electric kayak or paddle boards from Crystal Clear Watersports. It’s incredible to see right through the bottom of the boat as you float around the water near Jumeirah Beach.
9. Basko Dubai
It’s hard to recommend a quality restaurant in Dubai, as there are so many. But Basko is one of the best because in addition to great food, it offers wonderful music as well.
Located in the city’s business sector, people like to stop there for a drink. If you like dancing, make sure to go up to the restaurant’s upper level after 11 p.m.
Location: The Opus by Zaha Hadid, Business BayHours: 12 p.m. until 1 a.m.
10. Q’s Bar and Lounge
Located in the Palazzo Versace Hotel in Dubai, Q’s Bar and Lounge is definitely the place to see and be seen. Enjoying its extravagant design and propensity for gold-colored items is a fun way to meet up with friends for cocktails.
11. Sushi Samba
One of the newest branches of the revered sushi chain Sushi Samba can be found one floor above the Aura Skypool, the second-highest pool in the world.
Translated by Hannah Hochner.