What To Do In Dubai—From Jumping Desert Dunes To Exploring Luxurious Accommodations


Thanks to Emirates airline, a trip to Dubai is easy and accessible with a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

They do it bigger in Dubai. Bigger skyscrapers (in fact, the city is ranked third for having the most skyscrapers in the world—following Hong Kong and New York City); one of the world’s largest malls; and the biggest Bentley showroom to exist. Let’s also not forget Burj Al Arab, the iconic sail-shaped hotel boasting 18-karat gold hardware, gold-sprinkled cappuccinos, and a helipad where Tiger Woods once played a round of golf. It’s hard to believe a city of such magnitude sprouted from a desert. But make no mistake—this is no mirage. 

The trip began with a direct flight from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to Dubai International Airport with Emirates airline. Fort Lauderdale recently won over Miami to host the airline, and as result, Emirates now flies from Broward County to more than 150 destinations in 83 countries.

Perceptions of Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates, are intriguing. Friends always ask, “Where to next?” Accustomed to hearing exotic or adventurous destinations, when I reply “Dubai,” one friend says, “No way—too exciting. I’ve always wanted to go there.” Another says, “It’s just like Las Vegas.” 

I wouldn’t say the Sin City comparison is far from the truth. Not for the gambling, but more so because Dubai is a hub for entertainment in the Middle East, attracting celebs from all over
the world.

With all of the skyscrapers, I found it hard to imagine there was ever a desert until my visit to Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, which stretches vertically to 2,716.5 feet with more than 160 stories. (But who’s counting?) Impressed by the engineering marvel, I took the ear-popping elevator ride to the top and discovered a fabulous 360-degree, awe-inspiring view that spanned downtown Dubai all the way to the Arabian Gulf—and yes, there is a desert!

Dubai’s next big venture? According to Anass Allouch from Dubai Tourism, it’s family travel. The city offers four parks including Legoland, Bollywood, Riverland and now Motiongate—a Hollywood collaboration of three legendary film studios, Columbia Pictures, DreamWorks Animation and Lionsgate. Just imagine what this trio concocted. Hint? Smurfs and zombies.

So many choices, so little time. Dubai’s diversity is extraordinary and definitely worth a visit considering now it’s just a few hours from Fort Lauderdale.


• Arabian Adventure’s jeeping over desert dunes and troughs in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve with a final arrival to a stunning sunset before the Bedouin camp dining experience. Star-gazing is included, but sand-boarding and shishas are optional.                      

• Lunch at the top: Burj Khalifa’s At.Mosphere, an unforgettable culinary experience with a view. Favorite dish: Hamachi Ceviche and Mandarin Sphere for dessert.

• Blast up Motiongate’s Zombieland Blast-off, a 174-foot free-fall tower, to escape a hoard of zombies. It’s not for the faint of heart, but for the brave, it’s worth it.


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