Dubai has not so quietly become one of the most interesting, beautiful and dynamic cities in the world. When you fly in and view its gleaming towers rising into the sky from the middle of a vast desert, you appreciate the uniqueness and grandeur of this urbane metropolis.

As the shining jewel of the United Arab Emirates, this desert oasis has much to offer visitors in the way of cultural experiences, entertainment, shopping, and beautiful architectural creations. Here are a few of the activities that people indulge in when they travel to Dubai.

The first stop in the city will be the Dubai International Airport. handles the largest amount of international travelers each year (83.6 million travelers in 2016) and like most other things here, its massive. Getting yourself from the airport to the city can be complicated, and the best plan is to use your smartphone to book an airport transfer in Dubai, before you fly to the city. With a car waiting for you when you arrive on your flight, you will be sure your trip from the airport to the city will be smooth.

High-end Luxury Resorts

Dubai Resort

For high-end amenities, Dubai positions the bulk of them through their amazing luxury resorts. So when you visit, you should definitely stay at one and be prepared to be indulged at the highest level. These hotels have also claimed most of the best sections of the city’s coastline, so by staying at one, you get free access to Dubai’s premier beaches. In terms of where to stay, you can book a room in the world’s only seven ­star hotel, the Burj al Arab. Or overlook the city from a room in the world’s tallest hotel, the JW Marriott Marquis. You can even stay on an artificial island at the Grand Atlantis. Looking to get close to nature in the desert, book a room at the Al Maha Resort. Whichever resort you choose, it will offer a full list of top-of-the-line facilities including: Saunas and massages, beach access with every water activity, large and elaborate pools, live shows and events, complete concierge services and in-room gourmet dining.

The World’s Largest and Most Beautiful Malls

No one (or hardly no one) has ever left Dubai without shopping. It is nearly impossible because the city is packed with shopping opportunities ranging from high-end malls to dozens of street markets. The most impressive shopping centre is the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest, with over 1200 stores and shops for every budget, an ice rink, the Dubai Aquarium, and KidZania, an indoor amusement park. The Mall of the Emirates is also massive and features the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park, a 500-seat community theatre and arts centre and Magic Planet, one of the largest indoor family entertainment centres. With so much to do at these malls, you could easily spend a whole day at either.

The Jumeirah Mosque

Dubai’s largest, the Jumeirah Mosque is a newly constructed beautifully designed and built house of worship is created in the Fatimid tradition hailing from medieval times. It is the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslim visitors inside and it is a sight to behold. The amazing interior of the mosque is beautifully adorned with Arabic calligraphy and traditional designs that date back centuries. At night, when the mosque is lit by floor lamps, the contrast with the Dubai night sky is stunning. If you go, remember to dress conservatively and females should cover their arms, legs and heads while inside.

Adventures in the Desert

Dubai Dune Bashing

Dubai offers all sorts of activities in the desert including a desert safari, where you are driven 45 minutes through the desert to the Red Dunes of Al Hibab, for some hard dune bashing. You then head to a camp for a camel ride, quad biking, sand art, and a barbecue in front of traditional dancing, belly dancing, and Tanoura dancing. The entire trip takes about five hours, then you are whisked back to your hotel. There are also balloon rides and sand skiing available in the desert during most days.

Foodie’s Paradise

For those who love to sample new, different, and delicious cuisine, Dubai is the place. From dozens of versions of traditional Middle Eastern served by street vendors, to the highest quality fine dining experiences, you will be overwhelmed at the food choices in Dubai. Serving Turkish classics and some of the best cuts of meats in town, is Nusr-Et. Coya offers Peruvian food at what some say it is the best restaurant in the city. Zuma’s Japanese delights are irresistible and get complimented by a stunning presentation. Ossiano at the Atlantis has the city’s best seafood. And for romance, visit the At.mosphere on the 22nd floor of the world’s tallest building. For less formal Arabic fare visit Al Iwan, that serves Arabic delights or Aces Shawarma House, famous for the city’s most mouth-watering shawarmas.

From the world’s tallest building to the finest in luxury hotels and amenities rising right out of the desert. When you come to Dubai, be prepared for a luxury holiday where you will be indulged and amazed.