UX Connections’ Dubai Bucket List
Since our trip to Dubai is getting closer, our team has started looking into some of the exciting things we can get up to whilst we’re there. Most of us have never visited Dubai, so we want to get the full tourist experience, and see some of Dubai’s famous places and spaces! So, as part of our Down In Dubai: UX Inspiration series, we thought we’d make a ‘bucket list’ of everything we want to see and do whilst we’re over there – read on to find out what made our list!
See the Burj Khalifa
Taking 6 years to fully complete, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at 830 metres with more than 160 floors! It has held this record since 2010, on its opening day, when it overtook Taipei 101 by a massive 322 metres. It was designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM), who also designed the Willis Tower (known as Sears Tower), as well as the One World Trade Centre. The Burj Khalifa has two observation decks: one on the 124th floor and one on the 148th floor. The first deck is an impressive 456 metres above ground and the second is a huge 555 metres. This is definitely not a place to go for those afraid of heights, but we certainly want to take a visit!
Visit Expo City
Dubai held the World Expo in 2020, a global exhibition showcasing exciting innovations from countries around the globe. Once the event finished, it was made into Expo City, an area that has turned into a “human-centred city for the future”. As visitors, we can go and visit the different pavilions that house different themes and ideas. For example, there’s a sustainability pavilion, a mobility pavilion and a women’s pavilion! These are also useful for the educational programmes Expo City has to offer. Schools can come and visit to learn more about the different topics and take part in workshops and other exciting activities. Moreover, Expo City has also become a business hub, with both startups and large global companies having offices there. As a small UX/tech business ourselves (who one day hope to open up an office in Dubai), we can’t wait to see the inspiring work being done in Expo city!
Experience a Desert Safari
Whenever you visit a new place, it’s always good to take the chance to see the surrounding areas. For Dubai, it has to be the sand dunes! There are several companies that offer different kinds of desert safaris. You can choose to go out in a retro Land Rover, open buggies, quad bikes or a 4WD car, all to experience what they call ‘dune bashing’. Dune bashing means driving over sand dunes at various speeds, creating almost a roller coaster type of feeling! If this isn’t your cup of tea, these tours also offer camel rides, sand-boarding, and even a full BBQ out in the desert! If you want an adventure you won’t forget, this is definitely one to try out – we certainly hope to get the chance to!
Attend Design Week
Starting in 2015, Dubai Design Week is an annual event that aims to cement Dubai as the design capital of the Middle East. Each year, artists, designers and creators from around the world visit Dubai for exciting exhibitions and design discussions. Though not much has been given away in terms of what’s on for this year, ‘Design With Impact’ has been announced as the underpinning theme. We can’t wait to visit as a team, and learn about how innovative design thinking can help us create experiences that are sustainable and environmentally-friendly, an issue that is so integral to current conversations happening around the world.
Visit Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping centres in the world. It houses over 200 restaurants and 1200 shops, including two department stores with plenty of luxury vendors. It has around 80 million visitors annually, but not all of them come just to shop. The Dubai Mall also hosts a hotel, cinema, sports district, an aquarium, an underwater zoo and a VR Park! Just recently it was announced that Etisalat will open up a shop within the metaverse-version of Dubai Mall, allowing customers to visit the ‘store’ and shop as if they were there in real life! After making their virtual purchase, you can go pick up your package in store, at your own leisure. We definitely have to visit the Dubai Mall to experience the innovative tech that is paving the way for retail experiences worldwide!
Take a Trip to the Global Village
The Global Village is a yearly attraction that brings together entertainment, shopping, and dining, all under one roof. The 27th edition of the Global Village Dubai is set to open on 25th October 2022, just in time for our trip! It defines itself as a multicultural destination that offers a glimpse into various cultures from around the world, and has welcomed nearly 90 million tourists since its first opening. An impressive 27 pavilions will work to represent more than 80 cultures, with a special pavilion named ‘Road of Asia’ that has been introduced to give visitors a chance to experience the many cultures from that specific region. Each year, there is something new added to excite visitors, old and new, and we can’t wait to experience it first hand! This year, a 200-foot-high helium balloon is said to be giving visitors a 360-degree view of the entire Global Village. It can accommodate 20 people at a time, and is set to become a new landmark in the city’s skyline!
See the Dubai Frame
Sitting in Zabeel Park, the Dubai Frame is described as a symbolic bridge between Dubai’s two main chapters – new Dubai (housing its tremendous growth and huge skyscrapers) and old Dubai, where it all began. The golden picture frame stands at almost 500 feet, and it covers nearly 10,000 square metres. The laminated glass panels come together to create the largest picture frame in the world, and its exterior design is covered in circles to represent the Expo 2020 logo, a key part in Dubai’s recent history. The Frame consists of 48 floors, and from the top you can experience a panoramic view of the truly futuristic city. This is certainly some of the most innovative architecture we’ve seen today, which is why it earns itself a place on our bucket list.
We can’t wait to see and experience all Dubai has to offer, and hopefully tick off some of the things we’ve added to this list! Any recommendations of what we could get up to are welcome, and don’t forget to check out our other articles in our Down In Dubai: UX Inspiration series!
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