Once upon a time, a dreamer travelled and she landed, but then she found herself in a golden and touristly coveted city in the middle east called Dubai or as many like to call it, “The City of Gold” without an itinerary or clear plan of what to do. First, I must comment that Dubai does live up to its name, and its sometimes overpriced cost of living doesn’t seem comprehensible to the sane of minds. From staying in hotels coated in gold to literally bathing in gold, this city is dipped with luxury from head to toe, and you either join them or leave them. But if you are like this girl, who doesn’t fancy lavish lifestyles and gold mansions but decided to go wherever the Dubai wind blew her, then these are ten things you should do during your visit to the magical city of gold, Dubai.

1) Global VillageAn intricate blend of multiplicity and eccentricity with planet earth resting from its orbit around the sun. Global village is the destination for many Dubai-ans or visitors of Dubai that wish to explore almost all the countries in the world at once in a small hub. It offers an experience of a lifetime that will leave you with an assimilation of various cultural experience and a free transportation to almost every part of the world via art, food, music and so much more.

2) Burj Al Arab Beach: One thing’s for sure, visiting the beach can never get overrated. No matter where you visit, going to the beach is essential. It’s almost as if the human mind is trying to mentally judge which beach is better by urging you to visit various beaches and then secretly evaluating your experience at each beach visited. No but honestly, if this was really a thing played by the human mind, the Burj Al Arab beach is definitely a contender to win that competition. It is situated right in front of the Burj Al Arab, a lavish hotel building with overpriced rooms and complimentary gold ipads just for big names and money makers to wine, dine and sleep. However, the good news is that the beach located in front of the Burj Al Arab building is free for all and open to the public. So in a way, it offers a view of a building you most likely could only dream to step foot in. Nonetheless this beach offers a sunset view that is absolutely breathtaking with a show that will descend the sun in a fast forward and leave in its absence a crimson night sky that most likely inspires you to sing to the ocean and dance with the waves as much as you can.

3) Dubai Museum: Visiting the Dubai museum should be an essential thing to do during your visit to Dubai because one purpose of travelling is to learn about different cultures and what better way to become culture rich than to visit the museum? The Dubai museum offers rich details of the origin and progression of Dubai at the expense of AED 3 (3 Dirhams). During your visit, you will be transported from different eras and phases of Dubai; from the age of the desert to the age of multiple buildings and high rises.

4) Dubai Metro: The metro system in Dubai is so intricate and like many other metropolitan cities like Toronto and New York, it is incredibly efficient and vast. It works tediously to transport people from one location to another and by offering stations that are rich in intricate architecture, Arabian art, as well as spaces that are often regarded as home away from home.  Make sure you use the metro at least once during your visit.

5) Dubai Mall: The Dubai mall is honestly a shopping hub for the shopaholics and shoppers alike. From vast and numerous stores to various leisure attractions and fun activities, the mall itself is its own entertainment centre offering shopping stores, fancy restaurants, winter activities, the Dubai fountain, Reel Cinemas and so much more.

6) Dubai Fountain Show: The Dubai Fountain show has been acclaimed to be the world’s largest choreographed fountain system set on the man-made Burj Khalifa lake that offers an experience that is sure to illuminate and awaken your senses.

7) Al Dawaar Restaurant: This is one of Dubai’s only revolving restaurants with a 360 view of the city from inside and atop the beautiful and elegant 5 star Hyatt Regency Hotel located in Deira. With buffet style food service, Al Dawaar provides top notch food, chef presence and availability, and an unforgettable circular experience.

8) Miracle Garden: This is a great tourist location in Dubai for the lovers of intricate floral arrangement and designs. From heart shaped floral archways to houses decorated head to toe with roses and their leaves, miracle garden is an ultimate destination for the inner floral child in most people, or as some people like to say, the ultimate heaven for hippies.

9) Al Ain Camel Pen: This is a camel pen located on Al Ain road about 45minutes to an hour away from Dubai. The camels seem to be well treated and the camel tenders/riders simply have the purest hearts of gold. For AED 20 (20 Dirhams) you get to ride a camel around the pen/farm, you get to feed the camels and and you also get to take as many photographs as you wish. Safe to say that this pen offers one of the best inexpensive camel riding and camel care experiences in Dubai.

10) Souk Madinat JumeirahTranslated as “Madinat Jumeirah Marketplace or Bazaar”, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a re-creation of the ancient and traditional arabian marketplace located in the heart of Madinat Jumeirah. Vendors at this marketplace sell arabian clothing, merchandise, food and offer so much more in order to create a world reminiscent of ancient Arab through sight, smell and sound. Since Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a tourist destination, the items sold at this marketplace are incredibly overpriced, however, there’s nothing against leaving empty handed but rich with photographs of the marketplace itself.

After reviewing this list, we urge you to take charge of your visit to Dubai and don’t let the pricetags scare you, do things you know you will only get the chance to do in Dubai and forget about widely popularized touristy stuff. So we challenge you to do only things unique to the city of gold when you visit Dubai. Here are a few photos that captured some of our favourite moments in the city.