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Dubai Garden Glow: Yards of recycled luminous fabric and 10 million energy saving bulbs have been used to make the largest glow-in-the-dark garden. Expect to see illuminated animal sculptures, lanterns, sea creatures as well as a sections with installations that pay tribute to this city. We’re talking a deck of cards, the traditional coffee pot ‘Dallah’ and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s popular three-finger salute (symbolising win, victory and love). The venue is also home to a dinosaur park and ice park. If those bright lights at Dubai Garden Glow don’t make you happy, we don’t know what will.
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Miracle Garden: With more than 45 million blooming flowers (in as many as 70 varieties), this is the region’s biggest flower garden. Nothing short of an immersive art exhibit, you’ll spot arrangements in the shapes of houses, hearts, faces and even characters (Snow White’s seven dwarves being our favourite). Don’t forget to take a picture in front of the massive airplane – it won a Guinness World Record for being the largest flower arrangement, forming the shape of an Airbus A380.
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Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (previously the Bastakiya Quarter)
The old heart of Dubai dates back to the 1890s, when residents made their living from pearl diving. It was originally called Bastakiya after the Iranian town of Bastak – many of the original traders were from Iran – but was renamed in 2012. A walk around the neighbourhood provides a glimpse into a bygone era with traditional homes, courtyards, alleyways and wind towers. It also houses the Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai Museum, Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, and several cafes and art galleries.
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Butterfly Garden: Under nine custom built domes, you’ll see 35,000 butterflies. Don’t be surprised to find them land on your arm or shoulder as you walk around the garden, but please don’t try and forcefully grab them for a selfie…you’ll harm them. It’s a small space therefore it’s worth a visit on the same day you go to Dubai Miracle Garden.
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Al Seef: On the banks of Dubai Creek, Al Seef is a balance of old and new. The heritage area features wind tower architecture and fishing nets strewn on the stone-paved walkway. A few steps away, the area features more modern design elements. What can one do there? Shop chic and craft gifts from Salla, grab a shawarma from Premium Gourmet Shawarma or take a stroll and enjoy the views of old Dubai across the creek on one side and the skyline on the other.
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Global Village: Think one big fair that promises a fun day out. You can shop products from 30 different countries (each boasting their own pavilion) or try out cuisines from all over the globe. Thrill seekers and little ones have enough rides to keep them occupied. If that isn’t enough, the venue also hosts cultural shows, stage shows and concerts.
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Rise Dubai Creek Harbour: While work on the iconic waterfront development is in progress, the space is home to a festival every weekend. From live performances to unique food concepts, workshops and pop-up markets, Rise (that’s what it’s called) really has enough to keep you entertained from noon to night. The best part: entry is free.