Discover the top things to do in Dubai for the ultimate middle east getaway.
Dubai is an Arabian city brimming with charm, culture, unrivalled modernity, and of course the most amusing experiences. That’s why, visitors who flock to Dubai for its architectural marvels and uber classy facilities stay here for its heart-racing nature-based adventures, edgy quarters, and extraordinary cultural attractions. It is one of the top places to visit for young or adventurous travellers looking to see and experience something new.
If you don’t want to miss any of the amazing experiences on your holiday here, check out this list of top things to do in Dubai. This also encompasses some resourceful tips to make your Dubai trip easier.
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In This Post
10 Best Things to do in Dubai
See Dubai from the World’s Highest Building
Looking for one of the most thrilling things to do in Dubai? Then head to Burj Khalifa! Towering over the city’s most glamorous neighbourhood (Downtown Dubai), this 828-meter high steely structure is the tallest building ever built on the planet. While some may restrict their Burj Khalifa visit to a selfie or a snap against its backdrop, it’s definitely worth ascending its observation deck on 124th or 148th level. They feast you with 360-degree views of almost the entire of Dubai and beyond. As a bonus, you also get to watch a multimedia display of Dubai’s ancient history and further enjoy a swift elevator ride.
Enjoy Shopping, Leisure and Entertainment at the Dubai Mall
Malls are generally associated with shopping, but in Dubai, they are more than that. Visit the Dubai Mall which is adjacent to Burj Khalifa. It’s one of the biggest malls in the world means you can imagine its enormity and the endless experiences that await you here. You can shop at its over 1200 outlets, grab a bite from its more than 200 dining options, and mostly discover its vast smorgasbord of leisure and entertainment choices.
Find options such as Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (with over 33,000 marine creatures), KidZania Dubai, VR Park (the world’s largest Virtual Reality Park), Dubai Ice Rink, and Ekart Dubai. Another attraction that you shouldn’t miss out on your Dubai Mall or Burj Khalifa visit is the Dubai Fountain. It is set in Burj Lake, it is famous for its choreographed water show in the flawless harmony of music and light. This is one of the best things to do in Dubai!
Watch Palm Fountain Show
Dubai is renowned all over the world as the land of superlatives. This is the world’s largest fountain and the only place you can find a coloured show in the region. Opened in October 2020, what makes it extra special is that it came as a beacon of hope when the entire world was doomed in 2020.
You will find this at the Pointe (Palm Jumeirah), against the backdrop of the palatial style Atlantis, The Palm Resort. So don’t miss it – Palm Fountain show is sure to blow you away with its aquatic extravaganza that is an impeccable fusion of music, light and cutting-edge technology.
Visit Palm Jumeirah & See it from Top
Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island and it stands out from the world’s other similar islands for its vast and extraordinary grandeur, thanks to its stunning design that resembles a giant palm tree. To view this iconic Dubai attraction in its exact splendour, it is ideal to take a helicopter ride or a more adventurous sky diving tour.
Now if you are travelling to Dubai on a shoestring budget, an amazing alternative is to make your way to the View at the Palm – an observation deck on the 52nd level of the Palm Tower. You can be rest assured to catch the most exquisite and compelling views over this imposing island without shelling out a fortune. Viewing this amazing artificial island is easily one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Journey Back in Time at Al Bastakiya Quarter
Dubai may be an exceptionally stylish city, but its charming culture and ancient past are still carefully preserved. Experience it for yourself on your visit to Al Bastakiya Quarter, officially known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. If you are looking to experience something more authentic and cultural, this is one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Tucked away in the parts of Old Dubai, this 19th-century quaint neighbourhood is not only a great place to enjoy a leisurely stroll but also one of the absolute destinations to revisit Dubai’s pre-oil era. It is packed with age-old sandstone structures – the majority of them have now been converted into museums, art galleries, or cultural attractions. You can step into Dubai Museum within the region’s oldest of its kind Al Fahidi Fort or enter the Coin Museum, Camel Museum etc. For hardcore culture and history buffs, a must-visit here is Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU).
Check out Bluewaters Island’s Record-Breaking Attractions
Since the announcement of the Dubai EXPO 2020 dates in 2013, Dubai has seen the fruition of several multi-million-dirham projects including the largest of its kind Dubai Frame, Museum of the Future etc. One of the most significant among them is Bluewaters Island.
This waterfront community in Dubai, however, is not all about its contemporary, high-rise structures; it boasts of some of the newest and most phenomenal Dubai attractions such as the highest of its kind Ain Dubai (Ferris wheel), the Middle East’s first Madame Tussauds Museum, and the largest of its kind 3D Art Museum to name a few.
Go on a Desert Safari
No Dubai trip is complete until you discover its untouched desert landscape. And this should be best enjoyed on a guided Dubai desert safari; you can choose from morning safari, evening desert safari or overnight desert safari. Dune bash aboard a 4X4 is one of the staples of all desert safaris.
You will further get to enjoy a camel ride, falconry, photographic chance in Arabic attire etc on your desert trip. Along with these activities, your evening desert safari includes BBQ buffet dining plus Shisha smoking, henna tattooing, and traditional live shows such as Belly Dance and Tanura performance. As for the overnight desert safari, it promises you the best of both worlds with all activities, dining and entertainment plus an enigmatic overnight stay under the desert stars.
Shop to Your Heart’s Desire
This is one of the best things to do in Dubai for every preference. Yes, you heard it right; this is because Dubai is the Middle East’s shopping capital. So even if you are cynical about shopping, come here prepared to shed a few pennies for shopping.
After all, it is hard to overlook the city’s tempting array of over 70 huge malls, traditional souks or Arabian bazaars and other shopping centers that vie for your attention at its every corner. Serious shoppers can sign up for a shopping tour, while budget shoppers can head to the souks including Gold Souk and Textile Souk where you get to haggle and shop souvenirs, apparel etc at super affordable rates.
Take a Dhow Cruise
Looking for a step-back moment in Dubai with a twist? Simply come aboard a traditional Arabian vessel known as a dhow. Once used for the region’s traditional occupations such as pearl farming and fishing, these wooden dhows are now refurbished and converted into floating restaurants.
This makes it a great venue to enjoy a magnificent sightseeing cruise along Dubai’s waters across the posh Dubai Marina or the historical Dubai Creek. Buffet dining plus live entertainment shows like Tanura available onboard make this approximately two-hour cruise a must-experience in Dubai. This is one of the best things to do in Dubai for couples.
Take in the Sheer Theme Park Fun and Thrill
Dubai may be a compact city but it rivals even some of the world’s top destinations like Hong Kong, California etc when it comes to its vast spectrum of theme parks. From the snow-themed Ski Dubai where you can literally throw snow when the outside temperature is 50 degree Celsius to the world’s largest indoor theme park (IMG Worlds of Adventure), the fanatics of theme park rides are literally spoilt for choices.
Apart from these, there is the ultimate Dubai Parks and Resorts with four amazing parks in its premise, such as Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park.
Top Tips & Important Things To Know For Your Dubai Visit
- Best time to visit Dubai is in winter months (October to March). With that being said, summer months are equally worth visiting, especially if you are planning for a budget holiday.
- Whenever you choose to visit Dubai, make sure that you plan every aspect of your holiday in advance, in particular accommodation, airline tickets, sightseeing tours, guided activities etc. Advanced booking of all these help you to enjoy maximum savings.
- If you are not entitled for any kind of visa exemptions, you must apply for your Dubai visa in advance through a reputable visa specialist.
- Dubai is an Islamic destination, so it is most recommended to carry modest, non-revealing dresses for your holiday here. This is particularly vital when you visit a cultural landmark or a religious highlight.
- Take prior permission, if necessary, before you click pictures of Emirati locals (mainly women) and important government structures.
- Avoid any kind of PDA and refrain yourself from smoking, alcohol consumption in public, as all these can be causative for fine payment or even jail imprisonment.
Where to Stay in Dubai
Whether you are an art and culture lover or a pure thrill-seeker or a die-hard shopping fanatic, Dubai is effortlessly a destination for every preference and taste, there really are a ton of things to do in Dubai for everyone. In fact, you will never regret going on a vacation in Dubai here as it promises you to return with the memories of a lifetime.
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