Uncover the 15 best things to do in Dubai and fall in love with one of the world’s most vibrant and unexpected cities.
Planning a trip to Dubai can be overwhelming, to say the least. With so many different areas, different customs, and a wide range of things to do, creating your perfect stay takes a little bit of research. This post will cover everything you need to know about visiting Dubai from where to stay, how to get around, and of course, the best things to do!
Keep reading to discover the 15 best things to do in Dubai for the ultimate getaway!
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In This Post
15 Best Things to do in Dubai, UAE
Explore Al Seef St
Al Seef St is a place I don’t see very many people venture to while in Dubai as many people gravitate to the glitz and glam of the city. However, it is easily one of my favorite parts of the city, and visiting it is one of the top things to do in Dubai. Find Al Seef St here.
Al Seef St is the perfect place to see and experience old Dubai with its vintage architecture and mix of modernity and tradition. The street offers beautiful views over Dubai creek, many restaurants, and shops to buy souvenirs. Just note that the souvenirs here are much more expensive than from similar shops in the mall – but they feel more authentic. Prepare to bargain for a price you think is fair!
The price of visiting Al Seef St: FREE!
Venture into Al Bastakia Historic Neighbourhood
Al Bastakia Historic Neighbourhood is a beautiful historic district in Dubai located beside Al Seef St. This is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Dubai that dates back to when the city was just a small village. It is the perfect place to visit to see and experience more than just skyscrapers and luxury but to see the true history and beauty of this magical city.
Here you will find traditional houses that have been transformed into small museums, cafes, galleries, and restaurants, quiet streets with beautiful architecture and more. The winding streets will guide you to endless beautiful buildings and historic sights that are well worth a visit. Going to Al Bastakia is easily one of the best things to do in Dubai that many don’t know about.
The price for entertaining Al Bastakia Historic Neighbourhood: is 3 AED for Adults (0.79€). You can also take a guided tour to learn as much as possible.
View the Burj Khalifa
No visit to Dubai is complete without visiting or viewing the Burj Khalifa. This is the tallest building in the world that sits in the heart of Downtown Dubai. Simply viewing this iconic building is breathtaking enough but you can also go to the top to view Dubai from unimaginable heights! Tickets to the top don’t come cheap with prices from 154 AED (40€) and up!
Burj Khalifa also has many restaurants, an aquarium, and much more. I think the best thing about the Burj Khalifa is just seeing it as its super impressive, so going to the top is not a MUST. You can also enjoy fountain shows in front of it throughout the day and night, and it lights up at night. Nonetheless, viewing the Burj Khalifa is one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Day Trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Taking a day trip out of Dubai to its neighboring city Abu Dhabi to view one of the most beautiful mosques in the world is one of the top things to do in Dubai. In just 1.5 hours of driving from Dubai, you will reach Abu Dhabi where you will find the mesmerizing Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This is easily one of the most beautiful and captivating pieces of architecture in the world.
The bright white exterior, ornate detailing, and grand size all combine to make this mosque a place you NEED to visit. You don’t have to be religious to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque but you do have to be respectful of the culture and religion. This means women must wear loose-fitting clothing that covers their arms and ankles. Plus women’s hair must be covered at all times. I bought a kaftan from Al Seef Street from a local vendor and I love it! It is so beautiful and I even got some compliments on it.
This is one of the few places I have visited that has left me speechless. The beauty of it is not evenly remotely captured by camera and is something you need to see and experience youself. Try to head here right at 9 AM when it opens to enjoy it with as few people as possible.
The price to enter Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is: FREE!
Spend the Evening at Kamel Uschi
Kamel Uschi is the perfect place to visit to escape the busy city streets and attractions in Dubai and enjoy the slow relaxing Bedouin culture. It was made to let visitors of Dubai enjoy the vast desert and Bedouin life. Most importantly Kamel Uschi was made by founder Ursula to home camels. Where she now keeps a herd of 30 on the farm. The camels here are taken care of with great love and care so you can enjoy their beauty and offers without fear of mistreatment.
There are a few different bookings you can make at Kamel Uschi from smaller tours like camel rides and farm visits to spending a whole evening in the desert. Find all packages here and make your booking! This is one of the best things to do in Dubai for an authentic Arabic experience.
Admire Dubai from a Rooftop
There is no shortage of beautiful rooftops in Dubai where you can enjoy meals and drinks with unimaginable views. This is one of the best things to do in Dubai that will allow you to experience a more luxurious side of the city. Luckily there are a ton of rooftops to choose from all with their own stunning views, atmosphere, and offers.
Below are some of the best rooftop bars in Dubai:
Go to Dubai Gold Souk
The Dubai Gold Souk is a traditional market in Dubai where hundreds of retailers sell primarily jewelry but other things. It is one of the most popular Souks in Dubai and a must-visit while in the city. Here you can enjoy a traditional market with all the authentic elements you could want. It is also the perfect place to buy a new piece of jewelry from a unique and memorable site.
Visit Jumeirah Mosque
Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most loved and visited traditional landmarks in Dubai. This mosque was built in 1976 in the Fatimid style and is one of the key attractions for the “Open Doors. Open Minds” program. If you have a limited amount of time in Dubai and can’t make it to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi then this is a great option to see and experience the rich religious culture of Dubai.
The cost to enter Jumeirah Mosque: FREE!
Explore Dubai Mall
Before arriving in Dubai I thought there is no way I will spend time in a mall, but that opinion has completely changed. Dubai mall isn’t like any other mall, firstly, it is one of the biggest malls in the world with an aquarium, an indoor ice rink, a human waterfall, hundreds of shops, and much more. It is also home to a ton of restaurants that make eating, shopping, and enjoying one of Dubai’s most lively areas super easy!
Spending some time wandering the huge mall and enjoying the much-needed AC is one of the top things to do in Dubai for locals and tourists alike.
Go on a Desert Tour
Experience Dubai’s beautiful surrounding desert with a guided desert tour! This is one of the best things to do in Dubai to experience more than just the luxurious city life and to immerse yourself in its rich culture and surrounding landscapes. The desert here is stunning with the light sand and rolling dunes it truly is unique and something you must experience.
The best way to experience the desert is with a guided tour. This way you can navigate safely through the sand and a professional show you the best places to see and explore. Tours and from jeep tours to camel tours, to nights in the desert, and more. Find your perfect option and prepare to be shown a whole new world.
Spend a Day on the Beach
Having a beach day is one of the most popular things to do in Dubai, and for a good reason. Relaxing in the sun, admiring the views of the city, and soaking in the magic that is Dubai are exactly what you need after long travel times to get to Dubai and running around the city exploring. One of the most popular beaches in Dubai is Jumeira Public Beach, but there are plenty of others to choose from depending on your preferences.
Go on an Abra Wooden Boat Ride
Hop on a traditional Abra and enjoy a memorable and relaxing cruise in Dubai. There are many different tour options ranging from old-town adventures, to Burj Khalifa viewings, and sunset tours. This is one of the best things to do in Dubai is sit back and relax and truly enjoy the surroundings.
Walk around Dubai Water Canal
Dubai Water Canal is a new project in Dubai wonderful for experiencing something different in Dubai. It is made up of an artificial canal and is perfect for hiking, walking, and biking along the waterside trail to enjoy a tranquil evening in the city. It also has stunning views of the skyline!
Explore Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeriah is one of Dubai’s most interesting places to see and experience. This archipelago of artificial islands is built to look like a palm tree and is home to luxury hotels, high-end apartments, world-class restaurants, and more. Venturing here is one of the top things to do in Dubai to see and experience a unique place like no other.
Stroll in the Dubai Marina
The Dubai Marina is a very interesting place in Dubai that is nice to visit once. It almost feels like an arcade with bright lights, restaurants, and a busy boardwalk. This is the perfect place to visit and stay if you have kids! Head here to enjoy some classic restaurants like the Cheesecake Factory and walk along the beach at night.
Where to Stay in Dubai
The best place to stay in Dubai to be in close to most things: Downtown Dubai
The best place to stay in Dubai for families: Dubai Marina
The best place to stay in Dubai on a budget: Barshka Heights
The best place to stay in Dubai for luxury: Palm Jumeriah
How to Get Around Dubai
The best way to get around Dubai is by renting a car or taking Uber/taxis. Renting a car will likely be cheaper in the end if you plan on moving around the city a lot. Uber’s are more convenient. While taxis are the cheapest.
Getting travel insurance before you travel is a MUST. It’s the number one thing you should always pack before travelling that can save you a lot of money, time, and stress. With how crazy travel has gotten recently you need that peace of mind that no matter what happens there is something protecting you from losing out. I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should.
I always travel with travel insurance and think everyone should. Below is my favorite travel insurer Safety Wings, enter your details to get a free quote!
With so many amazing things to do in Dubai your holiday will surly be packed with adventure.
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Looks like there’s plenty to do to keep people of all ages entertained in Dubai! Thanks for sharing.
We were supposed to have a visit in Dubai two years ago, but flights were cancelled. I definitely want to get there some day. Beautiful photos!
I’d love to visit Dubai – I almost have but covid struck. Thanks for all the inspiration with your fabulous photos. Do you think 1 week is long enough to spend in Dubai?
A traditional Abra looks amazing! I’ve never been to Dubai, but it’s on my list!
So many great photos Samantha. Do you take them yourself? The photos alone would make me excited to visit and take my own pics.
tiffy roxxx says
Dubai offers so much to do! I went for the winter holiday season in 2013 and it was loads of fun. Pretty much did everything on this list and reading this brings back so much memories.