20 Awesome Things to do in Dubai

Everything about Dubai is so captivating and enthralling. The amazing city is known to offer unforgettable experiences to tourists who flock this place from all across the globe. The amazing balance of old and new in this city results in a gamut of things to do and places to visit. Dubai needs to be seen if you wish to believe what it has to offer. From man-made islands to world’s tallest building, from record-breaking malls to traditional market, from adventure activities to Desert Safari, Dubai has all this and much more. Here is a list of things to do in Dubai:

  • Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa in Dubai

Visit to the tallest building of the World.

Fee:

At the Top- Adult- DH 125 /Child 4-12year- DH 95 / Fast track Dh 300, At the Top Sky Dh 300, Audio-guide Dh 25

Timings:

At the Top- 08.30 AM- 12:00 AM, At the Top Sky- 11:00 AM-11:00 PM (Sunday-Thursday), 10:00 AM-11:00 PM (Friday and Saturday, last entry is 45-min before closing time)

Location:

1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd (just next to Dubai Mall)

Standing the tallest in the world with a height of 828 m, Burj Khalifa boasts of engineering and architecture feat. The building has a resto-bar on the 122nd floor and two observation decks on the 124th (452 m) and 148th floor (555m). Opened in January 2010, dominating the skyline of Dubai, it offers a breathtaking view of the city till far away in 360 degrees.

To go to the top, you walk past several multi-media exhibits and the double-decker lift takes you up in not more than 10m per second. As you are back on your way after enjoying the view, there is an open souvenir shop, do not forget to buy a keepsake. The place is a paradise for avid photographers. If you can, visit the place after sunset. Today it is one of the most popular attractions in Dubai.

[Must Do’s to Make Dubai Tour a Memorable Experience!]

  • The Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall: Shopping Destination

Shop from one the biggest shopping malls of the World.

Timings:

10:00 AM-11:00 PM (Sunday-Wednesday), 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM (Thursday-Saturday)

Location:

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd (right next to Burj Khalifa)

One of the most popular shopping destinations in the world, Dubai Mall has around 1200 stores, making it the largest shopping mall in the world. The mall has several other attractions also including 150 food outlets, indoor theme park called Sega World, a 22-screen cinema, a dinosaur skeleton, a huge ice rink and aquarium with over 33000 underwater animals, a big indoor waterfall, Kidzania for children, and an underwater zoo.

You can find popular brands from all over the globe here under one roof. The place has something for people of all age groups. Another highlight is the Dubai Fountain Show, which starts every evening at 06:00 PM. Believe us if we say that a day is not enough to cover this mall. Do not forget to take a map before you start exploring.

[Be a part of the World famous Dubai Shopping Festival.]

  • Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah island, Dubai

Explore the magical man-made wonder.

Location:

Jumeirah (walking distance from Burj Al Arab and The Atlantis)

Timings:

Jumeirah Beach (07:00 AM – 11:00 PM or 11:30 PM)

Fee:

DH 5

The largest man-made island in the world, Palm Jumeirah comprises of a 2 km long trunk (connecting to the tram system), a head consisting of 17 branches and an enveloping crescent. The island comprises of over 4000 luxury apartments and villas, owned by ultra -rich people, VIPs and celebrities.

You can also find a number of popular high-end hotels here. Exploring Palm Jumeirah on a yacht is one of the best things to do in Dubai. One of the popular beaches of Dubai, Jumeirah Beach has a playground for children, picnic areas and barbecue spots.

  • Kite Beach

Kite Beach in Dubai

Enjoy kite flying at the Kite Beach of Dubai.

Location:

Umm Suqeim 1 (off Jumeirah Rd)

A place offering adventure sports in Dubai, Kite beach is a great place that has skaters, bikers, people playing volley ball, restaurants and several open-air cafes. This pristine long beach with clean white sand offers various activities like kayaking, beach volleyball, beach tennis, soap football and kite surfing.

Do not miss the wonderful views of Burj Al Arab. Facilities at Kite beach include showers, changing and toilets. The beach is quite crowded on Fridays and Saturdays. It lies just across the way from the Al Manara Road Junction.

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  • Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina, Dubai

Visit the largest man-made marina in the World.

Location:

Close to Jumeirah Beach Residence walk or JBR Walk

Constructed in the past few years, Dubai Marina is the latest attraction of Dubai and is the largest man-made marina in the world. Spread in a gigantic area of 50 million square feet, discover the place by sailing from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club. A city within a city, Dubai Marina is home to some of the best restaurants in Dubai. Early morning, several joggers can be seen here. This artificial canal city has luxurious residential towers and villas also.

Just relax along the waterfront and savor the stunning views. You can also take a walk on the walkway expanding in several kilometers. The huge canal of 3.5 km length offers an access to the sea from both the ends. Along with residential and dining facilities, the place has leisure and entertainment facilities too. It also has a mosque, named Masjid Al Rahim.

  • The Desert Safari

Dubai Desert Safari

One of the most adventurous things to do in Dubai.

Timing:

Morning Desert Safari (08:30 AM – 11:30 AM)

Evening Desert Safari (04.00 PM to 10.00 PM)

Overnight Desert Safari (04.00 PM – 09.00 AM)

Dinner only (07:00 PM to 10:00 PM)

Offering an unforgettable experience, desert safari is one of the most popular activities in Dubai. There are various companies offering a desert safari. After you are picked-up from your hotel, enjoy the road journey towards the sand dunes.

The complete desert safari package includes pick-up, around 20 minutes dune bashing, sunset photography, belly dancing and other performances, drinks (on payment basis), hukka or shisha, traditional costumes, souvenir buying and Buffet dinner.

You can also try your hand at quad biking and sand skiing. The whole scene looks like coming straight from an Arabian night novel. Minimum one and maximum six people can do this at a time.

[Know Why Dubai is a Perfect Destination for Family Holidays?]

  • Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek: Famous Tourist attraction

Discover a simple yet attractive part of Dubai.

Price

Ride across the creek after sunset- DH 1

The city of Dubai is always welcoming. Connecting the sea trading port to the desert, the Dubai creeks traverses through the heart of this city. In comparison to the new ultra-modern Dubai, this part is slightly simple. While on one side is the Gulf, and on the other is the Ras al Khor bird sanctuary. After sunset, hop into an Abra (boat) to explore the creek and enjoy the views. You can listen to the calls of the evening prayer from the nearby mosque. As you sail, you can even smell the aroma from the spice souk of Dubai.

You can even take a walk around the old area of Deira. You can also visit the Dubai Museum and various spice, gold as well as textile souks here. The museum is located inside the Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in Dubai.

  • Dubai Fountains

Fountains show in Dubai

A 900 feet tall fountain of Dubai.

Fee:

Free

Location:

Outside the Dubai Mall

Timings:

01:00 PM and 01.30 PM (Saturday – Thursday); 06:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes, and (Friday) 01.30 PM and 02:00 PM; 06:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes

Dubai Fountain Lake Ride

Timings:

05:45 PM – 11:30 PM (last boat departs 30 minutes before the closing time)

Price

AED 65.00 per person

One of Dubai’s most famous tourist attractions, The Dubai Fountain are the tallest performing fountain in the world with a height of 900 feet. These remarkable fountains allure nearly thousands of visitors on a daily basis. This amazing music and light show of the fountains in Dubai plays some popular songs from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music.

The fountains are surrounded by a complete hub of a number of restaurants where you can make a booking in advance so that you do not miss out on the best sights of the show. At any given point of time, the fountains use 22000 gallons of water along with 6600 lights, and 25 colored projectors.

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  • Aquaventure, Atlantis Paradise Islands water park

Waterpark in Dubai

One of the best entertainment options for people of all ages.

Location:

Atlantis

Offering entertainment and a high-adrenaline rush to people of all ages, Aquaventure Atlantis Paradise Island Water Park spreads in an area of 141 acres of waterscape and is undoubtedly one of the best entertainment options in Dubai. This water park can be used by the in-house guests as well as the outside visitors.

Enjoy enthralling slides and rides, have a rendezvous with the sharks, meet the friendly dolphins, and simply relax at the picturesque private beach, which spreads in an area of 700 meters. Aquaventure Water Park also has high-speed rides, splendid Atlantean-themed towers, 20 swimming areas, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids and wave surges, a kid’s water play fort, Shark Safari, Cownose Ray feeding and much more.

  • Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai

A beautiful mosque, which also open for non-Muslims.

Fee:

DH 10 (for tours)

Timings:

10:00 AM -11.15 AM (Saturday-Thursday) (for tours)

Location:

Jumeirah Rd (opposite the Palm Strip)

Free guided tours at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

Fee:

DH 10 (children below 10 can enter free)

Timings:

At 10:00 AM (Saturday -Thursday)

One of the most beautiful and most popular mosques in UAE, Jumeirah Mosque overlooks the coast from the southern side of the Dubai Marina. It is the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslim guests, six days in a week. It is necessary for women visitors to wear a scarf, covering their heads. The mosque has an architecture belong to Islam’s Fatimid period and is a popular landmark of the city.

The huge mosque can hold as many as 1200 worshippers at a time. A white stone central dome- façade is supported by twin minarets with ornate décor with yellow and blue background. The mosque also has the facility of renting traditional clothes for entry. For free guided tour, no prior reservation is needed. Just come at the location 15 minutes before the tour starts.

  • Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab, Dubai

One and only seven star hotel in the World.

Location:

Near Jumeirah beach and the Palm Islands

Arguably the only seven-star hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab stands tall at a height of 321 meters, over the coastline of Um Suqeim. One of the most iconic buildings in Dubai, standing on an artificial island, it is shaped like a billowing sail. The exquisite exteriors and the uber-luxurious interiors leave the tourists in awe. The property comprises of 202 luxurious duplex suites, 9 world-class restaurants and bars, 5 indoor as well as outdoor swimming pools along with a private beach, complimentary access to Wild Wadi Waterpark during the stay, Talise Spa Talise Fitness center and Sinbad’s Kids Club.

The unique glass elevator, the aquariums flanking the escalator leading you to the underwater seafood restaurant, cocktails at the Skyview bar, revolving beds, and a personal helipad are some of the world-class luxuries here. Before you visit any of the dining venues, make a reservation is a must. Overlooking the Persian Gulf, the hotel was opened in 1999. It also has the tallest atrium in the world, around 600 feet high.

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  • Ski Dubai

Indoor Ski Resort in Dubai

Explore a snow world at the desert city of Dubai.

Fee:

Polar, Polar Express, Ski Dubai experience, Snow bullet, and Ski Slopes (AED 285- AED 510)

Ski school (Group lessons and Private lessons) (AED 170- AED 616)

Timings:

10.00 AM – 11.00 PM (Sunday – Wednesday)

10.00 AM – 12.00 midnight (Thursday)

09.00 AM – 12.00 midnight (Friday)

09.00 AM – 11.00 PM (Saturday)

Last ticket sold at:

9.30 PM (Saturday – Wednesday)

10.30 PM (Thursday – Friday)

Penguins Encounters:

01:00 PM- 09:00 PM (everyday)

Location:

Mall of the Emirates (southwest of the Burj Al Arab)

How about enjoying the wonders of snow, amid the desert city of Dubai? Visit Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. It is a mountain-themed winter setting resort where guests can enjoy various activities such as tobogganing, skiing and snowboarding, and can partake in snow events. The latest addition to this resort is the Snow Penguins where the visitors can meet and play with them.

Some of the highlights include swimming with the penguins, rolling down the Giant Ball run, gushing down the tube slides, jumping from 10 feet raft, enjoying the surroundings from a chairlift, savoring a hot cup of coffee at a café-bar made half-way on the ski slope, and relaxing over hot chocolate at -4 degrees. Ski lessons are also given here at the Ski School.

  • Dubai Museum

Famous Dubai Museum

Fee:

Adult/Child- DH 3/1

Timings:

08.30 AM-08.30 PM (Saturday-Thursday), 02.30 PM-8.30 PM (Friday)

Location:

Al Fahidi St (within the Al Fahidi Fort)

One of the best museums in Dubai, Dubai Museum lies in the robust Al Fahidi Fort, which was constructed way back in 1800. Placed near the Bastakiya Quarter, the museum offers a sneak-peek into the formation of the city through the years of history. The fort was originally used by the ruler as a defense station and today the museum has several wings, which are dedicated to the geography, history and culture of Dubai.

One of the wings is a folklore wing, which is quite popular among children. The huge courtyard comprises of several models of local boats. Another highlight of this museum is a display of different kinds of bamboo houses, which are adorned with furniture, used in that time period.

The displays at Dubai museum have been put in such a manner that can see the city’s development from pearling and fishing villas to global center of finance, tourism and commerce. Walk past mock souk, a room telling the significance of discovery of oil, displays on Bedouin life in the desert, and archaeological findings from nearby excavation sites. Another highlight is a 10-minute video introducing historical highlights of Dubai from the 1930’s to the 2000’s

  • Dubai Hot Air Balloon Flight

Hot air ballooning in Dubai

Fly in the sky with Hot air ballooning.

Duration:

4 hours (including departure and return)

Fee:

Adult (AED 950 approx.)

Child (AED 800 approx.)

One of the best things to do in Dubai, hot air balloon over Dubai Desert Conservation Reservation is an amazing experience when you fly in the air, at an altitude of around 1200 meters above the dunes. Tourists get an early morning pick-up from the hotel and travel out of the city to the Conservation Reservation. Then, there is a halt at the launch filed, which generally is in Margham.

A safety briefing is given and you step into the balloon asked to explore the morning skies and the stunning desert vistas for around 45 minutes to one hour. Each hot air balloon can carry a maximum of 24 people. Do not forget to click spectacular photographs of the desert landscape. After an hour, the balloon returns to the ground. One is then given a personalized flight certificate and a cool drink at the launch center. You can also buy a professional video of your experience. The tourists are then dropped off at the hotel.

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  • Hindi Lane

Location

Off Ali bin Abi Talib St (Behind the Grand Mosque)

Placed just behind the Grand Mosque in Bur Dubai, Hindi Lane is a colorful alleyway where there are several shops selling religious and other stuff such as floral garlands, bells, books, bracelets, baskets of fruits, bangles, packets of bindis, sandalwood paste, sacred ash, colorful scarves, and gold-plated holy images and idols.

Close to this lane is Lord Shiva and Lord Krishna temple complex. One of the lesser-known places in Dubai, it also has tissue souk, where wonderful pashminas and silk saris are sold.

  • Wild Wadi Water Park

Wild Wadi Water Park, Dubai

Enjoy with your family & friends at Wild Wadi National Park.

Fee:

1.1 meters or above in height (AED 295) and below 1.1 meters in height (AED 250)

Timings:

10:00 AM – 19:00 PM (Saturday to Wednesday)

10:00 AM – 18:00 PM (Thursday)

20:00 PM– 00:00 midnight (Ladies Night)

10:00 AM – 22:00 PM (Friday)

Location:

Jumeirah Rd (at the foots of Burj Al Arab)

Spread in 12 acres of liquid fun, Wild Wadi Water Park is one of the best attractions in Dubai for kids as well as adults. This huge water resort 30 adrenalin pumping rides and attractions that are based around the legend of Juha and Sinbad, five child- friendly restaurants, souvenir shop, and 40,000 plants.

Some of the popular rides at Wild Wadi Water Park are Flood River, Wipeout and Riptide, Wave Pool, Juha’s Journey, Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon, Tantrum Alley, Master Blasters, Burj Surj and Jumeirah Sceirah. People of all ages can have a memorable day here. The latest additional to this park is FISHO, The Fish Spa. For extra VIP treatment, you can also book a Wadi Cabana.

  • Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi

A wonderful Islamic architecture.

Timings:

09:00 AM – 10:00 PM (every day except Friday mornings)

Location:

Off Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed St

The third largest mosque in the world, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is positioned amid manicured gardens and has an impressive structure. The idea of the construction of this mosque came into the minds of Sheikh Zayed, the first president of the UAE. This mosque can accommodate 41000 worshippers at a time and is also the final resting of the said president.

It is one of those few mosques in the area that welcomes non-Muslims. The architecture of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is an amalgam of Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architectures. It has 80 marble domes on its roof that are supported by more than 1000 pillars and 107 meters high minarets.

The prayer hall has the largest loomed carpet in the world. Some of the highlights of the modern interiors are 3 gold, brass, steel and crystal chandeliers and elaborate arabesque motifs. A 45- minute to 60- minute guided tour is also offered. Several precious and semi-precious stones have also been used.

[Also read 11 Must Do’s to Make Dubai Tour a Memorable Experience!]

  • Bastakiya Quarter

Bastakiya Quarter in Dubai

Location:

Bur Dubai

Founded in the end of the 19th century by affluent textile and pearl traders from Bastak, Iran, Bastakiya Quarter is a tangle of lanes that are dotted with refurbished houses of the merchants, cafes, boutique hotels, art galleries and other. These are the historic quarters of the city that was the former fishing village cultural institutions. Some of the most popular attractions of Bastakiya Quarters is the Majlis Gallery, showcasing the Middle Eastern artworks, Arabian Tea House, Ostra Gallery and XVA art gallery.

A contrast from the glitz and glamour of the ultra-modern Dubai, Bastakiya Quarter is a quite atmosphere and looks like an old town. This town is located along the south bank of Dubai Creek, close to the Dubai Museum. Exploring this place is absolutely free of cost. To save yourself from the sun, you can do so in the evening hours.

  • Ibn Battuta Mall

Ibn Battuta Mall in Dubai

Get various options like shopping, dining and entertainment here at Ibn Battuta Mall.

Location:

Adjacent Sheikh Zayed Rd

Timings:

10:00 AM – 10:00 PM

The world’s largest themed mall, inspired by Arabic explorer Ibn Battuta, the Ibn Battuta Mall has innumerable shopping, dining and entertainment options for all its visitors, offering fun for complete family. The mall has 275 retail shops, planned in 6 floors, reflecting the place he travelled: Tunisia, China, Persia, Andalusia, India and Egypt. The décor of the mall is spectacular and its looks an art gallery.

Welcoming around 20 million visitors in a year, this mall has 400 outlets including 60 new shops, cafes and restaurants that opened in 2016. The new additions include a multi-floor car park, a cinema complex and a retractable glass roof.  There are 21 cinema screens and 50 eating spaces. The stunning interiors include sunken ships, magnificent mosaics, huge wooden carved figures and ancient pyramids.

  • Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization

Sharjah Museum in Dubai

Explore rare Islamic artifacts at Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.

Fee:

Adult/Child DH 10/free, Children (2-12years): Dh 5

Tourist groups Entre Fees:

Children tourist group (2-12 years): 3 AED per person

Adult tourist group (13+ years): 7 AED per person

Timings:

08:00 AM – 08:00 PM (Saturday-Thursday), 04:00 PM -08:00 PM (Friday)

Location

cnr Corniche & Arabian Gulf St

Housing an extensive collection of thousands of rare and important Islamic artifacts, Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization has displays on the ground floor and the first floor. The zodiac mosaic below the central dome is also amazing. The galleries on the ground floor showcase several features of Islamic faith including significance of Hajj with the rituals involved, as well as Arab achievements in astronomy and mathematics.

On the first floor, the visitors can trace the changes in Islamic art and artefacts that came in the span of 1400 years. The exhibits include ceramics, textiles, manuscripts, metalwork, woodwork, calligraphy, carvings, and jewelry.

The Abu Bakr Gallery of Islamic Faith, The Ibn Al-Haytham Gallery of Science and Technology, Islamic Art Gallery 1-4, and The Al Majarrah Temporary Exhibition Gallery are some of the galleries at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization.

  • Deira Souks

Deira Souks in Dubai

Traditional Arabian markets are called souks and they are an important part of life and trade of the Dubai city. A stroll through and shopping at Deira souks is one of the must-things to do in Dubai. There are 6 souks in Dubai including Gold Souk, Spice Souk, Perfume Souk, Textile Souk, Souk Al Bahar, Souk Madinat, and Dubai Mall Souk.

Get your hands on hand-woven fabrics, stunning jewelry, orgasmic fragrances, traditional spices and more. In fact, the range of goods here is simply amazing. Gold in particular is the highlight. These souks are built on both the sides of the creek. You can either opt for Abra rides or ride a taxi for the same.

Geetika Handa

is a travel writerwho has an interest in sharing her experiences with all. She provides a detailed account of any travel topic she chooses to write on. You can get detailed information and tips about choosing the right kind of holiday packages in the country from her write-ups.

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7 Responses

  1. Aalizyyy says:

    Really informative as Dubai Guide….My all confusion go away by reading this post…Thanks!

  2. Kimi Soni says:

    Thank you so much for this informative post. Here you explained everything about this post. I really appreciate your writings. You have perfectly explained all the details.

  3. Amanda Chua says:

    What an amazing and a fascinating place to visit. I really didn’t know much about this but after reading this post I will surely visit one day. Thanks for sharing such an amazing post.

  4. eiliyah says:

    Dubai is really a amazing city where we can explore a lot. when I visited Dubai last month I experienced SkyDrive, this was one of the memorable experience in my life.

  5. Harsh says:

    Thank you for sharing this Awesome post Geetika. You have provided very useful information.

  6. Rekha says:

    Tremendous post! All I know about Dubai was Burj Khalifa and the man-made island, but this post literally opened my eyes and I can see that there are genuinely awesome things to do in Dubai that one must explore.

    Thanks for this, will definitely add these destinations or activities in my next tour to Dubai in January during Dubai shopping festival 🙂

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