But, these are just far off from reality. In other words, there is so much to do in Dubai which is beyond retail therapy and checking out its high-rise structures. But, if you find it all overwhelming to create a perfect Dubai travel agenda, here we’ve scaled down the top 15 things to do in Dubai and this covers all your areas of interest including culture, history, nature, leisure, entertainment, and more.
This offers you an amazing overview of this Arabian metropolis. This is mostly a guided excursion that covers almost all of Dubai’s main sights, timeless quarters, and the newest neighborhoods such as Bluewaters Island, La Mer, etc. But, make sure that you make it through a reputable service provider. If you’re looking for an alternative for this, join a hop-on, hop-off Big Bus Tour which comes with commentary in different languages and further allows you to explore the city at your own relaxed pace.
People from all over the world come to Dubai particularly to experience the unmatched vibe of Downtown Dubai and its iconic sights, mainly Burj Khalifa. Soaring through the clouds at a height of 828 meters, it’s justifiably the tallest as well as the most exquisite man-made structure in the world. First-timers shouldn’t miss out on its observation decks on 124th, 125th, and 148th levels as they promise you one of the unrivaled vantage points to absorb the whole of Dubai and beyond. Add to this one of the fastest elevator rides plus an exclusive show that sheds light on the region’s culture and history.
Right in the heart of Downtown Dubai and next to Burj Khalifa, a trip to the giant Dubai Mall is an essential part of any Dubai visit. 1200 plus outlets across the mall will keep the shoppers’ busy, while its dedicated entertainment and leisure zones including Dubai Ice Rink, KidZania, VR Park, Hysteria Dubai Mall, etc will engross fun-seekers and little ones throughout. If you just want to wander around this cool mall, there are some incredible free attractions such as Dubai Dino, the Humans Waterfalls, and Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (but only a part of its massive aquarium offers complimentary access).
Watch it once and you can’t help but keep returning for this brilliant water and light show choreographed in sync with the stunning Arabic, Bollywood, or Western music. This is a free attraction but you can view it up-close from the choicest vantage point on an abra ride along Burj Lake (where the show takes place) or by directly heading to the dedicated Dubai Fountain Boardwalk – a floating deck that extends for more than 270 meters across the lake.
Desert Safari is nothing but simply a quick 40-minute drive out of Dubai’s city limits; it introduces you to another side of Dubai that is still staunchly safeguarded from any major urban development. Whether you seek soulful peace or serenity or looking to indulge in an adventure of a lifetime, a desert safari in Dubai fulfills every whim and desire. Enjoy a 4X4 dune bash, ride a camel, and be part of many cultural activities including henna tattooing, falconry, Shisha smoking, etc. Choose an evening or an overnight desert safari for an all-inclusive desert experience interwoven with adventure, dining plus traditional shows, and camping under the desert sky.
For art lovers, Dubai has some cool art cafes where they can take in some amazing and inspiring artworks while relishing their favorite sandwich, snack, or cappuccino in a cozy and relaxed setting. Some of the must-experience in this category are the Bhukkad Café (Karama), Maisan 15 (Barsha), XVA Gallery (Al Bastakiya Quarter), Sketch (inside Box Park), and MAKE Art Café. So push open the door to one or more of these dining venues to admire a part of Dubai that is absolutely arty and nurtures creativity in every way possible.
Dubai is called the shopping capital of the Middle East for a reason. Be it fashion apparels from your favorite high-street brands or the most authentic Emirati merchandise, the city’s copious amounts of massive malls, shopping centers and traditional Arabian bazaars or souks (such as Gold Souk, Spice Souk and Perfume Souk) ensure that you’ll find all you’re looking to fill up or revamp your wardrobe, vanity bag, or gadget collections. Not to mention, you can return home with some unique gifts and keepsakes of your Dubai visit.
Creek Park is one of Dubai’s oldest parks that is adored by people of all age groups for its enlivening settings, verdant green picnic spots, BBQ facilities, kids’ play areas, and classic rides that are ideal for all age groups. More experiences await you here, such as Dubai Dolphinarium, Children’s City, and bike rentals. You can even enjoy a scenic cable car ride here. It costs not more than AED 5 to enter this park, but additional charges apply to access some of its attractions and activities.
Right in Old Dubai, Dubai Creek is one of the city’s most historical parts. Segregating the city into two (Bur Dubai and Deira), this saltwater creek has been instrumental in the fast development of Dubai. Lying just a few blocks away from the creek is Al Bastakiya or Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, which is scattered with several heritage sites, restored age-old dwellings, and museums such as the Dubai Museum (inside the region’s oldest of its kind Al Fahidi Fort).
But, it’s not just a slice of Dubai’s history that awaits you here; head to Al Seef which lies in Bur Dubai, on the banks of Dubai Creek. Immerse yourself in its lively ambiance as you stroll down its waterfront boardwalk, check out its floating bazaars, and appreciate the captivating sights that surround the region.
Dubai’s culinary scene is rightly an attraction in its own right. After all, it’s the second home for nationalities from over 200 countries. While it’s certain that you’ll by no means miss your homely food, it also gives you the chance to savor gastronomic delights from different parts of the world. Be it Asian, Continental, Mediterranean, American, or classic English, you’ll get to savor all in their most authentic form. That’s not all, this Arabian city caters to every budget and preference; so it doesn’t matter you desire to grab a quick bite on the go or sit down for a lavish meal in a dreamy setting.
You can’t come to Dubai without going on a cruise down its sparkling water along the contemporary Dubai Marina or charming Dubai Creek. But, it’s not your regular cruise. Beyond weaving you through the region’s awe-inspiring architectural marvels, it lets you sail aboard a refurbished Arabian dhow which was once mainly used for fishing and pearl farming. A dhow cruise in Dubai lasts for not more than 90 minutes and includes buffet dining and entertainment shows like Tanura’s performance.
Dubai Parks and Resorts is one of the Can’t-miss attractions for theme park fanatics. Rightly so, it’s the first integrated resort in the region, with several accommodation options, a dedicated dining and retail section, and mostly three theme parks and a water park. Bring all your Hollywood fantasies to reality with the vast repertoire of rides, games, and shows at its biggest theme park, Motiongate Dubai. If you’re a fan of Hindi movies, then its Bollywood Parks Dubai is unbeatable. Finally, LEGOLAND Dubai, along with LEGOLAND Water Park, forms an absolute leisure attraction for families with kids aged from 2 to 12 years.
Dubai is a true stunner when it comes to its compelling shows which take place all through the year. So whenever you plan to visit Dubai, be sure to check the events calendar and make advanced reservations accordingly. Apart from these, there are also permanent shows, the significant being La Perle by Dragone. Conducted in a purpose-built aquatic stage at Al Habtoor’s Atrium, it’s definite to wow you with its blend of nerve-wracking airborne acts, astonishing choreography, and brilliant technical works.
With its majestic sail-shaped architecture, Burj Al Arab is one of Dubai’s most photographed landmarks. Its interiors are equally imposing, making it one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Don’t want to stay here? Reserve a table at one of its breathtaking eateries; it’s worth it as this dining experience gives you a glimpse of its regal décor and settings. You can further take a quick drive from here to discover the one-of-its-kind Palm Jumeirah which is man-made and resplendently resembles a giant palm tree.
Want to try your hands in something exotic, weird, or unimaginable? Dubai offers tons of options that would literally take your breath away. This ranges from enjoying skiing and other winter sports at Ski Dubai located in the iconic Mall of the Emirates to hitting the world’s longest urban zip adventure to going underwater on a refreshing scuba dive or snorkeling session.
With an exuberant ambiance and the coolest indoor attractions, any part of the year is an amazing time to Dubai. With that being said, visit here during the winter months to be part of many events, attractions, and experiences, apart from the above mentioned Dubai things to do. This includes the iconic DSF (Dubai Shopping Festival), Christmas and New Year’s Eve festivities, Dubai Miracle Garden, and more. But, whenever you choose to trip this wonderful city, it’s certain that you’ll fall for its beguiling charm that perfectly concocts modernity with age-old Emirati culture and traditions.