things to do in Dubai

Last Updated on: 4th July 2024, 05:46 am

As I sat on the plane to Dubai, I couldn’t contain my excitement for all the amazing things to do and see in this bustling city. Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, is a hub for culture, luxury, and adventure. Whether you’re looking to explore the city’s iconic skyscrapers, immerse yourself in its rich cultural heritage, indulge in top-notch luxury shopping and cuisine, or enjoy outdoor activities, Dubai has something for everyone.

Dubai, a bustling metropolis in the United Arab Emirates, offers an array of exciting activities and attractions. If you’re planning a trip to the UAE, don’t miss out on the top activities in neighboring Abu Dhabi as well.

In this article, I’ll be showing you the best things to do in Dubai city and around the UAE, so get ready for an unforgettable adventure!

Things to do in Dubai

1. Discover Dubai’s Skyline and Skyscrapers

Dubai’s skyline is truly spectacular, with iconic skyscrapers dominating the cityscape. These impressive structures not only offer breathtaking views but also showcase the city’s modern architecture.

Visitors can enjoy panoramic views of the Dubai skyline from observation decks such as the one at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Alternatively, architectural tours can provide fascinating insights into the history and design of Dubai’s skyscrapers.

If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, why not try one of the many restaurants with panoramic views? Indulge in delicious cuisine while taking in the stunning scenery.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dubai’s impressive architecture, be sure to check out the Dubai Frame, an enormous picture frame-shaped observation tower that offers stunning views of both old and new Dubai.

Dubai skyline

“Dubai’s impressive skyline is a testament to the city’s ambition and innovation.”

2. Immerse Yourself in Dubai’s Cultural Heritage

Journey through time and discover Dubai’s rich cultural heritage. The city prides itself on its preservation of history and tradition, offering visitors a glimpse into its fascinating past.

Start by visiting Dubai Museum, located in the Al Fahidi Historic District. Housed in a restored 200-year-old fort, the museum showcases the city’s development from a small fishing village to a thriving international metropolis. Al Shindagha Museum offers a more intimate look at the city’s early years, showcasing the homes and lifestyles of its inhabitants.

Dubai cultural heritage

For an even deeper dive into Dubai’s traditional way of life, head to the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. The center hosts a range of events, including guided walking tours of the Al Fahidi Historic District and traditional Arabic meals served in a local Emirati’s home.

From the magnificent Burj Khalifa to the historic Al Fahidi Fort, Dubai is a city rich in cultural sites. Similarly, Northern Ireland offers its own set of captivating historical attractions.

The Al Fahidi Historic District

Attractions Description
Al Bastakiya A restored neighbourhood with narrow alleys and traditional courtyard houses.
XVA Gallery Dubai Contemporary art gallery showcasing Middle Eastern works.
Coffee Museum Dubai A museum devoted to the history and culture of coffee in the Arabian Peninsula.

Finish off your cultural tour at the Dubai Souks, traditional markets offering everything from spices to textiles. Barter with local vendors to snag a unique souvenir to take home.

3. Experience Luxury Shopping in Dubai

One cannot visit Dubai without experiencing the city’s world-renowned luxury shopping opportunities. Dubai is home to an array of extravagant shopping malls, traditional markets known as souks, and high-end boutiques that offer a truly unique shopping experience.

Located in the heart of the city, the Dubai Mall is one of the largest and most luxurious malls in the world and is a must-visit destination for any shopper. Housing over 1200 stores, including high-end designer brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci, the mall offers an unparalleled shopping experience. In addition to luxury shopping, the mall also features an indoor theme park, aquarium, and an impressive outdoor water fountain show.

Dubai luxury shopping

For those looking for a more traditional shopping experience, the souks in Dubai are a must-visit. The Gold Souk is one of the most popular, with over 300 retailers selling a wide variety of gold jewelry. For a more cultural and authentic experience, the Spice Souk boasts an array of aromatic spices and herbs, while the Textile Souk offers a selection of colorful fabrics and clothing.

When it comes to luxury shopping in Dubai, the options are truly endless. From high-end boutiques to traditional markets, Dubai offers a one-of-a-kind shopping experience that is sure to satisfy any shopper’s desires.

Dubai is famous for its luxurious shopping malls and diverse dining options. Bahrain, another gem in the Middle East, also offers vibrant souks and a rich culinary scene.

4. Indulge in Culinary Delights

When it comes to food, Dubai is a melting pot of cultures, offering a diverse range of cuisines to satisfy any palate. From authentic Emirati dishes to Michelin-starred restaurants, Dubai’s food scene is not to be missed.

One of my favourite places to experience a blend of cultures is at the popular street food destination, La Mer. This open-air complex offers a variety of international cuisines, from Lebanese and Indian to Japanese and Italian. The vibrant atmosphere and breathtaking sea views make for an unforgettable dining experience.

For those looking for a fine dining experience, At.mosphere provides a breathtaking view of Dubai’s cityscape from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. The restaurant offers a delectable menu of European cuisine, as well as an extensive wine list. Make sure to book in advance to secure a table at this exclusive venue.

Another must-visit place is the trendy Boca in Dubai’s financial district. This lively restaurant serves up Mediterranean-inspired dishes in a chic and modern setting, featuring an open kitchen for guests to watch the chefs in action.

Top 5 Restaurants in Dubai

Restaurant Cuisine Location
Zuma Japanese DIFC
Bombay Brasserie Indian Taj Dubai
Mythos Kouzina & Grill Greek Armada BlueBay Hotel
Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara Seafood Burj Al Arab
COYA Peruvian Jumeirah 2

Dubai cuisine

No matter what your taste buds crave, Dubai’s culinary scene will not disappoint. Be sure to explore the fantastic array of dining options available in the city.

5. Escape to Dubai’s Beautiful Beaches

When it comes to relaxing and soaking up the sun, Dubai’s beaches are the perfect destination. With a coastline stretching along the Arabian Gulf, visitors can explore some of the most beautiful beaches in the region. Aside from swimming and lounging on the sand, there are also a variety of water sports activities to try out.

One of the most popular beaches is Jumeirah Beach, with its pristine white sands and clear turquoise waters. In addition to swimming, visitors can also enjoy beach volleyball or take a stroll along the beachfront promenade.

Kite Beach is another favourite spot, where visitors enjoy various activities such as kite surfing, kayaking or beach volleyball. Known for its stunning views of the iconic Burj Al Arab, it is also a prime location for watching the sunset.

The Best Dubai Beaches

Beach Name Location Features
Jumeirah Beach Jumeirah Beach Road Water sports, beach volleyball, beachfront promenade
Kite Beach Umm Suqeim Kite surfing, kayaking, beach volleyball, stunning views of Burj Al Arab
Black Palace Beach Al Sufouh Secluded, clear waters, great for swimming and sunbathing
La Mer Beach Jumeirah Water park, beach club, restaurants and cafes, shopping
The Palm Jumeirah Beach Palm Jumeirah Views of Atlantis The Palm, jet-skiing, parasailing, skydiving

Other popular beaches in Dubai include Black Palace Beach for its secluded atmosphere and clear waters, La Mer Beach for its water park, beach club, and shopping options, and The Palm Jumeirah Beach for its views of Atlantis The Palm. Whether you’re looking to relax, sunbathe, or indulge in water sports, Dubai’s beaches are the perfect destination for a day out under the sun.

6. Embark on Thrilling Desert Adventures

If you’re looking for an adrenaline rush, Dubai’s desert offers exciting activities like Dubai desert safaris, dune bashing, and camel riding. To make the most of your experience, here are some tips:

Book a Desert Safari

A desert safari is a great way to explore Dubai’s vast expanse of sand dunes. These tours typically include activities like dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding, as well as a delicious traditional dinner under the stars. Consider booking a morning tour to avoid extreme heat or an evening tour for a magical sunset experience.

Try Dune Bashing

Dune bashing is an exhilarating activity that involves riding a 4×4 through the desert, maneuvering through steep sand dunes. It’s a must-try for adventure seekers, and many tours include this activity as part of their itinerary. Make sure to dress comfortably, wear sunscreen, and bring a camera to capture the breathtaking views.

Experience Camel Riding

Camel riding is a popular activity in Dubai, and is often included in desert safari tours. It’s a unique and authentic way to experience the desert landscape, as camels have been used as means of transportation in the region for centuries. Make sure to wear comfortable clothing and take plenty of water to stay hydrated during this unforgettable experience.

Activity Duration Price Range (AED)
Desert Safari with Dune Bashing and Camel Riding 6 hours 150-350
Dune Bashing Only 2-3 hours 200-500
Camel Riding Only 1 hour 50-100

“Exploring Dubai’s desert was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Dune bashing was definitely my favorite part – it was so thrilling!” – Maria, UK

Whether you’re an adventure seeker or just looking to experience something new, Dubai’s desert adventures offer a range of exciting activities that shouldn’t be missed.

For those seeking adventure, Dubai offers desert safaris, skydiving, and water sports. If you love exploring the desert and the sea, Hurghada in Egypt provides an excellent alternative.

7. Enjoy Dubai’s Family-Friendly Activities

When visiting Dubai with your family, you’ll be pleased to know that there are many exciting activities and attractions to enjoy together. Whether you prefer outdoor adventures, water parks, or interactive museums, Dubai has something for everyone.

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Dubai Parks and Resorts is an expansive entertainment complex that offers a variety of rides, attractions, and shows for the whole family. With three theme parks, a water park, and a hotel, you’ll never run out of things to do here. Some popular areas include:

Theme Park Description
Motiongate Dubai A cinematic adventure park featuring rides and attractions inspired by popular movies and TV shows.
Legoland Dubai A park designed for families with children aged 2-12, featuring rides and attractions made of LEGO bricks.
Bollywood Parks Dubai A park showcasing the vibrant culture of India, with rides, live shows and entertainment.
Legoland Water Park A water park perfect for families with young children, featuring rides and attractions that are built for play.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is located inside the Dubai Mall and is one of the city’s most popular attractions. Here, you can see over 140 species of marine life in the aquarium, including sharks, rays, and turtles. Visitors can also explore the underwater tunnel and the zoo area, which contains penguins, otters, and other animals.

Creekside Park

Creekside Park is a large outdoor space with a variety of activities for the whole family. Here, you can enjoy a picnic, cycle through the park, or take a ride on a cable car. There’s also a play area for children, a mini-golf course, and a mini-zoo with a variety of animals to see.

Kite Beach

Kite Beach is one of Dubai’s most popular beach destinations, offering a wide range of water sports and activities for all ages. Here, you can go kite surfing, paddle-boarding, or kayaking. There’s also a beach volleyball court, a skate park, and a running track.

8. Explore Dubai’s Nightlife and Entertainment Scene

As the sun sets over Dubai, the city transforms into a vibrant hub of nightlife and entertainment. From chic bars to lively nightclubs, there is something for everyone looking to enjoy Dubai’s nightlife scene. If you’re in the mood for cocktails and dancing, head to one of Dubai’s many trendy clubs. Looking for something more laid-back? Check out one of the city’s many rooftop bars for stunning views and delicious drinks. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for a night out in Dubai.

The Best Dubai Clubs

If you’re looking for a night of dancing and music, Dubai’s club scene will not disappoint. Here are some of the top clubs to check out:

  • WHITE Dubai: located on the rooftop of the Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, this club offers stunning views of the city skyline and a world-class DJ lineup.
  • BASE Dubai: this superclub is known for its high-energy concerts and celebrity appearances.
  • Toy Room Dubai: with its playful decor and lively atmosphere, this club is perfect for a fun night out with friends.

Whether you’re into hip hop, electronic, or pop music, you’re sure to find a club that suits your style in Dubai.

Dubai Live Performances

If you’re looking to enjoy live entertainment in Dubai, you won’t be disappointed. From theatrical performances to live music, there’s always something happening in the city. Some of the top venues to catch a show include:

  • Dubai Opera: this stunning venue hosts a wide range of performances, from opera to ballet to spoken word.
  • Madinat Theatre: located in the beautiful Madinat Jumeirah resort, this theatre showcases a range of plays and comedy shows.
  • The Fridge: this unique venue showcases local musicians, artists, and performers in an intimate setting.

No matter what your interests are, there’s always something to see and experience in Dubai’s live entertainment scene.

“Whether you’re into dancing the night away or enjoying live performances, Dubai’s nightlife scene is not to be missed!” – Emily, Dubai enthusiast

Conclusion

In my opinion, Dubai is one of the most exciting and diverse destinations in the world. With its impressive skyline, rich cultural heritage, luxurious shopping experiences, and range of activities and attractions, it offers something for everyone. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker looking for adventure in the desert or a foodie searching for delicious cuisine, Dubai definitely won’t disappoint.

Personally, I can’t wait to explore more of this amazing city and discover all the hidden gems it has to offer. So, if you’re planning a trip to Dubai, make sure to add these must-see destinations to your itinerary and prepare yourself for an unforgettable experience.

FAQ

What are the best things to do and see in Dubai?

In Dubai, there are plenty of exciting activities and attractions to explore. Some popular options include visiting the iconic skyscrapers and enjoying panoramic views of the city’s skyline, immersing yourself in the cultural heritage by visiting museums and the historic Al Fahidi District, indulging in luxury shopping experiences at extravagant malls or traditional souks, trying out diverse and delicious cuisines at the best restaurants, relaxing at the beautiful beaches, embarking on thrilling desert adventures like desert safaris and dune bashing, enjoying family-friendly attractions such as theme parks and interactive museums, and experiencing the vibrant nightlife and entertainment scene.

What can I expect from Dubai’s skyline and skyscrapers?

Dubai’s skyline is known for its impressive skyscrapers that dominate the cityscape. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the skyline from observation decks, go on architectural tours to learn more about these iconic structures, or even dine in restaurants that offer panoramic views of the city.

How can I explore Dubai’s cultural heritage?

To immerse yourself in Dubai’s cultural heritage, you can visit various museums that showcase the city’s history, art, and crafts. Exploring the Al Fahidi Historic District is another great way to experience the traditional way of life in Dubai and admire the preserved architecture.

Where can I go for luxury shopping in Dubai?

Dubai is renowned for its luxury shopping experiences. You can explore extravagant malls that offer a wide range of international and high-end brands. Alternatively, you can visit traditional markets known as souks, where you can find unique items like gold and spices.

What are the must-try cuisines and dining spots in Dubai?

Dubai’s culinary scene is diverse and vibrant. From international cuisines to local delicacies, there’s something for everyone. Some popular dining spots include fine-dining restaurants, trendy cafes, and food markets where you can taste a variety of delicious dishes.

Which are the best beaches in Dubai?

Dubai is home to stunning beaches where you can relax, soak up the sun, and enjoy water sports. Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach are some of the popular beach destinations in Dubai, offering a range of facilities and activities for visitors.

What desert adventures can I experience in Dubai?

Dubai’s desert offers thrilling adventures like desert safaris, where you can experience dune bashing, camel riding, and traditional Bedouin activities. These adventures allow you to explore the vast expanse of the desert and appreciate its natural beauty.

What are some family-friendly attractions in Dubai?

Dubai offers a range of family-friendly attractions, including theme parks, water parks, and interactive museums. Some popular choices include Dubai Parks and Resorts, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, and KidZania Dubai, where kids can have a fun and educational experience.

What can I expect from Dubai’s nightlife and entertainment scene?

Dubai’s nightlife is vibrant and diverse, offering a range of options for evening entertainment. You can visit trendy clubs, watch live performances, or enjoy cultural shows that showcase the city’s rich heritage. Whether you’re into music, dance, or theater, Dubai has something to offer.

What are the top things to do and see in Dubai?

The top things to do and see in Dubai include visiting the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, exploring the Dubai Mall, which is home to various attractions like the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and the Dubai Fountain, visiting the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island with luxury resorts and the iconic Atlantis, The Palm, and experiencing the traditional markets of Dubai’s old town, such as the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk.

Is it safe to visit Dubai?

Yes, Dubai is generally considered a safe city to visit. The UAE government takes several measures to ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors. However, like any other city, it’s important to take normal precautions and be aware of your surroundings.