WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI – ACTIVITIES FOR ALL BUDGETS AND AGES
- 1 WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI – ACTIVITIES FOR ALL BUDGETS AND AGES
- 1.1 50 FUN THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI
- 1.2 GO ON A DUBAI DESERT SAFARI
- 1.3 ENJOY A SEAPLANE FLIGHT
- 1.4 EXPLORE LA MER
- 1.5 DO A SPEED BOAT TOUR
- 1.6 STROLL DUBAI MARINA
- 1.7 HAVE A DRINK AT PIER 7
- 1.8 ENJOY A MARINA CRUISE TOUR
- 1.9 GET TO THE TOP OF BURJ KHALIFA
- 1.10 WATCH THE WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW
- 1.11 REST AT ZABEEL PARK
- 1.12 GET A TAN AT KITE BEACH
- 1.13 SPLURGE AT BURJ AL-ARAB
- 1.14 BOOK A HOT-AIR BALLOON RIDE
- 1.15 TRY OUT FLYBOARDING
- 1.16 EAT TONS ON A FRIDAY BRUNCH
- 1.17 PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY
- 1.18 ENJOY THE VIEWS FROM A HELICOPTER
- 1.19 EAT DATES
- 1.20 GO SKIING
- 1.21 SHOP AT DUBAI MALL
- 1.22 GO HOTEL SIGHTSEEING IN DUBAI
- 1.23 COOL OFF WITH JET-SKIING IN DUBAI
- 1.24 EXPLORE THE GOLD AND SPICE SOUKS
- 1.25 DISCOVER AL BASTAKIYA
- 1.26 HOP ON AN ABRA
- 1.27 LEARN ABOUT HISTORY AT DUBAI MUSEUM
- 1.28 HAVE FUN AT DUBAI JBR WALK
- 1.29 SPEND A DAY AT GLOBAL VILLAGE
- 1.30 VISIT A MOSQUE
- 1.31 ADMIRE FLOWERS AT MIRACLE GARDEN
- 1.32 CRUISE MARINA, ATLANTIS, AND BURJ AL-ARAB
- 1.33 HAVE AN ADVENTURE AT IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE
- 1.34 GET AROUND VIA DUBAI FERRY
- 1.35 SPEND A DAY AT A WATERPARK
- 1.36 EXPLORE DUBAI VIA HOP-ON AND HOP-OFF
- 1.37 MAKE A TRIP TO MUSANDAM / OMAN
- 1.38 HEAD TO ABU DHABI
- 1.39 GET LOST AT THE CHAMBERS
- 1.40 GET A DAY PASS FOR JUMEIRAH PALM HOTELS
- 1.41 DO A BIKE TOUR
- 1.42 STROLL MADINAT JUMEIRAH
- 1.43 BOOK A PRIVATE YACHT CRUISE
- 1.44 DINE AT AN UNDERWATER RESTAURANT
- 1.45 SEE A SHOW AT WAFI WALL
- 1.46 GO SAND BOARDING
- 1.47 VISIT DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO
- 1.48 SEE DUBAI FROM THE FRAME
- 1.49 STOP AT DUBAI GLOW GARDEN
- 1.50 SPEND TIME AT CITY WALK
- 1.51 Enjoy Your Trip
- 2 DUBAI TRAVEL TIPS
- 3 PIN ME FOR LATER – FUN DUBAI ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES & BUDGETS
- 4 Conclusion: Things to See and Do in Dubai
Whether you visit as a tourist for a short time, stay longer, or live in Dubai – this list will give you a good idea about the best 50 things to do in Dubai, UAE.
After endless visits, I have concluded that Dubai does not get boring. There is so much to do and see, making planning challenging and overwhelming. Many new, interesting places did not even exist 2 years ago – and it seems that there are new attractions that pop up regularly. So, I have compiled a list of the best things to do in Dubai.
P.S. Some activities are not offered throughout the year. Especially in the summer, some places are closed, so please double-check the dates.
DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.
50 FUN THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI
Are you ready? Here is my ultimate list of 50 cool and most fun things to do in Dubai – for young adults, kids, and everyone else.
GO ON A DUBAI DESERT SAFARI
One of the best things to do in Dubai is to go on a desert safari.There are many different desert safari tours offered in Dubai, and I tried several of them.
However, my favorite is the one that includes 4×4 wheel drive and a BBQ, and a belly dance show. I had enough vegetarian options, but meat-eaters will also find something, it is definitely a unique dinner. Some argue, that it is quite touristy – so yes, it is but it is still a great experience.
TIPS FOR A DUBAI DESERT SAFARI
- Desert Safaris normally take between 5-9 hours
- You are – usually – picked up at your hotel and will be dropped off there, too.
- Prices vary and depend on the activities and food offered. Find the best rates for your desert safari:
- Morning Desert Safari incl. Dune Buggy is a great desert safari if you want to explore the desert in the morning
- Find out more about a desert safari – with BBQ and dune drive.
- Fancying an overnight safari tour? Then click here to find out more.
ENJOY A SEAPLANE FLIGHT
A seaplane flight sounds pretty amazing, right? A seaplane flight in Dubai sounds even better, as seeing Dubai from above is such fun and one of the more unique things to do. It is a bit fancy and surely not one of the cheap activities you can book, but since it is a lot about Dubai’s luxury, it is a unique activity.
It is unfortunately not a cheap activity but one of the most unique things to do in Dubai.
TIPS FOR A SEAPLANE FLIGHT IN DUBAI
- You can book different tours – check them out here to find out about prices.
- There are different take-off locations – when booking check where your flight will start.
- The flight takes around 30-35 minutes, but plan a couple of hours for the whole activity.
EXPLORE LA MER
Relax at La Mar is one of the newer hotspots in Dubai, and if you ask me, that is not surprising.Whether you want to spend a day at the beach, stroll the beachfront, chill at one of the very cool restaurants and cafes, or just check out the coolest street art – La Mer is a beautiful place and great to visit as a family, with friends, as a couple, or solo.
TIPS FOR VISITING LA MER
- There is no metro going, but some buses and if you stay in a big hotel the shuttle bus might get you here. However, if not, a taxi would be the c choice to get here (taxi drivers will know where it is).
- There is no entrance fee.
- Most restaurants and shops are open from 10 am until 11 pm.
- You can also do water sports and rent equipment at the beach area.
- Read more about my tips for things to do at La Mer.
DO A SPEED BOAT TOUR
A speedboat tour in Dubai is great to enjoy the breeze – especially on a hot day – and to see Dubai from a different perspective. While the boat rides fast, it stops at several tourist attractions like Atlantis Hotel or Burj Al-Arab -, so you have time for snapping pictures.
TIPS FOR A SPEED BOAT TOUR IN DUBAI
- Do you enjoy the thrill? Then sit at the front of the boat
- Most tours start in Dubai Marina
- Most of the speed boat tours last between 60-90 minutes
- Click here to check out the prices for a speedboat tour in Dubai.
STROLL DUBAI MARINA
Stroll Dubai Marina and see all the cafes, food trucks, and restaurants – and skyscrapers. This is one of the best places for nice strolls, and if you asked me, I would name strolling Marina as one of the top activities.
Yes, I am a city girl, and this area is definitely nicer and easier to walk in than many other areas in Dubai that are not very pedestrian-friendly. The amount of skyscrapers is insane. So, whether you come here during the day or in the evening, it is always worth a trip.
If you are with kids, you can rent a little cat car, or you just walk along the beautiful promenade. If you stay a minimum of 2 days in Dubai, it is a place you should visit.
TIPS FOR VISITING DUBAI MARINA
- Dubai Marina “is open” 24/7 – it gets especially busy in the evening and its the best time to visit
- You can reach Dubai Marina also via metro and then get use the tram for longer distances (but most of the area is best explored on foot)
HAVE A DRINK AT PIER 7
After strolling Dubai Marina, it is time for a break. Marina is beautiful – especially in the evening! So don´t miss Pier 7 at night and dine in one of the seven restaurants with beautiful views at night.With all the illuminated buildings (including the shopping mall), the view from there is just superb! I have to admit that the Scene Dubai (4th floor) staff was not the best, but the views are great.
TIPS FOR VISITING PIER 7
- For great views AND nice staff, head to the 6th floor ASIA ASIA
- During the high season I recommend booking a table on the terrace in advance
ENJOY A MARINA CRUISE TOUR
Boat tours are one of my favorite ways to get around. Walking Marina is fun, but for a unique angle of Dubai´s great Marina, go on a Marina Cruise tour.
TIPS FOR A MARINA CRUISE TOUR
- If you love food and boat cruises (two of my personal favorite things), you can even book dinner on a boat.
- Click here for prices
- Tours last around 90 minutes
GET TO THE TOP OF BURJ KHALIFA
When in Dubai, visit the highest building in the world. Burj Khalifa is probably also the most famous attraction in Dubai.Go to the top of Burj Khalifa and enjoy amazing views from up there. Plan in some time to see the water dance show from above and ideally, plan to see the sunset from Burj Khalifa as well.
TIPS FOR VISITING BURJ KHALIFA
- I had to stand in line for ages, so probably a VIP ticket is the better choice for the people who are less patient.
- On my second visit, I got a ticket which included a lunch/dinner at the Burj Club as well, and the price was definitely worth that experience.
- On my third trip, I visited with my two little nephews – the older (4 years) loved the views. But Burj Khalifa does not allow strollers for the younger ones
- To find out more about getting to Burj Khalifa, click here and read my detailed review.
- Get the best rates for your Burj Khalifa tickets here:
- Level 124 & 125
- Level 124 & 124 and 148
- Level 124 & 125, including a dinner at Burj Club
WATCH THE WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW
Watch the water fountain show at Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and see the water dance. The show itself is quite short (about 2-4 minutes), and I have seen nicer shows (Kuala Lumpur), but sitting at a cafe and watching it is still lovely.
TIPS FOR WATCHING THE WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW
- This place gets crazy – especially in the evening. Avoid coming here on weekends.
- For a great – free – view, just visit the Apple Store inside Dubai Mall and get on the balcony so you can see it from above. The “seats” are limited, though, but there are also nice views if you stand just in front of it. However, it might be totally crowded as all the tourists get to the water show on time.
- Check out the show times here.
- Since there are many restaurants close by, you can get more exclusive views. I had a nice view from Burj Club, a restaurant that is part of Burj Khalifa.
- If you want to get very close to the water fountain show, you can do an abra ride. You can buy tickets just at the abra station at the water fountain or booked them in advance.
REST AT ZABEEL PARK
For those who do not believe that Dubai has some greenery, Zabeel Park proves him/her wrong:
Kids will love it as there are many playgrounds, and the older ones also enjoy the mobile phone chargers in the shape of palms (bring your cable, and you can recharge your phone while relaxing in the park).
TIPS FOR VISITING ZABEEL PARK
- Between the Gold and Spice Souks and Burj Khalifa – not too far away from the Crown Prince of Dubai’s palace and from there you can walk to a quite new attraction: Dubai Frame (more on that later).
- For a small entrance fee (about $1), you can visit Zabeel Park and relax in the lush and green park.
GET A TAN AT KITE BEACH
Not all beaches are free and public (most actually belong to luxury hotels), but you can chill for free at Kite Beach and enjoy great views of Burj Al-Arab.Hop on and hop off buses stop there, but you can also ask the taxi driver to get to Kite Beach. Even on sunny days, it is not crowded by European standards. Personally, I like the beach area at JBR or La Mer a bit better. But if you prefer beaches with a good views of Burj al-Arab, then this is your beach.
TIPS FOR VISITING JUMEIRAH BEACH / KITE BEACH
- The water is pretty, the view amazing and best of all: It is free and public beach area
- There are many restaurants and cafes close by
- Click here to find out more about free things to do in Dubai.
SPLURGE AT BURJ AL-ARAB
Want to splurge? Getting inside Burj al-Arab isn’t easy if you don’t stay overnight. You need a written booking reservation for one of their restaurants. So why not having an afternoon tea at Burj Al-Arab (it is still on my own list) at the only “7* hotel in the world”. It is not a bargain but probably an amazing experience.
TIPS FOR VISITING BURJ KHALIFA
- If you do not stay overnight at Burj al Arab, you will need written confirmation for the restaurant reservation
- Click here to book your dining experience at Burj al Arab
- Alternatively, you can book spa treatments to get access to the hotel
BOOK A HOT-AIR BALLOON RIDE
See Dubai from above and book a hot-air balloon ride. One of my personal highlights was to see the desert from above when flying over Dubai in a hot-air balloon.I did my first, and so far only, hot-air balloon ride in Dubai. Dubai surely cannot be compared to Cappadocia in Turkey but it was still worth it.
TIPS FOR A HOT-AIR BALLOON RIDE IN DUBAI
- You are normally being picked up at the hotel
- It is worth waking up early to have such a unique experience
- Click here for more information on a hot air balloon ride in the desert.
TRY OUT FLYBOARDING
There are a lot of adventurous things to do for those who like to be more active. The activity is unique and is not offered everywhere, so make sure to try this in Dubai.
TIPS FOR FLYBOARDING DUBAI
- Try out Flyboarding in Dubai and soar above the Persian Gulf.
EAT TONS ON A FRIDAY BRUNCH
Dubai is known for great brunches, so experience an infamous Friday Brunch in one of the top hotels or restaurants in Dubai. I tried out the Friday brunch at the fancy Ritz-Carlton JBR, and I was not disappointed.
TIPS FOR A FRIDAY BRUNCH IN DUBAI
- Friday Brunches are quite costly, so some research might be needed if you are on a budget
- Booking in advance might be good (especially for popular places)
- You might not be able to do a Friday Brunch during Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting)
- Ramadan in 2021 – 13. April to 12. May
- Ramadan in 2022 – 2. April to 1. May
PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY
I am not a party girl – so I won’t be able to give the best advice first hand. However, Dubai’s nightlife is supposed to be great if you like to dress up, drink and enjoy the fancy nightlife.
- So, though the Emirates are Islamic, Dubai is quite liberal, and partying – and drinking – is allowed.
- Just be aware not to overdo it. I saw security being quite strict with drunken people
- Here are more tips for things NOT to do in Dubai.
ENJOY THE VIEWS FROM A HELICOPTER
See Dubai from above when doing a helicopter flight – this city is the perfect place to try out this amazing activity. If you ask me, it is my tip for one of the most unique things to do in Dubai.
TIPS FOR DOING A DUBAI HELICOPTER RIDE
- There are two main companies offering helicopter rides: HeliDubai and Dubai Helicopter Tour
- You can choose between a 12, 15, and 25-minute helicopter flight
- I enjoyed my 12-minute flight but would not have minded flying over Dubai for longer
- Click here to find about prices for a helicopter ride
- Read my detailed post about my own personal experiences of a helicopter ride
Try out dates in Dubai. When I talk about dates, I don’t mean dating in Dubai (I have never tried that out), but I mean the delicious little things you can eat. You find many different kinds of dates in Dubai. In Germany, we have mostly the very simple ones but in Dubai, you will some with nuts in them, chocolate and more.
TIPS FOR EATING DATES IN DUBAI
- Dates are healthy, vegan (mostly), sweet, and a traditional snack of that region.
- They also make a great gift for your loved ones back home. You can buy them in every supermarket and many other stores and souks (markets).
Do some winter sports. Though it is surely not the most natural environment to ski, skiing in Dubai is for sure a great place to escape the heat in Dubai.
TIPS FOR SKIING IN DUBAI
- You find Dubai Ski in the Mall of Emirates on the Ground Floor
- Nearest Parking A
- Click here for tickets “Ski Dubai” via GetYourGuide (with a generous cancellation policy)
SHOP AT DUBAI MALL
Explore Dubai Mall – the biggest mall in the world (it feels more like a town rather than just a mall). Seriously, the mall is crazy and it would be easy to spend several days in it. From luxury to budget brands, from beauty and fashion to electronic stores. From restaurants to fancy cafes, there is everything you can ask from a shopping mall (and there is even more than you ask for).
Whether you are in Dubai for 1 day or much longer, Dubai Mall is a must-see place.
TIPS FOR VISITING DUBAI MALL
- Dubai Mall is located next to the water fountain and Burj Khalifa
- Tips: Do not visit on a Friday (evening) – it will be crowded as heck
- There is actually a dress code (cover shoulders and knees) though it is not often respected
GO HOTEL SIGHTSEEING IN DUBAI
The hotels in Dubai are among the best in the world – some are attractions in themselves. If you do not stay overnight in one of the top hotels, you can still see some and be amazed at what hotels could be like.
This can be done in several ways. You can book day tickets for the pool areas of some top hotels, make restaurant or spa reservations, or just visit them without any “obligations”.
TIPS FOR DOING HOTEL SIGHTSEEING
- Burj Al-Arab is not open to the public, you will need a spa/restaurant reservation
- Atlantis Hotel on The Palm is probably one of the best hotels to check out (no reservation needed)
COOL OFF WITH JET-SKIING IN DUBAI
If you prefer outdoor activities, go jet-skiing in Dubai – where everything is about higher, faster, further, fast jet-skiing seems to be the perfect activity in Dubai. It is fun, but also very refreshing on a hot day.
TIPS FOR JET-SKIING
- There are several jet-ski companies in Dubai
- Tours normally last between 30-60 minutes
- Click here to find out about prices for jet-skiing
EXPLORE THE GOLD AND SPICE SOUKS
Visit the souks in the old part of the city.This part is different from the rest of Dubai, and though it is hectic, it has some traditional charm.
If you visit, be prepared to haggle – never accept any price immediately. Normally, you can get things for 50%, but you need to be patient and nice while discussing prices. Apart from spices and clothes (you will also find traditional clothes for a much lower price than in the malls), there is gold…a lot of gold.
TIPS FOR VISITING THE GOLD AND SPICE SOUKS
- Many souvenirs etc. are much cheaper here than in malls
- Do not forget to haggle
- If you like to buy gold, check the gold rate online first
- For women, I recommend not to wear the most revealing clothes and dress modestly
DISCOVER AL BASTAKIYA
Explore Al Bastakiya, which is quite close to the souks and is one of the oldest districts. It is located at Dubai Creek, quite charming with the narrow streets, and surely worth visiting. It shows you another side of Dubai – definitely a nice break from Downtown’s modernity – this is also a more off-the-beaten place in Dubai, and I have never really seen it crowded as other parts of the city.
TIPS FOR VISITING AL BASTAKIYA
- The Secret Garden is probably the most beautiful restaurant/cafe in Al Bastakiya
- It is great to visit at any time of the day, but in the evening it actually is livelier and lovelier
HOP ON AN ABRA
Do an inexpensive abra ride on Dubai Creek, a natural creek close to the Gold and Spice Souk. Abra are traditional wooden water taxis that you find especially in the old part of Dubai.TIPS FOR AN ABRA RIDE
- To get from the Spice Souk to Bur Dubai, you only pay about 0,25€ (1 Dirham).
- If you like to have the whole abra for yourself, you can get it for 20 Dirham (about 5€).
- If you prefer a fancier abra ride and do not mind paying a bit more, you can also do an abra ride in Madinat Jumeirah.
LEARN ABOUT HISTORY AT DUBAI MUSEUM
Learn about Dubai´s past. Apparently, Dubai is super modern, but if you visit one of the museums (Dubai Museum is the best choice), you´ll learn more about its past (yes, there is some history involved). It is near Al Bastakiya and very popular amongst UAE visitors.
So it might be quite busy during high season, but it is still worth it, and it is quite illustrated so you learn about the life of people in Dubai easily (and thus it is a great fun thing to do with your kids, too).
TIPS FOR VISITING DUBAI MUSEUM
- The entree fee is just about 1€
HAVE FUN AT DUBAI JBR WALK
Enjoy JBR Walk. One of the most fun places is JBR – the Walk, so discover JBR Walk by feet – a popular area with many restaurants, hotels, cafes, and access to the beach.In March 2018 Flying Cup opened. For about 20€, you can hop into the capsule and enjoy an amazing view of JBR The Walk – The Beach.
If you are more into relaxing at the beach, this beach might be a good option (though it can be quite busy), or you can check out street art, eat your weight in meals from all around the world or do one of the other activities that are offered there.
SPEND A DAY AT GLOBAL VILLAGE
Learn about other cultures. Another popular place is the Global Village, so check it out and enjoy a ride in one of the 50 rides in the Fantasy Island theme park and visit pavilions of different countries.
Pay is about 5€ ($6), but rollercoaster rides cost extra.
Location: It is located a bit further away from other Dubai attractions, so it is probably not a place to quickly go through (combine it in the winter months with a trip to Miracle Garden).
VISIT A MOSQUE
Visit a mosque. Actually, most mosques in Dubai look similar but stunning, so make sure to stop by one and admire the architecture.
Jumeirah Mosque is one of the very few mosques in Dubai open to non-Muslims, so put it on your list. You have to take part in a free tour to enter, so check out the times. It is a beautiful mosque – so even if you don’t go inside, it is lovely to look at from outside.
One mosque that looks a bit different is the beautiful Iranian Mosque in Bur Dubai.
TIP: you need to cover your head/arms/legs as a female when visiting a mosque, and as a male, you also have to cover your arms and legs. It is close to La Mer so that you could combine it with a trip there.
ADMIRE FLOWERS AT MIRACLE GARDEN
Visit Miracle Garden and take 10000 pictures at Miracle Garden.Miracle Garden is not open in summer, though (it normally opens in November), and you need to get there by taxi.
This is art that comes from flowers. Though it is totally crowded in December, it is worth a visit (about 12€ entry), and I reckon it is great for people of all ages. During the summer months, it is closed.
Take a bus/cab and plan in a few hours for this trip. It is close to Global Village, so the most efficient way would be to see both places in one day.
CRUISE MARINA, ATLANTIS, AND BURJ AL-ARAB
Another boat cruise for a hot day. One of my favorite activities anywhere in the world: doing boat cruises. I normally spend a lot of time, cruising lakes in Switzerland but also boat cruises in Dubai are not too bad. With all the stunning buildings in Dubai, boat cruises are pretty amazing – and there is something for every taste. Whether you like to have dinner on board or just sailing along Burj al-Arab, I am sure you will find the perfect cruise for yourself.
HAVE AN ADVENTURE AT IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE
Ride some rollercoaster at IMG. The IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world´s largest theme park, is still on my”to-do list” for Dubai.
I am sure your kids will love it – but even the grown-ups can have a fun day here. So plan a day for this giant theme park where it is a lot about thrilling rollercoaster rides.
GET AROUND VIA DUBAI FERRY
An inexpensive way to do a little boat cruise is by doing a ferry ride (okay, I know another kind of boat ride), but it is way cheaper and shorter – and you get from a. to b. You can also use your NOL card to hop onto the ferry and get around in some parts of Dubai (e.g., Dubai Marina).
SPEND A DAY AT A WATERPARK
Book a ticket for one of the waterparks in the city.
I never spend much time in waterparks…except when I did in Dubai at the Aquaventure Waterpark…and later at Wild Wadi Waterpark. I enjoyed both my days at the waterpark – though I felt they were very crowded and surely overpriced.It is easy to spend a full day at one of the biggest and best waterparks in the region with all the different slides, different pools, and more to do at the waterpark. However, I think about $70 for a day at the waterpark is a kind of a rip-off.
P.S. If you book your stay in one of the above-mentioned hotels, you will have free access to the waterparks. Click here to get the best prices for Aquaventure Waterpark.
If you are looking for a more affordable waterpark, then check out Laguna Waterpark at La Mer. Though I haven’t visited that waterpark myself – yet – it is located in my new favorite area, and it is about half the prices of the other two water parks (probably as crowded). Get the best price for the Laguna Waterpark at La Mer.
EXPLORE DUBAI VIA HOP-ON AND HOP-OFF
The best way to get around in Dubai is to hop on in one of the sightseeing buses and discover many areas by bus – with great stops along the way.
There are actually two operators – either City Sightseeing or Big Bus. Both offer almost identical, but there are some differences in the extras, lengths, and minor differences in the routes.
MAKE A TRIP TO MUSANDAM / OMAN
Explore the neighboring country of the USA and make a day trip to Oman.
On my fourth trip, I finally managed to make a day trip to Oman. It is quite a long drive, but Dubai is still a good base for day trips to Oman’s northern parts.
If you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of crazy Dubai, then head to Oman. Click here to find out about the best prices for a day trip to Oman.
HEAD TO ABU DHABI
Visit Abu Dhabi. If you do not plan to stay overnight in Abu Dhabi, you should make a day trip to the capital of the United Arab Emirates.I highly recommended a day trip to the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, and see, among others, the stunning Grand Mosque, stroll along the Corniche. Click here to find out what else to do in Abu Dhabi.
To get there by car takes about 1 hour and there are also buses and guided tours that get you to Abu Dhabi. Check out prices for an organized day trip to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.
GET LOST AT THE CHAMBERS
Visit the Lost Chambers at the 5* hotel Atlantis – The Palm and find out about the Atlantic myth and marine life – I not only recommended escaping the heat in summer. You might have seen images on Instagram already – there is not that much to do, and it is a bit lame, but this giant aquarium is probably a fun thing to do as a family. Check Prices for visiting the Lost Chambers.
GET A DAY PASS FOR JUMEIRAH PALM HOTELS
If you do not stay at one of the hotels on the Palm, get a “day ticket for beach access on the Palm” (the beach at Dubai Palm is my favorite in Dubai, but since it is private, this is an easy and legit way to get access).
DO A BIKE TOUR
Rent a bike (at a rental station on the Palm) and explore Palm Jumeirah this way. The Palm is the best place to ride, and it is a fun experience. You can rent a bike from a station – you just need a mobile with you and a credit card – it is one of the best places to ride (and easiest, since the streets are new, which makes cycling easy).
STROLL MADINAT JUMEIRAH
Stroll Madinat Jumeirah, which is one of the most beautiful places in Dubai.Though it is extremely modern, it is a recreation of ancient Arabia, and it is also home to some fantastic hotels. You can also dine there, do an abra ride, shop in the souks or just get lost there. From there you´ll also have beautiful views of Burj Al-Arab.
BOOK A PRIVATE YACHT CRUISE
Okay, if you want to splurge, then hire a private yacht. Dubai is the city of the rich – so a private yacht cruise sounds pretty standard in Dubai. Check out Rates for Your Private Yacht Tour in Dubai Here
DINE AT AN UNDERWATER RESTAURANT
Dine in a special restaurant. Dubai has several underwater restaurants, so why not dine in an extraordinary atmosphere? I admit that it is still on my own bucket list – but if you have the perfect companion with you, I cannot imagine anything more romantic. Book a Dinner in an Underwater Restaurant
SEE A SHOW AT WAFI WALL
See a light show for free. This Egypt-inspired Wafi Mall also has a free light show every evening, which is worth watching. Though Wafi Mall might not be on your two-day Dubai itinerary, it is a fun place to see in Dubai if you are staying longer.
GO SAND BOARDING
Do exercise and go sandboarding. Skateboarding can be done anywhere – sandboarding in Dubai is more exclusive. If you love snowboarding, you will love this. I sucked at it – but well, sports, other than walking/hiking/dancing, are not so much my strong points, but it was a fun and cool Dubai experience. Check out Rates for Sand Boarding in Dubai
VISIT DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO
Visit Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the biggest indoor aquariums in the world. It is located in the Dubai Mall, and you can see a part of it for free when strolling on the ground floor of the biggest mall in the world. If you want to see more, get a ticket and discover marine life.
To be honest, I have visited twice so far. Both times, it was included in my hop-on and hop-off tickets. I personally do not think it is worth almost $40 (no discount for kids above 3 years), but the reviews are good, and if you into marine life, this might be a fun activity. Check out Rates for a “Dubai Aquarium” Ticket Here
SEE DUBAI FROM THE FRAME
See Dubai from a different angle and visit the Frame. If you like to see Dubai from above, then head to Dubai Frame. This cool golden frame opened in January 2018, and you get an amazing view from the skyline of Dubai, but you can also walk on the glass floor and see 100 meters down.If you visit after sunset, is it beautifully illuminated. However, I recommend visiting in the daytime. Check out city tours, including a trip to The Frame.
STOP AT DUBAI GLOW GARDEN
Stop at Glow Garden. A perfect Instagram location is the Dubai Garden Glow – a garden with beautifully arranged lights. It is not a place to spend hours at. But if you have some free time in the evening, go and visit this place in Dubai.
I only passed it in the evening – when I was in my taxi, and I always have wanted to come back but never made it. Seeing dinosaurs at Dubai Garden Glow makes me believe this is a great thing to do with kids.
SPEND TIME AT CITY WALK
Shop and chill at City Walk. There are so many new areas in Dubai that you might not be able to visit all, but add City Walk to your itinerary as it is one of the best things to do in Dubai for free. Whether you visit with kids (they surely will love it with all the activities they offer for younger tourists) or as an adult.It is an interesting place to stroll along – especially in the evening when all the stores and places get illuminated, and you have a lovely view of Burj Khalifa. You will even find some street art there, and you have plenty of options to dine here, too.
Enjoy Your Trip
Enjoy your time in Dubai.
Though I could probably add many more things, these are my 50 favorite things to do.
DUBAI TRAVEL TIPS
Before talking about the best things to do in Dubai, here are some – quick – travel tips. For more detailed information, just click on my Dubai travel guide.
- Best time to visit: Between late October to the end of March (the weather is lovely around that time of the year, it is not too hot). During this time, you will do most of the best things to do in Dubai (as some activities in Dubai are also closed in the summer months)
- What to wear: You don’t have to cover up – as a female you can wear shorts and tops but keep in mind, it is still a conservative city, so don’t overdo it. Check out my What to Wear post for more info.
- How to get around: By public transportation, taxi, and Uber. I never rented a car in Dubai as driving seems very stressful if you aren’t used to crazy driving. Also, guided tours can be great if transportation is included.
- Where to stay: Ideally, in Dubai Downtown or Marina. If you are looking for beach access, check out accommodations on the Palm or at JBR. Here is my full “Dubai – where to stay” guide.
- Alcohol is allowed – but only in certain restaurants and hotels.
- Booking Tours When I book tours, I normally use GetYourGuide or Viator to visit any Dubai attraction. Both are great websites and absolutely trustworthy. Many of the links I added will lead you to one of the two websites. GetYourGuide is my personal favorite because of their generous cancellation policy (normally, you can cancel up to 24 hours before the tour and get a full refund – especially in times like these – with all the uncertainty, it is a lifesaver) and though many of the Dubai activities mentioned here are free, for some of the best things to do in Dubai you need to book in advance.
PIN ME FOR LATER – FUN DUBAI ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES & BUDGETS
Conclusion: Things to See and Do in Dubai
As you can see, it is not only about malls and skyscrapers. Dubai offers so many activities for people of all ages and fitness levels. And I hope that this post has helped you find out about the best things to do in Dubai – whether you are on a budget or want to splurge. I hope you have found out what to do in Dubai.