WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI – FUN ACTIVITIES FOR ALL BUDGETS AND AGES
If I know one thing for sure about Dubai it is this: Dubai will not get boring. There are so many things to do in Dubai that you could spend forever in this dazzling city and discover new things all the time.
Whether you visit as a tourist or live in Dubai – there is so much to do and see, making planning challenging and overwhelming. It seems that there are new attractions popping up regularly.
To help you plan your Dubai itinerary, I have compiled a list of Dubai activities to add (some) to your bucket list.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI
Just a little disclaimer: Some activities are not offered throughout the year. Especially in the summer, some places are closed, so please double-check the dates.
Booking Tours: When I book tours, I normally use GetYourGuide. Many of the links I added will lead you to GetYourGuide as it is my personal favorite because of its 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.
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.
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.
GO ON A DUBAI DESERT SAFARI
Going on a desert safari is one of the best things to do in Dubai! 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 & a belly dance show.
After a wildish 4-4 wheel drive, it is time to unwind in a bona fide Bedouin abode where you can get your camel-riding and henna-painting fix! Treat your taste buds to a mouth-watering BBQ dinner as belly and folk dancers shimmy and shake the night away.
The dinner under the sky has always been lovely. I had enough vegetarian options, but meat-eaters will also find something. Some argue, that it is quite touristy. Yes, it is but it is still a great experience.
Desert Safaris normally take between 5-9 hours and 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:
ℹ️ Morning Desert Safari incl. Dune Buggy is a great desert safari if you want to explore the desert in the morning
ℹ️ Find out more about a desert safari – with BBQ and dune drive.
ℹ️ 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 Dubai 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.
ℹ️ You can book different tours. Check them out here to find out about prices.
ℹ️ There are different take-off locations – when booking, check where your flight will start.
ℹ️ The flight takes around 30-35 minutes, but plan a couple of hours for the whole activity.
EXPLORE LA MER
Relax at La Mar – 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.
This is the place to chill, rest, take a dip or do water sports – you can rent equipment at the beach area
You can get there by public bus and some big hotels have shuttle buses that might get you there. However, if not, a taxi would be the c choice to get here (taxi drivers will know where it is).
ℹ️ There is no entrance fee but sun lounges etc. are available for a fee
ℹ️ Most restaurants and shops are open from 10 am until 11 pm
A speedboat tour in Dubai is great to enjoy the breeze – especially on a hot day. While the boat rides fast, they stop at several tourist attractions like Atlantis Hotel or Burj Al-Arab – so you have time for snapping pictures.
ℹ️ Do you enjoy the thrill? Then sit at the front of the boat – this is where you might get a bit wet, but it is also the most fun part if you are into an adrenaline rush.
ℹ️ Most tours start in Dubai Marina and tours normally last between 60-90 minutes.
STROLL DUBAI MARINA
Explore Dubai Marina.
This area is one of the most luxurious and cosmopolitan parts of Dubai. This vibrant area is home to some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, and clubs as well as a number of prestigious hotels – and skyscrapers. Seriously, the amount of skyscrapers is insane.
Despite it being a busy area, it is one of the best places for nice strolls.
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. So, whether you come here during the day or in the evening – when everything is illuminated – 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.
ℹ️ Dubai Marina “is open” 24/7 – it gets especially busy in the evening and its the best time to visit
ℹ️ You can reach Dubai Marina also via the 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
Dubai Marina is beautiful – especially in the evening!
And if you are craving an exquisite meal while strolling Dubai Marina, then look no further than Pier 7 – the ultimate spot in Dubai Marina for tantalizingly delicious international cuisine!
Experience flavors from around the world, like exotic Arabic and Asian delights or classic European fare. It’s sure to be a night of gourmet feasting at its finest! 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 panorama is great.
ℹ️ For great views AND nice staff, head to the 6th floor ASIA ASIA
ℹ️ During the high season, I recommend booking a table on the terrace in advance
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.
If you love food and boat cruises (two of my personal favorite things), you can even book dinner on a boat.
ℹ️ Tours normally last around 90 minutes
When in Dubai, visit Burj Khalifa which is probably also the most famous attraction in the city.
Built with a combination of steel and concrete, the Burj Khalifa has numerous unique features that set it apart from other skyscrapers.
It features an observation deck and terrace with unparalleled views of Dubai’s skyline, making it a must-see sight for all travelers. In addition to its breathtaking architectural design, the Burj Khalifa is equipped with the fastest elevators in the world and has almost 900,000 square meters of space dedicated to restaurants and luxury shops.
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.
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 that included 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 one (4 years) loved the views.
➡️ 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:
Watch the water fountain show at Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and literally see the water dance. It is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake and was designed by California-based WET Design, the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.
The show itself is quite short (about 2-4 minutes), and I have seen nicer shows (e.g. in Kuala Lumpur), but sitting at a cafe and watching it is still worth it.
This place gets crazy – especially in the evening. Avoid coming here on weekends if you do not LOVE crowds.
ℹ️ 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.
ℹ️ 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.
ℹ️ Check out the show times here.
REST AT ZABEEL PARK
For those who do not believe that Dubai has some greenery, Zabeel Park will prove him/her wrong.
Set among lush greenery, Zabeel Park is one of the largest urban parks in Dubai. It’s a great escape from the usual hustle and bustle of city life and offers plenty to do for everyone. With its sprawling lawns, meandering pathways, playgrounds and picnic areas, it’s perfect for a day out with the family or a leisurely stroll.
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).
ℹ️ Zabeel Park is located 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 Dubai Frame (more on that later).
ℹ️ There is a small entrance fee (about $1)
GET A TAN AT KITE BEACH
You can chill for free at Kite Beach and enjoy great views of Burj Al-Arab – not all beaches are free and public (most actually belong to luxury hotels), but Kite Beach is.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 view of Burj al-Arab, then this is your beach.
ℹ️ The water is pretty, the view amazing, and best of all: It is a free and public beach area.
ℹ️ There are many restaurants and cafes close by, so you ca spend a day here and have everything you need.
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 have 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.
The Burj Al Arab is one of the most prestigious and iconic hotels in the world, located on its own artificial island just off the coast of Dubai. This luxurious hotel is a dazzling sight to behold with its distinctive sail-shaped silhouette and opulent interior. It stands 321 meters tall, making it the fourth tallest hotel in the world.
Alternatively, you can book spa treatments to get access to the hotel – getting pampered at this luxury hotel? Does not sound too bad.
One of my personal highlights was 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.
You are normally picked up at the hotel – for sunrise balloon rides, it means getting up very early but it is worth it.
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. 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.
ℹ️ Friday Brunches are quite costly, so some research might be needed if you are on a budget
ℹ️ Booking in advance might be good (especially for popular places)
ℹ️ You might not be able to do a Friday Brunch during Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting) – Ramadan in 2023 – 22nd March to 21st April
PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY
I am not a party girl – so I won’t be able to give the best advice firsthand. 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.
ℹ️ Here are more tips for things NOT to do in Dubai.
See the city from above and do a helicopter flight – it is my tip for one of the most unique things to do in Dubai.
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 but it flights are not cheap.
➡️ 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, but I mean the delicious little things you can eat. Dates are healthy, vegan (normally), sweet, and a traditional snack of that region. You find many different kinds of dates – some with nuts in them, chocolate, and more.
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).
Though Dubai is surely not the most natural environment for winter sports, skiing in Dubai is for sure a great place to escape the heat.
ℹ️ You find Dubai Ski in the Mall of Emirates on the Ground Floor
SHOP AT DUBAI MALL
Explore Dubai Mall – the biggest mall in the world. Seriously, the mall is crazy and it would be easy to spend several days in it. Located in the heart of downtown Dubai, this iconic mall is the world’s largest shopping mall based on total area. With over 1200 stores, it offers something for everyone – from luxury brands such as Chanel and Hermes to more budget-friendly stores.
The mall is also home to a variety of entertainment venues, including the Dubai Ice Rink and the Reel Cinemas.
Dubai Mall is also home to an aquarium, which houses a variety of aquatic species from the UAE and around the world. Whether you are in Dubai for 1 day or much longer, Dubai Mall is a must-see place.
ℹ️ Dubai Mall is located next to the water fountain and Burj Khalifa
ℹ️ 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”.
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)
If you prefer outdoor activities, go jet-skiing in Dubai – where everything is about higher, faster, and further, jet-skiing seems to be the perfect activity in Dubai. It is fun, but also very refreshing on a hot day.
ℹ️ There are several jet-ski companies in Dubai
ℹ️ Tours normally last between 30-60 minutes
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.
The Dubai Gold and Spice Souk is a must-visit destination for anyone looking to explore the traditional Arab culture. It is one of the oldest and most famous souks in the region, packed with over 300 stores selling exotic spices, herbs, incense, gold jewelry, traditional perfumes, rare fabrics, and more.
If you visit, be prepared to haggle – never accept any price immediately. Often, 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.
ℹ️ Many souvenirs etc. are much cheaper here than in malls. Do not forget to haggle, and if you are serious about buying gold, check the gold rate online first.
ℹ️ For women, I recommend not wearing the most revealing clothes and dressing modestly because stares and catcalling are quite common.
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, and quite charming with the narrow streets. It shows you another side of Dubai and is definitely a nice break from Downtown’s modernity.
This is also a more off-the-beaten place, and I have never really seen it as crowded as other parts of the city.
ℹ️ The Secret Garden is probably the most beautiful restaurant/cafe in Al Bastakiya.
ℹ️ 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
You can also do an inexpensive abra ride on Dubai Creek, which is a natural creek close to the Gold and Spice Souk. Abras are traditional wooden water taxis that you find mostly in the old part of Dubai.
For barely the price of a penny, you can take an exciting ride on one of Dubai’s traditional abras boats across its iconic creek! That’s right – just AED1 (US$0.27) and you’ll feel like part of the city with this affordable yet authentic experience that connects Bur Dubai to downtown Deira.
ℹ️ To get from the Spice Souk to Bur Dubai, you only pay about 0,25€ (1 Dirham).
ℹ️ If you like to have the whole abra for yourself, you can get it for 20 Dirham (about 5€).
ℹ️ In case, you prefer a fancier abra ride and do not mind paying a bit more, you can also do an abra ride in Madinat Jumeirah.
GET A DAY PASS FOR JUMEIRAH PALM HOTELS
Sick of the same old beach vacation? Explore Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago shaped like a palm tree! You’ll find some serious opulence here. Luxury resorts include Atlantis and One&Only The Palm – plus tons of fine dining options like Nobu & 101 Dining Lounge at The Pointe to make your taste buds swoon! Whether you want to relax or party hard, this unique island has it all!
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.
HAVE FUN AT THE DUBAI JBR WALK
You should make sure to discover the JBR Walk by foot!
The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is one of the most popular shopping and tourist destinations in Dubai. This vibrant promenade is lined with an array of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues that cater to all tastes and budgets.In March 2018 Flying Cup opened. For about 20€, you can hop into the capsule and enjoy an amazing view of the beach. If you are more into relaxing at the beach, this beach might be a good option (though it can be quite busy)!
Alternatively, you can check out street art, eat your weight in meals from all around the world, or do one of the many other activities offered there.
SPEND A DAY AT THE GLOBAL VILLAGE
Another popular place is the Global Village! Since its launch in 1997, this phenomenal open-air destination has become an absolute must each year from October to April.
Learn about other cultures, or enjoy a ride in one of the 50 rides in the Fantasy Island theme park and visit pavilions of different countries.
ℹ️ Pay is about 5€ ($6), but rollercoaster rides cost extra.
ℹ️ 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
Actually, most mosques in Dubai look similar and there is not a big variety in the architecture but they are very pretty overall, 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.
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 the outside.
ℹ️ 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 you could combine it with a trip there.
ADMIRE FLOWERS AT MIRACLE GARDEN
Miracle Garden is a perfect place to take 10000 pictures.
It is home to some of the most unique and imaginative gardens on the planet, featuring over 45 million flowers planted in intricate designs and shapes. Explore different themed areas of the garden, including Disney-inspired sections, as well as the world’s largest vertical garden
Though it is totally crowded and it seems everyone is flocking here in the winter months, it is worth a visit, and I reckon it is great for people of all ages.
ℹ️ Miracle Garden is not open in summer, though (it normally opens in November).
ℹ️ 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.
ℹ️ The entrance fee is about 75 AED (about 18€)
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.
HAVE AN ADVENTURE AT IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE
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.
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 the high season, but it is still worth it, and it is quite illustrated so you learn about the life of people in Dubai easily. This is also a great fun thing to do with your kids, too).
ℹ️ The entree fee is just about 1€
ℹ️ Free with your Sightseeing hop-on and hop-off ticket.
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.
ℹ️ 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.
ℹ️ 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 price 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 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 have – mostly – the same stops, but there are some differences in the extras, lengths, and minor differences in the routes.
It features beautiful mountain scenery, deserted beaches of pristine white sand, and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The Musandam Peninsula is home to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the region, so be sure to bring your gear!
You can also explore the stunning fjords, which are home to a wide variety of wildlife. Dolphins, seals, and exotic birds are just some of the species that you can spot while exploring this stunning region.
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.
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.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the most luxurious cities in the world. With a mix of old-world charm and modern sophistication, Abu Dhabi has something to offer everyone.
I highly recommended a day trip to the capital of the UAE, see, among others, the stunning Grand Mosque, and stroll along the Corniche. Click here to find out what else to do in Abu Dhabi.
ℹ️ Getting there by car takes about 1 hour and there are also buses and guided tours that get you to Abu Dhabi.
➡️ Check out my Abu Dhabi in 1-day post for more travel tips.
Visit the Lost Chambers at the 5* hotel Atlantis – The Palm and find out about the Atlantic myth and marine life. Located inside the majestic Atlantis The Palm resort, this aquarium recreates the lost city of Atlantis, as described in Greek mythology.
Explore a series of chambers and galleries featuring diverse marine life, where you can come face to face with sharks, stingrays, and even piranhas
You might have seen images on Instagram already. Honestly, 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.
DO A BIKE TOUR
Rent a bike at a rental station on the Palm and explore Palm Jumeirah this way. You just need a mobile and a credit card with you. The Palm is one of the best places to ride because the streets are new, which makes cycling easy.
STROLL MADINAT JUMEIRAH
Madinat Jumeirah is one of the most beautiful places in Dubai. It is a luxurious resort complex situated along the coast of Dubai and offers an array of high-end amenities and attractions, such as world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Stroll through the Madinat Souk for exotic souvenirs or hop aboard an abra boat to explore the winding waterways of the resort. The complex also features luxury hotels and a collection of Arabian-style villas, perfect for those looking to luxuriate in the lap of luxury.Though it is a recreation of ancient Arabia, it is extremely modern. 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.
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 there. Check out rates for your private Yacht Tour in Dubai here.
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
DINE AT AN UNDERWATER 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.
VISIT DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the biggest indoor aquariums in the world, is located in the Dubai Mall. 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 of it, 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). However, the reviews are good, and if you are into marine life, this might be a fun activity for you. Check out Rates for a “Dubai Aquarium” Ticket Here
SEE DUBAI FROM 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.
STOP AT DUBAI 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 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
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 dining options 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.
FAQ: TRAVEL TIPS FOR DUBAI
Here are some – quick – travel tips. For more detailed information, just click on my Dubai travel guide.
ℹ️ 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)
ℹ️ 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.
ℹ️ 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.
ℹ️ Alcohol is allowed – but only in certain restaurants and hotels.
ℹ️ Where to stay: Ideally, in Dubai Downtown or Marina.
Accommodation in Dubai is pricey. I suggest staying in Dubai Downtown, so you are close to the main attractions mentioned here – though it comes with a price tag.
- Armani Hotel: It is no surprise that this 5-star hotel in Downtown Dubai, just inside Burj Khalifa (it occupies 11 floors of the tallest skyscraper in the world) and Dubai Mall, is synonymous with luxury and pure elegance. Check out the rates for Armani Hotel.
- Carlton Downtown: This 4-star property is also located close to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall – The Financial Centre Metro Station is within walking distance and ideal for those who like to use public transportation. The pool area offers a nice view of Burj Khalifa, and from the 357 guest rooms, you can choose between deluxe rooms all the way up to penthouse suites. Check out the rates for Carlton Downtown.
- Rove Downtown Dubai: This 3-star hotel is located a few kilometers from Burj Khalifa (not far from the international airport). While the hotel is very simple and offers basic amenities, you might be lucky enough to get a room with a view – a view of Burj Khalifa! Find the best for Rove Downtown.
You can check out my full Dubai accommodation guide to find the perfect place for your stay.
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Conclusion: Best Dubai Activities
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.
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