What to Do in Dubai
50 Fun Things to Do in Dubai
Dubai is one of the hottest destinations at the moment (not only literally). While most people think about luxury first, Dubai has way more to offer than just luxurious buildings and shopping malls.
As you probably know, I fell in love with Dubai when I visited Dubai during my second visit. I was surprised that there is so much more to do and see than skyscrapers and malls.
Though it is actually a lot about breaking any kind of records, Dubai can also be charming and fun and there is a lot to see in Dubai.
So whether you are already in Dubai or you will head there soon, these are fun activities to do in the biggest city of the UAE (some of them are free activities, some cost a bit, some are for the wild ones, some are for those who like to chill and rest).
P.S. Some activities are not offered throughout the year – especially in summer some places are closed, so please double-check the dates :).
50 Things to Do in Dubai
One of the best activities 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 (which is amazing in the desert). But actually, any desert safari is a great thing to experience in Dubai (and the desert is so picturesque).
2. Seaplane Flight
A seaplane flight sounds pretty amazing, right? A seaplane flight in Dubai sounds even better.
3. Speed Boat Tour
Do a speedboat tour in Dubai and enjoy the breeze – one of the best things to do in Dubai in summer (or even in winter).
4. Stroll Thorugh Dubai Marina
One of my most favorite parts in Dubai is Dubai Marina with all the cafes and restaurants – and skyscrapers. This is one of the best places to get lost and one of the best places for nice strolls.
5. Visit Pier 7 at Night
As mentioned above, Dubai Marina is beautiful and Dubai Marina is the best area to go out in the evening, don´t miss Pier 7 at night and dine in one of the seven restaurants with beautiful views at night.
6. Dubai Marina Cruise Tour
Boat tours are one of my favorite ways to get around – See more of Dubai´s great Marina by doing a Dubai Marina Cruise Tour
7. Have a Drink at Marina Yacht Club
I mentioned strolling through Marina before, and having a drink at Marina Yacht Club should also be on your list with a great view (it is not only open in the evening).
8. At the Top of Burj Khalifa
Another top thing to do in Dubai is to visit the highest building in the world. 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.
Tip: I had to stand in line for ages, so probably a VIP ticket is the better choice for the people who are less patient :).
To find out more about how to get to Burj Khalifa click here and read my detailed review
9. Chill at Zabeel Park
Wondering where to chill in Dubai? For those who do not believe that Dubai has some greenery Zabeel Park proves him/her wrong: For a small entrance fee (about 1$) you can visit Zabeel Park and relax in the lush and green park.
10. Relax at Jumeirah Beach
Not all beaches are free, but you can chill for free at the public (and beautiful) beach Jumeirah Beach and enjoy great views of Burj Al-Arab.
11. Visit Burj Al-Arab
Have an afternoon tea at Burj Al-Arab (it is still on my own list) at the only 7* hotel in the world (reservation needed in advance). It is not a bargain but probably an amazing experience.
12. Spend a day at IMG Worlds of Adventure
The IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world´s largest theme park, is still on my list.
13. Do a Hot-Air Balloon Ride
Another top tourist attraction in Dubai is to see Dubai´ deserts 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. Waking up at 4 am was worth it: Do a hot-air balloon ride in Dubai´s desert and enjoy watching the sunrise from above. You are normally being picked up at the hotel – click here to read my post about my hot-air balloon tour in Dubai.
14. Go Flyboarding
There are a lot of adventurous things to do in Dubai for those who like to be more active. Try out Flyboarding in Dubai and soar above the Persian Gulf.
15. Enjoy 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 was not disappointed (read my review of the Friday Brunch and click here).
16. Helicopter Flight
See Dubai from above when doing a helicopter flight.
17. Eat Dates
While in Germany, I rarely eat them but in Dubai, dates are part of my nutrition. Try out dates – they are healthy and a traditional snack of that region.
18 .Ski in Dubai
I have never been skiing but if I tried it out it would be probably rather in Dubai than in Switzerland. Though it is not the most natural environment to ski, but it is for sure a great place to escape the heat in Dubai so why not skiing in Dubai.
19. 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, Dubai 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 cam ask from a shopping mall (and there is even more than you ask for). Read my Dubai Mall quick guide here.
20. Hotel Sightseeing
One fund and free thing to do in Dubai is ….hotel sightseeing. The hotels in Dubai are among the best in the world – if you do not stay overnight in one of the top hotels, do some hotel hopping. Check out which hotels are open to public (Burj Al-Arab is not but Atlantis Hotel is e.g.)
21. Jet-Ski 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.
22. Visit Al Bastakiya
Al Bastakiya is one of the oldest district, located at Dubai Creek, and quite charming with the narrow streets and surely worth a visit.
23. Visit the Gold and Spice Souk
Visiting the Gold and Spice Souk in Dubai should be on your list (close to Al Bastakiya) – this part is different than the rest of Dubai and though it is very busy it has some traditional charm.
24. Do an Abra Ride
Do an inexpensive abra ride on Dubai Creek, a natural creek close to the Gold and Spice Souk. If you prefer a fancier abra ride and do not mind paying a bit more you can also do a abra ride in Madinat Jumeirah.
25. Visit a Museum in Dubai
Apparently, Dubai is super modern but if you visit one of the museums in Dubai you´ll learn more about Dubai’s past (yes, there is some history involved).
26. Stroll Along The Walk at JBR
One of the liveliest places in Dubai is JBR – the Walk, so discover JBR Walk by feet – a popular area with many restaurants, hotels, cafes, and with access to the beach.
27. Visit Miracle Garden
One of the main points of interest in Dubai is Miracle Garden, so discover it and take 10000 of pictures at Miracle Garden – it is not open in summer though (normally open in November) and you need to get there by taxi, but it is one of the best gardens to check out in Dubai.
Take a cab and plan in a few hours for this trip.
28. Visit Global Village
Another popular sightseeing place in Dubai is the Global Village, so check out the Global Village and enjoy a ride in one of the 50 rides in the Fantasy Island theme park.
29. See the Iranian Mosque
Pay a visit to the beautiful Iranian Mosque in Bur Dubai.
30. Cruise Along Dubai Marina, Atlantis, and Burj Al Arab
Another boat cruise: One of my favorite activities anywhere in the world: doing boat cruises. With all the stunning buildings in Dubai boat cruises are pretty amazing.
31. Dubai Ferry
An inexpensive way to do a little boat cruise is by doing a ferry ride.
32. See the Water Fountain Show
A top free thing to do in Dubai is to… watch the water fountain show at Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and see the water dance.
33. Aquaventure Waterpark
I never spend much time in waterparks…except when I did in Dubai at the Aquaventure Waterpark. Visit Aquaventure Waterpark – it is easy to spend a full day at one of the biggest and best waterparks in the region (a visit there made me feel like a little child again), as there are many slides, different pools, and more to do at the waterpark.
34. Hop-On and Hop-Off in Dubai
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. Read my review of the hop-on and hop-off buses in Dubai.
35. Visit Jumeirah Mosque
Jumeirah Mosque is one of the very few mosques in Dubai open to non-Muslims as well, so put it on your list (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).
36. Do Day Trip to Abu Dhabi
If you do not plan to stay overnight in Abu Dhabi you should at least do 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.
To get there by car takes about 1 hour and there are also buses and guided tours that get you to Abu Dhabi.
37. Visit Lost 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 to escape the heat in summer 🙂
38. Do a Professional Photoshoot
If you have ever thought of hiring a professional photographer in an amazing scenery/surroundings then Dubai might be the place for a great outdoor or indoor shot.
39. Camel Riding
Go camel riding in Dubai. It is often included in desert safaris.
40. Day Pass on the Palm Jumeirah
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).
41. Do a Bike Tour
Rent a bike (at a rental station on the Palm) and explore Palm Jumeirah by bike – The Palm is the best place to ride.
42. Explore Madinat Jumeirah
43. Private Yacht Cruise
Okay, if you want to do another great luxury thing in Dubai then hire a private yacht. Dubai is the city of the rich – so a private yacht cruise sounds pretty standard in Dubai.
44. Dine in an Underwater Restaurant
Dubai has several underwater restaurants, so why not dine in a very special atmosphere?
45. Visit Wafi Mall
This Egypt inspired Wafi Mall has also a free light show every evening which is worth to watch.
46. Go Sand Boarding
Skate boarding can be done anywhere – sand boarding in Dubai is more exclusive (p.s. I do not do it the proper way in the picture).
My way of sand boarding 🙈 If you are in Dubai, even only for few hours, I can strongly advice to visit the desert. On my blog are two reviews of different tours in the desert (link in bio) – pic by lovely @packslight @arabianadventures – #ad #dubai #visitdubai #arabianadventures #desert #dubaidesert #desertsafari #adventures #heat #sandboarding #funinthedesert #mydubai #bloggergirl #arzotravels #tb #throwback #bucketlist
47. Visit Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Visit Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the biggest indoor aquariums in the world.
48. Dubai Garden Glow
A perfect Instagram location is the Dubai Garden Glow – a garden with beautifully arranged lights.
49. Visit Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Enjoy the free attraction and visit Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary and see flamingos (among others).
Enjoy your time in Dubai.
…The end 🙂 Though I could probably add many more things, I stick to the 50 great stuff to do in Dubai.
Hope, this list inspired you and you´ll have found great ideas what to do when in Dubai.
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