As a regular Dubai visitor, I am always surprised to find out about new, cool and best places to visit in Dubai. Hardly any other city is growing as fast as Dubai and it seems a new attraction pops up every day. So, today I am sharing with you popular places as well as some more lesser-known attractions for your Dubai itinerary.

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It doesn’t really matter if you are into crazy, busy, glittering, extremely high skyscrapers or not – you have to visit Downtown as it is one of the best places in Dubai to visit. No questions about it. 

Dubai Downtown, Burj Khalifa @shutterstock

What makes Downtown special? Well, first of all, because it is home to the tallest building in the world… Burj Khalifa!

Burj Khalifa

Standing at 822 meters, the skyscraper is one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai. And while you will see it from many areas – it probably doesn’t come as a surprise given its size – you should get a closer look. 

7 days in Dubai - best vintage points

Tip: If you want to visit the top of Burj Khalifa, book your tickets in advance. 

Dubai Fountain

Next to Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Fountain. To find out about the times for the dancing water show, click here.

Waterfall show in front of Burj Khalifa

The show is free to watch, just a little warning in advance: It will be crowded. Like seriously crowded. Get there on time to get a good spot or book an abra ride so you can watch it without the crowds. Click here to find out about prices for an abra ride.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Fountain is also next to the Dubai Mall, the most famous – and probably the biggest – mall globally. Whether you are a shopper or not, the mall is more than a compilation of different retail stores and restaurants! Dubai Mall is a must-see place. You´ll find popular Dubai attractions, like the Aquarium, KidZania, or an Ice Rink, and it is probably one of the craziest places to visit in Dubai.

Dubai Mall at night

But even if you stroll through the area, you´ll stumble upon some weirdish things, like figures that kids especially will enjoy or people who like modern art… I, who am neither of those things, was just left… surprised. Nevertheless, I smiled when I stumbled upon those figures here and there, and they might be some secret tourist attraction.

If you are into opera, ballet, or theater, you will love the Opera in Dubai, which opened in 2016 and is a few minute’s walk from Dubai Fountain.

It has become one of the main tourist destinations because of the great hotels and restaurants that are here. Armani Hotel is just one of them. So, I admit that it took some time for Downtown to grow on me, but eventually, it did. Now I love coming back every time I am in Dubai and always discovering something new.

If you plan your Dubai itinerary and aren’t sure how much time to spend here, I recommend planning in one full day to see as much as possible without being too stressed out. Click here to find out more about accommodation in Dubai Downtown for each budget.


Another beautiful area in Dubai is Jumeirah – here are its main sights.

Burj al-Arab

The Burj al-Arab has been, and actually still is, one of the most expensive hotels in the world (prices during off-peak seasons like summer or Ramadan are still above 1000€ minimum). It opened in 1999, and visitors love photographing the hotel which is shaped like a sail.

Burj Al Arab great for photo shoots in Dubai

Though you cannot easily enter the hotel (if you aren’t an overnight guest, you need a written reservation for a restaurant, etc.), the interest hasn’t waned at all, and it is one of the main places to see in Dubai. 

Kite Beach

Popular spots to photograph Burj al Arab are from the beaches nearby, like the Kite Beach/Jumeirah Beach in the Jumeirah area. The beaches right from the hotel (like Kite Beach) are free to visit.

Jumeirah Beach

Though Kite Beach is open to the public, you don’t have to worry about the beach being crowded. It is safe, clean, and quite empty by European standards, so Burj al-Arab’s view is not the only reason it is a must-see in Dubai.

Madinat Jumeirah

One of the most beautiful places in Dubai is, in fact, Madinat Jumeirah – a recreation of ancient Arabia that is, however, quite modern. The area to the right of Burj al-Arab is a charming souk area with one of the best hotels in Dubai and a canal lined with restaurants and little shops.

Instagramspots in Dubai

You can get a ticket and do an abra ride (a little traditional water taxi), do some shopping at the markets (souks), and enjoy great views of the above-mentioned Burj al-Arab. If you aren’t an overnight guest in one of the Jumeirah hotels, you can still buy a day ticket and enjoy access to the private beach for a day.

P.S. This area is probably one of the most romantic areas in Dubai so lovebirds will enjoy a nice evening stroll and dinner here.

Wild Wadi

Wild Wadi is also located in Jumeirah, right next to Burj al-Arab. It is one of the two main water parks in the city – perfect for kids and adults alike. 

Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai book tickstes

A long lazy river and adrenaline-fuelled speed slides, 30 slides, and more – you can spend a whole day there if you love slides, pools, and water activities in general.

  • Check out prices for the Wild Wadi Waterpark. 
  • Tip: If you stay in a hotel that is part of the Jumeirah Group in Dubai, you will have free access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark. Click here to find out more about the best places to stay in Jumeirah.

City Walk

In the heart of Dubai, you will find an Urban Shopping and Dining Paradise. City Walk is a bit sleepy during the day, but it is a fun and popular place to see “after dark.” It is also the perfect place for shopping fans or families as it offers many activities (free and paid) for children.

City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels

You will also find some street art and have interesting views of Burj Khalifa, and you also have some street art here. For the best experience, I recommend coming here in the afternoon and then staying until late.

City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels-4

La Mer

La Mer is a bustling beach area with restaurants, shops, street art, and more. This is the place to chill and rest but also to enjoy some “city life”. Officially, La Mer is also located in the Jumeirah area. However, I felt free to add it here as an extra place to visit. La Mer is great, so I totally fell in love when I visited it for the first time. And this love grew when I visited again… and again.

La Mer Beach Dubai - best places to visit in Dubai

It is different from the rest of the city – more relaxed, fun, and easy-going (we are talking about Dubai standards), and I am not surprised to see it becoming one of Dubai´s top attractions. The “vintage” look of the shops is so unusual that this is quite an unusual Dubai sight. Keep an eye out for the street art and public showers, which were totally cute. It is also a place where you could spend all day – and I mean from the early morning to the late evening.


Dubai is not only about modernity. It actually has an old town. Yes, you read right. It has an old town that is pretty charming and totally different from the rest of Dubai.

Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 days

Dubai Creek actually divides Deira from Bur, so some of the places I mention below are actually in Bur, not Deira. However, it is easy to get from one area to the other by hopping on an abra (water taxi) or crossing some bridges.

Gold and Spice Souks

One of the most popular tourist places in Dubai Deira is the Gold and Spice Souks. You´ll find many little stores along the Creek, on both sides. It is so much fun to hop onto a water taxi and get to the other side (and it only costs about 0.25€), which in itself is a very iconic thing to do in the UAE.

The souks are crazy – seriously! If you think Downtown is crazy, then you will experience a different kind of crazy here. Gold as far as the eye can see – okay, this might be a bit of an exaggeration, but if you want to see what a gigantic necklace made of high-carat gold looks like, then you can find out here.

But, there is more than gold and spices. It is a great place to buy spices, souvenirs, very affordable local clothes, rugs, and more.

Gold Souk in Dubai points of interest

Western people might feel overwhelmed as retailers constantly approach them, but knowing this will help you politely say you are not interested and keep moving. Women should probably dress a bit more conservatively, especially in this area, if they want to avoid open stares from the locals.

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum is actually on the other side of the Creek. So it isn’t technically in Deira, but I’m still adding it here. The museum is a great place to get a well-illustrated overview of local history. So, it is perfect for kids and adults alike. 


This actually means that it can be quite busy, but I still recommend a visit (p.s. tickets are available for less than 1€; if you have a hop-on and hop-off ticket, it is often involved).

Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya (also known as the Al Fahadi Historical District) is another lovely area that I recommend visiting. This historic district is easily reached from Dubai Museum (on foot), and while it is a famous place in Dubai, it is not as overrun as many other places. So, if you prefer tight, winding alleys while enjoying a more authentic experience, then this is one of the best tourist attractions in Dubai for you.

Find out about the best tours in Dubai

Staying in Dubai Deira? Personally, I would not recommend staying here (though I have done so myself). Some hotels are great, but especially as a solo female traveler in Dubai, Deira is probably not the best choice. However, you can find a good bargain for luxury hotels in this area and find the best rates for hotels in general. Find the best rates for hotels in Dubai Deira here.

Zabeel Park

Zabeel Park is a lovely, lush, green, and neat park that you can visit for a small entry fee of about 1€.I have added it to the list because it is a great place for families or for anyone who enjoys some tranquility and peace.  

Zabeel Park is one of the best places to visit in Dubai

Dubai Frame

You will also find one of the newest attractions, Dubai Frame, which is located right next to Zabeel Park. The golden frame has become a popular sight and looks pretty in the daytime and at night (illuminated in different colors).

Views from Dubai Frame - best photo locations

But it is not only nice to look at – you can also visit the Frame and enjoy the view from above. The tickets are about 12€ (buy them at the ticket center) and you get access to the top. Fifty meters above the ground, you can walk on the glass floor and see Dubai from a different perspective. If you are scared of heights this place probably is not for you, though.


Here are a few more places to add to your bucket list and which did it really fit in the other areas.

Dubai Marina

Oh, this is another place that should be on your Dubai bucket list: Marina.

Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7

Tall buildings, good restaurants, a canal, and nice pathways are just a few of this area’s features. In the evening, it is a lovely place for nice strolls. Given the fact that the skyscrapers are illuminated, and it gets quite busy, it is a place that you really have to visit.

While not everyone likes the extremely modern look, it somehow represents modern Dubai like only a few places do. Kids will also love it, as you can rent little buggies so that they can be a bit more active. You will also find many yachts here, and if you are into boat tours (btw, to my thinking, how can you NOT be into boats?), you can book one (speedboat, dinner cruises, and more) and see Marina while lounging.

Of course, shopping addicts will love it here, too, given that Marina Mall has enough shops to make any serious shopper happy. But most of all, the amount of luxury hotels is impressive. While this means that it is not the most budget-friendly area, you will find several top-notch hotels that include great pool views, etc. It is especially popular at night – find out why.

  • Personally, I love staying in Dubai Marina. It isn’t the cheapest place to stay, but I love its vibe and the hotels’ views there. Click here to get the best hotel rates in Dubai Marina.

JBR WALK – The Beach

One area you can easily reach on foot from Marina is JBR Walk (The Beach). It is actually one of the liveliest and busiest areas in Dubai, day or night.

Places to see in Dubai in 7 days

While it is actually in Jumeirah, I created a special space for this important place in Dubai, as it is like a little town all on its own. The beach area (public and free) is very popular amongst visitors, and while it often seems that some areas are deserted in the daytime (at least if it isn’t in the winter), this is quite a popular spot all year round.

Dubai places to see

JBR Walk is home to several luxury hotels (you will find some mid-range hotels as well, but generally speaking, it is a more expensive area) and restaurants – a lot of them.

So, you can easily spend all day here: swim, do some activities like water sports or see JBR from above by getting on the Flying Cup, then have lunch, see some street art, let the kids play on the playground, and top your day off with a dinner in one of the restaurants and bars (there is something for every taste).

JBR – The Walk is one of the best areas to stay – especially if you love beaches or if you are with kids. Find the best hotels and rates for your stay at JBR – The Walk.

The Palm

One of the most prestigious projects in Dubai has probably been the creation of Jumeirah Palm. This man-made island, in the shape of a palm, is located close to Burj al-Arab (when I speak about proximity, it normally means several kilometers) on one side and JBR Walk (and Marina) on the other.

Arzo Travels Dubai Palm from above

The Palm is famous for its unique shape and because you will find some of the most famous hotels on the island. One of them is the iconic 5-star Atlantis – The Palm Hotel. It is a popular tourist spot because it is also home to attractions like the Lost Chambers and Dubai Aquaventure (and you can do a helicopter tour from here). 

Where to stay in Dubai for all budgets - Atlantis

While the pathways are perfect for nice bike rides or walks, I admit it disturbs me to see all those half-finished construction projects on the way to any hotel on the Palm.

However, this is one of the most exclusive areas in all of Dubai. All of the hotels are top-notch, and it is also a luxurious residential area. If you are short on time and don’t stay in one of the hotels, you can plan in a few hours to have a look around – or you can skip it.

If you have a few days in Dubai, then why not get a day pass? Many hotels offer day pass tickets for their beaches and pools. Admittedly, the beaches here are quite nice (even with all the construction you might see from the beach area). Click here for the best accommodations on Palm Jumeirah

Dubai Desert

If you visit the desert, you will find another very traditional area of Dubai… the amazing desert. 

Where to go in Dubai with kids

Sure, it doesn’t have the highest dunes ever, and while the desert might not be as iconic as the Sahara, I truly recommend spending some time here. To keep it short, the desert is pretty great. 

If you are in the city and have not planned a trip to the desert… well, you are missing out. The desert is much more than just some dunes. This is a great place for adventurous activities, like 4×4 wheel dune bashing, sandboarding, buggy rides, or hot-air ballooning. There is a lot to see in Dubai´s desert – even if it seems to be just about dunes.

The best place to have a BBQ? In the desert! It is romantic, fun (for people of all ages), and delicious (as an insatiable vegetarian, I feel confident enough to say so). An evening in the desert (alone or with friends/family) would be a great way to end your Dubai trip. You can even book a hotel in the desert. You can book a tour in advance as well. Click here to find out more.


Dubailand probably doesn’t belong to Dubai´s most famous places – at least according to its name – but it is home to some main attractions.

Miracle Garden

If you have done some research on activities in Dubai, you will most likely have seen images of Miracle Garden.

Miracle Garden @shutterstock

And Miracle Garden is as pretty as it looks in the pictures. While it can be crowded (it is only open in winter), it is still worth visiting. As the biggest flower park in the world, it is fun for the whole family. 50 million flowers – of all kinds – are displayed in a fun and cool way. If you don’t want to bring your own snacks and drinks, you can buy them from one of the numerous little stalls.  

Global Village

Close by is Global Village, which is another attraction that is open in the winter months and the main draw for families and one of the top places to visit in Dubai with your family. You can ride roller coasters, shop, and dine. And, of course, admire the main attraction: the Global Village. It is a tiny version of the world, with more than 27 pavilions representing 75 different countries.

I recommend visiting Miracle Garden first before heading over to spend the rest of the day at Global Village.

IMG World of Adventure

Also, in Dubailand, you will find IMG World of Adventure. This giant indoor park is open all year long and is especially fun for kids and adults will enjoy it.


Okay, these are the best places to visit in Dubai – in my honest opinion. Most of them are for visitors of all ages, so it is fun regardless of whether you visit as a solo traveler, a couple, with friends, or with your family. 

Exploring all of these places could take weeks. Find my ideal 7-day Dubai itinerary, if you have less time. Or my 5-day itinerary for Dubai if you have even fewer days.

I hope this guide helps you pick the perfect places for you. 

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Epic places to visit in Dubai, UAE, Arzo Travels

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