Dubai has emerged as a thriving metropolitan city that has become the most popular tourist destination in the Middle East. The mega city has earned the title of being the land of superlatives because of its affinity to have the best of everything. From infrastructure to lifestyle, every day, the capital city of Emirate of Dubai sets a new example of excellence for the world. Dubai’s humble beginning as a fishing village keeps the city grounded, and stands in sharp contrast with the level of advancement it has achieved. The metamorphosis of cultural heritage and modernity lends Dubai a unique identity that is characterised by the treasure trove of experiences it offers that appeal to its diverse populace and the many tourists. The best way to experience what the city has to offer is to go for a Dubai city tour. In this guide, we will tell you all about the best Dubai City Tours, and what factors to consider before making your choice.
Why go for a Dubai city tour?
Dubai is an ever evolving city. The prosperous city of Dubai has developed on either side of the Dubai creek with Deira on one side and Bur Dubai on the other. The newest addition to the city’s ever-expanding cityscape is Jumeirah which is known to the world because of the engineering marvel that is the Palm Jumeirah.
No matter your age or interests, the forever alive Dubai has something for everyone. One moment you could be among the clouds as you zip through Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the next you could be sailing through the bustling waterways of Dubai in a traditional Dhow Cruise. The adventure of exploring only begins with these must-do activities. There are the flourishing spice and gold souks that you must visit to get a glimpse of the city’s past. Dubai has also evolved to be a shopping destination and everyone visiting the city makes a beeline for the Dubai Mall to buy souvenirs and the latest fashion stock.
With so much to see and do, you can make the most of your time in Dubai by booking yourself a place on a Dubai City Tour. It will take you to all the famous, and some not so known places, without you having to worry about the logistics. It is one of the best way to explore the various shades of the golden city.
How to pick the best Dubai city tour?
1. Duration: There are half-day and full-day Dubai City Tour options, and depending upon how much time you have or how much you want to see in a day, you can choose between the two. A half- day tour may speed things up but might seem a little hurried. So, if you want to explore the city in little more detail, going for a full-day tour might be a better idea.
2. Time of Day: Dubai in the day light is quite different from what it is at night. If you want to live Dubai in all its entirety, then it would be ideal to book a day, and night city tour with different routes. But it may pinch your pocket a bit. So, go for the day-time tours if you want to go inside the mosques and museums. But if you are more interested in witnessing the glittering nightlife of Dubai, then consider booking an evening or night city tour.
3. Hop-on-hop-off or Guided Tours:A hop-on-hop-off tour offers greater flexibility. If you much rather prefer listening to the audio guides, and get on and get off as you wish, then you can go for the 24-hour pass, or a 48-hour pass. There is also an option of a hop-on-hop-off pass with a validity of 7 days- which is perfect for those of you with more time on their hands. If you prefer a structured tour, then going for one of the guided tours will be best for you. These tours follow a set schedule and offer variety of experiences.
4. Day Tours out of Dubai: As you will discover in the next section, there is a lot more you can do in Dubai than just roaming about the city. If you want to experience something different, and are open to venturing out of Dubai for a day or two during your trip, then consider the day tour options that will take you to nearby destinations like Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Musandam.
Where do I purchase tickets for a these tours?
There are many tour options you can choose from, each offering a different and distinct experience.
Dubai City Tour
In five hours, the Dubai City Tour will take you to all of the city’s landmarks. The first stop, after you board the vehicle from your hotel, will be the Dubai Museum to give you an insight into the city’s history. You will go on to marvel at the modern Islamic architecture of the Jumeirah Mosque, followed by some quiet time at the Jumeirah beach. Once you get over the shock of witnessing the grandeur of Burj Al Arab and the Atlantis Hotel (and Aquaventure), you will be in for another dose of outstanding engineering feat with a visit to the Burj Khalifa. The tour then ends with a drop-off at your hotel.
This can be the ideal choice if you are short on time and still don’t want to miss out on anything that Dubai has to offer.
• Dubai Museum
• Dubai Creek
• Jumeirah Mosque
• Jumeirah Beach
• Burj Al Arab
• The Palm- Atlantis Hotel
• Dubai Marina
• Mall of Emirates
• Dubai Mall
• Burj Khalifa
Dubai Night Tour
The guided Dubai Night Tour is a six-hour foray that begins with a pick up from your hotel. The first destination you will experience is the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. From here, you will head to the luxuriously designed Dubai Marina and walking port where you will have the best view of the yacht club, and Dubai’s numerous skyscrapers. You will then head to the world’s largest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall, via the Sheikh Zayed Road which is the lined by the tallest and the most sophisticatedly designed buildings in town. At the mall, you can relax and enjoy the fountain-light show and exquisite dance performances.
You should opt for the Dubai Night Tour if you wish to witness Dubai’s glittering night life and, how the city’s tall skyscrapers reflect the desert sun set.
• Madinat Jumeirah
• Sheikh Zayed Road
• Dubai Marina
• The Arabian Resort
• Dubai Mall
Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours
This is the ultimate Dubai exploration tour. With more than 42 stops across 7 routes, a Hop-on-hop-off Bus Tour gives you ample flexibility to explore all of 4,114 Square km of Dubai at your own pace. You can choose between a 24-hour pass, a 48-hour pass or the pass that’s valid for 7 days. The open top buses that are part of this tour can take you to any part of the city. Your tour ticket also gives you access to the Dubai Museum, Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House, and Bastakiya. You won’t even have to buy a separate ticket for the Dhow Cruise or for guided tours of the Old Souk, Spice Souk and the Gold Souk- it is all included in the ticket!
• Unlimited access to the hop-on & hop-off buses on all routes
• Audio commentary (available in 13 languages)
• Dhow Cruise (from Dubai Creek)
• Night Tour (18.00-21.00)
• Entry to the Dubai Museum
• Entry to Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum's House
• Bastakiya, Dubai Museum, and Old Souk guided walking tour
• Spice Souk - Gold Souk guided walking tour
• Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
• Palm Jumeirah Cruise
• Sharjah and Ajman hop-on-hop-off tour
• Free shuttle service to Sharjah from Deira City Centre
Dubai Panoramic Sightseeing Night Tour
There is nothing like the beauty of Dubai after sun down. On a Dubai Panoramic Sightseeing Night Tour, you will breeze through the city in an open top bus and see all the important sights of the city. You will pass by landmarks like the Burj Khalifa, Atlantis Hotel, the city’s oldest district, and the Jumeirah Beach road. Throughout the 2-hour long tour, the multi-lingual audio guide and your English tour guide will take you through the Emirati History, and tell you the tale of Dubai’s rise from a fishing village.
You should go for this tour if you want to romance the city of Dubai by the night, and learn all about its history while marvelling at its many structures.
• Dubai Mall
• Mall of the Emirates
• Hotel Atlantis, The Palm
• Jumeirah Mosque
• Al Dhiyafah Street
• Downtown Bur Dubai
• Al Maktoum Bridge
Abu Dhabi Tour From Dubai
Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is just as mesmerising as Dubai. This guided Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tour covers all the iconic sights of Abu Dhabi and you can see them all in a day’s time. Your journey will begin at the Sheikh Zayed Mosque which is the world’s eighth largest mosque. Once you have witnessed the magnificence of this Islamic structure, head to the Abu Dhabi Corniche, an area famous around the world for the culinary adventures it has on offer. Before ending your day with a visit to the Abu Dhabi Heritage Village, you may take stroll down the Corniche to witness the opulent Emirates and Presidential Palaces.
If you are looking to squeeze in a visit to Abu Dhabi while you are in the Middle East, this tour is just perfect for you.
• Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
• Abu Dhabi Corniche
• Emirates Palace
• Drive Through Presidential Palace
• Heritage Village
• Abu Dhabi Marina Mall
• Islamic Art Museum
• Dates Market
• Drive To Saadiyat & Yas Island
• Ferrari World Photo Stop
Musandam Tour From Dubai
The pristine sandy beaches of Musandam are a must visit if you are in Dubai and have a day to spare. The best way to escape the city’s hubbub and experience the calm of beach side is to hop on to a 2-deck Dhow Cruise as part of the Musandam Tour from Dubai. The ticket to this cruise comes with many inclusions and possibilities of diverse experiences like swimming and snorkelling. You can enjoy an unlimited supply of fresh fruits, and a lavish lunch onboard the cruise.
The Musandam Tour can be your ‘something different’ in Dubai, and you should go for it if you are keen on stealing some quiet time.
• Drive past Hajar Mountains
• Drive through Ras Al-Khaimah to Khasab, the capital of Musandam Peninsula.
• The Fjords of Musandam
• Strait of Hormuz
• Visit Portuguese forts.
• Dhow cruise on a 2-deck dhow towards the Sandy Beach.
• Spot dolphins and see them swimming along the dhow.
• Go for a swim or snorkel in the clear waters.
• Enjoy a wide array of fresh fruits along with water & soft drinks served aboard the dhow.
Dubai City Tour + Desert Safari Combo
You will first be driven from your hotel to the Al Fahidi Fort, an 18th Century monument that houses the Dubai Museum. Once you learn all about the region’s history and culture, you will be taken to the next stop- the magnificent Jumeirah Mosque. As the city tour progresses, you will witness the beauty of Burj Al Arab and the Palm Islands. Towards the end of the tour, you will go to the varihued textile market, and the ancient gold souk.
• Al Fahidi Fort
• Jumeirah Mosque
• Burj Al Arab
• The Palm Island
• Atlantis Hotel
• Dubai Museum
• Gold Souk
Evening Desert Safari
The Evening Desert Safari begins as the sun starts its descend at the horizon. Your 4X4 pick-up car will take you to the Arabian Desert from your hotel, and then, your adventurous evening will begin. From dune bashing to camel rides, the adrenalin pumping activities will enliven your soul. As your heart rate regains its normal pace, you will be guided to the nearby Bedouin camp where you can enjoy an unlimited supply of Arabian shisha. The evening takes on a mesmerising mood as local dance groups perform the Tanoura and Belly dance. The fire show and the horse show too will keep you wide-eyed as you click away on your camera. Your day will then wrap up with a delicious buffet of vegetarian and non-vegetarian food.
Dubai City Tour + Burj Khalifa At The Top Combo
This combo will take you to all the remarkable locations within Dubai, but the highlight would be the panoramic 360-degree view of the Golden city from the observation deck of Burj Khalifa. As you zip up to 456 meters above the ground in the world’s fastest elevator, you will be awed by the projections that will have you flying over the world’s most famous landmarks. The spacious deck provides an unobstructed view of the sprawling Dubai city.
• Sail in the Dubai Creek aboard an Abra
• Gold and Spice Souks
• Jumeirah Mosque
• Burj Al Arab
• Hotel Atlantis
• Burj Khalifa - At The Top
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What do you need to know before going for a Dubai city tour?
Here are some handy tips that may help you make the most of our time in Amsterdam, if you are planning a canal cruise:
Make bookings in advance
Dubai is the most visited city in the Middle East by travellers and tourists from across the globe. It might be a good idea to book a city tour of your choice well in advance to avoid last-minute hassles.
Consider the weather
The sun is always shining here in Dubai, and so, wear light cotton clothes and always keep yourself hydrated. If your travel plans include a lot of day-time sightseeing, then make sure you cover yourself up to avoid sun burns. Also, it would be a good idea to apply sun screen lotion.
Dubai has a lot more to offer than just its cityscape and depending the kind of things you like, you can customise your trip to the city by opting for one of the combos.
Make use of the audio guides
If the tour you have chosen is equipped with an audio guide, make good use of it as they usually are a comprehensive source of information, and are available in multiple languages.
So, there you have it- all that we had to tell you about choosing the perfect Dubai City Tour. Now it’s your turn to start planning the perfect trip to the futuristic city of Dubai.