Dubai

Best Things to do in Dubai

From record breaking architecture and man made islands to tantalising fusion food and world-class entertainment, Dubai thrives with an energy like no place else in the world. A glamorous blend of culture and luxury, the UAE has blossomed tremendously in the last decade. The mesmerizing Burj Khalifa; the Middle East’s most impressive theme parks; bazaars, souks, and the world’s biggest mall - Dubai attractions, activities and points of interest are abundant. In this guide, we will take a look at the 15 best things do in Dubai - whether you're looking at desert safaris or a rendezvous with the tallest structure in the world, you can find them in this list. However, if you want to take a deeper look into the different activities based on any given genre, then click on the markers above to go to that list.

1

Dubai Fountain

Sightseeing

#1 of 406 things to do in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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One of the most beautiful light, water and music spectacles in the world; the Dubai Fountain is the world’s second largest choreographed fountain system. Situated in the center of Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Fountain offers a breathtaking show of choreographed water jets that shoot over 100 feet in the air and dance to the rhythms of songs from all over the world. It occupies a stunning space on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake and neighbours the eponymous building. The show takes place every 30 minutes from 6:00 PM and with free access and front row view guaranteed, watching one of these shows is definitely going to be an unforgettable experience.

Good for

Family

Must See

Hours
6:00 PM to 11:00 PM every day
Address
Burj Khalifa Lake, 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

Tips

  • The fountain show is at its prettiest in the dark. The best time to visit the lake for a fountain show will be any time after 8:00 PM.
  • It doesn't matter if you miss the show. It takes place every 30 minutes. So with a little wait, you can get a front row seat for the next show.
  • Some people love to see the show from the Burj Khalifa. Though the view from the 124th floor maybe a bit too distant.

Recommended Experiences
Dubai Fountain Lake Ride
Burj Khalifa: Sunset - At the Top

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2

Burj Khalifa

Sightseeing

#2 of 406 things to do in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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The tallest building in the world needs no introduction. With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure in the world since 2008, even before it was finished. Today, it stands tall in the heart of Dubai and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. No trip to Dubai is complete without visiting the Burj Khalifa. Over 2 million people visit the Burj Khalifa every year, making their way to the highest observatory in the world - At the Top. At the Top Burj Khalifa is an observatory on the 124th and 125th floors of the Burj Khalifa and offers some of the most stunning views of Dubai. The floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide an amazing panoramic view of the city, desert, and ocean from a height of 452 meters! You can even step out onto an open-air terrace to take in the unparalleled vistas.

Good for

Family

Must See

Hours
At the Top Burj Khalifa opens from 8:30 AM to 11:00 PM
Address
1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd - Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

Tips

  • Purchase tickets in advance online in order to prevent queuing up for hours at the ticket counter.
  • Evenings are some of the busiest periods at the Burj Khalifa. To enjoy the place in peace, head to the observatory in the morning or after 9:00 PM, when the crowd has lessened considerably .
  • Sunsets from the top of the Burj Khalifa are considered a thing of beauty, but they're also the most crowded periods. To catch a sunset from the top, make sure to visit the Burj Khalifa an hour before the sunset.

Recommended Experiences
Burj Khalifa At the Top (124th and 125th floor)
Burj Khalifa At the Top Sky (124th, 125th and 148th floor)
Burj Khalifa At the Top (124th and 125th floor) - Skip the Line

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3

Burj Al Arab

Sightseeing

#4 of 406 things to do in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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Step into a world of comfort and luxury at the Burj Al Arab - a distinctive sail-shaped silhouette on the coast of Dubai and an iconic symbol of the city. Burj Al Arab is widely regarded as the most luxurious hotel in the world and is also one of the most visited landmarks in Dubai. One of the best ways to experience the grandeur of Burj Al Arab is by going for a high tea or dinner at one of the many world-class restaurants in the hotel. Another interesting way to check out this famous building is by going for boat trips or jet ski tours in the waters around the Burj Al Arab. Built on a triangular island off the coast of Dubai, Burj Al Arab is a landmark that one should definitely check out on their visit to Dubai.

Good for

Luxury

Family

Must See

Hours
Burj Al Arab is open 24x7, throughout the year
Address
Jumeirah Road, Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai , UAE
Get Directions

Tips

  • The best way to visit Burj Al Arab if you aren't staying in it is to go for a dinner or a high-tea experience at one of its many 5-star restaurants. The experience is blissful.
  • If you only want to see the building from the outside, then you can go to Jumeirah Beach, which is free, and snap pictures of yourself with the hotel in the background.
  • To add a bit of action into it, you can go for a jet ski tour or a boat tour around the Jumeirah coast which will take you past Burj Al Arab as well.

Recommended Experiences
Dinner at Burj Al Arab
High Tea at Burj Al Arab
Jet Ski Tour Around Burj Al Arab

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4

Dubai Mall

Shopping

#1 in Shopping in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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If you’re looking for shopping heaven in Dubai, then look no further than the Dubai Mall. Occupying a 12 million sq ft space in the heart of Dubai Downtown, Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping, entertainment and leisure destination. With over 1,200 retail and dining outlets, there is something for everyone here - from leading fashion brands such as Versace, Alexander McQueen and Burberry to over 150 restaurants and cafes, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, theme parks for children and an ice skating rink. Situated next to Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall also affords you the opportunity to stand right next to the tallest building in the world and enjoy the lake’s beautiful fountain show.

Good for

Family

Shopping

Hours
10:00 AM to 12:00 AM from Thursday to Saturday and 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM from Sunday to Wednesday.
Address
Al Mussallah Road, DownTown Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

5

Aquaventure Waterpark

Theme Parks

#1 of 28 Water & Amusement Parks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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The Aquaventure Waterpark is situated on the outer arms of the famous Palm Islands in Atlantis, The Palm Resort. The largest water park in all of the Middle East and Europe, Aquaventure Waterpark is also a multi-award winning park, having won the “Best Waterpark in the Middle East 2015” on TripAdvisor and “Middle East’s Leading Waterpark 2016” by the World Travel Awards. Awaiting you at Aquaventure are 90-foot slides where you exit into a shark-infested lagoon, lazy river boat rides and the most famous of them all, Poseidon’s Revenge - dropping you 75 feet before the slide arcs you through a double loop. Our in-depth Aquaventure Waterpark guide will provide all the information you need in order to make your theme park experience a wonderful one.

Good for

Family

Fun

Hours
The park is open every day from 10:00 AM to sunset.
Address
Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

Recommended Experiences
Aquaventure Tickets
Aquaventure and Lost Chambers Combo
Aquaventure and Jet Ski Combo

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6

Palm Jumeirah

Sightseeing

#13 of 69 Sights & Landmarks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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An achievement unlike any other, Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago off the Jumeirah coast in Dubai. Built out of land reclaimed from the sea, Palm Jumeirah is considered to be one of the poshest locales in Dubai and is home to some of the most luxurious homes, hotels, recreational centers, restaurants and beach clubs. At this modern hub of activity in Dubai, you can enjoy the world famous Aquaventure Waterpark at Atlantis The Palm, go for a kayak tour of the islands, or simply go for a cruise around the island. The sight of the islands, branching out into the sea are a sight to behold and truly unforgettable.

Good for

Family

Sightsee

Tips

  • Palm Jumeirah is home to numerous world-class restaurants and bars. Head down to the Palm Islands if you're looking to grab a bit or simply unwind.
  • There are numerous cruises that sail in and out of the Palm Islands. These cruises will take you around the islands and show you all its major sights. Cruises are one of the best ways to sightsee the Palm Islands.
  • This may not be everyone's cup of tea, but to get a truly bird's eye view of the Palm Islands, you can skydive from a height of 4,000 meters above the Palm. The sight of the Palm Islands is unlike any other skydiving experience in the world.

Recommended Experiences
Palm Jumeirah Jet Ski Tour
Palm Jumeirah Yellow Boat Tour
Aquaventure Waterpark

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7

Bastakiya Quarter

Sightseeing

#16 of 69 Sights & Landmarks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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Squeezed between Dubai Creek and the Bur Dubai district, Bastakiya Quarter harks back to the days when Dubai was just a fishing village on the Persian Gulf. Saved from the extreme urbanisation that Dubai has gone through in the past few decades, the winding streets of Bastakiya are lined with old-fashion wind-towered buildings that have now been converted into galleries and restaurants. Before you finish touring Bastakiya, make sure to visit the textile souk where you'll find some of the best bolts of fabric. Finally, to experience the old ways of Dubai in its truest forms, head to the creek and go for a scenic tour in traditional abra boats.

Good for

Family

Historic Tour

Culture

Sightsee

Hours
9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Address
Bur Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E.
Get Directions

Tips

  • You can easily spend a nice day in this old part of Dubai, hopping between art galleries and boutique restaurants.
  • If your intention is to sightsee, then you can opt for a city tour of Dubai which will take you to the Bastakia Quarters, amongst other attractions.
  • Bastakia lies on the left bank of Dubai Creek. Once you have explored the grounds of the quarter, you can go for a relaxing cruise in the Dubai Creek.

Recommended Experiences
Old and Modern Dubai City Tour
Dubai Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour

8

Desert Safari

Adventure

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If you haven’t gone for a desert safari in Dubai, have you even experienced Dubai? An extremely popular activity amongst visitors to the city, a desert safari in Dubai will take you to a camp in the stunning desert that surrounds Dubai. Here, you will be able to participate in activities such as camel riding, dune bashing, sand boarding or enjoy a delicious buffet dinner under the stars. The sheer number of activities that are available at such safaris make them an extremely popular choice amongst those who wish to experience life in the desert, with a dash of comfort.

Good for

Family

Thrillseekers

Recommended Experiences
Red Dune Desert Safari with Dinner and Entertainment
Hummer Desert Safari
Desert Safari with Quad Biking
Morning Desert Safari

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9

Dune Bashing

Adventure

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Desert sand dunes provide an offroading opportunity unlike any other terrain. Vehicles with more than enough power in the wheels and flat profiled tyres can race onto the sand dunes and cruise across the undulating desert surface. Dune bashing is a sport that brings the best of 4x4 world to the desert sands and offers an exhilarating desert experience. You will be strapped onto the seats of a Hummer, a Land Cruiser or a similar vehicle while it takes you on a rollercoaster ride over the sand dunes. Dune bashing can be experienced in most desert safaris. However, there are exclusive experiences as well that are dedicated to dune bashing only.

Good for

Thrillseekers

Recommended Experiences
Hummer Desert Safari
Early Morning Desert Safari
Red Dune Desert Safari with Dinner and Entertainment

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10

Mall of the Emirates

Shopping

#2 in Shopping in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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Regarded as the world’s first shopping resort, Mall of the Emirates is home to over 630 international brands that include fashion, department stores, sports, lifestyle, electronics, home furnishing stores and the largest Carrefour in the city. The mall is also home to numerous entertainment experiences. These include Magic Planet, a family entertainment area; a 14-screen VOX Cinemas; the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) and the world-famous Ski Dubai, Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park. It also has over 90 international dining and café options. The mall also has two adjoining hotels: the 5-star Kempinski Mall of the Emirates and the 5-star Sheraton Dubai Mall of the Emirates Hotel.

Good for

Family

Shopping

Hours
10:00 AM to 12:00 AM from Thursday to Saturday and 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM from Sunday to Wednesday.
Address
Sheikh Zayed Road, 4th Interchange, Al Barsha, Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

11

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Theme Parks

#2 of 28 Water & Amusement Parks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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Wild Wadi is one of the most popular water parks in Dubai. Situated across the gorgeous Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi offers recreation and enthralling fun with a view. Themed around the Arabian folklore character, Juha, Wild Wadi is the first water park to have been built in the Middle East and was awarded the Dubai Quality Award Gold in the year 2007. Home to the largest wave pool in the Middle East - Breakers Bay; Wild Wadi has numerous rides and slides purpose built for people of all ages. The most famous ride though is the Jumeirah Sceirah - the tallest and fastest free-fall water slide outside the Americas.that allows you to fly down a 120-meter slide at speeds of up to 80 km/h (50mph)! Check out our Wild Wadi Waterpark guide to learn more about this amazing park.

Good for

Family

Fun

Hours
January to October - 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM; November - 10:30 to 5:30 PM; December - 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Address
Jumeirah Road, Umm Suqeim 3, Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

Recommended Experiences
Wild Wadi Waterpark Tickets

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12

Desert Quad Biking

Adventure

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Quad bikes are one of the most accessible vehicles to take on the desert. With easy riding techniques, anyone can learn how to ride a quad bike and take on the mighty desert. A light body, combined with wide tyres and a powerful engine will enable you to ride on the sandy surface with ease, making dune hill climbs relatively easy. Quad biking in the desert is a thrilling and adventurous activity that is extremely popular amongst locals as well as visitors to the city.

Good for

Thrillseekers

Recommended Experiences
Quad Bike Desert Safari
Morning Quad Bike Safari
Quad Bike Adventure

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13

Meena Bazaar

Sightseeing

#18 of 69 Sights & Landmarks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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Meena Bazaar is another attraction in Dubai that will take you back in time. Famous for its traditional markets and shops, Meena Bazaar has been an iconic part of the city for the past 50 years. Situated in Bur Dubai, Meena Bazaar is home to shops that cater to every customers need - right from clothing and jewellery to gadgets, perfumes, footwear, dry fruits, etc. Nestled in a tightly packed area, be ready to be greeted by blaring horns, shops decorated with lights, traditional eateries and thousands of customers bargaining for the right prices.

Good for

Shopping

Must See

Hours
Saturday to Thursday: 08:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Address
Bur Dubai, Dubai, U.A.E.
Get Directions

Tips

  • Be prepared to bargain if you're looking to get the best deal while shopping at Meena Bazaar. Quoting half the price and walking away if dissatisfied is a good way to start.
  • The crowded streets of Meena Bazaar may get overwhelming for first timers. Visit early in the day to avoid the large crowd of shopper s

14

Ski Dubai

Theme Parks

#3 of 28 Water & Amusement Parks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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Ski Dubai is unlike any other park in Dubai, or the Middle East for that matter. With temperatures maintained at -2° C, it is easy to forget that you’re in Dubai once you step into Ski Dubai. Located in the Mall of the Emirates and covered in snow all year round, Ski Dubai is a massive space that covers 22,500 square meters. With 5 slopes that vary in difficulty, height and gradient, there is something for everyone here. It doesn’t matter if it’s your first time in snow or you’re a seasoned skier, visitors of all skill levels can enjoy the slopes. The longest run here is 400 meters long that slopes over 60 meters in height. It also has a Freestyle Zone for those fluid in their trade to show off their skills. Go through our Ski Dubai guide to learn more about this exotic park and how you can experience it to the fullest.

Good for

Family

Fun

Adventure Sports

Hours
Sunday to Wednesday: 10:00 AM - 11:00 PM; Thursday: 10AM -12:00 AM; Friday: 9:00 AM - 12:00 AM; Saturday: 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM
Address
Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, UAE
Get Directions

Recommended Experiences
Ski Dubai Polar Pass
Ski Dubai Skiing Session
Ski Dubai Snow Penguin Pass

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15

Dubai Marina

Sightseeing

#7 of 69 Sights & Landmarks in Dubai on TripAdvisor

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One of the most ambitious projects of the past few decades, Dubai Marina is a 3km long artificial canal that was built along the Persian Gulf and has one of the most developed waterfronts in the word. Its banks are lined by towering skyscrapers that form exclusive residences, hotels, malls and others. Dubai Marina is a spectacle of modern engineering and a dhow cruise is one of the best ways to experience it. These skyscrapers, brightly lit under the night sky and reflecting on the Marina, present an unforgettable sight of Dubai. Cruising in Dubai Marina, you will be able to gaze at the Dubai Yacht Club, the yacht club promenade, Dubai Marina Mall, Sheikh's Boatyard, Jumeirah Beach Residence and parts of the Palm.

Good for

Family

Cruises

Sightsee

Tips

  • Sightseeing cruises of Dubai Marina are the best way to sightsee all the major landmarks that lie on the banks of the marina.
  • Visit the Dubai Marina Mall and enjoy a delicious dinner at its many amazing waterfront restaurants.

Recommended Experiences
Dubai Marina Sightseeing Cruise
Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise

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Comments (3)
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