Magnificent skyscrapers, sweeping sand dunes, stunning beaches, top resorts, the world’s largest shopping mall and much more, Dubai has it all! Where else can you spend your day on the beach, your afternoon hitting the slopes, and your evening watching the sun set over the vast desert? One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, over 15 million people visited the Golden City in 2017. Known for its infrastructure, shopping malls, a plethora of theme parks, a global culture and a healthy dose of glitz and glamour, there is much to see and do in Dubai.
In this guide, we will look at some of the most popular Dubai city tours that have been designed to show you the city's most important highlights and attractions. Though most of what you will see has come up in the past few decades, remnants of the past can be still be found lurking in the cultural and architectural fabric of the region. These tours combine the best of traditional and modern Dubai in a neat experience that everyone visiting Dubai must try.
Snapshot of Dubai
Sightseeing tours in Dubai will take you on an enriching journey as you visit some of the more popular and lesser-known landmarks and attractions in the city. While the Burj Al Arab hotel, the Palm and World Islands, Dubai Marina and Burj Khalifa form the typical sightseeing itinerary, Dubai has much more to offer.
Some of the important landmarks in Dubai that you should check out are Dubai Museum, traditional gold and spice souqs, Dubai Creek - the lifeline of Dubai, Jumeirah Mosque- the most photographed mosque in Dubai and the Heritage Village in Bastakiya Quarter - the older part of the city with brick houses and wind towers. Apart from these, the many shopping malls, beaches and the surrounding mountains, desert and the Persian Gulf present a plethora of sightseeing opportunities for travelers in Dubai.
Sightseeing tours in Dubai come in all shapes and sizes - half day guided tours of the city, dhow cruises in the evening, hop-on-hop-off bus tours, aerial tours and even day tours that travel out of the city to the neighboring regions. While half/full day guided tours allow you to visit Dubai's important landmarks in the company of an expert guide, hop-on-hop-off tours allow you to plan your own sightseeing itinerary. You can also go about sightseeing Dubai in traditional dhow boats that cruise the waters of Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina.
And that's not it. Given Dubai's tradition of taking everything up a notch, you can go for a unique sightseeing experience aboard helicopters and seaplanes. You can learn more about the various Dubai tour options in the section that follows below.
One of the most beautiful spectacles in the world; the Dubai Fountain is the world’s second largest choreographed fountain system. The water jets are timed to a rhythm and shoot over 100 feet in the air.
The tallest building in the world needs no introduction. Soaring high into the sky, no visit to Dubai is complete without heading to the Burj's observation deck on the 124th and 125th floors.
Bastakiya Quarter harks back to the days when Dubai was just a fishing village on the Persian Gulf. The winding streets of Bastakiya are lined with old-fashion wind-towered buildings that have now been converted into galleries and restaurants.
More than a hundred outlets line the labyrinthine passageways of the souq. Even if shopping isn’t your intention, you should definitely make your way to this traditional market to see how gold is traditionally sold in Dubai.
Dubai Tour and Sightseeing Options
Bus tours are one of the most quintessential ways to explore a city. On these bus tours of Dubai, you will spend the day visiting and admiring the many landmarks of Dubai in the company of an expert guide. You will also learn as you go as your guide provides you wonderful insights into the history and context of these attractions. With audioguides available in multiple languages and half/full day options, these tours are a favourite amongst travelers people visiting Dubai.
Check out our extensive Dubai tour guide to learn all you need to know about the best Dubai tours. Read More
A thrilling helicopter ride overlooking the stunning Dubai skyline, flying past some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, and creating memories worth a lifetime is as fun as it sounds. From the iconic Burj Khalifa, present in all its magnificent glory, to the striking Palm Jumeirah, a Dubai helicopter tour offers you bird’s eye view of the city like nothing else does. Add your family or friends to this ride of a lifetime and what you get is an experience you won’t ever forget.
Check out our in-depth helicopter tours in Dubai guide to learn more and find the tour for yourself. Read More
Hop On Hop Off (HOHO) tours are the most convenient way to explore a city, making it one of the first options any tourist takes. The tours offer you the flexibility and independence of creating your own itinerary, along with the added advantage of a knowledgeable guide. Once aboard the open top double-decker sightseeing bus, you are free to take unlimited trips within the time frame booked. The multiple routes and stops offered helps you plan and pick the best available attractions.
Check out our in-depth Hop-on-Hop-off guide to learn more and get discounted tickets. Read More
Sightseeing Dhow Cruises
No trip to Dubai is complete without going for a dhow cruise experience. Make sure you experience a little bit of the city's history and glory by reserving a seat on one of the many dhow cruises in the city. The various dhow cruise experiences offered in the bustling waterways of the desert city promise unique experiences to everyone. From spell-binding views to onboard entertainment, your time on the cruise will surely become a memory of a lifetime.
Check out our extensive Dubai dhow cruise guide to find the best dhow cruises in the city. Read More
With the ability to take off from and land in water, seaplanes offer a versatile means of flying and are one of the most novel touring experiences that Dubai has to offer. Similar to helicopter tours, these seaplane tours will take you high above Dubai and provide you with the most unique vantage point to gaze at the city. Over the past few years, seaplane tours have only risen in popularity and added to Dubai's ever-growing charm.
Check out all our seaplane experiences in Dubai here. Read More
Day Tours Out of Dubai
Despite its relatively small size, the United Arab Emirates is packed with many tourist destinations - whether its the rich capital of Abu Dhabi, the mountains of Hajar or the stunning coastline of Musandam. With small distances that allow you to visit these destinations from Dubai easily within a day, a Dubai holiday opens up avenues to visit many beautiful places and not restrict your holiday to just a city.
Check out some of the most popular day trips from Dubai here. Read More
Dubai Tour Tickets and Deals
Traditional Dubai City Tour
• Capture the essence of Dubai in a 4-hour, half day tour
• Discover the old Dubai Creek
• Visit Al Bastakiya village and the Al Fahidi cultural neighborhood
• Make your way to the Dubai Museum inside the Al Fahidi fort
• Ride an Abra, the water taxi to the other side of the Dubai Creek
• Shop at the biggest Gold & Spice souk
Seaplane Tour and Private Heritage Tour (RAK to Dubai)
• Seaplane flight and Dubai city tour combo
• Fly over The World archipelago, Burj Al-Arab and other landmarks
• Palm Jumeirah and Burj Khalifa on a private city tour
• Stroll around Dubai Museum, cross Dubai Creek by ‘abra’
• Visit the Gold, Spice and Textile Souks
• Enjoy a traditional Arabian lunch in Al Bastakiya
Dubai City Tour & Desert Safari Combo
• Hotel pick-up and drop-off for Dubai City Tour
• Hotel pick-up and drop-off for Desert Safari
• Desert dune bashing
• Belly dancing show and Tanoura dance
• Short Camel Ride, Sand boarding and Quad biking (Optional)
• Unlimited soft drinks, water, tea, coffee and sheesha
• Vegetarian and non-vegetarian BBQ buffet dinner
Guided Abu Dhabi City Tour from Dubai
• 8-12 hours tour of Abu Dhabi from Dubai
• Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and Heritage Village
• Abu Dhabi Corniche and Emirates Palace
• President's Palace
• Abu Dhabi Marina Mall and Islamic Art Museum
• Dates Market and Carpet Souk
• Drive To Saadiyat & Yas Island
Musandam Dibba Tour with Dhow Cruise & Lunch
• 7-8 hours tour of Musandam from Dubai
• Drive past Hajar Mountains to Khasab, the capital of Musandam
• Discover the Portuguese forts at Musandam
• Explore the stunning natural fjords
• Open sea dhow cruise
• Spot dolphins and go for a swim or snorkel in the clear waters