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 mesmerising 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. Here are the best places to visit in Dubai.
Burj Al Arab
Dubai Parks & Resorts
Ice Land Water Park
Dubai - Old Dubai
1. Gold Souk
Located near the Al Ras Metro Station, the Gold Souk is Dubai’s most visited souk. Meander through the labyrinth of stores and window shop at the dazzling jewelry. Housed under a series of covered walkways, hundreds of retailers sell a huge selection of gold, silver, diamonds, metals and stones. While there are other places to shop for jewelry, the Gold Souk is by far the most famous. Even if you aren’t looking to buy, it’s still a nice place to visit. And if you do wish to make a purchase… just remember to use your best bartering skills!
2. Meena Bazaar
People, energy and tons of shopping, you could easily spend an entire day at Meena Bazaar. From glittering jewelry to discounted electronics and gadgets, you can find just about anything here. Wander from vendor to vendor and choose from an endless array of Indian fabrics. Select your favorite colour and have clothing tailor made by one of the talented tailors. Laces, sequins, ribbons and more, you can literally design your outfit right then and there.
An incredible hub of beautiful diversity, nationalities including Arabs, Afghanis, Indians, Africans and Pakistanis frequent the bazaar, making it a special place to experience culture. Once you’ve had your fix of shopping, find one of the delicious Indian food stalls and grab a bite to eat.
3. Dubai Dolphinarium
Dubai Dolphinarium is the first air-conditioned indoor dolphinarium in the Middle East. Situated in Dubai Creek Park, the dolphinarium offers entertainment as well as an opportunity to learn about these magnificent creatures.
Watch dolphins perform amazing tricks and stunts and learn all about what goes into caring for and preserving these amazing animals. The Dubai Dolphinarium is spread across 5,000 sq. m (54,000 sq. ft) is home to 6 bottlenose dolphins, a healthy and happy population of Northern Fur Seals, South American Fur Seals and over 20 species of exotic parrots. Visitors can watch and interact with the animals through immersive and educational shows and exhibits. A fully air-conditioned facility, the Dubai Dolphinarium offers a fun refuge from Dubai’s heat, perfect for the summer months.
4. Dubai Aquarium
Situated on the ground level of Dubai Mall, step into one of the most unique oceanic experiences at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Home to over 150 aquatic species, including over 300 sharks and stingrays, the aquarium boasts an extraordinary two-floor vicinity. Among it’s most notable features, the 10-million litre Dubai Aquarium tank is the largest suspended aquarium in the world, measuring 51 metres in length, 20 metres in width and 11 metres in height. Withstanding all that water’s enormous pressure is the world’s largest acrylic viewing panel, transparent enough to give visitors clear views of the 33,000 plus marine animals living within the tank.
Otters, crocodiles, tiger sharks, piranha, lionfish, eels and more, explore the aquarium’s three ecological zones: the Rainforest, Rocky Shore and Living Ocean. A member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Dubai Aquarium is also renowned for its contribution towards environmental education, wildlife conservation & environmental research.
5. Burj Khalifa
A mesmerising architectural feat, the Burj Khalifa soars through Dubai’s sky at 828m, making it the world’s tallest building. Visitors can enjoy stunning views from two observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors, or take their dining experience to new heights at the restaurant-bar on the 122nd. Magnificent and humbling, the Burj Khalifa rightfully earned its spot at number two on TripAdvisor’s list of 391 Things to do in Dubai.
Most guests opt for the At the Top - Level 124 & 125 ticket. After zipping to the 124th floor via the world’s fastest elevator, guests are promised breathtaking views of the Dubai skyline, the ocean and the desert. For those not too fond of long queues, a skip-the-line option is available. But, to really experience what it’s like to be on top of the world, you need to head to At the Top Sky. Standing at a staggering 555m, the 148th floor is where the magic really happens. On especially clear days, you can gaze as far out as the shores of Iran!
6. Dubai Fountain
One of the Burj Khalifa’s main lures, the Dubai Fountain is a stunning masterpiece. Illuminated by 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors, it’s the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. Situated on the 30 acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake, the fountain spans over 900ft in length - the equivalent of two football pitches. A captivating spectacle, the Dubai Fountain shoots water 500 feet into the air amidst a light show complimented by music ranging from classic and contemporary Arabic songs to world music showcasing a variety of genres.
To enjoy the fountain’s ambiance to the fullest, a Dubai Fountain Lake Ride aboard a traditional abra taxi is a must. This front-row experience to the UAE’s biggest and grandest fountain show is especially enchanting around dusk, as the sun sets and the dark sky becomes illuminated by the fountain’s lights.
Wall to wall trampolines, circus grade padding and all the space you could dream of - BOUNCE Dubai is huge indoor playground designed for all ages. From parents to kids, enjoy a free-jumping area, dodgeball court and giant inflatable airbag. Air-sports athletes can head to the performance trampoline or take a shot at one of the slam dunk hoops. There’s even an amazing BOUNCE FIT program that offers high intensity low-impact cardio workouts that blast your core, improve all-over muscle tone and lift your heart rate. In fact - 10 minutes of jumping is equal to 30 minutes of running!
8. Burj Al Arab
Designed after the elegant sail of a dhow (traditional wooden cargo vessel) the Burj Al Arab is one of Dubai’s iconic gems, and the third tallest hotel in the world. Situated on Jumeirah Island, the luxury establishment offers nine world-class restaurants, a premium spa and 202 luxurious duplex suites.
For those visiting Jumeirah but not staying at the hotel, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy its grandeur. The Burj’s 180-m-high lobby is just as incredible as the building’s iconic silhouette and well worth a look. Its interior is set to a red, blue, and green colour scheme with accents of gold. While there are plenty of restaurants to choose between, the SkyView Bar offers the most stunning views. For those looking to get an even more exhilarating Burj Al Arab experience, a jet ski tour around the Burj oughta do the trick!
9. Wild Wadi
The very first water park to pop up in the Middle East, Wild Wadi's location lends it an unbeatable advantage over its competitors. Situated directly across the gorgeous Burj Al Arab, the park offers slides and rides with a view.
Perhaps the most well-known ride in the park, Jumeirah Sceirah is the tallest and fastest free-fall water slide outside the Americas. Climb up 32 metres and take in sweeping views of the park before flying down the 120-metre tandem slide at an incredible speed of 80 km/h (50mph)! At Tantrum Alley, take on three tornados and downhill waterslides. Or, defy gravity on the Master Blaster aquatic roller coaster that shoots you 15 metres above the ground before sending you on a thrilling ride propelled by high-powered water jets. There’s also a huge interactive baby and toddler friendly play structure with over 100 water activities including slides, water guns, climbing frames and a dumping bucket. Whether you want to amp up the adrenaline or have a relaxing day with the family, Wild Wadi is, without a doubt one of Dubai’s top attractions.
10. Ski Dubai
The first indoor ski resort of the Middle East, Ski Dubai’s mountain-themed environment instantly transports you from the desert to the snow. Ski, snowboard, or go tobogganing anytime of the year. And if you feel like pumping up the fun even more, try rolling down the Giant Ball run, jump a 10-foot ramp, spiral down tube sites, or ride the chairlift before speeding down on your skis.
Located in Mall of the Emirates, the snow park also hosts an array of events, including the incredible opportunity to interact with penguins. Ski Dubai is home to King and Gentoo penguins. The enclosure features a private pool, a top deck area and a private holding area. New to the park is the once in a lifetime chance to swim with the penguins! After you’ve had your fix of playing in the snow, warm up with a cup of Ski Dubai’s famous hot cocoa.
Zip lines, shark filled lagoons, 700 meters of pristine private beach and much, much more, Aquaventure Waterpark hosts over 42 acres of fun. Ride down the record-breaking Aquaconda, the world’s longest water slide. Fly through the air on the Atlantean Flyer zip line, the longest zip-line in the Middle East, and take in stunning views of Palm Jumeirah. Take a spin on the tidal surges of the Torrent River, or enjoy some delicious food at one of the cabanas. From adrenaline pumping rides to the relaxing Neptune’s Retreat, you can experience the best of both world’s at Atlantis Aquaventure.
When compared to Dubai’s other water parks, Atlantis Aquaventure offers several unique marine life experiences. On the Marine Animal Adventure, put on one of the park’s special helmets and go on an underwater shark safari. Get an even more up close and personal experience at the Shark Lagoon as you interact with and hand feed the friendly Cownose Rays. Or, opt for the incredible chance to play with dolphins.
12. IMG Dubai
The largest indoor theme park in the world, IMG Dubai spans 1.5 million square feet - the equivalent of 28 football fields! The epic theme park is divided into four zones: Cartoon Network, Marvel, Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure and IMG Boulevard. From meet and greets with your favorite characters to rides and shows - this mega-theme park is one of a kind.
Cartoon lovers can head to Cartoon Network’s zone to join Finn and Jake on a ride through the Land of Ooo, or help Blossom, Bubbles, Buttercup and the rest of the Powerpuff Girls fight Mojo Jojo’s evil robot. In the Lost Valley, ride the Velociraptor, IMG’s fastest rollercoaster that goes from 0 to 100km/h in just 2.5 seconds. Watch iconic super hero favorites like Spider-Man, The Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers come to life at the MARVEl zone. Shop and dine at a variety of outlets at IMG Boulevard, or Visit the Haunted Hotel, if you dare. In the upcoming Novo Cinemas zone, catch a movie at the world’s first 5D Ben 10 cinema. There’s all this to discover and so much more at IMG Dubai.
13. Dubai Parks and Resorts
An exciting labyrinth of theme parks, superb dining, luxury and relaxation, Dubai Parks and Resorts is the ultimate destination for fun and entertainment in the Middle East. From thrilling roller coasters and action-packed water rides to themed outdoor plazas and enthralling live music and dance performances, DPR offers a world of recreation and pleasure fit for all ages.
Get the ultimate cinematic experience at Motiongate Dubai - the Middle East’s “Hollywood in the desert”. Stroll the streets of Mumbai, dive into adventure in a rural village and catch the region’s first and only Broadway-style Bollywood musical at Bollywood Parks Dubai. At LEGOLAND Dubai, let your imagination run wild as you build your own lego city, or, escape the heat at LEGOLAND Water Park, the region’s only water park specifically designed for children ages 2-12. Last, but certainly not least, travel back in time at Riverland Dubai and experience the street life, architecture and ambiance from four influential eras.
1. Yas Island
Yas Island, Abu Dhabi’s leading leisure destination, is teeming with fantastic attractions, great hotels, outstanding entertainment and tons of natural beauty. It’s a place for fun, adventure and relaxation.
Get a break from the scorching heat at Yas Waterworld. Float on a lazy river, take the plunge down an epic Slither Slide or jump on a six-person water coaster that takes you on a wild ride over twists, turns, rapids, and drops. If you’re a beach lover, cool off with a swim in gorgeous, turquoise waters that surround the island. Thrill seekers can head to Ferrari World and give their driving skills a shot on Formula 1 courses. Or, kick things up a notch with a ride on the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster that emulates the sensation of being in a Ferrari F1 car, reaching speeds up to 240km per hour. It’s the perfect place for true racing fanatics. Yas Island is also a shopper’s paradise. At Yas Mall, enjoy three floors of international stores, 50+ restaurants & cafes, a state-of-the-art cinema and a family entertainment zone.
2. Ferrari World
Situated just across from Yas Waterworld is another one of the Middle East’s most popular attractions, Ferrari World. Experience what it’s like to race along Formula 1 courses and take a ride on the Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest rollercoaster that emulates the sensation of being in a Ferrari F1 car, reaching speeds up to 240km per hour! Ferrari World has over 20 rides, shows, and attractions, plus the world's largest Ferrari boutique.
The park is actually located in Abu Dhabi, making it the perfect opportunity to check out Yas Island. Shop until you drop at Yas Mall, swim at the gorgeous beaches, or head to Yas Waterworld for some water park fun. For those looking to save money and experience more, save up to 15% when you purchase a combo pass for Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld and get the best of both worlds.
3. Yas Waterworld
Open since 2013, Yas Waterworld quickly earned its spot in the world’s top 10 water parks. Spread across 37 acres, the water park features over 45 rides and attractions, including the world’s first hydro-magnetic tornado waterslide and the Middle East’s longest suspended rollercoaster.
Over the last four years, Yas Waterworld has been awarded over 17 industry awards and accolades. Surf at the world’s largest surfable sheet wave, take the plunge down an epic Slither Slide and pass through wave tunnels on your way down, jump in a six-person water coaster that takes you on a wild ride over twists, turns, rapids, and drops, and, when you’ve tired yourself out from all the adrenaline, sit back, relax and float along the lazy river. From A-list celebrities to UAE locals, Yas Waterworld attracts and entices with its promise to give you the best water park experience you’ll ever get.
1. Ice Land Water Park
The UAE’s largest water park, Ice Land Water Park boasts more than 30 slides and rides. Spread over an area of 103,000 square meters, the penguin homeland themed park also features one of the largest wave pools, as well as an Olympic sized lap pool. For those in hopes of a little luxury, the VIP cabanas are the perfect way to relax and enjoy the park. Located within the park is direct access to the gorgeous Palm Beach. Ice Land Dubai’s pristine location comes with an undeniably welcoming sea breeze and offers a panoramic view of the Al Hajar Mountains in the East and the Arabian Gulf in the North. With food and drink spots offering seaside views, there’s not much missing from this little slice of paradise.
For those who prefer pure beach without the rides, it’s possible to get a beach-only day pass. However, adrenaline junkies won’t want to miss the Dark Rapids or Avalanche Panic of Mount Cyclone.
The UAE is teeming with fun things to do! While these attractions certainly make the list of amazing things to do in Dubai, there are so many other incredible experiences! Explore more of Dubai’s best attractions, events and tours.