Top 14 Things To Do In Dubai
Disclaimer: Please make sure you are up to date with the government’s latest foreign travel advice by checking out our blog post on travelling to Dubai during the coronavirus before booking a holiday. It is also worth noting that, due to COVID-19, some attractions listed in this blog post may not be currently operating.
Want to know where to go, where to eat and what to do in Dubai? Look no further than our list of the top 14 things to do in Dubai.
Famed for its incredible attractions, skyscrapers and ever-sunny beaches, the dazzling city is an intoxicating mix of luxury hotels, vast shopping malls, elegant spas, fabulous restaurants, thrilling water parks and world-class family resorts. While extraordinary structures including the Palm Jumeirah island, the iconic Burj Khalifa skyscraper and the beautiful Burj Al Arab hotel have put this premier destination on the map, you can pick from thousands of Dubai holidays suited to every budget. With a jaw-dropping range of hotels, family resorts and all-inclusive hotels, you can be assured first-rate hospitality, golden sands and five-star service all year round.
If you haven't got long in this exciting city, don't worry - we've got everything you need to know so you can explore Dubai in three days.
SIGHTSEEING – PLACES TO SEE IN DUBAI
JUMEIRAH BEACH – KICK BACK IN STYLE
Exploring the famous Jumeirah Beach is always listed among the best things to do in Dubai. Don a snorkel and flippers to explore the underwater world or hire a paddle board and cruise along one of the most famous beaches around. It’d be a wasted opportunity if you didn’t spend at least one sunny afternoon topping up your tan on the beautiful 14km-long champagne-coloured sandy Jumeirah Beach. Plus, with the beautiful Burj Al Arab in the background, you’ll be perfectly positioned to snap a photo of the iconic hotel - when you’re not soaking up the sun and paddling in the turquoise waters.
Dubai's beaches offer amazing winter and summer sun and, with most of Dubai's amazing all-inclusive resorts, you will be just footsteps from powder-soft sands wherever you stay.
BURJ KHALIFA : SEE DUBAI FROM DIZZYING HEIGHTS
THE DUBAI FOUNTAIN SHOW – WATCH THE JETS SPILL MAGIC
Set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa Lake, the Dubai Fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system - it even rivals (if not surpasses) the famous Bellagio Fountain display in Las Vegas. We told you they have to go bigger and better here! Book a table at one of the mall restaurants that border the fountain before 6pm, and like clockwork, the jets will begin their magical, musical water show. It’s guaranteed to be a meal to remember!
THE PALM : EXPLORE THE MAN MADE PENINSULA
BASTAKIA OLD TOWN – GET LOST AMIDST THE CHARMS OF OLD DUBAI
There isn’t much of old Dubai left, but the city’s old town, the nineteenth-century Bastakia Quarter, will transport you back to a time when today’s modern architectural wonders didn’t exist. In Bastakia you’ll see some of the more traditional Arabian stonework, including wind towers that were used to air condition Arabic homes. Enjoy exploring this mini maze on a journey back in time and seek out a traditional café for a refreshing mint and lime juice. There are also a couple of great galleries to peruse too, including contemporary XVA Gallery and the Majlis Gallery, where you can catch a glimpse of authentic Middle Eastern art - perfect for catching some culture while on your couples holidays.
ADVENTURE –BEST THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI
HIT THE SLOPES AT SKI DUBAI
Anything is possible in this spectacular city – even skiing on real snow in the height of summer in the middle of the desert! Found in the colossal Mall of the Emirates and running at a constant -4 Celsius, Ski Dubai comes complete with spiralling tube slides, a sightseeing chairlift and, of course, snow penguins. Kids will love this wintery park, where they can drift across the soft snow on inflated inner tubes, whizz down ramps and take to the piste on their own two feet. Hop over to the penguin enclosure and say hello after you’ve finished perfecting your snowplough and round off the day with a tasty hot chocolate.
MAKE A SPLASH AT ATLANTIS AQUAVENTURE
HOP ON A HOT AIR BALLOON
If the 124th floor of Burj Khalifa isn’t high enough for you, take your trip to the next level and hop on a hot air balloon! Take in birds-eye views of Dubai and beyond as you float through the cloudless sky. Watch the sun rise or set over the Gulf Sea and witness the splendour of the city and the rolling sand dunes of the desert below. If you fancy more desert adventures, take an open top jeep safari across the sand dunes before enjoying an evening in traditional Arabic style. Camel rides are also part of the safari – bumpy, but an essential Dubai experience!
SAIL ACROSS DUBAI CREEK
DINING AND SHOPPING IN DUBAI – MALLS AND MARKETS TO SPILL SOME CASH
HAGGLE IN DEIRA'S SOUKS FOR THAT PERFECT SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
Haggling is the name of the game in Dubai’s colourful markets, many of which are located in the authentic Deira area. The main draw here is the dazzling Gold Souk (one of the largest gold bazaars in the world) where you can pick up some high quality bling for bargain prices. If you’re looking for something with Arabian flavour, the Textile Souk houses spectacular fabrics and soft furnishings, which make gorgeous unusual gifts. Add a little Eastern flavour to your seasonal cooking and stop by the Spice Souk, where you can pick up spices, including saffron, for superb prices.
If sweet-smelling souks and bustling bazaars are your thing, you might want to check out our guide to holidays in Turkey.
FLASH THE CASH AT THE MALLS
DUBAI MARINA – DINE ALONG THE WATERFRONTS
If you’re looking for luxury, a stroll around magnificent Dubai Marina is sure to tick your boxes. This artificial canal city is built along a two-mile stretch of Persian Gulf shoreline and has made its name as one of the best-established modern districts in town. You’ll find plenty of delightful diversions along the waterfront here, from world-class restaurants and bars to designer boutiques and boat trips.
DINE OUT AT THE AL-MAHARA RESTAURANT
IF YOU HAVE GOT YOUNG FAMILY ALONG, TAKE THE KIDS TO CHILDREN'S CITY
We all know that travelling with kids can be hard work if there’s not enough going on to keep their boredom at bay. If your young holidaymakers start to tire of the sightseeing, shopping and sunbathing, take them to Children’s City for the day, where they’ll be met with so many fun-filled activities that they won’t know where to go first! From a planetarium to a theatre and play areas aplenty, the last thing you’re likely to hear is I’m bored!