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Sights & Attractions

31 Amazing things to do in Dubai for the ultimate holiday

Sun, August 14, 2022

Tick off the city's top things to do and places to visit.

Tick off the city's top things to do and places to visit.

1

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa in Dubai
Standing 828m high, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and one of Dubai's must-visit attractions. The majestic building is located in the heart of the city and is a hub of activity day and night. Just looking up in awe at the sheer scale of this magnificent structure is memorable in itself, but it's definitely worth venturing inside too. You can capture perfect views of the city from the observation deck at levels 124 and 125, or have a bite to eat in the At The Top Sky Lounge. For special occasions, treat yourself to a sunset session at The Lounge, Burj Khalifathe highest lounge in the world at 585m. 
2

The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain at night in Dubai

Located at the base of Burj Khalifa is one of the world's largest choreographed fountain displays, where powerful jet streams soar as high as 150m in the air and sway in time to musical numbers. Stop by in the evening when displays begin at sundown and take place every 30 minutes, until the final song plays at 11pm. Diners can also sit back and enjoy the show at an array of restaurants at Dubai Mall or Souk Al Bahar, both commanding prime positions near the fountain arena.

3

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah in Dubai

Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest manmade islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. Locals and tourists alike flock to its vast array of high-end hotels – Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One&Only, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and, perhaps most notably, Atlantis, The Palm. Getting here is simple, thanks to the monorail running down the 'trunk', which connects to the mainland's tram system. You can also stop by for a meal at The Pointe – home of the record-breaking Palm Fountain.

4

Dubai Creek

Old Dubai Creek crossing
The city has a rich culture to explore. Modern developments have added a contemporary touch to old establishments, of which Dubai Creek is a fine example. Located in the heart of the city, this saltwater estuary is the original site where the Bani Yas tribe established their first settlement. While at the Creek, a traditional abra ride is a must. At an unbelievable AED 1 per ticket, it's easily the best value tourist attraction in the city. Afterwards, visit the labyrinthine alleyways of the goldspice and textile souks, to experience Dubai like a local.
5

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Dubai

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood in Bur Dubai is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city. Best seen on foot, this area offers nostalgic views of a bygone era with traditional windtowers and a maze of winding alleyways, positioned along the historic waterways of Dubai Creek. Visit Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) to appreciate local culture with Arabic classes, heritage tours and guided mosque visits. After exploring, take an atmospheric abra boat ride to the souks on the other side of the creek. 

6

The Dubai desert

The Dubai Desert

Less than a 20 minute-drive from the modern streets of Downtown Dubai lies the mystique-filled Arabian desert. Go on a Dubai-style desert safari, complete with thrilling activities such as quad biking and sandboarding. Those looking for luxury can book a safari with leading tour companies Platinum Heritage and Arabian Adventures. From the unforgettable offroad drive to cultural fun with henna painting and camel rides, and a feast of local cuisine under the stars, it's an only-in-Dubai treat. Want to stay a little longer? Treat yourself to an unforgettable night amid the dunes at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa.

7

Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is the world’s largest destination for shopping, entertainment and leisure, located next to the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Featuring over 1,200 retail stores, two major department stores and hundreds of food and beverage outlets, Dubai Mall covers more than 1 million sqm – an area equivalent to 200 football pitches. Even an entire day spent here is not enough to see it all. Along with its 1,200-plus shops and 150 restaurants, the venue is home to a range of other fun attractions.
8

Skydive Dubai

Sky Dive Dubai

If there's one thing every adventure-seeker must sign up for, it's a skydiving experience. Skydive Dubai provides tandem skydive opportunities, supervised by trained professionals. You'll have to book well in advance to secure a spot, but it's worth it as you dive through the clouds from 13,000 feet and take in views of the landmark Palm Jumeirah or rolling dunes of the desert. And you can keep reliving the epic experience thanks to perfectly-captured videos by the Skydive Dubai team. It's one for every braveheart's bucket list.

9

Madinat Jumeirah

madinat-jumeirah-2

Literally translated as 'City of Jumeirah', the Madinat Jumeirah complex is inspired by an ancient citadel. Housing luxury hotels and private enclaves designed to reflect traditional Arabian architecture, it's a great spot to indulge in a therapeutic day at the world-class Talise Spa, splurge on local trinkets and boutique brands at the Madinat Souk, or immerse yourself in the work of famous artists at the high-tech Theatre of Digital Art. And, with over 40 restaurants and lounges featuring cuisines from around the world, it's also an ideal place to refuel.

10

Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame

Since opening in 2018, Dubai Frame has become a cultural landmark that connects the Dubai's past with its present and represents a remarkable engineering feat. Located within Dubai's famous Zabeel Park, this attraction lets you experience the transition between Old and New Dubai thanks to sweeping panoramic views of the city from 150m high. One of its striking features is the state-of-the-art clear glass bridge walkway, which connects parallel vertical towers so that, from the outside, the structure perfectly resembles a giant picture frame.

11

Kite Beach

Kitesurfing in Dubai

The aptly-named Kite Beach is the perfect place to test out your watersports skills, although there's plenty to do out of the water at this popular spot too. Grab a smoothie from one of the many open-air cafes and restaurants, watch bikers and skaters fly by at the skate park, or enjoy a game of volleyball with friends on the sand. With plenty of beach activities, plus an incredible view of Burj Al Arab in the distance, you can easily spend a whole day here.

12

Dubai Water Canal

top-things-to-do-in-dubai-skyline-canal-11

Dubai Water Canal is a 3.2-kilometre-long waterway extending from the Creek in Old Dubai through Business Bay before finding its way to the Arabian Gulf. With 80,000sqm of public space and facilities and a 12km cycling path, the Canal has become a popular visitor attraction. There are also five pedestrian bridges that snake their way across the iconic waterway, so it's the perfect spot to stroll and take in classic views of the city at its best. Nearby is the Al Habtoor City development, home to the thrilling La Perle by Dragone show, five-star hotels and an array of trendy restaurants.

13

The Beach

The Walk at JBR

If you'd like to shop, dine, watch a movie and swim in the sea all in one place, consider a trip to The Beach, opposite Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). With guest DJs playing on most weekends, a cinema and plenty of trendy boutiques, The Beach is always buzzing with activity. Take your pick from the range of dining options, try the exhilarating watersports on offer or just enjoy some relaxation time in a cabana with your favourite book. The Beach is also connected to the trendy new Bluewaters Island district by a pedestrian bridge.

14

City Walk

City Walk in Dubai

City Walk offers European-style pedestrian streets alongside a host of shopping and entertainment options – perfect for a pleasant day out. Take a walk along tree-lined avenues with shops and restaurants and spot artwork etched by some of the world's finest urban artists. Afterwards, treat your family to an afternoon of fun and head over to The Green Planet to see real wildlife in an indoor tropical rainforest setting. You can also catch a concert, live sports or a comedy show at the nearby Coca-Cola Arena, the Middle East's largest indoor arena.

15

Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden
A world of floral wonder awaits you at Dubai Miracle Garden, the world's largest natural flower garden. The 72,000sqm park has an impressive line-up of famous buildings and structures completely transformed into colourful flower displays. You can immerse yourself among more than 50 million blooming flowers throughout the different exhibits. The nearby Dubai Butterfly Garden is also worth a trip. Here, children can explore over 15,000 species of butterflies whilst learning more about them in a fun setting.
16

Dubai Opera

Dubai Opera

Located in the Downtown district, Dubai Opera offers an enticing performing arts schedule from the likes of London’s West End and Manhattan’s Broadway. With views of The Dubai Fountain and located next to Burj Khalifa, the eye-catching exteriors are inspired by Arabian dhow ships while the stage area is designed to easily convert into three different event platforms: theatre, hall or concert hall. Want to know what's playing at Dubai Opera while you're holidaying in the city? Visit Dubai Calendar.

17

Dubai Marina

One of the city's liveliest and most happening neighbourhoods is Dubai Marina. Marvel at iconic buildings as you stroll along Marina Walk or see the sights on a traditional dhow cruise. This Dubai hotspot is a priority on most visitors' holiday itineraries for good reason. With an array of waterside restaurants, buzzing lounges and irresistible retail therapy at Dubai Marina Mall, it's easy to while away the hours here. Feeling brave? Pump up the adrenaline at XLine, the world's longest urban zipline.

 

Dubai Marina
Sights & Attractions
18

Hatta

Hatta Wadi Hub in Dubai

A 130km drive south-east of Downtown Dubai is Hatta, a not-to-be-missed scenic getaway. In this mountain town you can try kayaking along the serene Hatta Lake, or traversing rocky mountains on foot with specially-crafted hiking experiences. Recent additions to the area include Hatta Dome Parka glamping experience that takes advantage of Hatta’s mountainscape views and back-to-nature vibes, plus a chic lodge-style hotel and trailer parks. Indulge in a host of adventure activities such as zorbing, mountain biking and more at Hatta Wadi Hub. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, as the Hub is also home to Asia’s first ever water jump park, Hatta Drop-In.

19

IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai

Unlimited fun, excitement, speed and 5D entertainment – you can expect it all at IMG Worlds of Adventure. This enormous theme park is the same size as 28 football pitches put together. With the most up-to-date and exciting rides, IMG Worlds of Adventure brings your favourite characters to life. Give your little ones the best time with rides featuring Ben 10, Powerpuff Girls and LazyTown, while older kids can delve into the world of Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man and The Avengers.

20

Dubai Parks and Resorts

The Dragon in Dubai

Dubai Parks and Resorts adds to the city's reputation as an entertainment paradise. Children are bound to get excited in the labyrinth of magnificent theme parks, which includes Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland and Legoland Water Park. Adults can relax at the Riverland Boulevard, home to restaurants and a range of open-air entertainment. Don't want to leave? Check in to the luxury Polynesian-style hotel, The Lapita, or the region's first and only Legoland Hotel, both located within the theme park destination.

21

The View at The Palm

The View at the Palm
Enjoy incomparable views of one of Dubai’s most talked about landmarks at The View at The Palm. Located 240m high, the observation deck presents never seen before 360-degree panoramas of Palm Jumeirah alongside the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf and Dubai skyline in the distance. The View at The Palm is located on level 52 of The Palm Tower, which also houses a café, a creative exhibition that showcases the development of the island, interactive aquarium-themed tunnels and a gift shop. 
22

Deep Dive Dubai

Explore Deep Dive Dubai's underwater habitats
The latest addition to the city's thriving sports and adventure activities scene, Deep Dive Dubai is the place to be for all aqua enthusiasts. The recreational centre's 60.02m-deep pool is certified by Guinness World Records as the world's deepest swimming pool for diving. Aside from its remarkable depth, the pool features other unrivalled underwater additions, such as a 'sunken city', alongside year-round freediving and scuba diving courses and guided experiences.
23

Sky Views Dubai

Sky Views Glass Slides

Thrill-seekers can try a trio of epic experiences at Sky Views Dubai, perched 219.5m above ground on top of the Address Sky View hotel. The Glass Slide allows visitors to zoom down a transparent tunnel on the 53rd floor, while the Observatory features a glass elevator and bridge to further test your head for heights. Meanwhile, true risk-takers will look forward to the Edge Walk – as they dangle off the building's side while strapped to a safety harness. All three experiences allow participants to enjoy phenomenal views of Downtown Dubai's iconic landmarks, including the nearby Burj Khalifa.

24

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab Dubai

For the first time since its launch, Dubai's famed Burj Al Arab has opened its doors to visitors, granting access to the hotel's ultra-luxurious interiors on an immersive 90-minute tour. Not only will you get to explore the landmark’s gilded suites, and enjoy its incomparable views of the city, but you'll also uncover the hotel’s history and wealth of untold stories. You can also delve deeper and make the most of your experience with tour customisations.

25

Museum of the Future

Museum of the Future
One of Dubai's most famous architectural landmarks, the Museum of the Future takes pride of place along the city's superhighway, Sheikh Zayed Road. Founded by the Dubai Future Foundation, the museum explores how society could evolve in the coming decades using science and technology. Termed a 'living museum', it incorporates elements of traditional exhibitions, immersive theatre and themed attractions, so visitors can look beyond the present and towards the future's limitless possibilities.
26

Mohammed Bin Rashid Library

mohammed-bin-rashid-library-3

Built along the historic Dubai Creek and designed in the shape of a traditional Islamic lectern, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library is the latest cultural hotspot to open its doors in the city. A landmark unique to Dubai, the library is the largest in the region and representative of its collective cultural wisdom, educational milestones and continued forays in research and academia. Aside from enjoying the remarkable architecture and exploring the library's nine levels, visitors can discover a fully digitalised laboratory and several specialised collections inside.

27

3Fils

Michelin Guide to Dubai

Serious foodies can’t possibly visit Dubai without making a stop at the MENA 50 Best Restaurants top spot, 3Fils. Its chic yet casual setting, coupled with calming harbourside views and a no-reservations policy, makes this one of Dubai's most unassumingly spectacular dining hotspots. Serving modern Asian cuisine, you’ll find tantalising dishes such as salmon carpaccio, wagyu sushi and fire-grilled octopus on the menu.

23

Sky Views Dubai

Sky Views Glass Slides

Thrill-seekers can try a trio of epic experiences at Sky Views Dubai, perched 219.5m above ground on top of the Address Sky View hotel. The Glass Slide allows visitors to zoom down a transparent tunnel on the 53rd floor, while the Observatory features a glass elevator and bridge to further test your head for heights. Meanwhile, true risk-takers will look forward to the Edge Walk – as they dangle off the building's side while strapped to a safety harness. All three experiences allow participants to enjoy phenomenal views of Downtown Dubai's iconic landmarks, including the nearby Burj Khalifa.

29

La Perle

La Perle Dubai Aqua show

Prepare to be amazed by Dubai's first permanent show, which combines acting, acrobatics, aquatic feats and aerial stunts across an exhilarating 90 minutes. All the action takes place inside a tailor-made, 1,300-seat theatre in the heart of Al Habtoor City, featuring a high-tech ‘aqua-stage’ that can fill with 2.7 million litres of water. Watch from the edge of your seat as performers dive, fly and defy gravity, as they tell a story which pays homage to the UAE's pearl diving history.

28

Aura Skypool

Aura Skypool

Unwind in the world's highest 360-degree swimming pool as you gaze out at landmarks including Burj Al Arab and Ain Dubai. Situated 200m above ground, AURA Skypool is the perfect place for an unforgettable swim. Visitors to the Palm Jumeirah venue can also relax in its chic lounge area and sample a menu filled with delicious sharing plates and Pan-Asian flavours. Standouts to try include the glazed miso salmon, chilli honey cauliflower popcorn and matcha tiramisu. 

30

Alserkal Avenue

Alserkal Avenue in Dubai

Once an industrial area in the centre of Dubai, Alserkal Avenue now comprises around 40 warehouses, converted into galleries, dance studios, artisanal cafes and more. The neighbourhood has nurtured a culture of creativity and is now one of the region’s leading art hubs. Since its humble beginnings as a standalone gallery in 2008, word caught on and similar concepts soon moved into the area. Popular spots include arthouse theatre Cinema Akil, the hipster-inspired Nightjar Coffee and Leila Heller Gallery.

31

Expo City Dubai

Expo

Building on the legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai, which welcomed 192 nations and more than 24 million visitors, is the future-centric Expo City Dubai. Explore popular country pavilions including the falcon-inspired UAE Pavilion, award-winning Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Pavilion and reworked spaces for Luxembourg, Pakistan and Australia. Alif – the Mobility Pavilion and Terra – the Sustainability Pavilion have been transformed into interactive educational experiences, while the Opportunity Pavilion is now the Expo 2020 Dubai Museum. Al Wasl Plaza, the Dubai Exhibition Centre, the Garden in the Sky observation tower and the Surreal water feature also remain at Expo City Dubai, which has its own metro station. 

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