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Must-See

20 amazing things to do in Dubai

Mon, August 24, 2020

Tick off these top experiences and things to do on your next trip to Dubai.

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Tick off these top experiences and things to do on your next trip to Dubai.

1

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa
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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 level 124, or have a bite to eat at the At The Top Sky Lounge. For special occasions, you'll want to treat yourself to fine dining with European flair at At.mosphere, or a sunset session at the highest lounge in the world, The Lounge, Burj Khalifa
2

The Dubai Fountain

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Located at the base of the iconic Burj Khalifa is the world's largest choreographed fountain display, 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 lined up at The Dubai Mall or Souk Al Bahar, both commanding prime positions near the fountain arena.

3

Palm Jumeirah

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Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest manmade islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. Locals and tourists alike flock to The Palm's 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 quick pick-me-up at the food trucks lined up along the Palm Boardwalk, or make a meal of it at The Pointe that presents idyllic sunset views by the seaside.

4

Dubai Creek

Old Dubai Creek crossing
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Dubai may be known for all things glam, but the city also 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. The waters at the Creek were vital for what used to be Dubai's main forms of economy: pearl diving and fishing. Today, the area is awash with the history of the emirate. Visit the labyrinthine alleyways of the goldspice and textile souks, to experience Dubai like a local. While at the Creek, a traditional abra ride is a must. At an unbelievable AED1 per ticket, it's easily the best value tourist attraction in the city.

5

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

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The 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 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

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Less than 20 minutes 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 try the Heritage Dinner Safari by leading tour company Platinum Heritage. From the unforgettable offroad drive in vintage 4x4s 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.

Alternatively simply drive out for a desert adventure by yourself at the city's best camping spots. Want to stay a little longer? Treat yourself to an unforgettable night amid the dunes at Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa or Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.

7

The Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall
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The 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, The 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

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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

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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 over local trinkets and boutique brands at the Madinat Souk, or catch a show at the Madinat Theatre. And, with over 40 restaurants and lounges featuring cuisines from around the world, it's also an ideal place to refuel.

10

Dubai Frame

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Dubai Frame is one of the newest additions to the city’s skyline 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

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The aptly-named Kite Beach is the perfect spot 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

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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

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If you'd like to shop, dine, watch a movie and go to the beach all in one place, consider a trip to The Beach, opposite Jumeirah Beach Residences (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 range of watersports on offer, or just enjoy some relaxation time in a cabana with your favourite book. The kids can burn off some energy at Splash Pad, a waterpark with fully trained staff on hand so you can relax and indulge in some 'me' time.  The Beach is also connected to the trendy new Bluewaters Island district by a pedestrian bridge.

14

City Walk

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Stretching over 13,000sqm, 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 Green Planet to spot 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

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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 yet educational setting.
16

Dubai Opera

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Located in the Downtown district, the 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 the 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.

 

18

Hatta

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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 a chic lodge-style hotel and trailer parks for glamping enthusiasts. Indulge in a host of adventure activities such as zorbing, free-falls, mountain biking and more, available via 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

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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, Gumball, the Powerpuff Girls, and LazyTown, while older kids can delve into the world of Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers.

20

Dubai Parks and Resorts

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Mega amusement park complex Dubai Parks and Resorts adds to Dubai'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 Dubai 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, located within the theme park destination.

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