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Sights & Attractions

Unique things to do in Dubai

Mon, November 20, 2023

From touching the sky to journeying back in time and tasting new treats, check out our list of only-in-Dubai experiences.

From touching the sky to journeying back in time and tasting new treats, check out our list of only-in-Dubai experiences.


Ski in the desert


It may be warm and sunny outside, but you can still enjoy a snowy setting in Dubai. Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and boasts a 400m slope with a fall of over 60m – making it home to the world's first ever indoor black diamond run. Whether you want to ski on the slopes all afternoon, go tobogganing down hills, play in the snow with your family or spend time with the resident penguins, there's plenty to do in this winter wonderland. There's also an indoor chairlift with a café located halfway up the slopes, serving as the perfect pit stop for delicious hot chocolate in a truly unique location.


Try camel cuisine

Tucked away in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, you'll find food that is unique to Dubai. For a modern take on the city's heritage, sample camel meat at Local House. With a homely feel, this popular restaurant has stood the test of time and offers a menu of traditional favourites including classic camel meat dishes – try the juicy burger or the moreish kofta kebab, packed with flavourful spices. If you're looking to explore more camel goodness while in the city, treat your skin with all-natural beauty products from The Camel Soap Factory in Al Quoz.

Kayak in a dam

Kayaking at Hatta Dubai

Dubai's peaceful exclave Hatta is home to the high-reaching Hajar Mountains and the picturesque Hatta Dam. Glide through the dam's turquoise waters – a natural pool set amid the stunning mountainscape – in a kayak for a genuinely unforgettable experience. You'll fall in love with the stunning setting, where you may occasionally spot native birds and marine wildlife as you float past. While you're in Hatta, be sure to check out Hatta Wadi Hub for more nature-based activities in winter, or stay overnight under the stars at dedicated camping grounds nearby.


Dine in an aquarium

Ossiano Dubai

Dubai sure does love its water-based experiences, and we don't mean just thrills by the coastline. The city's aquariums offer plenty of sightseeing options, but also so much more. For example, you can dive with sharks and stingrays at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in Dubai Mall, or plunge to astonishing depths at Deep Dive Dubai. However, there's nothing quite as 'Dubai' as Atlantis, The Palm's Michelin-starred Ossiano restaurant, where you can feast on the finest contemporary seafood in an underwater setting, with tables arranged around a wall-to-ceiling aquarium.


Walk on water

Hop, slip and bounce your way through an obstacle course set on the waters of the Arabian Gulf. Renowned as the region's largest inflatable waterpark, AquaFun features a circuit that's designed to spell out 'DUBAI', located 25m from the shore. Slip into the sea as you lose your footing and come back up for more – it never gets old. Best of all? Every ticket gives you all-day access, which means you can refuel with a meal at one of the nearby restaurants at The Beach opposite JBR, and then return for more fun in the sun.

Sip tea in the clouds


The Lounge, Burj Khalifa is a sky-high setting for afternoon tea. Located across floors 152 to 154 of the world's tallest building, it is officially the highest lounge on the planet, and presents an array of light bites and delicate desserts, alongside a selection of the finest tea and coffee. If you plan to visit in the later hours, you'll be entertained by a live performer or DJ all through the night, 585m above Dubai. Don't miss the tour of the outdoor terrace for premium views of the city's modern skyline.


Tour the world in a day

Global Village in Dubai

See, shop and experience the world in one location, only in Dubai. Held annually from October to April, Global Village is a popular outdoor park that celebrates cultures from around the globe in style. You'll find ornate pavilions representing over 90 countries, each selling native food, arts and crafts, gifts and more. This is also one of the best opportunities to try exotic street food too – think takoyaki balls from Japan, bun kebabs from Pakistan and rice-based koshari from Egypt.


Skydive over a manmade island

Experience a breathtaking freefall with Skydive Dubai, one of the city’s top attractions for intrepid individuals and visiting celebrities. Take the leap from one of two incredible locations – above the iconic Palm Jumeirah or over the vast Arabian desert – and see the emirate from an entirely different perspective. Can't get enough airborne thrills? Hold on tight as you zoom across Dubai Marina on the world's longest urban zipline, XLine Dubai Marina.

Explore next-gen technology


One of Dubai's most famous 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.


Elevate your Dubai experience

Sky Views Dubai

At 219.5m above ground, Sky Views Dubai is an attraction that will sweep visitors off their feet with mesmerising perspectives of Downtown Dubai's pristine expanses below and the city skyline beyond. Perched atop the Address Sky View hotel, it presents three distinct offerings for unforgettable sightseeing escapades – the Observatory, Glass Slide and Edge Walk. Meanwhile, for incomparable island views, head to The View at The Palm for a 240m vantage point of Palm Jumeirah.


Venture into the dunes


Dubai’s desert is waiting to be explored, whether during an invigorating pedal down the 86km Al Qudra Cycle Track or during a leisurely picnic at the neighbouring Love Lake. For a touch of opulence, kick back at Al Maha Desert Resort. With stunning panoramic views and five-star amenities, the resort blends the serenity of the desert with all the modern luxuries you could dream of. To immerse yourself in the Bedouin lifestyle of times gone by, book a desert safari with tour operators like Orient Tours and Arabian Adventures.


Go island hopping around The World


A stunning archipelago just off the coast of Dubai, The World Islands includes several manmade atolls designed to resemble the world map. There are a total of 260 islands grouped under seven sets that represent different continents. Visitors can dock at The Island Dubai to experience the beaches of Lebanon or head to The Heart of Europe for idyllic shorelines, gardens and lagoons. A Thai-inspired Anantara resort has also taken up residence across Clarence Island, offering getaways marked by lazy seaside days and picturesque alfresco dining that is sure to impress.


Bathe in the world’s highest 360° infinity pool

Fireworks from AURA Skypool in Dubai
Head up to the 50th floor of Nakheel’s Palm Tower and take a memorable dip in AURA Skypool. Located 200m above Palm Jumeirah, the 360-degree infinity pool offers spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf as well as landmarks like Burj Al Arab and Atlantis The Royal Dubai. Add to the experience by sampling the venue's tantalising menu, featuring dishes such as salmon ceviche, dynamite prawn maki and Malaysian strawberry mess.

See more than 150 million flowers in bloom

Dubai Miracle Garden in Dubai
Wander through Dubai Miracle Garden and you can't help but be dazzled by the beauty on show. The 72,000sqm park has everything from petal-powered castles and illuminated nightscapes to a Smurfs Village and an Airbus 380 aeroplane covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants. While you're here, don't forget to check out the magical Butterfly Garden, which is home to 15,000 butterflies in 10 custom-built domes. 

Witness Dubai's past, present and future

Dubai Frame
Standing 150m tall and 93m wide, the Dubai Frame is a towering attraction that offers a chance to see the city's many different sides. The structure in Zabeel Park invites visitors to step onto its Sky Deck and look out across Dubai's historical neighbourhoods on one side, and its glistening new landmarks on the other. You can also go back in time to discover the story of Dubai, and head to the Future Zone to see what life will be like here 50 years from now, complete with flying taxis and missions to space. 

Find a tropical rainforest in the middle of the city

The Green Planet Dubai
Snorkel with piranhas, brave a thunderstorm and become a zookeeper for a day at The Green Planet, Dubai's very own tropical rainforest. The stunning attraction in City Walk is home to more than 3,000 species of plants, animals and birds, so you can encounter everything from sloths to anacondas and laughing kookaburras. It's an experience that's as joyous as it is educational, and should be on any family's to-do list during a visit to Dubai.

Gaze at an architectural marvel in Expo City Dubai

Expo 2020 Dubai Al Wasl Dome
A structure unlike any other, Al Wasl Plaza's dome acts as an immersive 360-degree projection surface that can be viewed from both inside and outside. It was built for Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo ever held in the Middle East, during which time it hosted everything from a Coldplay concert to a sit-down Q&A with Cristiano Ronaldo. The 67m-tall creation is truly a sight to behold, with 252 laser projectors capable of producing beautiful and large-scale works of wonder. Al Wasl Plaza now forms the centrepiece of Expo City Dubai, a future-centric mini-city with a firm focus on innovation. 
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