Author: Neha Singh
Dubai in the UAE may be second to the capital city (Abu Dhabi) only in terms of its size, but it is home to some of the Arabian world’s most fantastic attractions.
There is so much to see and experience in Dubai. You can easily fill your time here by visiting its blend of the newest sights, classic landmarks, unmatched engineering marvels, all-inclusive malls, and out-of-the-world dining, leisure, and entertainment attractions.
Keep reading to learn more about the best things to do in Dubai!
10 Must-Visit Places In Dubai
1- Museum of the Future
The recently opened Museum of the Future makes an incredible addition to any Dubai travel program. But don’t expect it to be any ordinary museum packed with antiquated objects. Everything about this museum screams uber contemporary and coming-of-age innovation, from its apt name to the unequaled architecture that resembles a sparkling ring to its surreal exhibits across its seven floors.
Contrary to a typical museum that steps you back in time, the Museum of the Future will take you somewhat 50 years into the future, landing you straight in 2071. You get to see flying objects, sample coffee prepared by robots, and ride in the capsule-like elevators, among others.
2 – The View at the Palm
Palm Jumeirah is one of the most iconic symbols of modern Dubai! If you are unaware, it is a palm-tree-like, man-made island with a crescent on its top. People mostly go on a helicopter ride or sign up for a skydive session to see it, but you can also visit the View at the Palm! Located on the 52nd floor of Palm Tower, this observation deck is designed exclusively to treat visitors with full views of the island, the Arabian Gulf, and the magnificent architecture and sights that encompass it.
3 – Ain Dubai
Ain Dubai is one of the focal points of Bluewaters Island – a pulsating waterfront community in Dubai. Built at a whopping cost and perched at over 240 meters high, it is the world’s largest and highest observation wheel.
Now, if you think a ride on it is meant for adventurists or thrill seekers only, the good news is that it rotates for about 40 minutes at a walking pace, making it ideal for all. Besides taking in the stunning views over Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, JBR etc, you can savor sumptuous dining during the ride (subject to your ticket choice.)
4 – Burj Al Arab
In any list of things to do in Dubai, the billow-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel enjoys a special mention or illustration. This all-suite hotel is one of the must-sees in Dubai. It is one of the world’s most expensive hotels, attached with the royal ever comforts.
If you are on a tight budget, staying in this hotel is unimaginable. But you could definitely enjoy a glance at the majestic features that make this hotel stand out from the region’s other hotels, thanks to the newly launched ‘Inside Burj Al Arab Tour.’ It is a butler-guided tour that introduces you to the hotel’s priciest accommodation – Royal Suite, plus several other segments, including the immersive dining area and UMA Lounge.
5 – Madame Tussauds Dubai
Before or after your Ain Dubai visit, tour this interesting museum on Bluewaters Island. It is the first Madame Tussauds Museum in the Middle East where you get to meet, chat and mingle with your favorite royals, politicians, singers, sports personalities, and more. Yes, the wax figures of these celebs are so real-like that it allows for some amazing, fun-filled photo ops.
6 – Burj Khalifa
No preface is needed for this impressive structure right in the heart of modern Dubai at the stylish ever Downtown Dubai! This 828-meter-high structure is the world’s tallest building, with one of the fastest elevator rides. Purchase ‘At the Top’ tickets that offer access to its observation decks on the 124th, 125th, and 148th levels for the most exquisite views over Dubai from a sky-high standpoint. Along with this, you will be able to acquaint yourself with Dubai’s past with multimedia exhibits included in your ticket.
7 – The Dubai Mall & The Dubai Fountain Show
Malls in Dubai are simply unbelievable for their sheer size and extensive offerings and are chock-full of dining choices. The largest shopping mall, the Dubai Mall (next to Burj Khalifa), is probably the king of all malls in Dubai. Retail enthusiasts are in for an indulgence like never before, with its over 1200 outlets.
If shopping doesn’t excite you, this mall is still a must-visit for its array of activities and attractions, including Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Aquarium, Underwater Zoo, Ekart Zabeel, and Play DXB. Are you skeptical about bringing your kids to this mall? Take them to KidZania Dubai; they would enjoy every bit of time spent here.
Most of all, don’t leave the Dubai Mall or Downtown Dubai until you watch the Dubai Fountain Show, where the combination of water, music, and light creates a breathtaking spectacle. This is a free attraction, but you will be required to pay a nominal fee if you wish to see it up close on an abra ride or via hitting the dedicated Dubai Fountain Boardwalk.
8 – Dubai Theme Parks
Dubai is not only famed for its architectural wonders but also its marvelous theme parks. From superhero-themed and VR based to water-themed and snow-themed, the choices are endless.
Drop into Ski Dubai at the Mall of the Emirates for a bonafide session of skiing, snowboarding, and other snow activities. For rides inspired by Marvel and cartoon characters, there is IMG Worlds of Adventure. Planning for an exclusive theme park-inspired holiday in Dubai? One of the ultimate choices is Dubai Parks and Resorts, which comprise four parks under its roof. Look for DPR and IMG Worlds timings, pricing, packages etc., to get the best out of your visit here.
9 – The Arabian Desert
Get the real vibe of age-old Arabia as you set out to discover the region’s secluded desert landscape, lying some 30 minutes to 40 minutes’ drive away from the city center. While you are welcome to explore the desert on your own, it is highly recommended to take a guided desert safari tour.
Besides promising you an enlightening overview of the indigenous desert flora and fauna, you’ll experience thrilling, adventurous activities and charming cultural experiences. Choose an evening or overnight desert safari with BBQ dining, a traditional entertainment show (belly dance and Tanura), and camping. Embark on a terrific 4X4 dune bash drive and participate in camel rides, Shisha smoking, and falconry, to name a few.
10 – Al Bastakiya Quarter and Traditional Souks
This preserved quarter, officially known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, is one quaint part of this vibrant city where you can experience the authentic Emirati past. Its narrow labyrinth of streets holds a vast array of historic structures that help to retain the region’s old-world appeal. Most now function as art galleries, museums, or even cultural institutions like Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU.)
Pair your Al Bastakiya visit with exploring the Arabian souks or traditional bazaars scattered across Bur Dubai and Deira regions. Visit Textile Souk, Spice Souk, and the Gold Souk; they all make a great spot to enjoy bargain shopping in Dubai.
Other Must-See Attractions & Experiences
The above list is by no means comprehensive; there are many other attractions you should take advantage of during your Dubai visit. If you have already seen Burj Khalifa, a wonderful substitute is to make your way to Sky Views Dubai, which offers three experiences: Observatory, Glass Slide, and Edge Walk adventure.
Apart from the above attractions, you can visit seasonal attractions depending on the time of your Dubai visit. If you look forward to visiting Dubai in the winter months, remember to add Global Village, Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Glow Garden, and Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) to your travel program. Above all, make sure you take a cruise while in Dubai with a dhow cruise or luxury boat rental in Dubai.
Are you ready to explore Dubai? Whether you are looking for a family trip, a romantic holiday, or an unforgettable adventure getaway, the above list of Dubai attractions ensures that there is something for every preference.
So make sure to pack your bags as you prepare for one of the best Arabian holidays of your lifetime!
Author Bio: Neha loves traveling and is an avid trekker and explorer. She has done her post-graduation in Mass Communication, loves meeting new people and strongly believe in the Gandhian principle – ‘Simple living, high thinking’.