We are fortunate to have a guest post from Tim from Outdoor With J, sharing with her 15 exciting things to do in Dubai.
The metropolis of Dubai has become one of the most enticing and unique tourist destinations in the world, with hundreds of tourists visiting it throughout the year. Dubai does not disappoint; between its amazing landscapes and its rich cultural history, it more than lives up to the hype. I know I was in awe right from the first day of my arrival.
In addition to the incredible expanses of beautiful sand and the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf, the high temperatures and the warmth of the sun make spending a day at the beach one of the best ways to relax and tan.
Another way in which Dubai piqued my interest is the luxury it offers, which, like its unique style of architecture, seems in constant competition with itself to be increasingly innovative and impressive. Truth be told, there is genuinely so much to experience you may feel so overwhelmed that you don’t know where to start.
That is precisely what this article is for: to guide you and help you experience the best that Dubai has to offer, just like I did. Let’s begin.
A lot of people who live in Europe or America do not even know where Dubai is located. Despite being one of the largest sites for tourism in the world, very few people can place it on the world map.
Where is Dubai?
First things first: Dubai is not a country. This is the most common error. Dubai is one of seven emirates in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), located in the Arabian Gulf. It borders Abu Dhabi to the south, Sharjah to the northeast and Oman to the southeast.
With more than 7,000 weekly flights operated by 125 airlines from 260 destinations on all continents except Antarctica, you have a wide range of options to choose from when flying to Dubai. No matter which route or airline you choose, you will be welcomed upon your arrival to the ultramodern Dubai International Airport.
Best Places to Stay in Dubai
Now that you have arrived safely in Dubai, the next task is to find a suitable place to stay. You will want a place that offers the necessary comfort when you return tired from a full day spent enjoying the city. You have three amazing options: book a hotel, be an Airbnb guest or experience Dubai in the form of a camping trip.
Dubai is famous for its impressive luxury business hotels and resorts, but it also boasts more than its fair share of standard hotels at reasonable prices. You are guaranteed to find a hotel that fits your budget and still offers an extensive selection of food, services, and high standard facilities. If you’re looking for something special, look at hotels such as the Shangri-La Dubai which offers gorgeous views of the Burh Khalifa.
If you are looking for an exceptional cultural experience, you can try being an Airbnb guest. This allows you to spend some time in someone’s home, more like a local, rather than an impersonal lodging in a hotel. I think it is a lovely idea and the option that makes you feel most like you’re at home in Dubai.
The third option is to go on a desert safari adventure, and camp in one of the many desert lands in Dubai. To enjoy this camping experience to the fullest extent you’ll need the best equipment, especially tents and sleeping bags that can withstand the weather and provide maximum comfort. There are countless tents on the market but here is a selection of the best and cheapest tents.
Top Destinations in Dubai
Finally, we’ve arrived at the best bit of the article. Here is where I tell you all the fantastic things to do in Dubai and the places you simply have to visit before you can confidently say, “I experienced Dubai”.
The Burj Khalifa, which rises above the city at an impressive 2,716 feet (828 meters) and has 200 floors (160 habitable), is the tallest building in the world. With breathtaking views of the city skyline, you can climb to the top to get exclusive access to the world’s highest outdoor observatory.
This is the largest shopping center in the world and sits right next to the Burj Khalifa. In the mall, there are several beautiful attractions including an ice skating rink, a huge aquarium, all the fantastic brand stores you can imagine, restaurants, boutiques and much more.
There are multiple ways to enjoy and experience the Palm Jumeirah, the man-made town in the shape of a palm tree. You can navigate it in a speedboat. You can walk its sandy beaches. Or, for the maximum adrenaline rush, you can jump from an airplane while crossing the Palm Jumeirah. The skydiving at the exclusive Palm Dropzone reaches speeds of up to 120 mph and offers breathtaking views of the Palm, the Dubai Marina and the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf.
This attraction wasn’t widely known to up about recently when its photograph became viral after a photo contest. It was hidden in a dense forest for a long time, which was destroyed due to a series of floods and forest fires. After it became popular, the roads around the waterfalls were fixed, making it easier to come and marvel at them. Thankfully, the lush vegetation surrounding the waterfalls is intact, still hiding where the water is actually coming from, making the experience all the more mysterious.
The Jumeirah Beach Residence, popularly known as the JBR, is a waterfront community that is home to forty towers. You can take a lovely walk down this area, hang out at the beach or shop in one of its many stores.
A non-negotiable part of your to-do list for the ultimate Arabian adventure is a journey to the Arabian Desert. You will love experiencing the thrill of a beautiful desert safari in Dubai.
Unleash your inner child at Aquaventure Atlantis Waterpark, where you can ride record-breaking slides, splash around in the pools, or relax with a cocktail on the private beach.
If you’re short on time in Dubai, you could always catch a yellow boat tour around the harbour, taking in the big name buildings and areas of Dubai.
IMG Worlds of Adventure
Put on your super comfy shoes and enjoy amazing rides at the world’s largest indoor theme park. The adventure zone is spectacular.
Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai Parks and Resorts are a great place to create lifelong memories of relaxation, fun, and peace of mind. There are several parks which you can explore and games for all ages.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous, a great way to feel the adrenaline rush is to jump from an airplane and feel the wind in your face. What better way to enjoy Dubai’s amazing views than from the sky?
Top Destinations around Dubai
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center
Known as one of the largest mosques in the world, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center is the only one that captures such unique interactions between Islam and other world cultures.
Tourists and celebrants from all over the world are invited to witness the spectacular domes, the reflecting pools that surround the courtyard, and the iconic prayer room, which not only overflows with beautiful sunlight, it also houses the world’s most massive chandelier and rug, both meticulously crafted.
- Emirates Palace
The Emirates Palace has several restaurants, bars, lounges and cafés offering a wide variety of culinary delights. Together with the ethereal lighting, the swimming pools, and the marina, it delights everyone as an Arab fantasy.
- Louvre Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Museum has thousands of beautiful works of art for your viewing pleasure. Just make sure to have a game plan and a map to enjoy this vast building without getting lost.
- Ferrari World
Ferrari World is a fun place with enticing attractions and wild-but-amazing rides for everyone in the family.
- Warner Bros World
This is an indoor theme park is particularly perfect for all Warner Bros fans. From the moment you set foot into this park to the moment you leave it, there is no doubt that its entertaining features will ensure you have a lovely time.
Things to do in Dubai at night
- Dubai Aquarium and underwater zoo – Staying open until 11 pm, these water experiences are great to visit in the evening- much fewer children are around so you can enjoy your time even more.
- Dubai Garden Glow – A glow-in-the-dark garden with landmarks of the UAE created from recycled materials.
- Ski Dubai – An amazing indoor ski resort that is open until 11 pm!
- Dubai Creek – Enjoy a cruise down the creek or relax at the waterfront and enjoy the view of the Dubai skyline.
- Dubai Fountains – As mentioned above, the Dubai Fountains run throughout the evening but look most spectacular when the sun sets.
- Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk and Dubai Marina – The Marina and JB area are full of amazing restaurants and some of the best nightclubs in Dubai.
- Shopping Malls – Shopping malls in Dubai stay open until late and even if you don’t intend to shop, a visit to see the incredible architecture is still worth your time, making this one of the great things to do in Dubai at night for free.
- Al Barsha Night Market – Head to Al Barsha Pond Park to enjoy local vendors, live music and free fitness sessions.
- Snooker Halls – There are snooker halls all over Dubai that stay open beyond midnight.
- Outdoor cinemas – Head to Galleria Hall in the evenings to watch a late night film at the outdoor cinema on the rooftop.
- Night safari at Al Ain Zoo – Board a 4×4 to see the nocturnal creatures at Al Ain Zoo.
- Night Dive – Diving is popular in Dubai but you can even opt for a night dive experience to see those fish that only come out when the sun goes down.
- Glow in the dark Tee and Putt – Open until midnight, this indoor mini golf course is a great activity for families in the evening.
- Bounce Trampoline Park – For those still full of energy, head to the Bounce Trampoline Park for late night fun up to midnight.
Dubai is undoubtedly one of the most unique cities in the world. For those with an incurable case of the travel bug, this city is a traveler’s dream. Experiencing its historical sights, futuristic architecture, active nightlife, and out-of-this-world attractions will leave you with incredible memories that you won’t soon forget.