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Things to do in Dubai

Old world meets otherworldly in this most glamorous of desert hotspots.

Our most recommended things to do in Dubai

Dubai: Desert Safari, Quad Bike, Camel Ride & Al Khayma Camp

1. Dubai: Desert Safari, Quad Bike, Camel Ride & Al Khayma Camp

Discover the desert outside of Dubai on a guided dune bashing safari. Enjoy the opportunity to take part in a variety of optional activities including a quad bike ride, camel ride or dinner and entertainment with an extended tour option. You will be picked up from your hotel or selected location by your tour guide. Then, drive to the Dubai desert and after a short break, you can experience the thrilling dune bashing session with trained drivers. You can also try out sandboarding and snap some amazing photos of the rolling dunes. Proceed to the Al Khayma camp for the optional camel ride and included refreshments. The 7-hour tour participants will continue to enjoy some entertainment shows and have a delicious BBQ dinner at the camp. As the tour comes to an end you will be dropped back to your hotel/building.

Dubai: Burj Khalifa Level 124 and 125 Entry Ticket

2. Dubai: Burj Khalifa Level 124 and 125 Entry Ticket

Take the world’s fastest elevator as you ascend Dubai’s iconic Burj Khalifa skyscraper. Holding the title as the world's tallest building, ride up to the 125th floor and check out the view from the observation deck balcony. The Burj Khalifa towers over Downtown Dubai at a staggering 2,723ft. Enjoy the aerial view of the surrounding emirate with 360-degree panoramas. Learn about the architecture and technology behind this Middle Eastern icon while seeing views of the city through one of the deck's telescopes. Purchase a souvenir photograph taken at the entrance of the 125th floor. Watch the Dubai Fountain show with synchronized music playing on the Burj Khalifa observation decks. Marvel at the world's largest dancing fountain, set on the Burj Khalifa Lake, from your viewpoint.

Dubai Marina: Yacht Tour with Breakfast or BBQ

3. Dubai Marina: Yacht Tour with Breakfast or BBQ

Embark on a cruise around Dubai to see its highlights from the water with a yacht charter company that has been in operation for 15 years and serves over 1 million guests per year. Sail through the Dubai Marina to Bluewaters Island. Cruise over to the Dubai Eye, see the famous Jumeirah Beach and the Palm, and pass the Burj Al Arab. You will receive a red-carpet welcome upon boarding your yacht. Enjoy breakfast or a barbecue on board, depending on the option chosen. You can spend quality time networking aboard the 64-foot vessel. Benefit from creature comforts and amenities, including a dinette area and 3 beautiful cabins with natural light. Take your seats in the lounge area with abundant sun and shade. 

Dubai: Safari, Quad Bike, Camel Ride, and Buffet Dinner

4. Dubai: Safari, Quad Bike, Camel Ride, and Buffet Dinner

Explore the desert on this SUV tour from Dubai. Cruise up, down and through desert dunes in Land Cruiser. Drive an ATV over sand dunes before enjoying live entertainment and dinner at a Bedouin camp. Begin by exploring the desert and get a glimpse of the harshness and intensity of the desert sands. Later on, try dune bashing in a 4x4 Land Cruiser (which is fully equipped with all necessary safety features) and sandboarding on the silky red-sand dunes. Next up and if you've chosen that option, is the quad bike experience.You will receive a short briefing of safety instructions before enjoying the thrill of riding an ATV over the vast sands. Finally, relax in a traditional Bedouin-style camp, where you can indulge in activities like camel riding and henna painting. Enjoy being entertained by belly and folk dancers while eating a delicious barbecue dinner.

Dubai Burj Khalifa Tickets & Tour: Level 124, 125 and 148

5. Dubai Burj Khalifa Tickets & Tour: Level 124, 125 and 148

Avoid the crowds and treat yourself to a premium experience on the 124th, 125th and 148th floors of the Burj Khalifa, including access to the outdoor terrace of the world's highest observation deck. Select the sunset option to enjoy the city as the sun sets over the skyline.  Learn about the architecture and technology behind this Middle Eastern icon while seeing views of the city through one of the deck's telescopes. Ascend the 555-meter-tall Burj Khalifa, starting at the SKY Lounge. Watch as specially designed projections let you “fly” over city landmarks en route. Watch the Dubai Fountain show with synchronized music and marvel at the world's largest dancing fountain set on the Burj Khalifa Lake from your panoramic viewpoint. Descend to ground level, where a new exhibition allows you to relive the construction of the Burj Khalifa. Hear testimonials from the brains behind the building, from the interiors to the landscaping, architecture, and more.

Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark Admission Ticket

6. Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark Admission Ticket

Enjoy thrills and spills at Dubai’s Aquaventure Waterpark, the largest waterpark in the Middle East, on dozens of rides and waterslides. With your day ticket, prepare to do battle with the King of the Sea at the Tower of Poseidon. Ride through the dark and twisting Aquaconda water tunnel. Grab an inner tube and take a trip on the rapids of a tidal river. Test your nerves on the exhilarating Ziggurat, and plunge more than 27 meters down the Leap of Faith, a near vertical freefall waterslide, through shark-filled waters. Unwind on a private beach, and enjoy light snacks and refreshments from on-site restaurants. Take the little ones to Splashers, a water playground especially for kids.

Dubai: Skip-The-Line Ticket to Dubai Miracle Garden

7. Dubai: Skip-The-Line Ticket to Dubai Miracle Garden

Explore Dubai Miracle Garden, the world's largest natural flower garden, with this half-day skip-the-line ticket. Discover a world made of 50 million flowers, a verdant treasure trove of experiences that capture the imagination. Be blown away by sculptures that have won 3 Guinness World Records. Witness 45 million blooming flowers in stunning designs, awesome shapes, and eye-catching colors in Miracle Garden. See a larger-than-life double-decker design of the Emirates A380 airbus, covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and living plants.  See familiar faces like Mikey Mouse, Mini Mouse, and their friends. Stroll around the Sunflower Field, Lake Park, Smurfs Village, and Umbrella Tunnel. Listen to live music, admire the street dancers in floats, and enjoy an unforgettable experience with your family and friends.

Dubai: The View At The Palm Observatory Entry Ticket

8. Dubai: The View At The Palm Observatory Entry Ticket

Take in unbeatable views of Pal Jumeirah and the surrounding landmarks from the observation deck of The View at the Palm with this entry ticket that includes access to the immersive The View Exhibition. Choose between a general admission ticket or a fast-track ticket with skip-the-line privileges. At 240 meters high, the observation deck on level 52 of the iconic Palm Tower offers panoramic, 360-degree views of Palm Jumeirah, the Arabian Gulf, and other iconic landmarks from an outdoor terrace and a premium VIP Lounge. In addition to one-of-a-kind views and photo opportunities of Dubai’s skyline, enjoy immersive experiences that take you on a journey on the history of Palm Jumeirah and much more at The View Exhibition, an exhibition inspired by wonder. Palm Jumeirah is a worldwide symbol of Dubai’s energy, growth, and ambition. The truly iconic development stretches out into the Arabian Gulf in the shape of a date palm, the national plant of the United Arab Emirates.

From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Premium Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

9. From Dubai: Abu Dhabi Premium Full-Day Sightseeing Tour

With its natural islands, premium resorts, cultural attractions, and architectural wonders, Abu Dhabi offers something for every traveler. Brace up to explore the most-iconic attractions of Abu Dhabi on a full-day sightseeing tour from Dubai! Start your day after being picked up from your hotel in Dubai and learn about one of the richest cities in the world as you travel along the Persian Gulf. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the largest mosque in the UAE, is a place that is closely knit to the culture and religion of the UAE. You will see one-of-a-kind treasures while navigating the marbled halls, such as Swarovski chandeliers, patterned designs, and the largest hand-knotted carpet in the world. A drive along the Abu Dhabi Corniche offers you a beautiful view of the Persian Gulf, its turquoise blue waters, and the skylines. Then, the Etihad towers, a striking architectural landmark on the Abu Dhabi Corniche, offer dining, stay, and entertaining options in one location. The breathtaking panoramic views of the city, including the view of Emirates Palace, and the Arabian Gulf from the observation deck enchants anyone who comes there. Experience the dining options at the Marina Mall. You will get the time to enjoy lunch (at your own expense) here. If you prefer dining at a local restaurant, you will get the option for that as well. Touring around the Qasr Al Watan, a functioning presidential palace and a cultural place in Abu Dhabi, lets you learn more about the tradition that has defined the history of the UAE. The palace is also an architectural marvel and houses artifacts and treasures. After a full day of fun and sightseeing, enjoy a ride back to your hotel, where we’ll drop you off safely.

Dubai: Marina Yacht Cruise with Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

10. Dubai: Marina Yacht Cruise with Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner

Discover Dubai's highlights as you enjoy a relaxing and luxurious marina cruise. Enjoy a delicious meal as you lounge in style and pass by famous buildings like the Burj Al Arab Hotel. Board your yacht and enjoy a warm greeting with fresh juice. Drinking water also will be available throughout the journey, and the crew will be ready to serve you with anything you may need. While cruising, observe the city's highlights and cruise over to the Dubai Eye, and pass by the Dubai Harbor and Big Cruises. See the famous Jumeirah Beach and the Palm, and pass the renowned Burj Al Arab hotel. Choose between breakfast, lunch, or a BBQ dinner, depending on the time of your cruise, and enjoy your delicious meal on board among the 5-star comforts and amenities, including a dinette area and lovely cabins with natural light. Unwind in the lounge area, which offers plenty of sun and shade, and relax to your heart's content.

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Frequently asked questions about Dubai

What top attractions are a must-see in Dubai?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Dubai?

The best day trips and excursions from Dubai are:

Abu Dhabi

Insider tips: Explore Dubai like a local

Megan & Aram is a travel blog that focuses mostly on travel in the Nordics and Eastern Europe with the occasional trip beyond those regions. We love coffee, promoting small businesses, and sports.

What should I do on my first trip to Dubai?

Head up the tallest building in the world, the 2,722-foot-high Burj Khalifa. You can visit the observation deck on the 124th floor for incredible views over the city, the Persian Gulf, and the Arabian Desert. You’ll also learn more about how the structure was built and the history of Dubai. Next to the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall, don’t miss the daily fountain show, one of the most popular things to do in Dubai. Designed by the creators of the Bellagio fountain in Las Vegas, this incredible show shoots jets of water 500 feet in the air.

What are some hidden gems to see in Dubai?

Despite being filled with ultra-modern buildings, Dubai has an old side too. Head to Al Bastakiya Historic Neighborhood to wander around alleys built in the 1800s. Check out the Coffee Museum, explore coffee roasting and brewing methods worldwide, see antique coffee makers, and taste some of the best coffee in town.

How much time should I spend in Dubai?

To see Dubai's most impressive sights, enjoy the beach, experience its brilliant nightlife and restaurants, and take a day trip into the desert or to Abu Dhabi, you'll need at least five days in the city.

What food is Dubai known for?

Dubai has no shortage of mouthwatering dining options. The city's population is pretty diverse, and this reflects in the food choices, with tons of international flavors. Many popular dishes are variations of dishes eaten all over the Middle East, so you might be familiar with some. Some well-loved foods include shawarma (a spiced meat sandwich served in a flatbread with pickles and garlic sauce), machboos (a meat dish served with rice and onions), stuffed vegetables. You can even try camel.

What is the best way to get around Dubai?

Dubai’s metro system is fast and reliable and, with 47 stations, you can usually find one close to where you want to go. Some areas are better served by road, and taxis are common in the city too. They’re more expensive than the metro, but reasonable. Some areas of Dubai are pedestrian-friendly, but walking outside can get very uncomfortable in hot weather. If some attractions are close together, you can take transport to that area and then just walk between them.

What are the best months to visit Dubai?

The best time to visit Dubai is between November and March. The comfortable temperatures (70-90 F or 21-30 C) are perfect for the beach. This is also peak visitor season, as people flock to Dubai to escape the cold winter of the northern climates. In summer, temperatures can be sweltering with high humidity, so it’s best avoided if you want to get outdoors. If you visit during Ramadan, some places and attractions may be closed.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Dubai?

To see the glitz and glam Dubai is known for, head to Downtown Dubai, where you’ll find iconic landmarks like Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Fountain, the Dubai Mall, and a pocket of green space in Burj Park. If you want to enjoy luxurious shopping, hip cafes, and a chic beach vibe, head to Jumeirah, which has several public beaches. To see the older side of the city, head to Bur Dubai, one of the oldest neighborhoods, where you’ll find the Dubai Museum, traditional restaurants, and souks (markets).

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

The Dubai Marina has a huge variety of food options, from fine dining to bistros. It also has great waterfront views. For some of the best street food and inexpensive dishes, head to Bur Dubai. If you love Indian cuisine especially, don’t miss out on all the options in Bur Dubai.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Dubai has no shortage of shopping, especially as it’s home to the Dubai Mall, one of the biggest in the world. Home to hundreds of stores, tons of restaurants, an ice skating rink, a movie theater, and an aquarium, you can easily spend a day here and still not see it all. For a more market-like experience, head to the Spice Souk and Gold Souk. Awaken your senses as you walk through the bazaars filled with aromatic spices and dazzling jewelry.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Dubai?

If it’s your first time and you want to be in the heart of the city, stay in Downtown Dubai, where you’ll be close to shopping malls, restaurants, and nightlife. If you prefer a more beachy vacation, stay on the incredible man-made island Palm Jumeirah, home to several luxury resorts and and incredible waterpark.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Dubai?

If you are traveling with kids, Dubai has many family-friendly activities. Check out one of the three waterparks in the city for a day of fun splashing around. Another activity that kids love is sandboarding, which you can try on a desert safari. Head out to the desert on a tour and fly down the dunes on an exhilarating sandboard ride. It’s something your kids will remember long after the trip is over.

What is the best thing to do in Dubai for couples?

While in Dubai, don’t miss out on taking a trek into the desert with your partner. There are different tours, including going out in a 4x4, sandboarding, camel riding, overnight camping, or having a traditional dinner in the desert. Most tours and desert safaris combine a few of these activities into a half- or full-day trip from Dubai. If you want to stay in the city, book a sunset swimming slot at Aura Skypool, a 360-degree infinity pool with unbeatable views of the Dubai skyline and ocean. Enjoy drinks and snacks as you enjoy the incredible views.

What are the best annual events in Dubai?

In February, the Dubai International Jazz Festival rolls into town, where you can see concerts from a variety of international artists. In March, don’t miss the Taste of Dubai food festival, where top international and celebrity chefs cook, and you can sample the most popular local restaurants’ dishes at a fraction of the price it usually costs. In December, Dubai celebrates UAE’s National Day with festivals, cultural events, and a spectacular fireworks display.

What are the best beaches around Dubai?

JBR Beach is Dubai’s largest beach, with calm waters great for swimming and plenty of space to spread out on the white sand. There are bathroom facilities and shops and restaurants nearby. Black Palace Beach is more secluded and much less crowded, making for a relaxing and peaceful day, but no facilities are nearby. Sunset Beach is perfect for watching the sunset, as its name suggests. It has playgrounds and BBQ areas nearby, making it a perfect place to spend an evening.

Other Sightseeing Options in Dubai

Want to discover all there is to do in Dubai? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Dubai

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 292,892 reviews

Tahseen our guide was amazing, picked up from the hotel on time, explained the tour and what will be going on amazingly, was available for any questions, made the whole trip a pleasure from the 1 hour QuadBiking to sand boarding, to driving to the desert camp and explaining how the process at the camp will work .. would definitely recommend, and would definitely book again when I’m back in dubai

The experience was amazing! The dunes ride, the pictures, the event, music, and food were great! It’s a good value for the amount paid.

Everything was excellent. The guide ( sorry for not remembering his name ) , the dune bashing and photo taking.

ammar is a great driver, nice trip, very positive and funny guy! I highly recommend to everyone! Number one!

Customer service was lovely, and the ice lounge was nice to experience