Best things to do in Dubai
Only 80 years ago, people might have asked, “Dubai? Where is it? ”Not anymore. The glittering city on the southeastern coast of the Persian Gulf has come a long way from its humble beginnings as a desert city to become a world-renowned hub with incredible riches, towering buildings, man-made and natural islands and lots of gold. Yes, all that glitters in Dubai is gold, including ATMs that dispense gold coins and bars instead of cash But only a few kilometers away, the desert is still there in all its splendor.
What I love so much about Dubai that keeps me coming back again and again is the contrast and the many possibilities this place offers. From shopping and sightseeing to adventures and indoor skiing, these things to do in dubai will ensure a wide variety of fun and entertainment. Then, leave the glitz and glamor behind for a while and venture out into the wilderness on one of the many tours on offer. One of the best is a tour that combines camel riding, falconry and sandboarding. You will never be bored in Dubai. Follow me to make your pick of the best things to do.
1. The ascent of the sky at Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is possibly Dubai’s most famous landmark. At 2,720 feet, it is the tallest building in the world and has a very distinctive design. Soar into the sky as you ascend to the 124th and 125th floors for breathtaking views of the city. Better yet, meet at the Sky Lounge and Observation Deck on the 148th floor. You need tickets to visit, so buy your Burj Khalifa Tickets here to avoid the long lines.
2. Get up close and personal with the fish in Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Water plays a big role in many things to do in Dubai. The Dubai Aquarium has a huge tank that holds 2,641,721 gallons of water and is home to 30,000 species of fish. You can walk around and watch, but for an added thrill you can dive with the sharks in a cage or just put on an oxygen helmet and dive into the water. There is of course a monitor that will film you if you wish, and you can purchase the card for a lasting memory.
3. Ride a hot air balloon over the desert
There is hardly a more fascinating sight than drifting silently in a hot air balloon above the vast orange desert at sunrise. The ride includes transport and breakfast at a desert camp, and you may even spot camels and gazelles.
4. Discover the past in the Al Fahidi district
Discover what life was like before the Emirates were formed in 1971. A maze of alleys is lined with traditional buildings made of stone, palm wood, gypsum and teak. You have the impression of being in an isolated village. Not a skyscraper in sight! The district of Al fahidi is located in Dubai Creek and hosts seasonal cultural events.
5. Take a tour of Palm Jumeira in a speedboat
You can’t miss a view of the Dubai skyline from the water, and one exciting way to do it is by taking a speedboat ride. Departing from the marina, the boat, with an English-speaking guide and safety equipment, takes you around the world’s most iconic man-made islands, Palm Jumeira, with the Burj Al Arab and other landmarks in the distance.
6. Eat your way on a Dubai food tour
With all the activities awaiting you in Dubai, you must not forget to pamper your taste buds. There’s no better way to sample delicious Middle Eastern cuisine than on foot on an approximately 4-hour tour led by a local insider who knows all the best places and many stories. Don’t forget to try ouzi, the national dish of the United Arab Emirates. It is simmered lamb served with nuts and raisins over rice.
7. Shop till you drop in Dubai Mall
Still the largest shopping center in the world, the dubai mall the city center has more than 1,300 points of sale and 300 restaurants and cafes. The stores mainly sell luxury brands, and there are branches of Galeries Lafayette and Bloomingdale’s. Air conditioning makes a nice change from the heat outside, and if you still feel like cooling off further, there’s an Olympic-sized ice rink as well.
8. Hang Tight And Fly Xline Dubai Marina
Another thrill and adventure is flying over one of the longest, steepest, and fastest urban ziplines in the world. Helmet and harness slipped on and belly down, discover the panorama of Dubai that can now be seen from a bird’s eye view. XLine starts at the marina, but there is another one called XLine Dubai Fountain which is a bit shorter and slower, but just as exciting. It starts in front of the Burj Khalifa. The fountain is the largest in the world and several water shows are scheduled each day.
9. Explore Dubai Creek
The cove is a saltwater inlet that divides Dubai into two halves: the Deira and the Bur Dubai. They are connected by several bridges, the oldest being the Al Maktoum Bridge. Many important hotels and banks line the banks of the creek, as do cafes. It is a pleasure to walk the cove (provided the temperature is not too high) and visit Zabeel Park and the famous Dubai Frame, a massive picture frame shaped structure that is actually a bridge with a glass bottom floor. On the Deira side of the cove you will find the Gold and Spice Souk in case you want to do more shopping.
10. Take the best selfies at Miracle Garden
that of Dubai Garden of miracles has to be one of the most photogenic places in town. Imagine the color and scent of 50 million flowers and 250 million plants, all arranged to form giant natural sculptures. It is the largest natural garden in the world. There are buildings, a heart-shaped tunnel of love and even an entire Emirates Boeing made of flowers. You can spend hours there.
11. Enjoy culture from around the world at Global Village
A mix of entertainment, education, shopping, shows and an amusement park, Global village, located on the outskirts of Dubai, is a place that will appeal to the whole family. 78 cultures from around the world are represented in presentations and country pavilions. See the pyramids, the Kremlin, and more while mingling with tourists and locals.
12. Bash The Dunes on an Evening Safari
Hope you have already seen the sunrise on your hot air balloon flight; now you can see a beautiful sunset over the desert on a 4 × 4 night tour. But it gets more exciting on this tour than just watching the sun set over the dunes. In fact, you can crush them at full speed, and then you can enjoy local dance performances and a sumptuous dinner.
13. Take a day trip to Al Ain
If you want to venture further into the desert and are more interested in history than the dunes, take a day trip to the ancient city of Al Ain. You will have the opportunity to see the Sheik Zayed Palace Museum, the Old Fort, the Al Ain Oasis and a colorful camel market. Jebel Hafeet is a nearby mountain that rises from the desert.
14. Sniff the air at the Al Shindagha Museum Perfume House
If you only visit one museum, why not the one dedicated to the centuries-old tradition of Arab perfumery? Located at Dubai Creek, the Al Shindaga The museum takes you on a journey to explore and understand the art of perfume making, especially local scents like oud, saffron, and roses. You can see the techniques used and also learn about the region’s perfume trade routes. It is, literally, a sweet experience.
15. Be a kid again at Legoland
Despite the marketing claiming that it is an attraction for children aged 2 to 12, Legoland Dubai is a ton of fun for the whole family. You can play all day on 60 interactive Lego-themed rides, a water park, and run among 15,000 Lego sculptures. If you can sense the architect inside you, you can buy building materials on the way out.
16. Riding in the snow at Ski Dubai
Yes, you can ski and play in the snow in Dubai! Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort located in the Mall of the Emirates. It consists of an artificial mountain with 5 slopes. Ski lifts take skiers. Next to it is a snow playground for snowboarding or just snowballing. You don’t need to bring any equipment; skis and jackets are provided with your ticket. They also have penguins that are released from their enclosure several times a day.
17. Be respectful at Jumeira Mosque
The beautiful Jumeira Mosque located on Jumeira Beach Road is the only mosque that allows non-Muslim visitors every day of the week except Friday. Entirely carved in white stone in the medieval Fatimid style, the mosque is a much appreciated monument. Guides are available for explanations. Remember to respect the dress code and be sure to take off your shoes. If you are not fully covered, appropriate clothing for both sexes is provided at the entrance. It goes without saying that you should not disturb or take pictures of people who worship.