What to do in Dubai
Dubai prides itself on the vast array of things to do, see and experience in the city – and beyond. There is the cultural side, where you can seek out historic Dubai and wander through the ancient souks, or delve into the traditions and origins of Emirati culture and explore some of the world-class galleries, libraries or museums. Then, there’s everything else, from wild theme park rides and adventure sports to decadent day spas, boutique shopping and exquisite dining. Dubai’s attractions will keep you very, very entertained.
Our top 10 Dubai attractions
1. Burj Khalifa:
Famous for being the tallest building in the world, this architectural masterpiece soars 828 metres into the sky and has an incredible 163 floors. Don’t miss the ‘At the Top’ SKY Experience, where those with a head for heights are transported 555 metres upwards to the world’s highest outdoor observation deck. There are also viewing decks on levels 124 and 125, which provide amazing 360-degree vistas of the city and surrounding desert and ocean.
2. Dubai Desert Safari:
An experience not to be missed, take a thrilling 4x4 journey across sand dunes and into the stunning Dubai Desert. See incredible sunsets, ride a camel and be entertained by belly dancers and traditional musicians while savouring a delicious Middle Eastern feast under the stars at a Bedouin-style camp.
3. Dubai Museum:
Inhabiting Dubai’s oldest surviving building, the Al Fahidi Fort, a striking citadel built in 1799, the museum houses a series of galleries and collections which showcase the city’s remarkable history and transition from humble trading port to ultra-modern metropolis.
4. Jumeirah Mosque:
This stunning religious landmark is a beautiful example of modern Islamic architecture and is the only mosque in the city open to non-Muslims. The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding hosts tours of the mosque 6 days a week as part of its Open Doors. Open Mind program. Featuring a huge sandstone dome and intricate minarets, the mosque is also floodlit at night, making it even more photo worthy.
5. IMG Worlds of Adventure:
Calling itself the ‘world’s biggest theme park’, IMG Worlds of Adventure is not one but four epic adventure zones in one. From thrilling roller coasters and encounters with MARVEL Super Heroes to a 12-screen state-of-the-art cinema and huge choice of dining venues, this is set to become a family favourite.
6. Burj Al Arab:
One of Dubai’s most recognisable landmarks, this uber-luxurious hotel stands like a billowing sail on its own man-made private island. Here opulence knows no bounds with helicopter transfers, private butler service and even 24-carat gold ipads available to guests. Those not staying at the hotel can still dine at any of the award-winning restaurants, savour a decadent high tea in the atrium lounge or enjoy a cocktail in the stunning Skyview Bar, perched 200 metres above sea level.
7. Al Fahidi historic district:
Escape the thrum of the city in this beautifully restored historic neighbourhood, where the traditional style of life that was prevalent in Dubai from the mid 19th century has been preserved. Wander the alleyways, pathways and public squares to get a feeling for what Dubai was like in days gone by.
8. Palm Jumeirah:
Another one of Dubai’s man-made wonders, this artificial archipelago, built to resemble a palm, is best appreciated from above where it appears to ‘grow’ out of the coastline. Extending into the Arabian Gulf, the island is home to thousands of private villas and apartments, a monorail and a plethora of luxury hotels, including the fabulously lavish Atlantis, The Palm.
9. Downtown Dubai:
For several things to do in one location, head to Downtown Dubai. This popular district surrounds the iconic Burj Khalifa and includes Dubai Mall (which includes an Olympic-sized ice rink) and the mesmerizing Dubai Fountain, which can spectacularly shoot water 150 metres into the air.
10. Madinat Jumeirah:
Spanning over 40 hectares, this spectacular resort is a fantasy recreation of old Arabia. Two of its main draw cards include the Souk Madinat Jumeirah, a myriad of alleyways bursting with cafes, restaurants, boutique shops and galleries and the 3 kilometres of meandering waterways which can be explored on a traditional abra.