36 Best Things to Do in Dubai| 2024 (with Photos)

James A. Smith

James A. Smith - Chief Editor

Published: July 14, 2023

Hey there! I'm James, and I've had an amazing time exploring Dubai. With my personal experience and love for this incredible city, I've curated a list of the top attractions and activities that are sure to make your trip unforgettable. Happy travels!

Unmissable Things to Do in Dubai

The Middle Eastern Emirate of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates has gained popularity as a travel destination in recent years.

There are several things to do in Dubai, from the city center to the far reaches of Old Dubai. You can visit towering skyscrapers like the Burj Khalifa, enjoy luxury hotels and dining experiences, and explore thrilling activities in Dubai.

Nothing is more fun than gazing at the Dubai skyline with a cocktail in hand and a luxurious Dubai hotel room waiting for you. 

In this post, we explore a long list of unmissable things to do in Dubai to help you start planning your trip.

Most Recommended Thing to Do

Burj Khalifa

Top Choice Hotel

Burj Al Arab

Our Top Choice Restaurant

Zuma

Our Top Choice Bar for Nightlife

White Dubai

Best Time to Visit

Mild winter, November to February. Avoid hot summers.

Average Temperature

Hot year-round, average temperature in Dubai is scorching.

Transportation Options

Metro, taxi, bus, tram, monorail, water taxi, rental cars.

Average Cost ($, $$, $$$)

$$

My Top Recommendation

Dubai, the vibrant city of the United Arab Emirates, offers an unforgettable blend of modernity and cultural heritage. Explore the magnificent Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and be mesmerized by the panoramic views of the city's skyline from the observation deck. Indulge in a traditional Emirati dinner at a desert camp, where you can savor delicious local cuisine, ride a camel, and witness captivating belly dance performances under the starlit sky.

Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of the Dubai Mall, home to over 1,200 shops, where you can shop for luxury brands, marvel at the aquatic wonders of the Dubai Aquarium, or skate on the ice rink. To escape the city's buzz, stroll along the tranquil Dubai Marina, with its picturesque waterfront lined with vibrant restaurants and breathtaking yachts. Dubai truly offers an array of experiences that will leave you with cherished memories of its extraordinary charm.

What You'll Need to Bring

  1. Valid Passport
  2. UAE Visa (if required)
  3. Comfortable walking shoes
  4. Lightweight and breathable clothing
  5. Sunscreen and sunglasses
  6. Adapter for electrical outlets
  7. Travel insurance
  8. Local currency (United Arab Emirates Dirham)
  9. A camera or smartphone for capturing memories
  10. Itinerary and maps to navigate the city.

What Not to Miss

  1. Burj Khalifa
  2. Dubai Mall
  3. Jumeirah Beach
  4. Palm Jumeirah
  5. Dubai Marina
  6. Dubai Creek
  7. The Dubai Fountain
  8. Dubai Gold Souk
  9. Sheikh Zayed Mosque
  10. Al Fahidi Historic District.

What to Avoid

  1. Avoid public display of affection.
  2. Avoid consuming alcohol in public places.
  3. Avoid wearing revealing or skimpy clothing in public.
  4. Avoid taking photographs of government buildings or military installations.
  5. Avoid using offensive language or gestures.
  6. Avoid eating or drinking in public during Ramadan daylight hours.
  7. Avoid engaging in any form of illegal activities.
  8. Avoid disrespectful behavior towards the local culture and traditions.
  9. Avoid engaging in public protests or demonstrations.
  10. Avoid littering or spitting in public places.

1. Discover Aquatic Animals at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

For everyone visiting Dubai, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is an exciting place to explore. This aquarium is located on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall.

Visitors can have a fascinating interaction with aquatic creatures, such as sharks and stingrays. An additional attraction is the underwater zoo, which houses a variety of marine life.

When you visit Dubai, be sure to include a visit to the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo in your plans.

For those looking for an alternative aquarium experience, the Lost Chambers Aquarium is also worth a visit.

2. Visit the Atlantis Hotel

Atlantis Hotel

One of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai is the Atlantis Hotel, also known as "Atlantis, The Palm".

You are guaranteed a memorable experience at this luxurious hotel and appreciate its magnificent architecture and outstanding facilities.

If it fits within your budget, staying at the Atlantis Hotel is a unique experience thanks to its lavish accommodations and upscale amenities.

A visit to the Atlantis Hotel is essential whether you're staying there or are just passing through Dubai. Visit Dubai to admire the beauty of Atlantis, The Palm.

3. Have an Epic Time in Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai

Anyone visiting Dubai should stop in Downtown Dubai. There are endless things to do in Downtown Dubai, but one of the most iconic experiences is taking a stroll down the streets to see the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa.

Downtown Dubai provides visitors with an unforgettable experience because of its breathtaking architecture and popular landmarks.

If you are visiting Dubai, take a trip to Downtown Dubai where you can enjoy the lively nightlife, shopping malls, and iconic landmarks in the city center.

4. The Palm Jumeirah Islands

Palm Jumeirah Islands

The Palm Jumeirah is a group of man-made islands in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the Persian Gulf.

Visiting Dubai would not be complete without taking in this man-made wonder's breathtaking magnificence.

The famed ship-shaped Burj Al Arab Hotel and the Dubai coastline are both visible from Palm Jumeirah.

The Palm Jumeirah provides both tourists and residents of Dubai with a wealth of activities thanks to its luxury resorts, outstanding dining options, and unique facilities.

The Palm Jumeirah is a place you should see when you visit Dubai; you will certainly be mesmerized by its beauty.

5. Visit the Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is a massive building complex located in Downtown Dubai and is considered one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. The Burj Khalifa is recognized for being the world's tallest building.

From its observation deck on the top floor, the skyscraper provides amazing views of the city and the Burj Al Arab, another widely known landmark in Dubai.

When visiting Dubai, seeing the Burj Khalifa is vital because it offers guests a singular and unforgettable experience.

It is a convincing illustration of Dubai's aspirations and engineering and architectural ingenuity.

6. Zipline Over the Dubai Marina

Zipline Over the Dubai Marina

Ziplining above the Dubai Marina is an attractive activity for thrill seekers.

You will soar over the artificial canal city known as Dubai Marina, which was constructed along the Persian Gulf, before landing at the Dubai Marina Mall.

The experience is a wonderful way to see Dubai from a different angle and offers beautiful views of the surroundings.

Another superb way to overcome your fear of heights while having an exhilarating experience is to zipline over the Dubai Marina.

Ziplining above the Dubai Marina should be high on your list of things to do in Dubai.

7. Aquaventure Waterpark

Aquaventure Waterpark

Anyone who loves adventures and water rides should visit the Aquaventure Waterpark.

A wide variety of exhilarating attractions and slides are available at this water park, including the popular Leap of Faith, a nearly vertical drop across a lagoon filled with sharks.

In addition to its exhilarating rides, the water park offers a tranquil lazy river and a clean private beach where guests may unwind and enjoy the sunshine.

Make your visit to Dubai remarkable by visiting Aquaventure Waterpark because it is definitely one of the top things to do in Dubai.

8. Visit The Ultra-Modern Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame

The 150-meter-tall Dubai Frame is a distinctive observatory museum that provides breathtaking views of Dubai's skyline.

The entire structure of this ultra-modern attraction, which is structured like a gigantic picture frame and features both Dubai's old and new sides, is built of steel and glass.

To get breathtaking views of the city's monuments, including the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain, visitors can ride an elevator to the top.

Anyone interested in experiencing the cutting-edge architecture and design that Dubai is renowned for should visit Dubai Frame.

9. Mall of the Emirates

 Mall of the Emirates

The Mall of the Emirates is one of the largest shopping malls in Dubai, attracting tourists and locals alike with its vast array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment options.

At the Mall of the Emirates, there is a bowling alley and an arcade called Magic Planet, where you can play games and escape the heat of the summer season in the Middle East.

The main attraction of this Dubai mall is Ski Dubai, the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East.

10. Stop by the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is among the places to visit in Dubai for a unique experience.

As one of the city's top attractions, it offers visitors the chance to learn about the ecosystem of the Dubai desert and the wildlife that inhabits it.

A camel ride through the reserve is a popular activity, allowing visitors to experience the traditional mode of transportation in the region.

Are you interested in nature or looking for an adventure? A trip to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve should be on your list of things to do in Dubai.

11. Illuminate the Night at Dubai Garden Glow

Dubai Garden Glow

A beautiful family-friendly destination in Dubai is Dubai Garden Glow, an illuminated garden.

Unique installations and displays abound in the gorgeously lit park, making it the ideal location for Instagram-worthy pictures.

Take a stroll through the illuminated garden, listen to live performances, and purchase some delectable treats from the food stands.

The Garden Glow is an essential attraction in Dubai if you're searching for a good time at night.

And if you enjoy parks, you'll be pleased to learn that the Dubai Garden Glow's beauty matches that of the parks in Abu Dhabi.

12. Spend the Day at LEGOLAND Dubai

Legoland Dubai Theme Park

LEGOLAND Dubai is a fun-filled amusement park for both kids and adults.

There are several options available, including shows, rides, and attractions like the Factory Adventure, the LEGO Technic Twister, and many others.

For those who prefer being in the water, you may raft and float down the lazy river, which is sure to be exciting and fun.

This park is the ideal location for families and friends wishing to make lasting memories while enjoying a fun-filled day out because of its colorful and lively ambiance.

13. Ain Dubai: the Dubai Eye

Ain Dubai: the Dubai Eye

The Ain Dubai (formerly known as Dubai Eye) is a popular tourist destination in Dubai that provides stunning views of the city.

As the world's tallest observation wheel, it provides visitors with stunning panoramas of Dubai Marina and iconic landmarks such as Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, and Palm Jumeirah.

Anyone visiting Dubai should ride the Dubai Eye; it's a fantastic opportunity to see the city from an entirely different perspective.

Furthermore, it is one of the many things to do in Dubai, and the experience is unmatched.

14. Watch the Dubai Fountain Show From a Water Taxi

Watch the Dubai Fountain Show From a Water Taxi

Taking a water taxi down Dubai Creek will allow you to experience the spectacular Dubai Fountain Show.

This mesmerizing production, which takes place on the Burj Khalifa Lake, showcases an exquisitely coordinated display of water, light, and music.

With water jets flying up to 150 meters high, the Dubai Fountain is the world's biggest choreographed fountain system.

As you ride the water taxi and take in the scenery of the surrounding city, be in awe of this beautiful spectacle. You could also watch the Dubai Fountain show while on a yacht tour.

Don't pass up the opportunity to view the Dubai Fountain Show from a water taxi because it is a special and unforgettable moment.

15. Visit the Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque

A famous landmark that you should see in Dubai is the Jumeirah Mosque. The mosque, which is a stunning example of Islamic architecture, is situated in Dubai's affluent Jumeirah district.

Since it is the only mosque in Dubai that is accessible to non-Muslims, it presents a special opportunity for tourists to get knowledge of Islam and its venerated structures.

The Jumeirah Mosque is stunning with its fine carvings, gorgeous minarets, and serene ambiance.

The Jumeirah Mosque is an excellent place to start if you're interested in learning more about Islamic architecture and buildings in the Middle East.

16. Dine at the Burj Al Arab Hotel

Dine at the Burj Al Arab Hotel

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is renowned for its luxury and offers an unforgettable dining experience.

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is 200 meters above the Persian Gulf. The Burj Al Arab Hotel boasts stunning views of other Dubai attractions, including the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.

Dining at Burj Al Arab is a memorable experience. There are other luxury hotels in Dubai to dine at, such as Atlantis Hotel or Atlantis, The Palm; however, Burj Al Arab is an exceptional destination to indulge in world-class cuisine.

The Burj Al Arab Hotel is conveniently located in the city center, making it easy to access.

17. Go Shopping at Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

Everybody will find something they like at the Dubai Mall. It features several shops, a movie theater, an indoor theme park, and an aquarium. The Dubai Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world.

Additionally, it is close to the famous Burj Khalifa and is situated in the city center. Whatever item you are looking for, it will definitely be in the Dubai Mall.

In addition to its stores and other attractions, there are many dining options available, from quick food to more expensive dining.

18. Visit Motiongate Dubai and Bollywood Parks

Motiongate Dubai

Dubai is home to the popular theme park Motiongate Dubai. The park features thematic elements from DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures, and Lionsgate.

Furthermore, Motiongate Dubai offers visitors rides on roller coasters and interactive experiences based on their favorite movies.

Alternatively, if you enjoy Bollywood films, you should also visit the Bollywood Parks, which offer rides and other attractions modeled by the exciting Indian film industry.

Both theme parks in Dubai provide visitors with a thrilling and immersive experience for movie fans, making them an essential stop-by for anyone searching for an action-packed day out.

19. Take a Helicopter Flight Over the City

Helicopter Flight Over the City

A fantastic way to explore Dubai's most famous sites is to take a helicopter ride over the city.

This tour allows you to fly over the picturesque Palm Jumeirah islands, take in the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab hotel, marvel at the turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf, and see other attractions in the city center.

The 15-minute helicopter ride will take you on a scenic route that showcases the beauty of Dubai's architecture and coastline.

For those seeking an exciting way to tour the city and receive a bird's eye view of its most popular attractions, a helicopter tour is the answer.

20. Take Amazing Photos at the Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden

A breathtaking location to visit for both nature lovers and photographers is the Dubai Miracle Garden. A variety of flowers are arranged in beautiful patterns and arrangements in this garden.

The brilliant colors and exquisite arrangements provide some excellent images as you explore different themed gardens.

The heart-shaped walkway, the floral clock, and the Emirates A380 airliner draped in flowers are a few favorite photo locations.

One of the best things to do in Dubai is undoubtedly a trip to the Miracle Garden.

21. Cruise Dubai Creek on a Dhow

Cruise Dubai Creek on a Dhow

When in the city center, take a Dhow cruise along Dubai Creek. Conducted in conventional Dhow vessels, this is a traditional and cultural activity in Dubai.

A cruise on Dubai Creek is among the most popular things to do in Dubai. You'll go through the quaint Old Dubai neighborhood of Bur Dubai, where you can see classic structures and get a feel for the local life.

If you want a more personal tour of the creek, you can opt for a yacht tour of Dubai Creek, which is also available. 

A tour of Dubai Creek, especially at sunset, will allow you to see the water dance and glisten under the radiance of the sun.

22. Take a Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

Yas Island Waterpark

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the UAE, and it offers a unique mix of modern and traditional experiences.

Some of the attractions to see in the city center when you visit Abu Dhabi are the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Ferrari World theme park, the Yas Island Waterpark, and the Emirates Palace Hotel.

Additionally, you can go on a camel ride in the desert or go on a sunset cruise on a traditional dhow. If you're looking for a day trip from Dubai, Abu Dhabi is another perfect getaway destination in the UAE.

23. Visit Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is a unique attraction in the heart of the desert city of Dubai. As the first indoor ski resort and snow park in the Middle East, it provides all tourists with an outstanding experience.

Ski Dubai provides tourists with a distinctive experience with its five slopes of varied difficulty, a snow park, and a penguin encounter.

In addition, you can participate, such as tobogganing, zip lining, and other snow-based activities alongside skiing and snowboarding.

Ski Dubai provides a great getaway from the Dubai heat under the ambiance of a snow-covered Alpine village.

24. Take a Day Trip to Ferrari World, Home of a Record-Breaking Roller Coaster

Ferrari World Roller Coaster

In Abu Dhabi, close to Dubai, is the exciting indoor theme park called Ferrari World. It is the location of the Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world, which can reach 240 km/h in just five seconds.

A variety of attractions are available at the park, such as driving simulators, a collection of classic and contemporary Ferraris, and interactive exhibits.

In addition to dining and shopping, the park features eateries with an Italian flavor. If you are seeking thrilling rides, visit Ferrari World - you will be glad that you did.

25. Soar Above the Desert in a Hot Air Balloon

Hot Air Balloon

A memorable adventure that offers amazing views of the vast sandy terrain from a unique vantage point is hot air ballooning over the Dubai desert.

It is a fantastic way to take in the peace and expanse of the desert while also getting an up-close view of the sunrise.

After the journey, tourists can have a camel ride, a classic desert activity that lets them experience the region's surroundings.

Combining a hot air balloon trip with a camel ride is an immersive way to experience the splendor of the Dubai desert.

26. Explore the Different Water Sports to Do at Kite Beach

Kite Beach is one of the most popular destinations for water sports fans in Dubai. It provides a variety of sports, including kiteboarding, wakeboarding, paddleboarding, and kayaking, and is situated along the shore.

Additionally, the beach has top-notch amenities like dining options, restrooms, and showers. With kiteboarding training offered by qualified teachers, it's a great place for all skill levels.

Near this beach on the Dubai coastline is Palm Jumeirah, where you can also try jet skiing, flyboarding, and other activities.

27. Go Camel Riding in the Dubai Desert

Camel Riding in the Dubai Desert

In Dubai, riding a camel is a popular activity. A camel ride in the desert of Dubai offers an unforgettable glimpse into the culture and history of the Emirati people.

As you ride the camel and discover the significance of the animal in the history of the region, enjoy the breathtaking desert vistas.

Camels have been an integral part of the Emirati way of life for years and are still the preferred mode of transportation in the desert.

You can pick the tour company that best meets your preferences and price range among those that provide guided camel rides in the desert.

28. Take a Day Trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

Day Trip to Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

One of Abu Dhabi's finest mosques is the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. It is the biggest mosque in the UAE.

From Dubai, travelers can take a day excursion to view the mosque and learn about its significance and history. Visitors who are not Muslims are welcome and are given the proper attire for the visit.

The mosque's unique architecture and fine detailing, including its 82 domes, four minarets, and exquisite floral patterns on the walls and floors, are a sight to behold.

The magnificent mosque is the ideal setting for absorbing the serenity and beauty of Islamic culture.

29. Habtoor Grand Resort

Habtoor Grand Resort

The Habtoor Grand Resort is a luxurious hotel situated on the stunning Persian Gulf.

This 5-star resort has a private beach for guests to relax and unwind, and it's within walking distance of the Dubai Marina and Jumeirah mosque.

The location is perfect for those looking to explore the city center of Dubai, as it's conveniently located near major attractions.

Furthermore, the resort offers a wide range of amenities and services, including several on-site restaurants, a pool, and a fitness center.

Check into the Habtoor Grand Resort for a luxurious stay in Dubai.

30. Visit the Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum

The Dubai Museum is a fantastic location to learn about the rich history and culture of the city.

Dubai Museum is located in the Al Fahidi Fort in Old Dubai and gives guests a look into Dubai's past.

The Dubai Museum features a number of galleries, including ones with displays of ancient weapons, traditional Emirati life, and the history of pearl digging.

Anyone interested in the culture of the city should definitely pay this Old Dubai museum a visit because it is a great way to learn about Dubai's history as well as its ongoing growth.

31. Go to Deep Dive Dubai

Deep Dive Dubai

Deep Dive Dubai is the world's deepest pool, located in Dubai. It is a spectacular underwater attraction that provides adventurers and divers with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The pool contains an incredible 14 million liters of water and comprises underwater habitats and subterranean caves.

The pool is the ideal location for divers of all levels because it provides a variety of diving activities, including recreational, technical, and free diving.

32. Visit The Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Souk Madinat Jumeirah offers a distinctive dining and shopping experience that is modeled like traditional Arabian markets.

The souk offers an insight into Dubai's historical culture with its gorgeous architecture and complex features.

A large variety of stores selling traditional handicrafts, jewelry, and clothing are available for visitors to peruse.

They can also eat at one of the many restaurants while admiring the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel.

Lastly, the souk is an essential stop because it provides traditional Arabian entertainment and cultural events.

33. Visit the Gold Souk and Spice Souk

Spice Souk

The Gold Souk is a widely recognized market in Dubai that draws both gold connoisseurs and curious tourists. It is said that a lot of the world's gold passes through the Gold Souk.

A variety of gold jewelry, in both traditional and modern styles, is available to visitors.

The Spice Souk is a popular souk close by where visitors may find and buy a variety of fragrant and rare spices.

When visited together, these souks provide a distinctive and lively shopping experience that is unmissable in Dubai.

34. Visit the Etihad Museum

Etihad Museum

The UAE's road toward independence is commemorated at the Etihad Museum, an important site in Dubai.

For those who enjoy history and are curious about the constitution of the UAE, it is a must-see attraction. The museum immerses visitors in the subject matter with interactive displays, images, and artifacts.

35. Check out the Global Village

Dubai Global Village

Then, you can proceed to the Global Village in Dubai for some fun. The Global Village is a place of culture and entertainment where food, shopping, and performances can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages.

The Global Village is essentially a theme park, and it is very popular among families with children. This attraction is open from late October to mid-April.

36. Bur Dubai

Grand Mosque

Bur Dubai is a historical neighborhood on the west side of Dubai Creek. The Dubai Museum, Dubai Garden Glow, and the Dubai Frame are just a few of the nearby sights visitors can explore.

Bur Dubai is also home to a number of bustling souks, such as the textile, spice, and gold souks, where tourists may buy trinkets and regional goods.

Anyone who wants to fully experience Dubai's rich history and culture should head to Bur Dubai.

FAQs About Things to Do in Dubai

Below are answers to some frequently asked questions about things to do in Dubai.

What should you not miss in Dubai?

You should not miss visiting iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, exploring the Etihad Museum, shopping at the world's largest shopping mall (Dubai Mall), and experiencing the world's largest waterpark (Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark). If you love marine life, check out the Dubai Dolphinarium as well.

What should tourists do in Dubai?

There are so many things to do in Dubai for tourists, such as the Lost Chambers Aquarium, Al Fahidi Fort, Arabian Desert tours, and scuba diving at Deep Dive Dubai. Beach lovers will also want to check out Kite Beach, while thrill-seekers might want to ride ATVs in the Arabian Desert.

What are some ideas for things to do in Dubai?

Some ideas for things to do in Dubai include a trip to Skydive Dubai, Wadi Wadi Water Park, or a day at the camel races to experience some Middle Eastern culture. You should also wander around the souks. Dubai is famous for the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk, as well as the Burj Khalifa and the zipline from the Jumeirah Beach Residence to Dubai Marina.

What are 3 things Dubai is known for?

Dubai is known for three main things: the record-breaking structure of the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and the Burj Al Arab.

Summing it up: Best Things to Do in Dubai

Dubai, a city in the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East, provides tourists with an unmatched variety of experiences.

It's no surprise that lots of tourists visit Dubai yearly to see the Dubai skyline, Dubai's world's tallest building, and desert dunes.

Irrespective of your interest, Dubai's got you covered; you can learn about Dubai's history, visit the shopping malls, and simply relax on the sand dunes. Visiting Dubai is an experience that you will never forget.

So why not plan your visit to Dubai today and experience some of the 36 unmissable things to do in Dubai?

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