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Best things to do in Dubai

Dubai is known for its luxury, modern architecture, Burj Khalifa, and the world’s most luxurious hotel Burj Al Arab.

The city develops really fast, and there are so many impressive things to do in Dubai.

What to do in Dubai?

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1.  Dubai Mall & Lake Burj Dubai below the Burj Khalifa

The Dubai Mall was the first stop on my sightseeing tour.

I think you can spend already three days only exploring the mall and its surrounding. It is huge, based on the total area, even the largest one in the world.

Inside the mall is the world’s largest aquarium, an ice rink, more than 1.200 shops, an indoor theme park, and much more.

What To Do In Dubai
©JandaliPhoto via

2. Observation Deck Burj Khalifa

Enjoy unforgettable views over Dubai from the observation deck of the iconic record-breaking Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Handy hint: It is cheaper to reserve the tickets to the Burj Khalif Observation Deck in advance. You can collect them at the Prepaid Ticket Counter by Dubai Malls.

Click here for tour prices or to make a booking.

3. Sunbath at Sunset beach

Top Things To Do In Dubai
Sunbathing at sunset beach is one of the fun things to do in Dubai.

Sunset beach is located next to the famous, world’s most luxurious hotel Burj Al Arab – probably one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.

Sunset Beach is one of Dubai’s most beautiful beaches and a great place if you want to escape from city life or need some time to process all the new impressions.

Tip: The Burj Al Arab and all its facilities are only for guests staying at the hotel.

If you still want to experience the world’s most luxurious hotel, you can visit the Sky View Bar or experience Burj Al Arab’s signature Culinary Flight dining experience at your choice of lunch or dinner.

Click here for more information about the Dining experience at Burj Al Arab and/ or to make a booking.

4. Places to visit in Dubai – Dubai Marina

The Marina is without doubts a special place and a Must-See when you are in Dubai.

Along the water promenade, there are many nice restaurants with fair prices. I ordered lunch with dessert and a drink and paid about USD25.

What To Do In Dubai In One Day
Marina Bay is one of the Dubai points of interest.
What To Do In Dubai In One Day

5. A taste of old Dubai – Abra water taxis across the Creek

You should not miss a tour with the Abra water taxis across the Creek.

The crossing takes about 4 minutes and costs 1AED (about $0.3). On the other side, you can visit the old souks (markets).

6. Visit the old Souks (markets)

What To Do In Dubai In One Day

6. Cruise along the Dubai Creek

Join a dinner cruise along the Dubai Creek and enjoy dance demonstrations, a 5-star buffet, and the amazing view of Dubai from the water.

7. Dubai Fountain – Water & Light Show at Burj Khalifa Lake

The Dubai Fountain is the largest water fountain in the world and takes place every evening from 6 pm in a half-hour rhythm.

The last show starts at 11 pm.

8. Mall of Emirates

The Mall of Emirates is one of the largest and latest malls in Dubai.

Ski Dubai

The Mall of Emirates hosts the first snow park in the Middle East and the largest one in the world.

9. Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Visit Al Fahidi to get to know old Dubai.

Other interesting places are the Heritage House, the Al-Ahmadiya School, the Heritage & Diving Village, the house of Sheik Saeed Al-Maktoum, and the Dubai Museum in the old fortress Bur Dubai.

10. Visit Palm Jumeirah

The beaches on the artificial island Palm Jumeirah are the most beautiful ones in Dubai.

If you are not staying at one of the luxury hotels in Palm Jumeirah, you can buy a day pass with access to the hotel facilities and the beach.

11. Aquaventure Waterpark

Aquaventure Waterpark on Atlantis The Palm offers thrill-seeking rides and over 700 meters of beach.

You have probably seen photos of people sliding through a water tunnel while sharks and stingrays swim above.

Another great water park in Dubai is Wild Wadi Waterpark which is located next to Burj Al Arab Hotel.

12. Jumeirah Mosque

The Jumeirah Mosque is one of the cultural things to see in Dubai.

The mosque’s construction started in 1976 and is nowadays said to be the most photographed mosque in the city.

13. More Dubai Tours

  • Go on a Desert Safari

Go on a Red Dune Jeep Safari through the Arabian desert with BBQ, Sandboarding & Camel Ride.

Click here for tour prices and/ or to make a booking.

  • Make a day trip to Abu Dhabi

Dubai and Abu Dhabi are only 140 km apart.

Click here for tour prices and/ or to make a booking.

  • 15. Dubai Helicopter Tour

Are you looking for crazy things to do in Dubai?

Take a Helicopter Flight!

Board a luxury helicopter and fly over Atlantis The Palm, Burj Al Arab and fly along the Persian Gulf coast.

Click here for tour prices and/ or to make a booking.

The tickets include not only the bus ride but also the entrance to many sights.

You can choose between 24 hours, 48 hours, and 7 days tickets.

Click here for tour prices or to make a booking.

FAQ about Dubai

Where is Dubai located?

Dubai is the largest city in the United Arab Emirates and is located on the southeast coast of the Persian Gulf. The UAE is bordering Oman and Saudi Arabia.

Is Dubai a country?

No, Dubai is not a country. It is an emirate/ state.

So what country is Dubai city in then? 

Dubai is one of the states of the United Arab Emirates.

Okay, and how many Emirates make up the United Arab Emirates.

The United  Arab Emirates consists of seven Emirates.

The 7 UAE states are Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Ras al Khaimah and umm al quwain.

What does Emirates mean?

The word emirates come from emir and -ate. It means “rule or territory of an emir” (Source: Dictionary).

And what is the capital of UAE?

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Read here how to get between Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

What continent is UAE in?

The United Arab Emirates is located in the Middle East and belongs to the Asian continent.

What language is spoken in Dubai?

The official language of The United Arab Emirates and Dubai is Arabic.

Most people in Dubai, however, speak English.

Due to the many ex-pats in the city, you will also find many people speaking Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Tamil, Tagalog, Persian, Chinese, or Malayalam.

How to get around in Dubai?

The cheapest way to get around in Dubai is by metro. A day ticket costs about $6.50, and you can get it almost everywhere.

However, to some places like Sunset Beach, you need to take a cab, which is cheap in Dubai.

Some useful vocabularies

Hello – As-salám aléikum

Good evening –  Masá al-chéir

Goodbye – Ma’a-s-saláma

You’re welcome – Áfwan

Please – Min fádlak

Thank you – shókran

Yes – Na’ám

No – La

I don’t understand – Ma’fahémt

This article is now available as a mobile app. Go to GPSmyCity to download the app for GPS-assisted travel directions to the attractions featured in this article.

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Best Things To Do In Dubai
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Wednesday 2nd of October 2019

Awesome i spent my days in Dubai i usually enjoyed view of sunrise Dubai its so peaceful.

Hina Ashraf

Tuesday 26th of March 2019

Hi Tim,

It's old, but still a really helpful post especially for the first time travelers. BTW, I'm Hina and living in Dubai since 2015. Love your blog especially the way that you are sharing cool information is awesome. Thanks for sharing


Tuesday 24th of March 2015

Awesome! I have a day in Dubai starting in a week on my trip around the world! I'm Tweeting this post as well. Cheers fellow traveler!


Friday 27th of March 2015

Thank you Rachel. I am sure you'll like Dubai :) My favorite place is the water promenade at Marina. Enjoy your travels around the world and maybe our paths cross one day :) Tim