Whether you’re in Dubai to experience its unmatched dazzle or want to experience the timeless Arabian hospitality and heritage, there is a Dubai activity or tour that is certain to appeal you. So, don’t delay; apply for your Dubai visa (not applicable to GCC nationals and people traveling from 30 plus countries), pack your bags, and of course, choose from these nine activities to make the most of your Dubai visit.
1. Scope out the city’s best sights on a comprehensive sightseeing tour
With numerous things to see and experience in Dubai, the wisest option is to book a comprehensive city tour arranged by an expert travel company. With all your travel program and logistics well taken care of, it promises you a unperturbedly closer look at some of Dubai’s most iconic structures and bustling neighborhoods. This ranges from the distinguished Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, The Palm Resort, Jumeirah Mosque and Madinat Jumeirah to the stunning architectural treasures across Sheik Zayed Road, Dubai Marina, and Downtown Dubai. You can also take a hop on hop off bus tour or consider an upgrade of city tour by adding entry ticket to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Global Village etc.
2. Experience the unequalled glitz and glamour of Dubai in a whole new way at Burj KhalifaCredit: Rayna Travelogue
Opened in 2010, Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai is the world’s tallest man-made structure. Unsurprisingly, its observation decks on 124th, 125th and 148th levels are among the must-experiences for spellbinding 360 degree views of cityscape and coastline. Your Burj Khalifa experience kicks off with a high-speed elevator ride which transports you to your preferred viewing platform in less than a minute. Dependent on your Burj Khalifa pass, you’ll be able to delight in the up-close views of top Dubai landmarks, step out to the towering 555-meter high observation terrace, and relish the choicest refreshments at Sky Lounge, among others.
3. Discover Dubai’s cultural treasures
Take a break from Dubai’s glamorous sights to discover the city’s wealth of cultural sights. Visit Dubai Museum housed inside the 18th century Al Fahidi Fort; it gives you a deep insight into the ancient Emirati lifestyle and traditions. You can further enjoy a walking tour of Bastaqiya Quarter. With traditional-style mansions and structures containing wind towers, this old neighborhood used to be home to wealthy Persian merchants during 19th century.
Another must-visit to experience the city’s intriguing history is Dubai Creek – the saltwater estuary which divides the city into two: Bur Dubai and Deira. Apart from these, there are many attractions which give you a slice of Dubai’s fascinating culture and heritage, mainly Heritage and Diving Village and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding.
4. Shop Till You Drop at Malls and Souks
Shopping enthusiasts will certainly be spoilt for choices while in Dubai. From the grandeur and style of malls including Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates and Ibn Battuta Mall to the extraordinary charm of traditional souks such as Gold Souk, Textile Souk, and Carpet Souk, Dubai’s concentration of shopping options is incredibly consummate. With a shopping expert, take a personalized tour to browse through the city’s best shopping centers. Not only does it allow you to pick one-off souvenirs, mix your own perfume, and shop premium chocolates but also explore the high-end in apparel and jewellery designs.
5. Squeeze in some Hollywood and Bollywood Fun
Encompassing a lot of cool attractions and experiences, Dubai Parks and Resort is the ultimate venue for movie buffs, fun lovers, and adventurists alike. Buy a flexible multi-attraction Dubai Parks and Resort pass valid for one or two days. From the action-packed Hollywood-themed Motiongate Dubai to the colourful Hindi-movie based shows and rides at Bollywood Parks Dubai to the extraordinary kid-specific attractions within LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park, this allows you to take in all of its three legendary theme parks plus a water park.
6. Take a Desert Safari
Away from the crowd and pizzazz of the city center, Dubai’s serenely stunning desert landscape is a delightful respite for those looking to indulge in unforgettable fun and adventure based activities. Go on a Desert Safari Dubai to marvel at the unparalleled allure of desert dunes. Enjoy an electrifying dune bash aboard a powerful 4X4 vehicle and participate in many Bedouin-inspired activities such as henna tattooing, camel ride, Shisha smoking etc. Moreover, treat yourself with a lavish BBQ dinner and spectacle classic Tanura show as part of your once-in-a-lifetime desert adventure.
7. Enjoy a romantic cruise along Dubai Canal
Step onboard a traditional Arabian dhow to wind your way through the modern heart of Dubai! Cruise down the impressive six-kilometer long Dubai Canal on this approximately two-hour sail and take in the resplendent skyline along Business Bay and Sheik Zayed Road from a whole new light. Delight in the unbeatable views as you pass under the Dubai Canal Waterfall Bridge and drift past the dramatic Dubai landmarks. Besides enjoying fabulous views, you can savour great food and traditional entertainment aboard.
8. See Old and New Dubai through the world’s biggest picture frame
The sky-high vantage point at the recently opened Dubai Frame is probably the only spot from where you can absorb the views of both old and new Dubai. Boasting a transparent glass walkway at a great height of 150 meters, Dubai Frame is one-of-its-kind not just for its unparalleled vistas, but mainly for its extraordinary structure that spectacularly resembles a giant picture frame.
9. Watch the latest masterpiece show by the renowned Belgian creative director, Franco Dragone
If you wish to experience something distinctly refreshing during your Dubai trip, be sure not to miss La Perle by Dragone - the region’s first resident show. The groundbreaking show is conducted in an aqua stage at the purpose-built theater within Al Habtoor City. Featuring a cast of over 65 brilliant performers and incorporating several fantastic aerial acrobatics, daring stunts and avant-garde special effects, this magical show is definite to leave you in awe.
That’s not all; there are still plenty of tours and activities which you can enjoy during your holidays, from checking out Dubai’s latest attractions like Dubai Safari Park to visiting many attractions that are ideal for all age groups, such as IMG Worlds of Adventure, Hub Zero, Dubai Miracle Garden, and Dubai Garden Glow. Now if you would like to go beyond the city limits, there are plenty of architectural and cultural gems waiting to be explored outside of Dubai. Experience the ancient Emirati past and traditions with a guided day trip to Hatta, or take a full day tour of Abu Dhabi or Ras Al Khaimah to enjoy some of the UAE’s most modern and classic sights.