Places To Visit In Dubai
Contrary to what you may have heard, Dubai is not solely composed of malls and luxurious hotels. This sprawling desert city constantly adds notable cultural institutions, galleries, and design-oriented shopping, all to attract a new generation of tourists. If you prefer an adrenaline rush, however, you can always slide between the floors of a glass skyscraper or dive into the world’s largest diving pool. We have a list to prove that almost anything is possible in this city: Here are our picks for some of the best places to visit in Dubai, both old and new.
Aura Sky Pool
This is the highest 360-degree infinity pool on the planet, perched 200 meters above The Palm Tower. Aura Skypool offers unobstructed views of the emirate, but it also provides a unique pool day experience. The sweeping views from 50 floors up of The Palm, the Burj Al Arab, and the Gulf beyond are an incredible way to gain a new perspective on Dubai. Tickets for one of three sessions start at approximately $46 per person and are best purchased in advance online.
The only mosque in Dubai that welcomes non-Muslim visitors, the Jumeirah Mosque is popular with various tourists and is the most photographed structure in Dubai. Unquestionably one of the most beautiful structures in the emirate, it is constructed entirely of white stone in the medieval Fatimid style and is incredibly stunning at dusk. Six days a week are open to visitors (Fridays are reserved for prayer), and tours are led by knowledgeable guides who enhance the experience.
Deep Dive Dubai
This 60-meter-deep pool is the deepest in the world. It features a sunken city for scuba divers to explore and contains 14 million litres of water. Deep diving is restricted to certified divers while snorkelling on the surface, and scuba diving to a depth of 12 meters is open to anyone over the age of 10. Deep Dive Dubai also serves as the region’s largest underwater film studio, equipped with 56 cameras and the ability to create various atmospheres, so it is a must-try. Tickets are required and can be obtained in advance or online.
Hatta Dome Park Dubai
This desert glamping experience is ideally located within walking distance of the Hatta Wadi Hub. It immerses guests in nature by providing dome-tent accommodations, incredible mountain views, and abundant outdoor activities. Hatta is teeming with nature enthusiasts and adventurers seeking refuge from the city, eager to explore the mountain range. These luxurious tents provide comfort and excitement in equal measure. There are fire pits, barbecues, and food trucks within a short distance of each terrace. Encircled by the picturesque Hatta mountain range, the dome suites are elegantly decorated in hues reminiscent of the desert and offer starry nights and panoramic views of the mountain range. Despite the relatively isolated location, each room has Wi-Fi and can accommodate two adults and three children comfortably (under 14).
Al Marmoom Camel Racing Facility
Al Marmoom is a popular heritage site that attracts camel racing enthusiasts. A day spent at the camel races is a beautiful representation of Middle Eastern culture, dating back to the seventh century. The grandstands are frequently filled with camel owners, trainers, and handlers, and the majority of seats provide an excellent view of the action. Remember that races begin between 7 am and 8 am and nine o’clock in the morning. The commentary and announcements are made in Arabic.
Ain Dubai, which is officially the largest observation wheel globally, is 75 meters taller than the London Eye. From 250 meters in the air, the wheel offers panoramic views of Bluewaters Island. This attraction is not only visible from numerous vantage points in Dubai, but it also appeals to schools, businesses, families, tourists, and locals. Passes for rides on the structure are sold at the venue or online.
Dubai Spice Souk
The expansive spice market in Dubai is perhaps the most entertaining of the city’s souks. It is lively, with enticing sights and aromas. Numerous vendors sell the same ingredients, including dried Persian limes, saffron, barberries, rose hips, and traditional Middle Eastern spice blends. While still expensive, saffron is more affordable here than elsewhere in Dubai. The souk is part of a complex that includes three Jumeirah hotels and an adjacent waterway, and its stalls sell everything from spices to handmade lanterns, clothing, and souvenirs. There are also two dozen indoor and outdoor restaurants and some of the most breathtaking views of the world-famous Burj Al Arab hotel. The entrance is free, but parking and abra-style water taxis are not.
Dubai Fountains Display
The tallest fountain in the world dwarfs those in Las Vegas. Multiple fountain shows are scheduled daily, with 22,000 gallons of water launched 500 feet into the air from the 30-acre Burj Lake. In addition, a new floating viewing platform brings you closer to the action than ever before. Even better, it’s free. If you visit the Dubai Mall, you will see the fountains, so take a moment to appreciate the show.
Dubai Hot Air Balloon
In this private adventure experience, only the pilot, an expert balloonist and falcon wrangler, will accompany you in the balloon. Guests are collected from their hotels and transported to the desert. The views of the desert from above are among the most spectacular you will ever see; the landscape is breathtaking, but it is also possible to spot Oryx and camels in the desert below. The hot air balloon tour is ideal for a special occasion with a loved one or those seeking a unique cultural experience. Reservations are required.
Global Village Dubai
The enormous Global Village in Dubai is essentially a theme park for all ages, though it is popular with families due to its kid-friendly rides and attractions. It is open from late October to mid-April and features international concerts, rides, dining, and interests. It’s on the outskirts of Dubai, so you won’t be able to visit it in a single day, but if you have the time and are interested in international shopping and entertainment, it’s worth a trip.
Sky Views Dubai Observatory
Two hundred nineteen meters above Downtown Dubai, Sky Views, offers a variety of adrenaline-inducing, one-of-a-kind experiences. Like so many other Dubai experiences, this incredible attraction is not for the faint of heart. Walk the 25-meter glass-bottom podium that connects the Address Sky View’s twin 50-story towers, ride the outdoor glass slide, or take on the Edge Walk, which is precisely what it sounds like. Tickets are necessary and can be purchased online or at the venue.
Dubai's Perfume House Al Shindagha Museum
The Perfume House, located on Dubai Creek in the recently renovated Al Shindagha neighbourhood (once the traditional centre of the emirate), offers visitors the chance to travel back in time and learn about the ancient techniques of Arabic perfume-making. You will learn about the region’s perfume-trading route and investigate the traditional oils and ingredients used to create regional fragrances (including oud, saffron, and specific roses).
Kite Beach Dubai
Kite Beach is for beach lovers, as it resembles a Miami beach with its expansive stretches of sand, aquamarine water, beach chaises, and activities that make sunbathing seem insufficient. Participate in a volleyball game, try kite-surfing, or go for a run on the soft running track when the temperature is below 106 degrees.
Aqua Venture Waterpark Dubai
The venue has grown by a third and is now considered the largest waterpark due to a recent expansion. Splashers Lagoon and Splashers Cove are the largest waterparks for children in the Middle East and are located in Trident Tower’s newest wing, Splashers Tower. Aquaventure features over 30 slides and attractions, including the emirates’ longest lazy river, several thrilling rides and a private beach. In addition, there are record-breaking waterslides, Splashers Park and the Lazy River for families and opportunities to interact with stingrays, dolphins, and sea lions up close.
Sixty interactive rides and 15,000 Lego models captivate the young and the young-at-heart at Legoland Dubai (a sister park to others worldwide, including in Florida). The theme park, designed for families with children between the ages of 2 and 12, was constructed from 60 million Legos and consisted of six indoor and outdoor lands. With the Legoland Hotel, families can spend a weekend or an overnight immersed in Legos. The outdoor attractions may be too hot to bear in the summer, but the air-conditioned indoor attractions are just as enjoyable.
If free-falling at 120 miles per hour over Dubai sounds like a good time, Skydive Dubai has you covered; engineers are welcome to jump with the company’s experienced guides, whereas certified divers can jump alone. A tandem flight from Skydive Dubai’s location on The Palm costs nearly $600, but it’s well worth it if you’re an adrenaline junkie with no fear of heights.
As the world’s largest mall, the Dubai Mall attracts nearly 100 million visitors per year. There are more than 1,200 shops, making it easy to get lost, but it’s a great place to beat the Dubai heat and peruse the luxury stores. This location attracts more international visitors than both New York City and Los Angeles, so it is safe to say that everyone visits.
Xline Dubai is one of the most extended, steepest and fastest urban zip lines globally. It allows riders to fly belly-down across highways, skyscrapers and swimming pools in Dubai. There is also the possibility of riding tandem with friends.
Dubai's Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood
This charming neighbourhood provides a glimpse of Dubai before the formation of the Emirates in 1971. The winding alleys and pathways are lined with traditional buildings of stone, palm wood, gypsum and teak; history and architecture enthusiasts will enjoy getting lost here. The neighbourhood is a tranquil escape from the city’s traffic and skyscrapers, and the maze-like lanes give the impression of being in a remote village.
The abra is a traditional wooden boat, one of the most unassuming ways to experience Dubai. The boats gather on either side of Dubai Creek, in Deira or Bur Dubai and can accommodate approximately 20 individuals. Numerous locals use the boats to cross the creek quickly and avoid traffic, but there are also many tourists, particularly at dusk. Given that it is quick and inexpensive, an abra ride is essential if you intend to spend time in Old Dubai or at the QE2.
Al Seef Dubai
Al Seef, situated in the cultural epicentre of the emirate, combines the city’s heritage with contemporary offerings. The 1.1-mile precinct that borders Dubai Creek is divided into two sections: one for the past and one for the future. Stroll through the charming alleyways, enjoy a coffee or meal at one of the many restaurants and cafes, or sit in one of the tranquil public spaces and observe the activity on the creek.
Dubai Mall of the Emirates ski
In the middle of a mall in the middle of the desert is the world’s third-largest indoor ski slope. A daily lift ticket costs approximately $138 (excluding equipment rentals). In contrast, a Snow Daycation pass, which provides access to non-skiing areas of the mountain such as tubing, costs $75 per person, and you should arrive early. The site is packed with families with children, most of whom are participating in rides, penguin visits and the Snow Cinema rather than skiing. There are two runs and a dedicated freestyle area for snowboarders (but Vail, this is not).
Burj Khalifa Dubai
Unsurprisingly, the world’s tallest building is visible almost everywhere in Dubai. Taking in the scene from the street is thrilling enough, but you can also visit the top of the 160-story behemoth; prepare for the thrill of the high-speed elevators, followed by awe as you step onto the observation deck. Purchase tickets in advance online for a specific time slot. The majority of first-time visitors to Dubai ascend to the highest point.
This ultramodern museum provides a comprehensive overview of the seven Emirates that comprise the United Arab Emirates. It attracts both UAE nationals and history-minded tourists. The museum is located where the 1971 unification treaty was signed. The Etihad Museum is neither enormous nor in scope. Even museum-haters will find the exhibitions fascinating and essential to a well-rounded trip to the UAE.
Dubai Dinner in the Sky
Dinner in the Sky Dubai is not your average eatery; even pulling up a chair to the table requires a seatbelt. Nearly 165 feet in the air, at a table that rotates ever so slowly over an hour, the experience takes place. If you can stomach the altitude, you will be rewarded with breath-taking views of the Gulf and one of the unique dining experiences in the world. Artful Dining by Le Meridien Mina Seyahi and The Westin Dubai is responsible for the menu, including dishes such as burrata salads and Middle Eastern mezze. It is ideal for a romantic evening or a surprise party with a first date, a long-term partner, or a close friend.