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Welcome to Dubai! This city offers you the best of all possible worlds: the desert, the beach, and dozens of hyper-modern skyscrapers and attractions designed to cater for tourists.
Anneliese O'MalleyBy Anneliese O'Malley

The 10 Best Things to Do in Dubai

There are hundreds of fun and interesting things to do in Dubai, we’ve gathered 10 ideas which we think will give you a great overview of the city, whether you’re staying for one day or a whole week.
Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa

Dubai is home to the tallest building in the world (for now), the Burj Khalifa. It has several different observation decks to suit every pocket, and the incredible views are definitely worth the price of the ticket.

Aquaventure Waterpark

The city is on the edge of a desert, and temperatures can be extremely high all year round. Aquaventure waterpark at Atlantis the Palm is an ideal way to cool off and get an adrenaline rush at the same time. Plus, The Lost Chambers Aquarium is included in the price of your ticket.
Discover the desert around Dubai

Desert Safari

The desert can be dangerous, but it’s also beautiful and full of adventure! Several tour providers take you into the desert for a daytrip full of activities, from sandboarding and camel riding, to learning about how the Bedouin live in the harsh conditions of the Arabian Desert.
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The Tunnel in the Dubai Aquarium

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Aquarium features one of the world’s largest suspended aquariums, right in the center of the Dubai Mall. It’s a great attraction for kids, introducing them to all kinds of marine creatures and reptiles.

Walking tour of Old Dubai and the souks

Dubai isn’t all new skyscrapers and fancy hotels, and a walking tour in Old Dubai will teach you about Emirati culture. You’ll also get to visit the souks and try your hand at bartering.
Walking Tours
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Wild Wadi Waterpark

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Another waterpark? You betcha. This one is overlooked by the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel and gives guests access to a private stretch of beach.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosquei in Abu Dhabi

Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

The city of Abu Dhabi is just a 1-2 hour drive away (depending where you’re staying in Dubai), and it’s full of interesting things to see and do. Culture mavens will want to see the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque or the Louvre Abu Dhabi, while thrillseekers will be more interested in a trip to Ferrari World.
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A Dhow in the Dubai Marina

Take a Boat Tour

See the city from a different perspective! Take a traditional dhow cruise (with or without dinner) on the Dubai Creek or zip along the coastline in a speedboat as you tour the various artificial islands and see the city’s skyline from the sea.
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A Windmill and the Burj Khalifa made of Oranges | Flickr: Oiva Eskola CC BY 2.0

Dubai Miracle Garden

This seasonal attraction only takes place during winter, but it’s one you shouldn’t miss! It features huge sculptures made of flowers, with new designs added each year. The neighboring butterfly garden is also well worth a visit.
Take your time

Experience Luxury at a Spa

Sometimes sightseeing can be draining! Take some time out of your busy schedule and treat yourself to a massage, facial, or other innovative beauty treatments. Some of Dubai’s luxury hotels offer spa packages for guests or visitors.
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Enjoy Dubai with you kids

Things to do in Dubai with Kids

On the hunt for family friendly things to do in Dubai? Never fear, we’ve collected special family tours and attractions that cater directly for children of all ages.If you have junior thrillseekers on your hands, then Legoland Dubai is the perfect place to let them try rides and mini-roller coasters before they graduate to the hardcore coasters. Meanwhile, toddlers, children, and adults alike will enjoy exploring the Green Planet, a bio-dome that recreates a rainforest, complete with roaming animal residents.
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Quad-biking in the Desert

Visit the Desert around Dubai on a Safari

If you’re not a fan of skyscrapers and indoor activities, then you can indulge your wilder side with a desert safari.Choose from half-day or full-day trips and decide whether you want a more active trip (including sandboarding, dune bashing, and camel rides) or something a little more cultural (featuring local food and traditional entertainment). Some tours don’t end until after dark, letting you have the unique experience of sunset among the dunes.

Cool Down at a Waterpark

When we say Dubai gets hot, we mean that the average yearly low temperature in Dubai is 71℉ (21.6℃). Even in winter, you’ll probably be desperate to cool off. Luckily for you, Dubai has several different waterparks to choose from!Aquaventure is found at Atlantis the Palm, and tickets also include the Lost Chambers Aquarium where you can meet all manner of marine animals. Wild Wadi Waterpark is near the Burj Al Arab and tickets include access to a private beach, while Legoland Waterpark is (you guessed it) Lego-themed! In addition to pools and waterslides, it has shady areas where kids can safely play with Lego and Duplo blocks.
The View over the Park | Flickr: James Merabi CC BY-ND 2.0
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Nightly view of Dubai | Flickr: imran shahabuddin CC BY 2.0

What to Do in Dubai at Night

In Dubai, the fun doesn’t have to end when the sun goes down! From night time attractions to events and special dining experiences, there’s something to suit everyone.Dubai Garden Glow is a seasonal attraction whose glowing light sculptures only really come to life after dark. Explore the park, meet the dinosaurs, or upgrade your ticket and visit the sculptures of the Ice Park. The Global Village is also a seasonal event, hosting pavilions from countries around the world in an effort to bring the world’s culture to Dubai. It’s great to visit in the daytime to shop or try out the rides, but it also hosts concerts and shows at night. The Dubai Fountain is at the base of the Burj Khalifa, and every evening it springs to life with a show that incorporates music, water, and lights. It’s stunning by day and even more impressive after night falls.

Take a Sightseeing Tour on the Ground, Water or in the Air

You have to see Dubai to believe it: a city of ultra-modern buildings squeezed in between the desert and the sea.Hop-On Hop-Off tours let you see it from the ground, taking you from one key attraction to the next while providing commentary on everything you can see outside your window. Boat tours offer you a different perspective, taking you out to the sea so that you can get a closer look at Dubai’s famous artificial islands. The ultimate tours include a helicopter flight above the city, which will show you just how incredible the city is, climbing into the sky against all odds.
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Cruises & Water Tours
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Air & Helicopter Tours
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Motiongate Dubai | Flickr: Jeremy Thompson CC BY 2.0

Have Fun at one of these Theme Parks in Dubai

The United Arab Emirates is a dream destination for people who love amusement parks, and Dubai is the ideal place to stay. Adrenaline junkies will definitely want to spend a day at Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, home to Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, plus several other rides for thrillseekers. Motiongate Dubai features Hollywood-themed rides, including iconic movies like Shrek, The Hunger Games, Kung Fu Panda, and Zombieland. Meanwhile, Bollywood Parks is just what it sounds like, with highlights including rides and live shows based on movies from Mumbai’s massive film industry. IMG Worlds of Adventure is an indoor amusement park that works with iconic brands like Marvel Comics and Cartoon Network to create rides and shows that will appeal to all ages. Finally, Legoland Dubai is the most family-friendly option, with the vast majority of rides suitable for kids under 12 and plenty of opportunities to build with Lego.
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Bollywood Parks Dubai
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IMG Worlds of Adventure
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Day Trips
City Passes
Air & Helicopter Tours
Night Experiences
Walking Tours
Anneliese O'Malley
Written byAnneliese O'MalleyAnneliese is a former Londoner, keen traveler, and total word nerd. As a Content Management Specialist she knows the TicketLens inventory inside out and curates, matches, and writes about the most interesting attractions worldwide.
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