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25 Awesome Things to Do in Dubai

25 Awesome Things to do in Dubai | The Vacation Builder

Dubai is the city of dreams and opportunity. What’s more, it’s also a playground for adults and children alike and is fast becoming one of the best places in the world for a vacation.

With year round sunshine, very little rain, gorgeous beaches, awesome hotels and a bucket load of amazing things to do, why wouldn’t you visit Dubai?!

Let’s dive right in with 25 of the best things to do in Dubai. After reading this you’ll be desperate to book a vacation to the UAE!

1. Visit the Burj Khalifa

Things to do in Dubai - #1 The Burj Khalifa | The Vacation Builder

Towering over the Dubai Mall; the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at almost 830 metres! Tickets can be purchased from around £30. You can also pay extra to go up a further 20 floors but we would say that the price hike is far beyond what it is worth. We do however recommend trying breakfast here to watch the sunrise or have a exquisite dinner with a view of the sunset and water fountain show below.

The Armani Hotel is within the Burj Khalifa for those who wish to stay in the area. Bare in mind; swanky hotel, swanky prices!

2. Dubai Mall

Things to Do in Dubai - #2 The Dubai Mall | The Vacation Builder

Dubai Mall is THE place to shop in the city. You can find everything here including designer clothes stores, a cinema, restaurants, and even an ice rink; and there is a whole lot more too! If you’re unfamiliar with Dubai Mall, you may also be pleased to know that it’s situated at the foot of Burj Khalifa.

If you’ve got kids with you, make sure to pay a visit to the Dubai Mall Aquarium, home to one of the world’s largest suspended aquarium tanks in the world! Tickets cost 150AED each. You can get lost for days at the Dubai Mall if you really wanted to, so we recommend spending a full day here if you can. 

3. Visit the Souks

Things to Do in Dubai - #3 Visit The Souks | The Vacation Builder

To capture the feel for the traditional Emirati experience you should really visit the Souks. For those wondering; a Souk is an Arabian marketplace, selling in particular, spice and gold. One in particular which is worth a visit is Souk Madinat. Located a stone’s throw away from the world famous Burj al Arab Hotel, this Souk has a waterway around it. Boat rides here are cheap and an absolute must.

There are several high quality cafes and restaurants on the waterfront here. But do be aware that this area is particularly pricey given the location and backdrop. Make sure you hustle in the market place as you’re able to barter at even the established stalls. 

4. The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence

Things to Do in Dubai - #4 The Walk - Jumeirah Beach Residence | The Vacation Builder

Lined with Hotels, Restaurants and Shops along the beach, The Walk is one of the best areas to be in Dubai. If you are only visiting the area for the day, you will soon find you can easily spend a week here. There is plenty to do and see and Dubai Marina is only a stone’s throw away.

Hotels here are suited for any budget and the same goes for the restaurants and shops. There is always something going on down The Walk, whether the fayre is in town or a firework show on the water in the evening. For the thrill seekers, there are a variety of water sports available or if you’re really daring; the Dubai Sky Diving centre is close by. 

5. Dubai Marina

Things to Do in Dubai - #5 The Dubai Marina | The Vacation Builder

A short walk from Jumeirah Beach Residence you will find Dubai Marina. An incredible place to visit at night as you can see.

This area has a more relaxed feel compared to JBR. There are tonnes of restaurants and cafes which overlook the waterfront here too which will make for a beautiful scenic backdrop. The marina is a good way to get out of the hustle and bustle of the busier areas, perfect for a relaxing evening.

Boat tours can be booked from here which will take you around The Palm Jumeirah, through the marina and out to the world famous Burj Al Arab. You can also jump on a speed boat for the same trip for a fraction of the cost.

Dinner cruises are also available and are highly recommended. Even though Dubai Marina is central for business, there are also many hotels to choose from should you wish to extend your stay in this area. The Wyndham Hotel in the marina is a 4 star hotel with great reviews and rooms start at just £48/240AED/66USD per night!

6. Explore Al Shindagha

Things to Do in Dubai - #6 Al Shindagha | The Vacation Builder

Number 6 is perfect for those of you who don’t like your holidays to be all sea, sun and sand. You can enjoy learning some history of Dubai with a journey back in time to explore the old fishing heritage town of Al Shindagha.

Entry is free and you can spend a full day here quite easily. Make sure you don’t miss out on the Saeed Al Maktoum House whilst you’re here, as an example of the Emirati architecture that was once prominent before the city became one of luxury. The metro runs from most areas to Al Shindagha and stops just a short walk away from the first museum here. 

7. Camel Racing

Things to Do in Dubai - #7 Camel Racing | The Vacation Builder

Yes you read it right, Camel Racing! If you’ve never been to the UAE before you will soon learn that camels are a big thing around here! The Al Marmoon Heritage Festival is worth a go!

Camel Racing is a great day out for the whole family. The festival runs for two weeks during the month of April, which is a great time to travel to Dubai as temperatures average around 32°C, so before it gets too hot and unbearable. Admission is also free and there are traditional markets to explore too. 

8. Visit The Palm Jumeirah

Things to Do in Dubai - #8 The Palm Jumeirah | The Vacation Builder

Filled with some of the best hotels in Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah is still a great place to visit even if you are not able to stay here. Boat tours around the island are available and are worth the expense. Some of the best views of the city can be seen here from any of the beach hotels. There are shopping malls like in most places of Dubai and places to eat, drink and relax.

A trip to the Lost World Aquarium which is within the world famous Atlantis Hotel is recommended. For kids and adults alike, the Atlantis Hotel also has the incredible Aquaventure Waterpark which you can pay to use; so you don’t have to be staying at the hotel. Tickets for the Aquaventure Waterpark start at 169 AED for adults and 149 AED for children. However, anyone staying at Atlantis gets free admission.

Make sure you visit The Pointe shopping mall where there is a lovely path along the waterfront with lots of cafes and restaurants overlooking the ocean. There is an open play area for children and plenty of beach space with umbrellas too. 

9. Wild Wadi Water Park

Things to Do in Dubai - #9 Wild Wadi Waterpark | The Vacation Builder

Arguably the best water park in the city, over the Aquaventure at the Atlantis Hotel, The Wild Wadi Water Park is free for those staying at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel.

You can pre book tickets by buying online to save money rather than buying at the gate. Ticket prices for 1.1 metres and below is 149 AED and for 1.1 metres and above is 199 AED.

10. Go on a Desert Safari

Things to Do in Dubai - #10 Desert Safari | The Vacation Builder

A 5 out of 5 rated trip on Tripadvisor comes in at #10 with the classic desert safari! Most tours include a desert tour in a 4×4, sandboarding and camel riding too. Once you’ve finished your action packed day there is a BBQ where you can eat, drink, smoke shisha and watch some traditional Arabian dancing, all with the desert sunset in the background.

11. Be a Part of a Dubai City Sightseeing Tour

Things to do in Dubai - #11 Sightseeing Tours | The Vacation Builder

Sometimes it may seem like Dubai is all about humongous malls and exceptionally mind-twisting buildings, but this desert city is also the home to some enticing cultural institutions and galleries too.

If you want to take a glimpse of the iconic places of Dubai, just sign up for a Dubai City Sightseeing Tour. This one tour includes the giants from the city ranging from Burj Khalifa to Dubai Museum, from Al Fahidi Fort to Palm Island, from Dubai Mall to Sheikh Zayed Road and much more.

This tour can take minimum of 4 hours and can go up to half of the day. Duration depends on the places you want to cover in a single trip. Dubai City Tours come with different price tags to fit everyone’s pocket and schedule.

12. Land Yourself on the Top of Dubai Frame

Things to do in Dubai - #12 Dubai Frame | The Vacation Builder

We bet you have never seen anything like the Dubai Frame, all glitzy and gleaming with gold. This 500-feet tall and 313-feet wide structure is the largest picture frame in the world.

Dubai Frame is the metamorphical representation of the connection between the Old and New Dubai. From the observation deck at the top of the frame, you can cherish the stunning skyline of the city.

Walking on the glass bridge connecting two towers of the Dubai Frame, gives a feel of walking on the air.  Taking a picture of the city skyline right through the frame is a must.

Tour packages for Dubai Frame are available with different prices and in different combos. Ticket starts from AED50 for adults.

13. Experience Global Culture at Global Village

Things to do in Dubai - #13 Global Village | The Vacation Builder

Dubai always keeps stunning people with its glitz and glamour and Global Village understands that philosophy well. In short, Global Village is a beguiling spectacle combining customs, culture, festivals and cuisine across the world.

This place can literally put on a jet-set journey of having a glimpse of various nations at once. You can explore as many as 90 something countries and their specialities with your Global Village ticket.

From shopping to stunt shows, funfair to fireworks – there is too many things to see and do in the Global Village. But it’s not a round-the-year affair. This theme park usually remains open from November to April.

Check out the dates before scheduling your Dubai trip. Entry fee is AED15 per person.

14. Race your Heart at Ferrari World

Things to do in Dubai - #14 Ferrari World Abu Dhabi | The Vacation Builder

Lovers of fast, furious and red Ferrari has got the right place to rock on for more excitement and challenges with Ferrari World. This tourist spot is not exactly within the limit of Dubai but it’s well worth the one hour drive to Abu Dhabi.

We can guarantee you will not mind that extra 60-minute drive from Dubai to land yourself into the largest theme park in Abu Dhabi and one of the best in the world.

Apart from multiple live shows, rides, fun, shopping and food, you can actually watch how these incredible cars are manufactured in reality.

A single day Ferrari World ticket starts around AED295 for adults and AED230 for kids.

15. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Things to do in Dubai - #15 Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo | The Vacation Builder

The city of Dubai is overloaded with all sorts of mind-blogging architecture and Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is not an exception.

Home to more than 30,000 marine creatures, this is one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world and has the largest collection of sand tiger sharks.

The whole premises is divided distinctively into three zones – the Aquarium Tunnel (48-meter long underwater pedestrian tunnel made of glass), Aquarium Tank (sheltering more than 140 marine species) and the Underwater Zoo (housing sea creatures like Lionfish, Humboldt Penguin and Dwarf Crocodile).

Entry to this aquarium and underwater zoo will cost you about AED55 per individual.

16. Keep your Cool Intact with Ski Dubai

Things to do in Dubai - #16 Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates | The Vacation Builder

Ice skiing in Dubai? You must be thinking we are kidding. Hell NO! Ski Dubai is a stunning alpine mountain-themed park with thick layers or ice and snow right in the middle of desert surroundings.

Located in Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai spreads over an area of whopping 4,500 square metres interspersed with slopes, rinks, a small mountain.

Ski Dubai features five different levels of tracks so that everyone can find something to play around amidst those absolutely gorgeous hill station setting. Penguins are also there to add more to your excitement!

You can pick your Ski Dubai session as per your requirements. Ticket price starts from AED169 per person.

17. A Nostalgic Trip to Childhood at Legoland

Things to do in Dubai - #17 Legoland | The Vacation Builder

If your childhood days felt so great because of those tiny blocks of Lego, you must not miss this golden opportunity to live them again in Legoland Dubai. Legos literally come to life in this colourful theme park with more than 15,000 Lego models and 60 interactive rides.

Aimed to entertain the young minds, Legoland can be an exhilarating escape to a world full of fun and ‘blocks’.

You can even find here the world-famous landmarks like Burj Khalifa and Taj Mahal made of Legos blocks. Robot Building, Treasure Hunts and 4D Puppet Show are definitely the star attractions of this park. Not just your kids, we can guarantee you are going to have a good time too.

Ticket to Legoland Dubai starts from AED 195 per visitor.

18. Get lost in Dubai Garden Glow

Things to do in Dubai - #18 Garden Glow | The Vacation Builder

Visiting Dubai Garden Glow is nothing less than stepping into the enchanting world of light and magic.

This theme park is loaded with larger-than-life installations to make the night truly beguiling for everyone. There are 4 major thematic zones – ice Park, Glow Park, Dinosaur Park and Eco Park (everything is made of eco-friendly and recyclable materials).

Located at Area B of Zabeel Park, the Dubai Garden Glow is a seasonal affair that remains open from October to May. Cost of Entry Ticket is AED 60 per person.

19. Understand Islamic Culture at Jumeirah Mosque

Things to do in Dubai - #19 Visit Jumeirah Mosque | The Vacation Builder

Gracing the skyline of Dubai, Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most sought-after attractions in the city. This iconic landmark is the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslims to enter.

Both the exterior and interior of Jumeirah Mosque depicts amusing architectural heritage of the region. It was built by taking heavy inspiration from medieval Fatimid style.

Adopting the ‘Open Doors, Open Minds’ policy, the mosque is a wonderful place to absorb and understand the Emirati culture and Islamic principles.

Guided tours will cost AED 10 per adult and it is free for children aged up to 12 years.

20. Fly in the sky in a Hot Air Balloon

Things to do in Dubai - #20 Hot Air Balloon Ride | The Vacation Builder

Take a good look at the expansive desert landscape by booking a hot air balloon ride during your Dubai Vacation.

Away from the glamour of the city, hot air balloon ride can instantly take you to a soothing and peaceful world. you will surely be amazed by looking down at the splendid desert vistas during your flight in the air.

Each basket of hot air balloon can accommodate maximum 24 people and you will have enough room to watch fascinating things around. Average costs for this ride start from AED 230.

21. Cherish the Utmost Thrill with Skydive Dubai

If free-falling over the iconic Palm Jumeirah skyline with a speed of about 120 miles per hour sounds good to you, then get your slot booked with Skydive Dubai.

This is certainly not for the faint-hearted people and the excitement is too much to be compared with any other adventure sports in Dubai. So, don’t worry at all regarding your personal safety. Skydive Dubai has you covered.

Beginners will be accompanied by company’s experienced instructors whereas licensed divers are allowed to take the plunge all alone. Several packages are available to meet your diving expectations. Choose the one that fits your pocket and your skill. Skydive Dubai experience is a bit expensive for sure but it worth every penny that you invested. This is something that will treasure for the rest of your life.

22. Enter the World of Fantasy with Miracle Garden

Let the colours and flowers of the world enchant you at the Miracle Garden.

This place has every element to lift your mood as soon as you cross the entrance of the park. This floral wonderland is fascinating collection of blooming flowers spreading over an area of 72,000 square feet.

Dubai Miracle Garden has floral replicas of Burj Khalifa, an Emirate A380 airplane, Lost Paradise, Dsney Avenue, clocks, cabanas, arcs, houses and floral designs – everything made of blooms, twigs and plants.

Entry Ticket prices are AED 50 for adults and AED 40 for children (aged between 2 – 12 years).

23. Visit Ibn Battuta Mall for an Exquisite Shopping Experience

There is dearth of giant shopping malls within the limit of Dubai but shopping at Ibn Battuta Mall is something very different and exquisite too. This is the biggest themed shopping mall in Dubai and your shopping spree at this mall has to end with the discovery of different lands and their cultures across the globe.

Housing more than 400 outlets, Ibn Battuta Mall is haven to all shopaholics. Apart from global brand outlets, it has encompassed plenty of eateries bringing various flavours from all over the world to your platter. In short, Ibn Battuta Mall is the finest blend of history, heritage, culture and charming adventure trips under one roof.

24. Make Wonderful Discoveries at the Etihad Museum

The best place that you have got in Dubai to discover the contemporary history of the UAE is none other than the Etihad Museum.

Sitting at the beautiful neighbourhood of Jumeirah, this museum comes with a series of interactive pavilions where visitors can explore the magnificent history of UAE, particularly between 1968 and 1974.

Spread over an area of 25,000 square metres, Etihad Museum helps you to gain insights into the UAE’s outstanding economic development right after the independence. Designed by renowned Canadian architects due Moriyama and Teshima, this curved white building itself is an adorable piece of modern architecture in Dubai.

Entry Tickets cost AED 25 per adult, reduced to AED 10 if you are a student.

25. Boggle Your Mind at Museum of Illusions

Good things come in small packages” and Museum of Illusions will make you believe that once again.

This is a small place where everything comes with a twist and surprise. The Museum of Illusions at Al Seef is one of the best family-friendly indoor attractions in Dubai. With more than 80 mind-twisting exhibits under one roof, this is nothing like an ordinary museum that you have seen before.

The museum utilizes tricks to fool your brain and eyes to perceive things differently. The best attractions of this museum include Infinity Room, Vortex Tunnel, Ames Room, Chair Illusion and Upside-Down Room.

Entry tickets to the museum will cost AED 80 per adult and AED 60 for children (aged 5 – 15 years).


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