Visiting Dubai for the first time? Here is the ultimate bucket list for Dubai that will give you a round of all the best things in the city.
Whether you are an adventure seeker, a cultural enthusiast, a history buff or a food connoisseur, Dubai will leave no page unturned to impress you. The city is enchanting, versatile and dynamic.
It has the old-world charm and the innovation of a high-tech city. You can see the hundred-year old dhow cruise sailing across the sprawling skyscrapers.
- 1 Read our handpicked things to do in Dubai:
- 1.1 1. Hike the Burj Khalifa
- 1.2 2. Book the Dubai Desert Safari
- 1.3 3. Step into the past at Bastakiya Quarter
- 1.4 4. Ski and snowboard in Ski Dubai
- 1.5 5. Wander in Dubai Miracle Garden
- 1.6 6. Visit the Global Village
- 1.7 7. Splash the fun in Aquaventure Waterpark
- 1.8 8. Have dinner with a view on Dhow Cruise Dubai
- 1.9 9. Spend a day in Dubai Mall
- 1.10 10. Watch the bird-eye view from Dubai Frame
- 2 Conclusion
Read our handpicked things to do in Dubai:
1. Hike the Burj Khalifa
Standing with poise at 828 metres and piercing the cloud with its graciously-shaped silhouette, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building ever made. It has observation decks on the 125th and 148th floors respectively, offering you unbelievable panoramic views of the city.
It is a hub of activity where you can explore the tea lounge, dine in award-winning restaurants, and peek through an advanced telescope.
Located in the base of Burj Khalifa is a stunning choreographed fountain display. So, sit back and enjoy the evening show at one of the many neighbouring restaurants.
2. Book the Dubai Desert Safari
For travellers who want to try the off-road adventure, there is nothing like the thrill of a Dubai desert safari.
A complete package of desert safari in Dubai includes pick up, 4*4 dune bashing, sunset photography, camel riding, live performances, grand buffet, shisha smoking, henna tattooing and traditional costume wearing.
You can customise the expedition and include other hair-raising actions like hot air balloon rides, falconry, quad biking and so much more. It all feels like a scene from the Arabian novel.
3. Step into the past at Bastakiya Quarter
Whisk away from Downtown Dubai and reach the city’s historic district, Bastakiya Quarter. It shows you the world before the discovery of oil.
In the 19th century, when Dubai was a small fishing village, the Iranian (Bastak) traders settled here. Today this neighbourhood is a popular tourist attraction in Dubai dotted with cosy cafes, art galleries, boutiques, hotels and museums.
As you will stroll through narrow, twisting alleyways, gaze at the ochre-coloured buildings. Do not miss the Dubai Creek ride while returning to the city.
4. Ski and snowboard in Ski Dubai
Need a break from Dubai’s heat? Take a trip to Ski Dubai, the largest man-made snow park, spread over a 3,000 square metre area. You can show off your skiing skills across the five diverse slopes, ranging from beginners to pro.
Besides hitting the slopes, you can snowboard, zip-line, take a chairlift tide, duck into zorb ball, enjoy a mountain thriller and go for a snow bullet ride.
A major draw of Ski Dubai is the residents, Gentoo and King penguins. Warm up with a hot cup of chocolate and cheer for the penguin parade.
5. Wander in Dubai Miracle Garden
Studded with over 150 million flowers, Dubai Miracle Garden is like paradise on earth. In a whopping area of 72,000-sq-m, the garden features extraordinary floral renditions, layouts and structures, including the Guinness World Record Airbus A380.
Check out the Smurfs Village, Floral Clock, Umbrella Tunnel, Floating lady, Lake Park, and other lovely attractions. The garden also organises floral parades, a kids playground, Zumba and yoga sessions to relax with the family.
It is such a nice respite from the traffic and chaos of the city as you kick back and admire the breathtaking landscape.
6. Visit the Global Village
One of the best things to do in Dubai is getting the entry ticket to Global Village, a multicultural amusement park. Over 80 countries, near and far, come together to set up their pavilions and display their cultures.
Guests can browse the traditional handicrafts, pick souvenirs and eat local dishes. From Leaning Tower of Pisa to Big Ben, you can take selfies against the backdrop of iconic monuments from around the world.
The park is bustling with star-studded concerts, street performances, stunt shows and endless entertainment. With so many wonders of the world under one roof, there is something new to discover every day.
7. Splash the fun in Aquaventure Waterpark
Get an adrenaline rush at the world’s largest waterpark, Aquaventure. The waterpark consists of 105 record-breaking slides, rides, attractions and experiences that will get your pulse racing.
Be it the almost-vertical drop of Leap of Faith or the back-to-back twists on Shockwave, brace yourselves for an epic excursion. For a mild adventure, hire a kayak, go paddleboarding, enjoy a boat tour or just take a jet ski ride.
Afterwards, relax and bask in the sun at a 1 km beach of white sand. It is a wholesome experience where you can slide, soak and savour.
8. Have dinner with a view on Dhow Cruise Dubai
Exploring Dubai can never be a dull moment, especially if you have booked the Dhow Cruise Dubai. It is a fascinating way to spend the evening outdoors with your family. You will encounter the Marina and Palm Jumeirah landmarks, villas, residences, resorts and towers, such as the famous Burj al Arab Hotel and Dubai Marina Mall.
Starting from the Yacht club, the cruise glides along the beautiful canal for two hours where you will be the guest of premium catering. A sumptuous buffet is served and you can taste many authentic dishes that will melt in your mouth.
Another highlight of the Dubai dhow cruise is the live shows, including the dance, Tanoura, magicians, or DJ that will lighten up the mood.
9. Spend a day in Dubai Mall
Home to thousands of retail and department stores, a gamut of fun-filled activities and a range of dining outlets, Dubai Mall is the ultimate entertainment, leisure and shopping destination.
The highlight attraction is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo which holds 33,000 aquatic animals where the visitors can meet them up close and even swim with sharks.
Other things to do in Dubai Mall are skiing in an Olympian-sized rink, watching a movie in a luxe set-up, bumping into a dinosaur ruin and playing with kids at Soft Play.
The mall also hosts the most sensational shopping event of the year, DSF where the sales are introduced up to 90% off.
10. Watch the bird-eye view from Dubai Frame
The latest addition to Dubai’s skyline, Dubai Frame is the world’s biggest picture frame. Flaunting a 150-m length and 93-m width, Dubai Frame is an architectural wonder.
Perched on the Zabeel Park, this giant shimmering structure offers 360-degree, full-height views of the city. Interestingly, you can watch the Old Dubai to the North and the skyscrapers of the New Dubai to the South.
Guests can walk on a glass walkway which offers mind-bending visuals of the park below the feet. Then, take a walk through a neon ‘vortex’ tunnel to get an insight into the past and future of Dubai.
Dubai is a crowd-puller. All thanks to its amazing innovation in the tourism world. This list is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other things you can do on your holiday in Dubai. So, grab your passport and get ready to make the most of your trip.