44 Best Things to Do in Dubai for Your Ultimate Fun 1

If you’re looking for the best things to do in Dubai, I got you covered.

Record-breaking buildings.

World-class restaurants and eateries.

Gigantic flower gardens, breathtaking fountains, and high-end shopping.

After multiple trips to the City of Gold, I’ve tried all these and more.

On this list, I’ve handpicked 44 epic things to do in Dubai, so you know exactly what to see in the city.

Let’s dive in!

Short on time? Book our recommended tours here:

📍 Burj Khalifa Dubai – visit the tallest building in the world.

📍 Dubai Helicopter Tour – experience Dubai’s skyline.

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Explore Dubai’s Record-Breaking Structures

Burj Khalifa
Exploring Burj Khalifa is one of the coolest things to do in Dubai

The desert city holds tons of records in several categories. In this section, you’ll find the most impressive record-breaking structures in Dubai.

  1. Marvel at the views from the highest observatory in the world at Burj Khalifa. This architectural wonder is a proud owner of several world records. Burj Khalifa is the tallest freestanding building, the tallest skyscraper, and the structure with the most floors. Inside, you can also find the posh Armani Hotel, thousands of offices, and the highest observation platform in the world. Best time to visit Burj Khalifa? I recommend at least an hour before sunset, so you can marvel at the melting sun on the horizon.
  2. Get lost in the world’s largest shopping center, Dubai Mall. More than 1,200 stores expect your shop-thirsty hands in Dubai Mall, the biggest in the world. It also houses the mesmerizing Dubai Aquarium, a gigantic ice rink, countless fast-food and top-notch restaurants, as well as one of the world’s largest bookshops. Dubai Mall also provides one of the best viewing spots for watching the Dubai Fountain shows.
  3. Go skiing in the Mall of the Emirates. Skiing in a mall might sound obscure, but it’s one of the best things to do in Dubai. And it’s 100% possible in the Mall of the Emirates. Besides 600+ shops, the shopping center is also home to artificial ski slopes. If you’re a fan of the most popular winter sport, and you’d love to try it when the temperatures outside are sizzling, then don’t miss visiting the Mall of the Emirates.
  4. Experience Dubai’s futuristic skyline from the air. Join an unforgettable helicopter flight over the most iconic buildings of the city. Fly over Palm Jumeirah and Atlantis Hotel, then head over to Burj Al Arab, and finish the ride with astonishing views of Downtown Dubai. The record-breaking Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall will take your breath away. You can book your tickets in advance via this link. Seeing the city’s skyline from above is one of the coolest things to do in Dubai.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Dubai
Burj Al Arab, the poshest hotel in the world, is located in Jumeirah, Dubai
  1. Dip yourself in a world of innovative experiences at Expo 2020 Dubai. Erected to host the World Expo, the 438-hectare site sits in the Dubai Exhibition Centre. Although it takes place every year, the organizers kept the original name Expo 2020 Dubai for marketing and branding purposes. The venue is home to 192 country-specific pavilions and provides tons of interactive experiences, including arts, culture, architecture, and outdoor performances. As such, Expo 2020 is one of the best things to see in Dubai.
  2. Stay at the ultraluxurious Burj Al Arab. The most luxurious hotel in Dubai is an attraction on its own. With a staggering design, Rolls-Royce and helicopter shuttles, and its own island, Burj Al Arab is the true embodiment of luxury. For the ultimate retreat, book your stay here.
  3. Meet the city’s old and new at Dubai Frame. The largest frame in the world acts as a metaphorical bridge that connects the Emirate’s rich past with its magnificent present. Dubai Frame is UAE’s latest cultural attraction, serving as an iconic structure that ‘frames’ heart-stopping views of Old and New Dubai. The Guardian newspaper describes it as “the biggest picture frame on the planet”. Find it in Dubai’s Zabeel Park.

Discover Dubai’s Fascinating Attractions

Dubai Miracle Garden A380
Dubai Miracle Garden features a stunning flower model of the double-decker A380

Among the best things to do in Dubai is checking out the city’s most enchanting attractions. Find a list of the best ones below:

  1. Admire the mind-blowing Dubai Miracle Garden. Here’s a crazy Dubai fact for you. The largest natural flower garden is right in the middle of the desert. Dubai Miracle Garden houses 50+ million flowers and over 250 million plants. All this flora takes more than 780,000 sq. ft. (72,000 sq. m). Authorities change the flowers every single season to make sure repeat visitors get a different feeling every time they go there.
  2. Watch an otherworldly show at the Dubai Fountain. The mind-blowing light and sound show at the Dubai Fountain happens every day from 12:30 PM to 1:00 PM, and from 6:30 PM to 11:00 PM. Illuminated by more than 6,600 lights and 50 colored projectors, the fountains shoot water up to 500 ft. (152.4 m) into the air. A variety of classical and modern Arabic and international music accompanies the show. To secure a good observation place, arrive as early as possible. I went there around 5:30 PM and found a great spot near the fountain. No matter when you decide to go, the Dubai Fountain is among the best things to see in Dubai.
  3. Engage in various aquatic activities at Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. More than 140 species, over 400 rays and sharks, and thousands of marine animals live in the 10-million-liter tank of Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Diving with sharks, cage snorkeling, and specialty dives are just a few of the exhilarating activities you can do there. If you’d like to satiate your water sports cravings, I highly suggest grabbing your ticket online here.
  4. Enjoy birdwatching at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. From fish and mammals to invertebrates and exotic plants, the Ral Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a nature preservation area. And it’s one of the most unique things to do in Dubai. Lagoons, mangroves, and tons of fauna await you at this sanctuary. It’s crazy to know you can watch gorgeous flamingos and thousands of other birds and animals in a place so close to the bustling city.
  5. Watch a show at the Dubai Opera. Dubai not only has an opera. It also has an Opera District. And I can’t recommend it enough. Located in Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Opera hosts a variety of events and performances, including opera, ballet, theater, concerts, exhibitions, and conferences. The building can accommodate up to 2,000 people.
Dubai Old Town
Getting lost in the alleys of Al Seef is one of the best free things to do in Dubai
  1. Stroll the alleys of Al Seef. Spread over 1.1 mi (1.8 km), Al Seef is a bustling open-air shopping arcade along the quaint Dubai Creek. The Al Seef Heritage Souk offers a large array of shiny souvenirs, handicrafts, and jewelry by regional craftsmen. Experience the captivating charm of Old Dubai while shopping, dining, or simply admiring the traditional Emirati architecture.
  2. Escape the city buzz with a tour of the Al Qudra Lakes. Swans, flamingos, picnic spots, cycling paths, and an observation tower. All these await you at Al Qudra Lakes. The two lakes are carved out in the shape of two entangled hearts, which spell out the word “LOVE”, making this spot one of the coolest things to do in Dubai. The man-made desert oasis is just 30 minutes away from the city. For the ultimate adventure, combine the trip to the lakes with a 4-hour heart-warming sunrise safari.
  3. Experience ultimate luxury at Palm Jumeirah. The artificial archipelago was created through land recovery. The developers dredged sand from Dubai’s shallow coastal waters. A road and a driverless monorail connect Palm Jumeirah to the mainland. On the tip of the archipelago, you can marvel at the jaw-dropping Atlantis Hotel. I really loved admiring Dubai’s skyline from the Palm. The big city doesn’t look so big from afar.
  4. Stock up on Vitamin D at Kite Beach. Similar to the beaches in Miami with their wide stretch of sand, turquoise waters, and tons of things to do besides sunbathing, Kite Beach will surpass even your wildest seaside desires. When you’ve had enough of lazing on the sand, learn to kitesurf, join a game of volleyball, or work out those legs by jogging the soft running track.
  5. Marvel at the opulence of the Jumeirah Mosque. Dubai has only one mosque that’s open to non-Muslims, and that’s the Jumeirah Mosque. The religious edifice epitomizes white stone and was erected in the medieval Fatimid style. Exploring the mosque is one of the best things to do in Dubai. I highly recommend a visit just before sunset when the mosque is particularly spectacular. You can visit it every day except on Fridays.
  6. Dive into a world of smells and colors at Dubai Spice Souk. The Old Souk also known as Dubai Spice Souk is a colorful, aromatic, and sensory adventure. Mounds of fragrant herbs and spices tower from large baskets at every corner of the market, making it one of the best things to see in Dubai. Stroll around the diverse stalls and chat with the vendors who won’t miss a chance to give you ideas on how to incorporate the exotic spices into your diet. Don’t forget to buy some spices to take home. I stocked up on curry, turmeric, and saffron.

Boost Your Adrenaline with Dubai’s Heart-Pumping Activities

Dubai from the Desert
Dubai’s desert seduces with adrenaline-pumping activities

The following unique things to do in Dubai will skyrocket your adrenaline. Let’s take a look at the most pulse-raising activities you can do in the city.

  1. Bash some dunes in the middle of the desert. Do you like camels, red dunes, powerful trucks, and BBQ? Well, you can enjoy them all with an exhilarating safari tour. Conquer the iconic red dunes of the Lehbab Desert. Ride or feed a camel. Smoke some Shisha and enjoy the delectable BBQ while watching belly dancers and dervishes. Whatever you decide to do, visiting the desert should be on your list of things to do in Dubai. Experience this unforgettable 7-hour adventure by booking your tour here.
  2. Zip your way over Dubai’s imposing skyline. If you ever wanted to do some ziplining, then look no further. The City of Gold’s breathtaking skyscrapers are the perfect backdrop for that. Dubai XLine offers two locations – in Downtown and in Dubai Marina. The latter is the longest urban zipline in the world, making it one of top activities to do in Dubai. Get ready to hang tight, and I’ll see you on the other side.
  3. Jump off a plane with Skydive Dubai. When it comes to extreme air sports, skydiving is among the things Dubai is best known for. The activity includes training, jumping off the plane, and marveling at glorious Dubai views. And to top it off, you also get photos and a video of the entire adventure. Ready to pump that pulse? Book your once-in-a-lifetime experience via this link.
  4. Dive into the deepest pool in the world. Fancy putting your body to the ultimate diving test? Deep Dive Dubai is a world-breaking facility where you dive into another dimension. The 197-ft. (60 m) pool gives you a chance to discover the depth of your potential while exploring a world full of adventure and wonder. Whether you like to try scuba diving, snorkeling, or freediving, book your experience in advance here.

Atlantis the Palm
Helicopter flights are awesome for admiring Dubai’s architectural achievements
  1. Count the waterslides in Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark. This themed park holds the world record for the most waterslides in a waterpark. So, here’s a challenge for you: how many of them will you dare to slide? Apart from the waterslides, the Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark features a rapid river, a waterfall, and a ton of rides. Take your whole family or all your friends and enjoy an unforgettable day by booking your tickets here.
  2. Like karting? Visit the Dubai Autodrome. Ever wondered what it feels like to drive a McLaren Sprint or an Audi R8 V10? Dubai Autodrome’s karting can get you close to that feeling, making it one of the most amazing things to do in Dubai. For your convenience, there are indoor and outdoor race tracks. A single session lasts for 15 minutes. The circuit opening times are from 9:00 AM to 12:00 AM Monday through Friday, and from 8:00 AM to 12:00 AM during the weekend.
  3. Scream your lungs out at IMG Worlds of Adventure. Love rollercoasters? As the largest indoor theme park on the planet, IMG World of Adventure will take your breath away. Divided into four so-called “Epic Zones”, the park will make sure every hair in your body feels the thrill. More than 20 rides, a 3-D cinema, and other cool activities await you at IMG. Get a guided sightseeing tour of Dubai and an IMG theme park ticket via this link.
  4. Marvel at the sunrise from 4,000 ft. above ground. What better way to pump your heart, raise your adrenaline, and fill your eyes with jaw-dropping views than a hot air balloon ride over the desert? The tour includes a 40-70-minute balloon ride, an Arabic-style buffet breakfast in the desert, a short camel ride, and the chance to pose for photos with a falcon. I recommend this tour.

Get Lost in Dubai’s Amazing Museums and Galleries

Dubai Museum
Dubai Museum occupies Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in Dubai

While the United Arab Emirates is a fairly new country, Dubai doesn’t disappoint in terms of peculiar museums and galleries. Find the most curious ones in this section:

  1. Trace the history of the Emirate at Dubai Museum. As the oldest existing edifice in the city, the Dubai Museum dates from 1787. A cool fact about the museum is that it’s situated in the Al Fahidi Fort. In the restored, air-conditioned building, you can explore the history and the traditional way of living in the Emirate of Dubai. Visiting this fascinating museum is one of the best activities to do in Dubai.
  2. Find out about Dubai’s history at Etihad Museum. Historically known as the Union House, Etihad Museum collects, preserves, and showcases U.A.E.’s heritage. And it’s among the coolest things to do in Dubai. You can discover items from the cultural, military, political, social, and scientific history of Dubai. The museum’s design serves as a document that signifies the signing of the constitution of the United Arab Emirates.
  3. Challenge your taste buds at the Coffee Museum. Like coffee and museums? Then you should visit the Coffee Museum in the Bur Dubai neighborhood. A chilled atmosphere and a combination of oriental and regional architecture await you inside. Your palate will have a chance to taste different coffee beans, prepared in various styles. And the best part? Entrance to the museum is free.
  4. Peek into the future at the Museum of the Future. Dubai’s newest museum is located in the Financial District of the city. The Museum of the Future consists of three main elements: a building, a green hill, and a void. The exhibition space displays futuristic and innovative products and services in the sectors of energy, education, health, smart cities, and transport. Don’t miss the Museum of the Future as it’s among the best things to see in Dubai.
  5. Discover who lived on the territory of modern Dubai at the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum. This private museum offers a captivating glimpse of Dubai’s historic role as a trading connection between the East and the West. Inside the Crossroads of Civilizations Museum, you’ll find hundreds of artifacts from the various civilizations that passed through the region, including the Babylonians, Romans, Greeks, and Ubaids. A 7,500-year-old vase in the shape of a bull and a 16th-century Kaaba curtain are the highlights that make this museum one of the top things to do in Dubai.
Heritage Village Dubai
You can learn about Dubai’s traditions at the Heritage Village
  1. See how past dynasties made their fortunes at the Dubai Pearl Museum. The late Sultan Ali Al-Owais was a poet, a philanthropist, and a pearl collector. Thanks to him, the Dubai Pearl Museum is home to one of the most gorgeous pearl collections in the world. Collecting pearls was what made most of the Gulf’s big merchant dynasties rich.
  2. See what Dubai’s old town looked like at the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum. Dubai’s former ruler – Saeed bin Maktoum al Maktoum – had his residential quarters in this house. You’ll find the building along Dubai Creek in the Al Shindagha area. Inside the museum, I recommend you check out the artifacts and pictures of Dubai’s old town.
  3. Explore centuries-old methods of Arabic perfume-making at the Perfume House. Near the House of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum, you’ll find the Perfume House. The museum provides you with a chance to discover the ancient Arabic methods of perfume making. Local scents (oud, saffron, and special roses) and traditional oils await your fragrance-yearning senses inside. If you feel like buying a scent, don’t miss the onsite perfumery.
  4. Dive into a time capsule at Heritage Village. Also in the Al Shindagha district, you’ll find Dubai’s Heritage Village. The young museum embraces the city’s heritage events and displays a lively image of the old, traditional life in the United Arab Emirates. Inside, you can discover artifacts, bubbling glass, pottery, and spinning fabric. If you love history, Heritage Village is among the best things to do in Dubai.

Experience Tantalizing Foodgasms at the City’s Best Restaurants

Ice Cream in Dubai
Treating yourself to scrumptious desserts is one of the best things to do in Dubai

Dubai packs a delectable punch of Arabic and international eateries and restaurants. The fusion of cuisines will surpass even your wildest gourmet desires, especially when you add the unmatched atmosphere of each spot below:

  1. Fancy a meal in the sky? If you want to check off one of the best things to do in Dubai, head to Dinner in the Sky. Forbes selected it as one of the 10 most unusual restaurants in the world. So, it’s no wonder getting yourself seated requires clipping a safety belt. The feast takes place approximately 165 ft. (50 m) in the air at a rotating table that makes a full turn in an hour. Enjoy a 3-course meal with drinks, coffee, and tea by booking your stay here.
  2. Experience the charm of Asia at Indochine. This modern restaurant offers you chic vibes and tropical foliage. Originally from New York, Indochine opened its doors in Dubai in late 2019. Since then, it’s been a hit. And that’s why I selected it as one of the best things to do in Dubai. A combo of French and Vietnamese cuisines takes you on a culinary adventure. Don’t miss sampling the summer rolls or the Vietnamese ravioli.
  3. Feel the Balkan vibes at 21Grams. No matter whether you want to have breakfast, lunch, or dinner, 21Grams is a top spot. The mezze is delicious, the spanakopita is delectable, and there’s no shortage of Balkan dishes and flavors you haven’t tried before. The restaurant is small, but the foodgasms are big and guaranteed. I speak from experience.
  4. Satiate your hunger while watching skiers at Karam Beirut, Mall of the Emirates. One of the craziest things to do in Dubai is skiing in a mall. Just a little less exciting than that is watching the skiers while surprising your palate with mouthwatering Lebanese dishes. Karam Beirut in the Mall of the Emirates offers generous meals. I tried the raw lamb meat with mint leaves, which was to die for!
Mall of the Emirates Ski Slope Dubai
Imagine having this view of the ski slope in the Mall of the Emirates while dining
  1. Charge your morning with brilliant breakfast dishes at LOWE. Everything about this modern, stylish spot is bang-on. But LOWE Dubai’s breakfast dishes can live up to your hungriest morning desires (they certainly lived up to mine). The menu has an interesting take on various breakfast meals like a Spanish omelet, cured salmon flatbread, and smashed avocado. Don’t like meat? No problem. Try the vegan chorizo with fried tofu. If you’re a foodie, visiting LOWE should be on top of your list of things to do in Dubai.
  2. Walk around true Italian masterpieces at Il Borro Tuscan Bistro. As one of Dubai’s most popular Italian restaurants, Il Borro Tuscan Bistro consistently serves some of the greatest dishes in town. Superb service and outstanding food await you while you enjoy the views over Jumeraih Al Naseem’s turtle lagoon. The highlights include al dente spaghetti, tender octopus, and truffle pizzas.
  3. Stuff your face with the best shawarmas in Dubai at Allo Beirut. Unlike many other pit-stop-style Lebanese restaurants, Allo Beirut has it all – from breakfast fatteh and hot wraps to full-blown grills and finger-licking rotisserie. And if you just want to try shawarma? Well, it’s one of the top things to do in Dubai.
  4. Taste iconic Japanese dishes at ROKA Dubai. This Japanese restaurant opened its doors in 2020 in the ritzy Opus building. ROKA Dubai is most famous for its eye-catching robata grills. But not sampling the yellowtail sashimi with yuzu-truffle dressing is a sin of its own. I highly recommend you make a reservation in advance as the place is quite popular.
  5. Feel the jungle vibes while savoring Latin American dishes at Amazónico. This three-story immersive environment combines lush greenery and natural materials in a stunning design. As the name suggests, the chefs at Amazónico draw inspiration from the countries of the Amazon. From sushi with a tropical twist to the freshest raw seafood, and from sourced grilled meats and fish to a statement cocktail bar, this is among the most amazing things to do in Dubai. For the ultimate fun, there are resident and guest DJs that spin “electro-pical” music live every evening.

FAQs About the Best Things to Do in Dubai

Museum of the Future Dubai
The Museum of the Future is one of the top activities to do in Dubai

I often get emails with questions about the top things to do in Dubai. So, I decided to sum up the most frequently asked questions below. Let’s start:

What are the best day trips from Dubai?

I recommend two day trips from The City of Gold:

  • A day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Admire Emirates Palace, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, and Etihad Towers. I recommend this full-day trip.
  • A day trip from Dubai to Jebel Jais. Pump your adrenaline by hopping on the world’s longest zipline over this jaw-dropping mountainous region.

Can you do Dubai in 3 days?

Short answer – you can. But if you want to take it easy and discover every cool attraction U.A.E.’s largest city offers, I suggest you plan at least 5-7 days.

What are the new attractions in Dubai?

Below, I’ve prepared a list of the best new attractions in Dubai.

  • Palm Tower – an observation deck.
  • La Perle – a performing arts theater.
  • Museum of the Future – an interactive museum.
  • Topgolf Dubai – one of the city’s newest golf clubs.
  • Mohammad Bin Rashid Library – the national library.

What are the don’ts in Dubai?

When in Dubai, don’t:

  • Get drunk in public. Non-Muslims can buy alcohol in licensed bars, hotels, and restaurants. But be careful not to get caught drunk or acting disorderly in public, as it can get you in jail.
  • Swear. Cursing and using foul language are considered offensive. So, don’t swear or cuss in public.
  • Use your left hand. I know this sounds weird. But in Islamic countries, they use their left hand for body hygiene. That’s why it’s considered unclean. Also, don’t shake hands or greet anyone with your left hand.
  • Take photos of people without their permission. This especially applies to photos of local women.
  • Display affection publicly. Refrain from kissing and making out. Holding hands is fine.
  • Show your homosexuality. Unfortunately, homosexuality is still illegal in the U.A.E. Cross-dressing is illegal, too.
  • Insult Islam. Do NOT ever insult Muslims or the Islamic religion. Blasphemy can lead to serious punishments or even jail.

Which Are Your Favorite Things to Do in Dubai?

Ain Dubai - Dubai Eye
Enjoying the futuristic skyline is one of the top things to do in Dubai

There you have it – 44 best things to do in Dubai.

From marveling at jaw-dropping panoramas to getting lost in spice markets, and from watching breathtaking fountain shows to enjoying a meal 165 ft. in the air, we bet you’ll have a blast in UAE’s largest city.

If you’d like to know more about the City of Gold, check out these Dubai travel tips.

Start Planning Your Trip to Dubai with Our BEST Recommendations:

Top Tours in Dubai

📍 Burj Khalifa Dubai – see the city from the deck of the tallest building in the world.

📍 Dubai Helicopter Tour – experience the most exhilarating views of Dubai’s skyline.

Best Accommodations in Dubai

🏨 Armani Hotel – spoil yourself with a luxurious stay inside Burj Khalifa.

🏨 Gevora Hotel – if you love sweeping vistas, stay at the highest hotel in Dubai.

Easiest Transportation Options in Dubai

🚍 Dubai Hop-on Hop-off Bus – the best way to explore the city at your own pace.

🚍 Discover Cars – compare and find the best rates for car rentals in any destination.

Before you book your trip to Dubai, we’re curious:

What would be the first thing you’d do when you visit Dubai?

Leave a comment below to let us know.

Svet

Svet has lived on three continents. He graduated from his Master’s in Belgium, did a Work & Travel program in the USA, and in 2015, spent several months working, traveling, and exploring the Chinese culture. As a result, he found how challenging yet fun it is for a Westerner to live in China. Fun fact: Svet loves doing push-ups in public places and has a crush on tractors.

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