Dubai, the second largest emirate in the UAE, is simultaneously adored for its futuristic attractions and timeless sights. Yes, it is not only the land of superlatives, but also a place to admire the beautifully preserved antiquated landmarks and the stunning desert landscape that gives you a slice of the age-old Emirati culture and lifestyle. With plenty in store for all types of visitors, this list of top things to do in Dubai will help you to plan your Arabian holiday with much ease.

Here are the Best Things to Do in Dubai:

Get the Fantastic Views over Palm Jumeirah

The view at Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
The view at Palm Jumeirah, Dubai – Neha (Dubai Wikia)

The man-made island of Palm Jumeirah is an engineering marvel like no other! It is so resplendently designed and painstakingly developed that it is sure to blow you away with its huge palm-tree like design. The only way to catch this view is from above which till recently was restricted to airborne activities such as helicopter ride and sky diving. But, with the opening of the View at the Palm, you can now take in the whole of this unparalleled island and beyond from a safe and risk-free vantage point at this exclusive observation deck on the 52nd level of Palm Tower.

Watch Palm Fountain

Palm Fountain at night
Palm Fountain at night – Neha (Dubai Wikia)

In recent times, Dubai has witnessed the opening of an array of brand-new sights. Palm Fountain is one of them, but it is special in its own right as it was unveiled during the peak of pandemic in 2020. It is a testament to the fact that how quickly Dubai got back to its feet while instilling a ray of hope even in this difficult time. For those who are not aware, it is the world’s largest fountain where its aquatic performance in harmony to music and lights is a true sight to behold. The best thing is that it is a free attraction and you will find it at the Pointe, against the background of the mesmeric Atlantis, The Palm resort on Palm Jumeirah.

Take to the World’s Tallest Building

The current world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, Dubai –

Burj Khalifa is one attraction in Dubai that would instantly catch your attention on your every visit here. Unsurprisingly, this structure – opened in 2009 – still holds the record of the world’s tallest building. For a look into its interiors, book your tickets to ‘At the Top’ observatory on its 124th, 125th and 148th levels. This lets you take in the astonishing cityscape of Dubai, together with its desert and oceans, from an extraordinary height. It also comes with one of the region’s fastest elevator rides, plus a multimedia exhibit on Dubai’s humble past and lifestyle.

Discover the Activity-Packed Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall, Dubai
The Dubai Mall, Dubai – peterpoogle (pixabay)

In the center of Downtown Dubai, right next to Burj Khalifa, is the massive Dubai Mall. It is easily a hub of shopping, featuring more than 1200 outlets. But, this mall is not just a draw for shoppers; it enthralls all age groups and preferences with its endless offerings, from Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and VR Park Dubai to Dubai Ice Rink, Ekart Zabeel and KidZania Dubai to the newest Infinity Des Lumières. Before you wind up your mall visit, be sure to watch the Dubai Fountain show at Burj Lake. With so much to do and see here, it is wise to dedicate an entire day for the mall exploration.

Desert Safari

Desert Safari adventure, Dubai
Desert Safari adventure, Dubai – Neha (Dubai Wikia)

Desert safari should be probably the first thing to do in Dubai for adventurists and nature lovers alike. It is mostly in the form of a guided excursion that takes you far afield to the region’s isolated yet pristine desert landscape. Choose from morning, evening or overnight desert safari. They all have standard inclusions like 4X4 dune bash, camel ride etc. Subject to your safari choice, you can expect to be part of cultural experiences including henna tattooing, Shisha smoking, and falconry. BBQ dining and traditional performances (Tanura and Belly Dance) are included in evening and overnight desert safaris.

Enjoy a Ride on the World’s Largest Observation Wheel

The world largest observation wheel, The Ain Dubai
The world largest observation wheel, The Ain Dubai – Neha (Dubai Wikia)

A ride on an observation wheel is always a fun-filled experience for all age groups. Imagine doing it on the world’s largest and highest observation wheel on Ain Dubai at Dubai’s Bluewaters Island – the experience is simply superb! It gives you the chance to enjoy 38-minute ride in an enclosed and fully air-conditioned capsule while allowing you to absorb the views across Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) in the most exciting way.

See Floodlit Dubai on a Dhow Cruise Marina

Bright Dhow cruise vessel at night
Bright Dhow cruise vessel at night – Neha (Dubai Wikia)

As the sun sets in, Dubai lights up and becomes truly magical! There is no better way to see the illuminated version of Dubai than on a dhow cruise, especially at Dubai Marina. This dhow cruise Dubai aboard a rustic wooden Arabian vessel will sail you along the iconic modern structures and pulsating sights across the stylish Dubai Marina for approximately two hours. Choose your dhow cruise with dinner; this is complete with a buffet dining session mostly enhanced by a vast array of food items plus unlimited refreshments. However, the quality of menu depends on your service provider.

Explore Old Dubai

The Old Dubai
The Old Dubai – siska maria eviline (flickr)

Indicative of its name, Old Dubai is the part of the city where the time remains still. It predominantly occupies the parts of Deira and Bur Dubai region where the classic low-lying and understated sand-colored buildings conjure up the images of the old Arabia before the discovery of oil in the region.

Check out the 18th century Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and see the museums, art galleries and cultural landmarks such as Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Dubai Museum, and Camel Museum to name a few. There are also Arabian souks (traditional markets) like Gold Souk, Textile Souk, and Spice Souk. And did we say it is one of the best places to eat like a local in Dubai.

Spend a day at Dubai’s Theme Parks

Legoland Dubai
Legoland Dubai – Jeremy Thompson (flickr)

Theme parks should be every fun and thrill seeker’s first stop in Dubai. With a vast spectrum of theme parks, you are simply spoilt for choices. Visit one of the world’s indoor theme parks at IMG Worlds of Adventure or have the ultimate theme park at Dubai Parks and Resorts with four amazing parks (Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park) within its premise. You can further spend some super chilled moments at the snow themed Ski Dubai and make the most of the gaming experience at the Arcade by Hub Zero.

Go on a City Sightseeing Tour

Taking a walk in Downton Dubai
Taking a walk in Downton Dubai – Olgaozik (pixabay)

It is not an easy task to see all of Dubai’s incredible attractions on your brief holiday. But, you can definitely catch a glimpse of all in a few hours with a guided city tour. With an experienced guide in tow, it takes you around the city’s main attractions such as Museum of the Future, Dubai Frame, and Downtown Dubai, besides photo ops at Atlantis, The Palm, Madinat Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina, among others.


Whether you are a first time visitor or someone who wish to rediscover its classic delights, we hope that our above recommendation of Dubai things to do would allow you for an amazing holiday in this city of marvels. So, which of these attractions and experiences you would like to add on your Dubai bucket list? Share with us via the comment section below.

Author: this is a guest post by Neha from Dubai Wikia

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