· · · · · · ·

35 fun things to do in Dubai (plus a bonus one!)

Dubai is the Disneyland of cities with a seemingly endless amount of things to do. To give you some inspiration for your next holiday to Dubai we’ve managed to narrow it down (and we use the term loosely), so here are the top 35 things to do in Dubai (in no particular order). If you can’t wait, scroll to the end for something truly incredible… 1. Go to the top of the Burj Khalifa Standing at 829 meters, it is the world’s tallest building and the view from the top of 160 floors is simply breathtaking. 2. Aquaventure Water Park Located at the tip of Palm Island, the Aquaventure is heralded as one of the best water parks in the Middle East and Europe! There are 17 hectares of amusements which includes the Lost Chambers aquarium, Dubai’s largest aquarium, where you can even go snorkelling with the sharks, rays and fish! 3. Arabian Ranches Golf Course This stunning course is sure to challenge any golfer from beginner to Tiger Woods, with immaculate grassy fairways alongside rugged natural terrain. 4. Al Ain Zoo Perfect for families, at this incredible zoo you can see animals including hippos, lemurs, gorillas and jaguars. Explore by foot or opt for one of their experiences. Perhaps you’ll search for wild Scimitar Oryx and Addax on a desert safari, feed giraffes by hand or walk through the lemur enclosure. 5. Go skydiving Looking for something really exhilarating? Why not get a birds-eye view of the city as you launch yourself out of a plane and freefall 13,000 feet at up to 21 kilometres an hour? A truly unforgettable experience. 6. Ski Dubai The first of its kind in the Middle East, indulge in all things snow at this indoor ski slope. From tobogganing to snowboarding and skiing, everyone is welcome to try their hand at this mountain-themed hotspot. 7. Camel trek Clamber atop a camel’s back and experience how people have been travelling in the United Arab Emirates for hundreds of years. Give it a go for a short trip or opt for something a little longer trip where you can also dine on a traditional Bedouin meal under the stars or sample a shisha. 8. Gold souk This traditional market located in Old Dubai near the Dubai Creek is famous for its many stalls that sell gold jewellery. Haggle for a unique piece to take home or marvel at the beauty of windows filled with glittering gold. 9. Chillout Ice Bar Dinner is best served cold at the Middle East’s first sub-zero dining venue. Inside this lounge built entirely out of ice and chilled to -6C you can dine on hot drinks, delicious deserts and mock-tails while wrapped up in cosy coats and gloves. 10. Dubai Creek Snaking through the middle of Dubai, this saltwater creek is a must-see for history lovers, sight-seers and photographers alike. As you drift down aboard a traditional boat, you’ll see the charming architecture of the old Dubai and perhaps even discover the traditional souks that are dotted along the banks. 11. Al Bastakiya The oldest residential area in the city of Dubai gives you an authentic taste of the history here, with narrow winding lanes and stone towers, as well as the Al Fahidi Fort which is thought to be the oldest building in the city. 12. Palm Island You’ll probably already have heard that this man-made island, shaped as a palm tree, can be seen from space, but did you know that it also has 520 kilometres of beach and is the home to some of Dubai’s most luxurious hotels, as well as boutique shopping, fine-dining venues and waterparks aplenty. 13. Have a private dinner on a terrace at the Burj Al Arab For the ultimate romantic dinner, treat yourself to a six-course dinner backdropped by spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf at one of the world’s most luxurious hotels and Dubai’s only 7-star hotel. 14. Meena Bazaar Though the sleek modern malls are also worth a trip, to get the most out of your trip to Dubai make sure you head to Meenaa Bazaar. Home to a staggering array of market stalls selling everything from food to fabric and jewellery, you can find yourself some unique souvenirs or simply wander around the narrow paths and take it all in. 15. Emirates Towers These iconic towers have 15 restaurants and bars to choose from as well as an open-top swimming pool and some of the best views of the city. 16. Dubai Fountains Every half an hour throughout the evening and twice during the day at the Burj Khalifa Lake, you can witness the world’s largest choreographed fountain display where water is shot up to 150 metres into the air. 17. Go snorkelling The waters that surround the Middle East are well-known for being some of the best waters to snorkel thanks to good visibility, warm temperature and for being home to a myriad of sea life. The best snorkelling close to Dubai is found in the Gulf of Oman, to the east of the United Arab Emirates either at Fujairah or Oman’s Musandam Peninsula. Many hotels in Dubai offer snorkelling day trips which includes travel to and from the boat, equipment and often, lunch. 18. Go on a self-drive tour of the city in a supercar Exploring the city by car is a must, but why stick to a standard hire car? Dubai is one of the best places in the world to hire a luxury sports car so why not travel in style and get behind the wheel of a Rolls Royce, a Bugati, a Porsche or a Bentley? 19. Children’s City This one-of-a-kind ‘city within a city’ scientific learning centre is a great day out for ages 2 – 15. You and your family can investigate the human body exhibition, discover the solar system at the planetarium, play in the soft play area and have fun exploring! 20. Wonderland UAE The largest amusement park in the UAE with 30 attractions sprawled across 22 acres of land including a theme park, indoor centre and an outdoor waterpark, that’s fun for the whole family. 21. Motor City Home to the Dubai Autodrome, a 5.39km motor circuit as well as the F1-X Dubai Formula One theme park, this motor-themed residential area is a must for motor fans of any age. 22. Hot air balloon ride over the city How better to see this majestic city than by air? See the mountains, desert and city from your very own hot air balloon, perhaps even with a glass of Champagne in hand. 23. XVA Gallery One of the Middles East’s best contemporary galleries displaying the finest Arabic modern art, historical artefacts and ornaments. 24. Dubai Aquarium The largest suspended aquarium in the world, this 10 million litre tank is home to over 33,000 animals across 140 species. Look out for the Sand Tiger Sharks, the largest collection of them in the world. If you’re looking for a thrill, daredevils can even try their hand at diving with them! 25. Join a running club Running is one of the best ways to see a city. With miles of palm-lined promenades, parks and harbours, as well as running clubs for all abilities, Dubai is a great place to explore by foot. Dubai Road Runners even offers prizes for the runners that get closest to predicting their final time. 26. Rock pools of Hatta This lesser known region is one of the most picturesque places in the UAE. Just an hour’s journey away from Dubai, it’s perfect for a day visit to escape the city and discover the country’s natural highlights. Here you can enjoy the landscape by hiking or kayaking the dam or exploring the 3,000-year-old heritage village. One of the biggest highlights of a trip to Hatta is swimming in the azure waters of the spring-fed rock pools of the Hajar Mountains. 27. Tax free shopping Tax free shopping means that you can really go and get lost in the mall, with everything from designer shops to outlet stores at your disposal. The best malls include Ibn Buttuta Mall, an ornate Moroccan-inspired theme mall and BurJuman which boasts a mix of famous luxury clothing brands. 28. Bastakia Quarter The city’s most charming heritage site, built in the 19 th century, that is home to art galleries, the Dubai Museum and Dubai’s oldest building, the Al Fahidi Fort. Wander the winding streets and admire the culture, history and architecture. 29. Wild Wadi Water Park This waterpark located at the broad tip of The Palm Jumeirah offers 30 different attractions that’s fun for the whole family, and perfect to enjoy on hot days. This theme park is particularly famous for having the tallest free fall slide outside of the USA; thrill seekers will love hurtling toward ground at 80km per hour! 30. Angsana Spa Relax and re-align at this delightful spa, offering a range of massages, facials and beauty treatments to melt the stresses of life away, leaving you rejuvenated and ready for adventuring Dubai! 31. Jumeirah mosque This iconic mosque is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting the city particularly because it is one of the few mosques in the city that is open to non-Muslim guests. Not only is it the tallest in the city, but it is also one of the largest, with space for up to 1200 people. Six days of each week, guests can join tours to learn about the building’s history and cultural significance. 32. Big Red This 300ft sand dune gets its name from its red colour caused by high iron oxide content, just outside of Dubai it is both jaw-dropping to look at and hair-rising to race down! 33. Dinner on a Donut At the Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club you can experience a unique meal aboard a BBQ Donut – a ringed vessel floating on the Dubai Creek. Stocked with a selection of meat, seafood, vegetables and sauces, a central charcoal grill, and seats for up to eight guests, you and your family can enjoy an incredible meal backdropped on all sides by the creek. 34. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary Located just a short journey away from the centre of Dubai, this urban wildlife reserve offers an important habitat for over 67 different species of bird and is a great choice for a day out of the city. Across the lagoons, mangroves and mudflats you can see birds such as cormorants, herons, egrets and huge flocks of flamingos. What’s more, admission is completely free. 35. Hire a private luxury yacht Get out onto the water aboard a private yacht where you can travel in style, glass of Champagne in hand, as you get a different view of the city and soak in some rays. Bonus! 36. Use a gold vending machine Want something crazy to tell everyone about when you return home from a spectacular luxury holiday in Dubai? Head to the Emirates Palace hotel to use one of the few vending machines in the world that delivers your cash withdrawal in solid gold. Sarah Roberts is Director of Inspiring Travel Company. The Inspiring Travel Company, established in 1974, offers exceptional tailor-made luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most elegant and desirable destination across the globe. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blogin order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Sarah Roberts

Sarah Roberts is a Director of Inspiring Travel Company, part of the ITC Travel Group. The Inspiring Travel Company focus on building bespoke luxury holidays and experiences to some of the most incredible resorts, hotels and destinations across the globe. Sarah started working in the luxury Sports travel team before moving to ITC Travel Group’s Chester based travel agency Deva Travel. After three years, she progressed to Head of Sales at Inspiring Travel Company and then Director. She has travelled all over the world but includes Italy, Iceland, India, Bali, Vietnam, USA and Cambodia in her Top 10 destinations.

Did you enjoy this article?

Receive similar content direct to your inbox.


  1. There’s far more to jewellery in Dubai than just the Gold Souk and to be honest there are thousands of great silver pieces too. A friend took me to a place, not in the Gold Souk, but somewhere near Arabian Ranches where I designed a ring in the morning and they delivered it to my hotel in the evening. You would expect that with that sort of service it would be expensive but it was very reasonably priced.

  2. Dubai is so massive that you can find whatever you want. I think this list will easily get into the hundreds by the time that everyone’s contributed their ideas.

    I know that it is very new and not yet finished but the Al Seef development, on the bank of the Creek is well worth a visit. It’s a heritage development that shows what Dubai might have looked like in the past, perhaps 70 or 80 years ago. There’s underground parking and no contemporary advertising allowed around the shops so it looks very authentic.

    One very interesting shop sells pearls. Long ago Dubai’s wealth came from diving for pearls in the Creek. Now at the shop you can book a trip to Ras-al-Khamiah to watch diving for pearls in the old-fashioned way.

    1. I’ve been to Al Seef. It’s mainly a shopping experience but it’s outdoors so a far cry from the air-conditioned malls. There’s some Arabic dancing and music which makes it seem authentic. Also there are some Arabic restaurants which give a taste of traditional Arabic food. Probably worth dropping into for an evening – especially Thursday or Friday nights when it is lively.

  3. Two more suggestions. Watching international cricket. Pakistan have played some of their home games in the UAE recently. Even more strange – skiing at the Emirates Mall.

    1. Dubai soon will host another Pak vs India match. It is really amazing to see both countries match on the ground. For Pak-indo it’s a great thing to do in Dubai.

  4. As you would expect golf in the UAE is first rate. I haven’t played at the Arabian Ranches course though I have played the Ernie Els one. It won’t come as a surprise that there are some humongous bunkers. If you’ve got the sand then make use of it.

    If you are really serious about your golf then there are some very luxurious villas on the fringe of the course. And sometimes you may be sharing the course with a celebrity or two. With 36 (and counting) attractions Dubai draws people in from all over the place.

    1. Abu Dhabi is a great luxury destination, great shopping experiences, culture, sailing experiences and beaches.

    2. I think that Abu Dhabi has learnt a lot from Dubai and carefully controlled its expansion. In my experience it’s even a lot easier to pass quickly through Abu Dhabi and get on your way, though Fibai Airport has upped its game recently.

      Obviously Dubai has its art weeks but Abu Dhabi is clearly investing to make Saadiyat Island a major cultural destination. The recent opening of the Louvre Abu Dhabi is merely the beginning.

  5. Only 35? I’ve not been but I would have thought that Camel Racing would be up there too. I’m told it’s a strange sport as you have to get in your car to follow the action.

    Following on from the reply about having jewellery custom made don’t forget that there are some good Dubai tailors who make clothes such as suits to order. Though they are not as cheap as in places such as Vietnam.

    1. Camel Racing definitely looks fun. I only gave myself 35 otherwise I would have spent all week on it and it would have never got published.

  6. I know someone who travels quite regularly to Dubai, and even stays for a few weeks a couple of times a year for work. She loves it there and always makes sure to make the most of any spare free time. I know she’s done camel treks as I’ve seen the photos, snorkelling and boating she put lots of photos on Facebook of, and I know she recommends the bars and shopping there. I’d love to see the fountains in their choreographed display. I’ll have to see if that’s on Youtube, everything’s on there these days. A gold vending machine? That’s so unusual!

    1. A gold vending machine is definitely unusual – something out of the ordinary that you would be talking about for a while.

  7. And Dubai puts on some of the best New Year celebrations in the world. When it comes to fireworks no expense is spared. The best trick is to get as high as you can in the middle of the city and see how many firework delays you can watch simultaneously.

  8. I am really glad that I came across this article because it gave me a lot of ideas in planning my 2-week vacation in Dubai. Aside from visiting its famous attraction parks, I would love to drive around the city in a supercar. It is something that I do not experience every day and being able to drive one especially in Dubai is something worthwhile. I would also like to visit museums that showcase Arabian art and culture because I find it very interesting considering that I do not really know a lot of things from their history.

    1. Hi Ramon, really pleased that you found it useful. Driving around in a supercar is certainly not a day to day experience! Let me know how you found the trip!. Thanks, Sarah.

  9. Planning a trip to Dubai is my dream. I just love to go for scuba diving, kayaking, how can I forget Dubai luxurious shopping malls, tall building Burj Khalifa can’t wait for the new year and for my dubai trip.

  10. Sarah, I’m glad you have mentioned Dubai Creek. The entire Dubai Creek area is reminiscent of the lost Arabian world. Both sides of the Dubai Creek are surrounded with old-style markets, heritage buildings and museums.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *