Things to do in Dubai

From Burj Khalifa to Palm Jumeirah, here are Dubai's must-see attractions 

Dubai is a city that must be seen to be believed. Record-breaking architecture stands alongside traditional quarters, while man-made islands jut out of the coastline. Here are the top places to tick off your sightseeing list when you’re in town.


Burj Khalifa

Iconic Dubai

DISCOVER A TRULY UNIQUE VIEW FROM THE TOP



Standing 828 meters high, the Burj Khalifa is hard to miss. The world's tallest tower naturally dominates the Dubai skyline, but the true majesty of the building is best appreciated up close or, even better, from inside. On a clear day, the view from the observation deck on level 124 is absolutely stunning, topped only by the view from the luxurious At The Top Sky Lounge on the 148th floor. And for those who would like to linger for a meal in the clouds, atmosphere on level 122 is the place to be.

Location: Entry from Dubai Mall, Sheikh Zayed Road, Downtown



The Dubai Mall

A shopper’s paradise

REDEFINE THE MEANING OF SHOPPING


Right next to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall. To call the sprawling development merely a shopping mall is doing it a disservice. Even an entire day spent here isn't enough to see it all. Along with its 1,200-plus shops and 150 restaurants, the venue is home to an indoor theme park, an ice rink, a huge indoor waterfall, a choreographed outdoor fountain and the giant Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.


The Dubai Fountain

An awe-inspiring show

WITNESS WATER DANCE IN THE CENTRE OF DOWNTOWN DUBAI


The Dubai Fountain, located at the base of the iconic Burj Khalifa and just outside the doors of the famous Dubai Mall, features the world's largest choreographed fountain system. This popular dancing water show jets water streams as high as 150 meters in the air. Each colourful, illuminated jet sways in time to various musical numbers from around the world, producing what has become the one of the most popular shows in Dubai. Two showings occur in the afternoon (1pm and 1:30pm), except on Fridays (1:30pm to 2pm) and evening displays begin at sundown and take place every 30 minutes until the final song plays at 11pm.



Palm Jumeirah

A palm-shaped island

EXPLORE ONE OF DUBAI’S ARCHITECTURAL TRIUMPHS

A man-made island in the shape of a palm tree - there's a reason why locals say 'only in Dubai.' Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the Palm's vast array of high-end hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One&Only, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and, perhaps most notably, the iconic Atlantic,The Palm. And with a monorail running down the 'trunk' that connects to the mainland's tram system, getting there couldn't be easier.

Dubai Creek

Ancient trade routes

STEP INTO OLD DUBAI’S WINDING WATERWAYS AND SOUKS

Dubai Creek separates the city into two towns with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. The creek has been an influential element in the city's growth, first attracting settlers here to fish and pearl dive. Small villages grew up alongside the creek as far back as 4,000 years ago, while the modern era began in the 1830s when the Bani Yas tribe settled in the area. The Dhow Wharf age is located along Dubai Creek's bank, north of Al-Maktoum Bridge. Still used by small traders from across the Gulf, some of the dhows anchored here are well over 100 years old. You can visit here, watching cargo being loaded and unloaded on and off the dhows. Dhow workers often invite visitors onto the vessels for a tour, where you can gain insight into the life of these traditional sailors. Many of the dhows here travel onwards to Kuwait, Iran, Oman, India, and down to Africa's horn. This tiny remnant of Dubai's traditional economy is still a bustling and fascinating place to wander around.
To travel across the creek, you can either take a trip on one of the many dhows that have been restored as tourist cruise boats or take an abra (small wooden ferry) between the ferry points on the creek's Bur Dubai and Deira banks.



The Walk and Beach at JBR

Eat. shop. beach.

MEANDER THROUGH DUBAI’S URBAN BEACH DISTRICT



For those who like to shop, dine, see a movie and go to the beach all in one place, consider a trip to The Beach opposite JBR. With guest DJs pumping out the tunes on weekends, a regular open-air cinema and a popular water park to entertain the little ones for an hour or two, JBR is always buzzing with activity.




Kite Beach

Dubai’s neighbourhood beach

HIT THE WAVES ON THIS VIBRANT STRETCH OF SAND


The aptly-named Kite Beach is the perfect spot to test out your watersports skills, but there's plenty to do out of the water at this popular spot, too! Grab a smoothie from one of the many open-air cafes and restaurants just steps from the beach, watch bikers and skaters fly by at the newly finished skate park or get into a game of volleyball. With plenty of beach activities, plus an awesome view of the Burj Al Arab, it's easy to spend the whole day here.



Dubai Marina

Stunning cityscape

STROLL ALONG THE WATER BENEATH THIS URBAN SKYLINE


Look into the future at the world's largest man-made marina, Dubai Marina. Marvel at some of the world's tallest apartment buildings as you stroll along Dubai Marina Walk or see it from the water as you set sail from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.


The Desert

A majestic landscape

TRAVERSE DUBAI’S DESERT DUNES


Less than 20 minutes driving from the modernist streets of Downtown Dubai, you can experience the marvels of the Arabian Desert, the original tourist attraction of Dubai. Take a desert safari Dubai-style with off-roading, quad biking and sandboarding followed by traditional barbeques, henna and camel rides. Or just drive out and experience the wonder of the desert on an adventure of your own. Those looking for luxury should indulge in a Heritage Dinner Safari. Can't get enough in a day? Treat yourself to an unforgettable night amid the dunes at the Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa or Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa.



Dubai Canal

On the water

TAKE A RIDE ON DUBAI’S NEWEST WATERWAY


Dubai Water Canal is a 3.2km long waterway extending from the Creek in Old Dubai through Business Bay before finding its way to the Arabian Gulf. Dubai Canal will create 80,000 sqm of waterfront public space and facilities, to include new recreational areas like the 3km running track and 12km cycling path. The canal’s beautiful waterfall can be viewed from Dubai’s Business Bay or you can take in views of the canal from some of Dubai’s newest hotels, like  W Hotel and the St Regis. The Atrium is a series of five restaurants that are also situated off the canal’s waterfront.



Dubai Opera

Centre of culture

DISCOVER DUBAI’S ARCHITECTURAL MASTERPIECE


The Dubai Opera situated in the new “Opera District” in the heart of Dubai offers an enticing schedule which can be likened to that of London’s West End or Manhattan’s Broadway. With views of the Dubai Fountain and next to the Burj Khalifa , the building was inspired by the shape of Arabian Dhow ships and is sure to catch your eye. While the rear of the building arches upwards like a hull and is used as a foyer, taxi rank and car park, the stage area is designed in such a way that it can easily be converted into three different event platforms: theatre, hall or concert hall.



IMG Worlds of Adventure

Indoor theme park

ENJOY THRILLS AND SPILLS IN THIS AWESOME ADVENTURE DESTINATION

Fun, excitement, speed - and even 5D, you can expect all this in the enormous theme park, which is the size of 28 football pitches. With the most up-to-date and exciting rides, IMG World of Adventure will bring your favourite characters to life. There are themed rides for younger visitors with Ben 10, Gumball, the Powerpuff Girls and LazyTown, while older visitors can delve into the world of Marvel heroes: Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor and The Avengers. You will also come across life-size animated dinosaurs in the Lost Valley. The range of entertainment promises round the clock fun for the whole family, and there are also plenty of restaurants and shops.



Dubai Parks and Resorts

Theme park thrills

WATCH YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS COME TO LIFE



Dubai is in the process of becoming a real entertainment paradise − thanks to the forthcoming opening of the Dubai Parks and Resorts. Children will not be able to contain their excitement in the labyrinth of enormous theme parks such as Motiongate, Bollywood Park, and Legoland theme and waterpark, while the adults can relax on Riverland Boulevard which is home to restaurants and exciting entertainment programmes. The luxury Polynesian-style hotel, The Lapita, is situated in the theme park offering guests easy access to the facilities on offer.


Dubai Frame

A tale of two cities

DISCOVER OLD AND NEW DUBAI FROM ONE UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE



Dubai Frame is one of the newest additions to the city’s skyline and represents a remarkable engineering feat. Situated in Dubai’s Zabeel Park and directly between old and new Dubai, the towering structure offers sweeping panoramic views of the city from 150m high. One of its most amazing features is the state-of-the-art clear glass bridge connecting parallel vertical towers to create the shape of a picture frame. Dubai Frame has quickly become a must-see attraction for the city’s visitors and residents alike.



Dubai Safari

Walk on the wild side

DISCOVER A NEW WORLD AT THIS ANIMAL KINGDOM



Featuring the largest and most diverse number of wildlife species in the UAE, Al Warqa’s Dubai Safari is home to 2,500 animals. Adventurers can encounter monkeys, lions, giraffes, crocodiles and a whole lot more as they explore the park's four themed sections: the Arabian, Asian, African and Safari Village. While its solar-powered driving vehicles and world’s first drive-through crocodile exhibit are impressive feats, the park has big plans in store as it aims to provide a safe haven for 5,000 animals by 2020. 



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Things to do in Dubai

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