Dubai, the gleaming gem of the United Arab Emirates, is a city synonymous with opulence, extravagance, and unbridled luxury. Nestled...
Dubai, the city which grew from just a small fishing village on the desert to a super-city of glass towers in under 50 years, offers a lot of fun and activities for the tourist caring to step on its shores. Dubai is city that boasts of decadence in everything from the tallest building to the most expensive hotel, the fanciest of cars, and of course, to the largest shopping mall in the world as the city knows how to keep creating headlines. Apart from the beaches and desert, everything else in Dubai is manmade. That is what makes the city more appealing. People who are thinking Dubai is nothing more than a city of malls, there is a great need to spend few times here and you are sure to fall in love with this alluring city.
Don’t know what to do in Dubai? Read on to know about some of the best activities in Dubai.
From the trading port on the Gulf cutting through the Dubai Creek winds its way up to the Ras al Khor bird sanctuary on the desert of Dubai. “Dhows” as the old-fashioned fishing boats are known, crisscross the water from Deira on the right and the Bur Dubai on the left bank.
Cruising down the creek is one of the best activities in Dubai that you cannot miss. Catch a water taxi dhow or opt for a romantic sunset dhow cruise traveling. Make your evening spectacular by adding a BBQ buffet dinner with Music and a Tanura dance show on the dhow cruise Dubai Marina.
You’ll enjoy the glittering lights of the high-rise buildings lining the Creek while sipping on your drink. Another highlight of the Dubai Creek is the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club that overlooks both the Marina and Creek. The majestic clubhouse located on the Deira side of the creek has also been designed mirroring the sails of the Arab dhow.
Apart from being one of the most photographed landmarks, Creek is also home to the first golf academy in the Middle East. The yacht club is in a separate building as well as home to the famous outdoor venues, restaurants and Boardwalk.
Cool off from the Dubai heat with a scoop of creamy goodness from Ice Cream Lab. It’s an innovative ice cream shop serving freshly made ice cream with a liquid nitrogen machine. That means, your cup will be tailored as per your tastes to made exactly how you are looking for.
Their best-selling flavor is Rodeo Road, made with Nutella, butter biscuit, and marshmallows. Salt lick crunch with caramel sauce is also popular among people. Of course, you can’t go without with the classic trifecta. All these and many more await you at Ice Cream Lab to fulfil an amazing desert craving.
Address: The Dubai Mall, Financial Center Rd – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 10am – 1am (daily)
What about a photo with the largest frame in the world? Dubai Frame is located in Zabeel Park, as well as one of the most famous landmarks in the Dubai. It is about 150 meters tall. Dubai Frame was opened to the public on in 2018. For your information, the government of Dubai held a design competition, ThyssenKrupp Elevator International Award in 2009 which Fernando Donis won with the Dubai Frame.
Address: Zabeel Park Jogging Track – Za’abeel – Al Kifaf – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 9 AM to 9 PM. The landmark is open all year round.
Dubai Fountain, the world’s biggest orchestrated fountain is another best addition to the “world’s first” list of manmade structures in UAE. A 902 ft long, 25 colored projectors with 6600 lights is what it takes to create the illumination for the fountains. You’ll be surprised to know that, the beam of lights from the fountain can be seen from over 33kms. The fountains project water up to a height of 500 ft in the air along with various combinations and patterns.
Dubai fountains is located at the center of the Downtown Dubai development area on the Burj Khalifa Lake. The dramatic effect is created by the water, lights and music. It can be seen from every direction on the lake promenade as well as from the surroundings.
Address: Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd – Downtown Dubai – Dubai
Opening hours: 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm- every 30 minutes from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays- 6 pm to 11 pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
The tiny Bastakiya quarter is Dubai’s one of the picturesque neighborhoods. It is located somewhere in between the Dubai Creek and the Bur Dubai district. Bastakiya quarter was originally established by rich textile and pearl traders from Bastak, Iran. Now, it consists of a mini-labyrinth of wind-towered buildings. Some of the buildings have been transformed into cafes, art galleries and cafés hotels.
There is a great information for you, The Bastakiya Quarter is the part of Dubai that is untouched by the relentless construction as well as modernization drive. The perfect reason to explore this place is for a leisurely pace. Relax and soothe yourself with a refreshing drink at this amazing place.
Address: Bur Dubai – Al Hamriya
Opening hours: 7 AM to 8 PM
One of the most memorable things in Dubai is the sail-shaped hotel facing the Arabian Gulf. Apart from being Dubai’s signature landmark, Burj Al Arab is the world’s only seven-star hotel, though officially the ratings don’t go higher than 5.
Like most of Dubai’s exclusive hotels, the Burj Al Arab is also a world in itself as well as dripping in opulence. You cannot walk into the Burj without a reservation. However, those who do not want to splurge on staying, a better way to gain entry is by making a reservation at one of the hotels. Choose to dine under the sea as well as high up among the stars. Burj Al Arab offers several exclusive dining options in elegant settings. However, the Skyview Bar and the Al Muntaha are the most popular choice for the panoramic views.
Address: Umm Suqeim 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Deserts are supposed to be barren with limited vegetation. However, the Dubai Miracle Garden is a classic example of Dubai ingenuity. How one can grow as well as maintain a complete 72,000 sq. meters flower garden. Dubai Miracle Garden is located in Dubailand, Dubai and is claimed as world’s largest natural flower garden featuring over 45 million flowers.
All the flowers have been planted in creative and mesmerizing manners as well as together with impressive landscaping to behold. The flowers ranges from ordinary to exotic kinds that are often found in Asia and South America. It is fascinating to know that flowers have been fashioned into various shapes like pyramids, igloos, hearts, and starts.
You have water outdoor pools, flower-decked vintage cars, mini-umbrellas-covered pathways, and heart-shaped walkways and many other designs. The Dubai Miracle Garden is open from October to April. The floral patterns are changed every season. An eco-friendly irrigation system is responsible to deliver moisture to the plants in an efficient manner.
Recently, Dubai’s Miracle Garden has added another attraction, the Dubai Butterfly Garden. It is the world’s largest first indoor butterfly garden with more than 15,000 butterflies from 26 different species.
Address: Al Barsha South 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Mushrif Park is a 1300-acre park located in Mirdif, Dubai. It has been significantly designed to perfection for all ages. There are some attractive features of the park that makes it different than other parks.
Tasteful music is played from hundreds of discreetly placed speakers, adjacent to children’s playgrounds as well as jungle gyms. There are also some giant percussion instruments like tubular bells and drums that can be played both by children and adults. Slides and monkey bars galore are there, carnival mirrors distort your reflection and a metal structure that resembles the ribcage of a dinosaur is for climbing. It is fascinating to know, the children’s play area is a replica of the arid landscape of the desert comes with tents, valleys, and rocks making it suitable for a game of hide-and-seek.
Along with this, man-made streams running through the park have metal fish in the rocky steps in the water in order to encourage pretend play. Interaction with the animals is free. You can also get a private space for camping as well as a BBQ with your friends or family to make your day more fantastic. A colorful train runs through the park from noon onwards. There is also a global village housing a child-sized traditional structure. These are significantly built for representing the construction style of houses. Another reason to visit this park is, The Ripe Food and Craft Market held every Saturday at the park.
Address: Al Khawaneej St – Mushrif – Dubai
Opening hours: 8am to 11pm
Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most beautiful as well as oldest mosques of Dubai. it’s the only one open to non-muslims too. The mosque has been in the medieval Fatimid tradition with beautiful designs using stone carvings and natural colored stone walls. The iconic architecture is similar to the Umayyad era of Egyptian mosques. For your information, the Jumeirah Mosque is often known as the bridal Mosque of Dubai because of its beauty.
The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding organizes a 75-minute guided tour for non-Muslims on Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday at 10 AM. This tour is aimed at promoting cultural understanding into the faith of Islam, and photography is allowed inside.
Few essential things must be remembered when you go for the tour Children under 5 years are not allowed. You must be dressed up conservatively, wear modest clothing and remove your shoes before entering.
Address: Jumeirah – Jumeirah 1 – Dubai
Opening hours: Guidance tour for tourists is from 10:00.
The visiting hours are from 10:00am – 08:00pm daily.
Desert Safari is a must-do on every tourist’s list of outdoor fun activities to do in Dubai. Dubai, being a desert city, how can you miss out on the desert experience. It is fascinating to know that; various tour operators offer a variety of desert safaris according to your convenience or choice of activities. you can enjoy this experience in the morning, evening, or overnight.
The morning safaris are the shortest as the temperature on the dunes buggy Dubai becomes high till noon. In terms of evening safari, it’s for about 4-5 hours. Overnight safari is the same as evening, however, it also includes a sleepover in a camp and for the people whom dune bashing is nightmarish. There is also an option of dinner desert safari only.
You must know, the safari begins with a drive in the desert on a 4WD vehicle with 20-30 mins of dune bashing. Dune bashing stops for photographs, falconry, camel rides, as well as sand skiing, henna application on hands, quad biking, and barbeque dinner with belly dance and Arabic music. Overnight safari also includes all these plus an overnight stay in a camp with the breakfast.
Depending on the package few things may be additional or less. However, some may be on a chargeable basis. It is suggested to check with your tour operator while booking.
Dubai Autodrome, a 5390 meters long circuit is located in the Dubailand area. It’s not only one of the most moderns in the world, but also the most challenging, as it includes a combination of technical corners with high-speed straights. It’s fascinating to know that, some of the world’s famous Grand Prix drivers have driven competitively in this circuit and even visited this circuit.
The course was significantly designed following the strictest safety requirements. It’s the first FIA-sanctioned circuit in order to incorporate wide asphalt run-off areas. It comprised six various configurations as well as aims to allow 3 racing circuits.
You can also try your hand at driving one of the race cars at the Race & Drive Centre. However, the Hankook Dubai 24H endurance race is hosted every year that attracts over ninety teams with 400 drivers from all across the world. Another attractive feature of the Autodrome is, the Kartdrome which has both indoor and outdoor tracks of international standards.
Address: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd – Motor City – Dubai
Opening hours: 9am to 5pm
Burj Khalifa sky observatory, soaring high at a height of 555 meters is Dubai’s most iconic destination as well as the highest observation deck in the world. Visiting this observatory will blow your mind and definitely be one of the must-do things. You’ll be surprised to know that, there is a plaque from the Guinness World Records that confirms the same.
The journey begins when you step into a special elevator for bringing you up for the breathtaking experience. Level 148 comes with luxury lounges and an outdoor terrace to enjoy a stunning 360-degree view of the city.
However, level 125 has a new attraction that is A Falcon’s Eye View experience. This experience will allow you see some important landmarks in Dubai from a new perspective. You’ll also learn about testimonials of the People Behind Burj. Do not forget to click the Burj Khalifa moments, add some special effects too.
Address: 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd – Downtown Dubai – Dubai
Opening hours: open 24 hours
The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is the first national park of UAE. The area is spread over 225-square-kilometers. It’s a result of planned rehabilitation process over the years along with the objective of preserving the desert wildernesses as well as for the protection of the endangered species. Within DDCR, the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa is located in order to have an ultimate experience in the middle of a desert.
Other than the resort, numerous other options are available to experience the desert. Go on a thrilling ride deep into the DDCR with the selected operators who have been given permission to conduct these tours. You can also explore the desert surroundings in a four-wheel drive as well as on foot with a safari guide. Some of the popular options are horse riding, sand-skiing, falconry, and archery.
Furthermore, you also have an option of experiencing a traditional dune dinner, seated in a rich Bedouin tent feast in front of grilled meats, Arabic sweets, fresh salads with some Arabic music and a belly dance.
Dubai’s museum, located in the sturdy Al Fahidi Fort, is considered as the city’s oldest structure. The museum indicates the emirate’s evolution from pearling village to a global city of finance and tourism. A room highlights the importance of the sea illustrated before the discovery of oil. However, the last room showcases some archaeological findings from nearby excavation sites.
The main exhibits comprise a 10-minute video that features historical Dubai followed by a mock souk. There is also a small section on the life of pearl divers, who made 50 deep dives daily equipped with nothing but leather finger gloves and nose clips.
The exhibit ends in the archaeology section. You’ll get to see finds ancient settlements and tombs at Jumeirah, Al Qusais as well as other local archaeological sites. The central courtyard is dotted with traditional boats, bronze cannons, a well as a palm-frond hut called areas.
The Ibn Battuta Mall is another large shopping mall on Sheikh Zayed Road. it is named after the Arabic traveler and explorer Ibn Battuta, who journeyed all over the world way back in the 14th century.
There is a great need to know that, Ibn Battuta is the world’s largest themed shopping mall. It consists of more than50 restaurants, 270 shops, as well as a 21-screen IMAX cinema. The mall is divided into 6 courts, inspired by some of the countries visited by the Ibn Battuta. These courts are Persia, Tunisia, Andalusia, Egypt, China, and India.
Apart from dining, shopping or the cinema experience, the décor of the mall is also awe-inspiring. Like other malls, it is not all steel and glass along with big advertisements. The décor for each court is different. You’ll find magnificent Pyramids in the Egypt Court. Moreover, there is a hand-painted dome at the Persia Court and a striking lion fountain in the Andalusia Court.
Address: Sheikh Zayed Rd- Jebel Ali Village- Dubai
Opening hours: 10am to 12pm
Retail therapy always works wonders. What’s the better place than Dubai for this kind of indulgence? Along with an ending list of malls and souks, it seems like a wonderland. However, the Souk Madinat and the Dubai Mall are must to visit.
Souk Madinat is considered a replica of an ancient marketplace. It includes traditional Middle Eastern style décor, wood carved archways, Arabic architectural design and ambiance in order to give an authentic touch. Souk Madinat is located in the heart of Madinat Jumeirah. It’ll takes you back in time to ancient Arabia while exploring open-shuttered shops, waterfront cafes, and galleries.
Dubai Mall is the world’s largest retail with popular entertainment destinations. It includes more than 1,200 stores as well as over 200 eateries. The tree-lined walkways and restaurants give an open-air outdoor streetscape. The Souk features accessory outlets jewelry shops as well as handicraft stores.
The Dubai Mall features the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo with thousands of aquatic animals. A 270-degree walkthrough tunnel, a 22-screen Reel Cinemas megaplex, and an indoor theme park are the major crowd puller.
Address: Financial Center Street, Along Sheikh Zayed Road, Next to Burj Khalifa – Dubai
Opening hours: 10am to 1am
The Dubai Dolphinarium is the first fully air-conditioned indoor marine mammal facility in the Middle East located in the creek side park at Bur Dubai. the area is spread over about 5,000 square meters and includes a 180-degree arena built around a 5.5 water pool with over three million liters of water. The place can accommodate up to 1,200 people. Along with the arena pool, a private habitat pool similar to a dolphin’s natural habitat is also there. Moreover, there is also a separate medical pool to cater to marine mammals’ wellbeing.
It is fascinating to know that the Dolphinarium is home to six black sea bottlenose dolphins. One of the major attractions is the 45 minutes long fantastic performance by dolphins. The dolphins juggle, dance, paint, as well as play basketball. The performance is complemented by spotlights, lasers, and music too. You can have your photos with the dolphins and sea lions. For a still closer encounter, the dolphinarium offers the opportunity to swim with a dolphin.
Address: Riyadh Street, Inside the Creek Park Gate 1 – Dubai Dolphinarium Building – Dubai
Opening hours: 10 am to 7:30 pm
The Jumeirah Beach, situated on the coast of the Persian Gulf, is a white sand beach. The beach and its frontage feature numerous luxury hotels, resorts, as well as housing developments. Some of the popular locations include the Wild Wadi Water Park, Burj Al Arab Hotel, Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the old-style Madinat Jumeirah.
With the high-end beach hotels have partitioned off the beach, open beaches are sought after by tourists looking for a dip in Dubai. Free facilities at the Beach are showers and toilets. Jumeirah Beach Park is also located there and it’s one of Dubai’s most popular public beach parks that is recently been awarded blue flag beach status. The park has a stretch of golden sand and palm trees. Along with this, it also has a jogging track, picnic tables, volleyball nets, children’s play areas, shaded benches, and barbecue area.
Address: Jumeirah 2, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 7am to 11:30pm
Skiing in Dubai Sounds unbelievable, But it’s true.
Ski Dubai, located in Mall of the Emirates is the first indoor ski center of the Middle East. Spread over 22,500 sq meters, the area offers plenty of options for everyone. The snow mountain-themed attraction features an 85-meter-high indoor mountain along with five various slopes of varying difficulty. A 400-meter-long run with a 60 meters drop is the world’s first indoor black diamond run. Along with this, there is also the quad lift as well as a tow lift for carrying skiers and snowboarders up the mountain.
Another attraction at Ski Dubai is the colony of Gentoo and resident King Penguins. Watch them playing or having fun under the water. By booking a Penguin encounter, you can interact directly with the penguins. Both kids and adults are allowed to enroll for skiing lessons at the ski school. The ticket price also includes snowboard equipment with winter clothing that means there is no need to carry own equipment.
Moreover, you have the best option trop into any of the two restaurants for a quick bite as well as a cup of steaming hot chocolate. There is also a Snow Pro shop for indulgence in retail therapy.
Address: Sheikh Zayed Rd – Al Barsha – Al Barsha 1 – Dubai
Opening hours: 9am to 12am
The premier golf site in Dubai is Emirates Golf Club. The 36-hole golf course was first opened to the public in 1988 with 3 major courses. The Majlis is the flagship course, The Faldo Course, as well as Par 3 Academy Course. If you are a complete beginner, the 9-hole Par 3 course is the best starting point for you. This upscale golf club houses numerous dining options such as Spike Bar,, French-Mediterranean cuisine, Roseleaf Café, and Jones the Grocer.
Address: 17/2, Al Naseem street Emirates Golf Club, Al Thanyah 3, Hadaeq Mohammed Bin Rashid, Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 6am to 11pm
One of the best outdoor activities to do in Dubai is sailing on a dhow cruise in dubai marina. Dhows are traditional wooden boats that have played an essential role in the city’s past. Now, these boats are refurbished with the latest amenities as well as used for tourism purposes. The cruise takes you on a 2-hour journey through the serene waters of Dubai Marina. Soak in the magical views of the city’s skyline. The illuminated landmarks will blow your mind. Enjoy live entertainments like a puppet show, Tanura Dance, as well as Belly dancing. Furthermore, savor a lip-smacking buffet dinner with both local and international delicacies.
Dubai souks are the traditional Arabian marketplace and are famous all over the world. you must know that; the souks are categorized as per the products they sell. That means you have various souks for perfume, spice, electronics, gold, textiles as well as vegetable, fish, meat souks. Dubai souks are located in the vibrant Deira area of Dubai. These markets are an essential part of life as well as trade for people in Dubai. Bargaining is a common feature at the souks. However, the best time to visit this location is late afternoon through to the early evening, except the fish market.
The two famous souks are the Gold and the Spice Souk.
Gold Souk –The Gold Souk is a must-visit for everyone. Either you are a gold trader, a serious buyer, or just a tourist for a unique souvenir, Gold Souk is the best place to be. You can find vendors, numerous models, statement pieces, unique gemstones to suit all tastes. Moreover, you can also be assured of buying genuine products. The Dubai authorities keep a great check on goods for authenticity.
Spice Souk – The Spice Souk is another major attraction. You can find every conceivable spice from local to imported varieties. Dates, Saffron, nuts, and other dried fruits are sought after by tourists. Some of the top chefs at the restaurants buy ingredients for their dishes from here. You can also buy tobacco for the sheesha at the Spice Souk.
For the uninitiated, the place seems like an assault on the senses considering various types of smells floating around in the air. It is suggested to sample everything before buying.
If you want to learn about the real Dubai, you must sign up for the above-mentioned activities.
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