Dubai is not an ordinary Arabian city. With its diverse landscape and a rich array of attractions and sights to fill any holiday program, it’s probably the Middle East’s most visited city. But if you’re looking to make the compilation of your Dubai travel checklist a little smoother, here are some of the things to do in Dubai you can’t-miss things.

Is Dubai Safe for female travelers?

Dubai is one of the safest cities in the world and this also applies to single women. Thefts and crime are almost non-existent, without homeless people and without unemployment.

Unless you are looking to visit a mosque, women can dress however they like in Dubai. Due to the hot weather, it is normal to see shorts, short dresses, and tank tops on the streets. Of course, it is recommended to dress more moderately to go to neighborhoods where local people live.

Best Things to do in Dubai

1. Splash around at Dubai’s Water

Whether you’re a water park lover or keen about indulging in some exciting water sports, Dubai has endless choices. Make your way to its many classic and brand-new water parks including Wild Wadi, Aquaventure (at Atlantis, The Palm resort), and Laguna Water Park. For more genuine water fun and thrill, there are ample choices to make the most of Dubai’s sparkling waters along the Persian Gulf. From relaxed and milder to the most extreme and epic, you can sign up for a variety of water activities like kayaking, banana boat ride, jet skiing, wakeboarding, and fly board to name a few.

2. Tour Al Bastakiya Quarter

Also known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, Al Bastakiya Quarter in the old part of Dubai stands as a lasting legacy of the modest Emirati past. Stroll down this quaint quarter where its narrow labyrinths are filled to brim with several historic structures as well as dwellings – many of which are transformed into charming art galleries, art museums, and museums.


Al Bastakiya Quarter | Things to do in Dubai

If you would want to step into some of them, don’t miss Arabian Tea House, Majlis Gallery, Dubai Museum (within the city’s oldest fort), and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding which is a must-experience for culture buffs.

3. Desert Safari

On a desert safari, you’ll get to explore a different side of Dubai that is untouched and staunchly guarded against any kind of urban development. In other words, it introduces you to the stunning Arabian Desert landscape that lies just 30 to 40 minutes away from the city center. This encompasses many activities that make it an off-road adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy dune bash on a rip-roaring 4X4 drive and get unobstructed views over the endless desert sands scattered all around with camel ride, sandboarding, and quad biking.

While these are the standard inclusions of a desert safari, you can make it more memorable with an evening or overnight desert safari complete with Shisha smoking, henna painting, BBQ dining, and traditional shows like Tanura, belly dance, etc.


Things to do in Dubai | Desert Safari

4. Experience outdoors with unmatched thrill

Dubai is an adventurist’s playground! This indicates that there are tons of ways to experience its outdoors in the most exhilarating ways imaginable. Whether you wish to hit the skies, go underwater, or try the most exciting adventure on land, Dubai boasts of many record-breaking options that are definite to take your breath away.

One of the must-try for daredevils is XLine Dubai which lets you zip over the stylish Dubai Marina along with the world’s fastest, steepest, and longest urban zipline. Another similar activity is XDubai Slingshot which lets you experience the world’s fastest human slingshot.


Things to do in Dubai | Xline Marina


5. Keep Aside a Whole Day for Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is the city’s most posh and vibrant neighborhood. Launched more than a decade ago, it boasts of an eclectic vibe, thanks to its many contemporary structures and awesome leisure/entertainment options that continue to beckon visitors over and again. The following attractions are some of the most iconic and legendary among them.

Burj Khalifa

With its cool, piercing architecture and soaring height of over 828 meters, the tallest of its kind Burj Khalifa is a major attraction for locals and tourists alike. A must-do for first-timers is a selfie or pose against its gigantic structure, but if you can afford it, be sure to make your way to the observation decks at 124th or 148th levels. They not only feast you with the grandeur of this imposing structure but also amaze you with the stunning views over the whole of Dubai from an unrivaled sky-high vantage point.

Dubai Fountain Show

Take any list of top attractions in Dubai – this sight outside of the Dubai Mall and next to Burj Khalifa is definite to be on top. And it’s absolutely justifiable – this marvelous spectacle of choreographed water in immaculate harmonization to light and music is truly a sight to behold. Moreover, pay nothing to watch this; just arrive at the spot early and find a perfect vantage point that evades all crowd, thus allowing you to see it up-close. But to watch it in its true splendor, pay a nominal charge to enjoy it from Dubai Fountain Bridge or on an abra ride along Burj Lake.


Things to do in Dubai | Fountain Show

The Dubai Mall

More than 1200 outlets and a scrumptious collection of over 200 restaurants and cafes plus numerous recreational attractions make Dubai Mall one of the city’s unmissable attractions. A major draw here is Dubai Mall Aquarium and Underwater Zoo which is definite to leave you in awe with its huge 10-million-liter tanks and over 33,000 rare and endangered marine inhabitants. More attractions follow by way of Dubai Ice Rinks, KidZania Dubai, Dubai Dino, and VR Park Dubai.


Things to do in Dubai | Dubai Mall

6. Visit Bluewaters Island

Located off Dubai Marina, this waterfront neighborhood is one of Dubai’s newest and trendiest spots, packed with the crème de la crème of the top city sights. Admire the highest of its kind Ain Dubai (observation wheel at a height of 250 meters), visit the largest 3D Art Museum in the world and step into the Middle East’s first Madame Tussauds Museum, among others. There is also the Caesar’s Palace property and this is one-of-its-kind hotel property outside of Las Vegas.


Things to do in Dubai | Bluewaters Island at night


7. Have absolute fun at Theme Parks

Are you a theme park lover or have a hardcore theme park fanatic in your group? Then you would certainly want to add one or more of these theme parks to your Dubai itinerary.

IMG Worlds of Adventure

It’s considered the world’s largest indoor theme park. From Marvel, Cartoon Network, and Lost Valley to IMG Boulevard, its four zones encompass some of the most terrific, world-class, and record-breaking rides including the Velociraptor, Avengers Battle of Ultron, and the Amazing Ride of Gumball.

Dubai Parks and Resorts

This destination is difficult to leave out if your Dubai holiday is centered on fantastic theme parks. It’s the region’s first of its kind integrated resort with four theme parks in its vast space, such as the Hollywood-inspired Motiongate Dubai, Hindi-movies-themed Bollywood Parks Dubai, and most of all, the Middle East’s first Lego-themed Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park.

Ski Dubai

Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, this is one of the coolest things to see in Dubai. After all, it’s the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort where you enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and tobogganing, among other authentic snow activities. This spot is for all skiing levels, so both serious skiers and absolute veterans are welcome here. If you don’t have plans to hit its slopes, be sure to take to its massive Snow Park and exciting rides offering the most relaxed and fun-filled snow experiences.

8. Dhow Cruise

There is probably no better way to marvel at the night city skyline views than on a dhow cruise. It’s nothing but a pleasant, laid-back sail down the charming Dubai Creek or super classy Dubai Marina in a traditional Arabian dhow. This not only guarantees you a distinct perspective over the unequaled cityscape from water but also promises you the most unforgettable moments on board with the finest dining and the most striking entertainment performances.

9. Discover Palm Jumeirah and See Burj Al Arab

No tour of Dubai is complete (especially for first-timers) without checking out the world-famous man-made island of Palm Jumeirah. This unique island is mainly striking for its marvelous design that resembles a colossal palm tree topped off by a crescent. A helicopter tour or a supremely thrilling sky diving session is one of the ultimate ways to admire this island in its true, exact form. Alternatively, you can also take a drive or more ideally take a monorail ride to enjoy a glance of this island.


Things to do in Dubai | Burj Khalifa

10. Go on a shopping spree

Dubai is not just a city of high-rise structures and architectural splendors; it’s also a city of malls with over 70 massive shopping malls including the largest-of-its-kind Dubai Mall, one-of-its-kind Ibn Battuta Mall, unmatched Burjuman Centre, and the Egyptian inspired Wafi Mall to name a few. They all are filled with outlets and boutiques with apparel, cosmetics, gadgets, confectionaries, and other merchandise representing almost all top brands.

But if you’re looking for some affordable shopping in Dubai, make sure that you swing by its traditional Arabian bazaars, locally known as souks. From Gold Souk, Textile Souk, and Perfume Souk to Spice Souk, each of these bazaars comes with a distinct charm and character and is worth a trip in its own right.

As we’ve rounded up the best Dubai experiences for you, make sure that add some of these attractions and experiences to your Dubai program. Wherever you go or whatever you do, a Dubai trip promises you the most cherished and memorable moments.

About the Author

A Highland lover and avid trekker, Neha likes being surrounded by nature’s beauty. She finds travel, music and writing therapeutic and loves to discover new places and make new friends.


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