Welcome Trekkers to Dubai, one of the most popular destinations in the world. Known for its towering skyscrapers, luxury shopping malls, and stunning beaches, this bustling city never fails to impress. While it may be renowned for its glitz and glamour, there’s much more to Dubai than what meets the eye. Its rich history, diverse cultural offerings, and traditional architecture will surely capture your heart.
Dubai is home to several iconic landmarks that are worth visiting, including the world-famous Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the magnificent Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago that offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. You can also explore the traditional souks, where you’ll find an array of spices, textiles, and jewelry, or visit the Dubai Museum, which sheds light on the city’s past.
But that’s not all – Dubai also offers plenty of activities for adventure junkies. You can try your hand at sandboarding or dune bashing in the nearby desert, or take a hot air balloon ride to get a bird’s eye view of the city. For those who prefer water sports, Dubai’s beaches offer an array of activities such as jet-skiing, parasailing, and kite-surfing.
Whether you’re looking for a luxury vacation or an adventurous getaway, Dubai has something for everyone. So why wait? Start planning your trip to this mesmerizing city and experience the magic of Dubai for yourself.
Here are 10 things to do while you’re in Dubai, United Arab Emirates
1. Scale the Burj Khalifa
Standing tall at 828 meters, this architectural marvel offers a 360-degree panoramic view of the vibrant and bustling city of Dubai. The journey to the observatory deck is a thrilling experience in itself. An elevator ride that takes you to the 124th floor in just over a minute. With breathtaking views of the city skyline, the sparkling blue waters of the Persian Gulf, and the vast expanse of the desert, you’ll be able to capture stunning images that will stay with you forever.
The Burj Khalifa is not just about the view; it’s an engineering masterpiece that transforms the skyline of Dubai. Designed by the famous architect Adrian Smith and developed by Emaar Properties, the Burj Khalifa opens a world of opportunities to explore the city from above. As the tallest building in the world, it offers a unique perspective on the city that no other attraction can provide.
The Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, is an awe-inspiring experience that offers a breathtaking bird’s eye view of Dubai. It allows tourists to appreciate the grandeur of the whole city and its impressive skyline. By reaching the viewing deck of the Burj Khalifa, the guests can marvel at the spectacular vistas of the Persian Gulf’s coastline, the surrounding desert landscape, and the busy city below. If you’re not afraid of heights, this is an experience you do not want to miss. The observation decks at the Burj Khalifa offer sky-high thrills and the most stunning views of Dubai you can imagine.
2. Saddle up for Arabian adventure
This timeless activity has been a staple of life in the Middle East for thousands of years, and for good reason. Riding atop a camel allows you to truly immerse yourself in the beauty and vastness of the desert landscape, feeling the rhythm of the camel’s gait beneath you and watching as the sand stretches out as far as the eye can see.
As you embark on your journey across the desert, you’ll be struck by the stark, otherworldly beauty that surrounds you. The sand dunes seem to ripple and undulate in the winds, each one different and unique in its shape and texture. The sky stretches out above you, a brilliant canvas of blues and oranges and pinks, with the sun casting long shadows across the dunes as it sets in the distance. It’s a truly awe-inspiring sight, and one that will stay with you long after your ride has ended.
Riding a camel across the Arabian Desert is a unique and thrilling experience that offers breathtaking views of the vast and beautiful landscape of the desert. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being on a camel’s back and swaying back and forth with the movements of the animal. The tour guide will typically take visitors on a journey through the desert, stopping at various points to explore the landscape and take in the sights. The camel ride can last for several hours, and visitors will need to be prepared for the heat and sun exposure.
But the camel ride experience isn’t just about the sights - it’s also about the sounds, smells, and sensations of the desert. You’ll hear the gentle padding of the camel’s feet on the sand, the soft rustle of the wind through your hair, and the distant calls of desert birds in the air. You’ll smell the rich scent of sandalwood and frankincense carried on the breeze, and feel the heat of the sun on your skin. It’s a fully immersive experience that will leave you feeling connected to the desert landscape in a way that you never thought possible.
3. Uncover Dubai’s history at the Dubai Museum
Dubai is a city that has rapidly transformed itself from a humble fishing village to an ultramodern metropolis in a span of mere decades. Despite its glitz and glamour, Dubai has managed to preserve its heritage and traces of its Bedouin past. One of the best ways to get a glimpse of the city’s rich history is by visiting the Dubai Museum that is housed in a 200-year-old fort.
Located in the heart of the historic district of Bur Dubai, the Dubai Museum was once a military fortress that was built to protect the city from invading tribes. The museum showcases the city’s journey from a small fishing village to a thriving metropolis. The exhibits showcase the local culture, traditions and the way of life of the Bedouin people. The museum’s galleries are filled with life-size dioramas depicting different scenes from Dubai’s past, including an ancient souq (marketplace), a traditional Arab house and a pearl diving scene.
One of the highlights of the museum is the display of ancient artifacts that were discovered during various excavations in the city. Visitors can get up close and personal with the artifacts that range from pottery and jewelry to coins and weapons. The museum also has a multimedia section that showcases the city’s recent development and its transformation to a global hub for trade, commerce, and tourism.
Visiting the Dubai Museum is a fascinating journey that will transport you back in time while offering insight into the city’s storied past. Whether you’re a history buff or just a curious traveler, you will leave the museum with a deeper appreciation of the rich cultural and historical heritage of Dubai.
4. Immerse yourself in the culture at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre
The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in learning about the rich culture and heritage of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Located in the heart of Dubai’s historic Al Fahidi district, the SMCCU is a non-profit organization that provides visitors with the opportunity to immerse themselves in Emirati culture through a variety of interactive programs and activities.
Upon arrival, visitors are greeted with traditional Arabic coffee and dates before being taken on a guided tour of the beautifully restored wind-tower house that houses the SMCCU. The tour provides visitors with a fascinating insight into the history and culture of the UAE, including its traditional dress, food, customs and society.
After the tour, visitors are invited to take part in a range of cultural activities, including Arabic language classes, henna painting, traditional Emirati music and dance performances, and cooking demonstrations. One of the highlights of any visit to the SMCCU is the chance to enjoy an authentic Emirati meal in the courtyard of the center’s wind-tower house. Served family-style, the meal allows visitors to sample a variety of traditional Emirati dishes while learning about the customs and traditions that surround dining in the UAE.
Overall, the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding provides visitors with a unique and insightful glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the UAE. Whether you are looking to learn more about the country’s history and society or simply want to experience authentic Emirati hospitality, a visit to the SMCCU is an absolute must.
5. Relax at Jumeirah Beach Park
Jumeirah Beach Park is one of the most iconic and popular beach destinations in Dubai. This pristine beach park spans over 12 hectares of beautiful white sand and clear turquoise waters. The park is the perfect retreat from the busy city life of Dubai, offering a serene and peaceful environment for relaxation, sunbathing and swimming.
The beach park is located in the prestigious Jumeirah district, and it is easily accessible by public transport or car. The beach is fully equipped with beach chairs, umbrellas, and changing rooms, making it an ideal destination for families, couples, and solo travelers alike.
Jumeirah Beach Park offers a wide range of activities to keep you entertained throughout your stay. Take a stroll down the long stretches of ivory sand as you breathe in the fresh sea breeze or take a refreshing dip in the crystal blue ocean. Visitors can also participate in various water sports, including kayaking, parasailing, or jet skiing.
The park also features several BBQ areas, a children’s play area, and food outlets where you can indulge in some of the most delicious Emirati cuisine. With all these amenities available at your disposal, you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience at Jumeirah Beach Park. So whether you’re looking for a comfortable day at the beach, a romantic escape, or an adventure-packed outing, Jumeirah Beach Park is the perfect destination to visit when in Dubai.
6. Get lost in The Miracle Garden
The Miracle Garden, located in Dubai, is not just your average garden. It is a stunning masterpiece that spans over 72,000 square meters and hosts over 45 million colorful flowers in various designs and patterns. It’s a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and immerse yourself in a natural paradise.
Immediately upon entering, you will be struck by the dazzling display of unique arrangements of flowers, which are guaranteed to take your breath away. Expect an explosion of color, with a rainbow of flowers beautifully arranged in shapes that include hearts, stars, pyramids, and many other creative motifs.
Aside from the visual extravaganza, the Miracle Garden offers visitors the chance to go on a stroll around a flower maze, and children can enjoy a fairy-tale themed area with mini castles and playhouses. There is also a butterfly garden, which is home to over 15,000 butterflies from 26 species, making an added treat for nature lovers.
One of the most remarkable features of the Miracle Garden is its ability to showcase a wide variety of styles and designs. The garden is constantly changing and evolving year-round, with seasonal collections that feature different types of flowers arranged in unique and creative ways. Whether you’re a gardening enthusiast or not, a stroll through this breathtakingly beautiful garden will undoubtedly leave you with a sense of awe and appreciation for Mother Nature’s beauty.
7. Sail around the Palm Jumeirah
As you sail around the island, you will get a unique perspective of iconic landmarks such as the Atlantis hotel, Burj Al Arab, and the Dubai Marina. The yacht tour provides a luxurious and comfortable way to capture every angle of this visually spectacular island. Onboard the yacht, guests can sip on their favorite beverages and sample delicious local cuisine prepared by highly skilled chefs. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can plunge into the water for a swim or try your hand at some of the many water sports available.
As the sun sets, you will experience a truly magnificent view of the city’s skyline, painted in vibrant hues of red, orange, and gold. The yacht tour offers the perfect setting to enjoy Dubai’s warm climate while taking in some of the world’s most spectacular modern architecture. After the tour, be sure to take a stroll along the palm tree-lined boardwalk which is full of cafes, restaurants, and high-end boutiques.
It is a fantastic way to explore the island and see all the amazing sights that it has to offer. The experience of sailing on a yacht provides a sense of luxury and sophistication that is unparalleled. The tour allows visitors to take some fantastic photos of the island, and they can also get stunning views of the skyline of Dubai. Overall, this is a great activity for people of all ages who are looking to explore Dubai in a unique and exciting way. It’s a unique way to see the city from a different perspective and fully immerse yourself in the luxurious lifestyle that Dubai has to offer.
8. Cross the Creek and Souk
Dubai is a city of contrasts, between the new and the old, and there is no better way to experience this than by crossing the Dubai Creek on an abra, the traditional boat that has been used in Dubai for centuries. The abra ride is an adventure in itself, as you’ll be transported to the other side of the creek in a matter of minutes while taking in the breathtaking views of the city skyline from the water.
Once you cross the creek, you’ll enter the souks (markets) area, which is a bustling maze of narrow alleys filled with shops and stalls selling everything from spices to textiles, jewelry, and souvenirs. The sights, sounds, and smells of the souks are an assault on your senses, as you explore the winding alleys and haggle with the vendors over prices.
The Gold Souk is a must-visit for anyone interested in jewelry, and it’s one of the largest gold markets in the world. The shops here sell every type of gold jewelry imaginable, from traditional pieces to modern designs. The Spice Souk is another highlight, where you can find an endless array of colorful spices, herbs, and dried fruits, and the vendors are happy to share their knowledge of the medicines and remedies made from them.
Overall, crossing the Dubai Creek on an abra and exploring the souks on the other side is an unforgettable cultural experience not to be missed. It offers the opportunity to see a different side of Dubai and interact with the local community while indulging in some of the best shopping and sightseeing that the city has to offer.
9. Escape to serenity in the Hatta Mountains
When it comes to escaping the hustle and bustle of city life, the Hatta Mountains in Dubai provide a stunning retreat for anyone seeking some tranquility in nature. Towering above the cityscape, the majestic peaks of the Hatta Mountains are a picturesque backdrop for an adventurous hike. The mountains offer a variety of different trails to suit all levels of fitness and ability, ranging from gentle meanders through rolling hills to more challenging treks up steep inclines.
The hike itself is an opportunity to connect with nature and marvel at the breathtaking vistas on offer. As you wind your way up the mountain, you’ll encounter a diverse range of flora and fauna, from towering cliffs to cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation. At the summit, you’ll be rewarded with an awe-inspiring panoramic view of the surrounding landscapes, with the bustling cityscape in the distance.
Aside from the physical benefits, hiking in the Hatta Mountains also provides a mental and emotional reset, allowing visitors to recharge and unwind in a peaceful natural setting. Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a refreshing break from city life, the Hatta Mountains are a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to escape the noise and stress of urban living.
10. Indulge in Dubai’s diverse flavors on an Al Fahidi food tour
Dubai is well-known for its luxurious lifestyle, towering skyscrapers, and high-end shopping malls. However, there’s a lot more to Dubai than its glamorous side. The city is a melting pot of cultures, and perhaps the best way to experience that diversity is through its food. If you’re a foodie, then you must take a tour of the Al Fahidi historic district and savor local flavors of Dubai.
The Al Fahidi historic district is located in Bur Dubai and is the oldest neighborhood of Dubai. With its narrow streets, sandy colored buildings with wind towers, and vibrant souks, it’s a perfect place to experience the authentic culture of Dubai. On your food tour, you will get the chance to sample some of the most delicious local delicacies in Dubai, including Shawarma, Falafel, Hummus, and much more.
The tour begins with a stroll through the narrow alleys and ends in a bustling street market. In between, you will get the chance to taste some of the most amazing flavors from traditional dishes to newer fusions. Experience the flavors of Emirati cuisine with dishes like Machboos, a spiced rice dish with meat or fish, and Luqaimat, sweet dumplings drizzled with syrup. Try some of the mouth-watering kebabs, freshly baked bread, and traditional Arabic desserts like Umm Ali, which is similar to a bread pudding.
Moreover, the tour guide will share fascinating stories about the history and culture of Dubai and how it has influenced the food you will be tasting. You’ll learn about the ancient trade routes that brought spices and flavors from across the globe to the Emirates. You will get a better understanding of how food brings everyone together, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
Al Fahidi is a historic neighborhood that is known for its charming winding streets and traditional architecture. As part of this food tour, visitors can sample a variety of local dishes and flavors while also learning about the history of the area. Depending on the specific tour, there may be stops at traditional markets or visits to local restaurants.
Dubai, United Arab Emirates is a city unlike any other. The stunning skyline, impressive architecture, and luxurious amenities make it a must-visit destination. The city is known for its iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, and the Palm Jumeirah, an artificial island shaped like a palm tree. The Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping centers in the world, offers visitors an unrivaled shopping experience with over 1,200 stores to explore.
For those seeking adventure and thrills, Dubai offers a range of activities such as skydiving, hot air balloon rides, and desert safaris. You can also explore the city from the water with a dhow cruise along the Dubai Creek or take a helicopter tour for a bird’s eye view of the city.
And of course, no trip to Dubai would be complete without experiencing the city’s world-renowned dining scene. From street food to high-end restaurants, the city offers a diverse range of culinary experiences influenced by Middle Eastern, Asian, and European cuisines.
Dubai is a city that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in shopping, culture, adventure, or simply soaking up the atmosphere of this vibrant city, it’s an unforgettable destination that should be on everyone’s travel bucket list.