Some people describe Dubai as a less-laid-back Las Vegas. Both of these mega-cities welcome millions of tourists each year, and they’re both literally hot!
However, while Dubai has as many activities as “Sin City,” it manages to mix its distinctive Muslim heritage with its ultra-contemporary cityscape. With so many attractions in Dubai, planning your trip can feel overwhelming.
However, there are a few stand-out activities that every Dubai traveler should keep on their radar.
Ride The Dunes In A Desert Safari
Have you had enough of “pounding the pavement?” If so, perhaps it’s time to take a trip off of Dubai’s main roads and into the surrounding desert. Luckily for tourists, dozens of pro drivers are “attuned to the dunes.”
But the fun doesn’t have to stop after your Land Cruiser adventure. Tourists could also ride camels, hop aboard quads, or feel the rush of sandboarding. Many companies also offer nighttime festivities in the desert, including belly dancers, fire throwers, and exquisite food & drink.
However you choose to experience Dubai’s deserts, please plan to visit them at least once during your stay.
Savor Dubai’s Skyline On A Soothing Dhow Cruise
On excursions like the Al Wasl Dhow Cruise, visitors will get to see many of Dubai’s famous sites and shimmering lights. While enjoying views of the Ain Dubai wheel and Cayan Tower, dhow voyagers can eat authentic Arabic food and watch live entertainment.
Wherever you’re traveling from, chances are you’ll be pretty tired after arriving at Dubai International Airport. Therefore, it’s probably best not to head straight into an ATV expedition on your first day. Instead, we’d recommend scheduling a relaxing dhow cruise for your first night in Dubai.
In case you aren’t into seafaring, a “dhow” is an iconic sailboat design that has been in use for thousands of years. While dhows may not be super-efficient nowadays, they definitely retain their romantic allure in the Dubai Marina.
Talk about a great first impression of Dubai!
The Elephant In The Room (Or Sky?): Check The Burj Khalifa Off Your Bucket List
While a dhow cruise is mesmerizing, nothing compares with the views from Dubai’s world-renowned Burj Khalifa tower. Why? Because no building on earth is taller!
Standing at over 2,700-feet, the Burj Khalifa is the symbol of Dubai’s economic renaissance. Understandably, no trip to the UAE is complete without visiting this soaring skyscraper’s observation deck.
Pro tip: As you enjoy the views on the 124th and 125th floors, please pay careful attention to the design elements in these decks. Architects worked hard to include traditional Arabic artistry throughout the observation towers in homage to Dubai’s rich heritage.
Stop And Smell The Roses At The Dubai Miracle Garden
Few topiaries top those now in the Dubai Miracle Garden. Indeed, with millions of flowers on display, you could spend all “blooming” day here and still not catch everything.
Winner of the Guinness Award for the world’s largest flower structure, Dubai Miracle Garden has some of the best spots for selfies. In addition to the beloved “Tunnel of Love,” you could spot many familiar characters (including Mickey Mouse!) on your garden tour.
Don’t forget to stop by the enclosed Dubai Butterfly Garden to appreciate the stunning colors of over 50 butterfly species.
Find Your Inner Falconer In A Dubai Falconry Course
The falcon is as vital to the UAE as the bald eagle is to the USA. For thousands of years, desert dwellers relied on these lighting-fast birds for survival. While Bedouins no longer need falcons to hunt prey, these birds still retain their high status in Dubai’s culture.
In fact, Dubai is often considered the world’s premier destination for people who train in falconry. Unsurprisingly, there are also dozens of tourist-friendly groups that offer educational falconry demonstrations.
In many cases, visitors could literally try their hand at this sport!
See for yourself why many tourists claim watching a well-trained falcon is the highlight of their Dubai vacation.
Go Camel, Go! — Grab A Good Seat At Dubai’s Camel Race Track
Horses and greyhounds aren’t the only animals that race. For countless years, the people of Dubai pitted the fastest camels against each other in an electrifying race to the finish. All along the track, owners and jockeys try to give their camel an extra push towards eternal glory.
The Al Marmoom Camel Race Track is the most extensive course dedicated to this sport. Typically, camel races take place early on weekends, so be sure to look into a schedule before your visit. You could also arrange special tours to meet and greet the star camels before their big match.
Burn Your Credit Card In The Dubai Mall
As one of the world’s wealthiest cities, you’d better believe Dubai has a spectacular mall. OK, the Dubai Mall may not be the world’s largest shopping center, but it’s undoubtedly one of the most extravagant malls on earth.
To date, the Dubai Mall has over 1,200 shops and hundreds of restaurants to choose from. From Versace and Chanel to Apple and Samsung, there’s no shortage of big brands in this complex. If you can’t find something that catches your eye, you’re probably not looking hard enough.
If that wasn’t enough, the Dubai Mall has plenty of high-class attractions such as the Dubai Underwater Zoo, a movie theatre, and the Dubai Ice Rink. So, yeah, there’s way more to do in this mall than shop!
No Matter Where You Turn, Dubai Always Satisfies
There are endless ways you could fill your Dubai days! Hopefully, the experiences listed above helped narrow down your Dubai itinerary.
However, even if you disregard our suggestions, we doubt you’ll get bored exploring this city.
Whether you’re traveling solo or flying with friends, Dubai is never a dull destination.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the top attractions to visit in Dubai?
Dubai boasts a wide range of attractions, including the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Fountain. Don’t miss the historic Al Fahidi neighborhood, also known as Al Bastakiya, for a taste of traditional Dubai.
Q: What are the best activities for adventure enthusiasts in Dubai?
If you’re an adventure seeker, you can enjoy activities like desert safaris, dune bashing, sandboarding, skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah, and indoor skiing at Ski Dubai. Dubai offers a myriad of thrilling experiences.
Q: Where can I experience traditional Emirati culture in Dubai?
To experience the culture and heritage of the UAE, you can visit places like the Dubai Museum, Al Fahidi Historic District, and the Heritage and Diving Village. The Al Shindagha Museum is also a great place to learn about the city’s history.
Q: What is the best time to visit Dubai for outdoor activities and events?
The best time for outdoor activities in Dubai is during the winter months, from November to April. The weather is cooler and more pleasant, making it ideal for exploring the city, engaging in outdoor sports, and attending various festivals and events.
Q: What are some family-friendly attractions in Dubai?
Dubai offers many family-friendly attractions, including Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, KidZania, Dubai Parks and Resorts (featuring motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, and LEGOLAND Dubai), and the Dubai Miracle Garden, known for its stunning floral displays.
Hi! I am George and I am the Content Lead for Stasher.com. I love travel, writing, making music and meeting new and interesting people.