Dubai's Top Activities & Attractions
Dubai is a city like no other, boasting some of the world’s most iconic landmarks, futuristic architecture, and luxurious shopping destinations. Visitors can take a ride up the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and marvel at the panoramic views of the city skyline from the observation deck. Alternatively, they can explore the beautiful beaches, go dune bashing in the desert, or enjoy the many family-friendly theme parks and attractions.
One of the most popular attractions in Dubai is the Dubai Mall, a shopper’s paradise that offers a range of high-end brands and designer boutiques. The mall is not just a shopping destination but a cultural hub with an indoor theme park, aquarium, and ice rink. Another popular attraction is the Dubai Fountain, a spectacular water show set to music and lights, which is one of the largest fountains in the world. Visitors can also experience the traditional side of Dubai by visiting the historic Al Fahidi district, where they can stroll through the winding alleys, visit museums, and learn about the city’s rich heritage.
Dubai is also a city of culinary delights, offering an array of international and local cuisine to suit all tastes. From fine dining restaurants with Michelin-starred chefs to traditional street food markets, there is something for everyone. Visitors can experience the true flavors of Dubai by indulging in traditional Arabic dishes such as shawarma, falafel, and hummus. With so much to see, do, and taste, Dubai is a city that should be on everyone’s bucket list, offering a unique blend of modernity and tradition that is sure to captivate and delight all visitors.
Points to Know Before Visiting Dubai
- Keep in mind that the weekly off in Dubai is on Friday and Saturday, so plan your itinerary accordingly.
- Consider purchasing a Dubai Pass, which covers over 40 attractions and activities. You can choose the ones you want to visit, making it a great way to save money and customize your experience.
- Local taxis or Careem are the best options for getting around the city, as they are usually cheaper than Uber. The Dubai Metro is also available for those who prefer public transportation.
- If you want to explore on two wheels, bicycles and motorized scooters can be rented through various apps like Careem, Trek Bikes, and Nextbike.
- If you’re planning on visiting the Museum of the Future, be sure to book your tickets at least a month in advance, as slots can fill up quickly.
- For popular attractions like Burj Khalifa and Desert Safari, book your tickets or packages at least 1-2 days in advance to avoid disappointment.
- To save on transportation costs, consider visiting Global Village and Miracle Garden on the same day, as they are located close to each other.
- For a unique experience, take an abra ride from Bur Dubai to Deira. Simply take a taxi to Bur Dubai and then hop on the traditional wooden boat.
- If you’re planning to visit the Dubai Fountain and At the Top Burj Khalifa, note that the entry is through the Dubai Mall. You can easily visit all three attractions on the same day.
- When paying with a credit card, opt to pay in your local currency instead of AED to avoid additional conversion fees.
- Dress appropriately when visiting public places, especially religious sites and during the summer months when temperatures can be extremely hot. Avoid wearing revealing clothing and opt for comfortable, breathable clothing.
- When visiting restaurants, note that many do not serve alcohol due to the country’s Muslim customs. However, there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks and mocktails to choose from, and some restaurants may allow you to bring your own alcohol for an additional fee.
- Lastly, upon arrival at Dubai Airport, you will receive a prepaid SIM card from local operator DU. It’s plug-and-play and comes with 1 GB of free data for 24 hours.
Visit Dubai FAQs
1. What’s the best time to visit Dubai?
Dubai is usually hot all year round, but the best time to visit is between October and March when the weather is cooler and more pleasant. There’s also a gentle breeze blowing which makes exploring the city even more of a joy.
2. Do I need a visa to visit Dubai?
It depends on your nationality. Visitors from certain countries can get a visa on arrival, while others may need to apply for a visa before they arrive. The complete process of acquiring a visa needs quite a bit of time to be carried out. Those planning to visit Dubai are therefore advised to set aside enough time so that their visa approval process is completed before the date of their travel.
3. What is the currency in Dubai?
The currency in Dubai is the UAE Dirham (AED). Most places in Dubai accept major credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand. There are smaller outlets in Dubai that still prefer being paid in cash. Carrying enough cash with you is therefore a wise thing to do.
4. What is the language spoken in Dubai?
The official language of Dubai is Arabic, but English is widely spoken and understood. Communication is therefore not an issue in Dubai. Around 85% of Dubai’s population comprises of expatriates. Hence, the locals here are very friendly and welcoming to tourists and there have never been any issues communicating with them. The friendliness of Dubai’s local people is a major reason why the city is a top tourist destination.
5. What are the must-visit tourist attractions in Dubai?
Dubai has many tourist attractions, including the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Miracle Garden. The variety Dubai offers is mind blowing. From the wonders of modern architecture to places steeped in history, Dubai has it all. You are sure to enjoy your vacation at this very intriguing city so full of life.
6. Is it safe to visit Dubai?
Dubai is considered one of the safest cities in the world, with low crime rates and a strong police presence. Almost the entire city is under surveillance and hence, you are always under the protection of watchful eyes. The conviction rate for crime in Dubai is very high and that has been a strong deterrent to criminals.
7. What is the dress code in Dubai?
Dubai is a conservative city, and visitors are expected to dress modestly, especially in public areas. Shorts and revealing clothing should be avoided. You are to be especially particular about dressing soberly and avoiding any exposure when you visit any place of worship.
8. What is the time zone in Dubai?
Dubai is in the Gulf Standard Time (GST) time zone, which is four hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time (UTC+4). There’s no practice of daylight saving time in the United Arab Emirates and hence, the clocks aren’t changed.
9. Can I drink alcohol in Dubai?
Alcohol is available in Dubai, but it can only be consumed in licensed restaurants and bars. Public drinking is not allowed. Violation of drinking laws in Dubai invites severe punishment.
10. How many days should I set aside for the Dubai vacation?
It’s desirable that you come to Dubai for at least 4-5 days. That should be enough time to experience the many splendors of the city—from its opulent shopping malls and stunning skyline to its laid back places of historical importance. Dubai welcomes its visitors with a plethora of interesting places to visit and a wide array of exciting activities. You’ll be glad that you chose Dubai for your vacation.
11. Are there any attractions in Dubai that can be visited for free?
Dubai is dotted with quite a few places that welcome visitors without charging them any admission or access fees. Visitors on a budget can hang around at the splendid Coffee Museum. Strolling down the Al Serkal Avenue where beautiful artwork is on display is a wonderfully relaxing thing to do. Visiting the Sunset Beach to enjoy watching the sun go down and being a part of the gaiety there is sheer joy. You may also visit Ras Al Khor to admire the majestic flamingos there. Visiting the iconic Aquaventure at Atlantis is free as well though you shall have to pay to enjoy the rides and other attractions here.
12. What are the activities that must be on your bucket list in Dubai?
When you visit the ‘city of gold’ Dubai, make sure that you have a go at,
- Going on the Desert Safari and enjoying dune bashing
- Skydiving in the skies above Dubai
- Splashing around at the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark for a day of fun and frolic
- Admire the beauty of the spectacular Dubai Fountain
Do bear in mind that for some of the activities mentioned, you shall need a robust health.
13. What activities and items are banned in Dubai?
When in Dubai, do be mindful of certain things that are banned in the city like-
- Using narcotics, cocaine or poppy seeds
- Goods brought from countries that are under a trade embargo imposed by the United Arab Emirates
- Ivory, items made of ivory and rhino horns are banned as well
14. What makes Dubai so popular?
Dubai is host to iconic attractions that draw visitors to the amazing city in hordes. Take for example the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower that’s a major crowd puller. Dubai is a great destination for shopping and the city is filled with plush malls as well as traditional markets called souks. If you are a foodie, you must visit Dubai for the many dining options there serving mouthwatering international cuisine. Dubai’s infrastructure is world class as are its accommodation facilities catering to travelers of every budget. No wonder Dubai is so popular among global travelers.