Things to do in Dubai

Things to do in  Dubai

Welcome to Dubai

A major aviation hub and the ultimate stopover, Dubai draws travelers with its shopping, futuristic architecture—including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa—and mix of old-world culture and over-the-top attractions. Scout bargains in the old town’s ancient souks and luxury brands at a 1,200-store mall; scuba dive inside a huge tank at the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo or hit the slopes at indoor snow park Ski Dubai; take a cruise aboard a traditional dhow; and head into the desert for dune-bashing in a 4x4 followed by dinner under the stars in a traditional Bedouin camp.

Top 15 attractions in Dubai

Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, soaring 2,717 feet (828 meters) high with more than 160 stepped floors that narrow as it climbs syringe-like to the sky. Designed to pay homage to the complex geometry of Islamic art, the Burj Khalifa brings a new meaning to the term skyscraper and is a highlight of the massive downtown Dubai complex.More

Dubai Marina

Carved along the Gulf shoreline south of Dubai’s The Palm island, Dubai Marina is a skyscraper-packed waterfront community that’s one of the city’s swishest residential and leisure hotspots. At its heart is a 2-mile (3-kilometer) waterway framed by residential blocks, hotels, shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues.More

Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah

The sail-like silhouette of the Burj Al-Arab Jumeirah has become a symbol of Dubai's opulence and affluence, standing at 1,053 feet (321 meters) as the third-tallest hotel and one of the most luxurious hotels in the United Arab Emirates. Opened in 1999, the landmark boasts plenty of superlatives, including its five-star status.More

Palm Jumeirah

Jutting into the Persian Gulf from southern Dubai, the Palm Jumeirah is an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree and ringed by a crescent-shaped breakwater. The world’s biggest artificial island, it draws visitors to its palatial hotels, theme parks, and shopping malls.More

Dubai Gold Souk

Dubai’s internationally famous Gold Souk has its roots in the 1940s, when Indian and Iranian traders began setting up stalls in the area. Today, it’s one of the world’s busiest jewelry markets, with hundreds of shops and stalls selling just about everything that glitters—namely, gold. An estimated 20 percent of the world’s gold passes through the souk, with a whopping 10 tons (9,072 kilograms) for sale in the market at any given moment.More

Dubai Museum

Set inside Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum recounts the Emirates’ history up until the oil boom, which forever altered its skyline. Dioramas and artifacts convey what daily life was like for Dubai’s earliest communities, while life-sized re-creations of the city’s early souks and wharfs bring the past to life.More

The Dubai Mall

The world’s largest shopping mall by area, The Dubai Mall boasts a huge range of attractions—making it a full-blown UAE entertainment destination. At the heart of Downtown Dubai, this 4-level colossus houses around 1,300 stores, plus restaurants, cinemas, Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, and the Burj Khalifa.More

Bur Dubai Village

Located south of Dubai Creek, Bur Dubai is one of Dubai’s oldest districts, with a traditional atmosphere to match. Extending from Al Raffa in the west to Al Jaddaf in the east, it’s home to an array of sights, from the Bastakia Quarter—also called the Al Fahidi Historic District—to souks, parks, and several top museums.More

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Within the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is no stranger to superlatives, including the world’s largest collection of sand sharks and one of the world’s largest acrylic panel viewing platforms. Numerous marine habitats, including an underwater tunnel, house 33,000 marine animals, from crocodiles to tropical fish.More

Dubai Spice Souk

Tucked into Dubai’s Deira district just north of Dubai Creek, the Dubai Spice Souk offers some of the city’s most rewarding shopping. Here, covered alleyways brim with stalls that sell all manner of Arabian and Asian spices, herbs, and delicacies, making the souk ideal for souvenir hunters and anyone hoping to get a sense of old Dubai.More

Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai)

The seawater Dubai Creek (Khor Dubai)—which flows between Deira and Bur Dubai in the historic center of the United Arab Emirates city—is the reason for Dubai's very existence. It’s been widened many times during the last century and, today, it's often full of abra (wooden water taxis) ferrying passengers between the souks of Deira on the northeastern bank and the historic district of Bur Dubai on the southwestern bank.More

Global Village

Global Village is one of Dubai’s most popular evening entertainment destinations. A combination of festival and theme park staged on the edges of Dubai, it opens yearly between November and April and takes visitors on a virtual world tour with replica international architecture, cultural zones, food pavilions, shows, rides, and markets.More

Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Part of Dubai’s luxe Madinat Jumeirah resort, the Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a modern re-creation of a traditional Arabian souk, with an upscale touch. In place of higgledy-piggledy stalls, a web of alleyways echoes a classic bazaar filled with boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants, and cafés.More

Jumeirah Mosque

Built from white sandstone and crowned with a central dome and two towering minarets, Jumeirah Mosque is Dubai's main place of worship and arguably one of the most beautiful mosques in the United Arab Emirates. Aside from being an extremely popular photography site in Dubai, the landmark is also notable in that it's the only mosque in the city open to non-Muslim visitors—an excellent way to gain a deeper understanding of Islam and its traditions.More

Aquaventure Waterpark

Brave water rides, see marine animals, and dive into pools at the Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai. One of the Middle East's biggest and best water parks, it sits next to Atlantis, The Palm resort on Palm Jumeirah island. Visit for record-breaking slides, river rides, multiple pools, and a private beach spread over 42 acres (17 hectares) of seafront.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Dubai

On Air Dinner Adventure in Dubai

On Air Dinner Adventure in Dubai

Dubai: Premium Red Dunes, Camels, Stargazing & 5* BBQ at Al Khayma Camp™️
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Abu Dhabi Day Tour From Dubai

Abu Dhabi Day Tour From Dubai

Dubai Luxury Canal Dinner Cruise

Dubai Luxury Canal Dinner Cruise

Operators have paid Viator more to have their experiences featured here

All about Dubai

When to visit

The best times to visit Dubai are late fall through early spring—anytime from November to March—when average temperatures range between the high 70s and high 80s Fahrenheit and you can enjoy the outdoors (provided you’re armed with sunscreen). Summer temperatures hover around 100°F and come with high humidity, making Dubai something of a sauna from May until September, but hotel rates also plunge by up to 75 percent, and you can simply hop from one air-conditioned attraction to another.

Getting around

Dubai’s heat and highways work against walking, although it’s easier to go by foot in Deira and other older districts. The easiest alternative is a taxi, with plenty to flag down and reasonable rates—think about $1 to $2 per kilometer, plus an initial standing charge. For longer distances, use the Dubai Metro, which runs between Dubai Airport and the Creek, and on to Jumeirah, Dubai Marina, and Downtown. To save hassle, buy a Nol card, and pre-load it to avoid the often-long ticket lines at stations. You can also use your Nol on Dubai’s buses, trams, and waterbuses.

Traveler tips

If you’re after cheap souvenirs away from Dubai’s upscale shops, the Karama Market in the old town is the go-to of savvy locals, and does a roaring trade in low-cost clothes, gifts, and accessories. Don’t be surprised if you’re invited into backrooms filled with replica designer handbags and watches, and brace yourself for lots of elbow-tugging and pleading from the vendors. One rule: There’s no point in shopping here unless you haggle—and haggle hard.

Hotels and restaurants automatically add a 10- to 20-percent service charge to bills, and sometimes an extra tourism levy of around six percent. That’s quite a sting, but it’s still customary to leave a 10- to 15-percent tip at restaurants, and to give porters and hotel room cleaners a few dirhams. Bear in mind that service charges don’t usually get to waiters and that hospitality worker earnings in Dubai are usually low. In taxis, it’s customary to round up fares to the nearest five dirhams at least.


People Also Ask

What should you not miss when visiting Dubai?

Dubai’s futuristic architecture is unmissable, with the 2,723-feet (830-meter) Burj Khalifa skyscraper, sail-shaped Burj Al-Arab, and mighty Atlantis hotel on Palm Jumeirah stand-out sights. Hot on their heels—and we mean hot—is the desert, an ocean of orange dunes that feels light years from Dubai’s high-rises.

What kind of activities can you do in Dubai?

After admiring Dubai’s mega-buildings, there’s plenty else to do. Ride a camel or 4WD in the desert before a barbecue under the stars. Browse glitzy malls, roam scented souks, and chill on a yacht or dhow (wooden boat) cruise. Or simply absorb the glam vibe at the pool and ocean.

What should you not wear in Dubai?

Dress codes are more relaxed than you might expect. At pools and beaches, swimwear is acceptable. Dress more modestly inside hotels, malls, and restaurants by covering knees and shoulders—although shorts are usually okay. In souks and mosques, avoid sleeveless tops, shorts, and sandals. Mosques require women to wear head coverings.

What is Dubai best known for?

Dubai is known for its extravagant skyscrapers, opulent hotels, showy malls, and top-notch restaurants—and the A-lister lifestyle organically entwined with them. Other signature attractions include its crop of all-singing theme and water parks. In stark contrast is its desert, a beautiful and empty wilderness, which lies silently around it.

Can you drink alcohol in Dubai?

Yes, non-Muslim tourists can drink alcohol in Dubai. If you’re over 21, feel free to imbibe at licensed hotels, restaurants, and bars. However, alcohol is illegal in public places, including public beaches, and can trigger severe fines or prosecution. Note that during Ramadan most licensed venues won’t serve alcohol until early evening.

Is it expensive in Dubai?

Yes, Dubai is expensive. Lavish hotels and luxe lifestyles are synonymous with Dubai, although it’s still possible to budget in the emirate. Target the city’s Deira area for inexpensive hotels and eateries used by locals. There are also numerous free and low-cost attractions, including public beaches, souks, museums and creek boat rides.

What is Lake Tahoe famous for?

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in North America, and is famous for its beauty: Located on the Nevada-California border high in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, its azure waters are ringed with snow-capped mountains. Lake Tahoe is also renowned for its ski resorts, and hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics.

What can you do in Lake Tahoe during the summer?

Lake Tahoe offers dozens of warm-weather activities for outdoorsy types in the summer months, from kayaking, parasailing, paddleboarding, and fishing to hiking and biking. Once the sun sets, South Lake Tahoe's bars, restaurants, and craft breweries are a popular destination for visitors looking to kick back and relax.

What can you do in Lake Tahoe during the winter?

As one of the country's most popular ski destinations, Lake Tahoe is host to 15 different resorts, each of which promises thrilling slopes, alternative winter sports like snowboarding and snowshoeing, and a lively après-ski scene. You don't have to be intrepid to take in soaring views from the Heavenly Gondola.

What part of Lake Tahoe is best to visit?

To make the most of your time in Lake Tahoe, head to the lively Tahoe South, where the bulk of the lake's casinos, restaurants, bars, and other attractions are found. The resort city of South Lake Tahoe is near many in-demand resorts and beaches, and is a convenient base.

Does Lake Tahoe have nightlife?

Yes, Lake Tahoe has a bustling nightlife scene, much of which is concentrated along the southern half of the lake. The city of South Lake Tahoe offers a lively array of bars, restaurants, casinos, shops, and resorts, and during the winter season, the après-ski scene is its own attraction.

What should you not miss in Lake Tahoe?

Don't miss Emerald Bay State Park, which is known for its unspoiled beauty and the historical Vikingsholm mansion. Summer boat trips on Lake Tahoe are essential, and in winter, its ski resorts are a must. Visit Palisades Tahoe, which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, and ascend the famed Heavenly Gondola.

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