Dubai offers a lot of interesting places to visit. This blog describes many options. Consider this page a mix of what is there to see. You do not need to end up going from one shopping centres to another or going just for the water parks because you saw a recommendation somewhere. If you visit only the recommended places, you will see the bare minimum of what the Dubai has to offer.
Take my TOP 10 with a strong reserve. Those who travel with kids will probably prefer attractions for children like water parks and excursions. Ladies may prefer shopping centres and beautiful parts of the city for walks in dresses and gentlemen can choose some adrenaline activities.
Burj Khalifa – largest building of the world
Burj Khalifa is the largest building of the world with its height of 828 meters. The entrance to Burj Khalifa is in the Dubai Mall (the largest shopping centre in the world). I recommend you to book tickets via the internet.
The building offers a beautiful view. You will ride the fastest in the world. You can buy some souvenirs there. Burj Khalifa is the most famous building in Dubai and therefore I think it is worth your time. I would prefer a night to visit this place because you can see the whole city shining.
More about Burj Khalifa:
Department Stores in Dubai
I’m not a fan of shopping, but Dubai is incredible in this regard. There is the largest shopping centre in the world and it is called the Dubai Mall. There you can find rinks, giant aquariums (I recommend going for a tour with a guide). Amazing is also Mall Of the Emirates where there is an indoors ski slope. There are plenty of possibilities and attractions + beautiful shops waiting for you. The greatest thing for me was probably the first department stores where I saw the world’s most luxurious brands, which elsewhere in the world do not put their stores in the department store, as they would destroy their brand by doing so.
I like Ibn Battuta Mall as well, a nice shopping centre made by several countries. It is right next to the metro (station of the same name).
Shopping centres have beautiful fountains and incredible decorations. The Dubai Mall is interesting with the options if offers and its surroundings – the Burj Khalifa that grows straight out of this shopping centre, the local fountain. It is like a smaller city and I would recommend you to take your time to search the whole place, even though the shopping is not quite the cheapest.
More about shopping in Dubai here.
Light Garden – Dubai Garden Glow
This is a tip for an evening, a park where everything shines. It feels awesome just being there, the park offers some refreshment stalls. There is a smaller park with dinosaurs in the park and there is also an ice park. I dare to say that even if you think you will not like it, you will. So enjoy there a nice evening and take some nice photos. You can go by subway to the Trade Center or Al Jafliya and use a taxi (it is not far from there).
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Hotel Armani – Burj Khalifa
In Burj Khalif in the Armani Hotel is an excellent restaurant where you can take a seat on the terrace overlooking the Dubai Fountain – the largest dancing fountain in the world. In the evening every 30 minutes, there is some music to which the fountains dance and you can see it all up close from there. All in a very stylish restaurant. In order to get there, you need to book it (as there might be a lot of guests) via intent or just go there and book it personally.
When booking a dinner, I recommend you saying that you want to book a place in the Mediterraneo restaurant and sit on the terrace.
I paid 280 AED for unlimited consumption of non-alcoholic beverages. Beware in Dubai is alcohol very expensive and is served only in hotels, you can pay 100 AED here and you have alcoholic drinks, wines, etc. for free. In fact for the price of 2 beers.
You might say that the dinner is quite expensive, but the Dubai food is not the cheapest one and it needs to be added that you will be in a very stylish place. You will be able to pick up any food (seafood, meat, vegetables, fruit, pasta …). It is worth it and I insist that the price is very pleasant considering where you are.
I recommend you to take a taxi to the Armani Hotel, it has the entrance on a different side than the Dubai Mall has. And do not forget to wear at least some decent clothes, sneakers, a t-shirt in the price of 8 AED and shorts is not an ideal clothing even though some of the people there wear it. I need to say that even in the alcohol-free menu are some excellent fruit juices and you can have them brought to you all the time + you can always go to get food from the buffet tables there and enjoy a nice gourmet evening.
More about good restaurants in Dubai:
Beaches and swimming in Dubai
The beaches in Dubai are really nice with many stalls, attractions, everything is clean and well maintained.
There are many beaches around Jumeira Road, you can swim very close to Burj al Arab and make a nice photo. I love the beach at Dubai Marina, where I am a WIFI accessible, there are lots of shops, restaurants and after swimming, I go to Dubai Marina. There is also a department store, plenty of attractions such as a camel ride on the beach, water attractions, such an inflatable island for kids. You can just place your baby there, let it play and unwind for a while.
Deck chairs – if you want a deck chair, I recommend coming there before 11 A.M., otherwise, they are all going to be taken. You can also get a towel for a refundable deposit there so you do not have to drag along anything. Don’t worry, there are toilets and changing cabins.
More about beaches in Dubai:
Souks – marketplaces in Dubai
Traditional soups – a market with spices and souvenirs, do not forget to bargain a lot, you do not have to go anywhere else, but it’s just waiting for it.
You can ride old boats for 1 AED (probably the cheapest attractions in Dubai). Pumps travel between Al Sabkha in Deira and Al Ghubaiba.
The ladies will surely be delighted with the Gold Souk – the gold market.
More about souks in Dubai:
Deira and Burj Dubai
Deira and Burj Dubai are a bit of a contradiction to the Dubai you see from catalogues and PR articles. Deir is beautiful, especially in the evening.
On the one hand, you can ride there a boat for 1 AED (see above in the text about souks). Deira is a centre for immigrants working in Dubai. You will see there hundreds of luminous shops and stalls – sometimes they have very good prices. You can find there street-like refreshments such as Pakistani or Indian restaurants, with the appropriate atmosphere. There are old centres, you can also find marketplaces with, for example, spices. You can take a metro to Baniyas Square, a few hundred meters away from the boats, along the way you will see some shops and it is only a few minutes of walk away from the Gold Souk. Then you can take a metro to Deira City Center – a shopping centre in Deira, seems to br cheaper than the other centres – Dubai Mall, Emirates etc.
In Deira you will find, for example, Indian hotels, African hotels, etc., many of them have bars where you can have a beer and some have even dancing ladies in there, disco, etc. At the same time in Deira and Burj Dubai, you will find cheaper hotels, look for some close to the metro transportation.
More about Deira in Dubai:
Desert Safari near Dubai
See the desert, ride in a car on the dunes, or on a camel. See belly dancers in one of the oases, have an amazing dinner, go for a quad ride. Yes, that is the traditional desert safari program.
Desert safari trips offer even hotels along the way. You can even find some agencies that will drive you there and take you back at the end of the program.
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Dolphin show in Dubai
Dolphin show – I need to say that I have seen more interesting dolphin shows around the world. The local one is definitely not the biggest nor the most interesting, but I write about it here because the show is nice and if you travel with children it can be interesting for you (and them).
Dubai Dolphinarium is in a park where there are many other attractions – 5D and 7D cinema, trampolines, parrot shows.
Water Park – Atlantis, Palm Island
The Palm Island is an interesting place, it is an artificially built palm-shaped island. At the end of the island is the Atlantis Island. It includes a water world where you can buy a ticket (I recommend a ticket including food and aquarium entrance) and you can enjoy unlimited attractions).
Then, at the end of the day, you can walk through the Atlantis passage, where you can find more expensive shops + restaurants and visit local aquariums. You can swim with dolphins for a surcharge and make some nice photos for your album.
More about Atlantis, palm island and water park in Dubai: