Dubai is famed for contemporary tourist attractions such as the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest structure) and shopping complexes that come complete with huge aquariums and indoor ski slopes.
But this city has many cultural attractions and things to do, as well as all the glossy modern add-ons.
Take a tour around the Al Fahidi quarter, and you’ll discover the Dubai of old. Then cruise along Dubai Creek in a traditional dhow, and you’ll soon understand there’s more to this city than its glitzy façade.
Learn more about the greatest locations to visit with our list of the top attractions and activities to do in Dubai.
1. Dubai’s Famed Cityscape at Burj Khalifa
Dubai’s flagship building and primary tourist attraction is the Burj Khalifa, which at 829.8 metres is the tallest building in the world and the most famous of the city’s points of interest.
For most visitors, a trip to the observation deck on the 124th level is a must-do while in the city. The vistas across the city skyline from this bird’s-eye viewpoint are just stunning.
The slick observation deck experience includes a multimedia presentation on both Dubai and the building of the Burj Khalifa (completed in 2010) before a high-speed elevator whizzes you up to the observation deck for those 360-degree views out across the skyscrapers to the desert on one side and the ocean on the other.
Nighttime excursions are particularly popular with photographers because of Dubai’s spectacular city-lights panoramas.
Buy your Burj Khalifa “At the Top” Entrance Ticket in advance to avoid enormous line-ups, especially if you are going to visit on a weekend.
Back on the ground, wrapping around the Burj Khalifa, are the gardens of Burj Park, with walkways filled with modern art sculptures.
Burj Park is where you come to view the Dubai Fountain spectacle on Burj Lake. Modeled on the famed Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas, this is the world’s tallest performing fountain, with water shows flying up to 150 metres high into the air.
2. The Dubai Aquarium’s Underwater World.
One of the city’s biggest tourist attractions, the Dubai Aquarium includes 140 kinds of sea life in the massive hanging tank on the ground level of the Dubai Mall.
Although there is free viewing from the mall, the highlight of a visit here is entering the Underwater Zoo, with its three-story high, 270-degree vistas along the length of the glass-panel tubes.
As well as observing the large amount of marine life, the Dubai Aquarium offers many aquatic activities and things to do for guests who desire close-up interaction with some of the aquarium’s inhabitants, from hand-feeding eagle rays to diving with reef and tiger sharks.
Dubai Mall is located on Sheikh Zayed Road.
3. Relax on the JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) Beach
This long, broad ribbon of sandy white paradise is the number one beach attraction for Dubai visitors.
Some of Dubai’s most prominent beach resorts are spread out all along its length, making this one of the most popular areas to stay for travellers who wish to make hitting the beach a key part of their Dubai vacation.
The huge public parts of the beach provide great facilities, with plenty of sun loungers, restaurants, lifeguards patrolling the stretches allocated for swimming, and water sports operators offering jet skiing, kayak rental, parasailing, and boat rides.
This is a safe beach choice for families travelling with tots, as the turquoise water of the Gulf lapping the shore is shallow and peaceful.
4. Travel to the Desert
You don’t have to drive far from Dubai’s coastal skyline of skyscrapers to reach some of the UAE’s desertscapes of undulating dunes.
Both the dune fields and desert of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and the orange-hued dunes of Maleha (really in the Emirate of Sharjah) are within day-tripping distance of the city.
Desert adventure excursions can incorporate a range of activities, from sandboarding, camel rides, and 4WD safaris to traditional Arabian falconry shows and desert feasts under the stars. There are also opportunities for overnight camping under the stars.
The standard tour itinerary, providing guests a sampling of desert life, is easily slotted into even a short trip to Dubai, taking roughly six hours door to door, with a mid-afternoon departure from the city.
The Dubai Desert 4×4 Safari offers a half-day desert adventure and includes a camel ride, sandboarding instruction, a sunset BBQ, and a belly dancing show.
For a less rushed tour experience, select one of the firms that operate inside the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, where itineraries can include wildlife drives to observe the reserve’s free-roaming herds of gazelles and, if you’re lucky, Arabian oryx.
5. Walk through History in Al Fahidi Quarter (Old Dubai)
The Al Fahidi Quarter (previously known, and sometimes still referred to as the Bastakia neighbourhood) was built in the late 19th century to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants who dealt mainly in pearls and textiles and were lured to Dubai because of the tax-free trading and access to Dubai Creek.
Bur Dubai occupies the eastern portion of Bur Dubai along the creek, and the coral and limestone houses here, many with walls topped with wind-towers, have been carefully preserved.
The wind-towers provided the dwellings here with an early form of air conditioning; the wind captured in the towers was directed down into the houses. Persian traders undoubtedly imported this architectural detail (common in Iranian coastal buildings) from their home country to the Gulf.
The narrow streets are reminiscent of a bygone, much slower era in Dubai’s history.
Inside the district, you’ll find the Majlis Gallery, with its collection of traditional Arab pottery and furnishings (housed in a wind-tower), and the Al Serkal Cultural Foundation, with a shop, café, and rotating art exhibitions (placed in one of the old buildings). (located in one of the historic buildings).
6. Skiing followed by shopping at the Mall of the Emirates
The Mall of the Emirates is one of the city’s most prominent malls, featuring the stunning (and strange) Ski Dubai facility inside.
The indoor ski slope is complete with chairlifts and a penguin habitat, all at a continual temperature of -4 degrees Celsius.
There’s also a theatre complex and a family entertainment centre with a wide range of rides aimed at both the big and the tiny.
The shopping opportunities are vast, as are the eating alternatives, offering every possible foreign cuisine.
Dubai’s address is Sheikh Zayed Road.
7. Take Sunset Photos in Dubai Frame
Sitting slap-bang between Dubai’s historic districts huddled around the creek and the city’s new expansion, this gargantuan 150-meter-high picture frame is one of Dubai’s latest sights.
Inside, a succession of galleries take you through the city’s history and you discover Emirati heritage before you walk up to the Sky Deck, where there are spectacular panoramas of both old and new Dubai to be photographed on the observation platforms.
Afterwards, check out the Future Dubai gallery, which imagines what a futuristic vision of the city will look like.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Road, Zabeel Park
8. Get wet at Kite Beach and Umm Suqeim Beach
Thanks to its waves and prevailing wind, the northern area of Umm Suqeim Beach is Dubai’s finest place for kitesurfing.
The beach is home to an array of water sports providers offering equipment hire, as well as kitesurfing tuition, along with paddleboarding and kayak rental.
This lengthy stretch of yellow-sand beach spreads south down the coast (becoming Umm Suqeim Beach), with lots of space for sunbathers wishing to laze up a relaxing day of swimming and soaking up the sunshine on the sand, and great facilities with dining choices. There are good views of the Burj Al Arab from the southern end of the beach.
While in the Jumeirah area, it’s well worth brushing off the sand for an hour to visit the Majlis Ghorfat Um Al-Sheef, just a three-kilometer hop from the beach. Built in 1955, this was the vacation palace of the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al-Maktoum.
The mansion, created out of gypsum and coral-block, has been renovated and keeps much of the original magnificent decor, giving you a better sense of the rich lifestyle of Dubai’s rulers.
The Majlis Gardens feature a replica of an amazing Arab irrigation system, with many shady date palms.
Jumeirah Road in Jumeirah, Dubai
9. Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek separates the city into two cities, with Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south.
The stream has been an influential aspect in the city’s evolution, first luring inhabitants here to fish and pearl dive.
Small communities sprung up near the stream as far back as 4,000 years ago, but the current era began in the 1830s when the Bani Yas tribe arrived in the area.
The creek is where you come to capture city vistas from the water, either by taking a journey on one of the many dhows that have been renovated as tourist cruise boats or by getting on an abra (small wooden ferry) between the ferry ports on the creek’s Bur Dubai and Deira banks.
On the Bur Dubai side of the canal, rubbing up against the Bastakia neighbourhood, the waterfront has been regenerated as the Al Seef district, with a waterfront promenade backed by traditional coral-block and limestone structures, a floating market, and stores selling crafts. It’s a fantastic area for a stroll with excellent water views.
Further southeast down the creek, on the Deira bank immediately north of Al-Maktoum Bridge, is the Dhow Wharfage. It’s still used by tiny traders from throughout the Gulf who sail their dhows forward to Kuwait, Iran, Oman, India, and down to Africa’s Horn.
This tiny vestige of Dubai’s ancient commerce is a fascinating area to roam around and observe cargo being loaded and unloaded on and off the dhows.
At the southeastern end of Dubai Creek, right before the creek meets with Dubai Canal, is the newly created Dubai Creek Harbor, with a waterfront marina walkway, which offers superb perspectives of the city skyline.
10. Take a skydive over Dubai
For the ultimate sightseeing adrenaline experience while you’re in the city, tandem-skydive over Dubai from Skydive Dubai’s Palm Drop Zone.
There are bird’s-eye views of the city’s skyscraper shoreline, Dubai Marina, and the manmade islands of Palm Jumeirah, all the way down the 3,900-meter-high fall.
The entire experience takes roughly 90 minutes and includes the aircraft; an instructor you’ll be tethered to during the skydive; and a skydiving camera operator, who’ll snap images during your dive.
If you like desert dune scenery, Skydive Dubai also conducts a distinct tandem-skydiving experience in the desert, around 35 kilometres west of the city.
Due to restricted numbers and the great popularity of the event, skydiving in Dubai is an activity you need to schedule as long in advance as possible.
11. Barter in Deira’s Souks
Deira is located on the northern side of Dubai Creek, and the meandering lanes here show the melting pot of diverse nations that have come to call Dubai home.
On the shore, old dhows load and unload with modern banks, hotels, and office buildings as a backdrop.
For travellers, Deira is mainly famed for its traditional souks (markets), which bustle with people at all times of the day.
Deira Gold Souk is world-renowned as the largest gold bazaar in the world.
The Deira Spice Souk sells every imaginable spice, with kiosks packed with bags of frankincense, cumin, paprika, saffron, sumac, and thyme, as well as the fragrant oud wood, rose water, and incense.
The fish market delivers a considerably less touristic experience.
While in the neighbourhood, cultural lovers shouldn’t miss two of Deira’s superbly preserved architectural beauties.
The Heritage House was erected in 1890 as the home of a wealthy Iranian trader and later became the property of Sheik Ahmed bin Dalmouk (a famous pearl merchant in Dubai). Today, it’s a terrific chance to visit the interior of a conventional family home.
The Al-Ahmadiya School, founded in 1912, is the oldest school in Dubai and is now a museum of public education.
12. the Jumeirah Mosque
Jumeirah Mosque is considered by many to be the most beautiful of Dubai’s mosques.
An identical copy of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque, which is eight times its size, the Jumeirah Mosque is a magnificent example of Islamic architecture.
This stone structure is designed in the mediaeval Fatimid fashion, with two minarets that display the minute details of the construction. It is particularly lovely in the evening when lit with floodlights.
The Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding (which also operates a programme of tours, talks, Arabic classes, and cultural feasts) organises guided tours of the mosque meant to try to create a better understanding of the Muslim faith.
Tours begin at 10 a.m. daily, except Fridays.
13. Arrange for Family Fun at Dubai Parks and Resorts
At Dubai Parks and Resorts, your entertainment demands are all folded together into one area. The only challenge here is deciding what you want to do.
This gigantic project comprises a bunch of world-class theme parks, providing something for everyone, whatever your age.
Motiongate takes its theme from Hollywood productions, with rides based around movie blockbusters; Bollywood Parks brings the world of India’s famous movie industry alive on its rides; and Legoland Dubai and Legoland Waterpark provide younger visitors with a fun-packed day out on its interactive rides, water slides, and wave pool.
The district’s linked Riverland Dubai dining hub means that there’s no need to leave when you’ve exhausted yourself with theme park pursuits, since there’s plenty of evening entertainment here as well.
Sheikh Zayed Road, Jebel Ali, UAE
Here is the official website.
14. Visit the Burj al-Arab for Afternoon Tea
The Burj Al-Arab is the world’s highest hotel, reaching 321 metres high on its own manmade island on the Dubai coastline.
Designed to mimic a billowing dhow sail, the exterior of the structure is lit up by a coordinated, coloured light show at night.
Decadent in every manner possible, the Burj Al-Arab is one of the most costly hotels in the world, with the most sumptuous suites costing more than $15,000 for one night.
For those without infinite credit, the way to experience the over-the-top extravagance is to arrange afternoon tea at the Skyview Bar (a minimum purchase is necessary) on the 27th level.
Non-guests can also schedule dinner at the underwater Al-Mahara Restaurant, where floor-to-ceiling glass panels in the dining room walls allow you to watch aquatic life as you eat, or you can enjoy lunch at the California-style fusion restaurant Scape.
Dubai’s address is Jumeirah Road.
15. Fuel up on thrills and spills in IMG Worlds of Adventure.
This theme park, in Global Village, offers immersive entertainment at its finest and has thrills and spills for both kids and big kids.
With one zone devoted solely to Marvel’s famed characters; another to dinosaur-themed attractions; and a zone where the Cartoon Network takes the wheel, with milder rides and activities for younger children, there’s something here for every age.
Whether you want to help the Avengers battle Ultron, scare yourself silly in a haunted house, or follow Spider-Man as he swings across the city, this is utopia for families seeking a fun-filled day out.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road, Dubai
16. Go Shopping at the Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is the city’s primary mall and one of the city’s greatest places to visit for a day of shopping and indoor activities to keep the youngsters amused. It gives admission to the Burj Khalifa as well as the Dubai Aquarium.
There is also an ice-skating rink, a gaming zone, and a movie complex if you’re seeking more entertainment options.
The shopping and eating are unlimited, and there are nearly always special events such as live music and fashion shows within the mall. The most notable of them are the annual Dubai Shopping Festival in January and February and the Dubai Summer Surprises Festival in July and August.
Location: Doha Road, close to Sheikh Zayed Road.
17. Aquaventure Waterpark: Splash and Swim
This water park, headquartered at Atlantis, The Palm on the Palm Jumeirah—Dubai’s iconic man-made island complex—is a perfect spot to cool off after a few days of frenetic shopping and touring.
The waterslide action here is terrific and world-class, including the Aquaconda, the world’s longest water slide; a nine-story-tall slide, suitably titled the Leap of Faith; and water coaster rides.
There are also underwater excursions using Sea TREK helmets; a dedicated water play area for smaller children with slides; and, for when all your energy has been used up, a 700-meter stretch of white-sand beach.
Crescent Road, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai.
18. Beach at La Mer
Backed by a fringe of palm trees, the length of La Mer Beach in Jumeirah is an easygoing setting for a full day of sun and sea.
Water sports operators here offer Jet Ski trips, boating, fly-boarding, and kayaking for beachgoers who itch to get off the sand, but for those who simply want to sloth out between swimming, there’s plenty of sun lounger rental and a wide variety of cafés and restaurants just a hop from the sand for snacking and full meals.
La Mer is a sheltered bay with tranquil water, so it’s a safe choice for both families and less-confident swimmers. Like all of Dubai’s principal beaches, it is regularly guarded by lifeguards during the day.
If the sea and sand aren’t enough, near the beach’s northeast point, you’ll discover Laguna Waterpark, with several waterslides, a lazy river, and a surf pool.
Location: Jumeirah Road, Jumeirah
19. Experience Global Village’s Culture & Entertainment
From October through April, this amusement park delivers family-friendly entertainment based on taking tourists on a voyage around the world.
Global Village’s 26 nation pavilions, spanning from Iraq to Japan and Russia to South Korea, each give an individual experience of that country’s culture, entertainment, and legacy. It’s a unique choice in the city for nighttime entertainment for families with tiny ones in tow.
As well as the pavilions, there are abundant dining and shopping opportunities on-site. Younger members of the family will appreciate the fun-fair-style carnaval with dozens of rides, such as bumper cars, carousels, Swiss swings, and a large wheel, along with speedier rides and a roller coaster.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Road, Dubai
20. Take an Abra ride around Madinat Jumeirah.
The development complex of Madinat Jumeirah is a dining and retail centre with a couple of five-star hotels, all built along the palm-tree-fringed banks of an artificial canal network.
All of Madinat Jumeirah has been styled to replicate traditional Gulf architecture, with wind towers and mashrabiya ornamentation.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah here offers casual shopping, with a vast selection of traditional crafts and souvenirs from the Gulf and across the wider Middle East, but the main reason to visit here is to step on an abra (small wooden ferry) and sail down the canal.
Abras leave daily from Souk Madinat Jumeirah’s promenade and loop around the lagoon, affording lots of photo opportunities of the lush gardens and traditional buildings of Madinat Jumeirah, with the tall swooping sail of the Burj Al Arab in the background.
Dubai, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street
21. Dubai Museum to learn about UAE history.
Dubai’s outstanding museum is housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort, erected in 1787 to defend Dubai Creek. The fort’s walls are fashioned out of traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime. The upper level is supported by wooden poles, and the ceiling is fashioned from palm fronds, clay, and plaster.
In its history, the fort has served as a house for the royal family, a centre ofgovernment, a government, a garrison,and a and a prison. Restored in 1971 (and again considerably in 1995), it is currently the city’s principal museum.
The entrance contains an interesting exhibition of ancient maps of the Emirates and Dubai, depicting the tremendous expansion that hit the region after the oil boom.
The courtyard is home to many traditional boats and a palm-leaf house with an Emirati wind-tower.
The right-hand hall shows armament, and the left-hand hall showcases Emirati musical instruments.
Below the ground level are display rooms with exhibits and dioramas representing various aspects of traditional Emirati life (including pearl fishing and Bedouin desert life), as well as items from the 3,000-to3,000-to 4,000-year-old burials at Al Qusais archaeological site.
22. Al-Fahidi Street,Al-Fahidi Village Al-Fahidi Village
View Traditional Architecture at Sheikh Saeed Al-Maktoum House
Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum was the Ruler of Dubai from 1921 until 1958and the and the grandfather of the currentcurrent ruler. His original mansion has been rebuilt and refurbished as a museum that is a great example of Arabian architecture.
The original house was erected in 1896 by Sheikh Saeed’s father, so he could monitor shipping traffic from the balconies.
It was demolished, but the current house was constructed adjacent to the original site, keepingkeeping true to the original concept by integrating carved teak doors, wooden lattice screens across the windows, and gypsum ventilation screens with floral and geometric designs.
Thirty rooms are erected around a central courtyard with wind-tower elements on top.
Inside are the displays of the Dubai Museum of Historical Photographs and Documents,Documents, with many magnificent antique photographs of Dubai from the era between 1948 and 1953.
The marine portion of the museum exhibits photographs of fishing, pearling, and boat building. Throughout the structure,structure, there are many letters, maps, coins, and stamps on display,display, documenting the evolution of the Emirate.
Nearby is the Sheikh Obaid bin Thani House, restored with displays of traditional interiors.
Bur Dubai’s address is Al Khaleej Road
23. Take a stroll through the vibrant Dubai Miracle Garden
This is the zaniest garden ever. Not content with constructing the world’s largest buildings and malls, Dubai has created the world’s largest flower garden, spanning 2,000 square metres and home to a reputed 100 million flowers.
Everything that can be covered with flowers has been, from twee English-style cottages to windmills and trucks. There’s even a flower replica of the Burj Khalifa.
Stroll the walkways and admire the riot of colour and the quirky floral displays.
Al Barsha, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed RdAl Barsha, Rd
24. Stroll down Stroll down Sheikh Zayed Road
Sheikh Zayed Road is the primary artery going through Dubai’s contemporary downtown business zone.
This spacious, eight-lane motorway is surrounded byby towering glass, chrome, and steel high-rises over its entire length. It’s one of the best on-the-ground viewing locations for Dubai’s iconic skyscraper panoramas.
Main attractions are along, or just off, the strip between the roundabout and the first intersection, and most of Dubai’s famous malls are located along the road’s path.
The Dubai World Trade Tower includes an observation deck on its top floor, which providestourists with tourists with panoramic views (a cheaper choice than the Burj Khalifa), and the Gold and Diamond Park (Sheikh Zayed Road) is a one-stop shop for jewellery aficionados, with 118 producers and 30 merchants all under one roof.
25 Explore Local Culture at the Heritage and Diving Village
Dubai’s architectural, cultural, and marine heritage is represented at the Heritage and Diving Village, including exhibitions connected to pearl diving and dhow building—twobuilding—two of old Dubai’s ancient economic pillars.
There are also recreations of traditional Bedouin and coastal village life, including Persian homes, a traditional coffeehouse, and a small souk where potters and weavers practise their arts at the stalls.
From October to April, local music and dance are performed, and visitors can seek advice from traditional medicine practitioners.From October to April, local music and dance are performed, and visitors can seek advice from traditional medicine practitioners.
Location: Shindagha, Bur Dubai.Dubai.
26. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary to see the flamingos
You don’t have to walk too far away from the towers to take inin a more natural vista.
The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary contains the mangrove forests and wetlands of Dubai CreekCreek.
An important stop-off on the migration routes, it’s a prime place to spot flamingos in winter when massive flocks of these majestic pink birds wade through the lagoons, backdropped by soaring high-rises.
Various hides in prime positions have been set up within the park to providebird-watchers with bird-watchers with good views of the birds.
Dubai’s Ras Al Khor StreetDubai’s Ras Al Khor Street
27. Crossroads of Civilizations Museum to learn about ancient trade routes
This museum explores the United Arab Emirates’ ancient significance as a trading centre connecting Asia, Africa, and Europe long before oil became this region’s most prominent business.
Located inside the historic residence of Sheikh Hashr bin Maktoum Al Maktoum, who was a member of Dubai’s royal family, the exhibits illustrate this coastal area’s history as part of the global trade routes, with displays of antiques and manuscripts.
Also on-site areare the Rare Books and Manuscripts Museum and the tiny Armory Museum.
Dubai’s address is Al Khaleej Road.Dubai’s address is Al Khaleej Road.
28. Experience World-Class Theater at the Dubai Opera
For nighttime attractions, look no further. Opened in mid-2016, Dubai’s classy new opera building is the centrepiece of the waterfront Opera District in downtown Dubai and is a major cultural hub and main entertainment venue.
The Dubai Opera provides a year-round schedule of notable musical theatre plays, concerts by world-class performers, opera, ballet, and classical music, as well as smaller shows, comedy evenings, and concerts.
The 2,000-seat theatre structure itself is an astounding piece of architectural genius and one of Dubai’s new monuments, with its highly-contemporary glass and steel walls jutting out over the waterfront, meant to resemble the curves of a traditional dhow.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Road is the address.Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Road is the address.
29. Explore Avant-Garde Art on Alserkal Avenue
Part of the old Al Quoz industrial district, Al Serkal Avenue has been regenerated to become Dubai’s main arts hub and is home to some of the city’s most important contemporary art galleries.
Established gallery names such as the Green Art Gallery, The Third Line,Line, and the Ayyam Gallery have made their homeshomes here, while a host of smaller gallery start-ups have also moved in.
The district’s programme of rotating collections focuses both on the work of major artists as well as highlighting new Middle Eastern talent.
This growing sector is also the place to come for fashion and accessory businesses by local designers, pop-up eateries, and café life, and it exhibits the lively and youthful bustle of a city, which is normally more renowned for its corporate face.
Al Quoz Industrial District, Alserkal AvenueAl Quoz Industrial District, Alserkal Avenue
30. Take a Break from Nature at Dubai Butterfly Garden
Escape the city’s skyscrapers for an afternoon here. For a slice of nature, this vast butterfly garden, with around 15,000 butterflies flitting under the domed enclosures, can’t be beaten.
It’s a great chance for kids to get close-up views of butterflies as they often land on visitors’ shoulders and hands.
There’s a museum here, too, with plenty of information on butterfly varieties, their habitats, and life cyclescycles.
Al Barsha, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Rd
As well as Dubai’s oversupply of theme parks, a stay in the city may encompass lots more active things to do.
There are several desert tours which venture out beyond the towers if you want the kids to taste more natural sights. Many of the tours incorporate sandboarding or camel riding.
To stay to the coast, the beaches and resorts offer kayak hire, as well as a bundle of other water sports to have the kids working off some energy in the sea.
And for those who appreciate the complete weirdness of having some snow-fun among the heat, the indoor ski run at Mall of the Emirates can’t be beaten.
Where to Stay in Dubai for Sightseeing
For convenient access to Dubai’s biggest tourist attractions, the ideal area to stay is Downtown Dubai.
Prime attractions nearby include the renowned Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest structure; Dubai Mall; and the Dubai Fountain. You’ll also find plenty of stores, restaurants, and art galleries in this busy neighbourhood.
If you’re wanting some sun, beach, and water, Jumeira and Dubai Marina lay just 15 minutes by vehicle from Burj Khalifa and are also popular locations for tourists.
Below are some highly rated hotels in convenient and central locations for touring the city:
The Palace Downtown Dubai is a five-star resort right in the heart of Downtown Dubai, mixing classic Arabic design characteristics with contemporary conveniences, all overlooking Burj Khalifa Lake. There’s a pool, spa, and restaurants on-site.
Armani Hotel offers rooms decked out in elegant grandeur. It’s set in the Burj Khalifa, providing a stay in the top location in Downtown Dubai, with a pool and spa on-site.
Burj Al Arab Jumeirah is Dubai’s most iconic resort, built on its own constructed island, with magnificent interiors, world-class restaurants, and suite-style suites that overlook the seas of the Gulf.
Ramada Downtown Dubai is in a top-notch location in Downtown Dubai, adjoining the Dubai Opera. There’s superb in-house facilities, including a pool, restaurants, and gym, and the big, modern rooms all come with balconies.
Manzil Downtown is a classy, contemporary boutique hotel option with a large outdoor pool area and white-on-white rooms that incorporate modern Arabesque design features into their interiors. It’s in a handy, central location in Downtown Dubai.
Sofitel Dubai on Jumeirah Beach sits on Dubai’s The Walk promenade, in Jumeirah so it’s a top choice for those who want a waterfront location. There’s a large pool area, private beach and plenty of resort facilities. It’s about a 12-minute drive to the Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai from here.
XVA Art Hotel offers contemporary boutique-hotel style within a traditional Dubai building, situated in the heart of the historic Al Fahidi (Old Dubai) region.
Ibis Al Rigga is a fantastic budget choice because to its central Deira position, close to Dubai Creek and the city’s major historic tourist attractions, as well as its well-equipped, modest rooms and in-house facilities, including two restaurants and a gym.
Ibis Mall of the Emirates, next door to the namesake mall with Ski Dubai, is a popular option with both business and leisure travellers thanks to its modern, good-value rooms and solid facilities, including two on-site restaurants.
Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Dubai
Explore the Sites: Dubai City Half Day Private Sightseeing Tour is one of the most convenient ways to see the city’s sights. This guided tour brings you to the key sights, including Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai Museum, Deira Gold Souq, and more.
Soar above the City: Helicopter Flight over Dubai offers magnificent views across the city and desert surrounds on a 15-minute or 25-minute helicopter journey. There is no better way to witness the famed Palm Jumeirah or the constructed archipelago created in the shape of a globe map, known as The World, than from the air.