Looks like someone is heading to Dubai – the paradise for shopping, sightseeing, and exciting activities! If you thought this wonderful city was all about oil, desert, and Burj Khalifa, then think again. Because Dubai is much more than that – the reason why this city is one of the most visited places in the world.
There are hundreds of things you can do in Dubai. You can go shopping, chill at a beach, take romantic dinners, amuse your kids with fun activities and what not! But that’s pretty much everything you can do anywhere else on earth, right? So, what makes Dubai special? What are the best activities in Dubai that make your visit worthwhile?
Let me help you with that. In this article, I am suggesting ten best activities you should be doing in Dubai to get the most out of your trip. I also suggest you make your bookings in advance – as most of these activities sell out really quickly.
1. Burj Khalifa Tickets: Main Observation Deck
You can’t sum up your Dubai trip with just one activity. But if I had to, I will definitely pay a visit to Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest skyscraper.
How about you take one of the world’s fastest elevators and reach the observation deck at 125th floor. Then you try to control your excitement as you use a telescope to enjoy a jaw-dropping 360-degree view of this wonderful city and the Persian Gulf. Well, it sounds pretty awesome to me!
Your advance booking of Burj Khalifa – Main Observation Deck will help you cut the long line of people waiting to make their booking. It also includes 10% discount at the souvenir shops and at “THE CAFE” on the ground floor. You will get WiFi connection through the building, so keep your phone ready and upload all those crazy photos on Instagram right away! You might also want to go live!
What isn’t included in this price? It’s the cost of souvenir photograph, audio guide etc. Also, note that you will still have to wait in line at the observation deck.
Travel Tip: Make your trip to Burj Khalifa even more exciting – book Dine at Burj Khalifa : 3-course Menu at “Burj Club.” You will get to spend 5 hours at Burj Khalifa. You will reach the 124th floor for observation and get down to the 5th floor. This is where you will enjoy a 3-course meal at the ‘Burj Club.’
Get picked up from your hotel and let your driver drive you in a 4×4 ride straight into the Lahbab Desert. Witness the divine beauty of the desert, close your eyes for some time and try talk to the silence around you. Let the moment come alive in the desert, far far away from the chaos of the city. Take photos on your camera, and most importantly, encode the memories in your brain.
After you’re done getting personal with the desert, your ride will follow the road to a Bedouin-style camp. Let the performers present their talents like Tanoura dance, belly dance and more. Grab a pipe and smoke some shisha while at it.
Once the call for dinner is made, rush to the counters and get your hands on some traditional food.
Once you are done with everything, you will be driven back to your place. This is how you will spend about 6 hours of pure fun when you book Red Dune Desert Safari with BBQ Dinner. Do I need to add more?
Have you ever rode a camel? If not, then your trip to Dubai can be a perfect excuse to ride on a camel. If you ask me about best activities in Dubai, camel ride definitely gets my vote!
I mean, dune bashing on a quad bike or a car is one thing, and riding on a camel is another. Besides, camels are cute, aren’t they? And the way they walk. Ah, the camel walk!
In this two-hour tour, you will be driven to a place in the desert far, far away. You will get to know some locals, some camels and probably some goats, too. Get welcomed by the locals, sip some traditional coffee or tea, and learn about camel farming while enjoying some scenic beauty around you.
Then begins your one-hour camel ride. Sitting on a camel is probably the easy part. But the fun begins when your tall friend stands up. So take your seat and hold tight. Then let your cute friend ride you in the desert. Snap some pictures while at it. And don’t forget camel selfies! People love’em.
When you’re done with camel riding, you will be riding back at your hotel – ending your fun-filled camel riding trip to the desert!
I’m not sure why camel riding costs more than desert safari in a car, but if you really prefer camel over car, this activity is totally worth it.
Okay, Dubai is a hot city! In fact, the whole Middle East is. So how about beating the heat with a visit to Ski Dubai? Yep, Dubai has its own, fully operational ski ring located at the Mall of the Emirates.
Known simply as Ski Dubai, this is one of Dubai’s most popular tourist attractions. With a skiing area of 22,500 m², Ski Dubai can amuse both beginners and pro skiers alike. Pros can enjoy ‘black run’ while freshers can have fun at the 85-meter high artificial mountain which offers five slopes up to 400 meters.
Oh, and did I mention penguins? Yeah, they have plenty of adorable penguins, too! You can hug them, cuddle them or even feed them. Penguin march happens several times a day, so make sure you book ahead and be ready to cuddle with those adorable creatures.
You have plenty of options to book at Ski Dubai. The Full-Day Super Pass will grant you unlimited access to tobogganing, tubing, and bobsled rides but doesn’t include skiing or penguins. If you want to ski, you can book 2-hour Slope Session. To have fun with penguins, Penguin Encounter tickets need to be booked. So make your choice accordingly.
Trust me, Ski Dubai is literally the coolest part of Dubai.
Get to know marvels of Dubai from the water. Step in a speedboat and go for a ride in the Persian Gulf. In this speedboat ride that lasts about an hour and a half, you will get to see the spectacular scenery of Dubai.
The city’s skyline boasts some world famous gems like Burj Al Arab, the Palm Jumeirah, and the Atlantis Hotel with many more skyscrapers on their way. Your boat will pass by these man-made wonders and pause at ideal locations to snap some photographs.
If you want to spare some peaceful time to yourself, there can not be a better activity than this.
I don’t need to tell you this, but if you happen to be here in hot days, you better bring a hat. And if those bumps and jumps make you want to throw up, you better carry a vomit bag along.
6. Dubai Marina Sunset Cruise with International Buffet
At the same price of the guided sightseeing boat tour mentioned above, you can take a ride around Dubai Marina in a yacht. But that’s not the exciting part.
This tour will take place at the time of sunset AND you will be enjoying an international buffet dinner onboard. Grab a few drinks, grub on some delicious cuisine and spend a relaxing time in the company of some melodious music. Go on the upper deck, breath in some fresh air, or stay on the lower deck and enjoy the views around you.
Want to spend a romantic evening with your partner or just want to relax? Then go for this sunset cruise ride and spend some lovely time together.
7. Dubai Creek Dhow Cruise Ride with 5-Star Buffet Dinner
Some prefer the modern-day Dubai, some prefer the Dubai of older days and some prefer both. If you fall in any of the later two categories, then you will love to get onto a dhow cruise and sail around the traditional Dubai.
This two hour Dubai Creek boating will slowly take you around the Creek, just like the Marina yacht ride I mentioned above. The difference? You get to sail around the Bur Dubai area in Dubai Creek ride instead of the modern day Dubai.
There’s not much to look around, though. But you will surely enjoy some calm time on deck, or live music and traditional dance performances. The best part? It’s the dinner. Savor in the five-star international buffet that includes cuisines from all over the world.
Slowly sailing around the Dubai Creek at night is pure fun. And your booking also includes hotel pickup and drop. Amazing, isn’t it?
Visit one of the world’s largest indoor aquariums – the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo. Your booking grants you a tour of the back-of-house facilities along with a guide. You will have an opportunity to observe different breeding projects the scientists are working on.
You will also be able to visit the Study the Sea Jelly Lab. This is where scientists simulate environmental changes and encourage breeding. And how about observing a baby shark developing from an egg? Sounds fun to me!
There’s not it! You will be visiting the Underwater Observatory, where you’ll be at eye level with the inhabitants of the aquarium. You can have a chance to feed stingrays and sharks, too! After this, you can enjoy a walk through the Aquarium Tunnel and observe many exotic species!
A visit to Dubai Aquarium is worth for kids and adults alike. And while here, don’t forget to put your shopping shoes on. You’re are the Dubai Mall, remember? It’s one of the best places for shopping in Dubai.
Explore Dubai from a whole different perspective. Board a helicopter and fly over Dubai. Get a bird’s eye view of Dubai’s iconic landmarks like the Burj Al Arab, the Palm, and World Islands. During a helicopter ride that will last about 15 to 20 minutes, you will feel off the ground, like literally off the ground.
For about $200, this helicopter ride is totally worth it. And if you prefer a seaplane ride, you can go for it, too! For $300, you can jump on a seaplane and take a 25-minute flight from Jebel Ali to Dubai Creek or vice versa. You will fly over famous Dubai landmarks and get plenty of photo opportunities.
Be it the helicopter ride or seaplane ride, both are awesome. Book one according to your budget and preference.
10. Abu Dhabi Full-Day Sightseeing Tour from Dubai
Okay, I don’t recommend you take a one day tour to Abu Dhabi. I would always suggest living in Abu Dhabi for a few days and explore the best out of the UAE capital. But if for any reason, you don’t wish to do that, then this one day tour from Dubai is a wonderful option for you.
With your booking, you get picked up from your place and you leave for an 8-hour sightseeing tour of Abu Dhabi. You will visit some marvelous places like the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Emirates Palace, Heritage Village, Abu Dhabi Museum, Etihad Towers and Yas Island.
The reason I don’t recommend sightseeing tours is because I prefer to spend some time to explore the place I’m visiting. During such tours, sometimes you have to speed things up as you have to cover other places, too. But besides that, this one day tour to Abu Dhabi is a wonderful thing to do.
From a desert safari to a camel ride, from Burj Khalifa to Ski Dubai, from a helicopter ride to a boat ride, there are plenty of exciting activities you can do in Dubai. I’m sure these activities will make your trip worthwhile and you will return with lots of wonderful memories.
Please note that the prices mentioned here are for reference only. These prices can change anytime, so make sure to check final price before you make your payment.
Also note that the rules for pickup and drop off vary between activities. You should contact the activity organizer before your day of activity to make things clear.
That’s it, friends! I hope you found this list of top 10 best activities in Dubai worth your time. I’m sure you will love each activity mentioned here.
I will be back with more articles soon. Till then, you keep wandering and have fun! And if you liked this article, please share it with others, too!