40 Best Things to do in Dubai: Top Places to visit

kam v dubaji

Looking for the top places to visit in Dubai? Check out the best things to do in Dubai. The detailed overview of the things to do in Dubai also includes practical information – entrance fees, prices, opening hours and an interactive map that you can download to your mobile phone.

Table of Contents
  1. Dubai 
  2. Dubai: 40 tips on sights and places to see in Dubai
  3. Dubai – the best beaches
  4. How to save in Dubai?
  5. Best Things to do in Dubai – map
  6. More information about Dubai
  7. Article Summary Best Things to do in Dubai


Dubai is known as the City of Gold. Few would guess that the town originated as a small fishing village in the 18th century. Today, with 3.4 million inhabitants, it is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). A city where modernity and tradition come together.

Dubai is the capital of the Emirate of Dubai, which is one of the 7 emirates in the UAE. The Emirates are states ruled by an Arab Emir and together they form a single entity.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / Emirates Towers
Emirates Towers

Dubai is located around the Persian Gulf in the east of the Arabian Peninsula. It lies at an altitude of 16 m just above sea level.

Dubai is a city of many highlights. Almost all the sights and attractions to visit in Dubai are special. For example, the largest garden or indoor ski area right in the desert. It regularly ranks at the top of the most visited cities in the world.

In 2019 he was 4th. after Bangkok, Paris and London. A total of 16 million foreign tourists visited the country.

The city is incredibly cosmopolitan – over 200 different nationalities live here, most of whom are Indian, Pakistani, and you’ll also meet a lot of British expats.

Dubai: 40 tips on sights and places to see in Dubai

Burj Khalifa (Burj Khalifa) – the tallest building in the world

Most of us think of Dubai as a city of skyscrapers. And the biggest symbol of the city’s modern boom since 2010 is the Burj Khalifa skyscraper, located in Downtown Dubai. At 829.8 metres high, it holds the title of the world’s tallest building.

Everyone wants to see the Burj Khalifa, so there are queues. Burj Khalifa should definitely be first on your list of things to see in Dubai, as it is one of the most beautiful places.

In addition to being the world’s tallest building, it holds many other records, from the tallest free-standing structure to the world’s highest restaurant.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / Burj Khalifa / world's tallest building

Tower designBurj Khalifa is based on the desert flower Hymenocallis. So is Burj Park, which is located in the immediate vicinity of the skyscraper. The building has 57 lifts and the interesting thing is that they are made in the Czech Republic. There are 154 floors + 18 floors for maintenance and 2 floors for underground parking. Burj Khalifa is so large that it takes 36 people 3-4 months to clean it.

In good visibility you can see up to 80 km away to the shores of Iran, which lies on the other side of the Persian Gulf. The elevator is one of the fastest in the world – up to 124. floor, where the main observation deck is located, will take you up in a minute. Accompanied by music and video projection.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / Burj Khalifa

View and tickets to Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa offers several types of tickets depending on the view you choose. The most popular vantage point, called At the Top, is located at 452 metres in the 124. Floor and has an outdoor viewing platform.

The viewpoint also includes electronic binoculars and augmented reality, so you can see in real time what the view looks like at different times of day or in different weather conditions. You can also have your photo taken with hand-painted giant wings or have your photo taken by a professional (beware, prices are inflated).

TIP: Tickets for the At the Top level cost AED 174 online. It is better to book tickets in advance, as they are significantly more expensive on the spot.

From a vantage point in 124. floor, the spiral staircase leads to the observation deck at 125. upstairs. A lot of visitors stay in 124. upstairs and he can’t get up here, so there’s less people.

Burj Khalifa At the Top

An even higher vantage point is then Sky level in 148. Floor, where you can see Dubai from 555 metres, and Lounge in 152-154. Floor. You get priority entry for both and a ticket to 148. floors you automatically include the prospects in 124. a 125. floor (+ extra coffee and dates). Refreshments are included in the lounge ticket.

Burj Khalifa At the Top view
view from Burj Khalifa

Entrance fees, opening hours and how to get to Burj Khalifa

Before entering the Burj Khalifa, there is a queue for tickets. When booking in advance are tickets are significantly cheaper . You’ll save a lot of time while ensuring you get in at the time of your choosing.

The biggest rush of tourists is before sunset between 16:00-18:00, when tickets are also the most expensive (249AED). It’s quieter in the early morning and later in the evening. After queuing for tickets, you will still have to go through a security check.

  • Read more about Burj Khalifa in my separate article .
  • Admission: 124.-125. floor for AED 174 (AED 249 before sunset); 124., 125. a 148. floor for 543 AED and 152nd-154th. floor to the lounge for AED 759; on-site tickets more expensive and long queues. Get your tickets here.
  • Opening hours: 9:00-23:00
  • How to get here: red metro line – Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station and from there about 500 m long air-conditioned corridor to OC Dubai Mall, through which you can enter Burj Khalifa; MAP

Most popular tickets to Burj Khalifa:


Dubai Mall – a huge shopping mall in Dubai

It would be a sin to visit Dubai and not visit at least one shopping mall. To the right of the Burj Khalifa is Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in Dubai and the second largest shopping mall in the world in terms of total area. There are over 1300 shops and 300 restaurants and cafes. There are both mainstream chains and luxury boutiques.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is the place to take a map at the entrance (although everything is perfectly marked). Every year, over 80 million visitors pass through, i.e. over 200 thousand visitors a day. To make matters worse, Dubai is planning its largest shopping mall, the aptly named Mall of the World, which is expected to cover 48 millionsquare metres.

But Dubai Mall is not just about shopping. There’s also plenty to do, from an ice-skating rink to a huge aquarium with 33,000 fish and aquatic animals, so you can spend all day here. Or you can admire the 24-metre Waterfall Wall, which is decorated with fibreglass sculptures of figures falling into the water.

Dubai Mall

In front of the Dubai Mall, there are also attractions such as a large silver heart, which reflects the surrounding skyscrapers or the I love Dubai sign (similar to the one in Amsterdam). Both attractions can be reached by exiting the Waterfall Wall. If you plan to visit Burj Khalifa, the entrance is through Dubai Mall.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / Burj Khalifa

Opening hours and how to get to Dubai Mall

  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: SUN-THU 10:00-24:00, FRI-SAT 10:00-01:00
  • How to get here: red metro line – Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station and from there take the 500m long air-conditioned corridor to OC Dubai Mall; MAP

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is an aquarium right in the Dubai Mall, where you can experience the underwater world of Dubai. You can see part of it for free on the 1st and 2nd floor. But the main experience is inside. In the 10 million litre, 48 metre long aquarium tunnel you will see 33,000 fish and aquatic animals and more than 400 sharks and rays.

You can also choose from packages where you can meet directly with otters, crocodiles or penguins. The ticket includes an underwater zoo where you will see nocturnal marine animals that live in the UAE.

Admission to the Dubai Aquarium varies depending on what you want to experience. Basic ticket costs 120 AED. Extended ticket complete with a glass-floored boat ride, virtual reality and a behind-the-scenes look, costs AED 199.

The most popular is then Combination ticket to the aquarium and Burj Khalifa for 235 AED. A single ticket to Burj Khalifa will cost at least AED 164, so the combined ticket is definitely worth it if you plan to visit both places.

  • Admission: 120-199 AED depending on what you want to see and experience (see previous paragraph); children under 2 years free. Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 10:00-22:00, weekend 10:00-00:00 (last entry 45 minutes before)
  • How to get here: red metro line – Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station and from there take the 500 m long air-conditioned corridor to OC Dubai Mall; MAP

Dubai Fountain (Dubai Fountain)

Dubai Fountain

Dubai also has some of the largest fountains in the world – the Dubai Fountain is located on the man-made Lake Burj at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. When the show starts, it’s a stunning experience with the Burj Khalifa in the background.

And now a few numbers to better give us an idea of how huge the fountain is. The Dubai Fountain covers an area of 12 hectares, is 275 metres long and 150 metres high. The light show is provided by 6,600 lights and 50 colour projectors.

Dubai Fountain was built by the same company that built the world-famous fountain in front of the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. Construction cost $217 million.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain performance takes place every half hour from 6pm to 11pm and lasts less than 5 minutes. It is accompanied by a variety of music from classical to Arabic and world hits. Meanwhile, every quarter of an hour there is a light show on the Burj Khalifa. During the day, you can watch performances (not with color effects) at 1:00 and 1:30 pm and 1:30 and 2:00 pm on Fridays.

The show has different programs, so even if you spend more time here, you will experience different light and music shows. The Dubai Fountain is free to enter, but be prepared for crowds. Especially on Fridays and weekends.

It’s best to come right after the show, pick the best seat and wait until the next show. You can walk around much of the lake and choose where you want to watch the show from. You can also get a good view from the bridge (for a small fee) or from one of the restaurants in Souk Al Bahar (directly opposite the Burj Khalifa).

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / DUbai Fountain

Entrance fees, opening hours and how to get to the Dubai Fountain

  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: daytime performances 1:00 and 1:30 pm (FRI 1:30 and 2:00 pm), evening performances 6:00-11:00 pm – every half hour on the hour or half hour
  • How to get here: The Dubai Fountain is located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa skyscraper and next to the Dubai Mall; MAP

Sky Views Observatory (Sky Views Observatory)

Dubai / things to do in Dubai / Sky Views

Across the road from the Burj Khalifa is another skyscraper called Sky Views with a great view of Dubai – especially the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, is right in the palm of your hand.

You can recognize Sky Views from afar – they are twin towers connected by a sky bridge. It is one of the best sightseeing places to go in Dubai.

The Sky Views observation deck is located at an altitude of 219.5 metres. It includes a 25-metre glass floor that gives you a perfect view of what’s below you. If you’d like even more adrenaline, you can go down the glass slide from 53 to 52. floors around the outer part of the tower ( included in the ticket price ).

Or take a walk on the outer ledge at the top of the skyscraper, where you must purchase a special ticket . The necessary equipment is available on site. It’s probably the most adrenaline-pumping activity you can do in Dubai.

TIP: You can enjoy Sky Views book at a discounted price along with the At the Top view at the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. The two skyscrapers are a few minutes’ walk from each other.

  • Admission: 80 AED; better to book for the morning or later in the evening when it’s less crowded; Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 10:00-22:00, Mondays until 22:30
  • How to get here: Sky Views Observatory is located next to Burj Khalifa/ Dubai Mall Metro Station (Red Line); MAP

Angel Wings Wings of Mexico Statue

Want to take an unusual photo with the world’s tallest building behind you? Wings of Mexico Statue is perfect for that. This is a metal sculpture of angel wings by Mexican artist Jorge Marin, which stands just outside the Burj Khalifa, in front of the main entrance to the Burj Plaza.

Sometimes there is a queue for a photo, so it is better to come on weekdays during the day. At night, it’s golden-lit. The Wings of Mexico Statue is accessible 24/7 for free.

Dubai Creek – a creek in the old city

Dubai Creek is definitely not to be missed if you are wondering what to see in Dubai. It is a natural sea water bay, which is on the preliminary list of UNESCO. It divides the city into Bur Dubai and Deira. Bur Dubai is home to the old city and all the famous sites from the Burj Khalifa to the Dubai Marina.

You can stroll along the promenade around the bay and admire the traditional houses. You will see here, for example Heritage Village where you’ll see one of the few remaining parts of historic Dubai.

Al Fahidi Historical (Al Fahidi Historical)

old DUbai

Al Fahidi Historical is a historic part of old Dubai in the Al Fahidi district by Dubai Creek. Sometimes it’s also called Al Bastakiya. There is the Al Fahidi Fortress, the Grand Mosque, art galleries with street art, shops with local produce, great cafes and restaurants with traditional cuisine.

Al Fahidi Historical is a labyrinth of narrow winding streets between low historic houses that take you back in time to the old Dubai when it was still a fishing village. The houses are made of teak, stone and sandalwood.

Old Dubai

If you arrive here early in the morning, you can get the authentic atmosphere as best you can without tourists. Personally, I like these mornings best. Most shops open around 10am. I recommend going to Arabian Tea House for date cake.

  • Admission: free
  • Opening hours: 24/7
  • How to get here: green metro line – Sharaf DG station or several bus stops nearby; MAP

Al Fahidi Fortress – the oldest building in Dubai

Al Fahidi / Dubai museum

Built in 1787, Al Fahidi Fort is the oldest building in Dubai. It is home to the Dubai Museum, where you can learn more about the history, culture and way of life of the emirate of Dubai – for example, how the pearl trade was conducted, the cultivation of dates or see traditional reconstruction in the Emirates. It’s a great museum for families with children.

  • Admission: 3 AED, no need to book in advance
  • Opening hours: currently undergoing renovation, but is due to reopen soon – no date yet
  • How to get here: green metro line – Sharaf DG station or several bus stops nearby; MAP

The Great Mosque

In the historical part of Al Fahidi, I mentioned the Grand Mosque, which we will continue with now. If you’re as fascinated by buildings like this as I am, the Grand Mosque should definitely be on your list of things to see in Dubai.

The Grand Mosque is located just behind the Al Fahidi Fortress. It is the centre of Dubai’s religious life. It was built in 1960 and subsequently rebuilt in 1998 to its present form. It has sandy, simple walls, which are enhanced by wooden windows with stained glass. Above the main façade is a large Koranic inscription.

The first thing that catches the eye is the 70 m high minaret, which resembles a lighthouse and towers over the surrounding houses. The mosque can accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers.

Non-Muslims can visit the Grand Mosque from Sunday to Thursday from 9:00-11:30. The tours are free of charge. To enter the mosque, you must dress modestly – cover your legs and arms, plus a headscarf over your hair.

Al Seef Promenade

Al Fahidi Historical is continued by the Al Seef promenade, which mixes old and new architecture and has plenty of shops and restaurants.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai
View of Emirates NBD Bank from Al Seef Promenade (bronze building in the middle) and the traditional abra

One of the best activities at Dubai Creek is a cruise on a historic wooden boat called the Abra. It serves as a water taxi and costs only about 1 dirham. There is a dock right on the Al Seef promenade where you can take a ride to the other side to Deira. It only takes a few minutes to get there, but it’s worth it.

Abra connects both sides of Dubai Creek – Bur Dubai and Deira. In Deira you can go to the markets, which will be discussed later.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai
Abra on Burj Lake in front of Burj Khalifa

Abra also operates at other locations in Dubai – for example, at Burj Lake, where you can take a ride during the Fountain of the Danube . Here, however, the cruise will cost significantly more.

Dubai / things to do in Dubai
Al Farooq Mosque on the way to Al Seef promenade

Dubai Creek Harbour

Dubai Creek Harbour is not the same as Dubai Creek. Dubai Creek Harbour is a modern and newly built neighbourhood with restaurants and street art where you can watch the sunsets.

There are amazing buildings around the promenade, from which you will have a beautiful view of the modern Dubai skyline with the Burj Khalifa in the middle. If you want to take beautiful photos of Dubai, this is one of the best places.

Families with children will also like it here, as there are huge statues of flamingos, the I love UAE sign, a tree with huge flowers, a playground, a lighthouse lit up in the evening and many other details.

Dubai Creek Harbour isn’t that well known yet, but it’s definitely one of the more interesting places to visit in Dubai.

  • How to get here: Dubai Creek Harbour is accessible by the CR9 ferry; MAP

Traditional Souk Markets

Souks are markets that are intrinsically linked to Dubai’s history and tradition. There are several popular markets in the city, each focusing on something different. You can go to the market with spices, oils, incense and herbs Dubai Spice Souk or the gold, jewellery and pearl market Dubai Gold Souk . Both markets are located in the Deira area on the other side of the bay.

Dubai Spice Soak
Dubai Spice Soak

A more modern equivalent of traditional markets is Souk Al Bahar opposite the Burj Khalifa, which is made up of shops selling Arabic clothing and boutiques selling modern fashion, as well as perfumeries, traditional carpet shops, jewellers and restaurants.

Souk are perfectly safe, but it is still better to follow a few rules:

  • Bargain. Locals count on it and it’s a fun part of the deal.
  • The vendors are mostly Pakistani and speak English.
  • Move along the main route and don’t go into the alleyways where locals may lure you into their apartments to sell you something else.
  • Be prepared for this to be quite an intense experience. There’s a lively atmosphere and everyone will talk to you. If you prefer to see everything in peace, just politely decline.
  • For women: cover your knees and shoulders to avoid attracting a lot of attention from the local men.

Desert safari in the Dubai desert

Dubai is built in the Dubai desert, which is sometimes a little unbelievable when you walk through a city full of greenery and flowers. The Dubai Desert is just another name for the official Arabian Desert, which is 5. the largest desert in the world and occupies almost the entire Arabian Peninsula.

TIP: To the Dubai desert safaris and the prices are quite reasonable considering all the things you’ll experience here – feeding camels, riding in a jeep on the sand dunes, henna painting, photo shoots or evening barbecues. They’ll pick you up at the hotel and bring you back. It is a perfect activity for families with children.

dubai safari / dubai desert

Here you will find popular and proven desert safaris . Different trips have similar offers and the price varies depending on what you choose. The basic price includes pick-up and drop-off (they will pick you up wherever you need to go), barbecue/buffet, drinks or camel ride. You can pay extra for a quad bike ride on the dunes and other activities.

Dubai Frame – the largest frame in the world

dubai frame / the most beautiful places in Dubai

Dubai Frame is one of the other attractions in Dubai. With a height of 150 m and a width of 96 m, it is the largest frame in the world on the edge of Zabeel Park. Its architect, Fernando Donis, was selected by the government of Dubai Frame as the winner of the prestigious Thyssenkrupp Elevator 2009 design competition, which he won. Yet the architect claims he was denied intellectual property and design recognition.

Whatever the truth, the fact remains that Dubai Frame is one of the most beautiful places to see in Dubai.

Dubai Frame has views of both sides – old and modern Dubai

The Dubai Frame is made of glass, steel, reinforced concrete and aluminium and features the Expo 2020 logo on its outer façade. Inside, there is a gallery that consists of 3 parts – Dubai’s past, the present and a vision of where the city will go in the future.

Afterwards, you will reach the observation deck, where you can see both modern and old Dubai. The floor of the lookout is made of glass and you can see beautifully below you. It’s not quite the adrenaline rush of the Sky Views but it’s still not for the faint of heart.

  • Admission: 50 AED, children 3-12 years 20 AED, under 3 years free; Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 9:00-21:00
  • How to get here: red MAX metro line (formerly Al Jafiliya); MAP

Zabeel Park

the most beautiful places in Dubai

Zabeel Park is one of the most beautiful and popular parks in Dubai. Most tourists come here for the Dubai Frame (see previous tip), but the park itself is worth a walk. There are benches, restaurants, you can rent bikes or have a picnic.

  • Admission: admission here is AED 5 for everyone over 2 years old – payable using your NOL card, which you’ll buy at Dubai Public Transport.
  • Opening hours: Sun-Sat 8:00-22:00, Thu-Sat 8:00-23:00 (during Ramadan from 12:00)
  • How to get here: red MAX metro line (formerly Al Jafiliya); MAP

Dubai Garden Glow

In the other part of Zabeel Park is the Dubai Garden Glow. Especially for families with children, this is the perfect place to keep yourself entertained for hours. The park is thematically divided into 3 main zones. The main one is the Garden Glow, a garden with 10 million LED lights that have been handcrafted into different shapes and figures. It’s like a fairy tale.

Dubai Garden Glow Dubai with children / things to do in Dubai

Another part is the Dinopark, where there are more than 120 dinosaurs from the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Dinosaurs also make sounds. The third part is Magic Park full of optical illusions and artistic illusions. In addition, there are plenty of places to eat or relax in the park.

  • Admission: 65 AED (Garden Glow and Dinopark)
  • Opening hours: SUN-FRI 17:00-23:00, SAT and holidays 17:00-00:00
  • How to get here: red MAX metro line (formerly Al Jafiliya) – from here half an hour on foot or by bus or taxi; MAP

Deira Clocktower

the most beautiful places in Dubai

The Deira Clocktower is a significant site because its construction symbolized the beginning of Dubai’s modern era. There is a fountain directly under the tower and a roundabout around it. In the evening the place is nicely lit. The tower is located behind Dubai Creek in the Deira area and there are several beautiful mosques around.

Global Village – the whole world in one place

Literally. The Global Village includes 26 pavilions and brings together the culture of more than 80 countries around the world in one place. It covers an area of 1 600 thousandm2. Annually, Global Village receives 6 million visitors.

The most beautiful places in Dubai / Global Village

Each pavilion is dedicated to a specific area and reflects the regional atmosphere of the country through arts, crafts, national foods, cultural entertainment and indigenous products. There are folklore performances that will draw you into the action.

Global Village also includes the Carneval theme park with more than 170 attractions and experiences. Whether you like adrenaline rides or knowledge games, you’ll find something to do. Each attraction is charged separately. Usually at theme parks, you pay one price at the door and then enjoy unlimited rides (e.g. Disneyland Paris), but if you’re only planning a few rides, it’s better to pay for each ride separately.

What else to see in Global Village?

Young children will have fun in the special Peter Rabbit™ Adventure Zone. Or there’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, which you can imagine as a magical place with the strangest artefacts and remarkable stories, interactive elements and a 4D theatre where you can feel every bump, fall or spin.

Global Village has already broken 25 Guinness World Records. For example, the largest underwater net screen with a size of 5013.4m2 and 223,000 pixels, the highest number of simultaneously waving nationalities (65 in total) or the largest picnic table with dimensions of 2,995 m by 5,501 m.

It depends on what you want to see, but expect to spend at least half a day in the Global Village. The easiest way to get here is by taxi from Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates (half an hour drive). Nearby Global Village, you’ll find IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Miracle Garden, which we’ll talk more about.

Admission, opening hours and how to get to Global Village

  • Admission to the Global Village: entrance fee is AED 20 (AED 15 online), children under 3 are free; theme park attractions are charged separately; BUY TICKETS
  • Opening hours: from October to April MON-Thurs 16:00-00:00 and Fri-Sun 16:00-01:00; Tuesdays are reserved especially for women and families with children; in summer Global Village is closed
  • How to get to Global Village: MAP; Global Village is located on the edge of Dubai and is not served by local public transport. The easiest way to get here is by taxi, Uber or the Careem app. There are also buses from major points in Dubai in high season – line 102 from Rashidiya station, line 103 from Union station, line 104 from Al Ghubaiba station and line 106 from Mall of the Emirates station.

The biggest Ferris wheel Ain Dubai

And here’s the next best thing. This time it is the largest Ferris wheel in the world , Ain Dubai, which measures 250 m. Just to give you an idea – Ain Dubai is twice the size of the London Eye in London and 82 metres taller than the previous record holder High Roller in Las Vegas.

Ain Dubai is located on Bluewaters Island, an artificial island 500 metres from Jumeirah Beach. It has 48 luxurious and air-conditioned cabins that can accommodate up to 1,750 people. The ride takes just over half an hour.

In the evening the Ferris wheel is beautifully lit. There are plenty of restaurants and small food stalls around the Ferris wheel and on Bluewaters Island.

  • Admission: Currently under renovation over the summer, but scheduled to reopen in the first quarter of 2023.
  • How to get here: there is a pedestrian bridge to Bluewaters Island from JBR Beach in Jumeirah; red metro line – DMCC station, tram T1; MAP

IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure is the second largest indoor theme park in the world with an area of 140,000m2. If you would like to visit the biggest one, it’s not a problem. It is located in Abu Dhabi, 2 hours away – Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi with an area of 150 thousand. m2.

The IMG Worlds of Adventure park is themed into several zones with more than 150 rides. Lovers of Marvel movies or those who like to be scared in the Haunted Castle will find their own. There is also a special zone for small children. The advantage is that there are no long queues for popular attractions, as is usually the case with the most popular theme parks (e.g. Disneyland). There are also plenty of options for refreshments.

The park itself is located outside the city near the Global Village and Dubai Miracle Garden, so you can combine the sites into one visit.

  • Admission: 335 AED; Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: mon-thurs 10:00-22:00, fri-sun 10:00-23:00
  • How to get here: IMG Worlds of Adventure is not connected to Dubai’s public transport, the only way to get here is by taxi – the best way to get a taxi is from Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates, as the park is only 30 minutes away from both locations; MAP

Muzeum budoucnosti (Museum of the Future)

The Museum of the Future is located near the Burj Khalifa. Although the term nearby is very relative in Dubai – the Museum of the Future is 2 metro stops away and a little over half an hour on foot. The torus-shaped building itself is considered an architectural masterpiece.

The aim of the Museum of the Future is to bring people of all ages together to participate in shaping a common future and to see the world with new eyes. The museum is also a great place for families because they have created a section just for kids called Future Heroes.

The museum has only recently opened, so it is still very popular and it’s better to book tickets in advance .

  • Admission: 145 AED, children under 3 years free. Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00 (last entry one hour before)
  • How to get here: red metro line – Emirates Towers station; the museum is right in front of the iconic Jumeirah Emirates Towers; MAP

Madinat Jumeirah Holiday Area

Madinat Jumeirah Dubai

Madinat Jumeirah can be imagined as a 40-hectare resort area inspired by ancient Arabia. It is located between the hotels, but is also open to the public. An artificial canal runs through the entire area, in the middle of which is the Madinat Jumeirah Souk and more than 40 restaurants and bars.

Wild Wadi Water Park

Wild Wadi Dubai

Wild Wadi Outdoor Water Park is located next to Madinat Jumeirah. It’s a place with plenty of slides, water attractions and activities to keep you entertained for the whole day.

  • Admission: 259 AED, for children under 1.1 m 199 AED. For tickets click here
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
  • How to get here: take the red metro line to the Mall of the Emirates and take bus No. 81 to Wild Wadi Park; MAP

Palm Jumeirah island in the shape of a palm leaf

Palm Jumeirah is a man-made archipelago that together forms a perfect palm leaf. It can even be seen from space (or from a plane, so watch carefully before landing).

Palm Jumeirah Dubai

The date palm is the national flower of the UAE. Expedia voted the Palm Jumeirah one of the architectural wonders of the world in 2015. It doesn’t really have that atmosphere when you walk through here. Palm Jumeirah is a place to see from above – we’ll tell you where in a moment.

Palm Jumeirah is just one part of a development project that includes 3 artificial islands:

  • Palm Jumeirah
  • Deira Island
  • Palm Jebel Ali

While Deira Island and Palm Jebel Ali are not yet completed, Palm Jumeirah is already finished (although more and more projects are still being built here). Palm Jumeirah is home to tens of thousands of people and a popular leisure and recreation area, with many luxury hotels including the famous Atlantis hotel, The Palm.

You’ll also find other attractions and points of interest worth visiting in Dubai (we’ll talk more about them later). Of the Palm Islands, Palm Jumeirah is the smallest and cost 1.5 billion to build. USD.

atlantis dubai

How to get to Palm Jumeirah?

Palm Jumeirah is easily accessible by taxi or you can use the monorail which serves only the island of Palm Jumeirah. The station is located on the Palm Jumeirah Monorail or OC Nakheel Mall. Tickets can be purchased online or at the door.

Palm Jumeirah Monorail Station can be reached by bus no. 8 or or the red metro line (Al Khail station and from there 20 minutes on foot). You can also rent bikes or take the free shuttle bus to Palm Jumeirah.

monorail dubai

The Pointe Promenade

The Pointe is the boardwalk on Palm Jumeirah. This is a new neighbourhood with lots of restaurants and shops, farmers markets and events. It is located directly opposite the Atlantis Hotel, which has a great view. And an even better view from here is of the Palm Fountain, which rivals the more famous Dubai Fountain.

Palm Fountain Dubai / Dubai

The Palm Fountain consists of 2 giant floating platforms covering 14,000m2 of seawater. What does that imply? It is enormous and thanks to its size it is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest fountain in the world. During the show, the fountain reaches a height of up to 105 m and performs a light and music show using 3,000 LEDs.

Performances run weekdays from 18:00-23:00 every 30 minutes and weekends 18:00-00:00. The Pointe can be reached by free shuttle buses that serve the area to Palm Jumeirah and the surrounding area. You can also use taxis like anywhere else in Dubai.

Aquaventure Waterpark – the largest water park

Aquaventure Waterpark is the largest water theme park in the Middle East. Located in the Atlantis Resort, The Pam at Palm Jumeirah. Here you can enjoy fun on more than 105 slides, attractions and experiences. There is something for everyone – children and adults alike. There are rope slides, water slides and paddling pools for children. You can relax on the sandy beach right by the sea or have a snack in one of the restaurants.


It’s best to arrive early in the morning and go to the most popular attractions, as queues can form later (especially in high season and from Friday to Sunday). The biggest adrenaline rush is at the Swirl Jump attraction, where you ride almost vertically through a lagoon full of sharks from a height of several metres.

There are also queues for tickets, so it is better to order tickets in advance. Admission to the park is free for hotel guests or birthday celebrants with one companion. Ask for aqua socks on entry, which you will receive free of charge. The country is very hot, so they’ll definitely come in handy.

Tickets can be purchased separately to the water park or at in combination with The Lost Chambers Aquarium (see our other tip on what to see in Dubai).

  • Admission: 249-299 AED for the whole day; 279-349 AED combined with The Lost Chambers Aquarium; children under 1.2m tall free. Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 9:45-18:30
  • How to get here: There are no buses, metro or tram to Palm Jumeirah. One option is a taxi, which is cheap in Dubai and regulated by the city. Another option is the 5.4 km long Palm Monorail, which connects the entire island of Palm Jumeirah; MAP

The Lost Chambers Aquarium

The Lost Chambers Aquarium is another attraction at the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Jumeirah. It is located on the other side of the water park. Together with the Dubai Mall Aquarium, these are the 2 largest aquariums in Dubai. This one is a hair bigger and also better (although both are spectacular), but on the other hand, it’s again a little less accessible.


The Lost Chambers Aquarium has a volume of 11,000 litres and is home to 65,000 animals, including sharks and rays. The whole theme of the aquarium is based on the sinking Atlantis. They were the first to meet the standards of the AZA and WAZA, committing to providing the best environment for aquatic animals. If you download the Ocean Tales app and scan a fish or aquatic creature in an aquarium, you can learn more about them.

Tickets can be purchased separately to the aquarium or at in combination with Aquaventure Waterpark (see previous tip on what to visit in Dubai).

  • Admission: 110 AED, children 3-7 years 90 AED, children under 3 years free. Click here for tickets.
  • Opening hours: 10:00-21:00
  • How to get here: Taxi to Atlantis Hotel or monorail from Palm Jumeirah Monorail or OC Nakheel Mall; MAP

The View at the Palm overlooking the Palm Jumeirah

The View at the Palm offers the best views of the Palm Jumeirah. The observation deck is located at a height of 240 m on the 52nd floor of the Palm Tower, the tallest skyscraper on Palm Jumeirah. The elevator will take you to You can reach the 52nd floor in 45 seconds. V 51. floor is a restaurant and on the other floors is a hotel.

The View at the Palm is a great and cheaper alternative to the Burj Khalifa. It may not be the highest in the city, but the views of Palm Island are breathtaking, especially in the evening. Palm Jumeirah is a place that has the greatest charm from above.

V 50. on the first floor is the AURA Skypool Dubai infinity pool with 360° views, which is the highest infinity pool in the world. Prices start at AED 225.

  • Admission: between 9:00-16:00 and after 19:30 – AED 100 (children 4-12 years 69 AED); between 16:30-19:00 AED 158 (children 4-12 years 111 AED); children under 4 are free. Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: Mon-Thu 9:00-22:00, Fri-Sun 9:00-00:00; last entry one hour before the end of opening hours
  • How to get here: taxi to Nakheel Mall, Monorail or shuttle bus; MAP
  • The entrance is through Nakheel Mall

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a promenade just off the Palm Jumeriah, which is the perfect image of how we all imagine Dubai. Ultramodern, full of skyscrapers, expensive hotels and luxury yachts. You can walk or rent a bike around the man-made canal. There are up to 8 km of trails with water features and playgrounds.

Dubai Marina Dubai

You can take a boat directly on the artificial canal. Dubai Marina also includes public beaches, a floating water park and a water world for smaller children. There are plenty of restaurants and bars, so the Dubai Marina has the best atmosphere in the evening. Everything is lit up beautifully, including the Ain Dubai Ferris wheel, which is right across the street on the artificial island of Bluewaters.

Among all those skyscrapers, the Al Rahim Mosque literally stands out. Dubai Marina also includes the Dubai Marina Mall.

Dubai Marina Dubai

Dubai Marina you can view from a luxury yacht that will take you past other Dubai sites including the Ferris wheel, the 7* Burj Al Arab hotel and Jumeirah beach. There are 2 times to choose from – in the morning including breakfast and in the evening at sunset with barbecue. The second option is to take a boat ride on the artificial canal (dinner and live music included).

Dubai Marina Dubai

How to get to Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina can be reached by the Red Line Metro – Sobha Realty or DMCC station. Both stations are connected to the tram that runs directly along Dubai Marina to the Palm Jumeirah. Thanks to the tram you can get to know the whole area and then you can get off wherever you want.

There is also a water bus that runs every 15 minutes from 10:00-22:00. Or is it take a boat ride on the canal and have dinner with it.

Jumeirah Mosque (Jumeirah Mosque)

The Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most beautiful places in Dubai, a must-see on your itinerary. It was built in the 1970s on the site of the original mosque, but looking at it you’d guess it was much older.

The exterior of the Jumeirah Mosque is made of pink sandstone and marble. It is decorated and topped with 3 domes, which are bordered by 2 minarets.

The interior walls are decorated with ornament and Arabic script, and the floor is covered with a large piece carpet that is embroidered with intricate floral patterns.

As one of the few mosques in Dubai, the Jumeirah Mosque offers public tours to tourists. It aims to remove barriers between people of different nationalities and raise awareness of local culture. The tour also includes a tasting of Emirati Fuala snacks and coffee/tea.

Please note: Modest clothing is required to enter the mosque – covered legs and arms and a headscarf over the hair for women.

  • Admission: 35 AED
  • Opening hours: tours daily except Fridays at 10:00 and 14:00; you must arrive for registration about 30 minutes before
  • How to get here: taxi or buses 8, 9, 88, C10; MAP

Etihad Museum

Etihad Museum Dubai

The Etihad Museum is just a quarter of an hour’s walk from the Jumeirah Mosque. It is housed in a futuristic building and the museum itself is modern. And what do you learn here? The Etihad Museum tells you more about the history and unification of the United Arab Emirates.

It helps visitors better understand the philosophy of the nation and who is behind the UAE’s dynamic development. The tour is fun and interactive.

  • Admission: 25 AED, children and youth 5-24 years 10 AED
  • Opening hours: 10:00-20:00 (last entry 19:00)
  • How to get here: taxi or buses 8, 9, 12, C10; MAP

City Walk and Green Planet

City Walk is a shopping mall with a promenade located in the heart of Dubai between Jumeirah and Downtown Dubai. Ideal place for an evening stroll or shopping, where there are also lots of activities for children. It is open daily 10:00-00:00 and the restaurant is open until 1 am.

The Green Planet

Next door is The Green Planet, a giant greenhouse with a tropical rainforest where you have the opportunity to see more than 3,000 animals and plants. Here you can touch a snake, feed a sloth or admire the artificial waterfalls.

You take the elevator up to the ground floor and then one floor below, where the nocturnal animals are. The Green Planet building itself is worth seeing.

  • Admission: 125 AED – tickets are cheaper online; Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 10:00-18:00
  • How to get here: red metro line – Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall station and from there 20 minutes on foot or buses 7, 14, 28, 81; MAP

Dubai Miracle Garden – the largest garden in the world

Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai is home to the largest garden in the world, covering 72,000m2. Yes, in Dubai, which is right in the desert. As incredible as it sounds, the Dubai Miracle Garden will make you feel like you’ve arrived at the most colourful and green place.

Flowers everywhere (mostly petunias or sunflower fields), which are arranged in various installations. There are 150 million flowers. 500,000 live plants were used on the Emirates A380 model alone.

At Dubai Miracle Garden, you can walk through the Smurf Village, the Umbrella Tunnel or the Heart Tunnel of Flowers.

Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Garden is the least crowded right after opening. It will take you about an hour to visit, so you can visit the Global Village a short walk away, where bus 105 stops, or you can take a taxi here.

  • Admission: 55 AED, children 3-12 years 40 AED; Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: from mid-May to November, Dubai Miracle Garden is closed
  • How to get here: from the Mall of the Emirates, which can be reached by taking the red metro line, take bus 105 from platform 5, which will take you to the Dubai Miracle Garden; MAP

Year-round skiing in Ski Dubai

Does the World’s Largest Garden Dubai Miracle Garden sound incredible to you? Let alone Ski Dubai, the world’s largest indoor ski resort, located in the Mall of the Emirates. Here you can ski all year round and you don’t need much to do so, because they will rent you everything on the spot (it feels like -4°C here, so extra layers will come in handy).

You can ski down the 85-metre high mountain and choose from 5 slopes of different difficulty levels (including black). Next to this is the Snow Park with toboggan runs, an ice slide, climbing towers, an ice cave and giant snowballs. You can also book a penguin encounter here.

The Mall of the Emirates is also a great place to shop, as it is the second largest shopping mall in the city.

  • Admission: 195-295 AED; Click here for tickets
  • Opening hours: 10:00-23:00, FR-SUN 10:00-24:00
  • How to get here: red metro line – Mall of the Emirates station; MAP

Ibn Battuta Mall – the most beautiful shopping centre

Ibn Battuta Mall is a shopping mall off the main Sheikh Zaed Road, where you can just stroll and enjoy. The shopping centre is thematically divided by region (e.g. Persia, China).

It was named after the most famous Arab traveller Ibn Battuta from 14th century, who in his book The Rihlah documented more than 120,000 kilometres of his travels in all Muslim countries, China and Sumatra.

  • Opening hours: 10:00-22:00, Fri-Sat 10:00-24:00
  • How to get here: red metro line – Ibn Battuta station; MAP

Dubai – the best beaches

Many beaches in Dubai are private and belong to a specific hotel. This does not mean that you cannot visit them for a fee, even if you are not staying at the hotel. Still, there are plenty of public beaches that are well maintained and offer great services. This is our list for the best beaches in Dubai:

La Mer beach

La Mer beach is popular with locals and in our opinion it is one of the best beaches in Dubai. It’s the right atmosphere here. The beach is public, but sun loungers and umbrellas can be rented for a fee. There are shops and stylish restaurants and cafés nearby.

Dubai's best beaches

There is a Laguna Waterpark, which is a cheaper alternative to Aquaventure and Wild Wadi. For AED 145, you get not only access to the park, but also food and drink (price valid when booking online).

Jumeirah Public Beach

Jumeirah Beach has good access to the water and fine white sand. It is large enough and not crowded. There are public toilets and several restaurants and snack bars. The beach can be reached by bus or taxi. The nearest metro station is Equiti Metro Station 2 (Red Line), where you can catch a bus that goes directly to Jumeirah Beach.

From the public beach of Jumeirah used to be the best view of the 7* hotel Burj Al Arab. This is no longer the case, however, as the new Marsa Al Arab hotel is being built in front of it, blocking the view. But according to the proposals, it looks like the new hotel will be worth it.

Dubai's best beaches
7* hotel Burj Al Arab

Kite beach

Kite beach is a long beach with white sand and beautifully clear water. Kite Beach is a popular beach for kitesurfing or other water sports, but it is also popular with families with children, as there is a playground. A promenade with a softened surface runs around the beach, which is ideal for running.

Dubai's best beaches

JBR public beach

JBR beach is located in Dubai Marina and is extremely popular. It’s already hard to find a free place around noon, so it’s better to come as early as possible. Apart from that, the beach has beautiful white sand and crystal clear water. There are restaurants and various attractions around. JBR beach is 1.7 km long. From the beach you will have a great view of the artificial island of Blue Water with the Russian round Ain Dubai.

The beach can be reached by the red metro line – Sobha Realty station and from there it is about a quarter of an hour walk. Directly Dubai Marina has its own tram line that connects you to all important points within Dubai Marina all the way to Palm Jumeirah. The tram is part of Dubai’s public transport system.

Sufouh beach

Is it even possible to find a relatively untouched beach in Dubai? Yes, Sufouh beach is proof of that. There are no extra services (not even toilets), but if you want to enjoy some peace and quiet on a little-visited beach, this is the perfect place. From the beach you will have a view of the Burj Al Arab Hotel on your right.

You can get here by tram from Palm Jumeirah. Nearby is the Palm Jumeirah archipelago or Dubai Marina.

How to save in Dubai?

Dubai cherishes the label of a luxury and shopping destination. If you want to enjoy it to the full, a holiday here can get quite expensive. Here are a few tips to help you save money, not just on admission:

  • It is generally recommended to buy tickets in advance in Dubai. Not only are they sometimes significantly cheaper, but you don’t have to wait in line for tickets. Just show your ticket on your mobile phone on the spot. If necessary, tickets can be cancelled up to 24 hours in advance.
  • Tickets to the viewpoint at Burj Khalifa are AED 73 more expensive at sunset between 16:00-18:00. Visit the Burj Khalifa before or in the evening, when the city lights up beautifully.
  • With a combined ticket to Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall Aquarium, you’ll save nearly AED 50.
  • You can also experience spectacular views from the Sky Views with a glass sky walkway at 219.5 metres and the ticket is half the price of the Burj Khalifa. Or you can buy discounted tickets for both places.
  • Get yourself Dubai Pass or Dubai Explorer Passwhich gives you access to more than 45 attractions in the city for one price. More in a separate article.
  • Paying in a traditional abra boat is a great and inexpensive experience that will only cost you about 1 dirham.
  • Dubai’s public beaches are clean with perfectly white sand and crystal clear water. In addition, beaches like Kite and JBR provide a variety of services that make you hardly even remember you’re not on a private beach.

Best Things to do in Dubai – map

HOW TO USE THIS MAP: Above you will find a detailed map of Dubai. Click at the top left of the map to see separate layers with highlighted locations. You can hide and show the different layers or click on the icons on the map to see the names of the places I mention in the Dubai guide. If you want to save the map, star it. For a larger version, click on the icon in the upper right corner.

More information about Dubai

DUBAI: We’ve created a separate guide to visiting the Burj Khalifa (entrance fees, opening hours, how to get there, attractions).

Find practical information and tips in our Dubai guide. In the next article we share some interesting facts about Dubai.

HOW TO SAVE IN DUBAI: The Dubai Pass is one of the ways to save money on sights and attractions in Dubai.

If you have a question about the best things to do in Dubai, let us know in the comments below. Have a safe journey!

Article Summary Best Things to do in Dubai

What are the most beautiful places in Dubai?

Dubai has many sights and attractions that are among the most interesting and beautiful places in the world. You can take a scenic tour of the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, visit Dubai’s historic Dubai Creek or enjoy the ultra-modern promenade around the Dubai Marina Water Canal.

What are the entrance fees and opening hours for places to visit in Dubai?

You can find the current list of admission fees and opening times separately for each attraction, including other practical information.

Where to enjoy the best views of Dubai?

In addition to the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, you’ll experience spectacular views from the Sky Views Observatory, the View at the Palm or the world’s tallest frame, the Dubai Frame. Detailed description of the places including photos can be found in the article.

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