The ideal bucket list of things to do and see in Dubai!
Dubai, one of the most visited cities in the world, is the place that only the most extravagant words could describe properly. What we all have in mind, when imagining of Dubai, are audacious architecture and spectacular skylines. The truth is though, that Dubai has more to offer than concrete. So… what is there to do and see in Dubai? Let’s talk about the best places to see and things to do in this majestic city.
Dubai is full of activities of any kind that can fulfill everybody’s expectations.
Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark at the Palm: one of the best parks I have ever been. The slides make the adrenaline rise, the decoration reminds of an adventurous place in the jungle and everything is so clean.
- Book your tickets for the Aquaventure Waterpark online so you can skip the line.
- Go early in the morning to avoid the crowd.
- I personally did not attend any activity that has to do with animal shows, but I guaranty that “The Lost Chambers Aquarium” is worth the visit.
- If you are about to visit Dubai during your birthday, register your birthday online at their official website and get a free day pass!
- During the entrance, you will be asked if you want to pay extra for lockers and towels. What we did was to purchase just one locker in the ladies changing room and keep both of our backpacks there. After we were done with the slides, everyone took their staff from the locker and went to shower at separate dressing rooms.
- The lockers unlock with a specific bracelet that has a bar-code on it, in the same bracelet you can load money to purchase gifts and beverages as you are being in the park, so you won’t have to carry anything with you.
Jumeirah Public Beach: If you want to take a swim in the warm water of Persian Gulf, Jumeirah Beach is the best choice for you. This is a public beach and there is no admission fee. Wear your swimsuit, take your towel and enjoy a long walk on the beach with a great view of Burj Al Arab.
Safari experience: This is a “must do” activity to do while visiting Dubai. Do not miss to visit the Dubai Dessert, have a fast ride with the Jeeps, ride a camel, watch traditional dances as belly dancing, smoke shisha, get a henna tattoo and taste traditional Arabic food. All these are included in the Safari Experience that many travel agencies offer in Dubai.
*TIP: Book your tickets online from websites that offer all-inclusive offers, they are always cheaper.
Dubai Mall & Fountains: Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world. The perfect place for the ultimate shopping experience and many more other activities. In Dubai Mall you can also go skiing and ice skating along with real penguins, go to the cinema or attend a haunted trip, visit the aquarium or any other sessional event that will be held. In any way, you should not miss the dance of the greatest and biggest fountains in the world. Dubai Fountains are located just outside of the Dubai Mall and the shows take place at the following hours: Afternoon shows, daily (except Fridays): 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm/ Afternoon shows (Fridays only): 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm/ Evening shows, daily: 6:00 pm – 11:00 pm, every 30 minutes
Dubai Marina & Dubai Marina Mall: Dubai Marina Mall is located in Dubai Marina so you can combine a nice walk at the beachfront paved walkway with shopping or dinner at the small food court at the top of the mall. Dubai Marina Mall is not a huge one and so makes shopping and walking through more comfortable and even though there is enough variety you cannot be lost or overwhelmed. By going out the back exit of the mall you will find the Dubai Marina which is home to the so-called Tallest Block. You will be amazed by beholding the block of super-tall skyscrapers that contains 11 of the tallest residential towers worldwide.
*TIP: Prefer to walk by the Marina at night hours. There is not much heat and the light make the view even more majestic.
The Gold Souk: The Gold Souk of Dubai is a place worthy of visit weather you are about to make any purchase or not. At this souk the display of gold is mind-boggling! However, sparkle is not the only thing you can find there. Things such us velvet and cotton scarfs, spices, replica watches and bags and the cheapest souvenirs in the city are also in the center of attention in the Gold Souk. Gold Souk is located in Deira, the oldest part of Dubai and if you walk beyond the market you will see the other face of this glorious city. Unfortunately, Dubai is not only gold and money but also social discrimination. To get to the Gold Souk by being at Bur Dubai, the newest part of the city which is located on the western side of Dubai Creek, you could use a boat and cross over. This 5 minutes boat trip is an excellent chance of having a clear panoramic view of the city and enjoy the breeze.
*TIP: Try to find the Arba boats to ride across the Creek, they cost only 1AED per person/per trip and be aware of people trying to sell you a boat trip in a more expensive price.
A day trip to Abu Dhabi: If you have a free day and you already have visited pretty much all the interesting places in Dubai, you should do a day trip to Abu Dhabi. There are many travel agencies that organize tours to Adu Dhabi. But what is there to do and see? Traveling to Adu Dhabi we got to visit, in one day:
1. the theme park of Ferrari World
2. the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
3. the Yas Marina Circuit, which is the famous track of F1
4. and the Yas Waterworld water-park
If you are not traveling with an agency you can easily reach the Viceroy Hotel for a nice breakfast in the morning, and then start your activities. Fist, you should check the bus program that the hotel provides to all those destinations. Then, have a walk just outside of the hotel admiring the huge F1 track of Yas Marina Circuit. You could continue with the visit to the Yas Waterworld which is the first mega water-park of UAE and has 43 rides and many restaurants and souvenir shops. Personally, I could say that I enjoyed the rides and the atmosphere of this park much more than the ones of Atlantis, but anyway both are worth a visit. Then, take the bus, that is located just outside of the park, and have a small trip to Ferrari World which is the world’s largest indoor theme park and the only one branded out of Ferrari. This park features high-adrenaline rides, including the fastest roller coaster in the world. You will also find, state-of-the-art simulators, live shows with Italian mimes, and many exhibited cars to admire. Last but not least, ask again for the bus to the Grand Mosque which is one of the world’s largest Mosques and Emirate’s most loved landmark. Make sure that you are taking the Sunset Tour of the mosque, the majestic building in combination with the pink sky will create magical moments for you.
*TIPS: Make sure you are dressed properly while visiting the Grand Mosque and Ferrari World. There is a change of asking you to wear one of the scarfs and clothes they provide by keeping your ID till your exit. Also, book your tickets online for Ferrari World and win gift vouchers.
Extreme sports: If you are an adrenaline lover, Dubai is the place that will please you with the plethora of extreme sports that provides! Skydiving, Couples Bungee Jumping, Scuba Diving with sharks, rides with Hot Air Ballons, sand boarding and so many more extreme activities are provided in Dubai. Find what you like the most and book your tickets online cause this kind of activities are in high demand.
In my opinion, it is not so worth the money and time to go upstairs at Burj Al Khalifa just to see the view. Have in mind that Dubai is a city with high humidity, so most of the times the atmosphere is foggy and the view from a heigh like that will not be as good as it sounds.