Things to do in Dubai

  • Feb 20, 2024
  • Prathana

Dubai, a city that effortlessly blends ancient traditions with futuristic innovation, offers an array of activities that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you're drawn to the allure of soaring skyscrapers like the iconic Burj Khalifa, seeking the thrill of a desert safari, or looking to immerse yourself in cultural experiences such as the Dubai Opera, this vibrant city has something for everyone. With attractions ranging from the adrenaline-pumping adventure of skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah to serene abra rides on Dubai Creek, and from luxurious dining experiences like Dinner in the Sky to the aquatic wonders of Aquaventure Waterpark, Dubai is a destination that promises unforgettable experiences. For those interested in shopping, the Dubai Shopping Festival and the sprawling Dubai Mall offer endless retail delights, while the city's marinas and beaches provide a perfect backdrop for relaxation and leisure. Add to this the opportunity to explore the nearby capital city of Abu Dhabi or the enchanting landscapes of the desert on a camel ride, and you have a destination that's as diverse as it is captivating. Planning your trip with expert guidance, such as that provided by Relax Getaways, ensures you make the most of your visit to this mesmerizing city. Join us as we uncover the top things to do in Dubai, making your travel experience both memorable and exhilarating.

At Relax Getaways, we pride ourselves on being the premier choice for discovering the best things to do in Dubai. Our deep understanding of this vibrant city, combined with our passion for delivering exceptional travel experiences, sets us apart. From the towering heights of the Burj Khalifa to the adventurous dunes of the desert safari, we meticulously curate experiences that cater to every interest and desire. Whether you're seeking the thrill of skydiving over the Palm Jumeirah, the cultural richness of Dubai Opera shows, or the unique dining experience of Dinner in the Sky, Relax Getaways is your trusted partner. We offer exclusive access to Aquaventure Waterpark passes, enchanting Dubai Creek abra rides, and comprehensive tours from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, ensuring a seamless and unforgettable journey. Our expertise extends to the Dubai Shopping Festival and iconic landmarks like The Dubai Mall, ensuring you don't miss out on any of the city's treasures. With Relax Getaways, every detail of your Dubai adventure is crafted with care, from luxury accommodations to personalized itineraries, making us the best company for exploring all that Dubai has to offer. Choose Relax Getaways for an unparalleled Dubai experience, where your dream getaway becomes a reality.

Table of Contents

At the top of Burj Khalifa

At the top of Burj Khalifa, visitors are offered an unparalleled experience that transcends mere sightseeing. This iconic journey begins the moment you step into the high-speed elevators, whisking you up to the observation decks located on the 124th, 125th, and exclusive 148th floors, which stand as the highest observation decks in the world.

  • Observation Decks: The main decks provide breathtaking 360-degree views of Dubai’s skyline, vast desert, and the gleaming waters of the Arabian Gulf. Through state-of-the-art telescopes, you can see far beyond the city's concrete jungle, offering a glimpse into Dubai's past, present, and future. The 148th floor, known as "At the Top SKY," offers a more intimate and luxurious viewing experience, complete with a personalised tour and refreshments.

  • Sunset Visits: One of the most sought-after times to visit is sunset, when the city shifts from daylight to night, and the sky is painted with hues of pink, orange, and gold. It's a magical moment that attracts visitors from around the world, making booking a necessity to secure a spot.

  • Special Experiences: Beyond the views, At the Top hosts a variety of special experiences, including seasonal events, photography sessions, and even yoga classes in the clouds. Each experience is designed to make your visit to the Burj Khalifa memorable.

Visitor Tips

  • Booking in Advance: To ensure availability and avoid long waiting times, it's recommended to book your tickets in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons and around sunset hours.

  • Dress Code: There's no strict dress code, but it's advisable to dress smart casual, especially if you plan to visit one of the tower's restaurants or lounges afterwards.

  • Photography: Cameras are allowed, and there are no restrictions on photography, making it an ideal spot for capturing stunning photos of Dubai’s landscape.

  • Dining Options: For those looking to enhance their experience, the Burj Khalifa houses exclusive dining venues like At.mosphere on the 122nd floor, where you can enjoy gourmet cuisine with a view.

Visiting At the Top of Burj Khalifa is more than just an opportunity to see Dubai from a great height; it's an immersive experience that highlights the city's architectural marvels, its ambitious spirit, and the beauty of the desert that surrounds it. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a returning enthusiast, the Burj Khalifa offers a perspective of Dubai that is not to be missed.

The Starlight Camp

The Starlight Camp is one of Dubai's most unique and enchanting experiences, offering guests the chance to immerse themselves in the tranquility and beauty of the desert under a canopy of stars. This luxurious desert retreat is designed for those seeking an intimate escape from the city's hustle and bustle, providing a blend of adventure and serenity in the heart of nature.

Unique Features

  • Crystal Roof Tents: The centerpiece of the Starlight Camp experience is its crystal roof tents, which allow guests to gaze at the stars from the comfort of their bed. These tents are equipped with comfortable bedding, ensuring a cozy and memorable night in the desert.

  • Exclusive Setting: Set in a secluded desert location, the camp offers privacy and a sense of exclusivity. The setting is carefully chosen to provide stunning views of the desert landscape, particularly at sunset and sunrise.

  • Gourmet Dining: The Starlight Camp experience includes a gourmet dinner and breakfast, featuring a selection of dishes prepared with the freshest ingredients. Dining under the stars adds a magical touch to the meal, enhancing the overall experience.

  • Outdoor Lounge: The camp features an elegantly designed outdoor lounge area, complete with plush seating and a campfire. It's the perfect spot to relax, enjoy the warmth of the fire, and share stories with fellow travellers.

  • Activities: Guests can engage in a variety of activities tailored to the desert setting, including stargazing with professional telescopes, wildlife spotting, and guided walks. The camp also offers optional add-ons like desert drives and camel treks for those seeking a bit more adventure.

Planning Your Visit

  • Advance Booking: Given its exclusivity and limited capacity, it's essential to book your Starlight Camp experience well in advance.

  • Seasonal Availability: The camp typically operates during the cooler months, from October to April, offering the most comfortable desert experience.

  • What to Bring: While the camp provides all the essentials, guests are encouraged to bring comfortable clothing, sturdy footwear for desert activities, and a camera to capture the stunning scenery.

The Starlight Camp offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to connect with the desert's natural beauty and tranquilly. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply looking to escape the ordinary, a night at the Starlight Camp promises to be an unforgettable highlight of your Dubai adventure.


Skydiving in Dubai is an exhilarating experience that combines the thrill of free fall with some of the most spectacular views in the world. Whether you're a seasoned skydiver or a first-time jumper, Dubai offers a unique backdrop for this adrenaline-pumping activity, showcasing the city's iconic landmarks from an unmatched perspective.

  • Skydive Dubai:  Skydive Dubai is the leading skydiving company in the city, known for its exceptional safety records and breathtaking jump locations. It offers tandem skydives for beginners and solo jumps for licensed skydivers, ensuring an unforgettable experience for everyone.

  • Tandem Skydiving: Tandem skydiving is the most popular choice for those new to the sport. You'll be attached to an experienced instructor who will guide you through the entire process, from the initial briefing to the parachute landing. This allows you to fully enjoy the thrill of the jump while in safe hands.

Jump Locations

  • The Palm Drop Zone: The most famous drop zone, offering a bird's eye view of the Palm Jumeirah, the Dubai Marina, and the sprawling cityscape. The descent towards the Palm Jumeirah is breathtaking, providing a unique view of the man-made island and the surrounding turquoise waters.

  • The Desert Drop Zone: For those who prefer a more serene backdrop, the Desert Drop Zone showcases the vast Arabian desert, offering a stark contrast to the city's bustling environment. This location highlights the natural beauty of the UAE's landscapes.

What to Expect

  • Pre-jump Training: Before your jump, you'll undergo a brief training session to familiarize yourself with the skydiving process and safety procedures.

  • The Flight Up: The ascent to jumping altitude is an experience in itself, offering panoramic views as you climb to around 13,000 feet (approximately 4,000 meters).

  • The Jump: The moment of free fall is exhilarating, reaching speeds of up to 120 mph (193 km/h). The free fall lasts around 60 seconds, followed by a peaceful parachute descent of about 5 minutes, allowing you to soak in the stunning vistas.

  • Landing: Skydive Dubai prides itself on smooth landings, with experienced instructors ensuring a safe and comfortable return to solid ground.

Booking Your Skydive

  • Advance Reservations: Skydiving slots, especially at The Palm Drop Zone, fill up quickly. It's recommended to book well in advance to secure your preferred date and time.

  • Requirements: Participants must meet certain health and weight criteria for safety reasons. Be sure to check these requirements before booking.

Prepare to embark on an adventure that will leave you with stories to tell for years to come. Skydiving in Dubai is not just an activity; it's an experience that captures the spirit of freedom and the essence of exploration.

Opera House

The Dubai Opera, nestled in the heart of downtown Dubai, is a testament to the city's burgeoning cultural landscape. This iconic venue, with its striking dhow-shaped architecture, is a beacon of the arts, offering a diverse array of performances that cater to all tastes. From grand operas and ballets to musicals, theater productions, and live concerts, the Dubai Opera enriches Dubai's entertainment scene, making it a must-visit for culture enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

  • Architectural Marvel: The design of Dubai Opera is inspired by the traditional sailing vessels of the Arabian Gulf, specifically the dhow, which has played a pivotal role in the region's history. This architectural masterpiece not only stands out for its aesthetic appeal but also for its ingenious functionality, capable of transforming from a theatre to a concert hall, and even to a 'flat floor' form, accommodating events such as exhibitions and gala dinners.

  • World-Class Performances: Dubai Opera's stage has hosted an impressive lineup of international and local talent, bringing world-class performances to the Middle East. Whether it's the mesmerising acts of the Russian Ballet, the timeless arias of Italian operas, or contemporary musicals straight from Broadway and the West End, the venue offers a rich tapestry of cultural experiences.

  • Strategic Location: Situated in the vibrant Downtown Dubai, surrounded by the majestic Burj Khalifa, the serene Dubai Fountain, and the bustling Souk Al Bahar, the Dubai Opera's location adds to its allure. Visitors can combine an evening at the opera with dining at upscale restaurants or a stroll around the Dubai Mall, making it a perfect cultural night out.

  • Visitor Experience: The Dubai Opera goes beyond just performances; it offers a holistic cultural experience. Guided tours of the venue are available, allowing visitors to explore its architectural nuances, state-of-the-art acoustics, and backstage areas. The Opera also houses several high-end restaurants and bars, where guests can enjoy a meal or drinks with stunning views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain.

Planning your visit

  • Booking Tickets: It's advisable to book tickets in advance, as popular shows tend to sell out quickly. Tickets can be purchased through the Dubai Opera's official website, where you can also check the calendar of upcoming events.

  • Dress Code: While there's no strict dress code, attendees typically dress in smart casual or formal attire, especially for evening performances.

  • Accessibility: The Dubai Opera is designed to be accessible to everyone, offering facilities and services for visitors with disabilities.

The Dubai Opera stands as a pillar of cultural excellence, offering a window into the artistic soul of Dubai, making it an essential experience for residents and tourists alike.

Dinner in the Sky

"Dinner in the Sky" is an extraordinary culinary adventure that elevates the dining experience—quite literally—to new heights. This innovative concept, which has made its mark in Dubai, offers guests the chance to enjoy gourmet cuisine while suspended 50 meters above the ground, providing breathtaking views of the city's skyline, including landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Marina, and the Arabian Gulf.

  • Unique Dining Concept: Originating in Belgium, Dinner in the Sky has grown into a global phenomenon, celebrated in over 60 countries. In Dubai, it stands out as a must-try experience for those seeking to combine culinary delights with adrenaline-pumping excitement. Diners are securely strapped into luxurious seats at a table that is then raised by a crane, offering an unobstructed panoramic view of the surrounding cityscape.

  • Gourmet Menu: The experience is not just about the height; it's also a feast for the taste buds. The menu, crafted by top chefs, features a variety of dishes that cater to diverse dietary preferences, including vegetarian options. The meal is typically composed of multiple courses, ensuring a full dining experience that rivals some of the best restaurants on the ground.

  • Safety and Comfort: Safety is a paramount concern for Dinner in the Sky. All guests are securely fastened in their seats with safety harnesses that meet the highest standards of security. The staff, including the chef and waiter, are also harnessed and trained to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience for everyone.

  • Ideal for Special Occasions: This unique dining experience is perfect for celebrating special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries, or even marriage proposals. The combination of exquisite food, stunning views, and the thrill of being suspended in the air makes for an unforgettable celebration.

  • Booking Your Experience: Given its popularity, it's advisable to book your Dinner in the Sky experience well in advance. Sessions are available for lunch, dinner, and afternoon tea, allowing guests to choose the time of day they prefer to take in the views of Dubai from above.

  • A Sustainable Option: Dinner in the Sky Dubai is committed to sustainability, using locally sourced ingredients whenever possible and minimizing waste to ensure an eco-friendly dining experience.

What to Know Before You Go

  • Dress Code: While there's no strict dress code, diners are advised to dress comfortably and to consider the weather, as the dining platform is open-air.

  • Weather Dependent: Operations are subject to weather conditions, with safety as the top priority. In cases of unfavourable weather, sessions may be rescheduled.

  • Age and Height Restrictions: There are minimum age and height requirements for participants, typically to ensure the safety harnesses can be securely fastened.

Dinner in the Sky Dubai is more than just a meal; it's a thrilling adventure that combines fine dining with spectacular views, making it an essential experience for anyone looking to add a dash of adventure to their culinary explorations. Whether you're a local resident or a tourist visiting the city, Dinner in the Sky offers a unique perspective on Dubai, both literally and figuratively, leaving diners with memories that will last a lifetime.

Abra Ride

An Abra ride in Dubai offers a charming and traditional way to explore the historic parts of the city, providing a stark contrast to its modern skyscrapers and luxurious lifestyle. Abras are traditional wooden boats that have been used for centuries in the region for transport across the Dubai Creek, a natural waterway that divides the city into two main sections: Deira and Bur Dubai.

  • Cultural Significance: The Abra ride is not just a means of transportation; it's a cultural experience that connects you to Dubai's maritime heritage. These small, motorised water taxis are a testament to the city's humble beginnings as a fishing and pearling village, offering a glimpse into the everyday life of the local population before the oil boom.

  • Scenic Routes: Taking an Abra ride provides passengers with picturesque views of old Dubai, including the historic districts with their traditional architecture, bustling souks, and vibrant life along the creek. It’s a peaceful escape from the fast-paced city life, where one can enjoy the gentle breeze and the soothing sounds of water.

  • Cost-Effective and Accessible: One of the most appealing aspects of the Abra ride is its affordability. It's one of the cheapest ways to enjoy a boat ride in Dubai, making it accessible to everyone. There are two main types of services: the traditional Abra, which operates on a fixed route between specific points for a nominal fee, and the private Abra, which can be hired for a personalized tour of the creek at a negotiated rate.

  • Main Routes: The traditional Abras operate on two main routes - from Deira Old Souk Abra Station to Bur Dubai Abra Station and from Sabkha Abra Station to Dubai Old Souk Abra Station. These routes offer easy access to some of Dubai’s most iconic souks, including the Gold Souk, the Spice Souk, and the Textile Souk, allowing visitors to explore the rich tapestry of Dubai’s trading heritage.

  • Experience Dubai's Legacy: An Abra ride is more than just a mode of transportation; it's an experience that takes you back in time. As you glide across the creek, surrounded by the sights and sounds of old Dubai, you're reminded of the city's transformation from a simple trading town to a global metropolis.

Tips for the Ride

  • Timing: While Abra rides are available throughout the day, an early morning or late afternoon ride offers cooler temperatures and less crowded conditions.

  • Safety: Although Abras are a safe mode of transportation, always be mindful of your belongings and maintain balance when boarding and disembarking.

  • Photography: Don’t forget your camera! The Abra ride offers unique photo opportunities of Dubai’s historical architecture and the bustling activity along the creek.

An Abra ride is a must-do for anyone visiting Dubai, offering an affordable, authentic, and scenic way to explore the city's rich cultural heritage. Whether you're crossing the creek to explore the souks or simply enjoying the ride for its scenic value, the experience is sure to be a memorable part of your Dubai adventure.

Camel Desert Safari

A Camel Desert Safari in Dubai offers a quintessential Arabian experience that transports you into the heart of the desert, embracing the traditional Bedouin way of life. This adventure not only allows you to explore the vast, golden landscapes of the Arabian Desert on the back of a camel but also offers a deeper understanding of the region's history and culture.

  • The Camel Safari Experience: Riding a camel, often referred to as the 'ship of the desert,' provides a unique vantage point from which to observe the serene beauty of the desert. The gentle pace of the camel ride allows for ample opportunities to soak in the tranquility of the surroundings, making it a stark contrast to the fast-paced life of the city.

  • Cultural Immersion: A Camel Desert Safari often includes stops at traditional Bedouin camps, where you can experience the legendary Arab hospitality. Here, you can enjoy activities such as henna painting, dressing up in traditional Arab clothing, and savoring local delicacies and Arabic coffee. These camps are designed to give you a glimpse into the Bedouin lifestyle that has sustained in the desert for centuries.

  • Entertainment and Dining: As the evening sets in, the desert safari culminates with a sumptuous barbecue dinner under the stars, accompanied by traditional entertainment such as belly dancing, tanoura dance (a form of folkloric dance), and sometimes even fire shows. These performances add an extra layer of excitement to the safari experience, making it a memorable evening.

  • Stargazing: Away from the city lights, the desert is an ideal location for stargazing. Lying on the soft sands and looking up at the clear night sky, adorned with millions of stars, is a humbling experience that highlights the natural beauty of the Arabian nights.

What to Expect

  • Duration: Camel Desert Safaris usually last for half a day, with the option to extend the experience into an overnight stay in the desert.

  • Preparation: Wear comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for the desert environment. Don't forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat to protect against the sun.

  • Photography: The desert landscape provides a spectacular backdrop for photography, especially during the golden hours of sunrise and sunset.

  • Booking with a Reputable Company: Choosing a reputable tour operator like Relax Getaways ensures a safe and enriching experience. We prioritise the well-being of our guests and the camels, adhering to the highest standards of safety and animal welfare.

A Camel Desert Safari is more than just an activity; it's an immersive experience that connects you to the natural and cultural heritage of the Arabian Desert. It's a journey back in time, where the simplicity of desert life reveals the true essence of Arabia. Whether you're seeking adventure, cultural insights, or simply a peaceful escape into nature, a Camel Desert Safari in Dubai offers an unforgettable adventure that resonates with the soul of the Middle East.

Aquaventure Park

Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai is a thrilling destination for families, adventure seekers, and anyone looking to beat the heat with an exciting array of water-based attractions. Located on the outer rim of the iconic Atlantis, The Palm resort, this award-winning waterpark is renowned for its state-of-the-art rides, beautiful beaches, and the chance to interact with marine life in a stunning setting.

  • Thrilling Water Slides: Aquaventure is home to some of the world's most exhilarating water slides, including the Leap of Faith, a near-vertical drop that sends you through a transparent tube surrounded by sharks and rays, and Poseidon’s Revenge, where the floor drops out from under you, plummeting you into a high-speed double loop.

  • The Lost Chambers Aquarium: Beyond the water slides, Aquaventure offers the opportunity to explore The Lost Chambers Aquarium, home to over 65,000 marine animals. Here, you can wander through underwater tunnels and admire the aquatic life that inhabits the Atlantis-themed ruins.

  • River Rides: For those seeking a more relaxed experience, the park features a network of river rides, including the lazy river for a gentle float and the rapids for a more adventurous ride, navigating through waves and tidal surges.

  • Private Beach Access: Admission to Aquaventure also grants access to a pristine private beach with stunning views of the Dubai skyline, offering a perfect spot to relax and soak up the sun after enjoying the water rides.

  • Dolphin Bay & Sea Lion Point: For an additional fee, visitors can have close encounters with dolphins and sea lions, engaging in interactive experiences that are both educational and fun.

Planning Your Visit

  • Tickets: It's recommended to purchase your Aquaventure Waterpark passes in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure entry on your preferred date.

  • Dress Code: Proper swimwear is required for all attractions. Water shoes are recommended but not mandatory.

  • Lockers and Towels: The park offers locker rentals and towel services for a fee, allowing you to store your belongings securely while you enjoy the attractions.

  • Dining: Aquaventure hosts a variety of dining options, catering to different tastes and dietary requirements. From quick snacks to full meals, there's something for everyone.

  • Best Time to Visit: While the waterpark is a year-round attraction, visiting during the weekdays can help avoid the crowds seen on weekends and public holidays.

Aquaventure Waterpark stands out not just for its thrilling rides but also for its scenic beauty and the range of experiences it offers. Whether you're plunging down record-breaking water slides, drifting along the lazy river, or interacting with marine animals, Aquaventure promises a day of fun and adventure in one of the world's most luxurious settings. This makes it an essential visit for anyone looking to add excitement and relaxation to their Dubai itinerary.

4WD Desert Safari

A 4WD desert safari in Dubai is an exhilarating adventure that offers a unique blend of excitement and cultural immersion, making it a must-do activity for visitors to the city. This experience takes you off the beaten path, into the heart of the Arabian Desert, aboard a four-wheel drive vehicle, providing an unforgettable journey through the vast, rolling dunes.

  • The Adventure Begins: Your safari typically starts with a pickup from your hotel in a 4WD vehicle. As you drive towards the desert, the urban landscape gradually gives way to the stunning natural beauty of endless dunes, setting the stage for an extraordinary adventure.

  • Dune bashing: The highlight of the safari is undoubtedly the dune bashing session. Skilled drivers maneuver the 4WD vehicles over the dunes at varying speeds, creating a thrilling roller-coaster-like experience that combines sheer excitement with awe-inspiring views of the desert landscape. This activity is not only about the adrenaline rush but also offers a unique way to appreciate the beauty of the desert.

  • Cultural Experiences: After the exhilarating dune bashing, the safari often includes visits to traditional Bedouin camps. Here, you can experience the warm hospitality of the desert people and immerse yourself in local traditions. Activities may include camel riding, which offers a more serene way to explore the desert landscape; henna painting; and trying on traditional Arabian clothes.

  • Sunset in the Desert: One of the most magical moments of the desert safari is watching the sunset over the dunes. The sky turns a palette of vibrant colours, casting a serene glow over the sand, creating a perfect backdrop for memorable photographs.

  • Evening Entertainment and Dinner: As night falls, you'll be treated to a sumptuous BBQ dinner under the stars, accompanied by traditional entertainment such as belly dancing, tanoura dancing, and sometimes even fire shows. This combination of delicious cuisine and captivating performances offers a glimpse into the region's rich cultural heritage.

  • Stargazing: The desert safari experience is rounded off with stargazing, away from the city lights. The clear desert skies offer an excellent opportunity for observing the stars and constellations, making for a peaceful end to an adventurous day.

Tips for a Comfortable Experience

  • Wear Comfortable Clothing: Opt for light, comfortable clothing and closed shoes suitable for the desert environment.

  • Stay Hydrated: Bring a reusable water bottle to keep hydrated throughout the trip.

  • Listen to Your Guide: Your guide knows the desert well and will ensure your safety and comfort. Follow their instructions during activities, especially during dune bashing.

  • Respect the Environment: The desert is a beautiful but fragile ecosystem. Be mindful of your impact and leave no trace behind.

Booking a 4WD Desert Safari with a reputable tour operator like Relax Getaways ensures not only an adventure-packed itinerary but also the highest standards of safety and comfort. This experience is a fantastic way to explore the natural beauty of the Arabian Desert, learn about local cultures, and enjoy a thrilling adventure that will be a highlight of your Dubai visit.

Abu Dhabi day tour from Dubai

An Abu Dhabi day tour from Dubai is an excellent opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and vibrant atmosphere of the United Arab Emirates' capital city. Abu Dhabi, less than two hours' drive from Dubai, offers a contrasting experience to the bustling metropolis, with its serene beaches, majestic mosques, and the opulence of its cultural institutions.

  • Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque: This is often the first stop for many tours and for good reason. The mosque is one of the world’s largest and a marvel of modern Islamic architecture. Its pristine white marble structure, intricate floral designs, and the world's largest hand-knotted carpet are sure to leave visitors in awe. Respectful attire is required for entry, with abayas and kanduras available on-site for those who need them.

  • Louvre Abu Dhabi: A testament to the city's cultural ambitions, the Louvre Abu Dhabi, designed by architect Jean Nouvel, showcases artworks from around the world, spanning centuries of human creativity. The museum’s dome, a marvel of engineering, creates a mesmerising "rain of light" effect, simulating the interlaced palm leaves traditionally used in Emirati roofing.

  • Emirates Palace: While not all tours include entry to the hotel, most will at least pass by this epitome of luxury. The Emirates Palace is a grandiose hotel that exemplifies Abu Dhabi's love for opulent luxury. If your tour does allow for a visit, don’t miss the chance to walk through its lavish halls or enjoy a gold-dusted cappuccino.

  • Corniche Beach: Some tours might offer a brief stop at Corniche Beach, providing a glimpse of Abu Dhabi's well-maintained waterfront. The Corniche Road stretches along the coast, offering spectacular views, cycling paths, and picnic spots.

  • Ferrari World: For those interested in thrill rides or automotive design, some Abu Dhabi tours from Dubai include a stop at Ferrari World, the first Ferrari-branded theme park. Home to the world's fastest roller coaster, it’s a must-visit for adrenaline junkies and car enthusiasts.

  • Qasr Al Watan: Another popular inclusion is Qasr Al Watan, the Presidential Palace, which opened its doors to the public in recent years. It offers insight into the architectural and cultural heritage of the UAE, with beautifully designed interiors and informative exhibits.

Planning Your Tour

  • Timing: Most Abu Dhabi tours from Dubai are full-day excursions, usually starting early in the morning to maximize the day.

  • Dress Code: Dress modestly, as many of the sites visited are places of worship or have dress codes.

  • Book in Advance: It's advisable to book your tour in advance, especially during peak tourist seasons, to ensure availability.

  • Travel Requirements: Check for any travel requirements between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, as these can change based on health and safety protocols.

Exploring Abu Dhabi for a day is a memorable journey that contrasts the futuristic allure of Dubai with the traditional elegance and cultural depth of the UAE's capital, making it a must-do for visitors looking to experience the full spectrum of Emirati life and culture.

Tips for Things to do in Dubai

Exploring Dubai, a city famed for its architectural marvels, cultural diversity, and luxury lifestyle, can be an exhilarating experience. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveller, these tips will help you navigate Dubai's vast array of attractions and activities, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable trip.

  • Plan according to the weather: Dubai's climate is desert-like, with hot summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is between November and March, when the weather is cooler and more conducive to outdoor activities. If you're visiting during the hotter months, prioritise indoor attractions or those with water elements to stay cool.

  • Book Major Attractions in Advance: For experiences like visiting the Burj Khalifa, going on a Desert Safari, or enjoying Dinner in the Sky, booking in advance is crucial. This not only secures your spot but often allows you to avail of early booking discounts. During peak tourist seasons, spots fill up quickly, so plan.

  • Dress Appropriately: While Dubai is modern and cosmopolitan, it's important to respect local customs and dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites like mosques. In public places, such as malls and restaurants, it's advisable to avoid overly revealing clothing.

  • Take Advantage of City Passes: If you're planning to visit multiple attractions, consider purchasing a Dubai city pass. These passes offer discounted entry to many of the city's top attractions, including museums, waterparks, and tours, saving you money and time spent in ticket lines.

  • Explore Beyond the City: While Dubai's cityscape is mesmerising, don't miss out on the natural beauty and cultural richness of the surrounding areas. A Desert Safari or a day trip to Abu Dhabi can provide a deeper understanding of the UAE's heritage and natural landscapes.

  • Stay Hydrated and Protected: The sun in Dubai can be intense, even in the cooler months. Always carry a water bottle, wear sunscreen, and don't forget your sunglasses and a hat when venturing outdoors.

  • Utilise Public Transport: Dubai's public transport system, including its metro, buses, and water taxis, is efficient and can be a cost-effective way to explore the city. The Dubai Metro offers easy access to many tourist attractions, and its air-conditioned comfort is a respite from the heat.

  • Enjoy the Culinary Scene: Dubai's culinary scene is as diverse as its population, offering everything from luxurious dining experiences to street food from around the world. Don't miss the chance to try local Emirati dishes as well as specialties from the many expat communities.

  • Respect Local Culture and Laws: Familiarise yourself with local laws and customs. For instance, public displays of affection are frowned upon, and during Ramadan, eating, drinking, and smoking in public during daylight hours are prohibited.

  • Embrace the Local Experience: Try traditional activities like a ride on an abra in Dubai Creek, a stroll through the Gold and Spice Souks, or a camel ride in the desert. These experiences offer a glimpse into the soul of Dubai, beyond its skyscrapers and luxury malls.

Dubai is a city that promises adventure, luxury, and unforgettable experiences. With these tips in hand, you're well on your way to making the most of everything this dynamic city has to offer.

Best Time for Things to do in Dubai

The best time to engage in activities and explore Dubai is during the cooler months from November to March. During this period, the weather is mild and pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from 17°C to 30°C (63°F to 86°F), making it ideal for both outdoor and indoor activities. Here's a breakdown of why this period is optimal for experiencing Dubai's offerings:

November to March: Prime Season

  • Outdoor Explorations: This is the perfect time for desert safaris, beach days, and exploring outdoor attractions like the Dubai Miracle Garden or taking strolls around the Dubai Marina. The comfortable weather allows for extended outdoor activities without the discomfort of the intense summer heat.

  • Cultural Festivals and Events: Dubai hosts numerous cultural and entertainment events during these months, including the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) in December and January, which attracts shoppers worldwide with its massive sales, fireworks, and entertainment.

  • Al-Fresco Dining: Many restaurants and cafes in Dubai offer outdoor seating during these months, allowing diners to enjoy Dubai's skyline and waterfront views in a comfortable climate.

  • Water Sports and Beach Activities: The milder weather makes it enjoyable to partake in water sports and spend time on Dubai’s beaches. While the water may be slightly cooler, it’s refreshing during the warm days.

April to October: Off-Peak Season

  • Indoor Attractions: Although the summer months (April to October) can be extremely hot, with temperatures soaring above 40°C (104°F), this is a good time to explore indoor attractions such as the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, indoor theme parks like IMG Worlds of Adventure, and the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.

  • Evening Activities: During the summer, activities shift to cooler evenings. Nighttime desert safaris, evening dhow cruises on Dubai Creek, and the city’s vibrant nightlife are enjoyable without the heat of the sun.

  • Lower Prices: Travel and accommodation prices tend to be lower during the off-peak season, making it a budget-friendly option for visitors. Additionally, indoor attractions often have fewer crowds, allowing for a more relaxed experience.

Year-Round Activities

Some experiences in Dubai are enjoyable year-round, thanks to the city's advanced infrastructure and indoor facilities. For instance, skiing at Ski Dubai, exploring the Dubai Aquarium, or visiting the various museums and galleries can be done regardless of the outdoor temperature.

Special Considerations

  • Ramadan: If your visit coincides with Ramadan (the dates vary each year based on the Islamic lunar calendar), you’ll experience a unique aspect of local culture. While daytime dining options are limited, the evenings come alive with Iftar meals and special events.

  • Public Holidays: National holidays and Islamic observances can affect the the opening hours of shops, attractions, and public institutions. Planning can help you make the most of your visit during these special times.

The best time for activities in Dubai largely depends on your preferences for weather, crowd sizes, and the type of experiences you’re seeking. The cooler months offer the broadest range of outdoor and cultural activities, making them the ideal time to visit for the quintessential Dubai experience.

Dubai is a city of contrasts and endless possibilities, offering a unique blend of towering skyscrapers, luxurious experiences, rich cultural heritage, and thrilling adventures. From the awe-inspiring views atop the Burj Khalifa to the exhilarating desert safaris, and from the refreshing Aquaventure Waterpark to the historical alleys of the Al Fahidi neighbourhood, Dubai caters to every interest. The ideal visiting period is from November to March, when the weather is most favorable for exploring. However, Dubai’s array of indoor attractions also makes it a year-round destination. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a returning traveler, Dubai promises unforgettable moments and discoveries at every turn, solidifying its status as a world-class travel destination.

FAQs for Things to do in Dubai

Q. What is the best time of year to visit Dubai?

A. The best time to visit Dubai is from November to March, when the weather is cooler and more conducive to outdoor activities and sightseeing.

Q. Do I need to book attractions in advance in Dubai?

A. Yes, it’s highly recommended to book popular attractions like the Burj Khalifa, desert safaris, and dinner cruises in advance to ensure availability, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Q. What are the must-visit attractions in Dubai?

A. Must-visit attractions include the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Marina, the historic Al Fahidi Neighbourhood, the Dubai Opera, and the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve for a desert safari.

Q. Can I visit Dubai during the summer?

A. Yes, Dubai can be visited in the summer, though outdoor activities can be challenging due to the heat. Many indoor attractions, like shopping malls, indoor theme parks, and museums, offer air-conditioned comfort.

Q. Are there cultural experiences I shouldn’t miss in Dubai?

A. Yes, visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, experiencing a traditional desert safari, exploring the gold and spice souks, and enjoying a meal at a local Emirati restaurant are highly recommended for cultural experiences.

Q. What are the best activities for families in Dubai?

A. Families will enjoy visiting theme parks like IMG Worlds of Adventure, Aquaventure Waterpark, and KidZania. The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo and the Green Planet are also great for educational fun.

Q. How should I dress in Dubai?

A. Dress modestly, especially when visiting religious sites or traditional neighbourhoods. Lightweight and loose-fitting clothing is advisable for the heat, but carry a shawl or jacket for air-conditioned places.

Q. Is it easy to get around Dubai?

A. Yes, Dubai has an efficient public transport system, including the metro, buses, and taxis. Renting a car is also an option, but traffic can be heavy during peak hours.

Q. What are some unique things to do in Dubai?

A. Unique experiences include skydiving over Palm Jumeirah, taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise, skiing indoors at Ski Dubai, and dining in the sky.

Q. How can I ensure a respectful visit to Dubai’s cultural sites?

A. Always dress modestly, ask permission before taking photos of people, and be mindful of cultural sensitivities, especially during Ramadan. Following local customs and showing respect at religious sites is important.

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