enjoyable issues to do in Dubai

There’s a complete lot extra to Dubai than seeing miles of sand and watch wealthy sheiks and quick vehicles race down the motorway at 200kph!

I simply visited Dubai for my third (and fourth) time, stopping over twice en route by way of the Center East to Italy from New Zealand, and residential from Greece. It really is a worldwide village with round 200 nationalities residing and dealing right here.

Consequently, on this metropolis of three.6 million folks, there actually is quite a bit to do right here: for solo vacationers, households and {couples} and throughout all worth factors.

Megan with sunset view of The Palm, Dubai
How about this for a view! The Palm, Dubai

I’ve listed some cool issues to do, however if you happen to’re in search of a spot to go for dinner, I actually like The Seashore, somewhat strip on the seaside dotted with eating places and leisure – and naturally a beautiful household seaside, or you could possibly additionally go on some enjoyable day journeys from Dubai.

I’ve additionally listed my high picks for excursions on the finish of this publish.

Dubai is dear no doubt, and if you happen to don’t wish to take taxis all over the place you’ll like this publish on methods to get round in Dubai. The easiest way might be nonetheless by taxi, but additionally the hop on hop off buses are an effective way to get your bearings, whereas getting round all the most effective sights.

This publish incorporates affiliate hyperlinks. For those who make a purchase order, I could make a fee at no further price to you.

And when you gained’t have the ability to purchase alcohol at eating places in areas equivalent to The Seashore, there’s a nightclub scene in Dubai! Most of them are in motels, which will get across the alcohol restrictions. Make sure to try the gown codes, price and necessities for entry on this publish overlaying the greatest nightclubs in Dubai.

For those who solely have a layover in Dubai you possibly can take a guided tour for a couple of hours, even if you happen to’re in Dubai after midnight and have time to kill, you will be proven round this fascinating metropolis.

Listed below are 10 issues to get your Dubai go to began!

1. See views from the highest of Burj Khalifa

The world’s tallest constructing is an instance of wealthy sheikdom at 828m. It’s also open to sightseers. Sure, your ears will pop (a number of occasions) as you whiz up within the elevator.

There are numerous ranges you should purchase tickets for. If you wish to go to the very high (degree 148) price is totally different to the decrease flooring (which nonetheless with epic views about 20 flooring down on ranges 124 & 125).

From all ranges you’ll gaze down, down, down throughout kilometers of sand and the cluster of buildings at your ft that’s Dubai. It’s greatest to go on a transparent day as it might look very hazy from up right here.

Burj Khalifa
The monstrous Burj Khalifa towering over the town

That is the tower that Tom Cruise did his personal breathtaking stunts leaping out and in of one of many ridiculously excessive home windows in Mission Not possible – Ghost Protocol. (Click on right here to see some behind-the-scenes video >>)

The Burj Khalifa stands nearly 1 kilometre high!
The Burj Khalifa stands practically 1 kilometre excessive!

It’s additionally related to Dubai Mall in order that’s considered one of my ideas if you happen to solely have a day, you could possibly fairly spend a couple of hours within the mall, then go to the highest of the tower and finish at one of many eating places for fountain views. I used to be stunned to search out all of the quick meals retailers within the prime areas in entrance of the fountains, so we went to Kata for Japanese meals.

Be aware: the fountains solely play for one music on the hour and the half hour.

Get your Skip the Line tickets to Burj Khalifa at Get Your Information >

2. See the Burj fountains each evening – without spending a dime!

Instantly under the Burj tower, and in entrance of Dubai Mall, are big fountains in a “lake” which dance to at least one music each half hour from 6pm and you’ll watch free.

It’s designed by the identical individuals who did the well-known Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, however these ones makes the Bellagio fountains appear like a garden sprinkler!

View in front of Kata restaurant of the Dubai fountains
View in entrance of Kata restaurant of the Dubai fountains

Right here’s a cheeky tip: You’ll additionally get nice free views of the Dubai fountain present from the Apple retailer contained in the Dubai Mall. The second flooring views by means of their huge flooring to ceiling home windows are value shopping for a brand new iPhone for!

Dubai fountains from Apple Store
The Burj Khalifa fountains from the Apple retailer within the Dubai Mall

3. Go on a desert safari, dune bashing and dinner

While you’re in a desert vacation spot you have to get on the market and see some dunes and camels. In actual fact you possibly can even experience them on this night dinner tour.

This is without doubt one of the greatest issues you could possibly do in Dubai and I can’t advocate it extremely sufficient. It’s an important evening for the entire household and one of the vital genuine, mass experiences you’ll discover anyplace on the earth in the case of showcasing tradition.

Be part of a bunch tour for sundown within the sand dunes

Arabian Adventures is owned by Emirates had been the corporate we used, however I’ve searched by means of extra excursions and added one that features a picture cease on the well-known pink dune, as steep as a black diamond run. Your photographs right here can be wonderful.

They choose up out of your resort in 4WDs and off we went to the spot the place they decrease their tyres and aboutr 150 of us had been handled to some dune bashing for the following quarter-hour, hurtling round sandy corners and over blind dunes, doing rooster tails of sand, following the chief.

Megan in sand dunes
Gotta pose within the sand dunes!

We stopped for sundown photographs then off once more to the camp the place dinner was nearly prepared.

Arrange like a beduoin camp, rugs are thrown on the bottom and we sat on cushions round low tables ingesting and consuming. Starters included samosas, falafels and shwarmas then dinner was bbq’d beef kebabs, lamb chops and hen skewers with salads, houmus and tabouleh. Contemporary dates and Arabian espresso adopted and wine and beer was included.

Megan getting henna tattoo
Getting a henna tattoo at a desert safari dinner

After dinner the stomach dancer got here out and did intelligent tummy strikes, there was hearth dancing and an unbelievable whirling man. Upon arrival you possibly can have a henna tattoo, camel experience and smoke the sheesha.

4. Store the Dubai Mall

For those who’re in search of the final word retail remedy, Dubai is unquestionably one of many high cities for shopaholics. Plus this is without doubt one of the greatest locations to hang around away from the desert warmth.

Wanting round Dubai you see no scarcity of money. The Mall of Dubai is largest shopping center on the earth. It has 1200 stores and is positioned on the foot of the Burj Khalifa.

This makes for an important afternoon (or day, relying in your proclivity for purchasing), as you possibly can hand around in the mall, dine right here, even go to the Dubai Aquarium right here (see extra under), then together with your skip-the-line tickets to go up the Burj, simply head to the doorway (inside the mall). Tip: don’t simply present up and hope to get in, because the strains will be tremendous lengthy and chances are you’ll miss out.

Aquarium at Mall of Dubai
Go to the aquarium within the Mall of Dubai

5. Feed the sharks at Dubai Aquarium

Dubai Aquarium, sure – positioned contained in the Mall of Dubai, consists of a 10-million litre aquarium with 140 species the place bored customers can don SCUBA gear and head underwater to feed the fish, dive with sharks and discover rain forest, set over two flooring.

You don’t truly must get within the water, however the loopy factor is you possibly can!

There’s additionally an Olympic sized ice rink right here and a whole theme park video games station referred to as KidZania.

6. Store the Mall of the Emirates

This different monstrous shopping center is smaller than the Mall of Dubai, with solely 630 shops. This one has the well-known Ski Dubai ski subject in it (see under), which is a superb place to drop the children if you’d like some purchasing time! I noticed locals coming with their very own skis, presumably taking classes right here earlier than heading out into the true world.

The outlets can be virtually the identical on the Mall of Dubai, however at half the dimensions, you’ll nonetheless get your step depend up, however will probably be extra manageable.

Glass ceiling on the top floor at the Mall of the Emirates
High flooring on the Mall of the Emirates

7. Ski within the Dubai desert!

On the Mall of the Emirates – sure a shopping center – is a 3000 sq. metres ski park full with black diamond runs, chair lifts, mini dodgem vehicles, luge and actions for the children too.

Ski Dubai is the craziest instance of a developer with extra {dollars} than sense, however has grow to be a spot the place critical skiers be taught some new strikes and children can play till their palms freeze off.

Being the nana that I’m in the case of shushing gracefully down the slopes, I puttered round on snow biscuits and bob sleds, the primary time I visited.

I may have jumped inside an inflatable ball and rolled down the hill, however to be trustworthy when the staffer spun me at high velocity down the kiddy slope I screamed like somebody’s embarrassing aunt, in order that was sufficient pleasure for me!

Or, higher nonetheless, simply view it from the encircling eating places and outlets.

The ski subject contained in the Mall of the Emirates!

8. Get moist at Atlantis Aquadventure Waterpark

Situated on the well-known Atlantis on the high of the Palm (see my choose for the place to search out the most effective sundown views of the Palm subsequent), this water park is an entire day journey!

Dubai has the form of local weather you wish to get moist in, however this water park is various splashy swimming pools.

The daring can strive Odyssey of Terror, the world’s tallest waterslide, of really feel weightlessness on the Zoomerango’s vertical wall. There’s additionally a tube slide that goes by means of a shark-filled underwater lagoon on Shark Assault. Apply your goofy foot within the surf space, cliff-jump at Immortal Falls, or simply let little ones play within the Splashers Children’ Play Space.

Get your Aquadventure admission tickets from Get Your Information.

Slides, pools, sun loungers at Atlantis Aquadventure
Slides, swimming pools, solar loungers at Atlantis Aquadventure

9. See the sundown with views of The Palm

This one is a hidden gem! You gained’t discover many individuals suggesting you head for the commentary deck on the Nakheel Mall in Dubai, nevertheless it’s the proper place to see views like those under straight up the ‘palm tree’.

I want it over the Burj Kahlifa as a result of that tower is so excessive every little thing on Earth is sort of a dot!

The palm islands are artifical feats of engineering, formed like a palm tree, with Atlantis Resort in delight of place, positioned on the high of the tree. Tens of 1000’s of individuals reside within the huge homes (not condos) on the fronds of this artifical island. Some have boats in their very own docks.

sun set over Dubai's famous palm tree island
See the solar set over Dubai’s well-known palm tree island

We purchased our tickets on-line and selected the pick-up choice to be delivered to Nakheel Mall, the place we adopted the indicators to Palm Views. Up there they stroll you thru a captivating and interactive account of how this island got here to be, you then head up within the evelator to the 52nd flooring for views.

We intentionally took place an hour earlier than sundown to seize these views and killed a while within the small cafe the place a Peroni beer will set you again about NZ$30 and a wine double that. The highest flooring is an open viewing platform and visitors are solely allowed 10 minutes up there, so time it proper to get your pics. They did ask us to go away, so it’s monitored.

View of the Palm, 52nd flooring
Walkway through to the viewing deck with digital underwater world
Digital walkway as an alternative of a daily hallway. Simply because
view across the Palm to Burj Al Arab, shaped like a sail from here
You may see the view throughout the Palm to Burj Al Arab, formed like a sail from right here

10. Go to the spice and gold souks

On the Spice Souk in Dubai you’ll discover imported spices from everywhere in the world, in addition to frankincense from Oman, tea from India and that saffron from Iran. (And sure, NZ Customs waved me by means of with my saffron – after declaring it).

I might describe Deira Gold Souk as Bling Avenue as it can mesmerize you in case you are a magpie, with its home windows crammed with gold jewelry studded with treasured stones.

The worldwide gold worth is displayed on digital screens at every finish, however you might be free to discount. That is the place to return for diamonds (you’ll get an authentication certificates) and one-off items of high quality jewelry.

Apparently they tried to maneuver the gold sellers and jewelry designers into the department stores, nevertheless it didn’t work. That is the place folks come to spend their squillions, though there’s a lot of it, I discovered it overwhelming!

11. Go to Previous Dubai

On the banks of Dubai Creek is Previous Dubai. Dubai is definitely a really new metropolis. It’s solely been popping with skyscapers because the Seventies. If you need reeeeeally previous, it’s best to go to close by Oman. That’s most likely probably the most fascinating nation I’ve ever been to.

However round 50 years in the past, Dubai was a fishing village within the desert, surrounded by sand dunes. Within the Previous City you’ll see the oldest constructing – authentic clock tower inbuilt 1965, and a few iconic websites of the primary bridges and crossings as Dubai blossomed quickly into the mega metropolis it has grow to be.

We had lunch on the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, which was fascinating for me as a beginner to Arabic and Muslim tradition.

Studying concerning the burka

It was an informative, but laid again and even humorous presentation over lunch.

Open doorways, open minds is their philosophy so sitting on cushions (you want good knees) round a big desk fabric on the ground, giant platters of conventional meals had been positioned for us to hoe into whereas we listened to the gorgeous Manal inform us all about why girls put on black abiyas and burka (the face masks) and males put on white dishdashers.

She inspired us to ask questions like what number of wives does her father have and all about organized marriages.

The place to remain in Dubai

I’ve simply had two fast stopovers in Dubai as a part of my Europe journey and stayed at two totally different motels in numerous components of the town. They had been each nice areas, so it is dependent upon how a lot time you’ve gotten, how sizzling it’s (i.e. if you happen to go at Christmas – winter – you’d most likely stroll across the marina or alongside the seashores), and whether or not you need quick access to the department stores!

On the best way over we stayed at Swissotel Al Marooj inside about 500m stroll of the Mall of Dubai. It was a wonderful location for a couple of hours of purchasing on the earth’s largest mall (with over 1200 shops), plus stroll to the Burj Khalifa and consider the fountain present every night.

The climate was tremendous sizzling, so some taxxied to the mall, (about 20 dirham/US$5)

The swimming pool was a welcome place for an icy pina colada to kick our wonderful European vacation off.

View from ninth flooring Swissotel, Dubai

On the best way residence I selected Sheraton Jumeirah Seashore for 3 nights. This location is seaside entrance with a pool in entrance of it, and a view of the (non-working) Dubai Wheel, which apparently has a crack in its basis. Yikes. Work is supposed to begin on the finish of 2023. The Dubai Marina is positioned over the opposite aspect, with a lot of eating choices together with dinner cruises.

It was too sizzling to stroll there after we visited (October), however in winter you’ll (beneath the cobweb of motorways!) so possibly you’d somewhat taxi.

The bottom flooring atrium additionally serves because the breakfast restaurant and beside this, with a veranda main exterior, is Black Goose Buns and Brews, for some indoor respite. But when it’s good sufficient (and even autumnal evenings will be) the outside Bliss Lounge for cocktails or Al Hadiqa Restaurant and Tent for alfresco eating.

Sheraton lawn Jumierah Beach, Dubai
The seaside is behind me, on the Sheraton garden, Dubai

When is the most effective time to go to Dubai?

The climate within the United Arab Emirates (so that features Abu Dhabi simply up the highway), is brutally sizzling in summer season. They are saying the mercury by no means formally hits 50˚C (122˚F), as that may imply a complete metropolis shut down, however evereyone is aware of it does get that sizzling.

So whereas the most effective time to go is winter (November to February), don’t anticipate to wish a jacket! Over evening temperatures can get as little as 15˚C in January although and as excessive as about 26/28˚C (80˚F) throughout the day. That is the form of climate the place outside, beachside or marina eating is so good.

Some nice Dubai excursions

For those who solely have a day to 2, these excursions are an effective way to see the most effective of Dubai and close by Abu Dhabi.

Dune bashing, camel rides and BBQ dinner – it is a must-do in Dubai. I picked this tour for the picture cease on the steep sand dune like a black diamond slope. At magic hour you’ll have these photographs as display savers for years!

Go to the highest of the Burj Khalifa – get skip the road tickets to the highest of the tallest constructing on the earth

Go to the Palm Jumeirah view from Nakheel Mall – with a skip the road ticket greatest views of the palm fronds at solar set

Take a cruise in Dubai Marina – together with breakfast, lunch or BBQ dinner. My choose could be dinner beneath the lights of the encircling skyscrapers and luxurious motels

Go to the Museum of the Future – a brand new museum in probably the most spectacular constructing in Dubai

Take a Dubai helicopter tour – fly over this metropolis with probably the most astonishing structure on the earth

Take a velocity boat tour – together with Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina

Go to Dubai International Village – it opens from 4pm and is crammed with pavilions from about 90 totally different cultures, promoting their wares and meals

A day journey to Abu Dhabi and go to the Grand Mosque, Louvre Museum, and Emirates Palace

Go to Abu Dhabi with tickets to Ferrari World – plus stops at different websites for photographs

Rent a non-public driver for the day to be at your disposal. An exquisite technique to tailor the proper itinerary for you and also you group, from $185

Camels at the beach, Dubai
Camels rides on the seaside in entrance of Sheraton Jumeirah


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