Things To Do In Dubai

‘What to do in Dubai’ is a question that travellers don’t need to ask. Every part of the city offers visitors and locals a plethora of things to explore. Whether it’s glittering shopping malls or bustling local markets in the city, there are a number of things to do in Dubai. While there are numerous things to explore, here is our list of the best things to do in Dubai.

Spend an afternoon at the Burj Khalifa

A visit to Dubai’s iconic landmark has to be a part of your things to do in Dubai itinerary. Standing tall at approximately 830 meters, this grand building is the world’s tallest tower. A star in Dubai’s bedazzling skyline, the Burj Khalifa is one of the most interesting things to see in Dubai. 

 

The observation deck on level 124 offers panoramic views of the city while the sky lounge on level 148 is unmissable. Besides spending time at the observation deck, you can also head to one of the many restaurants for a luxurious meal. The lounge, At.mospher on level 122 is one of the highest lounges in the world and is a sight to behold.

 

If you are interested in admiring spellbinding views from the top of the tower, we recommend booking tickets well in advance. Another travel tip is to schedule your visit around sunset for breathtaking views of the city and the orange-hued sky. 

Cost: Including a visit to the Burj Khalifa in your things to do in Dubai itinerary can cost anywhere between Rs.2500 and Rs.3000.

Enjoy an adventurous desert safari

A desert safari is inarguably the best way to enjoy your visit to Dubai. A huge part of things to do in Dubai itineraries, a desert safari can take close to three to four hours so ensure you keep aside sufficient time in your schedule. Most desert safaris are designed to give travellers a complete tour of the desert.

 

If you are planning a desert safari, you can also add a camel ride, a hot air balloon ride, quad biking and sand skiing in your things to do in Dubai itinerary. While these activities impact your budget, they’re completely worth it! We suggest dressing appropriately for the safari since the temperature is quite harsh in the desert. You must also carry a scarf to shield yourself from the sun. 

 

Besides the enthralling safari, most things to do in Dubai packages include a lavish barbeque dinner and charming dance performances by locals. Since these performances take place under huge canopies in the desert, you can’t help but fall in love with this unique city. A desert safari is exhausting so we recommend not including anything else in your things to do in Dubai itinerary for that day.

 

Cost: Including a desert safari in your things to do in Dubai itinerary will set you back by anywhere between Rs.5000 and Rs.7000

Pamper yourself in Dubai Mall

A visit to Dubai is not complete without visiting its most popular tourist attraction, the Dubai Mall. Possibly a major highlight of your things to do in Dubai itinerary, Dubai Mall is the ideal place if shopping, delicious food and entertainment are on your mind. A complete destination, it’s the perfect place to spend time in Dubai if you are travelling with your family. 

 

One of the most popular things to do in Dubai, the Dubai Mall is home to some of the best brands in the world and houses more than 1200 stores. Travellers have often claimed that one day is not enough if you want to explore the entire mall. To keep little ones busy, the Dubai Mall is home to an aquarium and an ice rink, which is one of the best in the world and doubles up as a fully functional concert area as well. 

 

The mall is also home to a movie theatre and numerous restaurants making it a destination that promises a memorable experience. The underwater zoo is home to more than 33,000 marine life species and an enthralling tour in your things to do in Dubai itinerary can take anywhere between one hour to three hours. 

 

If you are planning to include the Dubai Mall in your things to do in Dubai itinerary, we recommend keeping aside the entire day.

 

Cost: Including a visit to the Dubai Mall in your things to do in Dubai itinerary will cost travellers Rs.1000 and Rs.3000 including transport and other activities.

Watch the show at the Dubai Fountain

One of the most beautiful tourist attractions in the city, the Dubai Fountain is the largest choreographed water fountain. If this is your first visit to the city, you must include a visit to the Dubai Fountain in your things to do in Dubai itinerary. The dancing fountain was designed by WET who are also the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas. The water fountain is located in Burj Khalifa and can be reached through the Dubai Mall. 

 

The fountain is situated in the midst of Burj Lake and there are numerous performances throughout the evening, each of which lasts for five minutes. If you want to take a closer look at the dazzling fountain show, you need to take a wooden abra cruise to reach the viewing site. The cruise takes place every day between 5 pm and 11 pm and should be a part of your things to do in Dubai itinerary. The dancing fountain can go as high as 150 meters, and the vibrant show is truly a sight to behold. 

 

Cost: If you want to include a cruise to Dubai Fountain in your things to do in Dubai itinerary, it will cost you between Rs.1000 and Rs.3000.

Spend an evening in Global Village

If this is your first visit to this charming city then we highly recommend adding a visit to Global Village to your things to do in Dubai itinerary. The Global Village is one of the most ambitious tourism projects undertaken by the UAE and also one of the most successful. Before including a visit here in your things to do in Dubai itinerary, it’s important to remember that Global Village is a seasonal event that takes place from October through April.

 

One of the most popular things to do in Dubai, it is a one-stop destination for all kinds of visitors. Offering all the ingredients for a memorable experience, from delicious food, cultural performances and shopping to history, art and entertainment – the village is the perfect way to spend an evening in Dubai.

 

During the Dubai Shopping Festival, the area comes alive with numerous performances and participation from several countries. You can either choose a day tour to explore the area or opt to see one of the numerous shows that take place here. There are a number of rides and games to keep the little ones busy. 

 

Since Global Village gives many countries a platform to showcase their culture, it's no surprise that food is a huge draw in the village. Food lovers can expect to try delicious food from participating countries and local restaurants.

 

Cost: Including Dubai Global Village in your things to do in Dubai itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.2000 and Rs.4000.

Admire nature in Dubai’s Miracle Garden

If you want a break from soaring skyscrapers and endless shopping sprees, we suggest including a visit to Miracle Garden in your things to do in Dubai itinerary. A mesmerising tourist attraction, it’s one of the largest natural flower gardens in the world. Situated in Dubailand, the garden is a relief for the eyes and one can easily spend two to three hours here. 

 

We recommend including Miracle Garden in your things to do in Dubai itinerary if you are travelling with children since there are a lot of opportunities to learn about different kinds of flowers. Boasting over 45 million flowers and plants, there is much to keep you busy on your guided tour. Before planning a visit here, we recommend that you take a look at the calendar for any ongoing events. The garden is open only between mid-November and mid-May. Owing to harsh conditions, the garden is closed during summer. 

 

Among the top highlights in the garden, one much not miss Disney Avenue, the underground section based on Lost Paradise, Floral Clock, Butterfly passage and the Lake Park.

 

Cost: You can include a visit to Dubai’s Miracle Garden in your things to do in Dubai itinerary and expect to spend anywhere from Rs.1000 and Rs.1500 including ticket prices.

Spend a day exploring the souks

Exploring the local markets is one of the best things to do in Dubai. Remarkably different than the urban, cosmopolitan side of the city, these markets offer a glimpse into everyday life. There are numerous local markets in Dubai which offer everything from gold, spices, apparel and home products. 

 

Visited by thousands of locals, souks should definitely be included in your things to do in Dubai itinerary. You can either spread out these visits in your itinerary to include a new market every day or visit all the popular ones in a single day. The Gold Souk is undoubtedly the most popular local market and offers numerous designs of gold jewellery, silver accessories and other precious stones such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires. 

 

Another reason why the Gold Souk is so popular in things to do in Dubai itineraries is the huge discount the showrooms offer. You can pick up the latest styles in watches, earrings, rings and necklaces at unbelievable prices. Assuring you superior quality and guarantee, the Gold Souk in Dubai is one of the best local markets. 

 

At the same time, a visit to the Dubai Spice Souk is also one of the most popular things to do in Dubai. Also known as the Old Souk, the market offers a huge variety of spices, flavours and herbs. A visit here will definitely take you back into the past. The market also offers dried fruits, handicrafts, Arabian rugs and lamps which make for beautiful souvenirs to take back home.

 

Cost: Including a visit to the souks will cost you anywhere between Rs.1000 and Rs.2500 including transport.

Explore the historical part of Dubai

Away from the grandeur that Dubai is known for lies the historic district of the city. Known as Al Bastakiya, this part of the city is a delight to discover for history lovers and art enthusiasts. One of the best things to do in Dubai, you must include a visit here in your itinerary. 

 

The buildings reflect the past in the architectural style while the restaurants and boutiques here represent the modern side of Dubai. You will notice that most buildings have been constructed using mud and wood and the restoration process hasn’t taken away the beauty of the place.

 

You can also include walking tours in your things to do in Dubai itinerary for intriguing insights into the heritage past. If you are exploring the area on your own, we do recommend walking instead of taking a car. There are numerous places to visit in the old town which should be a part of your things to do in Dubai itinerary. We recommend heading to Arabian Tea House, which has more than a hundred varieties of tea and freshly baked cake. You can also head to popular galleries which showcase works by artists from all parts of the world. There are several annual festivals that take place here and SIKKA is among the most popular event in things to do in Dubai itinerary.


For those who are looking to add adventure to their trip, we recommend including a ride on a dhow along Dubai Creek. Complete with folk music and dance performances, the experience is truly spellbinding!


Cost: Including a visit to Old Dubai in your things to do in Dubai itinerary can cost travellers anywhere between Rs.1000 and Rs.2500.

Spend an afternoon at Kite Beach

If you want to take a break from sightseeing tours then head to Kite Beach. A visit to this beautiful beach is one of the best things to do in Dubai. A perfect entertainment spot, it is home to a plethora of restaurants, cafes and shops. 

 

One of the most fun things to do in Dubai, there are numerous water activities at Kite Beach which travellers can try. From surfing, skating, biking to kayaking and kite flying, you can expect to have a wonderful time at Kite Beach.

 

One of the best things to do in Dubai, Kite Beach also offers mesmerising views of the city including the Burj Al Arab and is a delight for photographers. The best time to visit the beach is in the evening when the sun is just about to set. For those who aren’t well-versed with the techniques of kite surfing, there are numerous trainers on the beach who can help you learn the basics. For professional surfers, there are a plethora of operators from where you can hire equipment required for surfing. 

 

Cost: If you’d like to include a visit to Kite Beach in your things to do in Dubai itinerary, it will cost you between Rs.1000 and Rs.3000.

Watch a show in Dubai Opera

Dubai Opera is a tribute to the historical past of the city. Designed in the shape of a dhow or a sailing vessel, the centre represents the cultural side of Dubai. Definitely a marvellous destination to include in your things to do in Dubai itinerary, Dubai Opera is located in the downtown area. The centre is a platform for the numerous shows that take place throughout the year and brings together art and culture. 

 

Several ballets, orchestras and theatre performances take place here and we definitely recommend checking their event calendar before you plan your visit. Made primarily of glass, the building lights up as the sun sets and the sight is truly breathtaking. Besides serving as a centre for performances, Dubai Opera which is should be a part of your things to do in Dubai itinerary also has numerous restaurants, bars and cafes which promise delightful experiences to their patrons. For those who want to enjoy the dazzling lights that Dubai is known for, you can choose to sit at one of the many restaurants at the rooftop. 

 

Don’t lose heart if there are no performances during your visit. You can take the opportunity and include a heritage tour in your things to do in Dubai itinerary. Taking you through the opera house, this tour gives you information about the heritage, architecture, purpose, vision, technology and ideology behind this grand structure. The tour can take between one to two hours so it’s best to dedicate some time for your visit here. 

 

Cost: Including a visit to the Dubai Opera in your things to do in Dubai itinerary can cost travellers anywhere between Rs.1000 and Rs.2000.

Learn more about Dubai at the Dubai Museum

History lovers and art enthusiasts must include a visit to the Dubai Museum in their things to do in Dubai itinerary. Situated in the old part of the city in Al-Fahidi Fort, the museum is one of the oldest and most captivating buildings in the city.

 

It was first built in 1787 and restored in 1971 and 1995. The museum takes one through Dubai's intriguing history and also houses numerous articles, paintings and relics which stand testament to Dubai's heritage.

 

A visit to the Dubai Museum is one of the best things to do in Dubai because it offers travellers a break from shopping sprees and action-packed days. One must take note of the old maps that are showcased here. The maps take one through the journey of expansion and growth in the region.

 

Other items of interest are musical instruments, artefacts and traditional boats. You must take a look at the full scale models of tombs and an excavated skeleton from the Al Qusais archaeological site. 

 

While you can explore the museum on your own, we recommend booking a guided tour in your things to do in Dubai itinerary which will help you learn more about Dubai's history.

 

Cost: Including a visit to the Dubai Museum in your things to do in Dubai itinerary will cost you between Rs.1000 and Rs.2000.

Spend an afternoon in Riverland

When you aren’t in the mood to travel to several places in one day, head to Riverland. Promising a wealth of memories, a visit here is one of the best things to do in Dubai. Riverland covers a massive area and is a getaway to four theme parks and numerous resorts.

 

It is divided into four zones which include India Gate, the Boardwalk, the French Village and the Peninsula. Offering everything from entertainment, food, shopping and adventure – Riverland promises a memorable experience for all kinds of travellers. 

 

The Peninsula is set in the heart of Riverland and its design is inspired by architectural styles of the 19th century. You can take a stroll around  this piazza and capture its gorgeous architecture. This is also where most concerts are held so do keep an eye on their event calendar when you are there. 

 

India Gate, on the other hand, offers a glimpse into life during the British rule in India. The streets are reminiscent of Indian markets in the 1930s and you’ll find artists and musicians lining the streets. You can catch a glimpse of America in the 1950s in Boardwalk. There are neon signs in the midst of countless palm trees and the street is full of musicians and performing artists. 

 

As the name suggests, the French Village will take you to the streets of France where you can enjoy a coffee in one of the many cafes or enjoy an alfresco dining experience. Exploring Riverland can take anywhere between three and four hours so we recommend keeping ample time in your schedule.

 

Cost: Including a visit to Riverland in your things to do in Dubai itinerary can cost you anywhere between Rs.1000 and Rs.3000 depending on where you eat.

Visit the hotspot of La Mer

La Mer has gradually become a popular beach destination in Dubai and is a part of most things to do in Dubai itineraries. Situated in Jumeirah 1, it is a complete family destination where you can relax and unwind. La Mer was earlier known as Jumeirah Public Beach and has now transformed into an attraction with entertainment options, restaurants, cafes and shops. Laguna Water Park is located close to La Mer Beach and is a favourite with children. You can head here to enjoy water rides as well as surfing, which take place in the northern part of the beach. 

 

Unlike other tourist attractions in things to do in Dubai itineraries, La Mer Beach is accessible throughout the year and offers relief from the sweltering heat in the summer months. While the beach is a delight for children, it’s equally relaxing for adults. If this is not your first visit to Dubai, you’ll be taken aback by the marvellous transformation of Jumeirah Public Beach to La Mer.

 

Cost: Including a visit to La Mer Beach in your things to do in Dubai itinerary will cost you anywhere between Rs.1000 and Rs.2000.

Written by Kirat Sodhi. She is a proud mom of three cats and lives for lemon tea, a good book and spontaneous travel plans.