When we started this list of best places to visit in Dubai, we were aiming for 50, but it didn’t take us long before we reached 100 popular places… and the list kept going! We’ve been adding to this huge Dubai attractions list for five years now!
Here it is… your ultimate list of places to visit in Dubai – over 150 ideas!!!
We’ve tried to make it as readable as possible by breaking it into categories and keeping as much as possible to places and activities we think are interesting to tourists. Where we have more details, we’ve linked to these so we can keep this list as concise as possible and get you ready to plan your Dubai adventure.
- Popular Tourist Attractions in Dubai
- Theme Parks & Water Parks in Dubai
- Historical and Cultural Sites in Dubai
- Dubai’s Best Indoor Attractions
- Dubai’s Best Beaches and Outdoor Experiences
- Dubai’s Best Foodie Experiences
- Shopping in Dubai
- Seasonal Events in Dubai
- Only in Dubai – Some Extreme Experiences to Try
- Dubai Emirate – Beyond the City
- Day Trips from Dubai
So get your pen and paper ready…. or you can save this to Pinterest or bookmark it in your browser for later.
Worried about how you’ll fit it all in?
We have a dedicated section of our website for itineraries so you can fit in everything you want to see in the length of time you have in Dubai.
We also recommend in a number of places on this page booking your tour tickets with Get Your Guide – online ticketing agent. We have chosen GYG as our partner due to their outstanding customer-first approach and a great range of experiences on offer, most with free cancellation up to 24 hours before to maximise flexibility.
Before you dive into your Dubai trip planning, you may also want to check out:
- Essential Planning Information for your first trip to Dubai
- When is the best time to visit Dubai?
- What are the best areas to stay in Dubai?
- What should I be packing for a Dubai vacation?
So let’s jump into the ultimate list of Dubai activities and best tourist places to visit in Dubai!
Popular Tourist Attractions in Dubai
We’re going to start with those Dubai attractions that almost certainly feature on everyone’s Dubai itinerary. You can click on these links to go to our more detailed guides on how to visit these top attractions in Dubai:
- The Burj Khalifa – World’s tallest building with an observation deck and dining experiences
- The Dubai Mall – the largest mall in the Middle East
- The Dubai Fountains – spectacular free nightly display on Burj Lake
- The Dubai Frame – panoramic views of old and modern Dubai
- Dubai Miracle Garden – largest flower garden by number of blooms in the world
- Ain Dubai – the world’s largest observation wheel (currently closed)
- Global Village Dubai – winter months evening fun fair highlighting 70+ different countries
- Dubai Garden Glow – art installation
- Burj Al Arab – proclaimed “7-star” luxury hotel
- The Palm Jumeirah – the largest artificial archipelago in the world!
- Dubai Marina – modern side of Dubai city with dhows and modern cruise options
- Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood – a preserved area of old Dubai (previously called Bastakiya)
Visiting Dubai’s major attractions with kids?
We suggest you head over to our tailor-made Dubai attractions list especially for families – though nearly everything on this list will work for families too!
Theme Parks & Water Parks in Dubai
- IMG Worlds of Adventure – entirely indoor theme park
- Wild Wadi Water Park – in Jumeirah (currently only partially open to Jumeirah hotel guests)
- Aquaventure Waterpark – now the largest water park in the world with countless water slides and extreme attractions, attached to Atlantis the Palm
- Laguna Water Park – now looks to be permanently closed as the La Mer beach area is being rebuilt
- Dubai Parks and Resorts
- Play DXB (formerly VR Park) – Virtual Reality Park in Dubai Mall
Read More – Don’t miss our guide to Dubai’s best water parks
Historical and Cultural Sites in Dubai
The best place to start is in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. Don’t miss the highlights, including:
- Arabian Tea House – beautifully presented Emirati Cuisine
- Dubai Museum and al Fahidi Fort (entry only 3AED – currently closed for renovations)
- Coffee Museum
- Coin Museum
- XVA Gallery, Cafe & Hotel
- Bayt Al Khanyar (Dagger) Museum (5 AED)
- Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding
- Take a traditional abra ride across Dubai Creek (1AED)
Once you have crossed the river to the Deira (Al Ras) area of Dubai, it’s time to enjoy the traditional souks, including:
- Deira Gold Souk
- Spice Souk
- Perfume Souk
- Textile Souk
- Naif Souk – general market
For more cultural emerging, take a guided tour of a Dubai mosque:
- Jumeirah Mosque
- Al Farooq Omar Bin Al Khattab Mosque & Centre
- Day trip to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi
- Al Noor Mosque in neighbouring Sharjah
Why not try a Heritage Express tour which will take you to many of these famous cultural sites with guided commentary.
(NB – Non-Muslims should not otherwise enter inside a mosque in Dubai, only as part of a cultural tour is this permitted)
Further museum exploration in Dubai:
- Etihad Museum (25 AED)
- Majilis Ghorfat Umm Al Sheif
- Salsali Private Museum – Free
- Dubai Police Museum (Naif Museum) – Free
- Saruq Al-Hadid Archaeology Museum (20 AED)
- Museum of the Poet Aqeli
- Pearl Museum – private collection of Emirates NBD
- Al Shindaga Museum – Story of the Creek and Perfume House
- Museum of the Future
And a few others we definitely would not leave off your list:
- See a show at the Dubai Opera
- Explore the Alserkal Avenue arts & culture hub
- Drop by Dubai Design District
- Check out the program for Jameel Arts Centre and wonder the Jaddaf Sculpture Park on the up-and-coming waterfront
- See our complete guide to Dubai’s art galleries
Dubai’s Best Indoor Attractions
Whether you want action-packed activities or just to cool off, there are plenty of fun things to do in Dubai for an unforgettable vacation.
Get your adrenaline pumping with a high-octane go-kart race or bounce and back-flip in a mega trampoline park — all indoors. Worth adding to your list:
- Ain Dubai – the world’s largest observation wheel, Bluewaters (still shut since early 2022 – will I ever reopen or just there for looks now?)
- Deep Dive Dubai – the world’s deepest indoor swimming pool for scuba diving
- Dubai Mall ice skating rink – Olympic-sized ice rink in Dubai Mall
- Kidzania – Kids Edutainment in Dubai Mall
- Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – marine life and giant glass tank (free to observe outside), Dubai Mall
- The Green Planet – Indoor tropical biosphere in City Walk
- Ski Dubai – Skiing and snow park in Mall of the Emirates
- The Lost Chambers – Aquarium inside Atlantis the Palm
- Emirates A380 Experience – Flight Simulator in Dubai Mall
- Oli Oli Experiential Children’s Play Museum – Al Quoz
- Museum of Illusions – Al Seef trick eye museum
- 3D World Dubai Selfie Museum – Sheikh Zayed Road
- Dubai Butterfly Garden – Dubailand, adjacent to Miracle Garden
- La Perle by Dragon – sensational stage show in Al Habtoor
- Madame Tussauds -famous wax works on Bluewaters
- The View at the Palm – Observation deck with panoramic views of Palm Jumeirah
- Storm Coaster – Dubai Hills Mall, a roller coaster in a shopping mall!
Dubai’s Best Beaches and Outdoor Experiences
Beaches in Dubai
Dubai is famed for its glorious beaches (though truth be told, a lot of its man-made) it does, however, have an amazing wide, here are 8 to try open to the public.
- Sunset Beach – also known as Umm Suqeim Beach or Burj al Arab Beach
- La Mer – a trendy beachfront area of the city for foodies and beachfront, modern, fun and funky day and night (presently being demolished/completely rebuilt)
- The Beach & The Walk JBR – a beautiful and trendy waterfront area of the city adjacent to Jumeirah Beach Residence; it includes a splash pad area for smaller children and, offshore, the giant Aqua Fun inflatable water park
- Mamzar Park Beach – in “Old Dubai” this is a great place for combining the beach with family picnic
- Jumeirah Beach – Park and beach are all newly renovated, perfect for picnicking
- Dubai Night Beaches – look out for 3 new locations on Jumeirah Beach and Umm Suqeim designated for evening swimming with floodlights and lifesavers patrolling
- Mercato Beach – a small and lesser-known community beach opposite Mercato Mall
- Kite Beach – a popular community beach including water sports and lots of kids’ adventure activities, including a freshwater pool with an obstacle course, Aqua Adventure
- Black Palace Beach – a more rustic beach with nothing but glorious sand and none of the fancy trappings
You can also enjoy many of Dubai’s more luxurious beaches and resorts – even if you are not staying at one of the city’s luxury hotels – on a day pass. You can check out our favourite Dubai Beach Clubs here.
Other Parks and Outdoor Attractions in Dubai
Beyond the beaches, check out these amazing green spaces in Dubai; most are free or have a very minimal municipality charge:
- Al Seef – the waterfront area that extends beyond Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and along the Creek
- IMAGINE – free light, fire & water show nightly at Dubai Festival City
- Dubai Creek Park – a large green area along the creekfront, close to DXB, small entry fee
- Mushrif Park – including outdoor ziplining park Aventura Parks, small entry fee
- Zabeel Park – is home to Dubai Garden Glow and the Dubai Frame but includes other extensive parklands in the city centre.
- Burj Park and Burj Plaza – in the heart of town Burj Park is a popular events venue surrounded by Burj Lake, and the Burj Plaza is home to the Wings of Mexico statue – ideal photo spot for the Burj (and see if you can find the hidden super slide!)
- Umm Suqeim Park – close to Sunset Beach in Jumeirah
- Al Barari Playground – a splash play and playground delight hidden in the suburbs with an entry fee
- Quranic Park – dedicated to the Holy Quran, small entry fee
- Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary – an urban wetland home to migratory birds
- Al Marooom Desert Conservation Reserve – exciting up-and-coming eco-project incapsulating about 10% of the Emirate of Dubai
- Al Qudra Lakes – a man-made lake system for wildlife, including the famous Love Lake (now part of Al Marmoom)
- Golf in Dubai – more than a dozen lush green courses wait to be played
Dubai’s Best Foodie Experiences
Oh wow, where do we start?! There are literally thousands of restaurants across the city, from street food to fine dining, so rather than listing individual restaurants here, we will share top dining experiences.
- Classic Weekend Brunch – an all-afternoon dining affair. Things have certainly diversified over the years, though, and if you are looking to mix things up, it’s possible to Brunch on a Sunday, or try a traditional Sunday Roast, or even in the evening – check out these other Brunch options.
- Afternoon Tea – Proving High Tea is not just a British speciality; there are plenty of amazing afternoon tea experiences across Dubai that mix classical plates with a modern twist.
- Boutique breakfast – so many amazing small cafes around the city. Skip the hotel buffet and try these unique breakfast spots.
- Try traditional Emirati Cuisine – so many visit Dubai without ever experiencing real Emirati.
- Walking tours of Dubai – there’s no better way for foodies to get in touch with the place they are visiting than to take to the streets. Frying Pan Adventures is widely acclaimed as one of the best, or try this tour offered by Dubai By Foot.
- Soak in a rooftop sunset – all the most beautiful rooftop venues across the city for dinner and drinks.
- Nightclubbing scene – a very active and vibrant nightclubbing scene exists across the city. Some roll from evening brunch into dancing, whilst others are strictly dance clubs catering to all sorts of musical tastes.
Shopping in Dubai
As well as the traditional souks we mentioned above, there are DOZENS of large shopping Malls in Dubai. Some of the largest you are likely to come across are:
On the hunt for more souqs? As well as the traditional souqs, check out these modern souqs with a traditional twist:
- Souk Madinat Jumeirah – stunning canals and Burj Al Arab backdrop, indoor and outdoor stalls along with many restaurants
- Souk Al Bahr – adjacent to the Dubai Mall
Or traditional bargain hunters who want to explore further than just the old Souks may be interested in the likes of:
- Al Karama – one of the best places to go in Dubai for side street bargains as well as the Karama Centre and Karama Shopping Complex in Bur Dubai (aka Old Dubai)
- The Gold & Diamond Park Al Quoz – for series jewellery purchasing
Seasonal Events in Dubai
Depending on when you time your trip, you may be able to join In the fun and festivities of many of these amazing events:
- Dubai Food Festival – held around March every year
- Racing at Meydan Racecourse – Concluding with the Dubai Cup held in March
- Al Marmoom Heritage Festival – April (TBC this year)
- Dubai Comedy Festival – held over May
- Dubai Summer Surprises – over July & August
- Diwali in Dubai – celebrated in late October/early November
- DP Tour World Championship – European Tour Golfing event in November
- Dubai Rugby Sevens – popular sporting tournament held in early December
- National Day – enjoy celebrating the nation’s birthday alongside Emiratis and residents alike 2/3 December
- Ramadan & Eid – enjoy Suhoor & Iftar with Muslims in marking the Holy Month and the breaking of the fast (dates vary)
Only in Dubai – Some Extreme Experiences to Try
There are plenty of extreme experiences to enjoy in Dubai, including:
- Sky Views Dubai for the most incredible urban landscapes over Downtown Dubai, including the Sky Observatory, Sky Glass Slide and Sky Edge Walk
- Sky Dive over the Palm Jumeirah or the desert drop zone
- Xline Dubai – more for adrenaline junkies, the world’s longest urban zipline through the highrises of Dubai Marina
- Scuba Dive in the world’s deepest swimming pool, Deep Dive Dubai
- Hot Air Balloon over the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve
- Suit up for Diving with the sharks at the Lost Chambers
- Join a Jet Ski tour around the Palm Jumeirah
- Take a Helicopter ride over the city
- Or try a tandem paraglide in the Hatta Mountains!
More sedate but uniquely interesting:
- Attend a camel racing event at the Al Marmoom Race Course
Dubai Emirate – Beyond the City
Still within the Emirate of Dubai, there are plenty of fabulous places to visit.
The Dubai Desert
Most visitors will be curious about visiting the desert during their trip to Dubai. There are so many different ways to experience the sand dunes and desert ecosystem, from short “desert safaris” in organised tour groups to camping and glamping.
One of the best things a first-time visitor to Dubai should experience is at least one trip into the desert. You can whet your appetite with:
- An evening safari and dinner under the stars in a tented Bedouin camp
- An early morning desert experience
- Join a camel riding trek through the dunes
- A more unique way to get closer to nature is to try a desert safari with Platinum Heritage with a focus on the desert itself over the sand sports
- Explore the Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, including Al Qudra Lake and Love Lake
- 4×4 to the deserted town buried under the desert of Al Madam
- Join a night of astrology and stargazing
- Enjoy the extreme sport of Desert Dune Buggy in Dubai
- Take a sunrise hot air balloon journey over the desert with a falconry display thrown in
For those who might not be so keen on desert camping or seek a unique way to enjoy the Dubai desert, we can suggest:
- An ultra-luxurious private tented resort Al Maha, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa
- Family-friendly desert resort Bab Al Shams
- Self-camping in the Dubai Desert past Al Madam
- Visit the Camel Farm
Head to the Mountains!
Yes, the UAE has mountains! The Hajar Mountain range runs from the tiny Omani exclave of Musandam, pointing into the Strait of Hormuz, all the way down the tip of the Arabian Peninsula to Muscat. Most of the mountains pass through other Emirates in the UAE, but a small Dubai enclave exists called Hatta.
Sitting 90 minutes by car south of the city, in Hatta you can experience:
- The Hatta Heritage Village
- Hatta Dam (undergoing extensive works at present to bring new attractions)
- Hatta Honey Bee Discovery Centre
- Hatta Wadi Hub activity centre
- Mountain trails galore – from biking to horseback riding or simply on foot
- Stay onsite glamping at the Hatta Sedr Trailers Resort or try the newly opened Hatta Caravan Park or Hatta Dome Park
Day Trips from Dubai
Let’s look beyond the actual Emirate of Dubai and into the other 6 Emirates of the UAE (You can see our complete guide to all 7 Emirates of the UAE here).
This list is not exhaustive – there are so many incredible things to do beyond Dubai, so we have tried to narrow it down to those activities we know are achievable within 1 day and have tours/drivers that can take you.
Abu Dhabi Day Trip
- An Abu Dhabi Cultural Tour on a personalised day trip, see The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr al Watan (the country’s new Presidential Palace) in just a day. (You can even catch a free bus that takes you to the Louvre and Qasr al Watan).
- The Falcon Hospital – a fabulous insight into the ancient and modern tradition of falconry, including up-close encounters
- Qasr al Hosn – a heritage experience built on the site of the original Hosn Fort, the oldest building in Abu Dhabi
- A drive-by of the beautiful Founders Memorial
- High tea at Observation 300, Etihad Towers or the stunning Emirates Palace
- Take kayaks or an eco-boat into the Eastern Mangroves
- Strolling the famous Corniche beach
- Abu Dhabi theme parks – there are now 3 amazing theme parks on Yas Island, each could demand your full attention or the best part of a day, though you could arguably fit in two if you are savvy – Ferrari World (home to the World’s Fastest Roller Coaster), Warner Bros World – the world’s largest theme park and Yas Waterworld, the Middle East’s best waterpark.
- Al Ain – Abu Dhabi – the second largest city in Abu Dhabi, also known as the Oasis city is among the country’s most historic and fascinating places to visit – home to the country’s jointly listed UNESCO sites.
Dubai Day Trip to the Northern Emirates
Sitting to the northeast of Dubai Emirate, explore a further 5 emirates of the United Arab Emirates:
- Sharjah – the cultural capital of the UAE has no distinct border with Dubai. It seamlessly blends with the outskirts of the Deira and the city’s eastern areas. In fact, Dubai buses spread into Sharjah, even a public ferry making it the easiest place to visit from Dubai on a day trip.
- Most focus from tourists goes into the Heart of Sharjah, the arts and culture district. But increasingly, there is a focus outside of the main city, too, with the utterly stunning new Sharjah Mosque and Mleiha archaeological site in the desert.
- Ras al Khaimah – often thought of as the country’s adventure playground, it is home to the world’s longest zipline and the country’s tallest peak in the rugged Hajar Mountains, Jebel Jais.
- Fujairah – for even more spectacular mountain views, historic forts, and arguably the region’s oldest mosque still in use today. Also popular for its wide sandy beaches and diving opportunities.
- Musandam Peninsula – we’re totally cheating calling this one in the Emirates – because it’s actually an exclave of Oman! BUT!!! It is one of the most stunning landscapes within easy reach of Dubai, and whilst, yes, it does cross an international border, it can be done on a day trip from Dubai.
See our guide to transport around the UAE for more information on how to get to these incredible destinations.
We are sure to have missed some favourites as there’s simply so much going on in Dubai. We are constantly updating this list as new things open up. Let us know in the comments below if there’s more you think we should add.
Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai
- Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai, a handy guide on what to pack, and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
- Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai.
- Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
- Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance!!!
- Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai, or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:
Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links.Dubai Travel Planner