When we started this list we were aiming for 50 incredible places to see in Dubai, but it didn’t take us long before we reached 100… and the list kept going!
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 we can to places and activities we think are of interest 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.
- Major tourist attractions in Dubai
- Theme parks & water parks in Dubai
- Historic and cultural sites in Dubai
- Dubai’s best indoor attractions
- Dubai’s best beach 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 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 agents. 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 should I be packing for a Dubai vacation?
So without further ado, let’s jump into the ultimate list of Dubai activities and places to visit in Dubai!
Major 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:
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 Entertainment – entirely indoor theme park
- Wild Wadi – water park in Jumeirah
- Aquaventure – water park attached to Atlantis the Palm
- Laguna Water Park – at La Mer beach
- Dubai Parks and Resorts
- VR Park – Virtual Reality Park in Dubai Mall
Read More – Don’t miss our guide to Dubai’s best water parks
Historic 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 (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 Culture 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:
- 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 – coming soon!
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 (shut for summer 2022)
- Deep Dive Dubai – the world’s deepest indoor swimming pool for scuba diving
- Dubai Mall ice skating rink – Dubai Mall
- Kidzania – Dubai Mall
- Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – Dubai Mall
- The Green Planet – City Walk
- Ski Dubai – Mall of the Emirates
- The Lost Chambers – Atlantis the Palm
- Emirates A380 Experience – Flight simulator 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 – Bluewaters
- The View at the Palm – Observatory on Palm Jumeirah
- Storm Coaster – Dubai Hills, roller coaster through a shopping mall!
Dubai’s best beach 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 new beachfront area of the city for foodies and beachfront, modern, fun and funky day and night
- The Beach & The Walk – a beautiful and trendy waterfront area of the city, 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 popular park and beach
- Jumeirah Beach – Park and beach are all newly renovated perfect for picnicking
- 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
Other parks and outdoor attractions to try 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 – light, fire & water show nightly at Dubai Festival City
- RISE Dubai Creek Harbour – seasonal festivities
- Dubai Creek Park – a large green area along the creek front, close to DXB
- Mushrif Park – including outdoor ziplining park Aventura Parks
- Zabeel Park – home to Dubai Garden Glow and the Dubai Frame but includes other extensive parklands in the city centre
- Burj Park – in the heart of town – ideal photo shot 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
- Quranic Park – dedicated to the Holy Quran
- 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 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 – side street bargains as well as the Karama Centre and Karama Shopping Complex in “old Dubai”
- The Gold & Diamond Park Al Quoz
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 (subject to current COVID regulations some of these events may not run as normal in 2022):
- Dubai Food Festival – held every March
- Racing at Meydan Racecourse – Dubai Cup held in March
- Al Marmoom Heritage Festival – April
- 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
- 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 desert, from short “desert safaris” in organised tour groups to camping and glamping.
We definitely recommend first-time visitors should take on at least one desert experience in Dubai. 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 more unique way to enjoy the Dubai desert we can suggest:
- An ultra-luxurious private tented resort Al Maha
- Family 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 Peninsular 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
- 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 the 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 – Cultural Tour: a personalised day trip can see you to The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi and Qasr al Watan (the country’s new Presidential Palace) in just a day.
We would add to this list if possible:
- 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
- A drive-by of the beautiful Founders Memorial
- High tea at Observation 300, Etihad Towers or at 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.
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.
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.
- Pick up a 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