What to do in Dubai: 30 interesting activities to try when you’re there

What to do in Dubai? This is a hard question to answer considering that Dubai is, without a doubt, one of the busiest cities you can visit. It is home to modern architecture, luxury shopping, and an inexhaustible amount of activities – all in which is bound to keep one occupied for a very long time.

To list it all would be an impossible feat, so we’ve narrowed it down just for you. From dune bashing to sleeping in pods, here are 30 interesting activities you must try when you’re in town!

1. Burj Khalifa


Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest skyscraper standing at 828 metres high, topped with a stunning view of the city’s skyline. A trip to Dubai is not complete without a stop here. You can choose to take in the amazing scenery from two observation decks: At The Top on level 124 & 125 or At The Top Sky on level 148. At The Top features high powered telescopes for you to get a closer look at the view, green screen photography to perfectly capture your memories here, and is also decorated in Arabic mashrabiya for a 360 degree view. On the other hand, At The Top Sky features an additional personal guided tour by a Guest Ambassador and signature refreshments from SKY lounge.

Location: 1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 9am – 11pm, daily

You can book your tickets here.

2. Dubai Mall


The Dubai Mall is dubbed the world’s largest entertainment destination with 1300 retail outlets and over 200 food and beverage outlets on site. This is why while we also have many great shopping malls in Singapore, this particular one still makes our list of what to do in Dubai. Aside from that, this shopping haven also features entertainment, and leisure attractions like the world class Dubai Aquarium & Underwater zoo, VR Park, and many more. When we say a day’s visit will not suffice, we really mean it!

Location: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai 31166, United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 10am – 12am, daily

3. Take a nap at Sleep n Shop Pod Lounge


Tired from all the shopping? Situated right in front of the Dubai Mall between the carpark and mall entrance, is the Sleep ‘n Shop Pod Lounge where you can conveniently choose between a 30-minute power nap to four hours of sleep, depending on what you need. It is charged by the hour, so you can pay for what you need!

Location: The Dubai Mall, ‘Grand’ Parking Atrium, 1st floor
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm, daily

Check out their rates here.

4. Dubai Miracle Garden

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Within the framework of the precautionary and preventive measures against the new Corona virus emerging in the Emirate of Dubai, and in our attention to the health and safety of visitors and employees, Dubai Miracle Garden and Dubai Butterfly Garden announce their temporary closure until the end of March 2020 as of tomorrow, March 16, 2020. We wish everyone health and wellness. في إطار الاجراءات الاحترازية والوقائية من فيروس كورونا المستجد في اماره دبي وحرصا منا على صحه وسلامه الزوار والموظفين تعلن حديقه دبي ميراكل جاردن و حديقه دبي للفراشات عن اغلاقهما حتى نهايه شهر مارس ٢٠٢٠ اعتبارا من يوم غدا ١٦ مارس ٢٠٢٠ متمنين للجميع دوام الصحه والعافيه

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Every year, Dubai Miracle Garden reinvents itself and is open to visitors from mid November to mid May. Millions of flowers are delicately arranged as it takes the form of magnificent arches and patterns. The breathtaking landscape coupled with aromatic scents and vibrant colours is an experience that you don’t want to miss!

Location: Al Barsha South Third, Dubailand, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 9am – 9pm (Sunday – Thursday), 9am – 11pm (Friday – Saturday)

Check out their regular admission rates here.

5. Dubai Fountain


Immerse yourself in a captivating water, music, and light experience on your next visit to the world’s largest musical fountain, Dubai Fountain. This is a perfect place to unwind and de-stress as you watch the water move in sync to the fine selection of music and lights. You’d be happy to know that performances are completely free and can be seen from various locations around Downtown Dubai!

Location: Fashion Parking, Dubai Mall, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 1pm & 1.30pm (Saturday – Thursday, Afternoon show), 1.30pm & 2pm (Friday, Afternoon show) 6pm – 11pm at 30-minute intervals (Daily, Evening show)

6. Watch the horse race at Meydan Racecourse


Meydan Racecourse offers a full season of horse racing, running from now to 10 April 2020. This season promises to be a highly competitive and exciting time as high profile trainers and their horses prep for the Dubai World Cup happening next year. There are limited free admission seats within the Meydan Grandstand that boasts an excellent view, so if you’re in town, don’t miss this chance!

Location: Al Meydan Road, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: Gate opens at various timings every race meeting.

More information here.

7. Bur Dubai Souk Market


Remaining true to its Arabian heritage, the Bur Dubai Souk Market features a number of small stores selling a wide range of quality products including fabrics from top grade silk to wool, clothes, footwear, and souvenirs. Have a taste of local culture while you shop away!

Location: Bur Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Saturday – Thursday), 4pm – 10pm (Friday)

8. Palm Jumeirah

The Palm Jumeirah is a man-made archipelago built in the shape of a palm tree filled with an array of high end hotels, restaurants, and attractions with a monorail running down the ’trunk’ which connects to the mainland’s tram system. Did you also know that the island is visible from space? Entrance fee to the island depends on your chosen mode of transport.

Location: Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: –

9. Ferrari World

The Ferrari World is the largest indoor theme park in the world, shaped like a massive three-pointed star viewed from above. It currently is home to the world’s tallest and fastest roller coaster loop ‘Formula Rossa’. On your visit here, don’t forget to drop by the operating Ferrari factory, take a spin on a real Ferrari, and view a gallery of 70 Ferrari models.

Location: Yas Island, Yas Dr St, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Opening hours: 11 am – 12 pm, daily

You can book your tickets here.

10. Green Planet


Inside this bio dome is Dubai’s own indoor tropical rainforest, Green Planet. It is a sanctuary that houses more than 3,000 species of plants, animals, and birds. The Green Planet is an ideal place to visit if you want to learn more about the various species inhabiting the rainforest while educating yourself on the state of the current ecosystem.

Location: City Walk, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 10am – 7pm, daily

You can book your tickets here.

11. Atlantis Aquaventure

Have the time of your life at Dubai’s No.1 waterpark, Atlantis Aquaventure where you can find more than 30 attractions. No matter whether you’re here with your family, significant other, or friends, there is definitely a ride and slide fit for the company!

Location: Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Rd, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 10am – 6pm, daily

You can book your tickets here.

12. Lost Chambers Aquarium


At the Lost Chambers Aquarium, an incredible experience awaits! You can easily discover the mysteries of the deep and learn facts about the ocean through world-class exhibits and guided tours. But of course, the main highlight would be watching 65,000 marine animals swim about in the Ambassador Lagoon.

Location: Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Rd, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm, daily

You can book your tickets here.

13. Ambassador Lagoon


Now that you have seen the 65,000 marine animals swim, how do you feel about actually seeing them up close? Ambassador Lagoon offers snorkelling, scuba diving, and Aquatrek packages regardless if you’re a beginner or a professional. Nothing beats seeing and being surrounded by the array of majestic marine animals.

Location: Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Rd, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm, daily

You can book your packages here.

14. Museum of Illusions


Ideal for all generations, the Museum of Illusions houses 80 different exhibits that will boggle the mind and amaze you at the same time.  With each installation, you realize that most of the assumptions we have are merely a spectre of illusion. While you’re playing and learning away, don’t forget to get more photos for the ‘gram!

Location: Al Seef By Meraas, Phase 3, Lot 17-1, Bur Dubai
Opening hours: 10am – 10pm (Sunday – Wednesday), 10am – 12am (Thursday – Saturday)

You can book your tickets here.

15. Balloon Adventures Dubai

13 years into the business, Balloon Adventures Dubai consistently delivers an unforgettable and luxurious hot-air balloon rides over the Dubai desert. Aside from the stunning view above ground, you also get to witness the in-flight falcon show, traverse the desert in museum-quality vintage Land Rovers, and enjoy a gourmet breakfast!

Location: 1303 Control Tower, Motor City, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 5 am – 9 pm, daily

You can book your slots here.

16. Biking at Al Qudra


Residing at Al Qudra is an 86-kilometre cycling track that boasts an amazing view of the desert. What a way to get some sight-seeing and exercise done! The best time to cycle would be during sunrise or sunset, according to the recommendation of local cyclers! If you don’t own a personal bike, you can rent one at the Trek UAE bike shop located at the end of the road.

LocationAl Qudra RoadDubai, UAE
Opening hours: –

Find out more here.

17. Dubai Desert Safari tour with Dune Bashing


If you’re up for a thrill, then the Dubai Desert Safari tour is the answer! It usually starts off with the tour operator picking you up in a 4×4 vehicle and driving you through the desert at varying speeds. This goes on for about 20 – 30 minutes. Along the way, there will be plenty of time to take a breather and enjoy the view. After which, you will then make your way to a central camp to get a taste of ancient Bedouin traditions. This includes camel rides, henna painting, and Sheesha smoking.

Location: Al Lahbab, Kalba Road
Opening hours: 7am – 10pm (Saturday & Sunday)

You can book your packages here.

18. Hub Zero


Gamer or not, there’s really no excuse for not visiting Hub Zero. Hub Zero comes packed with immersive, virtual reality activities that will set your adrenaline pumping! They’ve got Gears of War: Laser Siege, Resident Evil: Bio Terror, Hack Attack and many more. You’re literally spoiled for choices!

Location: Al Mustaqbal, City Walk, Phase Two, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 12pm – 11pm (Saturday – Wednesday), 12pm – 12am (Thursday – Friday)

You can book your tickets here.

19. Jumeirah Mosque


Jumeirah Mosque stands as one of the most iconic landmarks in Dubai and is open to visitors of all faiths. All visitors are advised to act respectfully and dress modestly upon entry. If you want to learn more about Islam, its traditions and the local culture, the mosque also conducts guided tours and learning sessions. Don’t shy away from asking questions, the guides there are more than happy to answer them!

Location: Jumeirah Rd, Jumeirah 1, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 10am – 8pm (daily)

20. Old area of Madame


The Old area of Madame is an abandoned village lost in sand. There is something poetic and eerie in the way that nature has taken over these old buildings. Legend has it that long time ago, supernatural beings known as “jinns” settled down and drove the residents away. Myth or not, the area is still safe for you to visit!

Location: Sharjah, UAE
Opening hours: –

21. Love Lake Dubai


Love Lake Dubai is a man-made lake made up in the shape of two intertwined hearts. It is so enormous, the lake can be viewed from space and is visible on Google maps. Nearby trees are also arranged in a way that spells love. If you have more time to spare, you can picnic, BBQ, or camp around the area!

LocationAl QudraDubai, UAE
Opening hours: –

More information about Love Lake Dubai here.

22. Xline Dubai Marina

Xline Dubai Marina is the world’s longest and fastest urban zip line that goes at an average speed of 80km/h. Channel your inner daredevil and zip line from one of the Amwaj Towers across the marina to the Dubai Marina Mall. Be sure to take in the city view on your way down! The experience may seem like an instant but thanks to technology like Go-pro, you’ll get to relive the moment through video and pictures.

Location: Dubai Marina Mall, XLine booth on level P
Opening hours: 10am – 5pm (Daily, Closed on Wednesdays)

You can book your session here.

23. Watch La Perle


La Perle by Dragone is the region’s first permanent show located at Al Habtoor City. The show is created by iconic artistic director, Franco Dragone, also famed for his works, La Reve in Las Vegas and The house of Dancing Water in Macau. This show features a breathtaking fusion of immersive artistic performances, imagery, and technology with awe-inspiring stunts and special effects bound to leave viewers speechless.

Location: The Atrium, Al Habtoor City, 260 Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, UAE

Opening hours: 4 pm – 5:30 pm, 7 pm – 8:30 pm, 9:30 pm – 11 pm (Depends on availability)

You can book your tickets here.

24. Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary


Located in the heart of Dubai, the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 450 species of animals and 47 species of plants. Flamingoes are the main attraction but the sanctuary also hosts large populations of migratory birds, crustaceans, mammals, and fishes. As the sanctuary is a protected area, visitors can enjoy the view from three bird hides located on the perimeter – Mangrove, Lagoon, and Flamingo.

LocationOpening hours: 6am – 6pm (Sunday – Thursday), 2pm – 6pm (Friday)

25. Soho Garden Bar


Soho Garden brings the soul of London’s Soho into the heart of Dubai with a vibrant and unique selection of music, food, and cocktails. There are four different bars you can choose from: Glasshouse, Negroni, Bellini, and Tiki. Each bar comes with its own unique identity and taste, allowing you to enjoy a different experience with each visit!

Location: Meydan Racecourse Grandstand, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 7pm until late.

26. Smash room


Have a shattering time at UAE’s first Smash Room! Here, you can choose various room packages (comes in various quantity of glasses) in which you will later smash, shatter, stomp, or break to your heart’s content! The Smash Room provides an unconventional medium for individuals to release their stress.

Location: 195 Umm Suqeim St, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 11am – 10.30pm (Saturday – Wednesday), 11am – 11pm (Thursday – Friday)

You can book your session here.

27. SkyDive Dubai


SkyDive Dubai offers the thrill of free fall at lightning speed while being securely harnessed to an experienced and accomplished instructor. As you soar at 13,000 ft, take in the stunning aerial view of iconic Palm Jumeirah Island!

Location: Al Seyahi St, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 10 am – 4 pm, daily

You can book a session here.

28. Singing sand dunes of Liwa

The Singing sand dunes of Liwa, also known as the Empty Quarter, is the world’s largest uninterrupted sand mass. Listen in to the mysterious sounds believed to be caused by the vibrations of the grains of sand as they fall on top of each other. The sound you’d hear is more pronounced compared to the ones you might hear from the singing dunes in US and China.

Location: Tal Mor’eb, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Opening hours: –

29. Ski Dubai


Ski Dubai is the region’s first indoor ski resort, residing in the Mall of the Emirates. If you’re feeling adventurous, they offer a variety of activities like skiing, snowboarding, zip lining, and tobogganing. Of course, to experience is not complete without a friendly snowball fight. Ski Dubai is also home to the colonies of Gentoo and King penguins. Snow penguin packages are available if you want to get up close & personal as you learn more about these cute penguins!

Read more about hugging a penguin in Dubai.

Location: Sheikh Zayed Rd, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Opening hours: 10am – 11pm (Sunday – Wednesday), 10am – 12am (Thursday), 9am – 12am (Friday – Saturday)

You can book your packages here.

30. Arabian tea house


Craving for authentic Arab Cuisine? The Arabian Tea house at Al Bastakiya brings about a mix of modern & traditional and is perhaps one of the few places where one can still get a glimpse and taste of the rich cultural heritage of the Emirati people!

Location: Restaurant and Café, Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Dubai, UAE
Opening hours: 7.30am – 10pm, daily