It’s not a secret that Dubai is a fantastic Arabian citydoused in unmatched dazzle and majesty. With a variety of attractions and experiences on offer, the real challenge is to create a perfect Dubai program, especially if it’s your debut Dubai trip. While this topic is largely subjective, there are certain things that you shouldn’t miss in Dubai. And here we’ve compiled the five best Things To Do in Dubai for first time travelers.
1. Discover Downtown Dubai
Each of the neighborhoods in Dubai is distinct and comes with a trove of things to experience. And most popular among all is undoubtedly Downtown Dubai. So make sure that you spare yourself enough time to take in the superlative sights and attractions that abound in this uber stylish Dubai district. Some of the most unmissable among them are:
Burj Khalifa: It’s unthinkable to leave Dubai without at least catching a glimpse of this colossal structure that rises to a height of over 828 meters in the middle of Downtown Dubai. After all, it’s the world’s tallest building.
Among its unmissable highlights are two observation decks (at 124th and 148th levels) which feast you with panoramic views of the entire city and beyond. A visit here also allows you to enjoy one of the world’s fastest elevator rides.
The Dubai Mall: This is another attraction that you shouldn’t miss in Downtown Dubai. This gigantic mall has over 1200 retail outlets, along with 200 plus dining choices. These are apart from the loads of leisure and entertainment options scattered all over the mall. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, KidZania Dubai, Dubai Ice Rink, Human Waterfalls, and the largest of its kind VR (Virtual Reality) Park Dubai are just a few to mention.
Dubai Fountain Show: This choreographed fountain show in the astonishing harmony of light and music is probably one of the most watched and enjoyed free attractions in Dubai. You will find this show outside of the Dubai Mall at Burj Lake.
Want to take in this show from an exclusive standpoint?
Go on an abra ride at Burj Lake or take to the dedicated Dubai Fountain Boardwalk. You can also choose to dine at one of the cafes or restaurants that sit directly overlooking the fountain show.
Souk Al Bahar: Adjacent to the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa, this shopping destination perfectly captures the aura of a traditional Arabian bazaar.
2. Check Out Palm Jumeirah And Burj Al Arab
Dubai’s glitzy cityscape with out-of-the-world architectures are sure to turn heads, but its man-made islands, particularly the palm-tree-shaped Palm Jumeirah, are engineering marvels that are definite to blow you away. In fact, what’s your Dubai visit without admiring this island as well as its main attractions? Some of them are:
Palm Fountain: After its launch in 2020, it has become the world’s largest fountain show. Set against the mesmeric Atlantis, The Palm at the Pointe.
It’s also the region’s first colored where its immaculate sync of water, light, and music creates a breathtaking spectacle.
The View at the Palm Jumeirah: Did you know that till recently the only way to see the splendor of Palm Jumeirah was on an airborne adventure like helicopter ride or sky diving?
But not anymore; you can now take in this unequaled sight from a safer vantage point while keeping your feet secured on the ground. Just head to this observation inside the Palm Tower!
Atlantis, The Palm: Placed on the crescent part of the island, this timeless resort commands your attention for its stunning location, incredible architecture style, and of course the five-star comforts.
Atlantis Aquaventure: For adventurists and fun lovers, it’s hard to miss this segment of Atlantis, The Palm resort. It’s home to the renowned Aquaventure Water Park, enigmatic Lost Chambers Aquarium, and the amazing Dolphin’s Bay, among others.
Boardwalk: Now if you don’t have plans to visit any of above attractions, make sure that you at least take to its supremely charming Boardwalk that faces the Arabian Gulf and stretches for about 11 kilometers.
Just a few blocks away from here is Burj Al Arab which is considered the world’s most luxurious hotel. This is yet another iconic Dubai sight whose allure would never fade away. You can stay here or limit it to a dining session or simply a click against it if a stay here is too heavy for your pocket.
3. Have Utmost Fun And Thrill At Dubai’s Theme Parks
Dubai is called the theme park capital of the Middle East and for all right reasons. From snow and water themed to movies and super heroes based, theme parks in Dubai take all guises, and be sure to head over to at least one of the following parks.
IMG Worlds of Adventure: It’s one of the world’s largest indoor theme parks with four exciting zones such as Marvel, Cartoon Network, Dinosaur-themed Lost Valley, and IMG Boulevard.
Ski Dubai: It’s hard for a first timer in Dubai to skip this theme park filled with tons and tons of snow. Yes, it’s the region’s coolest theme park where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding and sledding, among other winter activities.
Dubai Parks and Resorts: More than the region’s first integrated resort, it’s the ultimate theme park destination in the UAE as it alone hosts four parks such as Motiongate Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai, LEGOLAND Water Park and Bollywood Parks Dubai.
Wild Wadi Water Park: This is probably the first name that comes into the mind when one thinks about water fun in Dubai. Rightly so, it’s one of the city’s oldest water parks and what makes Wild Wadi Waterpark special is its unique theme that recalls the Arabian tale of Juha.
AquaFun Dubai: Dubai has now got some fantastic brand-new water parks and one of the latest to join this list is AquaFun Dubai. And, being the world’s largest inflatable water park, it deserves a special mention in the list.
THERE’S MORE, Things to do in Dubai that will keep your excitement to travel next year!
4. Desert Safari & Dhow Cruise
What’s a holiday without a take-a-step-back moment? And this is possible with one of these classic experiences.
Desert Safari: Not far from the flashy sights of the city is its quaint and untouched desert landscape. And you can experience it to the fullest on a fully guided desert safari. You can choose from morning or evening desert safari. Moreover, if you’ve enough time and money, it’s worth going on an overnight desert safari complete with BBQ dining, traditional shows (like Tanura) and camping under the stars.
For dare devils, the highpoint of any desert safari is dune bash aboard a 4X4 vehicle. Apart from these, you will get to enjoy many activities and experiences that give you a glance of the region’s Bedouin culture and traditions. This includes camel ride, Shisha smoking, falconry, henna tattooing etc.
Dhow Cruise: A dhow cruise takes place in the heart of the city along Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina. This cruise is striking for its rustic ambience which evokes the memories of the region’s humble past. This wooden vessel once had an important role in boosting the region’s economy, with its extensive use for pearl farming and fishing in the pre-oil era. So, don’t miss this two-hour cruise – it mostly includes buffet style dining and traditional style shows (such as Tanura) onboard.
Shopping options in Dubai are so vast and diverse that this alone attractions millions of visitors to the place every year. But, for most people, Dubai’s shopping scene is all about its 70 plus malls with upscale designer boutiques and department stores. Contrary to this, Dubai is a shopping haven for every pocket and taste.
So if you’re on a tight budget or even not inclined to shopping, be sure to do some retail therapy, especially across its souks or traditional bazaars that are a true gold mine for bargain hunters, souvenir collectors and window shoppers.
Now, if your Dubai visit coincides with DSF (Dubai Shopping Festival) in January – February, you’re in for a treat with jaw-dropping deals of up to 90% off. Along with the chance to win prizes worth whopping amount.
It doesn’t matter which part of the year you travel in Dubai – there is always something new, exciting, and refreshing to do in the city.
These five best Things to do in Dubai what you need. That said, make sure that you don’t miss out on the above experiences as you create your travel itinerary for your upcoming Dubai holiday.
Author bio: Neha has a post-graduate degree in English Literature and is a passionate traveler. When she is not traveling, she spends her time reading, trying out different cuisines, and planning her next adventure.