18 Epic Things To Do In Dubai

Planning for your trip to Dubai? Discover the most epic things you can do while vacationing in one of the world’s most popular cities to visit!
18 epic things to do in Dubai. Photo: SHAHBAZ AKRAM | Pexels

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Dubai has grown into one of the most popular places to visit in the world over the years, and for good reason. On a base level, it’s clean, safe, easy to navigate, has an extensive metro network, and is thriving with local culture and international influence.     

Likewise, when it comes to tourism, Dubai is loaded with record breaking attractions, coastal views, iconic architecture, luxury hotels, beaches, towering skyscrapers, and much, much more.     

And now you’ve landed here because you’re set on making Dubai the next stop on your grand world tour and need a few suggestions about what to do. Well, sit back, and get ready to have your mind blown. Welcome to my list of 18 epic things to do in Dubai.   

Dubai is brimming with beautiful scenery. Photo: Abid Bin Nazar | Pexels

Visit the At the Top Observatory in Burj Khalifa

You just can’t leave Dubai without a visit to the world’s highest observation deck, located at the world’s tallest skyscraper. Welcome to At the Top, a thrilling bird’s eye view experience that takes place at 555-meters in the air on the 148th floor of Burj Khalifa.

By the way, don’t cheat yourself and settle for the lower level option—floors 124 and 125—either. Rather, head to the world’s highest observation deck where you’ll receive a complimentary refreshment and access to the outdoor viewing area. Trust me, it’s a thrill like no other!

Purchase tickets on At the Top’s website.

The view of Dubai from At the Top. Photo: Sonnenuntergang | Pixabay

Go Shopping at Dubai Mall

It’s the world’s largest mall at some 502,000 sq. meters. It’s got more than 1,200 retail outlets, and over 200 places to dine, and it’s visited by over 100 million people annually.

Dubai Mall is the most epic shopping experience you can get anywhere across the world. Outside of endless stores and restaurants, it’s home to Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, VR Park, KidZania, Ekart Zabeel go-karting course, Dubai Opera, Reel Cinemas, a souk market, an ice rink, and 5-star hotels. Plus, the mall provides access to the Burj Khalifa, which sits directly on top of it, and the Dubai Fountain, a record-breaking water fountain that’s right outside.    

Believe me, I’d probably need a full page to list all the cool shops, attractions, and experiences Dubai Mall has to offer—in the meantime, you’ll just have to settle for a paragraph!  

Find out more at the Dubai Mall website.

The entrance to Dubai Mall. Photo: Jeremy Weate | Flickr

Swim with the Fishes at Atlantis the Palm’s Lost Chambers Aquarium

You won’t find anything too special about Atlantis, the Palm’s Lost Chambers Aquarium—well, except the fact that it’s equipped with an 11-million-liter aquarium that holds over 65,000 marine animals.

And well… it does have 21 exhibits, which include a touch tank and interactive aqua theatre shows where you’ll see all kinds of sea creatures, from starfish, lobsters, and sea horses, to piranhas, stingrays, and sharks.  

And then there are the several exciting diving experiences Lost Chambers Aquarium offers, like surface-level snorkeling and using a special breathing helmet that enables guests to walk comfortably 10m down while inside its Ambassador Lagoon. Turns out, hey, that’s one special place to visit in Dubai after all!

Find out more at the Lost Chambers Aquarium website.

Inside the Lost Chamber’s Aquarium in Dubai. Photo: Werner Bayer | Flickr

Go on a City Tour with Big Bus Dubai

City bus tours are the best way to explore new travel destinations across the globe; that is if your intended city has even got them.

Dubai’s got one—Big Bus Dubai—and it’ll conveniently whisk you across various neighborhoods and districts in Dubai on an open-top shuttle bus. You’ll get the best tour of Dubai’s landscape, and swing by Dubai Mall, Dubai Creek, Dubai Marina, Palm Island, Dubai Frame, Souk markets, villages, forts, museums, beaches, downtown, and a lot more. What better way is there to see Dubai’s prominent landmarks and attractions?

Explore options at Big Bus Dubai’s website.

City views from aboard Big Bus Dubai. Photo: Don’s ESL Adventure

Hit the Slopes at Ski Dubai

Dubai may be a sprawling desert area with scorching heat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab a pair of skis and hit the slopes.

That’s right, Ski Dubai is a 22,500 sq. meter indoor ski resort located at the Mall of Emirates. Its temperature sits between a bone-chilling 24 °F to 35 °F all year round, and its snowy slopes—you can ski, snowboard, and even uses a chairlift to reach the top—snow park, snow cinema, and penguin encounter, make it the perfect ‘winter’ activity to experience during any season in Dubai.  

Here’s the Ski Dubai website.

Ski Dubai, is an indoor ski resort. Photo: Timo Tervo | Flickr

Ride the World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel

Dubai is home to numerous world record-breakers. There’s Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and Aura, the world’s highest infinity pool. It’s got the world’s largest dancing water fountain, the world’s deepest swimming pool, and the world’s largest mall.

And that’s just a preview of all the amazing records Dubai withholds, and with that, it’s only right that you visit Ain Dubai, the world’s largest Ferris Wheel.

Here are the facts: It’s 250m high, is equipped with 48 cabins, and can technically hold 1,750 people at once. You’ll have the chance for a sweeping view of Dubai’s stunning skyline during a 38-minute loop. Plus, enjoy drinks during your ride and a combination package that includes a cruise.

Check out the Ain Dubai website.

Ain Dubai in the distance. Photo: Denys Gromov | Pexels

Jump Out of a Plane with Sky Dive Dubai

It seems just about every other day that some rich celebrity posts a video of themselves jumping out of a single-engine plane on an epic tandem skydive experience over Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah Island. And you can too if you’re up for it!

I’d like to introduce you to Skydive Dubai, arguably the most thrilling activity you can do in the region. Strap up to an experienced instructor, climb 13,000 ft. in the air, hop out of a plane, and fall towards Earth—choose between the Palm Dropzone or Desert Dropzone—at speeds up to 120mph.

Plus, photographs and an edited video of your jump are included with your trip!

Book your jump at SkyDive Dubai’s website.

SkyDive Dubai is the most thrilling activity you can do. Photo: jpmn00 | Pixabay

Choose a Hot Air Balloon Ride or 4 x 4 on a Desert Safari

You absolutely, positively, cannot leave Dubai without hopping in a 4×4 and ravaging sand dunes on an exhilarating desert safari experience. And while that one’s a must, while you’re at it, I also highly recommend taking a soothing ride on a hot air balloon for a nice bird’s eye view of the sprawling Arabian desert.

There are plenty of desert safari tour options and hot air balloon operators you can choose from, like Go Dubai, VIP Hummer, Desert Safari Tours, Balloon Ride Dubai, and Cappadocia Air Hot Balloon.

Ballon tour over Dubai’s desert. Photo: James Mills | Unsplash

Take Flight on XLine, the World’s Longest Urban Zip Line

Have you ever wanted to roam the skies freely, like Superman, and shoot through the air at thrilling speeds? Well, here’s your chance.

Experience flying over Dubai with a ride on the world’s longest urban zipline, which runs through Dubai Marina, from Amwaj Towers to Dubai Marina Mall. Soar 170m above the city on a 1-kilometer-long zip cable and reach speeds up to 80kmph as you fly headfirst on a Superman harness.

Riders also receive a complimentary photo and video of their experience using GoPro cameras.

Prepare for thrills at the XLine website.

Zipline in Dubai Marina. Photo: Nick Fewings | Unsplash

Get Splashed at Aquaventure Atlantis Dubai

Escape Dubai’s simmering heat with a trip to Aquaventure Atlantis, the world’s largest water park, also located at Atlantis, the Palm. So, what can you experience at the park?

Hop on any one of the numerous thrilling group rides you can take with family and friends, including Odyssey of Terror, which is the world’s tallest water slide.

There are low to high thrilling individual water slides, too, and hydra racers that push groups of 3 down tubes and tunnels for a race to see who can reach the bottom first. 

You’ll also have fun riding water coasters, getting tossed around in the river rapids, surfing, jumping off of cliffs into deep pools, and taking the kids for a splash in the water playgrounds.

Get soaked at the Aquaventure Atlantis website.

Get splashed at Aquaventure water park in Dubai. Photo: Fabio Achilli | Flickr

Take a Dip in an Infinity Pool

There are two incredible infinity pools you are required to check out in Dubai. That’s right, required. The first, Address Sky View Hotel, plops you right in front of a magnificent, unobstructed view of Burj Khalifa from 54 floors up. Just remember to bring your best swimsuit for an Instagram picture in front of the jaw-dropping skyscraper.

The next, Aura Sky Pool Lounge, is the highest infinity pool in the world, sitting a whopping 200-metres in the air and providing astounding 360° views of Dubai’s skyline, Palm Jumeirah, Ain Dubai Ferris Wheel, and of the Arabian Gulf. Isn’t crazy just thinking about how many memorable experiences you’re going to have in Dubai?

Infinity pool in Dubai. Photo: Danor | Pixabay

Enjoy Coastal Views at Jumeirah Beach Residence

Jumeirah Beach Residence is easily the most popular beachfront in Dubai. Its 1.7-kilometer-long stretch of glistening sand and towering apartments and hotels is accompanied by the warmest water you’ll probably ever swim in, too. No kidding, temperatures can get up to 90 °F!

What you’ll also love about hanging out at Jumeirah Beach Residence are the crowds of international visitors. There are people from every corner of the globe enjoying views of Ain Dubai and the bluish, turquoise shore leading into the Arabian Gulf.

Plus, you’ll most likely run into a camel or two roaming the beach with its caretaker. Pictures with the exotic animal are free of charge and will only add to your growing list of wonderful experiences in Dubai!

Jumeirah Residence Beach and the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf. Photo: Datingjungle | Unsplash

Take a Cruise in Dubai Marina

Hop aboard a Dhow ship for a cruise along one of the most breathtaking regions in Dubai. That’s right, Dubai Marina offers 40-minute to 2-hour sightseeing cruises through its famed canal and across the beautiful Arabian Gulf.

You’ll have the chance to see the iconic architecture of Dubai Marina, including the towering skyscrapers that make up the tallest block, which is a collection of the 10 tallest residential buildings in the world.

I highly recommend touring Dubai Marina in the evening for spectacular sunset views and to overlook the luxurious marina buildings at night.

Book your tour on Viator’s website.

Dhow cruises ready to explore the marina. Photo: ianwatts | Pixabay

Take a Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

Dubai is a great starting point for an epic day trip to exciting nearby regions, and one of the best and most popular places to visit in the neighborhood is Abu Dhabi.

While there, you’ll want to start your day on a Yellow Boat Tour and ride a Ribcraft rigid inflatable boat for some sightseeing along the Arabian Gulf. Make sure to visit Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque to enjoy Islamic art, history culture, and architecture.

Best of all, explore any one of the amusement parks on Yas Island, which include Warner Brothers World and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. Photo: jpeter2 | Pixabay

Explore Enchanting Floral Displays at Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai isn’t known for its green spaces, but there have been major improvements over the years across its expansive desert area. Take Dubai Miracle Garden, which is a vast horticultural paradise spanning some 72,000 sq. meters, which also makes it the world’s largest natural flower garden.

The 3x Guinness World Record holder boasts over 150 million flowers spread across decorative hilltops, tunnels, 3D characters, an Emirates Airbus A380 plane, a floating lady, and more. Plus, there are sunflower fields and a gorgeous lake park.

Just when you thought Dubai couldn’t get more splendid to look at, here comes Miracle Garden!  

Plan your trip by checking out the Dubai Miracle Garden website.

Floral displays at Dubai Miracle Garden. Photo: ПоЗиТиФфЧиК com | Flickr

Step Inside the Observatory of Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame is a unique building, monument, museum, and observatory in Zabeel Park. Its structure resembles that of a beautiful rectangular picture frame, and it’s considered one of the most iconic designs in the region.

At a height of 150-meters, its viewing bridge, which includes a glass walk, is 93-meters long and provides sweeping views of the city. Dubai Frame also hosts a museum and interactive galleries that allow visitors to get a glimpse of the old, present, and future of Dubai.    

Explore the Dubai Frame website.

The iconic Dubai Frame. Photo: Shreyas Gupta | Unsplash

See the Colorful Displays at Dubai Garden Glow

Dubai’s Garden Glow is a picturesque glow park reminiscent of a Chinese lantern festival. You’ll find colorful models of characters, flowers, animals, and famous structures, illuminated with thousands of handmade lights.

What’s more, located on the premises is Dinosaur Park, which features over 120 animatronic dinosaurs from three periods, including Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous.  

In addition to its Magic Park, Ice Park, and Art Park, I’d say Dubai Garden Glow is easily one of the best places to take kids in Dubai.

Get going at the Dubai Garden Glow website.

Illuminated displays at Dubai Garden Glow. Photo: Rob Young | Flickr

Fly Over Dubai on a Ride with Seawings

If you love scenic flight tours, a ride on a Seawings Signature Tour is the perfect thing to do to experience the most epic views of Dubai.

Take off from the water in a Cessna seaplane at Mina Rashid and get a breathtaking bird’s eye view of popular landmarks such as Burj Khalifa, Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Al-Arab Hotel, Dubai Marina, Dubai Creek, and more.    

The entire flight may just last 45-minutes, but you’ll surely remember it for a lifetime.

Secure your flight on the Seawings website.

Fly over Dubai with Seawings. Photo: Christoph Shulz | Unsplash

What Will You Do First?

There you have it; you’ve just read the most epic list of the 18 most epic things to do in Dubai. So, what do you think you’ll do first once you land? How about getting somewhere high and experiencing sweeping views of the city? Or, would you rather head straight to the beach for coastal views? No matter what you do, Dubai is sure to welcome you, and your wallet, with open arms. Safe and happy travels!  


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