Dubai is one of those places that have given many people a new lease of life because of its combination of thrills and learning experiences.
The promise of excitement awaits you wherever you are and its a place guaranteed to create memories that will be treasured throughout the passing years. So if you’re wanting to plan a holiday, why not opt for scintillating Dubai? These may be the top tourist attractions in Dubai but there are many more for those who fall under its spell and they will have every reason to return.
The Top Tourist Attractions in Dubai
The tall needle-shaped and glittering Burj Khalifa is one of Dubai’s most renowned skyscrapers, and at 828m, is the world’s tallest building. It occupies hotels, corporate offices, restaurants, and residential suites, and there is an observation deck with an outdoor terrace at 555 m.
It was named after the then-president of the UAE, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed. The megatall building was inspired by the Hymenocallis flower or Spider Lily and is unbelievably 3x taller than the Eiffel Tower. The very tip of the Burj Khalifa can be seen from far away as 95 kilometers.
The average traveler is not likely to afford a stay in this most amazingly luxurious hotel. Just because of its shape, it has to be one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai with its extraordinary infinity pool terrace gleaming in the sun. After all, a one-night stay in the Royal Suite will see you being billed roughly $24.000. But then of course, you’ll be entertained like a king. The magnificent building, shaped like a yacht’s sail, is situated on its own island and has suites overlooking the sea.
Shopping till you drop is part of what Dubai is about, but make no mistake, the Dubai Mall in Downtown is its very own entertainment destination, what with more than 1,300 retail outlets and plenty of restaurants and bars to indulge every kind of taste you can imagine.
There are also other forms of entertainment such as the Aquarium & Underwater Zoo featuring a walkthrough tunnel. The huge ice-rink and other kinds of amusements are a huge attraction for the kids. When you come to the Dubai Mall, a few hours won’t suffice, it has to be nothing short of an entire day.
Known as an entertainment gem, the Mall of the Emirates is a huge multi-level shopping mall at interchange four on Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, but it is far more than a shopping center, better known as a design destination. Apart from the many restaurants and retail outlets, it’s a place where art, fashion and creativity abound and where people meet to share a brilliant shopping experience.
Leisure activities include a ski resort, theater and arts center and a massive family entertainment center – a decidedly distinctive place to celebrate life as there is always something going on.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Designed with beauty and pleasure in mind, the Dubai Miracle Garden has to be one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai and you don’t have to wait till spring has officially arrived to visit. Dubai’s winter is from November to March, and this is actually the best time to visit the gardens. The gardens are for anyone who celebrates nature. Kick back with someone who loves flowers and enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer in this breathtaking floral kingdom. With more than 50 million flowers blooming, you’ll stand in awe at how the clever garden experts have got the flowers to grow – the weirdest shapes and themes and all attracting butterflies, making it a top must-see attraction.
Situated on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road Dubai, the Global Village is almost like a community of entertainment – shopping, dining, funfairs and many other attractions so that you can say it is a sheer feast for the senses.
This is the place to be for non-stop pleasures and locals and visitors alike realize that with the Global Village, they’ve got an entertainment solution that fits them like a glove.
The Dubai Museum is fantastic if you want to get a feel for the history and culture of Dubai. The museum is found in the Al Fahidi Fort and interestingly, shows you the traditional way of life for the locals before the emergence of oil thrust them all into a new way of life. It shows you how the emirate has seen a dramatic transformation over the decades.
The Bastakia Quarter – Al Fahidi Historical District
Dubai is fascinating in that you can enjoy insights into its past with the gleaming modern part offering a totally different way of life. And so it is with the Bastakia Quarter – Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood – where you’ll be transported back in time with the amazing art galleries, museums and cafes with their distinctive Iranian-type architecture.
The area dates back to the 1890s and with some renovations to keep it ever exciting, it has become one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai.
Al Seef in Dubai is a fascinating mix of the old and new. Located near the iconic Dubai Creek, a waterway and where you’ll still find traditional wooden abras sailing, you can actually get on one and enjoy a scenic ride.
With the recent developments in the area, there is a splendid blend of hotels, restaurants and walkways with cheery lanterns in the evening and a cool breeze off the water. There is also the new souk and lots of interesting market stalls, making this area one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai for chilling with friends and family.
Keeping its historical interest, Deira is actually the oldest part of Dubai and is looked upon as the commercial center of the city. Deira is split into 2 parts – the old gold and spice souks that are well worth a visit and the Dubai International Airport.
Deira has been under quite a bit of development recently with lots of shopping malls and waterfront markets where you can buy fresh produce. A cool way to relish the outdoors in Deira is to sit on a creek-side deck and enjoy cocktails as you take in the extraordinary Dubai skyline and watch dhows gliding slowly and peacefully by.
What an amazing road this is – the E11 highway or the Sheikh Zayed Road, one of the main highways in Dubai. It’s an all-important roadway as it connects the 7 emirates and therefore the busiest road in Dubai.
You will drive past massive skyscrapers and through large cities. The road stretches for 558.44 km, passing some major Dubai attractions such as among others, Jumeirah Beach and Dubai Waterfront.
You can watch some prestigious areas unfold before you as you journey along this awesome highway. With 8 lanes in each direction, there’s no need to navigate the road yourself – you can join a tour, and in fact, most Dubai tours include a Sheikh Zayed Road trip because of its spectacular sightseeing opportunities.
Spectacular views of all of Dubai ‘framed’ for you is what the iconic Dubai Frame is about. This is the world’s largest frame which celebrates Dubai’s illustrious history. It is open all year round.
The huge steel, aluminium and glass structure with reinforced concrete also doubles as an observation tower, and at 150 meters in height, you get a spectacular birds-eye view of Dubai.
When you visit the Dubai Aquarium, as one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai, be prepared to be utterly and totally bedazzled. Small wonder that it is one of the most visited and most popular tourist destinations in the world.
The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is guaranteed to leave you spellbound, from its 48-meter walk-through tunnel to its amazing underwater zoo to its opportunities for shark feeding to shark dives. There is also cage snorkeling to scuba diving and much, much more. There is even the VRZoo experience where you get the chance to immerse yourself in the worlds of some of the world’s most amazing creatures.
Be literally blown away with La Perle, a resident-show in Dubai that promises to provide you with a one-of-kind encounter with its scintillating special effects and performances. The unique aqua-stage based live show with 65 artists who keep you spellbound with spectacular feats throughout the entire show. La Perle will certainly be running for the next 10 years in the purpose-built theatre in Al Habtoor City.
This stunningly beautiful 2,000-seat performing arts center in Downtown Dubai shaped like a dhow, is where you can get your arts and culture fix and enjoy world-class entertainment. The opera house hosts the most creative and mesmerizing performing arts experiences from Dubai and the rest of the world. With event space and concert hall, the Dubai Opera is able to host a huge variety of events, from theatre, ballet, fashion shows, art exhibitions and much more.
It’s always cool to visit the iconic Jumeirah Mosque to get a feel for how the locals worship. The mosque is one of two in Dubai and interestingly is open to non-Muslims. You can even enjoy a light breakfast complete with a cuppa Arabic tea and coffee. The outside fountain is where you meet to hear how the cleansing process is done prior to the prayer session.
Holidays are always about beaches and icecream, and Jumeirah Beach is one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai and certainly one of the most visited beaches in Dubai with good reason.
It’s free to use the beach and there are always people taking part in a variety of water sports. The beautiful sandy beach stretches far and wide, and people love it because it offers such splendid views of the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah Hotel. There are also restaurants and cafes close by and you feel safe swimming as the beach has lifeguards.
The Walk and Beach at JBR is an open invitation to shop and dine to your heart’s content. It’s a place where you take cool to the next level as the trendy waterfront strip provides you with plenty of opportunities to shop in chic boutiques or to check out the more casual outdoor markets.
Wherever you look, there is something to see and do and there are even street entertainers keeping you utterly amused. With restaurants, cinemas, stalls and boutiques, you could say that spending time at the Walk and Beach at JBR is going to put you a step ahead in the style stakes.
Animal- and nature lovers will articularly be enthralled with the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, a fenced, protected area and an exceptional wetland within the UAE.
It’s hard to imagine that such nature exists just a stone’s throw from the city of Dubai. Also known as the ‘Cape of the Creek,’ Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary has lagoons, mangroves and salt flats that attract many different kinds of birds, including the beautiful flamingos. It’s also a breeding area for mammals, fish and crustaceans. There are 3 bird hides, so take your binoculars along for closer-up views.
IMG Boulevard is a mega themed entertainment destination in Dubai and another one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai, offering adventure-seekers of all ages its own tantalizing mix of leisure and thrilling experiences.
From interactive attractions, to vast retail outlets and a wide selection of dining options – this amazing place promises hours of endless fun. If you’re a movie fan, you’ll be enthralled when you see all your Marvel and cartoon network characters come to life at this place of non-stop entertainments from rides to live stage shows and plenty of dining places too.
This wonderful water park has been voted as Dubai’s No. 1 Water Park and with good reason, as upon entering, you enter a watery world of fun and action with many slides, some hair-raising. The private beach and a trip down the Lazy River are also drawcards. For animal lovers, there is the chance for close up encounters with marine animals. The truth is, there is just so much to see and do, one day isn’t going to do the trick.
Located in Dubai and situated in front of the stunning Burj Al Arab Jumeirah, Wild Wadi offers 30 rides and attractions for the whole family. Wild Wadi is themed around the tale of Juha, a character from the Arabian folklore.
This beautifully themed water park is one of the largest water parks in the Middle East and offers so many different ways to explore, what with the wave pool, water slides, surfing machines, restaurants and gift shops.
Step into a world of ongoing thrills and entertainment with this amazing theme park. Dubai Parks & Resorts offers an endless array of delicious shopping and dining outlets. In between you’ll be blown away by Motiongate and the block-buster movie-inspired rides. There’s also Legoland that will have your kids quiet for hours. Spread over 25 million square feet and featuring no less than 100 rides and attractions, this is one place you don’t want to miss.
This most amazing garden is found right inside the Dubai Miracle Garden and is the world’s biggest garden for butterflies.
There are so many varieties in different sizes and colors flitting around. You’ll be able to see how these exquisite winged creatures emerge from an ugly looking caterpillar into the exquisite winged creatures that they are.
When you hear desert safari it doesn’t only mean enthralling 4×4 wheel drive – or quad bike safaris to do some dune bashing although that is available to you if you like. Desert safaris can also mean camel rides into the desert to watch a beautiful sunset.
These safaris are highly recommended and of course, whatever desert safari you opt for, there are amazing photographic opportunities as well as other highlights such as dinner in the desert and sand boarding.
This is a top cultural venue on the Dubai waterfront and is made up of an underground part that caters for most of the activities. There are permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, an education center, restaurants, cafes and a massive library. The permanent exhibition is split into 8 thematic sections that focuses on the history of the emirates.
Sheer luxury is what the world’s largest waterfront development is about. Dubai Marina is known for The Beach at JBR, its craft markets, waterside promenade and the Dubai Marina Walk which offers shoppers all the luxury brands they could want. If you love shopping, this is one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai as you can even go on a yacht cruise on the man-made marina. There are always a host of thrilling watersports to indulge in.
There is so much here that it is described as a city-within-a-city with its carefree, cosmopolitan atmosphere. The Dubai Marine is looked upon as offering the most sought-after lifestyles in the world.
As you can see, Dubai incorporates water into much of their entertainment, and the Dubai Fountain is a mesmerizing water-, music and light spectacle. It is also the world’s tallest performing fountain, at 900 ft and on Burj Lake.
Highly entertaining and soothing, the fountain performs to different melodies. It is mind-boggling to discover that there are about 6,600 WET Superlights as well as 25 color projectors in action to create this fantastic visual spectrum.
This man-made island is astounding and from the air the archipelago resembles a palm tree in a circle. There are many glitzy hotels that line the trunk of the palm tree. It is believed to be one of the world’s most daring developments, and of course Palm Jumeirah is the place to be for vacationers as it juts into the Arabian Gulf, offering many water parks, wildlife opportunities, restaurants and everything holidaymakers love.
This is a luxury hotel resort found at the apex of the Palm Jumeirah and themed on the myth of Atlantis. Apart from being a nautical themed resort, it has its wonderful Aquaventure water park as well as the Lost Chambers Aquarium. The resort is packed with adventurous opportunities for everyone and then of course there are its award-winning restaurants as well.
Hatta is a great place to visit for thrill-seekers in the Hajar Mountains, and the magnificent village should be one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai for you. Not only does it have an ancient heritage, you can arrange a 4×4 vehicle and enjoy the landscape. There are a host of awesome outdoor activities to take part in too from kayaking on Hatta Dam to enjoying a thrilling mountain safari, In fact, in Winter Hatta becomes a sought-after destination for hiking, kayaking and other adventure sports.
We’ve all learned about the exciting spice trade in history and when you visit the gold and spice souks in Dubai you get a sense of what trading was like back them. The Gold Souk on Dubai Creek’s south bank in the Deira is guaranteed to be a dazzling experience, what with all those rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets gleaming from the more than 300 retailers.
On the other side of the creek is the delightful Spice Souk, where you can invest in ginger, saffron, cinnamon – you name it. If you opt not to buy, it doesn’t matter because these souks are an awesome cultural experience.
If you want to detox from the world as we know it – all the people and overcrowding, the noise and the pollution, escape into the peace and quiet of The Green Planet. In the modern 21st century, this is one of the top tourist attractions in Dubai and its wheelchair accessible. It recreates the peaceful world of a tropical forest with more than 3,000 plants and animals. The bio-dome allows you to explore the wonderful world of flora and fauna with an immersive expedition into the tropics.
For many, a holiday isn’t complete without a round of golf, and the Jumeirah Emirates Towers, a super-luxury hotel with every facility you can imagine on Sheikh Zayed Road, has also got golf for you – a 36-hole golf course with clubhouse and facilities. Of course, the exquisite course has hosted many top golfing events.
La Mer is Dubai’s famous beachfront playground in the Jumeirah area, providing visitors with spectacular views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai city skyline. Apart from the beautiful beach, there are wooden walkways and exquisite palm tree boulevards and promenades with plenty of restaurants and cafes to enhance your time.
Half the fun is the waterpark on the beachfront which is known as the Laguna Waterpark, offering hours of fun for kids and adults.
Saeed Al Maktoum House
It’s always interesting to see where rulers of a land live, and Saeed Al Maktoum House is an historic building and at one time the residential quarters of a former ruler of Dubai. Found along the Dubai Creek, it was built in about 1896 and the museum today has many fascinating artifacts of the old town of Dubai.
Kite Beach is a popular outdoor area with wonderful open stretches of white sand. There are always lots of sporting events happening on the beach and when you’re not watching all kinds and shapes of kites being flown, you can wander around the many shops and markets. In fact, don’t let the name of the beach mislead you as apart from the awesome kite flying, there are plenty of other activities happening for adrenaline junkies.
This wonderful family outing is open every day of the week, except Sundays. The facility is air-conditioned for comfort and you’ll find 6 famous bottlenose dolphins at the dolphinarium as well as fur seals and lots of parrots.You can be amazed at the cleverness of the marine animals with the Dolphin and Seal Show and there’s a chance to meet and greet with the dolphins.
This artificial canal is a 3.2km long waterway to the Arabian Gulf from the Creek in Old Dubai through Business Bay. This is no ordinary canal and it even cuts through the Sheikh Zayed Road, across Safa Park and into the residential Jumeirah district. There is also a mechanical waterfall as well as a number of pedestrian bridges and plenty of public space and facilities for walking, jogging and cycling.
With its own 2km private beach, Madinat Jumeirah is described as a mini-city in Dubai with 3 grand hotels and some traditional summerhouses, homes and villas. You’ll find more than 50 restaurants and nightspots to satisfy all tastes.
There is also a river system with abra boats and the boat will even stop at the Madinat Jumeirah’s own souk. As a guest you will have access to spas and gyms at the resort, the largest in the Emirate and spreading over 40 hectares of gardens.
This pedestrianized district has many eating and shopping areas and has seen quite a bit of expansion over the years. What is fascinating about the walk, is that you’ll find that some of the world’s most famous urban artists were given free rein to splash their artwork onto the walls of City Walk. It will provide you with plenty to look at. With wide boulevards and bright lights, the walk is split into fascinating districts, providing plenty to see and do.
New Tourist Attractions in Dubai
Dubai knows that their artificial islands are a huge drawcard and Bluewaters Island off Jumeirah Beach only opened in November 2018. With lots of shops, hotels with beach access and other forms of entertainment such as its ferris wheel and high roller, it is believed that it will draw more than 3 million visitors each year
A world of experiences await at Expo 2020 and you’ll be able to ‘visit’ all your favorite countries and get the feel that you have actually been there. Expo 2020 is also important with its efforts to preserve the planet. You’ll also be able to see the expo from a rotating tower. Its the first World Expo to be hosted in the Middle East and will attract millions of visits.
This is actually the world’s biggest observation wheel at the Expo 2020 in Dubai. Visitors will be able to get a bird’s eye view of Dubai from the wheel’s 250m height. The massive ferris wheel will accommodate 1,900 passengers at a time.
Escape the city and into the 64-hectare Quranic Park where visitors will get an insight into certain areas of the Holy Quran. The park is in Al Khawaneej and provides visitors with a good understanding of the Islamic heritage. It may sound boring but it is also a fun place for children to visit. There is the Glass House which houses different plants such as the olive- and fig trees as mentioned in the Quran.
Mohammed bin Rashid Library
To encourage the love of reading, the idea of the library came into being in 2016, the ‘year of reading’ in Dubai. The design of the Mohammed bin Rashid Library has been inspired by the shape of a Turkish lectern and the library features a children’s library, exhibition spaces, conference center, a bookshop, business library as well as training halls. The library will have modern technology for scientific research.
Waxworks are amazing and seriously look like the real thing, and it’s why Madame Tussauds is a must venue to visit. The museum in Bluewater Island only opens in 2020 where you’ll get to see life-like wax exhibits of celebrities such as all your favorite film stars, President Trump, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and countless others.
Museum of the Future
This brand new Museum of the Future is still being completed in Dubai, but it will be a showplace for a new era – a look at how the world will be in the future. Parts of it have been completed and its framework of 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members, was completed last year in November. The shape of the museums’s structure will represent the knowledge that we have today at our disposal and which will help us into the future.
Dubai International Airport doesn’ stop bringing in passengers and it’s no surprise it was ranked the busiest airport in the world. There is just no end to the spectacular sights and events Dubai has lined up for its locals and visitors. Once you have been there you will fully understand that the hype around Dubai and its offerings is fully justified.
Dubai is a UAE city jam-packed full of awe-inspiring sights and countless attractions where there is never a yawn or groan of discontent to be heard.