Top 10 Things to Do in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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In Dubai, you don’t run out of fun. Dubai is practically called the #1 destination in the world, and it’s not for nothing.

How many days should I stay in Dubai?

For those visiting Dubai for the first time, you’re going to need more than 7 days. For one, Dubai’s lands are vast and wide, and only some portions of the city are accessible by Dubai metro train. Even then, you’ll need to allot some time for walking or taking transportation like Careem or Uber.

This list is not exhaustive, but the list below gives you top 10 spots that you’re definitely going to want to visit.

Top 10 Things to Do in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

1. Shop at Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall is the largest mall in the world. But it’s not just the prime destination for shoppers. Foodies can rejoice and have a food trip with an array of internationally renowned restaurants like Cheesecake Factory, Markette, Angelina Paris and Hafiz Mustafa 1864. You can check most of those restaurants in my blog here: Top 10 Foods to Eat in Dubai Mall.

At Dubai Mall, you can watch Emaar’s fountain show every evening at 6:00pm. And yes, this is where all the magic of the New Year’s Eve happens.

2. Go up the tallest building in the world: Burj Khalifa

Also in Dubai Mall: the Burj Khalifa. The fountains are the best vantage points for taking photos of the world’s tallest building. If you have extra time, you can go up the elevator and take a panoramic shot of Dubai’s cityline.

3. Go dune bashing at Al Marmoom desert

You don’t come to the Middle East without going on an Arabian Desert Safari. That applies whether you’re in Abu Dhabi or Doha, Qatar. On the way to the Al Marmoom desert, you can even go to the borders of Oman.

For the full Arabian Desert Safari experience, check my blog here.

4. Travel around the world at the Global Village

At Dubai, you can travel the whole world at the Global Village. Catch pavilions selling local delights and products from Russia to Yemen, Egypt and Africa. Check out what you can eat at the Global Village in my blog here.

5. Staycation at the Atlantis at Palm Jumeirah Island

Kaleidescope at Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Dubai 34

Kaleidescope at Atlantis Palm Jumeirah Dubai 34

Nobody goes to Dubai without stopping by (or even staying a night) at The Atlantis. Everyone who loves water sports and rides will enjoy the lost city-themed hotel and recreation park. Just make sure you don’t forget to walk by the beachside and take photos of the Arabian gulf, or indulge in the best buffet in the world at Kaleidoscope.

6. Take a peek at the Old Dubai through the Dubai Frame

The Dubai Frame is known to be the gateway between Old Dubai and modern Dubai. You can take a photo of the Dubai Frame either at the Wings of Mexico statue near the Dubai Mall or at the Zabeel Park. But I personally prefer to ride the Hop On Hop Off bus to save time and to take a proper shot of the Dubai Frame with blooming flowers.

7. Travel back in time and bounce back to the present at the Al Fahidi Historical District

If you had the chance to peek into Old Dubai through the Dubai Frame, you’ll find that much of the action of Old Dubai goes beyond the Gold Souk and Old Souk. Unless you have something to buy from those areas like gold or spices, I would recommend going to the Al Fahidi Historical District instead and discover the history of Dubai in its sands.

Inside Al Fahidi Historical District, Instagrammers will love the Arabian Tea House at the Bastakiya Village.

8. Post the best Instagram photo of the Burj Al Arab at Souq Madinat Jumeirah

You don’t leave Dubai without taking a photo at the Burj Al Arab. And my recommendation is to take a photo of the Burj Al Arab at the Souq Madinat Jumeirah. Find out all the fun at this extremely popular NYE fireworks destination in this blog.

9. Zip into the year 2049 at the Museum of the Future

While we probably had enough of dystopian futures, The Museum of the Future gives you a sneak peek to what Dubai (and the rest of the Middle East) might look like in the future. AI, flying robots, Bladerunner 2049 anyone?

10. Travel to a different planet at the Expo City 2020

This pandemic-stricken global theme park is not on top of everyone’s list. Any remnants of 2020 is bound to turn everyone away. In fact, it’s so huge that it would seem the Expo City is deserted.

But step into the Expo City if you have another day to spare. At the Expo City, Dubai is a completely different planet.

This curved ramp has gone viral on TikTok. This installation is best experienced by walking on pebbled ramps and waiting till the waterfalls wash down on you.

Bonus: Relax and unwind at the Dubai City Walk

Finally, no list of Things to Do is complete without a hangout spot popular for groups of friends, coworkers or family members. The Dubai City Walk is my favorite destination in Dubai. It showcases so many creative installations, including a piano that controls the lights at the square. Have a cup of triple chocolate mocha at Roma’s famous chocolaterie SAID DAL 1923 or a slice of Napoletana at Naples’ most pizza institution L’Antica Da Michele.