Dubai was once nothing more than a place with sand blowing in the desert.
Today, it is a dazzling cosmopolitan centre and the world’s fastest growing city. If you are lucky enough to visit this marvelous city, ensure you take advantage of their state-of-the-art transport system and futuristic buildings. This all year-round destination offers a warm climate almost any time. Let’s take a look at the places to visit in Dubai and reasons why it should be on your bucket list.
Some Insight on Dubai:
Dubai is a multicultural city with more than 200 different nationalities calling it home. This tremendous diversity demonstrates a rich Arabian hospitality which is welcoming to all cultures and beliefs.
If you’re travelling to this region for business, professionals of the opposite sex won’t greet you with a handshake. However, if you want to vacation here, ensure you respect the dress code by only leaving a minimum amount of skin on show. This Muslim country takes their dress code seriously.
Ensure that you watch out for signs and announcements whilst you’re out and about. It’s not acceptable to violate the laws or beliefs behind them, and they won’t let you off lightly. With that being said, Dubai is certainly not a daunting place. It’s filled with beautiful, modern technology and stunning architecture everywhere you turn.
Places to Visit In Dubai for a Memorable Trip
Here are our favourite places to visit in Dubai. With a rich history and culture, you won't be short on places to visit in Dubai. Be sure to hit these great spots:
1. Burj Khalifa
When planning places to visit in Dubai, the Burj Khalifa should definitely be at the top of that list. Dubai’s landmark building is 829.8 meters – making it the tallest building in the world, and the city’s most famous attraction.
Once you’re inside, take a trip to the 124th floor to the observation desk for amazing views of the skyline. This is one of the greatest heights to look at Dubai. Observe the staggering bird’s-eye perspective of the city. The main highlights of this view are seeing The Dubai Fountain and a sunset over the city.
The skyscraper also has a gym and spa to keep you fit and rejuvenated on vacation. At the Burj Club gym, you’ll experience state-of-the art equipment and have beautiful views of the fountains. Its Manhattan-vibe also offers plush sun beds.
Aside from being the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest free-standing structure, which previously was Toronto’s CN Tower. It’s located in Downtown Dubai which is described as ‘The Centre of Now’. This particular area cost $20 billion to develop with commercial, shopping, residential, hotel and entertainment components. The area is appealing for visitors and residents, thanks to its tranquil surroundings, thus making it one of the best places to visit in Dubai.
2. Dubai Mall
The Dubai Mall is located in Downtown Dubai and is the world’s largest, most-visited retail destination and one of the must-see places to visit in Dubai. Every year, 80 million visitors from around the globe visit here to explore the 3.77 million square feet of luxury stores. It’s a shopping mall like no other in the world.
There’s a wide range of entertainment, leisure attractions, and designer shopping. Its open-air street-scape makes it a favourite amongst visitors, and the village offers a rich collection of outdoor temperament with tree-lined walkways, cafes and restaurants. It also has every brand name shop you could ever want, boutique shops, a huge aquarium, and an ice skating rink.
To explore its enormity, we recommend taking advantage of the perfume stands which hand out free samples of worthy perfumes. Dubai loves perfume, so don’t miss out on some freebies to take home as souvenirs.
The Dubai Mall is infamous for its huge aquarium, which people are in awe of when they see its size face on. Take a picture in front of it and admire the tropical fish inside the tank. Just in front of the aquarium, is the candy shop, which has the world’s largest block of Hershey’s chocolate on sale. Gawk around the shop and enjoy a world of chocolate.
3. Dubai Museum
One of our favourite places to visit in Dubai is its museum. Located across Dubai Creek on the Bur Dubai side, it provides a number of reasons for visitors to spend a day here. Pay attention to its diverse location when you arrive here to make memories before you enter.
The museum is the oldest building in Dubai and one section dates from 1787. Thus, take lots of pictures of the outside of this spectacular building. Once inside, start with the display objects. Be in awe of the traditional dhow and the electric-powered abra which brought you across the Creek. In true Dubai style, the interior is a lot bigger then the exterior suggests. Most tours of the building begin in the basement.
Take advantage of the audio-visual display to learn all about Dubai before the discovery of oil and witness the city’s progression. You’ll be truly amazed at how much it’s advanced. Throughout the museum, there are realistic mannequins to show traditional occupations of Dubai’s residents in the past. There are also recreations of trading establishments, small shops displayed beautifully. The accompaniment of a soundtrack makes it feel like you’re really a part of life in the old Creekside Dubai.
Bastakiya is also referred to as Old Dubai which offers a historic charm completely different to the skyscrapers you’re used to seeing when you first arrive. It’s one of the best places to visit in Dubai for a sense of reality and real Dubai culture.
It takes around seven hours to stroll through Bastakiya’s quarter, but it’s worth every second. Once you arrive, travel into the city’s oldest quarters and hear about Dubai’s roots as a fishing port. Walk past the glittering shops and then reach the nearby Spice Souk which dates from the 19th century. There are so many things to see and learn about Dubai’s history which will amaze you.
Admire the restored wind towers and courtyards, and you won’t believe that this is the same city home to panoramic views and skyscrapers. It’s one of the coolest places to visit Dubai so don’t miss out of visiting the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU). Here, you’ll brush up on your knowledge about Dubai’s culture. It’s also a great place to learn more about the city and meet people who live here. The Centre also offers cultural breakfast and lunches, so you can chat to the locals whilst enjoying some gourmet food.
5. Dubai Creek
Dubai Creek separates the town of Deira in the north to the south town, Bur Dubai. The creek has become an influential part of the city’s growth, with small villages alongside it from over 4,000 years ago.
The best way to explore this part of Dubai is by water, and luckily, Dubai Creek is full of water taxis transporting people around along the banks. They also have Abras, which are small barges powered by diesel engines which seat around 20 people. You can hire one for a private trip.
Dubai Creek is an alternative view of Dubai which people are always amazed at seeing. We recommend setting aside a day to walk and ride about the creek. At the end, explore the Spice souk and Gold souk. Farther up is Creek Park which often has dolphin shows on.
The Dhow Warfage is near Dubai’s Creek which is over 100 years old, but small traders still use it. Dhow workers often allow visitors to have a tour of the vessels and share stories about the life of traditional sailors. This tiny spectrum of Dubai’s traditional economy is a fascinating place to wander and learn about Dubai. Have fun exploring one of the best places to visit in Dubai.
6. Jumeirah Mosque
The Jumeirah Mosque has become one of the most popular places to visit in Dubai. The Mosque is open to the public and they love receiving non-Muslim guests. Go in and enjoy a unique opportunity to learn about the Emirati religion and culture in a relaxed atmosphere.
Before you enter, ensure you take some photos of the outside of the Mosque. The landmark is beautifully lit up against the evening sky. But if you don’t have a reservation to attend, arrive by 9.45am from Saturday to Thursday. Indulge in the tour to learn all about Islam, though ensure you dress modestly. If you need it, you can borrow traditional attire from the mosque. There’s no admission fee to enter, and cameras are welcome, so ensure you take some memorable photos.
Aside from learning about Islam, the mosque offers a cool haven to escape honking cars and the scorching sun. It’s one of the few places to visit in Dubai where you can unwind and relax. Its calm atmosphere allows you to peacefully delve into thought. The roof of the prayer hall was in the hypostyle form where the rood is held up by a multitude of columns.
7. Dubai Aquarium
The Dubai Aquarium is a 10-million litre tank located on the ground level of the Dubai Mall. It’s the largest suspended aquarium in the world and houses thousands of aquatic animals with over 140 species. This includes sharks and rays. The tank measures 51 metres in length by 20 metres in width.
There are a variety of experiences at the Dubai Aquarium, including an underwater zoo, aquarium tunnel, glass bottom boat ride, underwater observatory and more. Visit the second level of the mall for the underwater zoo. Here, you can learn about different kinds of marine animals, including water rats, jelly fish, crocodiles, penguins, sea horses and more. The knowledgeable staff will provide you with information and data on the marine life’s sustainability.
It’s definitely worth experiencing the glass bottom boat ride. Here, you can closely watch your favourite aquatic species inside a glass bottom boat which can seat up to 10 people. The ride lasts around 15 to 20 minutes and is an excellent way to feel like you’re in the ocean whilst being in safe hands. There are also a variety of programs at the aquarium designed to entertain and educate different age groups. This is a great way to make learning fun and also see one of the best places to visit in Dubai.
8. Burj Al-Arab
The Burj Al-Arab is the world’s tallest hotel, rising to 321 metres on its own artificial island on Dubai’s coastline. It’s also one of the most expensive hotels in the world. The most luxurious suites costing over $15,000 for one night. So, if you’re not staying here, what’s there to do at one of the coolest places to visit in Dubai?
The Skyview bar soars at 200 metres above sea level and sits on the 27th floor of the Burj Al-Arab. It’s notorious for its modern-day classic to innovative cocktails with master mixologists who’ll utilize unique ingredients and imaginative methods. When you look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows, you’ll see the glistening lights of Dubai’s skyline.
Enjoy style in the sky at a selection of their world-class restaurants. Explore global cuisines with a combination of flavours and culinary masterpieces you can’t experience anywhere else in the world. The Scape Restaurant and Lounge offers a blend of American, Mediterranean, and Asian flavours at a chic venue.
Or, perhaps you’d like to try Al Muntaha – which is at the top of the world’s most famous hotel. Here, they dish up French cuisine for those who want to taste something a little different. What’s more, is the amazing views of the city and sea whilst having a world-class meal.
What Are Your Favorite Places to Visit in Dubai?
Dubai was once only sand, and the city has long evolved from its Bedouin villages to a land of skyscrapers and luxury automobiles. It’s known for its amazing architecture, so as you’re walking around, ensure you’re aware of the beautiful buildings and have your camera ready. As well as places to visit in Dubai, ensure that you indulge in their culture too. Watch belly dancing, ride camels, and eat an Arabic barbecue.
What are your favourite features about this futuristic city? Let us know in the comments to keep the discussion going.