Things to do in Dubai

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Dubai often gets a bad reputation for lacking culture, but that can be in the eye of the traveler. Remember, this relatively new city (it just celebr... Read More

Dubai often gets a bad reputation for lacking culture, but that can be in the eye of the traveler. Remember, this relatively new city (it just celebrated its 44th birthday in December 2015) is developing with an eager and furious thirst to prove to the world its rich heritage and innovative newness. So when it comes to things to do in Dubai, your itinerary can range from bedouin-style safaris and leisurely strolls through the spice souks to snapping up views of the city from the 125th floor of an ambitious man made marvel known as the Burj Khalifa.

Love it or hate it for its excess, this destination is on a mission to redefine the modern city. When planning what to do in Dubai, you'll find historical sites, ambitious, cloud-scraping architecture, and endless entertainment (shopping, amusement parks, indoor skiing, and more). Many travelers make a beeline for the Dubai Mall, which can feel overwhelming in its vastness. Inside, there's a 22-screen theater, an indoor theme park called Sega World, an enormous play space dubbed Kidzania, a giant Aquarium with an underwater zoo, and a full-sized ice-skating rink. (Tip: You'll be walking for hours, so wear comfortable shoes.) Don't miss the Dubai Fountain, which stages a daily show at 6 p.m. that easily rivals anything the Bellagio in Las Vegas has to offer. Not for the faint of heart, the Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest skyscraper, at 2,625 feet, with the world's highest observation deck on the 124th floor.

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  • Gallery Hop in Al Serkal in Dubai Courtesy of Alserkal Avenue
    Alserkal Avenue

    Discover Dubai's artistic side at Alserkal Avenue, which houses a riot of art galleries and cultural spaces all within 250,000 square feet of each other... Read More

  • At the Top, Burj Khalifa Views in Dubai Courtesy of At the Top, Burj Khalifa
    At the Top - The Burj Khalifa

    The Burj Khalifa is one of the city's most recognizable structures and the tallest building in the world. The 160-story skyscraper rises 2,716.5 feet... Read More

  • Bastakiya Quarter Neighborhood in Dubai Alamy
    Bastakiya

    This historic neighborhood was created in the 19th century by pearl traders from Bastak, Iran. Today, it's a rambling maze of galleries, boutique hotels... Read More

  • Abra boat in Dubai Creek in Dubai Alamy
    Dhow Cruise

    Ride a traditional abra across the historic Dubai Creek starting in Deira and ending in Bur Dubai. If you prefer to splash out, you can charter an abra... Read More

  • Frying Pan Adventure Food Tour in Dubai Courtesy of Frying Pan Adventures
    Frying Pan Adventure Food Tours

    There's a lot more to Dubai than five-star restaurants, so skip those altogether in favor of a Frying Pan Adventure food tour. This popular food crawl... Read More

  • Platinum Movie Suits in Dubai      Courtesy of Reel Cinemas
    Platinum Movie Suites

    To visit Dubai is to acquaint yourself with the notion of VIP—even when you're headed to the movies. Reel Cinemas offers moviegoers the opportunity to... Read More

  • Sharjah Art Foundation in Dubai Plamen Galabov
    Sharjah Art Foundation

    A multi-functional art space composed of oatmeal-colored alleyways that exhibits contemporary works and hosts a variety of cultural programs. Opened in... Read More

  • The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi Alamy
    Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque

    Completed in 2007 after 11 years of construction, the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is among the United Arab Emirate's most impressive and... Read More

  • Skydive Dubai Adventure Max Haim
    Skydive Dubai

    Skydiving has quickly become the favorite pastime of celebrities passing through Dubai (Will Smith, Rita Ora, and Chanel Iman, to name but a few A-list... Read More

  • SUP Paddle Boarding at Kite Beach in Dubai Courtesy of Dukite
    SUP Paddle Boarding at Kite Beach

    Kite Beach is the city's best place to paddleboard—or kitesurf or sail. Join fit expats and young families at this ever-popular public beach, where you... Read More

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