7 Fun Things to Do in Dubai

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab

7 Fun Things to Do in Dubai

Dubai is the United Arab Emirates' vacation hot spot. This city of high-rises and shopping malls has transformed itself from a desert outpost to a destination du-jour, where people flock for to find bargains, experience the sunshine and enjoy time with the family. Dubai is famous for sightseeing attractions such as the Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest building) and shopping malls that come complete with mammoth aquariums and indoor ski slopes.

But this city has many cultural highlights as well as all the glamorous modern add-ons. Take a wander around the Bastakia district and you'll discover the Dubai of old, then cruise along Dubai Creek in a traditional dhow and you'll soon realize there's more to this city than its flashy veneer.

Dubai's landmark building is the Burj Khalifa, which at 829.8 m is the tallest building in the world. For most visitors a trip to the observation deck on the 124th floor is a must-do while in the city. The views across the city skyline from this bird's-eye perspective are simply staggering.

Listed below are some of the fun things to do in Dubai.

  1. Dubai Museum

    Dubai's excellent museum is housed in the Al-Fahidi Fort, built in 1787 to defend Dubai Creek. The fort's walls are built out of traditional coral-blocks and held together with lime.

  2. Bastakiya, Dubai

    The historic Bastakiya alongside Dubai Creek is Dubai’s Bohemian quarter, with some wonderful cafés, and eclectic art galleries. It’s particularly pleasant during the evening when the mosques sound their call to prayer.

  3. Souk Shopping

    Go haggling in Dubai's famous souks, magnets for those in search of gold and jewellery bargains, and also for photographers or those who just want to experience the sights, smells and hubbub.

  4. Burj Al Arab

    Overlooking the Persian Gulf from its perch between Jumeirah Beach and the Palm Islands, this stunning building has wowed architecture buffs since it opened in 1999. Its curved glass façade—meant to mimic the sails of the traditional abras that clutter Dubai Creek—shelters a world-class, ultra-luxurious hotel and several restaurants.

  5. Beaches

    If you’re looking for long, empty stretches of sand, with only the quiet lapping of waves for company, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place. Dubai’s beaches are buzzing, all-action hotspots during peak season, crowded with people playing beach games, picnicking, jet-skiing, jogging, swimming in the warm Gulf waters or lying oil-slicked in the sun, determinedly topping up their tans.

  6. Desert Driving

    Off-road driving in the desert is excellent for thrillseekers. Vehicles are available for hire either with or without guides at nearly every hotel. Adventurous travellers can view the dunes by air, in a hot air balloon.

  7. Dhow Cruise

    Take a traditional dhow cruise from the Abu Dhabi or Dubai Creek marina, or book a fully-equipped boat for deep-sea fishing trips. Alternatively, catch a traditional spluttering abra (small boat) along Dubai Creek for only a few dirhams each way. Yacht trips are also available from the Dubai Marine Yacht Club.

Interested in more information about traveling to Dubai?