25 best places to visit in Dubai

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You are standing in the center of Dubai: a warm wind is blowing in your face from the Rub al-Khali desert, skyscrapers hang from all sides, behind which you can’t see clouds, somewhere there are sandy beaches and waves of the Persian Gulf, observation platforms where you can find yourself on top of the world, shopping malls that sell anything, parks with marvelous flowers and zoos with exotic animals.

Where to go, what to see, and where to look for it? We tell you where to walk in Dubai and how not to miss anything interesting.


Downtown Dubai

All the highest skyscrapers, as well as popular hotels and restaurants, are located in the center of Dubai. It is also called Downtown Dubai. Here you will see the world's tallest tower Burj Khalifa, go up to the observation deck on the 148th floor, drink coffee at the At.mosphere cafe on the 123rd floor, go shopping at the Dubai Mall, and finish the day with a spectacular musical fountain show.

Most sightseeing tours of the city capture the Downtown area, so choose any and make your acquaintance with the city unforgettable.

Burj Khalifa tower, observation deck, and At.mosphere restaurant

Burj Khalifa

Author: @waelhneinii on Instagram

The height of the tower is 828 meters and so far it is the tallest building in the world. Residents of the Emirates do not want anyone to break this record, so they decided to break it themselves and in the neighboring area, they build another tallest building in the world.

You can look at the Burj Khalifa tower from the side, or you can climb to the observation deck, which is located on the 148th floor. From there you will enjoy a view of the entire city, the Persian Gulf, and the desert. By the way, a Desert Safari is another must-see on your trip to Dubai.

A visit to the observation deck costs from $56,5.

You can buy a ticket online or at the box office. And you can join one of the city tours tour, which includes enjoying the Dubai view from the top of the tower. Then the guide will tell you more about everything you will see from above.

Another gourmet option to enjoy the scenery is to go to the At.mosphere restaurant, which is located on the 123rd floor of the tower. Through the panoramic windows, you can see the city, which is especially beautiful at night. If you want to collect the whole kaleidoscope of impressions, go up to the observation deck at sunset, at the same time watch the fountain show, which is arranged at the foot of the tower every day from 18.00 to 23.00. Then go down to the restaurant, order drinks, and admire the lights of the night city.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall

Author: Dovlet Hoyaev on Unsplash

One of the largest shopping centers in the world is located a few steps from the Burj Khalifa. People come here not only and not so much for shopping, but also for impressions. Here you will find 1,200 stores, a wide selection of luxury brands, a legendary fountain decorated with sculptures of pearl divers, many original installations, a multi-tiered aquarium with rare fish, an Olympic-sized skating rink, dozens of attractions for adults and children, a spacious food court with cuisines from all over the world and that's not all.

It’s hard to leave this place without a dozen bags full of purchases and souvenirs, but even if you don’t like shopping, use an opportunity to understand how the perfect mall looks like.

Dubai aquarium

Dubai aquarium

Author: Moon on Unsplash

Without leaving the Dubai Mall, you can visit another popular attraction - the Dubai Aquarium. In a pool as high as a three-story house, 33,000 fish and other marine life live. The main attraction is the tunnel, where schools of fish and even sharks gracefully swim above your head. For an additional fee, you can rent a wetsuit and swim with the sharks. And if you don’t want to get into the water, swim in a special boat with a transparent bottom, looking at the aquarium inhabitants.

Aquarium tickets start at $39 and can be purchased at the box office or you may buy it online.

Dubai Musical Fountain

Musical fountain Dubai

Author: Philipp Katzenberger on Unsplash

While Dubai Mall is a perfect place to visit during the hot day, music fountains are a perfect attraction to visit at night. They stand right at the entrance to the Dubai Mall and surprise the guests of the city with 150-meter jets and thousands of multi-colored spotlights and all this, of course, with musical accompaniment.

Performances are held every day from 18.00 to 23.00. They can be observed from the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa tower, and also from the second floor of the Dubai Mall. Note, that the view is just perfect from the balcony of the Apple store.

Best city tours in Dubai

Green Planet Zoo

Green planet zoo

Author: Erik-Jan Leusink on Unsplash

Dubai is a city of unusual sights. How about an indoor greenhouse zoo?

Green Planet Zoo is located in the City Walk area, 3 km from Dubai Downtown.

This is a modern building outside, and a tropical garden inhabited by amazing animals and birds inside.

The walk through the zoo starts from the top floor and descends around the spreading tree that grows in the center of the building. Birds chirp above your head, sloths sleep peacefully in the branches of this fairy tree, curious lemurs stare at visitors with their big eyes, iguanas blend into the foliage so you don't notice them, bats slumber in caves waiting for the night, fish splash in lakes, and monkeys jump over vines.

The climate of the Amazon is recreated in the building, which means that all animals feel as comfortable as possible.

Most animals can be seen up close, except for snakes and other dangerous greenhouse inhabitants that live in cages.

The ticket costs $40 and can be purchased at the box office or you may buy it online.

Dubai Marina and The Walk Promenade

The Walk

Author: Andreas M on Unsplash

One of the best ideas on how to spend an evening in Dubai is to walk along The Walk, located in the trendy Jumeirah Beach Residence and Dubai Marina.

The Walk is 7 kilometers of sandy beaches, marinas with yachts, stylish restaurants with high prices and exquisite service, cozy cafes with outdoor verandas where you can sit, sip a cocktail and look at the night lights, people passing by, and skyscrapers, which reflect the blue sky and the waves of the Persian Gulf.

In the morning, people come to the promenade for a run, at lunchtime it is filled with people in beach dresses, and in the evening it turns into a luxurious promenade.

Popular entertainment among city guests is dinner on a traditional Arab ship called a dhow or abra. Dubai Marina Yacht Tour with Breakfast costs $52 and Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise with Live Music costs $43.

If you want to live near the beach and promenade, choose one of the hotels in the Dubai Marina area.

The budget Rove Dubai Marina offers spacious rooms with city views.

The 5-star Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina offers comfortable rooms with city and bay views and is situated a short walk from the waterfront.

The luxurious DoubleTree by Hilton Dubai Jumeirah Beach stands right on the beach.

The five-star Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach stands in the first line, and the promenade and shopping center are within walking distance. Sofitel offers stylish rooms with sea and city views, a caring staff, several restaurants, a fitness center, and a swimming pool with a spacious sun terrace.

The best tours in Dubai Marina

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah

Author: Aheilner / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

One of Dubai's most famous attractions is the artificial island of Palm Jumeirah. The island has the form of a palm tree.

The island was built in 2006 and since then, new hotels, restaurants, and entertainment have appeared on it every year. If you are looking for a place where you can spend time on a secluded beach with access to the open sea and quality service, Palm Jumeirah is at your service.

It is easy to find a hotel here for every taste, and the price.

The 5-star Andaz by Hyatt offers stylish apartments, a private beach, two pools, and several restaurants.

The five-star W Dubai The Palm offers spacious rooms with sea views, multiple pools with green sunbathing terraces, and high-class service.

The five-star Sofitel The Palm is designed in a Polynesian style and immerses you in a relaxing resort atmosphere.

The four-star The Retreat Palm Dubai MGallery by Sofitel is a great budget option. Here you will find modern rooms, a beach right under the balcony, a wellness center, and caring staff.

Aquaventure Waterpark


Author: Drew Daw

Dubai is exactly the place where you need to go to the waterpark. One of the best water parks in the city is located just on the Palm Jumeirah.

Aquaventure Waterpark is owned by Atlantis the Palm. If you live in a hotel, then you can relax, because the waterpark is a couple of minutes walk from your room and you can visit it for free.

But even if you live in another hotel, the waterpark is worth coming here for a day. Aquaventure is 25 slides from children's to extreme, 11 pools, including wave pools, an artificial river that runs through the entire waterpark, a luxurious sandy beach with fine white sand, several cafes and bars, and excellent infrastructure.

The entrance ticket costs about $82 for adults and $65 for children under 120 cm tall. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or you can buy them online.

The best Palm Jumeirah tours 


Legoland Dubai

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The Dubai version of Disneyland is called Legoland. This is a large entertainment complex, which is located near the Palm Jebel Ali and 33 km from the Palm Jumeirah.

Legoland is divided into two parts - the Legoland and the Legoland Waterpark.

The parks have attractions for children of any age from two years old, and some will also be interesting for adults. You can walk around the miniature lego-city, see the streets and parks, train stations and airports, and even take part in the life of the city as a policeman, firefighter, or, for example, a doctor. You can visit the Lego factory and see how Lego bricks are made. You can look at a model of Dubai made from Lego and thus plan a route around the city.

In addition to attractions, cafes and souvenir shops, shows and concerts, master classes and other entertainment await you.

Admission to Legoland is $80, and admission to Legoland Waterpark is also $80.

Tickets can be purchased at the box office or you may buy them online.



Author: Matteo Stroppaghetti

Another large amusement park is called Motiongate. It is located not far from another artificial island, Palm Jebel Ali.

This park is dedicated to Hollywood and is divided into five zones: Dreamworks, Lionsgate, Columbia Pictures, Smurfs Village, and Studio Central. In the park, you will find attractions designed in the style of your favorite Hollywood films and cartoons, themed cafes and restaurants, souvenir shops, and pavilions dedicated to film production. Cartoon characters and movie heroes walk around the park, so if you have been dreaming to make a photo with Superman, most likely you will be able to do it finally.

For the youngest visitors, professional animators work in the park, and older children and adults will like extreme and not very rides.

The cost of visiting the park is $80. Tickets can be bought at the box office or online.

Often on the Internet, you can find advice to visit Legoland and Motiongate in one day. In practice, this is difficult to do. The parks are very different, in each park, there are a lot of entertainment and places for fun.

Burj Al Arab Hotel

Burj al Arab

Author: Christoph Schulz on Unsplash

Burj Al Arab hotel may well be considered a symbol of Dubai and the whole country. For many years Burj Al Arab has been the tallest and one of the most expensive in the world. Now you may find more hotels with higher prices, but still, Burj Al Arab is the world standard of luxury.

The building stands in the sea on an artificial island. The shape of the hotel is reminiscent of the sail of the traditional Arabian dhow boat used for centuries by local fishermen to fish and pearl.

There is a beach nearby, which guests of the hotel get on a suspension glass bridge. Behind it are several more beaches, such as Kite Beach, which offers stunning views of Burj Al Arab.

If you want to relax by the sea and take great pictures, come here at sunset. And if you want to walk around the hotel, go to one of the bars or restaurants, for example, Skyview Bar, which is located on the 27th floor at an altitude of 200 m above sea level. Please notice, that if you do not have a room booked, you will only be allowed into the lobby, but this is enough to get an idea of the Arabian sense of beauty.

A double room starts at $1,300 per night and includes free access to Wild Wadi Water Park, located nearby.

The best tours to Burj Al Arab

La Mer Beach

La Mer beach

Author: Tim Gouw on Unsplash

La Mer is both a stylish beach and a public space. Here you can sunbathe and splash in the waves, or you can relax in a cafe or bar, spend time with friends, or a book.

The beach is located in the Jumeirah area, 7 km from Downtown Dubai.

On La Mer beach, you can rent a sun lounger and an umbrella (about $ 30 per set per day), use a shower, toilet, and changing cabins, walk to the sea along neat wooden paths, relax in a cafe or restaurant. Children's playgrounds are open for children, and adults can rent equipment for a beach holiday - ride a water ski, scooter, or SUP board.

The beach is free and is the perfect place to meet the sunrise or watch the sunset sitting on the soft sand or comfortable sun lounger, listening to the sound of the waves and seagulls.

There are several hotels near the beach where you can stay if you like the proximity of the beach and the city center.

The budget Tea House by the Beach offers bright rooms with comfortable beds, all the necessary infrastructure such as cafes, shops, and supermarkets, and two beaches within walking distance.

The five-star Mandarin Oriental Jumeira is the pearl of all of Dubai. Here you will find elegant rooms with panoramic windows overlooking skyscrapers and beaches, restaurants, swimming pools with spacious sun terraces, a spa center, and professional concierge service.

Jumeirah Mosque

The strict and restrained Jumeirah Mosque stands out beautifully against the blue sky during the day, and at night it immerses you in an oriental fairy tale, illuminated by spotlights.

The mosque is located 2 km from La Mer beach, so if you are relaxing in this area, do not pass by.

The Jumeirah Mosque houses the Center for International Communication, which means that tourists can go there, but only as part of an excursion. The tour takes place every day except Friday at 10.00 and 14.00, it is better to come half an hour before the tour. As in any other religious building, at the entrance to the mosque, you must follow the dress code - cover your shoulders, arms, and knees. The cost of the tour includes coffee and oriental sweets.

Dubai Frame

Dubai FrameAuthor: Shreyas Gupta on Unsplash

6 km from the Jumeirah Mosque and La Mer Beach, there is another attraction - the Dubai Frame tower and observation deck.

Everyone is used to the fact that the best place to contemplate Dubai from above is the Burj Khalifa tower. But there is an alternative, such as Dubai Frame. This building is considered to be one of the architectural marvels of the city. The 150-meter golden skyscraper has the shape of a frame and this frame can be seen from almost anywhere in Dubai.

The Dubai History Museum is located on the ground floor, and then you will be shown and told how the city plans to be in the future. And despite the futuristic nature of the picture, the plans seem quite feasible. A high-speed elevator will take you to the 48th floor, which is a glass bridge with a transparent floor. Through the floor, you can see Zabeel Park, in the middle of which stands the Dubai Frame skyscraper, and through the glass walls, you can enjoy a wonderful view of the city, the bay, and the surrounding area. The view is best at sunset when the city turns a one-off lilac and the golden sun reflects off the skyscrapers.

Admission is $18. You may buy tickets at the box office or online.

The best Dubai tours

Dubai Miracle Garden

A Garden of Eden in the middle of the desert seems like an impossible luxury, but anything is possible in Dubai.

With 50 million flowers and 250 million plants, the Wonder Garden is the largest in the world. Here you will feel like in a wonderful fairy tale or the best and most fragrant dream.

The Miracle Garden is open from October to April. 

The complex ticket to Miracle Garden and Butterfly Garden costs $28, admission is free for children under 2 years old.

Dubai Butterfly Garden

When it seems to you that this is just some kind of miracle and this cannot be, remember that next to the Garden of Flowers is the Butterfly Garden, in which 15 thousand butterflies live. While walking in the garden, you can cool off by the fountain, listen to the birds singing, dine in an exquisite cafe, enjoying the scent of flowers, in general, this is an ideal place to dream and understand that dreams become reality.

The Butterfly Garden is open all year round.

The complex ticket to Miracle Garden and Butterfly Garden costs $28, admission is free for children under 2 years old.

Gold Market

Gold market Dubai

Author: Felipe Pelaqium on Unsplash

Trade is a traditional Arab art. And you can enjoy it at the local bazaars, which are called souks. The bazaars sell everything from spices to furniture, but if you want to plunge into the world of trade with your head, go to the bazaars where they sell gold.

The largest gold market is located in the Deira region. This is the perfect place if you're looking for decoration, but even if you don't need anything, stop by anyway.

The main rule of the bazaar is to always bargain. The price can be reduced by two or three times.

Spice Market

Spice market Dubai

Author: Andrea Leon on Unsplash

Next to the Gold Souk is the spice market, and a little further the textile market, so you can stretch the study of Arab trade for the whole day. You can literally find the market by smell - the aromas of cinnamon, saffron, and cardamom are soaring around. By the way, spices are a great souvenir. It is unlikely that anyone will refuse a fragrant bag. In addition to spices, they sell vegetables and fruits, sweets, and prepare tasty aromatic coffee.

Once you've explored the range and taken hundreds of photos, take a walk along Dubai Creek - watch how the architecture changes, how skyscrapers turn into low-rise buildings and listen to what the fishermen are talking about and how the locals dress. And then get on the boat and for a dollar swim across to the other side of the canal, where you can walk through the Al Fahidi Historic District.

The best Dubai tours

Al Fahidi Historic District

Al Fahidi

Author: أمين علوان / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

The banks of Dubai Creek are full of historical districts, so if you want to see something other than skyscrapers and record-breaking buildings, don't bypass this part of the city.

In Al Fahidi you can see what Dubai was like a hundred years ago. Here you will find two-story houses made of light stone, stylized hotels and cafes, shops where you can buy a silk scarf, embroidered slippers, or a traditional outfit. People in Arabic clothes walk along the streets, calls to prayer are periodically heard, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee comes from the cafe and the speed of life here is completely different than in downtown.

In the evening, lights are lit on the streets, the atmosphere becomes even more romantic, and from the side of the bay, fresh wind pleasantly blows. You can walk along the promenade, try local cuisine in one of the restaurants or take a boat ride on the bay.

Al Seef Historic District

Another historical area is located a few kilometers from the Al Fahidi area. It is also situated on the bank of the canal.

Here you will see traditional architecture - residential buildings, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants, and historical museums. And even if you look very carefully, you still won’t guess that this entire area was built from scratch a couple of years ago. The fact is that Arabs built their houses from clay, and this material is very short-lived, so very few original structures have survived in the country. But the historic districts are recreated very accurately and with great love for details, so there is absolutely no feeling of a “remake”, everything looks very authentic and colorful.

Al Shindagha Historic DistrictAl Shindagha Dubai

Автор: Iwona Rege / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)

To complete the picture, take a look at the Shindaga district. All historical districts are located on the same side of the canal, not far from each other. You can get there by metro or bus, or you can sail by boat from the Dubai Marina. Then you will start your journey from the world of skyscrapers and ultra-modern cars, and end up in an Arabian fairy tale with low houses, wooden piers, and old boats that have been floating along the canal for more than a dozen years.

In Shindagha, you can look into the palace of Sheikh Al Maktoum, get lost in the narrow streets, drink coffee in Bedouin tents, try local donuts with date syrup, and drink the tenth cup of coffee, because it is so tasty and so different here. At the end of the walk, you need to go to the Dubai Heritage Village, which will definitely become a cherry on the historical cake.

The Dubai Heritage Village

The Dubai Ethnographic Museum is located in the historical district of Shindagha and has the name Diving Village. The fact is that before oil was found in the UAE in the 60s, most of the population was very poor. The main occupation of the locals was fishing and pearl diving. It sounds nice, but in fact, this occupation was very dangerous, because a long stay underwater was very harmful to health. Many fishermen became deaf or blind, the water corroded the mucous membranes and even the skin, but there was no other work, so people were forced to do such a dangerous business. Now prosperity has come to the country, but the Arabs remember their roots. Therefore, in many cities, there are ethnographic villages where they talk about how people lived 50-60 years ago.

In the museum, you can see the traditional Arab life - low buildings made of light clay, dishes, outfits, tools, and several types of boats: abra, dhow and other wooden boats. At the entrance, there are souvenir shops where you will find a lot of interesting things at a reasonable price, and a little further you can drink delicious coffee with a traditional bite of dates.

Entrance to the museum is free.

After a tour of the museum, you can go to the trendy Dubai Marina, order a Dubai Marina Romantic Cruise Dinner for $37 per person and enjoy at the prosperity of Dubai.

The best Dubai tours

Global Village

Global Village Dubai

Author: Black Zero on Flickr CC BY 2.0

Finally, we talk about another unusual place in Dubai, where not everyone has been, but everyone should visit.

The Global Village is a gastronomic club, an entertainment center, and a marketplace all into one. All this is well mixed, seasoned with light and musical performances, concerts, competitions, and master classes.

The main idea of ​​the Global Village is to unite different cultures under one roof and allow people to see all the brightest and most interesting things that different countries have in one place. There are 27 pavilions in the Village, which means that 27 countries are talking about themselves. The pavilions are decorated in a style characteristic of the country, and inside you can taste local cuisine, buy traditional souvenirs, and learn local crafts.

In addition, in the Global Village, you can ride rides, go boating on an artificial river and see the Village from the water, enjoy fireworks and meet people from all over the world.

The entrance ticket costs $4-5, food, attractions, and souvenirs are paid separately.
The village is usually open from October to April every day from 16.00 to midnight.

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