From futuristic architecture and deep-seated traditions to stark desert landscapes, the cosmopolitan city of Dubai leaves visitors truly awestruck. Listed as one of Lonely Planet’s top ten cities to visit in 2020, this multi-cultural metropolis is a world leader in innovation and splendour.
Here’s our list of the top things to do in Dubai…
1 – Burj Khalifa
Dominating the city skyline, Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and Dubai’s most famous landmark. Stretching 828 metres high, this 160-storey skyscraper is an unmissable experience. A trip to the world’s highest observation deck on the 124th floor is a superb way to get your bearings. If you fancy a gourmet experience, book afternoon tea at The Lounge, Burj Khalifa, on floors 152, 153 and 154.
2 – The Walk & The Beach at JBR
Part of the Dubai Marina, The Walk and The Beach at JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence) are neighbouring areas at the heart of Dubai’s urban beach district. The Walk is a buzzing boulevard featuring local and international retailers and a number of trendy pop-up markets, while The Beach is a low-rise shopping complex with an assortment of beachside eateries and a waterfront fun zone complete with open-air cinema and a kiddie splash park.
3 – The Dubai Fountain
Set in a giant lake at the entrance to the Dubai Mall, this dancing fountain is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system set against the backdrop of Burj Khalifa. Colourful, illuminated jets of water surge up to 150 metres high, while gracefully swaying to a range of musical numbers, from classical and world music to traditional Arabic tunes. Visit the floating viewing platform for the best views of this free and awe-inspiring water dance.
4 – Dubai Marina
One of the city’s liveliest neighbourhoods, Dubai Marina is the world’s largest manmade marina. Glittering skyscrapers line the canal, which extends from Al Sufouh Road to the base of Palm Jumeirah, while luxury yachts rub shoulders with traditional dhows. Browse designer shops, dine al fresco, explore the waterways on a dhow cruise, or get a view from above on the world’s tallest urban zipline or Dubai Skydive.
5 – Atlantis Aquaventure
Located on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai’s famous manmade island shaped like a palm tree, Atlantis Aquaventure is the city’s top waterpark. Featuring 30 waterslides and attractions, you can ride Aquaconda (the world’s largest tube-waterslide), plunge down a near-vertical nine-storey drop on Leap of Faith, cruise through a clear tube in a shark aquarium, and ride the wild River Rapids, amongst many other watery adventures.
6 – Dubai Desert
With miles of desert less than 20 minutes’ drive from Dubai, it’s little wonder it’s also known as the ‘Desert City’. Ride a 4×4 desert safari around towering sand dunes, get off-road on a quad-bike tour, or go sandboarding down slippery sandy slopes. For a more luxurious experience, opt for a vintage Land Rover safari with Bedouin guides and nocturnal astronomy tours, or go glamping in a desert oasis and enjoy a sunset camel ride over the dunes.
7 – Dubai Mall
If a spot of retail therapy is on your Dubai to-do list, then you can’t afford to miss the Dubai Mall. The world’s largest mall (you’ve probably realised by now that Dubai loves superlatives) offers an almost-unlimited assortment of 1,200+ shops and 150+ restaurants. Similar in size to a small city, it also houses an ice-skating rink, aquarium, indoor theme park, cinema complex, and gaming zone.
8 – Dubai Creek
Dubai may be famous for its glitzy skyscrapers and glamorous lifestyle, but it started life on the banks of a saltwater estuary where the Bani Yas tribe settled and began trading. Known as the Dubai Creek, this body of water separates the districts of Deira and Bur Dubai, and the entire area offers an insight into Dubai’s intriguing past. Cross the Creek in a traditional abra, and explore the winding souks and attractions, including the infamous Gold Souq and Dubai Museum.
9 – Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood
Located in Bur Dubai, Al Fahidi gives you a glimpse of Dubai’s historic past. Formerly known as the Bastakiya Quarter, this beautifully restored district offers a wealth of labyrinthine alleyways to wander through, replete with traditional wind towers (an early form of air-conditioning) and numerous attractions including museums, art galleries, craft shops, and the Sheikh Mohammad Centre for Cultural Understanding, which offer Arabic lessons and guided tours.
10 – Dubai Canal
The city’s newest manmade attraction, the Dubai Canal is a 3.2-kilometre waterway that runs from the Creek, through the business district and into the Arabian Gulf. This environmentally friendly project is both a functional transport system and a stunning spectacle with pedestrian bridges and a mechanical, illuminated waterfall. Travel along the Canal on a dhow or abra, or make use of the running and cycling tracks that fringe the water.
11 – Kite Beach
A pristine stretch of white sand beach off Jumeirah Road, Kite Beach is a vibrant sunshine spot that’s hugely popular with kitesurfers and watersports lovers. It’s also a hip place to hang out with open-air cafes and restaurants, beach volleyball, a skate park, and sublime views of the graceful silhouette of Burj Al Arab, the world’s most luxurious hotel and one of Dubai’s iconic landmarks set on an island just offshore.
12 – Jumeirah Mosque
The only mosque in Dubai open to non-Muslim visitors, the Jumeirah Mosque is also the city’s most beautiful. Crafted from white stone in the medieval Fatimed style, it features twin minarets flanking a graceful central dome. Perhaps most beautiful at dusk when it’s lit by floodlights, it’s worth taking a guided tour to better understand the architecture and intricacies of Islamic religion. Visitors are requested to dress modestly and traditional attire is available.
Also Dubai’s Famous Brunch needs a mention…
Friday brunches are a really popular institution in Dubai, usually running from 12-3pm. Most restaurants offer brunch at a set price for all you can eat and drink – the more expensive ones often include champagne too.
With over 5,000 restaurants, Dubai is a sensational place to dine with a world of flavours and cuisines to explore. The diverse restaurant scene ranges from fine dining establishments to humble seafront shacks, and covers just about every national cuisine you can imagine. Some of our favourites are Pierchic, a romantic seafood restaurant set on a pier, Bait Al Mandi for authentic Arabic cuisine, and 3 Fils for sensational Asian seafood.
If this has whet your appetite for a trip to Dubai, check out our recommended Dubai hotels or contact our experts, who can put together a tailormade itinerary for your dream trip to Dubai.
Why choose eShores?
One to One Service
Our experienced personal travel consultants will ensure you find the most suitable holiday, whilst taking care of every last detail. Everything from start to finish will be effortless.
100% Tailor Made
We can use any hotel, in any destination, so we will craft an itinerary to suit your exact needs. Also, as we can provide any itinerary, the only holiday we'll offer, is the one that's right for you.
Our ATOL bonding provides you with the financial protection you need and as a member of the Travel Trust Association, you'll have 100% financial protection. Covering you for any eventuality.
As a tour operator & travel agent, we'll search the market to ensure that we find you the best price. Also as an online business, we can ensure our prices are as competitive as possible.
Emma's knowledge of destinations and hotels was outstanding. She went above and beyond to find us the perfect itinerary, nothing was too much trouble. Have already recommended both Emma & eShores to everyone I know and will definitely be booking more holidays with Emma in the future.Posted 4 minutes ago
Very organised. Understood our needs and made good suggestions and alternatives to meet our budgetPosted 27 minutes ago
Booked a multi centre holiday with eshores for next year , really good customer service I spoke to Matthew he was fantastic looking forward to this get a way next year ,very helpful and take the stress out of it for you .Posted 55 minutes ago
Very personal approach. Matt who sorted my honeymoon was extremely responsive via email and appeared to get I touch out of conventional office hours too. Highly recommended service!Posted 1 day ago
We have just returned from a multi centre Vietnam trip. What can I say, absolutely fantastic holiday from start to finish. Dave helped us all the way. We had a plan in our head and Dave took time to plan our perfect trip. Communication was great, letting us know promptly of any changes. We would definitely book again and highly recommend to others.Posted 5 days ago
We have recently returned from a multi centre holiday in Thailand. Everything went smoothly as planned, the hotels were all lovely. We would definitely recommend eShores and would book through them in the future. Thanks to Laura who organised the trip for us.Posted 1 month ago
Been using eshore for several years,always come up with requirements we need.Always happy to rearrange. Staff are very knowledgeable and we always use Leanne as our point of contact. Experts for multi centre holidays.Posted 1 month ago
I booked two holidays in 4 months with Dave at eshores. First one a 16 day trip around Vietnam north to south which included numerous flights and taxis. My second holiday was in October traveling around Vietnam again and Cambodia. Every hotel in both countries was spot on, every transfer went smooth with no problems. I'll Definitely use eshores again and thanks to Dave who arranged everything, a fantastic experience 👍👍Posted 1 month ago
Recently booked a four centre holiday to Asia. The process was straightforward and seamless. Rob, the agent who dealt with our requirements was extremely helpful and not pushy. He was very easy to talk with and seemed genuinely interested in our plans. He managed to put together exactly what we wanted and at a great price.Posted 1 month ago
Andy at eshores has been great, he worked hard to meet all our needs and went the extra mile for us! We're looking forward to a great Honeymoon!Posted 1 month ago