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.
Another fantastic trip organised by Andy - we had a wonderful two centre, two week break to Cuba - hotels were perfect, transfers seamless and many amazing memories made.Now to arrange our 2023 trip!Posted 7 hours ago
Always so fantastic with designing our holidays! Very cost effective also and choices always given on flights and hotels! Absolutely nothing is too much trouble whatsoever and they never tire of my questions and odd panic moments. You will never be disappointed with eshores ever - all our trips have been smooth with transfers etc and always great value. I wont use any other agent now, forget the high street just call eshores - I have recommended them to my family and friends over the years and they have been satisfied and delighted with the service also - every agent is great - I mostly use Hannah and Andy . So 100% Satisfied!!Posted 1 day ago
We used eShores for the first time, for a special family trip to SE Asia. Right from the start, the service, help, advice and price we got (from Dave) was fantastic. The holiday itself was amazing, thank you eshores and Dave!Posted 2 days ago
I have used e shores pre-covid and they were and still maintain a high standard of professionalism. Very patient and I would not hesitate to use again. Thank you ChrisPosted 4 days ago
What can I say. We have used Eshores for many years. Right back to when they first started in a spare room. The teams has grown since then. We have always had top class service. Before e-tickets when you had real tickets in a presentation wallet. We had a postal strike in leeds and the tickets were delivered in person, there’s no beating that. We would never trust anyone else with our holiday bookings. I would give ten stars if that was possible.Posted 5 days ago
Chris arranged our travel to meet our requirements fully. Chris was engaging and prompt in responding to changes etc. Even logged in on his day off to save the booking.Posted 5 days ago
Great response, great service! Matt couldn't have been more helpful when we had to change times and dates. Very Happy!Posted 6 days ago
Dave was efficient and responded easily to all requests, Very easy company to deal with. The proof will be whether goes smoothly without hiccups So far i am pleased with E Shore.Posted 1 week ago
I got in touch with eShores to book a holiday to Mauritius for my husband's 50th birthday. I worked with Michelle who was absolutely brilliant and extremely responsive with her interactions. She helped us with booking Zilwa Attitude on an all-inclusive 7-night break, which was brilliant. The entire booking process was seamless with suggestions given by Michelle at every point. I was quite nervous as we hadn't travelled for a while due to the pandemic and also this was a surprise for my husband, so he wasn't involved at all. I was very nervous about not just making it the best travel experience for all of us but also worried about travelling as a whole post pandemic. I was very apprehensive about choosing the right travel agency. Michelle was extremely reassuring and gave me a lot of confidence in the whole process and e shores were absolutely fantastic the whole process. Michelle from eShores will be our regular travel agent going forward for any holidays.. I highly recommend eShores to anyone..!!Posted 1 week ago
EShores have provided a fantastic service from initially discussing our plans, looking at hotel options and booking everything. The customer service provided by Andy was great and I would definitely book again with them. If you want quality service I would recommend eshores.Posted 1 week ago