Dubai is the largest metropolis in the Middle East, the most cosmopolitan city in the UAE, and at the same time a city of miracles that you can finally believe in only by looking at them. You will find attractions located almost at every step, in close proximity to each other.
We will list the most famous and iconic attractions in Dubai, post their photos and descriptions, as well as talk about where to go and what to see when visiting this city.
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1. Skyscraper Burj Khalifa
The skyscraper Burj Khalifa, whose height reaches 828 m, is considered the hallmark of Dubai. This tower, the highest on Earth, is perfectly visible from anywhere in the city. But only from inside is it possible to feel its true grandeur. On the 124th floor of this building, above the clouds, there is an observation deck – on a sunny day, an unbelievably beautiful panorama can be seen from it. On the 122nd floor there is a luxurious restaurant Atmosphere, whose visitors feel like true celestials, having dinner among the clouds. This is only a small highlight of what Burj Khalifa has to offer.
For details on visiting this landmark in Dubai, read our dedicated post.
2. Dancing music fountain
Next to the legendary skyscraper, in the middle of an artificial lake of 12 hectares, there is the highest musical fountain in the world. The jets of water it releases soar up 150 m high.
Water, shimmering with all the colors of the rainbow, usually “dances” to the Arabic melody. Less often, performances also take place with classical music and popular music hits.
Vacationers who want to see this attraction and enjoy the enchanting display can find out the schedule of performances of Dubai fountains by clicking on this link.
3. The Dubai Mall
After exploring the legendary Burj Khalifa Tower and in between music shows, head to the Dubai Mall.
To call a shopping center this huge a commercial and entertainment complex is completely unjustified. Even a whole day will not be enough to visit the numerous boutiques and take part in the plethora of entertainment programs in this complex.
Dubai Mall welcomes visitors with 150 restaurants, an ice skating rink and a large theme park, as well as the most interesting attraction – an aquarium and an underwater zoo. If you are tired of walking to all these sights, you can sleep for several hours in comfortable capsules designed for sleeping in the shopping center.
Of course, the Dubai Mall is better to see on its own, and not as part of an organized tour.
4. Dubai Aquarium
Going to the Dubai Mall with children, you should definitely look into the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. Although they are not too big, there is something to see.
The aquarium is essentially a glass tunnel 10 meters long, passing through which you will involuntarily find yourself in the depths of the ocean. There are many fish of different colors swimming about – the spectacle is truly majestic.
On the second floor, in the aquarium complex, you can see various animals, birds an reptiles such as crocodiles, penguins, hedgehogs, parrots, owls and bats.
5. Hotel Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab is recognized as one of the most significant sights of the emirate of Dubai. The silhouette of the hotel, resembling a huge sail, has become the beacon of Dubai.
Burj Al Arab is known worldwide for its very high level of service. Although officially it has 5 “stars”, it is often called the only hotel on Earth with 7 “stars”.
You can get all you can imagine here – a shuttle to Rolls-Royce, helicopter flights, a luxurious private beach, the best bars and restaurants in the world.
6. Wild Wadi Waterpark
Wild Wadi Water Park offers the best entertainment for those who like extreme adventures. The entertainment complex has 30 magnificent water rides. But even for those who do not want extreme sports, there is something to see and places to walk.
You can go to Wild Wadi water park on your own, moreover, it is much more convenient than as part of the tour.
7. Aquaventure Waterpark
Aquaventure is the most popular attraction in Dubai and the UAE. This huge water park covers an area of 17 hectares and offers a variety of incredible entertainment. There are different types of slides: with extreme sports and without, for visitors of different ages and for different companies.
8. Sikh Temple Guru Nanak Darbar
The cosmopolitan city of Dubai has become a home for people of different nationalities and religions, including 50,000 Sikhs. Not so long ago, the first Gulf temple of the Sikhs Guru Nanak Darbar was opened in the Persian Gulf.
Around the building there is a special prayer path (parikrama) 54 m long, framed by a beautiful metal fence and adjacent to a picturesque pond. The religious complex covers an area of more than 100,000 m².
Inside the temple there are incredibly spacious and wide staircases, as well as huge arched windows with stained-glass windows through a of which a lot of sunlight comes in. Thanks to this, the spacious room visually seems huge.
In addition to the large prayer hall, which can accommodate 900 people, the building has a dining room for 600 people and a good modern kitchen.
Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple is a unique attraction of Dubai, so it is advisable to see it first. This is a very beautiful and serene place where you can sit in silence and be filled with harmony. And after the prayer, all visitors and those in need are invited to stay at the langar, during which they are treated to free delicious vegetarian food.
To go to the temple, it is not necessary to be a Sikh.
- This attraction is open to the public, admission is free.
- This religious shrine is open daily from 4:30 to 21:00.
When planning to visit Guru Nanak Darbar on your own, it is best to arrange a taxi ride with the taxi driver in advance, otherwise you will have to walk to the main road and catch a taxi there. From Energy Metro, you can try to get to the temple by free bus (the schedule should be on Energy Metro).
Before the trip, you must definitely take a look at the map of Dubai to understand the exact location of the Guru Nanak Darbar Sikh Temple.
9. Center for Cultural Cooperation Sheikh Mohammed
Did you know that you can get a fascinating glimpse into the history and culture of the UAE be absolutely free in Dubai? You just need to visit the Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Cooperation Center. Its location: Al Mussallah Road, House 26, Al Fahidi District.
The staff will conduct a free tour and talk about the life and customs of the Arab people, about the historical past of the UAE and Dubai. The tour and all information on information screens is in English.
10. Miracle Garden – a wonderful desert garden
Dubai never ceases to amaze: everything that is the most ambitious in the world is built here, and there is always something to see. Isn’t this amazing – a fragrant flower oasis in the middle of the desert?
Miracle Garden is a unique, the largest garden in the world, where 45 kinds of flowers grow on the territory of 72,000 m². Green lawns here harmoniously alternate with colorful flower beds, and many flowers are planted in the shape of figures: parrots, swans, a pyramid 10 meters high, an airplane.
This wonder garden is also unique in that it is served by a drip irrigation system, through which purified wastewater is supplied. And at the same time no unpleasant odors, only the aroma of flowers!
Miracle Garden is located on the outskirts of the city, address: Al Barsha 3, Arjan Dubailand, Dubai. This is a bit far, and it is most convenient to get there by taxi. It is a must-see attraction in Dubai, and it’s better to go there on your own – it will turn out to be two times cheaper than going with a tour operator.
Do note that the garden does not open in the summer, when it is very hot in Dubai. At other times of the year the opening hours are as follows:
- from Sunday to Thursday – from 9:00 to 21:00
- Friday and Saturday – from 9:00 to 23:00
Tickets for adults and children cost the same – at $12, children under 3 years go for free.
You can always find out about possible changes in the schedule and entry prices on the Miracle Garden website.
11. Meydan Racecourse
In the list of interesting sights of Dubai that are worth seeing, there is the Meydan Racecourse. It is located within the Meydan City Complex at Al Meydan Road, Dubai.
Meydan Racecourse is the largest in the world: its total area is 6.2 million km2, the length of the central stand is 1,600 m and it accommodates 120,000 people. Although the dimensions of the structure are quite impressive, everything is well thought out in such a way that the audience does not miss a single important point. The races are broadcast on a giant LED-screen.
This complex is known for its racetracks of the highest class. One of them, with a length of 1.75 km, has an artificial coating that allows competitions to be held regardless of the weather. Another path, 2.4 km long, is covered with lawn grass. In addition, at the Meydan Racetrack there is a track equipped with everything necessary for warm-ups.
The horse racing season in Dubai lasts from November to March and includes several competitions with individual prize pools. The most important event of the season closing it is the Dubai World Cup, known for its grand prize pool of $10,000,000. From March to November, when there are no races, diverse city events, as well as various exhibitions, are held at the racetrack.
For Tourists who want to visit Meydan Racecourse, a ticket worth 300 dirhams will provide very comfortable conditions for watching races, including alcohol and food served by waiters. But you can come to the stadium a few hours before the start of the race and take up places for free. But these are certainly not the best seats available.
By the way, visiting Meydan Racecourse will be interesting even for those who are not interested in racing, because this is not just a huge racetrack, but a giant entertainment complex. On its premises is the 5 * The Meydan Hotel, whose guests can watch the races directly from the rooms.
It has a modern IMAX cinema with 585 seats, which screens the latest movies from around world. The museum in Meydan will tell visitors a fascinating story of the origin of horse racing. In addition, there are numerous cafes and restaurants, a large car parking and a marina.
You can find the exact schedule of the races, as well as find out the cost of tickets for a particular event and book them in advance on the official Meydan Racecourse website.
12. Dubai Autodrome – Race track
Are you a lover of sports cars and car races? Then of course, you need to visit the Autodrome, which is located at: Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Rd / Motor City.
Dubai Autodrome is one of the most difficult in the world, since there are high-speed straight lines on the 6 km long track, as well as technically complicated sections.
Dubai’s Autodrome offers its guests a variety of programs. For example, adrenaline-raising rides in race cars, including tuned cars for Audi TT and Subaru STI Impreza races. Visitors to the circuit can also purchase an individual program for the whole day or a range of experiences for a group of tourists. And although visitors are constantly accompanied by an instructor showing the correct trajectory of cornering, many note that the tension did not leave them throughout the trip.
Even for those who do not have driving skills, but want to ride a race car, there is such an opportunity at the racetrack. You can drive a few laps at high speed in a sports car, which will be led by an experienced instructor.
Autodrome provides all the necessary equipment, including suits, comforters, gloves, and boxes for valuables. It is very important that closed shoes are worn as the car is very hot.
- The cost of one check is 100 dirhams. It is quite expensive, but in the CIS countries such experience is simply not available anywhere else.
- It is advisable to reserve a place on the track in advance, you can do this on the official website of the circuit. But first, you must definitely read about the schedule, because competitions are regularly held at the open kartdrome.
13. Dolphin Bay at Aquaventure Water Park
What you should definitely see in Dubai when on vacation with your children, is the Dolphin Bay.
Dolphin Bay is located on the island of Palm Jumeirah, in the Atlantis Hotel, in the eastern part of the Aquaventure Water Park. The address of this attraction: Atlantis The Palm, Crescent Road, The Palm, Dubai. Dolphin Bay is open daily from 9:10 a.m. to 4:30 a.m.
There are plenty of programs to choose from. The simplest is called “Meet the Dolphins” and takes place in shallow water. It is designed for children under 8 years old and for those who can not swim. In principle, the only thing you can do in this program is photographing the children who interacting with the dolphins. It is not surprising that at the exit you have to buy a photo for 795 dirhams, and this is still the cheapest option despite that you can get an electronic version of all the pictures.
- All programs in the Bay of Dolphins are conducted in English.
- Depending on the chosen program, a ticket for an adult will cost 850-1450 AED. For a photo shoot with dolphins you will have to pay 450 dirhams, and for a spectator pass – 300 AED.
- A nice bonus: when buying a ticket to the dolphinarium, on the same day you are allowed to visit the Aquaventure water park for free.
- You can find out the schedule of the show, see the cost of tickets and order them on the Dolphin Bay website.
14. The Walk At JBR – Jumeirah Embankment
The Walk Promenade is ideal for a relaxing walk, and it is best to do it on your own or in a small friendly company.
There are many luxury hotels, stylish boutiques and shops with a huge variety of goods, small markets with handmade souvenirs on the promenade, there are street vendors and live music.
After a walk or busy shopping, it’s nice to sit in one of the cafes or restaurants, and order a cup of ice latte or delicious food. Of course, the prices are not cheap, but you can sit in front of the sea and observe the activity happening around.
You need to take into account that the Dubai The Walk is more comfortable to see in the evening when it is not so hot and everything is nicely lit up.
15. Dubai Marina Pier
After the artificial archipelagos of Palm Jumeirah and Palm Jebel Ali were created in the western part of Dubai, a vast bay was formed between them. On the coastal area of this bay is the area known as Dubai Marina. This is a prestigious residential area, a walk through which is included in almost any city tour. You can certainly go there yourself.
Part of the coast of the man-made bay has been transformed into the largest yacht mooring on Earth owned by the Yacht Club. From the pier it is very nice to see the city because it offers stunning panoramic views.
In the yacht club on Dubai Marina you can take a boat trip, best of all in the evening. Then, from the water, both the pier and the city open from a different angle than during the day from the boardwalk. Thanks to the lighting, the skyscrapers look even more impressive than in daylight. In addition, a pleasant breeze blows in the evening and it is not so hot.
16. Dubai National Museum in Al Fahidi Fortress
Dubai is not only about ultra-modern hotels, luxury boutiques and futuristic architecture. To see this, visit the Dubai National Museum in the ancient Al Fahidi Fort. Here you will get to learn about the history of the emirate from ancient times to modern times. The exposition includes merchant ships, dhow and bowling boats, pearl catchers’ tools (including devices for protection against sharks). In addition, you will see here incredible collections of jewelry, expensive fabrics and utensils. A tour of the museum takes about an hour, so it won’t tire even small children.
- Address : The museum is located in the Bur Dubai area
- Opening hours : from Saturday to Thursday from 08:30 to 20:30 and on Friday from 14:00 to 20:30
- Prices : Entrance costs 3 dirhams ($ 0.82)
- How to get there : the nearest metro station is Al Fahidi, from it you can walk to the museum in 10 minutes.
17. Historic district of Bastakiya
In the old days, this area was inhabited by wealthy merchants and pearl hunters. Today, here you can see houses with architecture from XIX-XX centuries with the famous “wind towers”, the predecessors of modern air conditioners, used to cool the rooms.
Of the historic buildings in Bastakiya are Al Fahidi Fort, the Majilis Gallery and the first office building of Beit al-Vahil. If you want to get acquainted with the historical areas of Dubai, we advise you to go on a tour of Bastakiya, Fort al Fahidi, the Old Market and other no less interesting places.
- Location : Bastakiya is located on the shores of Creek Bay
- Getting there : The nearest metro stations are Al Fahidi and Ghubaiba
18. Sheikh Said House Museum
Here you will get acquainted not only with the history of the ruling Maktoum dynasty, but also with amazingly beautiful and traditional architecture and decoration of rooms of the Arab nobility. In addition, you can enjoy magnificent views of the city and the bay, which opens from the balconies on the second floor.
- Location : Bur Dubai.
- Getting there : by bus No. 61D, 66, 67 (Wasl stop).
- Opening hours : The museum is open from Saturday to Thursday from 08:00 to 20:30, on Friday it opens at 15:00.
- Prices : Entrance costs 6 dirhams ($ 1.63).
19. Jumeirah Mosque
A great example of Arab religious architecture and the only mosque in the country that non-Muslims can visit. Visiting this place, you will see how the traditional mosques of the East were built and decorated.
Excursions here are conducted by the Sheikh Mohammed Cultural Understanding Center as part of the “Open Doors. Open minds”. The Jumeirah Mosque was opened to non-Muslims after the events of September 11, 2001 in order to tell tourists about Islam and the culture of the inhabitants of the United Arab Emirates.
Note: the mosque has a strict dress code – closed shoulders, legs and a head scarf for women, a t-shirt / shirt with trousers for men.
- Mosque address : 1 Jumeirah Road (opposite Palm Strip Mall).
Opening hours : Sat – Thu, from 9:45 a.m. to 11:15 a.m.
- Excursions : start at 10:00, available in English.
20. Dubai’s Zoological Museum “The Green Planet”
If you do not know what to see in Dubai with children, take a look at the Zoological Museum. It is an indoor four-story complex housing more than 3,000 plants and animals. This is a real rainforest under the roof!
In the fascinating group excursions that are held here, visitors are introduced to the amazing flora and fauna that forms this indoor jungle. Touching plants and feeding animals is prohibited, but admiring this exotic is always welcome.
- Location : City Walk, Al Wasel Road.
- Opening hours : Sunday-Wednesday from 10:00 to 19:00, Thursday-Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00.
- Prices : Entrance costs 90 dirhams ($ 24.5).
21. Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al-Mamzar is a great solution for those who want to spend a day by the sea. In the park (entrance is paid) there are five beaches, equipped with everything necessary for a comfortable stay, with playgrounds, exercise machines and swimming pools. In front of the park there is a public beach of the same name with free access, but the amenities are far fewer.
- Prices : admission to the beach in Al Mamzar costs 5 dirhams ($ 1.36), but if you want to visit the pool or use the sunbed / umbrella, you will have to pay extra.
- How to get there: take the C28 bus from the Gold Souq Bus Station stop (get off at Al Mamzar Beach Park).
22. Ski complex Ski Dubai
Dubai has it all, and if not all, then a lot. Proof of this is the Ski Dubai ski resort in the Mall of Emirates. Here you can ski or snowboard at any time of the year, here there are excellent cable lifts and tubing tracks. Visitors are given not only equipment, but also winter clothes (except for gloves and hats).
- Prices : A full-day ticket costs 300 dirhams ($ 82), for 2 hours – 180 dirhams ($ 82). For children – 240 ($ 65) and 150 ($ 41) dirhams, respectively. At the same time, equipment rental is included in the ticket price.
- Opening hours : Ski Dubai is open on weekdays from 10:00 to 23:00, on Thursdays – from 10:00 to 24:00, on Friday – from 9:00 to 24:00, on Saturday – from 9:00 to 23 : 00 a.m.
- How to get there : take the subway (Mall of Emirates is located at the station of the same name), and follow the signs in the mall.
23. Flamingo Nature Reserve in Dubai
This is a little-known but very interesting place in Dubai on the Oud Metha Road. Here you can see real flamingos and other waterfowl – and all this right in the city! Feathered inhabitants are allowed to be observed through binoculars from a special house so as to not disturb them. Dubai Flamingo Nature Reserve is a great and a non-trivial place to diversify your visit to Dubai.
Note! You can get here only by taxi, and it is better to ask the driver to wait. It will take you about 20 minutes to do everything, but it can be difficult to catch a taxi back.
- Opening hours : Bird Oasis is open daily, except Friday, from 09:00 to 16:00.
- Cost : admission is free.
24. Spice Market in Dubai
You can feel the color of the east, as well as plunge into the unique atmosphere of a noisy bazaar at the Dubai Spice Market. Here you will not find the gloss that the emirate and its capital is famous for, but you can get real Arabic spices and sweets: dates, vanilla, turmeric, saffron, dried rose buds – the list goes on and on!
Tip: be sure to bargain, then there is a chance to reduce the price by half, or even three times.
Address : The market is located at Sikkat Al Khail Road, Al Ras, Dubai (near Nasser Square).
25. Dubai Butterfly Garden
If your travel schedule allows, visit the Dubai Butterfly Garden (Al Barsha South 3 | Dubailand Area). Hundreds of butterflies of all kinds and colors flutter in greenhouses among palm trees and bright flowers. To miss such a sight is a real crime! Additionally, butterflies here clearly like to pose with tourists, so do not miss the chance to take a couple of great pictures.
Prices : entrance to the garden costs 50 dirhams ($ 14), for children under 3 years old – free of charge.
Tip: it’s better to plan your visit on weekdays when there are not so many visitors.
26. Museum of the Woman
Today, everyone has heard about the restrictions of modern Arab women. But to find out if this has always been the case, you can by visiting the Museum of Women in Dubai.
Here is an exposition dedicated to the role of women in the Islamic world, its importance in the family and in public life. The museum also has a collection of creative works by contemporary residents of the UAE. We think you will be interested to take a look.
- Opening hours : Saturday to Thursday from 10:00 to 19:00.
- Prices : Entrance costs 20 dirhams ($5.4).
- Location : in Deira, next to the fish market.
27. Coffee Museum
The Arabian culture is not only about thoroughbred horses and gold, but also excellent coffee. If you’re a fan of this invigorating drink, visit the Dubai Coffee Museum.
There you can see different tools for making coffee, learn traditional recipes and buy coffee beans in a museum shop. You can try the local coffee in the cafe at the museum, where it is prepared according to the best Arabic recipes.
- Address : 69 – 69 Al Faheide, Dubai, UAE.
- Entrance to the museum is free.
28. Dubai Desert Safari
We highly recommend a desert safari that will take you away from the hustle and bustle of the city into a fabulous desert, where red sand dunes can be seen in the under a setting sun.
Powerful jeeps will swiftly carry you along the waves of huge dunes to the very heart of the desert, where the serene spirit of golden sands reigns.
After an exciting jeep ride, you will find yourself in a comfortable Bedouin village where you can ride a camel, smoke a hookah and take pictures in traditional Arabic clothes.
This tour includes dinner and a live performance with belly dancing, tanura and a fire show. You will want this magical evening to never end.
You can book a tour with various tour operators that you can find online.
A stay in Dubai can only be compared to a fairy tale. You will probably want to see all of the attractions we have described above. After all, selectively choosing the most interesting will be difficult.
Here is a list of the best things to see and do in Dubai:
- Skyscraper Burj Khalifa
- Dancing music fountain
- The Dubai Mall
- Dubai Aquarium
- Hotel Burj Al Arab
- Wild Wadi Waterpark
- Aquaventure Waterpark
- Sikh Temple Guru Nanak Darbar
- Center for Cultural Cooperation Sheikh Mohammed
- Miracle Garden – a wonderful desert garden
- Meydan Racecourse
- Dubai Autodrome – Race track
- Dolphin Bay at Aquaventure Water Park
- The Walk At JBR – Jumeirah Embankment
- Dubai Marina Pier
- Dubai National Museum in Al Fahidi Fortress
- Historic district of Bastakiya
- Sheikh Said House Museum
- Jumeirah Mosque
- Dubai’s Zoological Museum – the Green Planet
- Al Mamzar Beach Park
- Ski complex Ski Dubai
- Flamingo Nature Reserve
- Spice Market
- Butterfly Garden
- Museum of the Woman
- Coffee Museum
- Desert jeep safari