Collections of 100 things to do in Dubai 2023

2021 November updated

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Situated on the main floor of the sprawling Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium houses 33,000 diverse marine animals, spanning everything from crocodiles to tropical fish.

The ‘Researcher Experience’ takes guests behind the scenes of the Underwater Observatory, while the ‘Explorer Experience’ includes a glass-bottom boat tour. If you’re brave enough, you can even swim with rays and sharks!

For the best bang for your buck, grab a ticket that combines the aquarium with a trip up to the BurjKhalifa’s viewing platform.

Hold on for dear life with a 4×4 dune bashing adventure

Situated on the main floor of the sprawling Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium houses 33,000 diverse marine animals, spanning everything from crocodiles to tropical fish.

The ‘Researcher Experience’ takes guests behind the scenes of the Underwater Observatory, while the ‘Explorer Experience’ includes a glass-bottom boat tour. If you’re brave enough, you can even swim with rays and sharks!

For the best bang for your buck, grab a ticket that combines the aquarium with a trip up to the BurjKhalifa’s viewing platform.

Have an ‘epic’ time at IMG Worlds of Adventure

As the planet’s largest indoor theme park, it’s no wonder that Worlds of Adventures is a Dubai crowd favorite, welcoming over 20,000 guests each day.

The park is divided into four so-called ‘Epic Zones’, all of which boast hair-raising thrill rides centered around popular Cartoon Network characters, MARVEL superheroes, and dinosaurs.

Test your courage at the Haunted Hotel or embrace an awesome 3D experience at the Novo Cinemas zone!

Soar above the desert in a hot air balloon

Soar over the radiant orange Dubai desert at sunrise in a hot air balloon, an activity that manages to be simultaneously relaxing and exhilarating.

Keep an eye out for camels and gazelles roaming the sands — although, at 4,000 feet high, you might have to squint. Flights include a hearty breakfast and open-air transport in vintage Land Rovers.

Take a helicopter flight over the city

Forget about New York City — the world’s most breathtaking skyline now belongs to Dubai. While harborside views are special, there’s no perspective more impressive than that of a bird’s eye.

During your once-in-a-lifetime helicopter experience, you’ll soar over incredible landmarks like the Palm Jumeirah islands, Burj Al Arab hotel, and Ras al Khor wetlands.

Unleash your inner Tarzan at Aventura Parks

Swing from treetop to treetop at Aventura Parks, home to a wide selection of ziplines, high ropes courses, and giant swings. With 85 obstacles in the park to choose from, there’s something suitable for every interest and level of competence.

Zoom around Palm Jumeirah on a speed boat tour

The Palm Jumeirah archipelago features the most iconic manmade islands on Earth, and there’s no better way to see them up close than onboard a high-octane speed boat!

Unobstructed, sublime views of the Burj Al Arab and Dubai skyline await. With an English-speaking guide on board, there’s plenty to be learned about the city too.

Ascend the BurjKhalifa

The 830-meter (2,723 feet) tall, $1.5 billion BurjKhalifa is the world’s tallest building. As both a Dubai icon and an architectural marvel, millions flock to its 124th- and 125th-floor observation decks year after year. However, for the ultimate experience, head up to the outdoor terrace on level 148.

Enjoy the amazing La Perle live show

Considered the most spectacular live show across the city, La Perle by Dragone wows audiences nightly with incredible feats of acrobatics, aquatic stunts in the on-stage pool, and state-of-the-art AV displays.

The cast of 65 Broadway-seasoned performers works every corner of the 270-degree stage to deliver a show that can only be described as hypnotic.

Plan a meal at Dinner In The Sky

True to its name, you could be digging into your supper while suspended 50 meters in the air. Dinner in the Sky is one of the most unique dining experiences on the planet, and so long as nobody in your party has acrophobia, it’s an essential addition to the bucket list. Choose from lunch, dinner, or afternoon tea.

Shred some powder at Ski Dubai

Skiing… in the desert? This isn’t an April Fools joke — Dubai really does have a ski resort, and it’s fully indoors, set across 22,500 square meters of fresh, manmade powder.

Ski Dubai is the only place in the UAE with year-round chances to ski, snowboard, and zip line. But if that weren’t impressive enough, the venue also hosts the beloved Penguin Encounter — a chance to get up close and personal with colonies of adorable Gentoo and King penguins!

Enter new worlds at VR Park

Situated conveniently within the Dubai Mall, VR Park holds the coveted title as the first immersive VR experience in the Middle East. Over 25 attractions center around the theme of “Challenge reality”, encompassing both single-player and multiplayer experiences.

Take part in a VR heist, walk down the walls of the BurjKhalifa, travel in a spacecraft, and so much more!

Cruise Dubai Creek on a dhow (with dinner)

Treat yourself to a luxurious 5-star dining experience aboard a traditional wooden dhow that passes through the charming Old Dubai neighborhoods of Bur Dubai and Deira. While live music plays, admire the city’s lights as they shimmer over the water.

Get soaked at Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark

Voted the region’s #1 water park by the TripAdvisor faithful, Atlantis Aquaventure is the essential Dubai destination for thrill-seekers. Slide through shark-filled lagoons, dance with dolphins, cannon down corkscrew chutes into perfectly temperate waters, and so much more. Adrenaline junkies, look no further than the near-100-foot death-defying drop on the Leap of Faith.

Go camel riding in the desert

Dubai is a desert oasis, after all, so why not embrace the city’s roots? If you’ve never crossed sand dunes or taken the front hump of a camel, now’s your chance.

Most tours combine camel riding with a combination of sandboarding, 4×4 adventuring, quad biking, and camping, making for an unforgettable day in the desert!

Lights, camera, action! atMotiongate

As Dubai’s answer to Universal Studios, this Hollywood-inspired theme park is a perfect day out for movie fans! Guests are transported into the filmmaking worlds of DreamWorks Animation, Columbia Pictures, and Lionsgate, with rides themed around hits like Ghostbusters, Kung-Fu Panda, and The Hunger Games.

In total, Motiongate offers 27 rides and attractions including five roller coasters, a water ride to cool off, immersive dark rides, play labs, and 4D theatre shows.

Ride the lazy river at Wild Wadi Water Park

Neighboring the Jumeirah’s beach hotels and 7-star Burj Al Arab, the Wild Wadi Water Park provides visitors with an unmatched aquatic adventure. The family-friendly park boasts 30 rides and attractions, all themed around the tale of Juha, a character from Arabian folklore.

To avoid potentially waiting in lines, try to arrive just as the park opens! Or, just opt for a skip-the-line ticket!

Whiz down the thrilling Jebel Jaiszipline

Thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies, this activity is for you! After making your way up to the top of the UAE’s highest mountain, you’ll be harnessed in and propelled down what is officially the world’s longest zip line.

If the 150 km/h (93 mph) speeds don’t instigate goosebumps, the ride’s height of 1,680 meters above sea level just might! If you’re craving some adrenaline, this should headline your list of things to do in Dubai.

Book Now
Skate in circles at the Dubai Ice Rink

Ice skating and desert don’t typically mix, yet on the ground floor of the Dubai Mall sits an Olympic-sized rink, perfect for beginners and experts alike to practice their pirouettes!

This winter wonderland is within walking distance of the Dubai Aquarium, the Dubai Mall Waterfalls, and the BurjKhalifa — more than enough activities to consume an entire day.

Take a day trip to Warner Bros. World

Step into the world of the Flintstones, hunt villains alongside Batman, and ride exhilarating coasters, all at Warner Bros. World in Abu Dhabi. The enormous park is spread across six zones totaling 1.65 million square feet: Warner Bros. Plaza, Gotham City, Metropolis, Cartoon Junction, Bedrock, and Dynamite Gulch — so make sure to wear comfy shoes!

Meet nocturnal animals at The Green Planet

A truly enchanting biodome featuring a tropical indoor rain forest and over 3000 plants and animals, The Green Planet is a delightfully immersive walk through nature. It also hosts the largest indoor man-made and life-sustaining tree in the world — certainly worth a photo or two.

Hot tip: visit at the end of the day, just as the nocturnal animals start to wake from their slumber.

Spot colorful fish at The Lost Chambers Aquarium

Step into a wondrous, mythical underwater world at The Lost Chambers Aquarium — a Dubai staple that plays host to over 65,000 unique and colorful fish. The Aquatheatre shows are always a great time, and if you want to upgrade your visit, seize the chance to snorkel with the wildlife!

Snap amazing photos at the Dubai Miracle Garden

Spread across a whopping 72,000 square meters, 50 million flowers and 250 million plants are beautifully arranged to create the array of stunning natural sculptures that make up the world’s largest natural flower garden.

With so much vibrant color in every direction, this is one of the most photogenic and Instagrammable places in the city and one of the best things to do in Dubai, period. Romantics, make sure to grab a selfie in front of the Tunnel of Love.

Let the kids loose at Mattel Play! Town

Parents, don’t skip over this one! Kids will be over the moon (and pleasantly distracted for hours) at Mattel Play! Town.

The toy and cartoon-inspired facility features a soft play area, building blocks, and a cafe for mom and dad to sit back and relax. Keep an eye out for the lively characters — Bob the Builder, Fireman Sam, and Angelina Ballerina love to roam around.

Sample Middle Eastern flavors on a Dubai food tour

Dubai is so renowned for its skyline that tourists often forget that the city is built upon thousands of years of Middle Eastern history — and we all know what that means: great food! Tantalize your tastebuds on a journey that takes you through all of the powerful local flavors of Old Dubai. Make sure to sample a plate of khuzi, the national dish of the UAE.

Spend the day at LEGOLAND Dubai

With 60 interactive Lego-themed rides, water slides, roaming characters, dining opportunities, and over 15,000 Lego sculptures, fantasy truly comes to life at Legoland.

Despite the park’s age range declared as children 2-12, it’s a blast for teenagers and parents too. Don’t forget to wander the store on the way out for an astonishing range of building materials..

Give sandboarding a go!

Feel the amazing force of the wind in your face as you propel down the smooth dunes of the hot, red Arabian Desert on a professionally-led sandboard adventure. Past adventurers rave about it, calling it one of the most exhilarating things to do in Dubai.

If you’ve never touched a sandboard or even a snowboard before, don’t fret! Just cruise down on your belly (but remember to close your mouth — nobody wants a mouthful of sand).

Illuminate the night at Dubai Garden Glow

A first of its kind in the Middle East, the Dubai Garden Glow theme park is a visual delight. Featuring over a million LED bulbs, designers have created giant glowing jellyfish, romantic love tunnels, even a ferocious T-Rex — the long list of unique, enchanting light sculptures is second to none. Don’t leave the city without ticking the immersive Garden Glow off the bucket list.

Enjoy dinner and a show at the Al Khayma desert camp

Forget about life’s stresses and ditch the obnoxious tourist crowds — instead, enjoy a relaxing, hospitable evening at the Al Khayma Desert Camp and spend a laidback night in the shoes of the local Bedouins.

Besides the scrumptious BBQ dinner, the warm and welcoming hosts will treat you to henna tattooing, shisha, and unique belly dance shows. If you’re looking for authentic things to do in Dubai, this should be a priority.

Learn the ways of falconry

For an experience that’s seldom offered in busy tourist cities, learn about and interact with falcons, hawks, and eagles as part of an unforgettable falconry lesson in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve. As you drive out to the site, keep a keen eye out for Arabian oryxes and sand gazelles along the way!

As past visitors will attest, falconry is one of the most unforgettable things to do in Dubai

Take a day trip to Abu Dhabi

While Dubai takes center stage in the UAE tourism show, the nation’s capital is not to be overlooked! Just an hour and a half southwest from Dubai, Abu Dhabi is overflowing with worthy attractions.

Make sure to check out the Sheikh Zayed Mosque and the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, and feel the insane adrenaline on Ferrari World’s roller coasters!

Cool off at YasWaterworld

With over 40 delightful rides, slides, and attractions spread over 37 acres, the iconic YasWaterworld makes for a perfect day trip for those looking to escape the bustle and heat of Dubai.

Experience the floor vanish under your feet on Liwa Loops — a ride is beloved by thrillseekers — or glide over YasWaterworld at break-neck speeds on Bandit Bomber, the world’s only suspended waterpark roller coaster!

Embark on a jetski safari

Satisfy the need for speed on board a high-powered jet ski! If you’re yet to take the helm of one of these water cruisers, there’s arguably no better place to do so than in the City of Gold. Rent your own and explore solo or join a local, expert guide — either way, the panoramic city views will amaze.

Try indoor skydiving

If you’ve always craved the thrill of skydiving but lacked the money or the courage to leap out of a plane, then indoor skydiving is the answer! In a manmade wind tunnel, you’ll experience the crazy adrenaline of skydiving without spending hundreds of dollars.

You’ll be gliding and somersaulting in no time! If you’re not ready to skydive just yet, make sure that indoor skydiving is on your list of things to do in Dubai

Explore the desert with a quad bike tour

Get out of the rat race and head to the outskirts of Dubai, where expert guides will lead you through the hot Arabian Desert on a quad bike, one of the most enjoyable ways to soak in the vast landscape.

Combine the adventure with a desert safari, BBQ, camel ride, or sandboarding experience to really maximize your time on the sands.

Experience 90 cultures at the Global Village

When you can experience over 90 different countries at Dubai’s imaginative Global Village, there no need to travel the world anymore! Guests move through a group of pavilions, admiring fascinating elements from worldly cultures, including staple foods, iconic landmarks, languages, artifacts, and cultural attire. Peruse through the shops before taking a seat for the festive fireworks display.

Watch the Dubai fountain show from a water taxi

The choreographed Dubai fountain show is a spectacle to behold, with 85,000 liters of water dancing in the foreground of the world’s tallest building. There’s arguably no better place to watch it than from the seats of a traditional ‘abra’ water taxi.

Camera at the ready — 6,000 lights illuminate the crisscrossing streams, making for quite the colorful vista!

Safari through the desert in a vintage Land Rover

As you cruise through the desert dunes in an old-school, open-topped Land Rover, keep your eyes peeled from wandering wildlife. Depending on which tour you book, activities typically include falconry displays, Bedouin dinners, camping, and camel riding.

Satisfy the inner gamer at Hub Zero Park

As the region’s first gaming-inspired entertainment park, it didn’t take long for Hub Zero to climb the popularity charts. The enormous complex is decked out with all the single and multiplayer games we could ask for, including a 70-station LAN gaming area, multi-level laser tag zone, and a retro arcade featuring classics like Pacman and Space Invaders.

Complimentary to the gaming paradise, Hub Zero also offers plenty of entertainment — the 3D immersion tunnel, 4D cinema, and karaoke rooms are all hugely popular.

Blend nature with technology at Orbi Dubai

Fusing natural history content courtesy of BBC Earth, with innovative spaces and displays supplied by SEGA, Orbi takes visitors on a magical, immersive journey into the heart of the natural world, with 12 different nature zones to explore.

The highlight of the entire attraction is the Earth Theatre, a 35-meter-wide that brings the natural world comes to life through a multi-sensory experience that utilizes fog, vibrations, and fragrances to complement the visuals.

Dine at the Burj Al Arab Hotel

The exterior of the iconic Burj Al Arab is remarkable, no doubt. But when you step inside its atrium — the tallest in the world — the opulence goes into overdrive.

This self-proclaimed 7-star hotel boasts a number of formidable dining opportunities, none more renowned than Al Iwan, Jumeirah’s quintessential Arabian restaurant. For afternoon tea, head to the SahnEddar restaurant, home of the coveted 7-course afternoon tea menu.

Visit the ultra-modern Dubai Frame

Resembling the world’s biggest picture frame, this Dubai landmark provides exceptional views of both Old Dubai and new Dubai, depending on which way you look.

Entrance tickets include a tour guide, who’ll dish out all kinds of fascinating tidbits about the city’s architecture and history while leading you to the knee-buckling glass-floored top level.

Play detective in an escape room

Unleash your inner Sherlock Holmes with an ever-exciting escape room challenge at Brain Game Dubai. You’ll need teamwork, wit, and creative thinking as you race against the clock, solving clues and puzzles to lead to a successful escape. Choose from unique themes like Prison Madness; The Museum; Around the World in Sixty Minutes; and, oddly enough, Pablo Escobar.

Take a day trip to Al Ain

Known as the Garden City due to its palm groves and natural springs, Al Ain is a worthy day trip destination that well and truly off the beaten track. The UNESCO World Heritage city is one of the world’s oldest permanently inhabited settlements, and the city’s museum captures that history to a tee. Don’t miss the Al-Jahili Fort, Al Ain Oasis, and Public Gardens.

Day trip to the stunning Fjords of Musandam

The turquoise waters of the Fjords of Musandam are simply spectacular — a must-see for anyone wanting to take a break from city life. Tours to this gorgeous oasis typically include a dhow cruise, lunch, and plenty of time to snorkel alongside the colorful fish.

Snorkel at Fujairah on the east coast

Get out of the big city for a day and head to beautiful Fujairah instead, the only Emirate on the East Coast, neighboring the shores of the Gulf of Oman. Here, you can snorkel with schools of colorful fish and scuba dive through shipwrecks.

Tours usually include transport to and from Dubai, passing by diverse landscapes and historic monuments along the way.

Sign up for a seaplane flight

There’s no better location to appreciate the grandeur of the Dubai skyline than from directly above. From the passenger seat of a seaplane, you’ll soar over Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, seeing all-star attractions like the BurjKhalifa, Burj Al Arab, and Palm Jumeirah from a perspective that few other tourists will ever have the chance to experience.

Camp under the stars at Laguna Waterpark

As one of the best ways to cool off from the scorching Dubai sun, Laguna Waterpark promises endless fun for the whole family. With epic water slides, a lazy river, and plenty of splash zones, plus a notoriously welcoming staff, Laguna is a must for anyone visiting the La Mer area.

Take your visit up a notch with the bottomless food and drink option, or camp under the stars for a truly unforgettable experience — it’s one of the most magical things to do in Dubai.

Learn the ropes of flyboarding

As one of the best ways to cool off from the scorching Dubai sun, Laguna Waterpark promises endless fun for the whole family. With epic water slides, a lazy river, and plenty of splash zones, plus a notoriously welcoming staff, Laguna is a must for anyone visiting the La Mer area.

Take your visit up a notch with the bottomless food and drink option, or camp under the stars for a truly unforgettable experience — it’s one of the most magical things to do in Dubai.

Go scuba diving at Fujairah

With colorful marine life by your side and historic shipwrecks to explore, a dive in the pristine, warm waters of Fujairah is a wonderful way to spend a day. Never scuba dived before? Then, for a few extra bucks, this is the perfect place to get your PADI certification.

If the open waters are a little too intimidating, Dubai has a number of indoor dive spots, like the shark tank in the Dubai Aquarium!

Zipline over the Dubai Marina

This is one of the world’s most impressive and thrilling urban ziplines, no doubt! It propels daredevils over the Dubai Marina from a 170-meter-high launch platform at one of the Amwaj Towers, finishing at the Dubai Marina Mall.

The zipline stretches an entire kilometer in length, allowing riders to reach exciting max speeds of 80 km/h.

Go horse riding in MushrifPark

Explore Dubai’s natural landscapes as they were meant to be explored: on horseback! Start at a walk and progress up to a trot when you’re ready in the beautiful Mushrif Park, a picturesque landscape blending desert dunes with tree-lined forest paths.

Tours will pick you up from the city, allowing for a relaxing, seamless experience.

Swim like a dolphin in the Sea Breacher

The brilliantly-designed Sea Breacher watercraft is the closest thing we’ll ever get to living like a marine animal. In either orca, shark, whale, or dolphin look-alike vessels, adventurers strapped inside can dive 3 meters deep and jump 5 meters above the shoreline, twisting and turning just like the real animals do! It’s one of the most unique experiences in the city.

Go skydiving above the Palm Jumeirah

The ultimate activity for any adrenaline junkie is to leap out of a plane, 13,000 feet (~4000m) above the sea; the ultimate place to skydive is, undoubtedly, over the breathtaking Palm Jumeirah.

It’s certainly one of Dubai’s pricier adventure activities, but when you’re rocketing down to the Earth at terminal velocity, it’s worth every penny. It’s one of the most fun things to do in Dubai, hands down.

Book Now
Go crab hunting

Venture into the protected lagoon and mangroves of Umm Al Quwain to try your hand at spearfishing, an ancient tradition of food sourcing in the region. Friendly guides teach the tricks of the trade so that visitors can have the best chance of catching the juiciest crabs.

After the activity, visitors are greeted with a dinner buffet, with the catches of the day as the table’s focal point.

Take a gyrocopter tour

Grab the joystick of a Gyrocopter (with the pilot by your side, of course) and feel the thrill of piloting your very own private aircraft! Flights glide above the city’s iconic landmarks; with the aircraft’s 180-degree visibility, you’ll be witnessing the Palm islands, Burj Al Arab, and sparkling coastline like never before!

Kayak through Dubai’s waters

Explore the shimmer Dubai harbor peacefully and slowly, saddled into either a solo or tandem kayak. Rent your own kayak and explore the waters around the Palm at your own pace, or opt for a guided tour through lesser-known regions like Hatta mountain — either way, it’s a great day out!

Be wowed at the Museum of Illusions

Wander through the Hall of Mirrors, experience the optical intrigue of the vortex tunnel, and so much more at the sensory delight that is the Museum of Illusions. This family-friendly attraction will deceive your eyes, trick your mind, and have you saying “wow” from the moment you arrive.

Learn the UAE’s history at the Etihad Museum

An iconic UAE landmark dedicated to the founding and culture of the Emirates, the Etihad Museum is an excellent destination to learn about the history of Dubai and its neighbors, offering interesting photos, film, documents, and more. Best of all, entry is extremely cheap.

Watch a stunt show at Bollywood Parks

Thanks to its explosive stunt shows, delightfully themed rides, multi-sensory 4D theater, and a rotating showcase of unique entertainment, Bollywood Parks is an exciting destination for the whole family.

A fresh change from the constant spotlight on mainstream Hollywood, the parks are spread across five fascinating zones inspired by the Bollywood film industry: Bollywood Boulevard, Bollywood Film Studios, Royal Plaza, Rustic Ravine, and Mumbai Chowk.

Spice up your visit by combining Bollywood Parks with a tour around the city and/or a desert safari!

Enjoy a multicultural show at Music Hall

Found on the iconic Palm Jumeirah island, the Music Hall restaurant offers a unique twist on the classic ‘dinner and show’. Rather than showcase one style of music and dance, Music Hall puts on around 10 multi-cultural acts per night, ranging in genre from rock to reggae, Arabic to Latino, and everything in between.

Go stargazing at the Al Thuraya Astronomy Center

Far from your typical astronomy center, Al Thuraya boasts a range of interactive experiences all about space and space travel. Check out the planetarium show and Astro cinema for some seated entertainment, or try the immersive Mars Landing Game and shuttle simulator.

Thanks to its location on the outskirts of Dubai, in the middle of Mushrif Park, it’s the perfect spot to stare into the night sky.

Party it up at the Nikki Beach Resort & Spa

Situated on the glistening waterfront of Pearl Jumeira, the Nikki Beach Resort boasts 117 rooms and suites and 15 private pool villas. But you don’t need to have a room key to enjoy the luxury resort; the good vibes, flowing drinks, and live DJs are available to anyone with a beach club ticket.

Wander around the enormous Dubai Mall

Equivalent to the size of over 50 soccer fields, the Dubai Mall holds the coveted title as the largest shopping mall in the world (based on total area). As the home of over 1,200 shops, 120 restaurants, the Dubai Aquarium, a skating rink, and the gateway to the BurjKhalifa, this mall truly is a sight to behold.

Practice your haggling skills at the Dubai souks

Forget about the chain stores. Shop as the locals have done for centuries at one of the Dubai souks — a form of traditional Arab market. Plenty of themed souks line the city, offering everything from bespoke fragrances to textiles, artisanal crafts, aromatic spices, and gold and jewelry.

Head to the Dubai Creek area to explore the Gold Souk, Spice Souk, and Perfume Souk all in one afternoon, or head to the Souk Madinat, a contemporary market with live music and a buzzing atmosphere.

Take a buggy tour through the dunes

No visit to Dubai is complete without at least one desert activity on the city’s outskirts. Perhaps none is more enjoyable than exploring the rugged dunes on the back of a roaring 800cc buggy! Guided tours will take adventurers up and over the most famous dunes in the area, including Big Red, Pink Rock, and Fossil Rock.

Flip till you drop at Bounce Dubai

Whether you’re looking to practice your backflips or perfect your slam dunks (trampoline-style), this giant indoor playground is the place to be. Bounce Dubai is filled with all kinds of trampolines, including dodgeball zones and a foam pit. It’s a great way to beat the summer heat and burn a few calories!

Have a go at deep-sea fishing

Head out to the open waters of the Persian Gulf in search of your next meal. Odds are you’ll reel in a few sizable barracuda, queenfish, or kingfish — the most common trio in the area. If you’ve never been fishing before, there’s no better place to start than in a spot blessed with sparkling Dubai skyline views.

Get around town on a hop-on hop-off bus tour

Dubai is enormous. Save yourself the hassle of hailing cabs by opting for a simple hop-on hop-off tour around the city. The six routes take riders all around the city, with 46 stops tackling all of the noteworthy Dubai landmarks. Take a seat on the open-air roof for the best views (but bring a hat!).

Since it passes so many places, the bus is one of the smartest things to do in Dubai if you’re short on time.

Kitesurf or windsurf at Kite Beach

With beautiful year-round weather and warm waters, Dubai is heaven on Earth for water sports. Try your hand at windsurfing (it’s harder than it looks) or take to the skies by kitesurfing, enjoying the panoramic views throughout. Once you’re all tuckered out, Kite Beach has open stretches of soft sand perfect for a quick nap.

Walk through a storm in the Sharjah Art Foundation’s Rain Room

Stroll through a watery cascade without getting wet — it’s not magic, it’s the Rain Room at the contemporary Sharjah Art Foundation. Using state-of-the-art camera and sensor equipment to track visitors’ movements, the installation automatically turns off the water in sections where people are standing. There’s nothing in the Emirates quite like it

Board a luxurious yacht tour

With a nickname like The City of Gold, Dubai is all about luxury, extravagance, and style — and nothing quite screams luxury like a yacht tour over the shimmering marina. Whether you cruise in the afternoon with a glass of bubbly in hand or hit the waters by moonlight with live music and a buffet, an amazing time awaits either way.

Practice your drive at Top Golf

Mixing the fun of a driving range with fancy technology, great food, and an ultra lively atmosphere, Top Golf is the perfect blend of sport and entertainment. Bay hire includes unlimited golf balls, so the golf pros can swing to their heart’s content while the rest of the gang can sit back and sip on a fresh cocktail (or five).

Strap into a go-kart at the Dubai Kartdrome

Drift around corners and race against your friends on a go-kart, an adrenaline-pumping activity that never disappoints. Choose from the outdoor, 1.2km International Circuit or the 620-meter-long, twisting indoor course. If time permits, why not squeeze in a game or two of laser tag as well? Head over during Happy Hour for a buy one, get one free deal!

Dine in the sky on the Flying Cup

From afar, the Flying Cup might look like a strange carnie drop-ride. But, in reality, the Flying Cup is an innovative food and entertainment concept: Imagine you’re sipping a coffee and snacking on popcorn at the dinner table, except that dinner table is 40 meters above the ground and boasts 360-degree views of the Persian Gulf below. That, folks, is the Flying cup.

Take a city tour of Old Dubai

Forget about the innovative skyscrapers and manmade islands for a moment. Dubai is a city rich in culture and history, all of which is on display in the vibrant neighborhood of Bur Dubai. Led by locals, the old town tours take visitors to the waterfront, past ancient mosques, through markets, and more. Pack your walking shoes.

Snap the perfect selfie at Dubai 3D World

A 21,000 square foot interactive museum that screams creativity and imagination, Dubai 3D World is a must for anyone searching for that perfect travel selfie. Through optical illusions and 185 incredible ‘Trick-Art’ paintings, plenty of memorable pictures and great times await!

Enter the Hysteria haunted house (if you dare)

If you get spooked easily, go right ahead and skip this one. But if you crave a good fright; if the idea of living your own twisted nightmares is enticing, then Hysteria is ready to scare the pants off anyone brave enough to enter its ghostly manor doors. At least, thanks to its location in the Dubai Mall, it’s not hard to replace said pants…

Bask in the sunshine on a stand-up paddleboard

Connect with nature as you float across the calm Dubai waters on a SUP, soaking in both the sun and the skyline. First-timers, expert guides are more than happy to show you the ropes in an instructed lesson. Intermediates and experts, simply rent a board and go for your life!

Day trip to Ferrari World, home of the record-breaking roller coaster

You might expect Ferrari World to be little more than a giant museum of classic Italian cars, but how wrong that expectation would be. As the first Ferrari branded theme park on the planet, besides the intricate history of the automaker, Ferrari World’s unrivaled focal point is Formula Rossa — with a top speed of 149 miles per hour, this hair-raising ride is officially the fastest roller coaster in the world.

Despite Ferrari World being located in Abu Dhabi, tour companies will transport you door to door, so the only thing you’ll have to worry about whether or not you’re brave enough to strap in!

Release any suppressed rage at The Smash Room

Bottling up some rage that needs to be released? Inundated by stress at work and need a reprieve? Then this place should headline your list of things to do in Dubai. There’s no therapy more satisfying than smashing mundane objects with baseball bats, which is exactly what Dubai’s Smash Room offers. Choose from the pre-arranged box of destroyables or bring your own (photo of an ex-partner, perhaps?).

Challenge yourself at TEP Factor

Kids of age and kids at heart will love TEP Factor, an indoor adventure park nestled in the heart of Dubai’s prestigious Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) promenade. It typically takes teams between two and four hours to complete all of the 21 challenges, but you can stay and play for as long as you want!

Witness centuries of history at the Dubai Museum

Housed in the ancient, historic, and photogenic Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum serves as a time machine, taking guests back to the years before the discovery of oil and subsequent skyscrapers in the UAE. Galleries and life-size dioramas recreate settings from creeks, traditional houses, mosques, souks, and plenty more. The contrast between then and now is nothing short of fascinating.

Spend an afternoon at the kid-friendly OliOli®

With a host of unique, child-focused activities and games, the interactive OliOli museum combines entertainment with education, delighting the senses all the way through. The staff is always available to entertain the kids, allowing the parents to sit back and take a well-earned break.

Catch a few horse races at the Meydan Grandstand

The globally-renowned Meydan Racecourse is home to the world’s richest race day, the coveted $35 million Dubai World Cup. While the pinnacle spectacle takes place in late March, the 1-mile-long, 60,000-seat grandstand hosts races from November through to April. Noted for its extremely futuristic aesthetic, Meydan was even used as a Star Trek filming location.

Go bird-watching at the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary

This Dubai wetland reserve is renowned for attracting migratory birds in large numbers, offering a peaceful opportunity to Mother Nature work her magic. The waters are particularly abundant with pink flamingos, while the sanctuary also offers educational programs, including workshops and lectures.

Drive an F1 car at the Dubai Autodrome

Go-karting is fun, sure. But to really satisfy that insatiable need for speed, strap into the driver’s or passenger’s seat on a hot lap in a Ferrari GT, thoroughbred McLaren Racing Machine, or for a few extra bucks, even an F1 car! The Dubai Autodrome offers a range of cars and driving experience to delight any petrolhead.

If you’re craving a need for speed, the Dubai Autodrome should headline your list of things to do in Dubai.

Be dazzled by a show at the Dubai Opera

With 2,000 seats and the title of the city’s first multi-format performing arts theatre, the Dubai Opera is the premier live entertainment destination. The radiant cultural center puts on shows spanning Broadway-style theatre, opera, ballet, and music concerts — there’s something on the calendar to suit every interest.

Cheer on your camel at the Al Marmoom Camel Race Track

Camels might seem like slow movers but when they want to, they can move at quite the velocity! At the Al Marmoom Camel Race Track, about 40 minutes outside of Dubai, the centuries-old Arabic tradition of camel racing continues in full force. For genuine insights into the local sporting culture, it’s hard to go past this one.

Greet the animals at Dubai Safari Park

Spread over a massive 119 hectares and hosting some 250 species and 2500 animals of all shapes and sizes, the Dubai Safari Park is quickly stamping its name down as one of the top 10 zoos around the world. Curious animals roam around in the Arabian Village, Asian village, and African village; pet-friendly animals wander around the Children’s ‎Farm, and there’s plenty to see on the Open Safari experience. A great day out!

Explore the Dubai Heritage Village

Created in 1997 with the intention to both preserve and display the important heritage and history of old Dubai, Heritage Village is an essential, albeit quick and simple activity to add to the list. Stroll along the banks of the creek, admiring the old (renovated) buildings and getting an insight into the other side of Dubai.

Take a dinner cruise down the canal

After being welcomed with kahwah (Arabic coffee), take a seat on the dhow and let the captain sail you away onto the canal’s shores, glistening with the reflection of the Dubai lights. While you chow down on a scrumptious buffet dinner, take a moment to appreciate the dazzling IMAGINE fountain show, the historic dhow building yards, and the Ras Al Khor bird sanctuary as you float by.

Play a round at a world-class golf course

Ditch the backpack for the bag of clubs and head to one of Dubai’s many internationally-renowned courses. While there’s plenty to choose from, satisfying all budget and skill levels, the Majlis Course at the Emirates Golf Club comes highly recommended, likewise the beautifully landscaped Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club. Golfers, this is one of the essential things to do in Dubai and should be atop any bucket list.

Appreciate the artsy vibes at Alserkal Avenue

A renowned industrial compound covering some 500,000 square feet, Alserkal Avenue is a vibrant, artistic hub playing host to contemporary galleries, performing arts organizations, and homegrown businesses. It’s a great area to wander through over the course of an afternoon.

Take a day trip to Hatta Mountain

Looking like something straight out of a fairytale, the turquoise waters of Hatta Lake atop Hatta Mountain are a sight to behind. Escape from the hustle and bustle of Dubai and book a day trip to this natural oasis, with stops at noteworthy places like Fossil Rock and the Hatta Heritage Village below the Oman border.

Fly a plane (simulator-style!)

One of the very best flight simulators going round, the Emirates A380 Experience allows visitors to understand the ins and outs of a real commercial jet cockpit. Choose your own airport, set the weather conditions, and pick your departure time; you could be soaring over the Eiffel Tower at sunset or landing in Lisbon on Christmas Eve — the possibilities are endless.

Try a new water sport: the Jetovator

Resembling a motorbike on the water, or a flyboard with handlebars, the Jetovator is one of the freshest new water sports activities to hit the Dubai Marina. Practice turns, spins, and dives with one of the most remarkable backdrops imaginable. It’s a great way to cool off on a hot summer’s day (or, in reality, any day in Dubai).

Party on the best rooftop bars in Dubai

Boasting hundreds of towering skyscrapers and a long list of award-winning restaurants, it makes perfect sense that Dubai hosts some of the world’s most impressive rooftop bars. The sophisticated Uptown Bar on the 5-star Jumeirah Beach Hotel’s 24th floor is worthy of a visit, likewise the luxurious Siddharta Lounge in the Dubai Marina.

For magical sunset views, check out the 155-meter-high Level 43 Sky Lounge, or for a rooftop bar with an infinity pool, head to LookUp Rooftop.

“They’re growing up so fast” at Kidzania

If you thought your kids were growing up too fast, wait until you see them don a uniform at Kidzania! At this children’s theme park, youngsters learn the adult way of life by dressing up as firefighters, doctors, and builders, and practicing real-world jobs in a fun, entertaining way.Over 80 role-playing activities are available for the kids’ enjoyment and social development.

Walk the decks of the Queen Elizabeth 2

The Queen Elizabeth 2 is a stunning piece of naval architecture that we know. But it’s also home to the one and only floating hotel in Dubai! Whether you’ve got a room key or not, there are ample activities on offer: explore the six dining and nightlife venues, check out the interactive history exhibition, or grab a drink and enjoy the show at the licensed theatre.