Best Things to do and See in Dubai
Dubai is chock-full of attractions and fun activities; it’s hard to decide what to see and which activity to pursue. If you’re spending just one day in Dubai, choose carefully – get the best out of Dubai in the time you have! There are any number of things to enjoy in Dubai, right from the majestic Burj Khalifa to the tinkling Dubai Fountains to the Palm Islands to the Frame. Check out our list of attractions and activities below and formulate your day’s itinerary.
- Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Tour
Begin your morning with a hop-on-hop-off Big Bus tour of Dubai. This is a tour at your own pace bus tour service, in which you can hop off any of the many stops to check out attractions up close, including Burj Khalifa Dubai. You can spend as much time as you need to admire and then hop back on the next bus on the same line. You can complete the hop-on-hop-off tour in a couple of hours or take 6 hours to do it. It’s up to you. The best part is that the big bus goes to every part of Dubai including downtown Dubai, the Palm Islands, the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, so you can see most of the famed attractions of the city.
- Go Shopping!
Dubai is well known for its enormous malls; your visit to Dubai is not complete unless you shop at some of them. Dubai Mall is your first and obvious choice. Other than shopping, you can enjoy the enormous underwater tunnel that passes right underneath mean sharks and stingrays. Check out the Mall of the Emirates and the Dubai Marina mall as well for some cool stuff. While you’re at it, shopping at Dubai’s traditional souks is a separate joy. Browse the souks of Bur Dubai and Deira and pick up some perfumes, spices, gold and carpets. Visit Madinat Jumeirah which is a recreation of a traditional Arabian city with markets, taverns and hotels. You can shop for any number of things here.
- Visit Ski Dubai
While you’re at the Mall of Emirates, visit Ski Dubai, a fabulous indoor winter resort in the middle of the Middle Eastern desert. There are a total of 5 challenging slopes made of ice and snow, plus an incredible 400 meter diamond run. The incredible winter resort is maintained at a temperature of -2 degree Celsius night and day. Warm clothing is provided to visitors, so you won’t need to freeze in there. There’s a snow playground for kids where little penguins play as well. There’s just no end to the cuteness.
- Visit Old Dubai
Don’t miss a visit to Old Arabia, the remnants of Dubai’s past, before the oil boom occurred and Dubai turned into the glam capital it is today. Browse through the souks and lanes of Bur Dubai, and bargain for spices and perfumes. Explore the old Al Fahidi Historical District, also known as Bastikaya. Examine the old sand buildings and the windtowers that used to provide cool air into the homes before air conditioning came in. When you’re done, cross the Dubai Creek and visit Deira and explore the souks over there. Crossing the creek in the old Abra boat is the exciting part.
- Desert Safari Tour
Include this item into your one day in Dubai itinerary – a magnificent tour of the desert – a desert safari! Make it a point to enjoy the fabulous desert sunset by signing up for an evening sunset safari. You can enjoy various desert sports such as quad biking, sand boarding, dune bashing and others. Then when it’s time for sunset, get your tripod out and enjoy the most incredible sunset ever. Relax, wearing Bedouin robes in an authentic Bedouin tent, get your hands painted with henna and watch a scintillating belly dancing and Tanura dance performance. A fine Emirati and intercontinental buffet dinner under the stars will be the final delight of the day.
- Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk and Beach
Head to the Jumeirah Beach residence Walk and explore the high-end boutiques and restaurants there. Watch in awe as one superyacht after the other is moored at the marina. Examine the many Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Ferraris, and other uber expensive cars lined up at the JBR pavements. Make your way to Jumeirah Beach, one of Dubai’s top beaches and enjoy the sea for a while. Be sure to grab the best view of the sunset and a fabulous view of the Burj Al Arab across the beach on the Palm Islands. The 7-Star hotel shaped like a sail is all lit up during the evening, its lights reflected in the water around it. It’s a magnificent sight and a definite Instagram pic moment.
- Watch the Dubai Fountains
Watch the world’s largest choreographed fountain system that dances in tune to world and Arabic music. The Dubai Fountains are set on the manmade Burj Lake with the fully lit up Burj Khalifa in the background throwing its own LED lights into the mix. It’s the brightest, most colourful and most invigorating show on earth. The water jets reach as high as a 45-storey building, a sight that you must see and enjoy.
- Observatory Deck at Burj Khalifa
Book your tickets in advance and go up in the third-fastest elevator all the way up to the 125th floor for the Burj Khalifa At The Top experience. At night, when the fountains are on, the view you get from the observatory deck is remarkable. You can see all the way to the sea and the desert from the deck. The whole city is lit up in multiple coloured LED lights that shine and glitter, offering a remarkable night skyline. Every skyscraper is lit to the nines. You can see the Dubai Fountains from the deck as well, so it’s a double joy for one.
Using our guidelines, you can make your own Dubai itinerary that includes the items we’ve provided. You can swap morning and evening activities or take any option that you like. The important thing is, if you have just one day in Dubai, you want to get to see the very best of what the city has to offer. That means being selective and choosing places that are close by to each other and managing transport hassles smoothly. We suggest using the Metro or hiring a taxi for the day for a smooth transport.