Dubai is a huge metropolis offering endless possibilities. It was designed with exactly this in mind – to be a hotspot for tourism in the Middle East. If you’re there for a limited time, and you’re wondering what some of the best activities are – look no further. I spent a month there exploring different options, and the city taught me a lot. I can’t say it was easy to decide on only 5 things, because the possibilities are endless. But I’ve done my best to curate the most enjoyable things to do, so that the list has something for everyone. Now, I want to share everything I learned with you, so that you can make the most out of your stay.
1. Catch a sunrise at the Shangri-La Hotel Rooftop
Even if you’re not a fan of waking up at the crack of dawn, I strongly recommend you don’t miss out on this incredible view. In my case, I woke up around 4:30 to get there on time, but make sure you check beforehand as the sunrise times change. You can catch the metro there, but your route depends on your specific accommodation. Once you’re there, you’ll go up 42 floors to reveal a stunning view. This is one of the most famous places to take photos of the city and enjoy the surreal perspective it offers. Early morning is the perfect time for that, because it mixes the beauty of the sky with the landscape to create an incredible panorama of Dubai.
2. Zipline across the Dubai Marina.
This is the longest urban zipline in the world – it stretches a whopping one kilometer. It’s also something every adrenaline junkie will go crazy over. You start 44 stories up, and go 0 to 60 km/h in only 2.5 seconds. That’s an incredible fall, and you’ll get an amazing view of the city from above while you’re flying high in the air.
3. Take a helicopter around Dubai
To keep the adrenaline pumping, I recommend another fun activity that will take you high up in the sky. This time, you’ll take a helicopter to circle around the metropolis. It offers some stunning views while allowing you to see the whole city. It’s an epic experience to see the whole thing from above, and I definitely think you’ll miss out if you skip this. We went with Helicopter Tours of Dubai, so you can check them out if you want as well.
4. Visit old Dubai and explore the markets
This part of the list is very different from the others. The previous points will have you experiencing the modern part of this fascinating city, but this one will allow you to take a step back to its history. You’ll be able to see what the metropolis was like before the skyscrapers. I recommend you make some time to just walk around and enjoy the atmosphere, because it’s authentic and enriching. It’s also a place where you can sit down for a bite or go shopping for a much better price than in the popular touristic downtown area. The markets are a must-see, and you can get anything you can think of there. You can also do a dinner cruise, which is an exciting way to experience a meal. What I did was catch a 1 Dirham boat to cross the canal, which also gave me some charming views. This short blog post doesn’t do this fascinating part of Dubai justice, so you can check out this video for a more in-dept look into it.
5. Go on a desert safari.
When in Dubai, getting out of the city and experiencing a desert safari is something you can’t miss out on. The astounding landscape will have you feeling like you’re on another planet. It’s fascinating, and you can take so many incredible photos. We had an amazing tour, where we not only saw the nature, but also stopped for tea, and learned more about the culture.
This wraps up this list of the best things to do in Dubai, but it’s in no way an extensive agenda. If you want to learn more about what there is to experience, you can check out my video with 25 things to do in the metropolis. If you prefer, you can also read the blog post on the same topic. Other than that, I hope this list helps you make the most out of your stay, and if you do any of the things mentioned in this article, don’t forget to share it with me!
I wish you an amazing experience in the beautiful city of Dubai, and happy travels!