Things to do in Dubai

Burj Khalifa

The first thing that comes to the mind of many people when thinking of Dubai is probably one of the most famous skyscrapers – Burj Khalifa, a must see building in Dubai owned by Emaar Properties. The tower is the tallest human-made construction and tallest free-standing structure in the world.

The establishment started in 2004 and ended in 2010 opening as a part of development named Downtown Dubai. The height of the building is 823 m and has 163 floors. The building was designed by Adrian Smith inspired by a hymenocallis flower.

Burj Khalifa Observation Decks 

The building features observation decks located on the 124th floor, 125th and 148th floor and visitors can enjoy mesmerizing views of Dubai from all of the decks at Burj Khalifa.

Observational Deck on the Level 148 offers a personalized tour guided by a guest Ambassador. The deck is the highest observational deck in the world with an outdoor terrace. There is a SKY lounge where guests can get signature refreshments.

Observational deck on 124th floor is equipped with the avant-garde, high-powered telescopes, augmented reality devices (AR), which allows viewers see the surrounding landscape in real time, as well as saved images taken at different times of day under different conditions and circumstances.

The observation deck on the 125th level is decorated in Arabic mashrabiya and offers 360-degree views.

Prices for observation decks differ according to times of days. Prime hours at decks are from 09:30 AM– 18:00 PM and the cost per adult and child is AED 525 (142,93 USD) and free for infants. Non-prime hours start at 19:00 PM and last until closing, and the admission price for adults and children is AED 373 (100,73 USD) and free for infants. 

Burj Khalifa Park

A 27 acre-park surrounds Burj Khalifa and is among one of the most visited places in Dubai. The design of the park, as well as of the building, is inspired by the flower of Hymenocallis. The center of a park is a water room – a series of pools and water jet fountains. The water that is needed to water the entire park comes from the building’s cooling system, which provides 68,000,000 liters per year, and is the same amount as twenty Olympic sized swimming pools would have. The park has palm-lined walkways, gardens, flowering trees, and jet fountains.

The park is free of charge, does not have a fence and is open to visitors for 24 hours.

World’s Tallest Restaurant

Guests visiting Burj Khalifa in Dubai can enjoy a meal at the tallest restaurant in the world – Atmosphere. The restaurant is located on Level 122 of the building and offers mesmerizing views to Dubai. The atmosphere has a critically acclaimed menu and high-quality products. The Private Dining Room is the most premium experience at Atmosphere and has a seating maximum of 16 guests. Space is available for group bookings and intimate occasions. The restaurant has Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and Wine Menus. Dinner at the restaurant per person costs more than $180 as of January 2019. 

Dubai Dolphinarium

The first fully-conditioned indoor Dolphinarium in the Middle East, situated at Bur Dubai near the Children’s City, offers shows and photo sessions with dolphins and seals. A trip to the dolphinarium will be a great family experience while visiting Dubai. There are numerous activities for children at the building. The government of Dubai opened the dolphinarium in 2008 and keeps sponsoring it, as the government believes interacting with mammals such as dolphins, make children grow up as people who care about marine and environment.

The dolphinarium has 1250 seats and is a modern marine facility. The visitors of the dolphinarium can enjoy Dolphin & Seal Show and see the performances by dolphins and seals, where they can be astonished by the tricks, dance moves, juggling, and immense talent those mammals can demonstrate; They can also attend Creek Park Bird Show and be amazed by the tricks birds can make. Besides, the Dolphinarium offers guests to swim with dolphins, where they can kiss, hug, dance, and connect with dolphins.

The Dubai Dolphinarium has three shows per day at 11:00 AM, 2:00 PM, and 6:00 PM and the regular ticket cost online, as of January 2019, is AED 75 (20, 42 USD) for adults, and AED 45 (12,25 USD) for children. There are VIP tickets also available online at different rates.

If you want to see twenty species of parrots and different kinds of exotic birds, then you want to check out the Creek Park bird show and look at the tricks performed by birds. The ticket to Creek Park Bird Show online in January 2019 costs AED 50 (13,61 USD) for an adult and AED 30 (8,17 USD) for a child.

And finally, swimming with dolphins under the supervision of an expert trainer, where you can have a close interaction with a dolphin in the water, and get a lifetime experience and an unforgettable memory, will cost you AED 630 (171,51 USD) in a mixed group, and AED 2500 (680,61 USD) in a private group of three people. 

Ski Dubai

Can you imagine skiing and enjoy other snow activities when it’s 41 degrees (105,8) outside? The answer is yes, you can!

You can ski, snowboard, have a snowball fight and the weather conditions out will not matter at the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East – Ski Dubai. The ski resort maintains below zero degrees in Celsius throughout the year even when it is over 40 degrees outside. The resort is situated in Mall of the Emirates.

The resort is great for family trips or even solo visits. The diversity of activities at Ski Dubai can entertain every guest. Also if you do not have any previous ski experience and feel worried about skiing without assistance, there is a ski school at Ski Dubai with world-class instructors available that are going to teach and help you.

Ski School at Ski Dubai

If you think you require undivided and exclusive attention from a professional instructor, then you can take a private lesson for skiing with a cost of AED 595 (161,99 USD) per hour.

The Ski School offers group lessons where children from the age of three can join. The rates for lessons vary depending on the lesson type and the age of a student. The cost for an adult, including the equipment for skiing, is AED 255 (69,43 USD) per lesson.

Snow Bullet Ride

If you desire an adrenaline rush at a 150-meter-long line at the height of 16 meters above slopes and skiers, then definitely check out Snow Bullet Ride at the cost of AED 150 (40,84 USD). The price includes two runs on snow bullet and excludes Snow Park access.

 The visitors must be eight years old or above to be allowed to join the Snow Bullet. Children between ages of 8-10 must have an adult accompanying them, and the guests between ages 10-14 must bring a declaration of consent from a guardian. Minimum and maximum weights for visitors at Snow Bullet are 30Kgs (66,14 pounds) and 120Kgs (265 pounds). The Snow bullet is available from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM Sunday-Wednesday, from 10:00 AM until midnight on Thursdays, 9:00 AM to midnight on Fridays, and 9:00 AM to 11:00 PM on Saturdays.

Penguin Encounter

Another great option and one of the top things to do in Dubai while spending time at Ski Dubai is the Penguin Encounter. Visitors can meet Gentoo and King penguins by purchasing different penguin packages at Ski Dubai.

The packages feature a 40-minute experience with penguins and an up-close encounter with two of the penguins. The package includes the special outfit required – Ski Dubai trousers and a jacket along with a helmet, snow boots and a new pair of socks.

The cost of the Penguin Encounter is AED 230 (62,62 USD) per guest. 

Helicopter Tour Dubai

If you want to enjoy aerial scenes of Dubai and have an unforgettable experience, the Helicopter Tour Dubai is the best choice to make. The tours give an opportunity to view Dubai’s landmarks from the top in a short time, plus the exterior of the tallest building in the world can be ideally seen from a helicopter.

The tours differ with duration and locations. The Iconic Tour with the length of 12 minutes, departs from the Dubai Marina and gives viewers an opportunity to see Burj Al Arab, The Palm Jumeirah, The Jumeirah Coastline, Burj Khalifa, Godolphin, Business Bay, and Dubai Canal and costs AED 646 (175,88 USD) per person.

The Palm tour is 17 minutes in duration and departs from the Helidubai Jumeirah Heliport. Throughout the tour, visitors can view Palm Jumeirah, the Burj Al Arab, Burj Khalifa, and Port Rashid. The cost of the trip is AED 814 (221,6 USD) per person.

And the Vision Tour which lasts for 22 minutes, is going to cost AED 1045 (284,5 USD) per person and includes viewing of the Palm Jumeirah, The Atlantis Hotel, The World Islands, Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Canal, Dubai Creek, The Wind Towers in Bur Dubai, Dubai Creek Golf Course, The Jumeirah Coastline, and the traditional areas of the city.

Skydive Dubai

Taking a helicopter tour is not the only way to discover Dubai from above. For tourists who love risky, but safe adventures, it is best to skydive above the city of skyscrapers.

Skydive Dubai manages all skydive activities in Dubai and has two beautiful skydiving locations in Dubai: Desert Campus Drop Zone and Palm Drop Zone. The Desert Campus Drop Zone is situated outside the city, off the highway between Dubai and Al-Ain. Tourists can visit the drop zone not only one time but take courses for becoming a professional skydiver if they wish to. Skydivers can enjoy fantastic views of desert dunes that lead up to the Dubai Skyline. Palm Drop Zone is a bit more select option for skydiving and offers stunning views of Palm Islands and Dubai Skyline.

The price at the Desert Campus Drop Zone per adult is AED 1699 (462,53 USD), and for the Palm Drop Zone, it is AED 2199 (598,65 USD).

The general checkup procedure includes weighing and checking your BMI. The maximum amount of BMI for women is 27,5 and 30 for men. If you are underweight but live a healthy lifestyle, you should be good for skydiving. The person willing to skydive must at be 18 years old and have a valid ID or driver’s license. The prices also include a video, so be ready to be interviewed before you take off. The fly time to the diving altitude is approximately 20 minutes. You will exit the plane once it reaches 13,000 feet.

Although it might sound or seem scary, according to the United States Parachuting Association, it is much safer to skydive than being on the road.

The Dubai Mall

Visitors looking for a shopping experience should visit the Dubai Mall. Opened in 2008, the Dubai Mall is the second largest in the world by the total land area and the largest shopping mall in the United Arab Emirates. The mall is a part of Downtown Dubai and features 1200 shops. For visitors looking for high fashion, there are 70 signature outlets. The mall is one of the most visited places in Dubai; moreover, it was named as the most visited building on the planet in 2011.

The mall features not only shops, but a 250-room luxury hotel, 22-screen cinema, and 120 restaurants and cafes. Reel Cinemas is one of the largest theatres in the region with four cinema suites and 17 commercial screening halls.

Additionally, you can enjoy sweets at the largest candy shop in the world – “Candylicious.”

Guests at the mall can not the only shop but also enjoy attractions there. One of the essential sightseeing here is Human Waterfalls – situated in the center of the building. Featuring sculptures of human figures made of fiberglass with their hands spreading edgeways, the Waterfall has rhythmic water flow. There are windows located near the waterfall so the light can illuminate the attraction and make it look even more magical.

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Situated right in the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are another destination guests of Dubai should consider visiting. Guests will have a chance to see a 10-million-liter tank –one of the largest aquariums in the world. Thousands of aquatic animals have a home at Dubai Aquarium, consisting of more than 140 species. The aquarium also owns the most extensive collection of Sand Tiger Sharks in the world.

The prices for the aquarium differ from another. VIP experiences cost AED 315 (97,75 USD) and include Aquarium Tunnel, Shark Tunnel, Underwater Zoo, Back of House Tour, Underwater Observatory, Submersible Simulator, Glass Bottom Boat ride, VRZoo360, Fish Feeding. Encounter VIP costs AED 390 (106,18 USD) and consists of same packages and one of Encounter Experiences are also included in the price. For AED 135 (36,75 USD) visitors can visit the Aquarium tunnel and the Underwater Zoo. Encounters with Crocs, Otters, and Rays cost AED 100 (27,22 USD). The more expensive encounter is one with sharks, and the rate of it is AED 630 (171,52 USD). 

Dubai Gold Souk

Whether or not, you want to purchase some gold; it is still a great idea to experience the Dubai Gold Souk and walkthrough glittering walkways, as it is one of the traditional markets in Dubai and features 420 retailers.

The Gold Souk is not exclusively for gold; there you can find a diamond, Platinum, and sometimes silver. Pieces are sold in by weight according to the market price at a time.

If you decide to purchase at a market, keep in mind that sellers most likely set high prices in the beginning, as they anticipate you to bargain on the price, so do not go with the starting price and try to negotiate it with the seller. Although visitors can use credit cards, better deals and discounts are always available for those paying with cash.

The Gold Souk is situated in Deira very close to the Al Ras Metro Station. The market is open to guests seven days per week. 

Dubai Spice Souk

Variety of spices and fragrances are lined up for visitors at the Dubai Spice Souk. A guest visiting this market is going to smell various aromas of spices and teas coming from colorful sacks. Besides finding herbs and spices here, it is also an excellent location for a very bright atmosphere. A wide range of nuts, teas, and oils are also available at the traditional market. The market is situated in eastern Dubai, neighboring the Dubai Gold Souk. Some of the spices and herbs are in packets, and some are sold according to weight. The Souk is open every day from 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM. Travelers can use the Al Mas Metro station 400 meters away from the market to get to or to depart from the Dubai Spice Souk.