What is there to see and do in Dubai? Plenty. As one of the most popular destinations for travel in the world, Dubai is bursting at its seams with experiences waiting to be explored. This dramatic emirate is also one of the prominent cities in the world that offers a range of unique and thrilling activities and attractions. With its towering city skylines, high-class lifestyle blending, and Bedouin traditions, Dubai lets you experience some off-beaten attractions and fascinating one-of-a-kind landmarks that you will witness nowhere else in the world.
Here is a curated collection of unique and out-of-the-box things to do in Dubai that you absolutely must include in a Dubai holiday.
Table of contents: ()
Xline Dubai Ziplining
Gliding over the breathtaking vistas of Dubai Marina with the soft breeze against your face as you whoosh to the other side is oddly enthralling. If you have never tried ziplining, then try it on a Dubai holiday. Ziplining is a popular sport among Dubai visitors because it is exhilarating to hang tight and zoom off at the longest urban zipline in the world. At Dubai Marina, Xline Dubai offers two zip lines parallel to each other from the 170-meters high platform of Dubai Marina Mall. It is also one of the steepest ziplines in the Middle East tapering down to the other end of Dubai Marina taking you at a speed of 80 km/h. A ride on the zipline offers incredible aerial views of Dubai Marina and its surroundings. You can also enjoy this ride together with your family and friends.
Xline Dubai experiences take place from Amwaj Tower at Dubai Marina Mall.
Thursday, Sunday and Monday – 2:30pm to 5:30pm. Friday and Saturday – 10:30am to 12:30pm and 2:30pm to 5:30pm.
A solo ziplining experience costs around AED 399 per person, and a two-person experience costs AED 699.
How to get there:
You can take a metro (MRed line) and get off at DMCC Metro Station 1 at Dubai Marina. If you are driving, it will take about 20 to 30 minutes to reach Dubai Marina from Downtown Dubai and just 10 minutes from Palm Jumeirah.
Dubai desert safari
Let’s start a little further away from Dubai city. Go beyond the extravagant malls and modern towers of Dubai, and you find yourself surrounded by the serene scenery of the Arabian desert. Gear up for an offbeat experience in the middle of nowhere! Dubai’s grand desert landscape is an exciting adventure playground for thrill-seekers seeking some fun time on a Dubai Holiday. Have you ever tried skiing in the desert? Try it out on a desert safari tour where you can enjoy sandboarding, dune bashing, buggy rides, quad biking, camel rides, and much more. You can choose from a variety of desert experiences, such as an afternoon adventure safari, an evening desert safari, and even a premium desert camping experience where you can spend a night under the starry Arabian skies in deluxe luxury tents.
Location: Outskirts of Dubai, some 45 minutes away from the city center.
Activities one can experience on Dubai desert safari:
- Quad biking
- Camel rides
- Sheesha sessions in the evening
- BBQ Arabian dinner in the evening
- Henna painting and traditional folklore entertainment.
- Overnight stay with a bonfire amid Bedouin settings
You can kind of travel around the world in Dubai. Just step into Global Village next time you are in Dubai. Global Village is the world’s biggest multi-cultural theme park and portrays the exciting culture, entertainment, traditional merchandise, and cuisine of over 90 countries in the world. It is like a mega carnival of diverse nations in one place, and you can go destination hopping in a matter of hours. This fascinating attraction is seasonal and stays open only in the cooler months in Dubai. Global Village brings together a mish-mash of ethnic cultures of the world for you in one arena.
Location: Global Village is located at Sheikh Mohammed Biz Zayed Road (E11) in Dubai
Activities and experiences:
- Visit Country Pavillons
- Enjoy various street performances and live stage shows
- Explore an extravagant food scene of intense flavors from various parts of the world.
- Enjoy family time at Carnaval
- Discover exciting and bizarre facts at Ripley’s Believe It or Not.
Saturday till Wednesday – 4 pm to 12 am and Thursday till Friday – 4 pm to 1 am. Mondays are reserved for families and ladies except on Public holidays.
See the world for a mere AED 15 per person for a day. It is a single-entry ticket. Children under the age of 3 and People of determination can enter free of charge. Certain attractions inside the Global Village will cost additional ticket charges.
How to get there:
Since Global Village is located on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road/E11, you can easily take a taxi from anywhere in Dubai and follow the signs that direct you to Global Village.
Indoor Aquarium Scuba diving
Indoor scuba diving is a one-of-a-kind experience you can enjoy only in Dubai. The emirate has a couple of world-class gigantic aquariums teeming with a plethora of colorful and exotic marine life. Get an up-close encounter with colorful aquatic life with an aquarium diving experience. Two main attractions that allow indoor diving experiences in Dubai are Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis the Palm Dubai and Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo at Dubai Mall. Whether you are a beginner or a certified diver, these locations offer the best instructors, safety protocols, and state-of-the-art facilities to make the experience smooth and memorable. Even children above the age of 10 years can join in on an underwater expedition at Lost Chambers Aquarium.
Lost Chambers Aquarium is located in The Avenues at Atlantis the Palm in Palm Jumeirah. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo are nestled within Dubai Mall at the Dubai Downtown area.
Diving sessions at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo take place at 1 pm, 3 pm, and 5 pm. You can opt for time slots at Lost Chambers Aquarium – 10 am or 2 pm.
Scuba Diving costs:
The Discover Scuba Diving experience at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo costs about AED 1210 per person. You can do a dive discovery tour at Lost Chamber Aquarium for AED 1450 per person, letting you explore the Ambassador Lagoon for 30 minutes.
How to get there:
Lost Chambers Aquarium: If you are driving in Dubai, take the Sheikh Zayed Road towards Jebel Ali. Take Exit 34 and continue towards Crescent Road Palm Dubai and turn right after the tunnel to reach the entrance to Atlantis the Palm Dubai. You can alternatively take the metro towards the UAE exchange station and get off at the Mall of the Emirates station. From there you can take a taxi to the resort.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: Take the metro line, which has a stop at Dubai Mall. Proceed to Dubai Aquarium inside Dubai Mall through the suspended glass aquarium tunnel. Underwater Zoo is located on Level 2 of Dubai Mall.
Did you know that there is a snowy wonderland in Dubai? Hard to believe, but yes! Ski Dubai is the first-of-its-kind indoor snow and ski resort in the Middle East, offering the ideal escape from the sweltering desert heat. Located at the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai offers an indoor mountain terrain sheathed in the snow that lets you enjoy some amazing snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding, zorbing, and chairlifts. This is the only place in Dubai where you can enjoy frosty moments at subzero temperatures. This sprawling indoor wintry theme park is also home to some adorable penguins whom you can watch waddling around in the arena. You could also join them for breakfast with the penguin experience at Ski Dubai.
Location: Ski Dubai is located at the Mall of the Emirates at Sheikh Zayed Road.
Sunday to Thursday – 10 am till midnight, Friday and Saturday – 9 am till midnight. The Penguin March takes place daily at 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm, and 8 pm.
You have various options for Ski Dubai experience.
– Snow Daycation Passcosts around AED 250 per person, including 1-day access to Snow Park and rides, unlimited Zorb ball and Mountain Thriller experience, 1 chairlift activity, and any of the following activities: Snow Bullet Ride, Ski or Snowboarding Lesson or Slope Session, Penguin Encounter.
– Snow Park Admission allows one-time access to Snow Park with unlimited snow rides and Zorb ball experience at approx. AED 150 per person.
– 2-Hour Slope Ticket offers 2 hours of non-stop fun at Slope Sessions for approx. AED 210 per person.
– 2-Day Slope Pass lets you enjoy access to Slope Session for two days at approx. AED 320 per person.
– Snow Premium Admission – Pay AED 490 per person and get unlimited access to all snow experiences, 40 minutes Penguin Encounter, and any of Ski or Snow-boarding lessons or Slope Sessions.
How to get there:
It takes around 20 minutes by car via Sheikh Zayed Road from Dubai Downtown to reach Ski Dubai. You can also take the metro that takes you directly to the Mall of the Emirates stop.
At the Top – Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is one of the best places to visit in Dubai to witness this emirate’s extravagant splendors. Dubai has always been known for its larger-than-life flair and its keenness on having the best attractions in the world. Burj Khalifa is the pioneering proof of Dubai that it makes its dream visions a reality. This iconic landmark of modern Dubai dominates Downtown Dubai and stands towering at 829 meters high. Burj Khalifa thus offers a marvelous viewing experience from level 124 and level 125, known as At the Top – Burj Khalifa – the highest observatory decks in the world. A bird’s eye view in the evening from At the Top Burj Khalifa offers jaw-dropping views of the illuminated Dubai and the beautiful Dubai Fountain swaying in colorful hues.
At the Top Burj Khalifa is located at levels 124 and 125 of Burj Khalifa. The iconic landmark of Dubai is nestled in Blvd Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid in Downtown Dubai.
Activities to enjoy:
- Ride the fastest elevator in the world.
- Enjoy closer views from high above with state-of-the-art telescopes
- Enjoy the sweeping 360-degree panorama of the Dubai skyline from an outdoor observation deck.
- Capture interesting moments with special effects and virtual reality experiences.
At the Top Burj Khalifa has non-prime hours and prime hours.
Level 124 and 125 – Non-Prime hours: 10 am to3:30 pm, 6:30 pm to 10 pm on Sundays to Wednesdays; 10 am to3:30 pm, 6:30 pm to midnight on Thursdays to Saturdays. Prime Hours: 4 pm till 6 pm daily.
The ticket costs start at AED 149 per person. These vary depending on prime and non-prime hours and also on the observatory deck level experience you choose.
How to get there:
Burj Khalifa can be reached at approx. 20 minutes from Dubai International Airport and Palm Jumeirah via Sheikh Zayed Road(E11). You can also take the metro and get down at Burj Khalif stop which is just a few minutes away from Burj Khalifa.
VR Park Dubai
The first-ever virtual and augmented reality-themed attraction in the Middle East, this VR Park is a fun way to take a pause from reality and get lost in the virtual world filled with adventure and wonder. Located at Level 2 in Dubai Mall, VR Park Dubai is a sprawling 2-story arena filled with 18 interactive games and simulated rides that catapult you into a virtual zone. You can enjoy adrenaline-rushing, relaxing experiences, and mild or spine-chilling suspense thrillers. Certain experiences are designed in such a way that you can enjoy the virtual landscapes together with friends and family.
Location: VR Park is located on Level 2 of Dubai Mall.
- Dubai Drone – Fly around Dubai in a virtual drone taxi.
- Burj Drop – experience a virtual jump down the tallest building in the world
- The Raft – a multi-player virtual experience where you try to escape and combat supernatural creatures.
- Dune Bash – enjoy a virtual desert dune-bashing experience with a thrilling twist as you encounter weird giant creatures in the desert.
- Arena – An augmented reality experience suited for all ages that take you to mesmerizing landscapes such as the Arctic and prehistoric times.
Sunday to Thursday-12 pm to 10 pm. Friday and Saturday- 10 am till midnight.
Entry to VR Park is free. However, you will have to purchase tickets if you want to play any virtual reality games, which can cost anywhere between AED 15 to AED 60 per person. The ticket prices vary as per the experiences you choose. You can also purchase passes that let you enjoy a specific number of rides inside this incredible park.
How to get there:
Take a metro ride directly to the Dubai Mall stop. You can also drive, which takes about 20 minutes from Palm Jumeirah and Dubai International Airport.