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Hot things to do in Dubai whether you’re here on a layover or a longer stint

Experience the world’s best, tallest and biggest in Dubai with its many star attractions.

Dubai will have you indulging in luxury, riding to the top of skyscrapers and dining on boats.

The city breaks many world records with its theme parks, Miracle Garden and Dubai Fountain, and don’t miss out on your chance to spend some time at one of its many beaches and ride a camel on a desert safari.

We know the best things to do on your upcoming visit to Dubai. If you need some help getting your bearings, city tours such as Big Bus can introduce you to the lay of the land and drop you off at hotspots as well.


Dubai attractions and tours

Shop for gold

Dubai is a shopping lover’s haven. The city is home to multiple malls and hosts annual shopping festivals. Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) is held in January and February and is perfect for grabbing a discount across the city.

Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS, which is held July–August) was created because DSF became so popular but is more family oriented.

For the everyday shop, Dubai’s souqs are Eastern-style bazaars where even locals shop for everyday things. If you're searching for iconic shopping experiences however, the Gold Souk is the largest indoor gold market in the world and the Mall of Emirates is one of the standout shopping centres in the city.

Time poor? Take a quick shopping tour so you don't miss a moment of the fun.


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See the city from above at Dubai Tower

Also known as the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Tower stands proudly in the city as the world’s tallest building at 828 metres.

Ride to the top to see the city from the viewing decks or have a drink and some snacks at the At.Mosphere Lounge on the 122nd floor.


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Go on a desert safari

Explore Dubai’s countryside, the desert. Ride a camel and surf or drive the ever-rolling hills of sand.

Experience some Arabic culture with henna tattoos and relax as the sun sets for dinner in the desert during a desert safari from the city.


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Stroll around Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a district of Dubai stretching across the shore line. It is an artificially built canal city where yachts fill the water and skyscrapers dot the shore.

Try a camel ride on JBR beach, watch the sunset at a lounge bar or enjoy a dinner cruise.


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Be dazzled by the Dubai Fountain

At the base of Burj Khalifa lies the world’s largest choreographed fountain system: the Dubai Fountain.

The popular light and water show uses 22,0000 gallons of water that shoot up to 150 metres in the air. The water dances on beat to the music and lights up the city every day and night.


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Relax at the Miracle Garden

Take a stroll through Dubai’s Miracle Garden where you’ll find more than 45 million flowers.

A garden located in the middle of the desert, this beautiful place has a record-breaking flower wall and features magnificent sculptures out of flowers. It feels more like an art exhibit than a garden.


Catch a game of tennis

Dubai hosts the Dubai Duty Free Championship every year.

It’s also home to a number of tennis academies including the Clark Francis Tennis Academy.

The city caters to any level of tennis or squash with state-of-the-art facilities. There is even an underwater complex in the making.


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Hit up one of many theme parks

Self-proclaimed as the world’s capital of fun, Dubai has a theme park for every taste. There’s an indoor snow park for skiing year-round, a Legoland, a Ferrari Theme Park, Bollywood, Motiongate and waterparks IMG Worlds of Adventure is the largest indoor theme park in the world and is made for daredevils looking for a thrill.


Tee off on the golf green

Dubai has some of the best facilities in the world for golf including courses at the Els Club, Emirates Golf Club and the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club.

The city hosts the MENA Golf Tour and the Dubai Desert Classic.

You can also find night golf at the Emirates Club for an 18-hole game that lights up the sky.


Soak up the sunshine at a local beach

In the desert heat you’ll definitely want to cool off at one of Dubai’s beaches that include Sunset Beach, Kite Beach, Jumeirah Open Beach, Black Palace Beach and Al Mamzar Beach Park.

Each beach overlooks crystal clear waters and has activities such as kite surfing, paddle boarding and running.


Dubai deals

5% off your first order Get 5% off your first order at City Discovery on activities, tours, experiences and more in destinations worldwide.

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Up to 75% off select worldwide tours and activities

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Valid on select dates. Destinations include Paris, Rome, New York, Singapore, Barcelona, Tokyo and more. T&C's apply.

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Up to 10% off Big Bus tours Valid on select tours in Abu Dhabi, Chicago, Darwin, Dubai, Hong Kong, Las Vegas, London, Miami, Muscat, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Sydney, Vienna and Washington DC.

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Stephanie Yip

Stephanie is the travel editor at finder.com.au. On top of being an avid traveller, she's an all-round bargain hunter. If there's a deal on hotels or a sale on flights, she'll know about it. And she'll let you know about it, too. Though probably not before she buys her own ticket.

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