Here's our list of the 10 best tourist attractions in Dubai that everyone must visit while in the emirate
20 October 2013| Last updated on 16 July 2018
Are you new in or moving to Dubai? Discover our guide to the best places to visit in Dubai and the Dubai's best tourist attractions guide for you.
Whether you're a resident entertaining visitors, or even a tourist yourself, there's plenty of things to do in Dubai that sometimes, it can become a little overwhelming.
From the iconic Dubai hotels, to the authentic Arabian souks, Dubai's best beaches, theme parks and venues... The emirate offers something for everyone, with plenty of Dubai tourist places to suit all.
To help you pull together a fabulous itinerary for a great day out or holiday here, here's our guide to the ten best tourist attractions in Dubai, which includes what to do in Dubai and the top attractions that everyone must see, do and experience!
The top 10 best tourist attractions in Dubai
- 1. Burj Al Arab
- 2. Burj Khalifa
- 3. The Dubai Fountain
- 4. Atlantis, The Palm
- 5. Global Village
- 6. Palm Island
- 7. Dubai Creek
- 8. Ski Dubai
- 9. Dubai Marina
- 10. Wild Wadi
Take a closer look at each Dubai tourist attraction below...
1. Burj Al Arab
Starting with perhaps, the most iconic Dubai hotel and building, the Burj Al Arab - a.k.a the Tower of the Arabs - is the world's only 7 start hotel. As a result, it should be at the top of your 'where to visit in Dubai as a tourist' list.
It's designed to resemble a billowing sail, which makes the Burj Al Arab soar to a height of 321 metres. As a result, it dominates the Dubai skyline, and is the fourth tallest hotel in the world.
It truly is one of the most iconic and most luxurious symbols of Dubai, and is a majestic building. No trip to visit Dubai would be complete without at least seeing it!
How you can visit the Burj Al Arab
If you're not ready to part with AED 650 per person for afternoon tea, or AED 4,500 for a nights stay, there are various view points you can take photos from.
The best place is from the public beach right next to it, which will help you to get that Dubai shot of you on the beach with the Burj Al Arab in the background.
It is one of the most photographed structures in the world, and is constantly voted as the world's most luxurious hotel. It is illuminated at night too, by choreographed lighting, which helps to make it an impressive building day, or night!
2. Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is the world's tallest tower, and is an amazing feat of engineering - the story of which you can see, if you take a trip to "At The Top" - the highest viewing platform in the world.
The best part of any Burj Khalifa experiences is of course, the view from "At The Top", which is located on levels 124 and 125 of the world's tallest tower. This observatory is destined to be the highlight of any visit to the UAE and Middle East as a whole.
A trip to the top of Burj Khalifa begins in the lower ground level of The Dubai Mall. As you embark on your journey to the world's highest viewing deck, visitors are entertained by a multi-media presentation of the history of Dubai, and the marvel that is Burj Khalifa.
How you can visit Burj Khalifa in Dubai
- Location: Click here
- Timings: 8:30am - 11pm
- Contact number: +971 4 888 8124 / 800 ATTHETOP (800 28843867)
- Email: [email protected]
To save time, money and stress, our top tip is to buy your tickets online in advance - the slots sell out fast, especially the sunset ones so make sure you get booked in in time so you don't miss your chance to experience one of the main tourist attractions in Dubai!
How much is a ticket for Burj Khalifa?
Tickets for Burj Khalifa's "At The Top" attraction are:
- Adult (12+ years) general admission: AED 135 non-prime hours
- Child (4-12 years) general admission: AED 100 non-prime hours
- Adult (12+ years) general admission: AED 210 prime hours
- Child (4-12 years) general admission: AED 100 prime hours
- Infant (below 4 years): Free
Non-prime hours at Burj Khalifa's "At The Top" are from 9am until 3.30pm, and 6.30pm until closing. Prime hours are from 4pm until 6pm.
3. The Dubai Fountain
At the base of the world's tallest tower, is the world's most amazing fountain show! In fact, The Dubai Fountain is the world's largest dancing fountain!
Set on the 30-acre Burj Khalifa lake, The Dubai Fountain shoots water jets as high as 500 ft, equivalent to that of a 50 storey building. The Dubai Fountain is 900 ft long, and has five circles of varying sizes, with two central arcs.
Did you know? The Dubai Fountain is designed by California-based WET, who are also the creators of the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas, USA.
The performance repertoire includes songs such as Sama Dubai, Baba Yetu - an award-winning song in Swahili - and the Arab world's top-selling dance number, Shik Shak Shok. A show is also set to the tune of the signature piece of world-renowned Italian tenor, Andrea Bocelli, 'Con Te Partiro' - Time To Say Goodbye.
You might also be interested in:
- The best places to propose in Dubai
- The top NEW Dubai tourist attractions to visit
- A guide to Dubai's public transport
Over 6,600 WET superlights and 25 colour projectors create the visual spectrum for The Dubai Fountain. In fact, the beam of light that shines upward from the fountain can be seen from over 20 miles away, and is visible from space... Making it the brightest spot in the Middle East, and quite possibly the entire world.
What are The Dubai Fountain timings?
The Dubai Fountain show schedule is as follows:
- Daily: 1pm to 1.30pm
- Friday afternoon shows: 1.30pm to 2pm
- Evening shows: 6pm to 12 midnight, every 30 minutes
How can you visit The Dubai Fountain
To watch The Dubai Fountain shows for free, visitors can simply find a spot along the promenades around Burj Lake, by Souk Al Bahar and also The Dubai Mall.
For an enhanced experience, visitors to The Dubai Fountain can also book a traditional Abra ride on the Burj Lake while enjoying The Dubai Fountain shows. The Dubai Fountain Lake Ride tickets can be booked at tickets.atthetop.ae.
You can also step on board a unique viewing platform as part of The Dubai Fountain's newest experience, which costs AEd 20 per person. You can buy tickets at The Dubai Fountain Abra Tickets counter, on the waterfront promenade by The Dubai Mall or online.
4. Atlantis, The Palm
Atlantis, The Palm is a majestic resort in Dubai, situated on Dubai's equally as famous Palm Island, which is a man-made island that has captured the world's imagination with its magnificent scale and ingenuity.
From the moment you arrive at Atlantis, The Palm, you will be immersed in a dazzling world of imagination, pleasure and luxury of Dubai's 5-star hotels.
The resort offers relaxation and thrills for couples alike, including:
- Unique marine habitats, like The Lost Chambers attraction
- An exhilarating water park in the form of Aquaventure Waterpark
- Pristine white beaches
- World-class cuisine in 23 restaurants
- An indulgent spa, ShuiQi spa, to awaken your senses
- Cosmopolitan boutiques to shop until your heart is content
How you can visit Atlantis, The Palm hotel and resort
If you have a car, or arrange a taxi, you can enjoy the sight of Atlantis, The Palm, by driving up to Crescent Road on the Palm Island. Take care though, as most of the time the road-side parking is blocked because of the hundreds of people who also do the same.
Otherwise, we recommend booking a reservation at one of the 23 dining options to choose from within the hotel itself and enjoy a night to remember.
5. Global Village
For the past 15 years, Global Village in Dubai has been providing cultural entertainment along with an international shopping experience to millions of visitors.
Breathtaking live performances, mouth-watering cuisine, authentic handicrafts and merchandise from different countries await you at the many national pavilions in Global Village.
There are many more attractions, including thrilling rides, games and firework displays, to complete your visit. Global Village is open from November to March every year, some year's the extravaganza is extended sometimes well into April - it's worth checking their website for more details if your trip falls over the March / April cut off.
How can you visit Global Village
As mentioned, Global Village is open from November to March every year, and is closed during the summer due to the higher temperatures in Dubai.
6. Palm Island
Dubai's Palm Island - or Palm Jumeirah - has everything you need to enjoy a wonderful holiday break in Dubai.
World famous hotel names, amazing Dubai tourist attractions, and luxury fashion and shopping malls. Whether you want to just relax, or immerse yourself in an exciting world of leisure and entertainment, this is a truly inspiration holiday destination in Dubai.
Visitors will come to enjoy the magnificent sunsets, unwind in the spas, pools and gardens and eat out at the fine selection of restaurants.
There's a wide range of daytime activities, including water sports, aquariums, theme parks and of course miles of beautiful beaches. And at night, the bars, clubs and shows will offer plenty of fun and amusement.
Top things to do in Dubai on Palm Jumeirah
- A Palm cruise tour around the world's largest man-made island
- Hop-on/hop-off Big Bus Dubai tour
- Visit Atlantis, The Palm's Aquaventure Waterpark
- Say hello to the fishes at The Lost Chambers Aquarium inside Atlantis, The Palm
- Enjoy fine-dining steak at Jumeirah's Zabeel Saray
- Unwind at the Palm's Club Vista Mare and promenade
- Take a stand-up paddle board lesson
- Enjoy a kayak tour of Palm Jumeirah
- Enjoy a pool and beach day at a 5* Dubai hotel
7. Dubai Creek
The natural seawater inlet that cuts through the centre of the city is the historical part of Dubai where visitors can take an abra (small water taxi) and view the old trading port and the dhows from the water.
A cruise to Al Maktoum Bridge will pass many of the city's historic as well as modern landmarks. A stroll around the wharf offers a picturesque glimpse of Dubai's trading heritage, where dhows bound for distant places dock to unload their goods.
The Creek, a natural sea water inlet which cuts through the centre of the city, is the historic focal point of life in Dubai. A stroll along its banks evokes the city’s centuries-old trading traditions.
Visitors will be captivated by the colour and bustle of the loading and unloading of dhows which still ply ancient trade routes to places as distant as India and East Africa.
The best things to do at the Dubai Creek
- Visit Al Bastakiya District, Heritage Village and Dubai Museum
- Ride a cable car, suspended 30 metres in the air
- Cruise Dubai Creek on a water taxi, a wooden dhow or abra
- Visit Dubai Dolphinarium
- Take a walk around the Dhow Wharfage for an interesting close-up tour of Dubai's abra trade
- Shop spices at the Dubai Spice Souk
- Treat yourself to gold at the Dubai Gold Souk - don't forget to haggle!
- Go mall hopping; from Deira City Centre, Burjuman or even The Dubai Mall nearby
- Watch the sun set over Dubai Creek... The view from Boardwalk and QD's is spectacular
8. Ski Dubai
Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing, or just playing in the snow.
Young or old, there is something for everyone, from the beginner to the snow sport enthusiast. Ski Dubai is a unique mountain-themed attraction that offers you the opportunity to enjoy real snow in Dubai all year round.
You don't have to worry about ski clothing or equipment either. Ski Dubai has thought of it all and offers guests the use of winter clothing, ski and snowboard equipment. Your skis will carry you down the slope and our quad-chairlift and tow lift will promptly carry you back to the top for another run.
How can you visit Ski Dubai
If you're not a skier or snowboarder yourself, Ski Dubai do offer other activities like tobogganing and their inflatable balls that roll down the hill - with you in it! Alternatively, you can have the chance to meet the penguins there too.
Lastly, if you're unable to spare a few hours for the slopes, you can enjoy the marvellous view of Ski Dubai's ski slopes from within Mall of the Emirates!
9. Dubai Marina
Located between JBR and Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Marina is filled with skyscrapers, retail outlets and plenty of dining options. Every day and night, the marina is buzzing from both residents and tourists who flock to the marina promenade to unwind - weather permitting, of course.
Did you know? Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marina in the world and is home to super yachts, Dubai's iconic twisted tower and also Dubai Marina Mall.
Top things to do in Dubai Marina
- Take a ride on a water taxi or one of Dubai Marina's dhow cruises
- Enjoy a sunset dinner cruise on Dubai Marina waters
- Visit The Walk and The Beach at JBR
- Unwind at Zero Gravity Beach Club
- Shop and dine at Dubai Marina Mall
- Go for a camel ride on JBR Beach
- Watch the sunset at Pure Sky Lounge in Hilton Dubai Jumeirah
- Enjoy ladies night at Pier 7
- Smoke shisha and enjoy the view at Shades on TOP of Dubai Marina Mall
10. Wild Wadi
Located Dubai and situated directly in front of the Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi offers 30 rides and attractions for all the family to enjoy! You and your loved ones can enjoy spectacular views and wild rides together - like the famous Jumeirah Sceirah! Other incredible Wild Wadi rides include the Burj Surj, Tantrum Alley, Juha's Journey, Wipeout and Riptide and more!
Did you know? Wild Wadi is themed around the tale of Juha, a known character from the Arabian folklore.
This outdoor waterpark in Dubai is a favourite for residents and tourists alike, and with views of Burj Al Arab and the surrounding areas, it's the perfect place to capture some fantastic family moments together.