25 Best Activities to Do in Dubai – Dubai Vacation Guide

Why settle for the ordinary when you can experience the extraordinary?

Ever wondered what surfing on sand dunes or dining underwater surrounded by aquatic life feels like? Dubai is where the extraordinary comes to life. This metropolis in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is where fantasy meets reality, offering an array of mind-blowing activities that turn regular vacations into unforgettable adventures.

In 2022 alone, this city of wonders welcomed over 16 million tourists from all around the globe. Imagine the bustling bazaars, shimmering skyscrapers, and vibrant, multicultural society – all in the middle of a desert!

Dubai indeed spins the tales of One Thousand and One Nights into the 21st Century. If you’re planning your next holiday in Dubai, prepare to be dazzled by a destination that dares to dream big.

Dubai Adventure - best activities to do in dubai
Dubai Adventure – best activities to do in dubai

Why Choose Dubai for Your Next Vacation?

It’s simple – this cosmopolitan oasis seamlessly blends tradition with innovation, offering an extraordinary array of activities that you simply won’t find anywhere else.

Fancy standing atop the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, marveling at a bird’s eye view of this futuristic city? How about indulging in retail therapy at the Dubai Mall, home to over 1200 stores, from luxury brands to local artisans? Or maybe you’re more tempted by the idea of a traditional dhow cruise along the enchanting Dubai Creek, providing a glimpse into the city’s past?

All of these are just a few of the several activities to do in Dubai, making your holiday in Dubai an unforgettable experience.

Statistics back up Dubai’s appeal, too. Despite the global slump in tourism due to the recent pandemic, Dubai’s resilience saw it bounce back stronger than ever.

  • Imagine yourself exploring the vast Arabian desert, engaging in exhilarating dune bashing during the day, and dining under the stars at a traditional Bedouin camp by night.
  • Picture yourself learning about the rich history and culture of the UAE at the Dubai Museum or delving into the thriving art scene at the Alserkal Avenue Art District.

Your Dubai vacation is not just a trip – it’s a journey filled with unique experiences that go beyond the usual tourist attractions. It is a chance to step out of your comfort, engage with different cultures, and create memories that will last a lifetime. This is why Dubai should be at the top of your travel bucket list. It’s time to live the dream and plan your perfect holiday in Dubai.


Dubai Skydiving & Beyond: Experiencing Thrills in the Desert

Things to do in Dubai - Sky Diving
Things to do in Dubai – Sky Diving

Dubai, renowned for its ambitious architectural endeavors and ultra-luxurious lifestyle, is also a thrill-seekers’ paradise. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or just wanting to step out of your comfort zone, this city offers a diverse array of high-energy activities that will get your heart racing.

From skydiving above the city’s iconic skyline to diving into an underwater dining experience, here’s how you can turn up the adventure quotient on your Dubai vacation.

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Skydiving: Embrace the Adrenaline Rush

Nothing quite screams “thrill-seeker” like free-falling from 13,000 feet above the Earth’s surface. One of the most exciting activities to do in Dubai, skydiving provides you with an unparalleled bird’s eye view of this architectural marvel.

From the Palm Jumeirah’s iconic fronds to the Burj Al Arab’s sail-like design, this aerial perspective is one you’ll never forget on your Dubai vacation.


Underwater Dining: An Undersea Odyssey

Underwater dining in Dubai takes the culinary experience to a whole new level. Places like Ossiano at Atlantis The Palm, Al Mahara at Burj Al Arab, and Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara offer such dining experiences.

Amidst an elegant ambiance, enjoy your meal as you watch the marine life glide by. You might spot anything from a graceful manta ray to a curious tropical fish. There’s nothing quite like enjoying gourmet delicacies as you gaze into the mesmerizing aquatic world.

Cruise ride in dubai holiday adventure
Cruise ride in dubai holiday adventure

Cruise Ride: A Serene Soiree

A cruise ride in Dubai is a perfect way to enjoy the city’s picturesque skyline. The Dubai Marina, the Creek, and the Canal are popular spots for such cruises. Whether it’s the rustic charm of a traditional dhow, the luxury of a yacht, or the novelty of a houseboat, these cruise rides offer a fresh perspective of the city.

Watch as iconic structures like the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Frame, and the Dubai Creek Tower pass you by. As you enjoy a mouth-watering spread under the starlit sky, you’ll understand why this is one of the must-do things in Dubai.


Desert activities to do in dubai - dubai adventure activities
Desert activities to do in dubai – dubai adventure activities

Desert Safari: An Arabian Adventure

A desert safari is an unmissable part of any Dubai vacation. Companies like Arabian Adventures, Platinum Heritage, and OceanAir Travels offer various desert safari packages.

Experience the thrill of dune bashing, the serenity of a camel ride, or the culture in a Bedouin camp.

As the golden sun sets below the horizon, indulge in a lavish spread of Middle Eastern cuisine. You might also witness traditional dance forms like Tanura and belly dance.

From adventure to culture to cuisine, a desert safari in Dubai offers an unforgettable Arabian experience and activities to do in Dubai.


Dubai Water Adventures: From Waterparks to Paddle Boarding

The adventure in Dubai doesn’t stop at the desert’s edge. With its sun-drenched coastline and clear azure waters, the city provides an ideal playground for water enthusiasts. Here, you will find everything from some of the world’s most impressive waterparks to a myriad of exciting water sports activities.

No matter whether you want to ride the waves or glide along the city’s serene waters, there’s a water adventure waiting for you in Dubai.

Things to do in Dubai - A modern waterpark
Things to do in Dubai – A modern waterpark

Aqua Fun: Splash into Excitement

When it comes to water-based fun, Dubai houses one of the world’s biggest waterparks. With gravity-defying slides, lazy rivers, and thrilling wave pools, there’s never a dull moment here.

Whether you’re a thrill-seeker or simply looking to cool off from the desert heat, a day spent here is an absolute must on your holiday in Dubai.


Wakeboarding: Ride the Waves

Seeking to inject a dose of adrenaline into your Dubai vacation? Try your hand at wakeboarding. The city’s warm waters and year-round sunshine make it an ideal location for this exhilarating water sport.

With professional instructors at hand, you’ll be riding the waves in no time!


Kitesurfing: Harness the Power of Wind

For a different pace, why not give kitesurfing a go? Feel the rush as you harness the wind and glide across the water on your board. Dubai’s coastline offers perfect conditions for this exciting sport, and there are plenty of schools where beginners can learn the ropes.


Paddleboarding: Find Your Balance

Paddleboarding offers a tranquil alternative to high-octane water sports. This activity is perfect for those looking for a low-key adventure while enjoying Dubai’s beautiful coastline. It’s not only relaxing but also an excellent way to exercise during your holiday in Dubai.


Must-Do Activities in Dubai: Ski Dubai, Bungee Jumping, etc.

things to do in dubai - Dubai adventure
things to do in dubai – Dubai adventure

Dubai, the City of Gold, teems with a vast array of unique and thrilling activities waiting to be discovered on your next vacation. From the snowy slopes of Ski Dubai to the heart-stopping thrill of bungee jumping, there’s an adventure around every corner that can take your Dubai vacation to a whole new level.


Flyboarding: Defy Gravity with a Unique Water Sport

flyboarding dubai adventure activities
flyboarding dubai adventure activities

The adrenaline junkies looking for unique activities to do in Dubai need not look further. As you strap on a flyboard and feel the jet of water push you skyward, you’ll get to taste a rush that is as exhilarating as it is surreal.

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Perform flips, dive into the Persian Gulf, or just hover above the water, taking in the sight of the iconic Burj Al Arab in the distance. This adventure, typically available all year round, is a must-add to your Dubai vacation itinerary.

Seabreacher: An Aquatic Rollercoaster Unlike Any Other

Imagine being in a vessel that looks like a shark, behaves like a dolphin, and gives you an adrenaline rush like a rollercoaster! The Seabreacher does just that. It’s a semi-submersible watercraft that lets you zip through the water at high speeds, jump high into the air and dive under the waves.

Operating all year round, this unique water adventure can be found at JBR Beach or Umm Suqeim Beach.


Swimming with Dolphins: Creating Cherished Memories

At the Dubai Dolphinarium, you get the chance to make your holiday in Dubai truly special by swimming with dolphins. A dream for both kids and adults, this heartwarming, family-friendly activity not only entertains but also educates about the intelligence and grace of these marine creatures.

Swimming with dolphin in dubai vacation
Swimming with dolphin in dubai vacation

Exploring Unique Restaurants: A Dubai Vacation for Your Taste Buds

Dubai’s culinary scene is as diverse as its inhabitants. Dining at Noir gives you an unforgettable sensory experience of eating in complete darkness. At Ossiano, feast your eyes on the majestic aquarium around you as you sample exquisite seafood.

Whether you’re a foodie or just an adventurous eater, exploring these unique dining experiences is one of the things to do in Dubai.


Ski Dubai: Winter Wonderland in the Middle of the Desert

Within the vast Mall of the Emirates lies Ski Dubai, a winter wonderland where you can indulge in activities like skiing, snowboarding, or just playing in the snow. You can even meet penguins! Defying the desert heat outside, Ski Dubai offers a chilling and thrilling experience all year round.

Dubai Vacation - Women Skiing in Dubai
Dubai Vacation – Women Skiing in Dubai


Deep Dive: An Encounter with the Underwater World

Dubai Aquarium, housed within the Dubai Mall, is one of the largest suspended aquariums worldwide. A deep dive here is not for the faint-hearted, as it involves swimming alongside rays and sharks! For marine enthusiasts, this is an unmissable adventure during their Dubai vacation.

Deep dive underworld dubai adventure activities
Deep dive underworld dubai adventure activities


Bungee Jumping: Leap into an Adrenaline Pumping Experience

Dubai Gravity Zone offers you the thrilling opportunity to free-fall from a height of 50 meters. Overlooking the beautiful cityscape, this bungee jumping experience will test your courage and provide a unique perspective of the city.


Desert Camping: A Night Under the Stars

Desert camping - things to do in dubai vacation plan
Desert camping – things to do in dubai vacation plan

For a more serene and authentic Emirati experience, desert camping is a must-do activity. Enjoy a clear, starlit sky, traditional dance performances, and delicious Arabian cuisine in the tranquil expanse of the desert.

It’s an overnight escape from the city hustle that you will cherish. Camping in the desert is a another level of adventure that will be a memorable one.


Helicopter Tour: Unparalleled Views of Dubai’s Splendor

A helicopter tour provides breathtaking aerial views of Dubai’s architectural marvels. Marvel at Palm Jumeirah, Burj Khalifa, and more from a perspective few get to enjoy. For those seeking a luxurious experience in their Dubai vacation, this is it.


Hot Air Balloon Ride: Float Above Endless Sands

Experience the tranquillity of drifting over the Arabian Desert as the sun paints the sky with shades of red and gold. A hot air balloon ride around sunrise is a tranquil and mesmerizing experience that promises unforgettable views and the opportunity to witness the desert life awakening below.


Dubai Autodrome: Fulfill Your Need for Speed

Rev up your holiday in Dubai with a visit to the Dubai Autodrome. This world-class racing circuit offers driving experiences that will satisfy your speed cravings. Test your skills in a high-performance race car, or just enjoy the thrill of watching professional racers in action.


Sandboarding - holiday in dubai
Sandboarding – holiday in dubai

Sandboarding and Quad Biking: Conquer the Arabian Desert

Embark on an adventure in the desert dunes with sandboarding and quad biking. Glide down dunes on a board, or rev up a quad bike and navigate through the shifting sands. These exhilarating desert sports, available throughout the year, offer a different kind of fun that contrasts with the city’s urban attractions.

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Dubai Expo: A Global Showcase of Culture and Innovation

The Dubai Expo is an unparalleled cultural feast that features innovators, artists, and visionaries from around the globe. This must-attend event celebrates human ingenuity and provides an inspiring look at the future.

If you’re planning a holiday in Dubai while the Expo is on, you’re in for a cultural and educational treat.

Your Dubai vacation can be as laid-back or as adrenaline-pumping as you want it to be. The city of Dubai has something for everyone, whether you’re a thrill-seeker, a culture enthusiast, a foodie, or just someone looking to unwind in the lap of luxury.


Uncover More on Your Dubai Vacation: Self-Exploration in the City of Gold

In the whirlwind of glamour and thrill that is Dubai, you might find yourself yearning for experiences that are a bit more personal and authentic. And the city, as vibrant and diverse as it is, delivers just that.


A Stroll Through History in Old Dubai

Start with a walk through the narrow, labyrinthine lanes of Al Fahidi Historical District in Old Dubai. Here, the scent of traditional Arabic coffee lingers in the air, and charming sandstone houses stand as a testament to a bygone era.

It’s a different world altogether – one that will make it seem as though you’ve stepped back in time.


Feasting on Deira’s Street Food

Street Food - Activities to do in Dubai
Street Food – Activities to do in Dubai

Next, head to Deira, the city’s commercial heart, where you can sample the mouth-watering street food. A stroll along its bustling streets will lead you to stalls offering shawarma, falafel, and camel burgers, among other local treats.

Don’t miss the fresh seafood at the Deira Fish Market, where you can have your pick cooked on the spot.


The Serenity of an Abra Ride

Nothing quite captures the essence of Dubai like a tranquil abra ride across Dubai Creek. As the small wooden boat gently navigates the waterway, you’ll get to see the city’s stunning contrast, from the historical heart to the glittering modern cityscape.


Discovering Hidden Gems: Markets and Souks

Amid the city’s towering skyscrapers and luxury malls, you’ll find traditional markets or souks filled with hidden gems. The Textile Souk, with its vibrant fabrics, and the Spice Souk, with its aromatic treasures, offer sensory delights that will enrich your Dubai vacation.

Woman on a Holiday in Dubai
Woman on a Holiday in Dubai


Finding Peace in Dubai’s Parks

For a quiet respite, visit the city’s beautifully maintained parks. Safa Park, Zabeel Park, or the Dubai Miracle Garden offer idyllic settings for picnics, leisurely walks, or simply soaking up the sun.


Hatta: A Day Trip into Tranquility

Finally, consider a day trip to the charming enclave of Hatta. Here, you can kayak in the Hatta Dam reservoir, hike in the Hajar Mountains, or explore the Hatta Heritage Village. It’s a slice of rural Emirati life, offering a serene contrast to the bustling city.


Final Thoughts

Desert safari dubai vacation guide
Desert safari dubai vacation guide

Dubai offers a wide spectrum of experiences, ranging from adrenaline-fueled adventures to serene explorations. It’s a city that effortlessly combines tradition with innovation, creating a unique blend that appeals to every traveler.

Dubai offers a kaleidoscope of experiences that beckon travelers from all walks of life. When it comes to vacationing, don’t just travel – make a statement. As Ibn Battuta, the famous Arab traveler, said, “Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

And there’s no better place to do that than in Dubai. It’s more than a vacation – it’s a life-changing experience. Dubai awaits. Are you ready?

Afia Azeez

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