Since the turn of the 21st century, Dubai has rocketed up its popularity rankings. The city has implemented an ambitious tourism strategy to attract 25 million visitors a year by 2025, and it’s already almost there.
Thanks to its iconic skyscrapers, unrivaled adventure activities, fantastic tourist attractions, family friendly theme parks, world-class entertainment and exclusive experiences (dinner in the sky, anyone?), Dubai has established itself as a global leader in innovation, technology, and tourism. But the City of Gold is also rich in vibrant history and culture, which exquisitely complements its modern flare.
Need help planning your trip to this desert oasis? Looking for fun and unforgettable things to do in Dubai? Look no further
Situated on the main floor of the sprawling Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium houses a 10 million liter water tank full of over 33,000 diverse aquatic animals — including one of the world’s most giant crocodiles.
See marine creatures of all sizes from the bottom surface of the 11-meter high and 48-meter long tunnel. Get behind the scenes of the Underwater Observatory with Researcher Experience, or that plus a glass-bottom boat tour with Explorer Experience.
If you’re brave enough, you can feed and even swim with rays and sharks! Say hello in person to one of the deadliest sea creatures — while you’re safe inside a dive cage.
For the best bang for your buck, grab a ticket that combines the aquarium with a trip to Burj Khalifa’s viewing platform.
2 – Hold on for dear life with a 4×4 dune bashing adventure
If you’re searching for something exhilarating, something adventurous that you can’t find at home, then look no further.
Strap yourself into a 4×4 and let the driver roar up, down and around the dunes at top speed. Combine it with a slow-paced camel ride, dune bashing and sandboarding.
End the day in a more relaxing fashion by indulging in a sumptuous barbecue buffet and refreshing drinks. Experience and partake in traditional Bedouin activities such as belly dancing, fire dancing and falconry.
3 – Have an epic time at IMG Worlds of Adventure
The first and one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world, IMG Worlds of Adventures boasts hair-raising thrill rides. It’s no wonder over 20,000 people visit here every day.
This mega park has four so-called Epic Zones with rides centered around popular Cartoon Network characters, MARVEL superheroes and dinosaur adventures.
Test your courage at the Haunted Hotel and find the exit from a maze of creepy spaces. Engage in a luxurious 3D experience at the Novo Cinemas zone with reclining seats and VIP service.
Take the youngsters to the latest attraction, IMG Kids Zone, an inflatable playground with an area of over 17,000 square feet! Parents can watch their children unleash their energy bouncing, climbing walls and playing in the slides.
4 – Soar above the desert in a hot air balloon
Soar over the radiant orange Dubai desert at sunrise in a hot air balloon, an activity that manages to be simultaneously relaxing and exhilarating. Flights include a hearty breakfast and open-air transport in vintage Land Rovers.
Keep an eye out for camels and gazelles roaming the sands — although, at 4,000 feet high, you might have to squint.
Home to endangered species like Arabian leopard and Arabian oryx, Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is the last of the country’s desert wilderness. It’s also the habitat of hedgehogs, bats, vipers and the Giant Long-horned Beetle — one of the world’s largest beetles.
5 – Take a helicopter flight over the city
Forget about New York City — the world’s most breath taking skyline now belongs to Dubai. While harborside views are special, there’s no perspective more impressive than that of a bird’s-eye view.
During your once-in-a-lifetime helicopter experience, you’ll soar over incredible landmarks like the Palm Jumeirah islands, Burj Al Arab hotel and Ras al Khor wetlands.
Hover above The World Islands on the Persian Gulf and imagine having a live satellite view of the Earth, looking at the artificial archipelago replicating the seven continents.
6 – Unleash your inner Tarzan at Aventura Parks
Swing from treetop to treetop at Aventura Parks, the city’s largest zipline park covering 35,000 square meters of lush Ghaf tree forest in Mushrif Park.
With 85 obstacles in the park to choose from, including a wide selection of ziplines, high ropes courses and giant swings, it’s suitable for every interest and level of competence.
This family-oriented destination has something for all ages — from a miniature rock-climbing wall for toddlers to the most extreme 25-meter Tarzan jump and aerial surfboard for daredevils.
7 – Zoom around Palm Jumeirah on a speedboat
The Palm Jumeirah archipelago features the most iconic manmade islands on Earth, and there’s no better way to see them up close than onboard a high-octane speedboat!
Admire sublime views of Dubai’s skyline and top landmarks, including The Dubai Eye Wheel, Burj Al Arab and imperial hotel Atlantis, The Palm.
Learn some interesting details about the city and these famous sights with the English-speaking guide on board.
8 – Walk on a cracking glass floor at Burj Khalifa