Things To Do in Dubai

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Curated By

Samantha Vanderhorst

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  • Dubai

  • Adventure Travel

  • Beaches

  • Luxury Travel

  • Sightseeing

  • Local Food

  • Entertainment

Dubai skyline during day time.
Curator’s statement

Dubai is an incredible place to visit and there is a reason why it is one of the top visited places by tourists in the world. The city has a futuristic type feel and the majority of the city was built from the late 1990s. Dubai features every sort of activity, type of food, drinks and nightlife that you can think of. Being a massive tourist hub and a great place to stop for a layover to or from Asia, Dubai is well equipped for tourists. Whether it be food, drinks, the beach, nightlight or activities, you name it, Dubai has it. I’d highly recommend Dubai whether it be for a long trip or a stop on your route to another spot.

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Where to stay in Dubai

Atlantis The Royal Dubai

Iconic, mythology-inspired resort in Dubai with luxe rooms and suites.

Fora Perks
  • Food & beverage credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

One&Only The Palm

An exclusive resort on a private beach, guests can enjoy exceptional service, lush gardens and Andalusian architecture, Michelin-starred dining and the UAE’s only Guerlain Spa.

Fora Perks
  • Complimentary dinner for two.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Between the city and the Arabian Gulf, a beachfront resort with superlative service and a raft of restaurants.

Fora Perks
  • When you book Four Seasons through Fora, you will enjoy exclusive Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits. Your advisor will be pleased to give you more details.

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Things to do in Dubai

A woman in a blue head covering in front of a white mosque.
  • Desert Activities: From sand surfing to ATV to 4WD sightseeing drives in the desert, you name it, Dubai has it. Viator has endless options of activities you can search through.

  • Burj Khalifa: Tallest building in the world. At the Top is the outdoor observation deck. I opted to visit Atmosphere instead of going to the top so I could get a good drink and view.

  • Dubai Mall: Second largest mall in the world with an aquarium, a movie theater, and endless amounts of restaurants and stores. You could spend a couple of full days here. Walk outside and see the Dubai Fountain, which has shows at 1PM or everything 30 minutes at 6 p.m.

  • Beach or water activities: I’d recommend staying by the beach so you can have easy beach access. You can water ski, rent a boat, jet ski, kayak or do any sort of water activity. The Palm Jumeirah is the famous palm that was man made with sand and rocks to be shaped like a palm. There are bunch of beaches on both of the palms and you can visit the largest water park in the world (Atlantis Aquaventure) if you're interested. You can also stay on the Palm Jebel Ali as there are a bunch of incredible hotels there.

  • Museum of the Future: Museum for all ages, full of innovation and technological advancement. Get a sneak peak into the future of Dubai and the world.

  • Ski Diving Over The Palm: if you’re feeling like you need a good adrenaline rush, this is a cool way to see the city.

  • Dubai Miracle Garden: World's largest natural flower garden with over 150 million different types of flowers.

  • Ski Dubai: Check out the indoor ski center, which is located in the Mall of the Emirates not the Dubai Mall (20 minutes apart).

Day Trips

Abu Dhabi is only an hour from Dubai. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a one hour drive from Dubai (picture above). I booked a ride directly through Viator.

Places to eat & drink in Dubai

A bar with dark interior.

Dubai now has more restaurants than NYC and with so many options to choose from it can be overwhelming. If you're looking for specific cuisine, check out food by category in Time Out. See below for the list I put together of my favorite spots.

  • Seven Sands: if you’re looking for authentic Emirati dishes, go to Seven Sands. Khuzi, or Ghuzi is Dubais famous dish, consisting of roasted lamb over rice with some vegatable or nuts.

  • Alici: southern Italian and seafood located right on the water. Great ambiance and has a lively night life scene.

  • XU: Very cool hidden restaurant with Catonese inspired food. As a dim sum lover, they XU has a bunch of options to pick from.

  • CÉ LA VI Dubai: Looking for tasty food and a view of the Burj Khalifa? From Asian fusion food to an incredible night scene, I highly recommend eating here. This is pretty touristy spot but it's an excellent way to enjoy a view of the city over dinner.

  • Carine: French Mediterranean inspired restaurant, located in the golf if you’re looking to golf and get some dinner.

  • Hutong: If you want brunch, I recommend Hutong’s Imperial Brunch, consisting of Dim Sung, stir fry and many more delectable dishes.

Drinks

Need to Know

To get help on your trip to Dubai? Feel free to reach out. Here is the TikTok recap from my trip.

Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Things to do in the Adirondacks — Lake Placid

This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Dubai.

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Travel Advisor

Samantha Vanderhorst

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