Dubai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Over the last decade, the city of gold has been consistently ranked in the top 20 most visited cities worldwide. Dubai’s legendary shopping facilities and its unique culture, along with modern tourist attractions, are what  make this city so  popular. It can be overwhelming trying to decide just what to see and do on a trip to Dubai, so we’ve made it easier. If you have three to five days in hand, these are all the most exciting places to visit in Dubai. Go ahead and take your pick!

 

1. Hit Up Dubai Mall

 

The Dubai Mall is a great place to get a feel of the city, especially if it’s your first time here. The word massive doesn’t even begin to describe it. This mall is the largest in the world, with 1200 shops and tens of millions of visitors each year. Along with the stores, the mall also has a 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens, and 120 restaurants and cafes.

 

 

Among the most popular attractions at the mall are the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, the Dubai fountains, and the indoor VR theme park. For the most stunning views of the city, buy a ticket to the 148th floor of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, and take in the enthralling views. 

Recommended Time To Go: Morning or noon. There’s a lot to see at the mall so you might spend hours being entertained there.

 

2. Visit The Dubai Miracle Garden

 

If you’re a nature lover, you will absolutely love exploring the Dubai Miracle Garden. The flower garden, located in the district of Dubailand, was opened on Valentine’s Day 2013 and is the largest one of its kind in the world. This fantasyland envelops within it close to 50 million flowers, all showcased in a variety of immense sculptures and designs. There is also the Dubai Butterfly Garden on the property, opened in 2015, and an aromatic garden.

Recommended Time To Go:  Noon or Afternoon.

 

3. Have Some Family Fun At Wild Wadi Water Park

 

The Wild Wadi Water Park is an outdoor water park situated next to the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. This water park has fun activities for all ages making it perfect for families with children or large groups. Wild Wadi has tons of rides and water slides, artificial surfing machines, a waterfall, two gift shops, three restaurants, and two snack stands. The price of tickets is sold as per height  – for people above 1.1 Meters in height, and people under 1.1 Meters in height.

Recommended Time To Go: Morning or noon. When the sun is at its peak, there are few places as comforting as a water park.

 

4. Dine At Souk Al Bahar

 

The host of dining options and the resplendent scenery make Souk Al Bahar one of the most popular destinations in Dubai. The lively marketplace is situated in Downtown Dubai, with enchanting views of the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain. At Souk Al Bahar, guests can choose from 22 dining options, whether it’s Asian cuisine,  seafood or international chains like Shake Shack and Starbucks. 

Recommended Time To Go: The restaurants here cater to your dining needs through the day but evenings make for especially breathtaking views of the attractions nearby.

 

5. Go On A Desert Safari Tour

 

What’s a trip to Dubai without an adventure on the sand dunes? The day-long Dubai safari tours take visitors out into the desert to acquaint them with Emirati culture, and of course, to have some fun! The typical desert safari consists of dune bashing, where SUVs jump through massive sand dunes (perfect for adrenaline junkies), camel rides, and surfing on sandboards.

 

 

After all the crazy fun, visitors are taken to camps that are reminiscent of ancient  Bedouin times. You can also look forward to gorging on some traditional Arabic barbecue and enjoying some exotic belly dancing. You also have the option to get a henna tattoo or smoke hookah by the campfire.

Recommended Time To Go: Many tours begin in the afternoon and last around six hours but there are other tours for different times of the day – morning, evening, and overnight. Pick the one that works best for you.  

 

6. Go For A Stroll Along JBR Walk

 

Jumeirah Beach Residence (also known as JBR) is a bustling strip between Dubai Marina and Dubai Metro. The 1.7-kilometer stretch has plenty of stylish boutiques, restaurants, and shopping spots to choose from. There are also outdoor pop-up markets where you can browse the stalls selling jewelry, food treats, and homewares as well as take in performances by street entertainers.

Recommended Time To Go:  Mornings. There are a number of buffets and cafés suitable for breakfast. Eggspectation is one such spot that also serves gluten-free and dairy-free breakfast.

 

 

7. Skydive If You Dare

 

This is not for the faint of heart! Skydiving is one of the most extraordinary and thrilling adventure sports in Dubai. Skydive Dubai offers diving from two locations — over the desert or over the iconic Palm Jumeirah Island 9 (which is available all year round). This activity is completely safe, and those who have experienced it can’t stop raving about the adrenaline rush.

Recommended Time To Go: Morning or noon, when the weather is clear.

 

8. Check Out Old Quarter

 

Old Quarter is where the history of Dubai is cemented. Literally. Dubai’s Old Quarter, also known as the Bastakia Quarter, is located by the Dubai Creek and features a series of attractions that you can spend hours exploring.

 

 

Visitors can explore the Dubai Museum to learn more about the city’s past, then walk down the historic streets of Bastakia and check out other smaller museums, art galleries, maybe even grab lunch at the Basta Art Cafe, which serves delicious Arabic food. For those interested in purchasing souvenirs, there are gold and spice souks in the area that visitors can access by taking a 1 AED boat ride across the creek.

Recommended Time To Go: Noon. This gives you enough time to explore the attractions and grab a bite to eat.

 

9. Relax and Dine On a Dhow Cruise

 

One of the most relaxing ways to navigate Dubai Creek is on a Dhow Cruise. This relaxing activity involves dinner and a live show on a dhow (a traditional Arabian vessel) that glides along the Dubai Creek at night. This intimate experience, which is popular among small groups and couples, lets you see the sites of Old Dubai from the Creek. The entertainment typically involves live music and belly dancers along with an international buffet dinner.

Recommended Time To Go: Night. Dhow Cruise times are between 7 p.m. and 11 p.m.

 

10. Visit The Traditional Markets In Deira

 

Deira may be one of the oldest areas in Dubai but you will find some of the best products and souvenirs here. Gold Souks are synonymous with Dubai these days, and the Gold Souk in Deira is undoubtedly Dubai’s most popular souk. You’ll also find hundreds of jewelry stores  selling items made of gold, silver, and precious stones. 

 

 

There is also a Textile Souk (across the water), Spice Souk, and Perfume Souk that bustle with activity throughout the day. The Grand Souk Deira, formerly known as Al Souk Al Kabeer, was extensively renovated and is now one of the largest and most important markets in Deira.

Recommended Time To Go: Morning or afternoon.

 

11. Visit the Burj Khalifa

 

 If Dubai has a piece de resistance, this is it. Head over to Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, to witness stunning panoramic views of the beautiful Arab city from unfathomable altitudes. With observatories built on multiple floors of the giant skyscraper, add this architectural marvel to your list of must-visits when in Dubai. 

 

 

12. Check Out The Dubai Fountain

 

At the base of the majestic Burj Khalifa sits an elaborate fountain gurgling with hydro jets called ‘The Dubai Fountain’. Spurts of water 150 metres into the air, the fountain emanates colorful and dazzling lights that are reflected by the streams of water that shoot upward, as cheerful music plays in the background. Having quickly ascended the ranks of some of the most popular shows in Dubai, this colorful water-ballet takes place multiple times throughout the day – with two shows being held in the afternoon, followed by one every 30 minutes after sundown.