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Top 10 Can’t-Miss Activities in Glitzy Dubai

Dubai is a popular tourist destination known for its modern architecture, luxury shopping, vibrant nightlife, and array of entertainment options. With its sunny beaches, record-breaking skyscrapers, and man-made islands, Dubai offers something for every type of traveler. Here are some of the top things to do in Dubai when visiting this exciting emirate:

Hit the Beaches:
Dubai is lined with beautiful beaches along its coast. Some of the most popular are Jumeirah Beach, Al Mamzar Beach Park, and Kite Beach. Spend a relaxing day in the sun at one of the beaches, where you can swim, sunbathe, try water sports like jet skiing and paddleboarding, or simply take a scenic stroll along the coast. Many beaches also have playgrounds, bbq areas, and retail outlets.

Go on a Desert Safari:
One of the quintessential Dubai experiences is an adventurous desert safari. Many tour companies offer half-day or full-day desert excursions where you’ll ride in a 4×4 vehicle over rolling sand dunes. Stops include camel rides, sandboarding, falconry displays, henna tattoos, and belly dancing shows. As the sun sets, enjoy a barbecue dinner at a Bedouin-style camp before gazing at the stars or trying shisha.

Shop Till You Drop:
Dubai has a reputation as a shopper’s paradise, thanks to its modern malls packed with both high-end designer brands and mainstream stores. Some of the top options include the Dubai Mall (with its massive aquarium and indoor theme park), Mall of the Emirates (home to an indoor ski slope), and Ibn Battuta Mall, whose décor celebrates Marco Polo’s adventures. You can also haggle for deals at traditional gold, spice, and textile souks.

Wander Old Dubai:
In contrast to the glittering skyscrapers elsewhere, the historic neighborhood of Al Fahidi showcases Dubai’s traditional architecture. Wander among the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding’s restored wind tower houses, then take an abra (wooden boat) across Dubai Creek. On the other side in the gold and spice souks, you’ll find bustling bazaars and small museums depicting Dubai’s past. Don’t miss the Grand Mosque, a striking Ottoman-influenced structure from 1900.

Take in City Views from Burj Khalifa:
As the world’s tallest building at over 800 meters, Burj Khalifa undoubtedly provides jaw-dropping views over Dubai from its observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors. Come here to truly appreciate the scale of Dubai’s ever-growing skyline, with views extending all the way to the desert. For an extra cost, check out At the Top Sky, which offers the highest outdoor observatory in the world.

Explore Dubai’s Newest Neighborhoods:
Dubai is constantly expanding outward into the Arabian Gulf waters with massive land reclamation projects like Palm Jumeirah, a palm-shaped artificial island full of luxury hotels, villas, and apartments. Take a monorail ride for dazzling aerial sightseeing. Other newly built communities worth exploring include Dubai Marina, a sleek waterfront district buzzing with restaurants and nightclubs, and Dubai International Financial Centre, a free economic zone with contemporary public art.

Splurge on a Fancy Meal:
Dubai’s dining scene encompasses the entire world, from Michelin-starred restaurants to casual food truck parks to everything in between. Treat yourself to a lavish feast at award-winning restaurants like Ossiano Aquarium Restaurant, Nathan Outlaw at Al Mahara, or Ewaan Palace Downtown, where you can enjoy fine Emirati cuisine. If you’re on a budget, dine at the diverse food halls of Boxpark or City Walk, or dig into flavorful street food in old Dubai neighborhoods.

Sail Around Dubai Marina:
One of Dubai’s most elite neighborhoods, Dubai Marina is best seen on a private yacht charter. Cruise by waterfront dining establishments and gleaming mega-yachts while taking in sights like Ain Dubai, a record-breaking observation wheel, and the curving Cayan Tower. Many boat tours also incorporate other iconic attractions like the Palm islands and ultra-luxury Burj Al Arab hotel. Chartering a traditional dhow is another atmospheric option.

Thrill at Theme Parks:
Dubai is home to several exciting theme parks, with thrills for all ages. At motiongateTM Dubai, experience rides and attractions themed around films like How to Train Your Dragon and The Smurfs, while neighboring Bollywood Parks brings Mumbai’s film magic to life. Other top parks include IMG Worlds of Adventure holding cartoon favorites like Marvel’s Avengers, Legoland Water Park with over 20 waterslides, and Aquaventure Waterpark on the Palm Islands.

Gaze at the Stars from the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve:
Journey away from Dubai’s bright city lights to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, an expansive protected wilderness area. Local companies offer overnight camping adventures out “in the middle of nowhere” where you can gaze upward at astonishingly clear night skies and try to spot shooting stars. Listen for nocturnal wildlife and awake at dawn to wander massive red sand dunes as the sun peeks over the horizon. It’s a magical escape from Dubai’s bustling urban energy.

With this wide array of attractions, entertainment, and luxurious experiences, Dubai truly caters to all interests, budgets, and styles of travel. Whether you want to relax on a beach, embark on a desert adventure, feast at world-class restaurants, shop til you drop, or dance the night away, you’ll find it in this city that pushes boundaries. Dubai continues growing ever-upward and outward – so get there now before it builds something new!