Burj Al Arab
The 10 Attractions You Must See in Dubai
Dubai has transformed itself in recent years with a series of creative, ambitious construction projects that have catapulted this city to the top of every bucket list. Here are a few attractions you won't want to miss when you visit this desert hotspot.
At 829.8 meters tall, the Burj Khalifa stands proudly as the world's tallest building. Visit the observation deck on the 124th floor for a gravity-defying, jaw-dropping view.
Brought to you by the same team behind the Bellagio fountains in Las Vegas, the Dubai Fountain show is a true spectacle. Grab a seat in a nearby cafe, and take it all in.
Burj al Arab
Dubai is home to the world's tallest hotel, the Burj Al-Arab. If you can't afford the $15,000/night luxury suite, try dining amongst the sea creatures in the underwater restaurant!
There are two palm-shaped artificial islands off the coast. Palm Jumeirah already houses luxury villas and a waterpark. The larger Palm Jebel Ali is still under construction.
The World Dubai
Just 2.5 kilometers off the coast, The World Dubai is an artifical archipelago in the shape of the world map. These 300 mini-islands are secluded properties for exclusive investors.
Dubai gets some intense sun. And that means you'll be needing a beach. Jumeirah Beach is the best sandy strip in town, and the hub of hotels makes it a great homebase for tourists.
The creek divides Dubai into two towns (Deira to the north, Bur Dubai to the south). Check out the Dhow Wharfage, where some of the fishing dhows have anchored for over a century.
The Dubai museum is housed inside the 18th century Al-Fahidi Fort. Learn about the Emirates expansion after the oil boom, and examine traditional Emirati musical instruments.
In a city this well-known for luxury, you better believe the Dubai mall is a must-see! Inside, you'll find an entrance to Burj Khalifa, an ice-skating rink, a games center, and a cinema.
Spanning three kilometers along the Persian Gulf, the Dubai Marina will be the largest man-made marina in the world upon completion, and house over 12,000 residents and tourists.
Planning your Dubai visit
How many days should you spend in Dubai?
For non-architects, three to four days will be plenty of time to see everything you need to see. Be very mindful of when you choose to visit, because the weather can be very hot between May and September, if you aren't used to the desert heat.
Where should you stay in Dubai?
You will have your choice of impressive hotel rooms in this city. For the more budget-conscious travelers, know that you won't have to miss out just because you can't afford to stay at the fancier places! Plan ahead and make dinner reservations at Burj Al-Arab, or stop by for an afternoon cocktail (and view of the Burj Khalifa) at The Address Downtown Dubai.
Be conscious of cultural differences
If you are heading to Dubai for the first time, you'll have questions about the laws that Western tourists consider unusual. In short, be respectful. Dress conservatively and make sure your shoulders are covered. Public displays of affection are considered unlawful. Also, the consumption of alcohol in public is illegal, except in specified bars.
Good to Know
CurrencyAED (United Arab Emirates dirham)
Time ZoneUTC (+04:00)
Best time to visitIt's best to visit in spring and fall, when the temperatures will be a little more mild.
Things to Do in Dubai
Top Attractions in Dubai
- 1 Burj Khalifa
- 2 Burj Al Arab
- 3 Dubai Fountains
- 4 The World Dubai
- 5 Dubai Creek
- 6 Palm Islands
- 7 Dubai Mall
- 8 Dubai Marina
- 9 Palm Jumeirah
- 10 Dubai Museum
- 11 Ski Dubai
- 12 Aquaventure Waterpark
- 13 Grand Mosque
- 14 Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
- 15 The Lost Chambers Aquarium in Atlantis, The Palm
- 16 Saeed Al Maktoum House
- 17 Jumeirah Mosque
- 18 iFly Dubai
- 19 Wild Wadi Water Park
- 20 Sheikh Zayed Road
Other Sightseeing Options in Dubai
Want to discover all there is to do in Dubai? Click here for a full list.