Miracle in the Desert - 27 Things to Do in Dubai

Started as a quiet fishing village surrounded by sand dunes in 18th century, Dubai has skyrocketed as a regional economic powerhouse in the Middle East. Today, it has become the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, extremely popular for its towering skyscrapers and crazy projects, some even break the world's records. 

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Before you come to Dubai, please read the list we've arranged below just for you. Here are our recommendations about some of the best places to see and things to do in Dubai. 

1. The Dubai Mall

Listed among the largest malls in the world, the Dubai Mall contains over 1,200 shops and a wide range of attraction. From Hysteria haunted house, ice rink, and aircraft simulation, to VR park, massive aquarium, and real fossil of dinosaur on display.  

2. Jumeirah Public Beach

The public beach near Jumeirah Beach Hotel is a perfect spot to observe the famed Burj Al-Arab building while enjoying white sand and the views of Persian Gulf. The beach is free, and women are allowed to wear bikini inside beach area. Don't forget to bring bottled water!

3. Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Situated within Madinat Jumeirah Resort, the outdoor mall is designed to recreate an Arabian bazaar with traditional buildings. Don't miss the Abra Boat (wooden traditional boat) Tour taking you around the resort with spectacular views of Burj Al-Arab.

4. Dubai Miracle Garden

Opened on Valentine's day in 2013, Dubai Miracle Garden is considered as one of the largest flower gardens in the world. The landscape garden is home to some 50 million flowers, many of them are arranged to mimic the shape of gates, animals, vehicles, and even a real size airplane. 

5. Burj Khalifa

The prominent landmark of Dubai stands more than half a mile (some 829 metres) as the tallest structure on earth. The observation deck is located at level 124, 125, and 148 (SKY), offering breathtaking 360 degree views of Dubai and Persian Gulf.   

6. The Dubai Fountain

The massive dancing fountain is installed in the 12 hectare Burj Khalifa Lake in Downtown Dubai. Come to waterfront promenade just outside the Dubai Mall or nearby area before 6 P.M. to watch the mesmerizing water show with music and light.   

7. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Watch the sharks, manta rays, and other aquatic animals as you pass through the underwater tunnel. Located inside the Dubai Mall, the fantastic aquarium is also home to other animals in water habitat such as penguins, crocodiles, crabs, otters, and snakes.  

8. The Dubai Frame

Stare at the largest frame in the world at Zabeel Park. The Dubai Frame is equipped with glass-floored observation deck where you can conveniently observe both the modern and the traditional parts of Dubai. The lower part of the frame contains a museum about the past and the future of the city.

9. Jumeirah Mosque

The iconic sandstone mosque can be easily recognized from the distance by its towering minarets. Jumeirah Mosque is built in traditional Fatimid style commonly found in Egypt and Syria. The exterior and interior are intricately decorated with Quranic verses and geometric patterns. 

10. Dubai Museum

Located in the historic Al-Fahidi Fort, the primary museum displays the old life of Dubai before the discovery of oil. Find the replica of traditional house with its wind tower, the dhow sailing vessel, as well as old weapons, music instruments, and house furnishings.  

11. Museum of the Future

Discover a glimpse of the future in this sophisticated museum. Located in the bustling Sheikh Zayed Road, the oval-shaped building carved with Arabic inscription features robotic exhibitions and innovation center exploring the possibilities of how we might live in the future. 

12. Dubai Yacht Tour

Sail through the tall buildings of Dubai Marina on a lavish yacht with grand seating. A wide variety of yachts in Dubai Marina can be hired for private parties for as short as 2-3 hours only. Some companies offer breakfast or BBQ package that you can enjoy on the yacht.

13. Ibn Battuta Mall

Inspired by the legendary journey of a middle aged Muslim explorer named Ibn Battuta, the themed shopping centre is designed to look like the courts of the countries he visited, including Persia, Andalusia, Tunisia, China, and Egypt. 

14. MotionGate Dubai

Meet characters from Shrek, Madagascar, and Kung Fu Panda in the theme park inspired by Hollywood. MotionGate Dubai is located within Dubai Parks and Resorts, featuring rides such as roller coaster, drop tower, and interactive show based on some of the most famous Hollywood's movies.

15. Bollywood Parks Dubai

Are you a fan of India's Bollywood movies? Don't miss the world's first Bollywood-inspired theme park, also located inside Dubai Parks and Resorts. Most of the rides here are family friendly, suitable for kids as well as adults. 

16. Ski Dubai

Say hello to the penguins in the massive indoor ski resort. Located inside Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai offers a freezing experience of skiing and snowboarding in the middle of the desert, complete with slopes of different steepness and chairlift.  

17. Ain Dubai

The tallest observation wheel in the world can be found on Bluewaters Island, not far from Dubai Marina. Standing nearly double the size of London Eye at around 250 meters (820 ft), Ain Dubai is equipped with 48 high-tech capsules with breathtaking views of Jumeirah Beach and surrounding area. 

18. Global Village Dubai

Combining the cultures of 90 countries from around the world, Global Village Dubai is a spectacular entertainment hub that celebrates the world's diversity. Walk down the food aisle and sample the many culinary options from five continents, then shop till drop at the retail stores. 

19. Al Mamzar Beach Park

The lovely beach park features wide lawn, palm trees, and promenade where you can take a walk while enjoying the skyline of Dubai. Many visitors like its crystal clear water and hospitable staff. There are changing room, sunbed, and women are allowed to wear bikini. 

20. Legoland Dubai

Bring your children and family to the impressive theme park located inside Dubai Parks and Resorts. Legoland Dubai features interactive rides, attractions, and live shows in the world of Lego. The park also includes a posh hotel, several restaurants, and a water park.  

21. Dubai Butterfly Garden

The world's largest indoor butterfly park is home to around 15,000 stunning butterflies of various colors and sizes from 50 species. Located just next to Dubai Miracle Garden in Dubailand area, the butterfly sanctuary consists of ten custom domes and a butterfly museum. 

22. Kite Beach

One of the most active beaches in Dubai, Kite Beach have a vibrant sights with fitness area, promenade, and beach library. As the name suggests, the beach is a favorite spot for kitesurfing. There is even a professional kitesurfing school for beginners who love trying the water sport. 

23. Creek Park

The second largest park in Dubai is a favorite spot for picnickers. Creek park features flower beds, wide lawns, mini golf, playgrounds, amphitheatre, and go-kart track. You can hop into cable car for a more breathtaking views of the park from above, with each ride lasts for some 30 minutes. 

24. Aquaventure Waterpark

Go visit Atlantis the Palm Resort in the famed Palm Jumeirah Island for an exciting water adventure at the Aquaventure Waterpark. The fantastic waterpark is insanely equipped with shark-filled lagoon, extreme slides, zip line, splash area, and private beach.


25. Dubai Garden Glow

The enchanting world of glowing lights is waiting for you! Located in Zabeel Park, Dubai Garden Glow contains beautiful sculptures and artworks with colorful lights. The area also includes other attractions such as Dino Park, Ice Park, and Magic Park.   

26. Dinner in the Sky Dubai

Enjoy your meal with 360 degree views of downtown Dubai and Palm Jumeirah Island as you are lifted up high along with your dining table. Dinner in the Sky offers an incredible experience of eating out at the height of 50 meters (164 ft). Don't forget to go to restroom before going up.  

27. Sky Views Dubai

This extraordinary attraction is unlike any other observation deck. Located on 52nd and 53rd floors of Address Sky View hotel in Emaar Square, Sky Views Dubai lets you experience the heights in many ways, from tilted glass window to glass-bottomed slide and adrenaline-pumping ledge walk.

Safe travels, and we wish you a relaxing vacation! If you know other cool places to visit and things to do in Dubai, please leave a comment below. 

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