Talk about Dubai and the first thing that most “fans” would come up with is Burj Khalifa. God, there is a song even (humming, Jee karda diladu tainu Burj Khalifa as I write) and so you can imagine how crazy the world is about Dubai! And while there is this one lobby that loves Dubai and more importantly the duty-free shopping there, there is another narrative too. This, not so endearing one is about how Dubai is just a concrete jungle and it wouldn’t make sense to shell out so much money just for some luxury!
So, let’s do one thing- let us evaluate the luxury that Dubai has to offer, compare it with what we usually see, have a look at a few frequently asked questions and then when you are through it all, do let me know of your thoughts in the comment below.
Thus, without much ado, let us have a look at the best things to do in Dubai.
1. Enjoy the luxurious stay at Atlantis.
One of the best things to do in Dubai is to stay at Atlantis. I know it is hyper-expensive but at least a day’s stay is more than worth it. Consider me pleading when I say this- your Dubai trip would be incomplete without a few hours spent at Atlantis.
The Atlantis Hotel, nicknamed the “crown jewel” of Palm Dubai, is one of the city’s most recognisable landmarks and a major tourist attraction in Dubai. Because of all it has to offer, Atlantis is often compared to a mini town. It has earned a reputation for providing one of Dubai’s best lodging experiences. The Lost Chambers Aquarium, home to the ruins of the lost city of Atlantis and its underwater inhabitants; the Aquaventure Waterpark, which is the Middle East and Europe’s #1 waterpark boasting of 17 fun-filled hectares of adrenaline pumping and heart-thumping fun are essential parts of Atlantis that thrill kids and adults alike.
The spacious rooms are influenced by the oceanic feel too, in keeping with The Atlantis’ marine theme. And of course, when a room is that luxurious, it has to come with all of the latest conveniences, such as WIFI and flat-screen satellite television, as well as luxurious facilities, including a walk-in bathroom, a huge bathtub, and 24-hour room service. It offers a great dining experience.
There are 20 restaurants, bars, and lounges, including the world-famous Nobu and fine dining at the award-winning Ossiano, which views the aquarium on one wall. These two at least should feature on your list of places to visit in Dubai even if you are not planning to stay at Atlantis.
2. Visit the Cheesecake Factory at Jumeirah
The Cheesecake Factory is known for its innovative menu, generous servings, relaxing interiors, and comprehensive list of cheesecakes inspired from all around the world. But believe me when I say this, with over 200 items on the menu and 30 different varieties of cheesecake to choose from, this place will bowl you over with enormous servings. Small dishes, snacks, and appetisers are available for those who want to try a little bit of everything. However, the legendary main courses such as tacos, pasta, salads, steaks, and burgers must not be forgotten. For once, despite the fitness freak that I am, have it from me- when you visit this place- forget about Calories! Just eat to your heart’s delight! Fresh Strawberry, Adam’s Peanut Butter Cup Fudge Ripple, White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Lemon Meringue, and Ultimate Red Velvet are among the many cheesecakes that are available. Best of all, everything is made fresh every day, so you can expect high-quality, fresh food.
So, did I convince you to enter this one into your list of places to visit in Dubai?
3. Go on a helicopter ride!
I absolutely know that helicopter rides have now started in India as well and the one in Bangalore that oversees the city or the one in and around the Statue of Unity are equally beautiful but imagine flying over the beautiful dunes as you pass over the city too? Now, shouldn’t that be on your list of things to do in Dubai?
Dubai is also known for its exotic Arabian destinations, especially during the winter months when visitors can explore the city’s sand deserts through dedicated tours. City tours are one of the best things to do because there are so many attractions scattered throughout the city, but if you want to do something extraordinary with your partner, booking a helicopter tour is a great way to escape the crowds and enjoy a private aerial tour of Dubai’s stunning man-made attractions! If you’re flying out of Dubai or passing through and want to experience a fast luxury ride, book the 2 Way Private Helicopter Tour, which will pick you up from your hotel, drop you off at the Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah, and safely drop you back 45 minutes before your flight. Fast, quick, and fashionable!
4. At the top of the World – Burj Khalifa.
This is one of the best things to see in Dubai. I didn’t even have to mention that. You all knew it anyway. It is not for nothing after all that Burj Khalifa is one of the top Dubai tourist places.
Unsurprisingly, the world’s tallest building can be seen from almost anywhere in Dubai. Seeing the sights from the street is exciting enough. Still, you can also go to the top of the 160-story behemoth—be prepared for the excitement of the high-speed elevators, followed by utter awe as you step onto the observation deck. Purchase tickets for a particular time slot in advance online. Almost all of the people who are on a tight schedule and want to cover all the major Dubai points of interest go to the top of Burj Khalifa.
The observation deck on the 124th floor of the Burj Khalifa, situated at the height of 452 metres, is reached in less than a minute by the elevator. There are high-powered telescopes on Level 124 that provide a direct view of the cityscape.
Meanwhile, Level 125 provides a 360-degree view of the city and is usually known as “Dubai – A Falcon’s Eye View” for obvious reasons. On this level, you can take a green screen picture and play a virtual reality game in which the glass cracks under your feet. I wasn’t aware of this actually but when the opportunity presented itself, I couldn’t resist.
However, the “Dubai tourist attraction” bit doesn’t end there and goes all the way to the 148th floor, the Burj Khalifa’s highest observation deck. The view from Level 148, which is 555 metres above ground, is literally breathtaking. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but Level 148 is also less popular with tourists. So, if you want to escape the crowds and simply soak up the sun, book a Burj Khalifa At The Top Sky ticket.
5. Kiss a Dolphin!
Dolphin in a Dessert? Well, if a city can literally rise out of the sand and become one of the most luxurious cities in the world, then you might as well have dolphins as one of the major Dubai tourist attractions too.
Dolphin Bay is situated on Palm Island’s Crescent Road in Atlantis, The Palm and is a famous Dubai Tourist Attraction. At Dolphin Bay, you can swim with live dolphins and “talk” to them in a tropical environment closely resembling their natural habitat. It’s a trip through the waters of a lagoon with dolphins, with embraces, kisses, dancing, and an exciting belly-ride thrown in for good measure. Besides the aforementioned, an observer pass allows you to watch dolphins swim and play from the Dolphin Bay beach while relaxing on a chaise lounge, taking photos, and enjoying complimentary soft drinks.
So, make sure you include this activity in your list of things to do in Dubai.
6. Desert Safari
Safaris, wildlife-watching on a Land Rover, and spending an evening lost in entertainment in the middle of the desert in an Arabic tent among the grandeur of nature are some of the unforgettable experiences of spending an eventful day and night in the great Arabian Desert. Needless to say that these activities are featured among the best things to do in Dubai.
If you plan on spending a day in the Arabian desert, there are plenty of activities and accommodation options. One of the most thrilling things to do in Dubai is a morning jeep safari ride in a 4×4 SUV through the vast Arabian Desert and through the gusty wind and sand. The jeep typically picks you up from the camp and takes you on an exciting trip that lasts about 30 minutes.
The ideal 360-degree view of the vast Arabian desert is given by a hot air balloon safari. As it drifts high in the air, offering breathtaking views, the hot air balloon, which can carry up to 24 people at once, causes an adrenaline rush. The desert wildlife, which predominantly consists of gazelles and camels, can be seen in the surrounding area.
7. Sunset – Capture the best of the setting Sun.
As compared to the rising Sun, the setting sun in Dubai’s desert is just as beautiful, if not more so. Thus, even if you are on a short trip, make sure that the desert sunset is on your list of things to see in Dubai. The Sun’s orange-ish hue dissipates as it disappears behind one of those dunes, creating a truly spectacular sight. As the dunes loom large in the background, drive a Range Rover to one of them and take in the scenery. That’s an ideal opportunity for some candid photography!
8. The Safari that extends beyond the day
A night in Dubai would not get any better than the one spent in the desert with various entertainment and events like stilt dancing, fire eating, swirling, and exotic belly dancing. Enjoy exciting moments with your friends and family while anchored in your luxurious tent. Spend the night under the stars near the tent and enjoy a desert safari in Dubai with BBQ, bonfire, and celebrations.
Dubai’s cuisine is renowned for its mouthwatering flavours and aromas! Buffets include evergreen kebabs, hummus, and an assortment of thrilling Iranian and Lebanese dishes served during a desert safari in Dubai. A traditional Arabian night’s vibe is created by belly dance and music during dinner!
Late-night dune bashing and stargazing
The best desert safari in Dubai includes dune smashing, desert safari, and stargazing. The nights are usually windy and cold, ideal for getting inside the Range Rover and taking it up for a drive.
9. Dubai Nightlife: A Special Mention as the Best Dubai Tourist Places
Dubai is renowned for its lively and exotic nightlife and its architectural magnificence, shopping extravaganzas, and a plethora of world records. Dubai has a lot to offer in terms of nightlife; it provides the right kind of atmosphere to host a healthy yet wild experience. The emirate hosts some of the world’s most famous club nights. Many talented DJs call it home. Since Friday and Saturday are considered weekends in the Gulf area, the clubbing scene here begins on Thursday. On Friday, however, be prepared for long lines. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, most clubs host special Ladies’ Nights. Here are some places with fantastic nightlife which you definitely should not want to miss
a. Boudoir – The French Connection
One of the most exclusive nightclubs in the city, promising a great time! Boudoir is reminiscent of a French club from the early 1920s, but it is mainly visited by Lebanese. This club attracts the most well-dressed and party-hardy individuals.
b. Catwalk – A Tiny Place of Wonders
The glowing red catwalk, true to its reputation, dominates the dance floor. Catwalk offers some of the best music in town to rock to, in addition to creative cocktails, friendly people, and reasonable prices. What else could you possibly need to enjoy the best of Dubai’s nightlife?
c. Atmosphere – Is High & Overwhelming
At.mosphere is the world’s highest-situated restaurant as per the Guinness Book of World Records. The restaurant here serves a delectable meal with a view and provides entertainment in the lounge. Come for the luxurious interiors, world-class food, fair fares (considering the amazing view), friendly workers, and high tea sunsets.
Tips for Nightlife in Dubai
a. What to Put On
The United Arab Emirates is a conservative nation. On the other hand, short skirts and micro-minis are considered everyday nightlife in clubs, bars, and other venues. Those who come dressed in highly casual clothing will be denied entry.
b. The Hours of the Nightlife
While most clubs open early in the evening, they begin to fill up around 10:00 p.m. and continue until 2:00 a.m. Weekends are considered weekends in the Gulf Region, so make reservations ahead of time.
c. Things to keep in mind
Drunk driving will land you in jail and with heavy fines too. As a tourist, you wouldn’t want to take those risks so if you have enjoyed in the clubs, spent on liquor and are feeling dizzy, please call a cab. Most clubs only admit people over the age of 25. Thus, make sure to bring your identification card with you; entry will be denied if you don’t have one.
The parting words
Well, you would have already realised how sold I am to the idea of visiting Dubai! The pandemic is playing a serious spoilsport these days but I had some big plans for visiting this luxurious landscape yet again!
Oh, by the way, no matter when you go, or how you go- if you happen to visit the airport, please shop in the Duty-Free!! That is simply the epitome of shopping and you wouldn’t want to miss that!
Is an RT-PCR test required to enter Dubai?
Yes, all visitors and residents arriving in Dubai from any country (including GCC countries) must have a negative RT-PCR test certificate, which must be taken no more than 72 hours prior to departure.
Is there going to be a mandatory quarantine for tourists?
No, quarantine is only compulsory for tourists who test positive with Covid 19
What is the dress code in Dubai?
Loose, cotton clothing is recommended during the summer (April to September). A light jacket, on the other hand, is needed for your winter trip to Dubai. The dress code in Dubai is very relaxed; casual clothing is appropriate as long as it is modest and not too flashy. However, in order to maintain modesty, it is preferable to remain draped from shoulder to at least below the knees.
Is consuming alcohol allowed in Dubai?
The use of alcohol in public places and while driving is strictly prohibited by Dubai law. It is, however, permitted in licenced bars associated with hotels, clubs, restaurants, and private parties.
What is the best time to travel to Dubai?
You can visit Dubai at any time of the year. Tourists, on the other hand, prefer to visit Dubai from September to April, when the weather is pleasant and stable.