Everything to tick off your Dubai bucket list. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Dubai, we have you covered.

There are so many fantastic things to do and places in Dubai – from stunning waterfronts to super rooftop bars, desert escapes, and shopping spots – it can be tough to know where to start. And to help, we’ve rounded up over 106 of the very best things to do in Dubai right here.

It’s time to get out there and start ticking all these awesome things to do in Dubai off your places to visit in the Dubai bucket list.

Best things to do in Dubai: Attractions

Cruise past The Dubai Fountain

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, The Dubai Fountain
For the ultimate up-close experience of the Burj Khalifa, take a cruise on the lake. Attractions also include pedalos, a floating garden, kayaks and water bikes. One of the best things to do in Dubai if you’re new to the city.
Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, www.thedubaimall.com (800 28843867).

Dress up and visit Burj Al Arab

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Burj Al Arab
You’ll need a reservation just to get into this hotel, so book a drink at Gilt, a day on the infinity pool terrace or afternoon tea in style. Wear your best garb.
Burj Al Arab, Umm Suqeim (800 323 232).

Take a trip to the rainforest at The Green Planet

Things to do in Dubai, visit The Green Planet

Missing wildlife? Fancy a trip to the jungle? Head to The Green Planet to see an array of creatures and there is even a rainstorm two times each day, at 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm, that lasts for 5 minutes.
The Green Planet, City Walk, Al Safa Street, www.thegreenplanetdubai.com (800 637227).

Experience the underwater world, 60-metres-below

World-record-breaking diving facility, Deep Dive Dubai, is equipped with a 60-metre-deep pool and sunken city for divers of all levels to explore. There are freediving, snorkelling and scuba diving experiences and courses available.
From Dhs400. Open daily, noon-6pm. Nad Al Sheba, deepdivedubai.com.

Explore Palm Jumeirah

An epic example of engineering ingenuity, this artificial archipelago is truly a modern wonder to behold. Take a stroll around the boardwalk and enjoy the sights or hop on The Palm Monorail that rides along the trunk.
Palm Jumeirah.

Get the adrenaline pumping from 220m up

Fancy yourself as a bit of a thrill-seeker? If so then the Sky Views Dubai observation deck at Address Sky View Hotel is one must-do to cross off of your Dubai bucket list. From 220m up you can traipse across the 46m long glass walk, zip down the see-through slide and harness up to walk along the open-air viewing area. If you’re feeling really brave you can even leap across the precipice, safe in the knowledge that your harness will do its thing. 
Dhs55 (Edge Walk Dhs699) Open daily 10am-10pm. Address Sky View Hotel, Downtown Dubai.

Go see the new Atlantis The Royal

Atlantis the royal

Palm Jumeirah’s 21km stretch is a great place to go to stretch your legs and to get a great view of Dubai’s new hotel Atlantis The Royal.
Palm Jumeirah.

See Dubai’s Burj Khalifa

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Burj Khalifa
It’s the tallest building in the world with a staggering 160 floors and looms at 828 metres high. Take a trip to the 148th floor for the observation deck, At The Top.
Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, www.burjkhalifa.ae.

Hop on a Dubai sightseeing bus tour

Whether you’re a resident or a visitor to Dubai, hop aboard a sightseeing bus to make your way around the city without driving.
Daily, call for timings. Various locations, www.bigbustours.com (04 3407709). www.citysightseeing-dubai.com (04 316 7506).

Meander among the flowers at Dubai Miracle Garden

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Dubai Miracle Garden
It’s time to stop and smell the roses, literally. The 72,000sq m Miracle Garden has more than 150 million flowers for you to admire. Just make sure to swing by when it isn’t summer as Miracle Garden shuts during the hotter months.
Al Barsha South, Dubailand, www.dubaimiraclegarden.com (04 422 8902).

Ride into the eye of the storm at Dubai Hills Mall

The fastest indoor roller coaster in Dubai had to make it onto this list. For those who love to get their blood pumping, ‘The Storm’ is a high-octane ride with twists and turns, inclines and massive dives that are definitely not for the faint-hearted. Expect non-stop action throughout the two-and-a-quarter-minute ride that will leave you breathless and elated all at the same time.
Dubai Hills Mall, Dubai Hills Estate (04 448 5033).

See butterflies at Dubai Butterfly Garden

Right next door to the Miracle Garden is the Butterfly Garden, which is home to more than 15,000 butterflies of more than 50 different varieties, all fluttering around.
Al Barsha South, dubaibutterflygarden.com.

Sip and watch at Cinemacity

Overdue a trip to the pictures? For a VIP viewing experience then check out Cinemacity at Address Fountain View, right by Dubai Mall. The licensed cinema offers the works with its dine-in service with a selection of à la carte menu of Japanese fusion dishes, brought straight to your super-cosy recliner seat via the butler service.
Dhs60 (club class seats), Dhs100 (full reclining VIP seats with dine-in service). Cinemacity, Fountain Views, Downtown Dubai, cinemacity.ae (04 770 0111).

Stroll along The Beach

The Walk and neighbouring al fresco district The Beach at Dubai’s JBR were designed to make the most of strolls. People-watching is prime here, plus there are loads of things to eat – don’t miss the Turkish ice cream.
The Beach, JBR, www.thebeach.ae (04 3173999).

Take a trip across Dubai Creek

Hop on an abra, hand over a dirham and enjoy a smooth sail across the Creek. It’s a short trip to the other side, but it’ll take you back to everything the city is really about. One of the best things to do in Dubai if you’re after that authentic, historic feel.
Dhs1. Dubai Creek.

Travel the world at Dubai’s Global Village

www.globalvillage.ae (04 3624114).

Jump out of a plane at Skydive Dubai

Ever fancied jumping out of a plane at speeds of 120mph over a man-made island? Well, why not? Skydive Dubai is one of the best things to do in Dubai for the braver out there. Don’t look down (gulp).
Dhs1,699 (tandem skydive). Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina, www.skydivedubai.ae.

Pass by The Pointe

Head to The Pointe on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah to watch The Dubai Fountain. Find a good vantage point on the 1.5m long promenade to ogle the world’s largest fountain as it performs choreographed dancing water shows. Open every night of the week and with loads of places to eat it’s an easy evening outing.
The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah.

Ride the roller coasters at IMG Worlds of Adventure

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, IMG Worlds of Adventure
Dubai’s 1.5-million-square-foot IMG Worlds of Adventure is the biggest indoor theme park on the planet, and it’s home to some pretty epic rides.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Dubailand, www.imgworlds.com (04 403 8888).

Splash around at a waterpark

There are plenty of rides and attractions to keep the whole family entertained at Jungle Bay. The whole brood are sure to be impressed as there are slides and a splash park to a six-metre pneumatic wave pool for the big kids.
From Dhs200, or Dhs100 (kids four-12). Open daily 9am-5pm. Le Meridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina (04 399 3333).

Speed around the track at eKart Dubai Mall

Fancy racing your mates on a rooftop overlooking Burj Khalifa? You can now do just that, as EKart Zabeel has an outdoor track in Downtown Dubai for the winter. One of the best things to do in Dubai for any petrolhead.
The Dubai Mall Zabeel, Downtown Dubai, www.ekartzabeel.ae.

Swim with sharks in Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
Gather your courage and slip into the deep blue sea (kind of) to swim with sharks at this cool attraction in the massive shopping mall. Clearly one of the best things to do in Dubai, an experience you’ll never forget.
Dubai Aquarium, Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai, www.thedubaiaquarium.com (800 382246255).

Tackle the slopes at Ski Dubai

Just because you’re in the desert doesn’t mean that you won’t see snow. Granted you won’t see it outside – but you’ll get plenty of it at Ski Dubai. Learn to ski, chill out (literally) with the penguins or sip a hot chocolate at the snow cinema. Among the best things to do in Dubai if you want a few hours away from the sun.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Barsha, www.skidxb.com (800386).

Take a snap of Dubai from the Dubai Frame

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Dubai Frame
This cool vantage point at Zabeel Park allows visitors with a head for heights to see the city’s past, present and future in a one-hour tour with unique views of ‘old’ and ‘new’ Dubai from a 150-metre-high sky glass bridge. Don’t forget your camera phone as you’ll want to capture the super views.
Zabeel Park, www.thedubaiframe.com (800900).

Zip over the top of Dubai Marina on the XLine

www.xdubai.com/xline.

Best things to do in Dubai: Culture

Be amazed by La Perle

Acrobatics, water stunts, motorbikes and more – this is a live theatre spectacle that must be seen at least once. What’s more to want at one of the best things to do in Dubai?
La Perle by Dragone, Al Habtoor City, www.laperle.com (04 4370001).

Buy fresh fish at the Waterfront Market

Get ready to cook yourself a feast after you pick up the freshest catch at this traditional fish market in Deira.
Deira, www.waterfrontmarket.ae.

Buy jewels at Dubai Gold Souk

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Dubai Gold Souk
If you’re in the market for gold rings, chains, blocks or even tie pins it is an essential visit. Even if you’re not haggling/investing it is a sight that defies Instagram filters.
Gold Souk, Deira.

Check out the outdoor Ripe Market

If you have a few hours to meander, drift, saunter and stroll there is no finer place than Dubai’s greatest community market, Ripe Market. Open during the cooler months, its a great way to shop and pick up some bargains.
Open Sat 9am-7pm; Sun 10am-7pm. Academy Park, Umm Suqeim, www.ripeme.com (055 5431282).

Catch a film in style at Cinema Akil

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Cinema Akil
Indie spot Cinema Akil shows a variety of films and you should absolutely order a cup of chai from Project Chaiwala to sip while you watch.
Warehouse 68, Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz 1, www.cinemaakil.com (058 524 6362).

Check out the art galleries at Al Quoz

Dubai’s artiest area is Al Quoz, and there are loads of exhibitions to check out. Dubai’s artsy hub also has workshops, plus, there are loads of cool coffee shops to check out. We recommend Nightjar, one of Time Out Market Dubai’s superstar vendors, too.
Alserkal Avenue, Al Quoz, www.alserkalavenue.ae (04 3333464).

Discover history at Dubai Museum

Have a spare Dhs3 in your pocket? Inside the walls of Dubai’s Al Fahidi Fort in Old Dubai is a brilliant tribute to Dubai’s past. The historic building is home to a wide variety of life-size dioramas that depict Emirati life from a bygone era.
Al Fahidi Historical District, Bur Dubai (04 353 1862).

Do a heritage tour of Al Fahidi with SMCCU

Learn about the UAE as you wander through Old Dubai on a heritage tour. Then relax with a Q&A over dates and a coffee. Among the best things to do in Dubai, particularly if history is your thing.
Sat, 9am. Sun, Thu & Thu 10.30am. 90 minutes. Al Fahidi, Bur Dubai, www.cultures.ae.

Do a sustainable mountain and desert safari with Platinum Heritage

You’re in the desert – why not explore it properly? Head out with this cool company who knows what they’re offering is one of the best things to do in Dubai. They’ll also give you the low-down on the environment while you explore the dunes.
www.platinum-heritage.com.

Explore Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Souk Madinat Jumeirah
This mall is modelled on an ancient Souk, and if you don’t get lost at least once you’re winning. Take visitors to show off the views of one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, www.jumeirah.com (04 366 8888).

Haggle at Dubai gold and textile souks

Retail therapy in Dubai doesn’t necessarily mean heading to one of the (many) sprawling malls. For a more traditional experience, head down to one of the many souks at the Creek.
Dubai Creek, Deira.

Journey into space at Museum of the Future

You’ll want to visit based on the stunning exterior alone, but enter Museum of the Future and you won’t want to leave. There’s plenty to explore, but the chance to be able to see Earth from above and register as a special space pioneer, choosing your mission, is probably our favourite. A new attraction that only opened in February of this year, this is one to tell everyone you know about.
Museum of the Future. Open daily 10am-6pm. Sheikh Zayed Road museumofthefuture.ae

Immerse yourself in art at TODA

The Theatre of Digital Art is the first of its kind in Dubai, offering art aficionados in the UAE the chance to experience masterpieces via digital shows accompanied by stunning music, visual effects and surround sound.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim, www.toda.ae.

Nip down the road to Sharjah

Sharjah has loads of art an culture, but a recent highlight is the reopening of the The Flying Saucer. The iconic structure was constructed in the mid-1970s and for the past two years has been undergoing a major restoration by Sharjah Art Foundation to reflect its original architecture. It now houses exhibitions and an arts space.
www.sharjahart.org.

Read all about it at MBR Library

Mohammed bin Rashid Library in Dubai Creek is Dubai’s latest library. Costing a whopping Dhs1 billion to build, this is one impressive building. Visitors have access to more than 1.1 million printed and digital books in Arabic and foreign languages at the reading spot, so make sure you set some time aside for this one.
Open daily from 8am-11.55pm. Dubai Creek. (04 222 2025).

See a show at Dubai Opera

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Dubai Opera
Since opening in 2016 this stunning dhow-shaped building  has been a hub for theatre, musicals, operas, ballet and comedians. Early highlights include Chicago and Jack Dee, setting the tone for the A-list acts to come. One of the best things to do in Dubai for any opera-lover.
Dubai Opera, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai www.dubaiopera.com (04 440 8888).

Sniff out a bargain at the Spice Souk

How herbs help you

Roam through the narrow alleyways, packed full of bags of vibrantly coloured spices at the spice souk in Deira. You’ll be bowled over by the warming scents of the spices and you can pick up some to give your cooking some flavour.
Baniyas Street, Deira.

Visit Jumeirah Mosque

One of only a handful of mosques in the country open to non-Muslims, a visit here is an engaging cultural experience designed to inform and educate about Islam and Emirati culture. One of the best things to do in Dubai for a lover of culture and history. Modest dress is required.
Open Sat-Thu, 10am and 2pm. Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.jumeirahmosque.ae (04 3536666).

Visit Etihad Museum

Learn about the history of the UAE at this museum in Jumeirah. Covering 25,000 sqm it’s located in the same spot as Union House, where the constitution was signed in 1971.
Jumeirah, etihadmuseum.dubaiculture.gov.ae.

Walk along Al Seef

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Al Seef
Al Seef on Bur Dubai side of the Creek is an area of Dubai steeped in history, with a huge amount of Emirati culture. It leans heavily on the contemporary elements of life in Dubai but also has a nostalgic twist. There are loads of coffee shops for a pit stop, too.
Al Seef, Bur Dubai, www.alseef.ae.

Watch camels race at Al Marmoom

A camel race might, at first, seem an ungainly animal, but they’re actually far more graceful than that. The desert-dwelling beasts can reach speeds of up to 65kmh and races are every bit as entertaining as you imagine.
Opening dates and times vary. Al Marmoom Camel Racetrack, Al Ain Road (055 676 0006).

Watch the horse racing at Meydan

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Meydan
Whether you love the sport or just a jolly good day out, there’s heaps to do at Meydan Racecourse. A real passion for the city, a visit is one of the best things to do in Dubai. The next season starts on Friday November 12, with 12 races lined up.
Meydan Racecourse, Nad Al Sheba, www.dubairacingclub.com.

Best things to do in Dubai: Dining experiences and restaurants

Dine next to the turtles at Il Borro Tuscan Bistro

Visit the Time Out Dubai Best Italian Restaurant for a superb meal and you’ll also see a couple of turtles gliding by when you sit outside.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Umm Suqeim (04 275 2555).

Dine on a rooftop at folly

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, folly by Nick & Scott
The rooftop of this excellent restaurant has stunning views, and the European dishes from this top duo are outstanding.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah, Umm Suqeim (04 430 8535).

Discover Indian street food in Karama

This bustling area of the city is a haven for authentic street eats. One of the top picks is O’Pao for its innovative sliders – don’t miss the O’Pao cheese burst version.
Karama, www.opaodxb.com.

Dig into seafood from the table at Dampa Seafood Grill


The concept is simple – you’ll get a load of food dumped straight on your table and you attack it with your hands. Dig into buckets of fresh seafood tossed in delicious spices at this budget spot in Deira.
Daily 3pm – 12:30pm, Baniyas Rd, Port Saeed.

Dine at Al Dawaar revolving restaurant

Head for heights? Dubai’s only revolving restaurant circles through 360 degrees of panoramic splendour.
Al Dawaar, Hyatt Regency Dubai, Naif, www.hyatt.com (04 209 6914).

Eat a gold burrata at FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Always wanted to eat a gold burrata? Probably not, but now you can. The cheese comes with truffle, and fully coated in edible 22-karat gold at Cinque.
Dhs200. Cinque, FIVE Palm Jumeirah Dubai (04 455 9989).

Dig into fondue at an après-ski bar

Whether it’s après ski or après shop, what better way to enjoy a spot of post-snow fun than with a pot of bubbling, molten Swiss cheese? The Alps, possibly, but as an alternative this is très bon and one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Ski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates, Barsha, www.skidxb.com (800386).

Eat from a food truck at Last Exit

www.lastexit.ae (04 3173999).

Get a head for heights with dinner in the Sky at JBR

Prepare to be strapped into a bucket chain and dine with your legs dangling 50m high above JBR. Gulp.
From Dhs499. Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina (050 925 6341).

Have dinner underwater in Dubai

Let the good times roll at SushiSamba

Popular London sushi export, SushiSamba has an outpost in Dubai. Its open kitchen, complete with a sushi counter, robata grill and Tsukiji market, plates up a selection of Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian dishes. SushiSamba also serves up epic views from its 51st-floor location in the Palm Tower that make for a pretty special evening.
Lunch: daily noon-3pm; Vivo Business Lunch: Mon-Thu noon-3pm; Dinner: daily 6pm-2am. Level 51, St. Regis, The Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, sushisamba.com/locations/dubai (04 278 4888).

Scoff your face at Time Out Market Dubai

With 17 food vendors and three bars, Time Out Market Dubai never fails to impress. The foodie hotspot is always a great shout when you want your fill of good food in a cool setting. The Burj Khalifa views from the terrace are just a bonus.
Mon-Thu noon-midnight, Fri noon-1am, Sat 10am-1am, Sun 10am-midnight. Time Out Market Dubai, Souk Al Bahar, Downtown Dubai, timeoutmarket.com/dubai.

See culinary theatrics at Carnival by Trèsind

With innovative dishes and eclectic déco, the sense of playfulness at this cool spot extends to the food, while mixologists produce drinks with a heavy slice of theatrics.
Burj Daman Building, DIFC (052 242 4262).

Have sundowners in the world’s tallest building

Shoot your way up to the 122nd floor of Burj Khalifa and enjoy afternoon tea, dinner or sundowners and snacks with a view at At.mosphere. Genuinely one of the best things to do in Dubai.
Atmosphere, Burj Khalifa, Downtown Dubai, www.atmosphereburjkhalifa.com (04 888 3828).

Take a beach club crawl at Palm West Beach

Beach club fans need look no further. Whether you want total glamour and super cool vibes  hello SAN Beach  fun and flirty February 30 or the more chilled out Senor Pico, there’s a beach club for everyone at Palm West Beach. Try them all, or collapse on the first lounger you see. Either way, you won’t go wrong.
palmwestbeach.ae

Try a proper Middle Eastern shawarma

There’s no debating that shawarma is the most iconic dish in Dubai, so of course they should be on this list. Visit Al Beiruti, our Best Lebanese Restaurant of 2022, for the top one.
Unlicensed. Umm Al Sheif, Sheikh Zayed Road, albeiruti.com (04 320 0043).

Take afternoon tea on the QE2

www.qe2.com (04 526 8888).

Best things to do in Dubai: Nightlife

Find a taste of Ireland in one of Dubai’s best pubs, The Irish Village

Go bowling in the world’s highest bowling alley

Every bone in our body knows that there is absolutely no benefit to a bowling alley being so high up. It is EXACTLY the same as a bowling alley on ground level, but we can’t help wanting to head to Dubai’s The 44 bar for a bit of sport. This is just cooler. The same goes for the pool tables, dart boards, pinball machine and screens showing live sport. Hip and enjoyable. For more top bowling alleys in Dubai click here.
Open Sat-Thu, noon-2am; Fri, 11am-2am. The 44, Hilton Dubai, Al Habtoor City, www.facebook.com/the44dubai (054 581 1758).

Listen to live music at Q’s Bar & Lounge

As far as we’re concerned there’s absolutely nothing to stop you falling head over heels in love with this utterly charming jazz bar in Dubai’s Palazzo Versace hotel. And what else would you possibly expect, what with Q’s Bar & Lounge being the first live music bar opened by the legendary composer, producer, conductor and artist that is Quincy Jones? There’s live music five nights a week, international acts hand-picked by the great man himself for long-term residencies at this gorgeous, dark, intimate jazz bar. For more live music in Dubai, click here.
Show times vary. Open Tue-Sat 7pm-2am. Palazzo Versace Dubai, Al Jaddaf (04 556 8865).

Live sets and sundowners 

To turn the volume up on the good times then Soho Garden Palm Jumeirah is just the ticket. This happening hangout sits on the rooftop of Nakheel Mall and serves views of the Palm and beyond. Soho Garden Palm Jumeirah hosts an exciting array of nightlife offerings, including sundowners, live music performances and DJ sets. There’s also Soho Garden Meydan servicing the downtown Dubai crowd.
Open 5pm-3am daily. Nakheel Mall Palm Jumeirah, Rooftop West, Dubai, sohogardendxb.com (054 233 5555). 

Sip sunset drinks at The Penthouse

Sunbathe and party on the beach at Nikki Beach

Book a cabana or day bed at the best beach club in Dubai, Nikki Beach, (we gave it a trophy and everything) and you’re making a promise to yourselves: ‘We’re having a great time and we don’t care who knows it’. You’ll be joined by Dubai’s glamour set at the sleek, shiny and world-famous import. There’s also a top party brunch every Saturday, too. There are super views out to sea at this beach club too, making for a romantic backdrop for sundowners at Caribbean restaurant Key West, just a short jaunt up the sands. For Dubai’s best beaches click here. For more Dubai beach clubs, click here.
Open daily, 11am-8pm. Nikki Beach Dubai, Dubai Pearl, Pearl Jumeirah, www.nikkibeach.com (04 376 6162).

Party and watch sport with friends at Barasti

One of the best things to do in Dubai if you’re new to the city, Barasti offers a combination of beach, bar and sport.

Open Mon-Fri 9am-2am, Sat and Sun 9am-3am. Le Méridien Mina Seyahi Beach Resort & Marina, Dubai Marina, barastibeach.com (04 318 1313).

Best things to do in Dubai: Off the beaten track – outdoors and more

Admire the wildlife at Ras Al Khor Sanctuary

You can see a different side to Dubai at Ras Al Khor’s 6.2sqkm sanctuary. Best known for being home to flamingos, you can also spy herons, cormorants, sandpipers, osprey and much more. Bring binoculars.
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary, Ras Al Khor, www.rasalkhorwildlife.ae (800900).

Take a stroll down Hindi Lane

This area has a strong community feel and you’ll find a Hindi temple too. It’s reached through the vibrant and colourful “Hindi Lane”. Non-Hindus are allowed in, but you must remove your shoes. Bur Dubai.

Get new threads made in Satwa

Have a dress you love that you want in another colour? Need a suit for a wedding? Head to Satwa for any number of tailors who can create exactly what you want.
Satwa.

Have an adventure in Hatta

www.visithatta.com (800 637227).

Learn to dive at Al Boom Dubai

Always wanted to learn to dive? You can do that right here in Dubai. PADI dive training teaches the importance of diving in pairs and will get you ready to explore the open water. Watch out for cool-looking fish.
Al Boom Dubai, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1, www.alboomdiving.com, (04 3422993).

Have a romantic stroll at Dubai Love Lakes

Hike at Wadi Helo

Pull on your hiking boots, grab your walking buddy and hop in the car to head to this wadi just outside Dubai in Sharjah. It’s the perfect weather to enjoy nature, so make the most of it and get back to nature.
Sharjah.

Horse ride in the desert

There are few things more adventurous than riding through the desert. Trot, walk or gallop, depending on your skills, and enjoy the amazing scenery. Giddy up.
Bab Al Shams, Al Qudra, www.babalshams.com.

Picnic at Secret Beach

Secret beaches in Dubai

Pack up your cool box, make the sandwiches, throw a blanket in the car and gather the gang for a perfect picnic. This secluded beach is an ideal place to get away from it all and enjoy the winter sun.
Al Sufouh.

Sandboard on the dunes

Ready for some exercise? Give this super-cool sport that’s like snowboarding on the sand a whirl. The red dunes are where the gnarliest action can be found. Yes, we did use the word ‘gnarliest’.
oscarknighttours.com.

Paddle a kayak on the Palm


Is it arm day? Skip the gym and hop into a kayak for some fun on the water. And if you head to this swish beachside spot on Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah we’d suggest grabbing lunch at The Beach House, too. 
Open daily. Call for timings. Anantara Palm The Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, www.anantara.com (04 5678888).

See the desert from a hot air balloon

Fancy taking to the skies? For a bucket list adventure, book this. Balloon Adventures Dubai runs morning excursions where you’ll float serenely over the desert – 4,000m above the ground. Depending on your head for heights, this may or may not be terrifying, but it’s sure to be exhilarating.
Pick up from 4am across Dubai www.balloon-adventures.com

See stunning street art on 18B street

Back in 2016, practically overnight and without any social media hype, many of the area’s longstanding and traditional buildings were given a fresh and colourful new coat of paint. Epic murals line the buildings, with colossal sharks, falcons, lions and even guitars taking a starring role.
18B Street, Karama.

Try dune buggying

www.mxdubai.com (055 262 2707).

Visit Hatta Heritage museum

If you’re into hiking, this is one of the best things to do in Dubai. There are 32.6km of hiking routes – which you can do for free or with a guide. There are several levels, which are colour coded from green to black, for beginners to experienced hikers and off-road runners. While you’re there stop by Hatta Heritage Village for spot of culture, with craft shops, heritage centre and Emirati restaurant, Al Hajarain.
visithatta.com/en.

Have a blast at the GAME OVER escape room

GAME OVER escape room

If escape rooms are your thing, this is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in Dubai. The huge VR-powered escape room opened in Nakheel Mall in 2022 – and fans of organised fun need to check out. Spread over 11,000 square feet, GAME OVER Escape Rooms and Board Game Café has 12 physical escape rooms with some epic themes 11 meta-escape rooms that you can access with VR headsets and a board game cafe.
Second Floor, Nakheel Mall, escapegameover.ae

Best things to do in Dubai: Spas, sports and wellbeing

Chill out at the snow room at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Talise Ottoman Spa

Jumeirah Zabeel Saray

We’re dreaming of a white… room full of snow. If you’re missing out on waking up to a windowsill filled with icy flakes of joy, rather than beaming sun, The Talise Ottoman Spa at Dubai’s Jumeirah Zabeel Saray on Palm Jumeirah has got you covered. The room is beneficial for pain receptors as well as relaxing and brightening your mood, plus it’s always a fun novelty to see snow in a desert climate.
Prices vary. Open daily 10am-9.30pm. Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah (04 453 0000).

Jet ski at JBR

Some like to float leisurely in the sea, others like to race around it on super sleek jet skis. Tru it out down at JBR Beach and explore the stretch of sea between JBR and the Palm while you’re at it.
From Dhs450 for 20 minutes. Sky & Sea Adventure Dubai. watersportsdubai.com.

Take a walk along Kite Beach

Dubai beaches: Kite Beach

The route is 5.1 miles along Kite Beach and will take you alongside the beach without you having to get your shoes sandy as there is a flat pathway.
Kite Beach.

Go cycling at Al Qudra Cycle Track

Drive out past Dubai’s Arabian Ranches and you’ll see a cycling path running alongside the road to your left. Al Qudra cycling track is 86km with a 50km loop, that will put your biking (and endurance) skills to the test. You can rent a bike, helmet and lights at Trek UAE, and there’s a Last Exit food truck park for a pit stop. Access to the bike track is free, and you’ll enjoy views of the desert dunes (watch out for gazelles). All levels are welcome, but expect to spend up to three hours completing the track, which is most popular on weekend mornings.
Free. Al Qudra Road (no number).

Play a round of night golf at Emirates Golf Club

Who wants to stroll around a golf course during the day anyway? If you’ve always felt like the way to improve a round is to play under floodlights, we have good news for you, as several courses in the UAE offer the option to play at night. During the summer it’s especially handy, as it’s pretty much unbearable out there in soaring temperatures and humidity. But it also means that those of us with nine to five jobs can get out on the course during the week without a ludicrously early start or taking the day off. It kind of feels more acceptable to head to the 19th hole at 8pm as well.
Prices and times vary. Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai (04 417 9842).

Swing over to TopGolf

It is no secret that Dubai loves its golf. Whether you are a self-appointed pro or a bang-average beginner, TopGolf is a super-fun place for all. With 90 climate-controlled hitting bays in a huge three-storey site, there’s more golf than you can swing a club at. The licensed venue also serves up a selection of food and beverages to graze on. Be it with friends, family or colleagues, partaking in some driving range antics is guaranteed to bring you together.
Prices vary. Open Mon-Thu, 10am-1am. Fri, 10am-2am. Sat, 9am-1am. Sun, 9am-1am. Emirates Golf Club, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.topgolfdubai.ae (04 371 9999). 

Play padel at Matcha

Six outdoor courts feature at trendy padel club Matcha. There is even a yoga studio if you fancy a good stretch and the Nette café is perfect for a post-game coffee too.
Dhs400 for 90 minutes. Daily. 6am – midnight. 8 St, Al Quoz, www.matcha-club.ae (04 548 8364).

Take in views of the Palm from the world’s highest infinity pool

For one of Dubai’s ultimate pool days, look no further than AURA Skypool. There are three options available: a morning session to set your day up in the best possible way, an evening session to take in all those incredible sunset hues and an all-day session so you can enjoy both. There are some tasty Pan-Asian dishes on offer to graze on over the truly epic views. What’s more, you are guaranteed poolside snaps that your Instagram profile will thank you for. 
From Dhs200 (morning session. From Dhs225 (evening session). From Dhs425 (all-day session). Open 7am-10pm daily. Nakheel Palm Tower, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, auraskypool.com.

Have a pool day at Terra Solis

Terra Solis
Terra Solis

If you haven’t made it into the desert to visit Terra Solis Dubai yet, the sprawling pool is among the Tomorrowland venue’s USPs. There’s a swim-up bar towards the left of the in-pool stage where you can order drinks to sip in the pool. Throughout the summer, the venue is offering summer daycation deals from Dhs500.
From Dhs500. Open daily, 9am-sunset. Dubai Heritage Vision, Exit 29, Jebel Ali, Lehbab Road, Dubailand. terrasolisdubai.com (04 456 1956).

Treat yourself in Guerlain Spa

Treating yourself doesn’t just mean a block of chocolate and a sit down, it means allowing yourself the occasional indulgence. Especially in Dubai. Like a luxurious signature treatment at the gorgeous One&Only The Palm’s Guerlain Spa. With just silky milk scrubs, personalised massages, scented baths, purifying wraps and relax. For Dubai’s best spas click here.
Guerlain Spa, One&Only The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, www.oneandonlyresorts.com (04 440 1040).

Try “underwater yoga” at The Lost Chambers Aquarium

Admittedly it’s not actually “underwater” yoga, but this is as close to it as you’re going to get – and it’s a lot easier than practising a cobra pose in a swimming pool. This fun, different (and oh-so-Dubai) yoga class is brought to you than none other than Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm. Make your way through a variety of hatha positions with the serene backdrop of multicoloured tropical fish, rays and sharks. Peaceful yet challenging, this is one class that’s worth dragging yourself out of bed early for (even on a Friday).
Call for schedule. The Lost Chambers Aquarium, Atlantis The Palm, Palm Jumeirah (04 426 1040).

Best things to do in Dubai: Family activities

Bounce around at BOUNCE X Park

Fantastic things to do in Dubai, Bounce around at BOUNCE X Park
Bounce Dubai’s X Park is a brilliant way to find your inner Spider-Man and jump around its many obstacles and pipes to work up a sweat, from its spider wall to its climbing wall. Kids can unleash all their pent-up energy in this parkour zone. Plus, billed as one of the most effective exercises you can do, trampolining is a fun, low-impact workout that tones muscles and improves coordination. One of the best places to visit in Dubai with families.
Times vary. Al Quoz, www.bounce.ae.

Have fun at LEGOLAND

The LEGOLAND extravaganza at the city’s Dubai Parks and Resorts has successfully brought LEGO to life with more than 40 rides, shows and attractions on six themed lands crammed with 15,000 LEGO models and more than 60,000 LEGO bricks. Start off at the factory where you’ll get a guided tour and find out how LEGO bricks are made, before moving onto LEGO City where you can learn to drive an electric car and fly a LEGO plane. From there it’s onto the various kingdoms and imagination zones, before taking a turn on some rides at the Adventure zone before heading to Miniland, where kids will be able to marvel at 20 miles of LEGO bricks.
Dubai Parks And Resorts, Jebel Ali, Dubai, www.legoland.com/dubai (04 820 0000).

Jump around like a maniac at Air Maniax

An indoor aerial assault course with extra added high-tech fanciness to help record the exact moment you face-plant into a crash mat or bounce into a ball pool. Air Maniax Dubai has different zones for different levels of bounce, zip, crash and wallop. The most fun you will have falling over and jumping into things in the city.
Air Maniax, Al Quoz, www.airmaniax.com (04 348 8981).

Make a splash at LEGOland Water Park Dubai

www.legoland.com/dubai (04 820 3123).

Ride the waves at Wavehouse Dubai

Best Family Restaurant. Whether you’re looking for bowling, drinks or surfing – it’s here at Atlantis The Palm. There’s a four-lane, ten-pin bowling alley awaits complete with visual 3D mapping projections (and super plush couches). Lanes can be hired from Dhs60 per person, per game from noon to 1am daily. There’s also the LEVELS arcade with more than 50 games including the world’s largest Pac Man. Fancy showing off your surfing skills? Check out the Waverider outside.
Prices and timings vary. The Avenues, Atlantis The Palm, atlantisthepalm.com (04 426 2000).

Soar in the air at Sky Zone

Head to Skyzone for a brilliant family day out

This Dubai family-fun site has more than 200 locations elsewhere in the world. Sky Zone Dubai is an indoor trampoline park where little adrenalin junkies can work their way around the various areas that include a foam zone, dodgeball arena and zip line. The youngest jumpers have their own toddler area to play in and there is a great café for parents where healthy snacks are on offer in addition to the usual pizza and chicken nuggets. The coffee isn’t half bad either.
Ibn Battuta Mall www.skyzone.ae (800 759 9663).