The best things to experience in Dubai
Last year I visited Dubai. We visited for 5 days and we got to see and do so much. I had an incredible time.
It’s funny, Dubai is not a place I’d ever been interested in visiting – even with all the hype about it on social media in recent years, but after visiting, I understand what all the hype is about.
Dubai is actually an incredibly safe place to visit, despite all the stories you hear on the news, and there’s so much to do. So in this post I’m going to be breaking down the different things to see/do in Dubai.
Dubai Mall / Burj Khalifa / Dubai Dancing Fountains
I have grouped all of these together as they are all located in the same place and can easily all be done in one day.
I would definitely recommend visiting the Dubai mall – even if you’re not a huge fan of shopping (let’s face it, who isn’t a fan of shopping?) as it truly is an incredible place. It’s huge too, so you could easily spend 4 hours or more there. There’s a huge aquarium in the mall too, and an incredible water fountain. Don’t get my started on the food court either! You are literally spoilt for choice when it comes to food.
Once you’ve had a bite to eat and had enough of mooching around the shops, you can head to the Burj Khalifa. This is the tallest building in the world (currently, I do know they are in the process of building an even taller building), so it’s definitely something you would want to experience whilst you’re in Dubai. The Burj Khalifa is located in the Dubai Mall so you can literally head straight there. I recommend pre booking your tickets to avoid queues. Now it’s your choice if you want to go up the Burj Khalifa during the day, sunset or evening. I do know the sunset tickets are slightly more expensive though – but it’s worth it. You can plan your day around the preferred time you would like to visit. We went up the Burj Khalifa at sunset, so we could see the views during the day, see the sunset and also see the views during the evening too.
Just a quick FYI – You go up the building via lift, it literally takes a few minutes and your ears may pop.
If I remember correctly, you’re taken to the second floor first. Here you are offered little snacks and a drink. There are tables you can sit at too. You then go into a second lift to get to the top floor. There is a professional photographer on the top floor who can take a picture for you, with the view in the background. You can then purchase these back on the second floor. They will bring the photos up on the computer and you can pick which ones you would like printed. These are quite pricey, but extremely worth it.
Once you have been to the Burj Khalifa you can then head outside to see the dancing fountains. They are located right outside of the Burj Khalifa. The dancing fountains are magical to watch and definitely something I would recommend seeing! They are stunning and I believe they run every half an hour from 6pm. It can get hot standing outside for so long though! But don’t worry the air con of the mall will cool you right down again. There’s also sometimes a light show, which is projected on the Burj Khalifa, as you can see from my photo below.
One tip I would suggest is wrapping up warm when visiting the mall! I don’t mean, hat, scarves and gloves. I just mean jeans and a jacket. Despite the hot weather, the air con will absolutely freeze you.
A desert safari is a must when visiting Dubai, it is such a fun experience. We were picked up from the hotel, and taken to a small building in the middle of the desert so the driver could release some air from his tyres in preparation for the sand dunes. There are toilets located here and a shop to purchase drinks. The best part about this stop off is you can hire quad bikes/dune buggies and ride them around the desert yourself (Following an instructor.) This is what we did and it passed the time quickly and was such a fun experience. Make sure you lather yourself in plenty of sunscreen and wear sunglasses as it’s extremely hot, especially sitting next to a hot engine! Once enough air has been released from the tyres, the driver will take you up to the sand dunes. We opted for the ‘extreme’ dunes. Which means they were higher and much scarier. It felt like the car could flip at any time, and this is a posibilty with this excursion. Your driver will explain the risks and health and safety procedures though. The sand dunes are such a thrilling experience though! Along the way, we did stop off a few times to have a go at sand-boarding, have a few photographs taken and to visit the famous camel rock.
After an exciting few hours around the dunes, we drove to the BBQ which was included in our excursion. Here there are tables and bean bags to sit on, arabic tea and dougnuts to try, you can experience a camel ride, watch the sunset, get your arm decorated with henna and watch the performers which include a belly dancer and a Tanoura dance. Food is also provided, and you can help yourself to a variety of kebabs and curries which are laid out like a buffet.
At one point, they turn all the lights off and all you can see are the stars above – Let me tell you, this truly is a breathtaking view.
You will then be taken safely back to your hotel.
I would highly recommend this excursion, it was such a wonderful day. I have linked the information to this excursion below. This website will contain all the information you need to know –
Atlantis Waterpark is somewhere you need to visit in Dubai! You must experience the epic waterslides, the incredible water experiences like swimming with dolphins and feeding string rays and relaxing as you bob around the water rapids.
Even if you’re not a guest at the hotel, you can still purchase tickets to this waterpark.
My favourite day at the waterpark was when we hired a cabana, which I would highly recommend. You get access to your own lockers so you don’t need to worry about your personal belongings, fresh fruit and water is provided for you and you’re guaranteed sun beds. Our cabana had a hammock, a bed and several chairs to lounge around on. It was bliss. The best part about the cabanas is that they are completely private and nobody else can access your area if you have purchased it for the day. So you can go off and enjoy the water park knowing your personal items are safe and you have a comfortable and private area to come back to.
Of course – It’s a given to go around the water park and enjoy the slides. I’m not a big fan of heights or rides so I didn’t go on too many of the slides (And I was going nowhere near the Leap Of Faith!), however I did grab myself a rubber ring and enjoyed the rapids for a few hours. It’s great to just sit back, relax and let the water take you along.
There is a food court located in the waterpark so you won’t go hungry – And if you have hired a cabana, your food is brought over to you! There are all kinds of foods so you will certainly be spoilt for choice.
Not only can you enjoy the slides and relax in your cabana, but you can also purchase water experiences. We fed the string rays and also met a dolphin called Cathy. I’d never seen a dolphin before – I was so excited! And the sting rays were so funny and kept sucking our legs. I would recommend feeding sting rays, we all laughed so much, they were so amusing and this was definitely a highlight for us. There’s also a diving experience you can purchase, and you get to dive in the hotel’s main aquarium.
Visit Jumeirah Beach
This is the one thing we didn’t do when we visited Dubai, but I’m sure we will get the opportunity to go next time we visit.
One of the main reasons to visit Jumeirah Beach is so you can get that perfect photo with the Burj Al Arab! (The only 7 * hotel in the world) I would personally love to visit Jumeirah Beach however it’s extremely hot in Dubai and I actually suffered with severe dehydration on our first day there. So my advice would be, to be careful. Drink plenty of water, stay hydrated and try to cool off in the water as much as possible. The air is so humid in Dubai, you don’t realise just how thirsty you really are. So make sure you’re drinking all day. Even if you’re not thirsty. I wasted my first night in Dubai because I was just so poorly – So it would be perfect to visit the beach when the weather isn’t at the hottest point of the year, which is August and actually the month we visited.
When visiting the beach – Go find a nice beach bar to relax in. This would be perfect during the evening time, as the heat won’t be too overpowering.
So, those are my recommendations for what to do in Dubai and I think 5 days is definitely enough time to experience everything.
I do know that this year, the Dubai 2020 expo will be taking place in October so there are even more impressive things to come to Dubai in 2020!
Have you ever visited Dubai? If you have, comment what you would recommend seeing/doing and be sure to like this post if you found my information helpful.
See you all on the next post,