Travel

10 Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Ten interesting things to see in Dubai

Dubai has been on my must-see travel destinations for years—nope—decades. Right from the time I got a job offer there that I had to decline, to all the occasions when friends moved there to settle. Yes, they’ve been inviting me to visit and enticing me with interesting things to see in Dubai, but somehow, the trip has just not happened.

We’ve made trips to farther away places but Dubai, in spite of being so accessible and just a 4-hour flight booking away, almost the same time it takes us to visit our son in India and about the same price, has been elusive. A bit funny, if you ask me.

I’ve noticed that sometimes when we keep thinking of something, it happens. Just out of curiosity, while booking my son’s tickets for his short trip home, I looked at flight bookings for Dubai and found that Etihad Airways had some good deals and bookmarked the page.

And I thought, now I as good a time as any to build a list of interesting things to see in Dubai – I am sure there’s more but I’ll leave the final itinerary to my friends who live there. Here’s what I came up with, especially after seeing photos of these places shared by my friends to entice me.

Dubai has always conjured up amazing visions of duty-free shopping, unbelievable architecture, historical marvels, and good times galore.

Let’s look at 10 interesting things to see in Dubai.

10 Interesting Things To See In Dubai

Top ten interesting things to see in Dubai

1.   Burj Khalifa

BurjKhalifa Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Naturally, right? First on the list of interesting things to do in Dubai is the Burj Khalifa. Enjoy some fantastic views from the top of this iconic tower. It’s the world’s tallest tower at 828 meters and stands out against the skyline. There’s an observation deck on level 124 that takes one’s breath away. Then there’s another view from the 148th floor (just thinking of the height makes me dizzy!). It seems like you can also hang around for lunch in the clouds on level 122 at At.mosphere. Amazing, right? There’s something about watching the world go by from a height that’s soothing. Everything below and stretching out to the horizon looks like toy land.

dubai opera house Interesting Things to See in Dubai (2)

The Dubai Opera is located right next to the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Opera House Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Enjoy fabulous views of the Dubai fountain from this interesting building shaped like an Arabian Dhow ship

2.   The Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Who visits Dubai and returns without splurging on shopping? The Dubai Mall is a shopper’s paradise like none other. It is close to the Burj Khalifa and boasts more than a thousand shops and 150 restaurants, an indoor theme park, an ice rink, an indoor waterfall, dancing fountain and the massive Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. I am sure when we visit my son would prefer to spend all his time at the zoo and aquarium.

3.   The Dubai Fountain

dubai mall fountain Interesting Things to See in Dubai

While located just outside the doors of the Dubai Mall, the Dubai Fountain is known as the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. 150-meter colorful illuminated jet streams fly high in the air, dancing to music from various genres to delight people. There are two specific show timings in the afternoon and in the evening, at sunset, every thirty minutes until 11.00 pm.

4.   Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah Interesting Things to See in Dubai

This has been doing the rounds on WhatsApp because of its awe-inspiring structure and luxurious hotels. The palm shaped islands are one of Dubai’s man-made architectural marvels. Only in Dubai, right? It’s a favorite place for both tourists and locals. Accessible by monorail that runs on the trunk of the tree connecting the islands to the mainland’s tram system, getting there is a breeze.

atlantis Interesting Things to See in Dubai

From the Atlantis, The Palm to the other high-end hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and many more—a fantastic time is guaranteed. We live only once, right? And whether or not I’ll throw money at luxury, I am all for window-shopping just to see the sights!

5.   Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek Interesting Things to See in Dubai

History is fascinating and if you enjoy learning about ancient trade routes, Dubai creek, the saltwater estuary is where you can know more about ancient trade routes, winding waterways and souks. Here is where the ancient tribe, Bani Yas settled and the creek’s waters drove the economy with pearl diving and fishing.

Dubai Museum Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Here’s where the Dubai Museum is located along with the gold, spice and textile souks. I am told that while visiting the creek, a ride across the water on the traditional abra or water taxi should not be missed.

Abra ferry Interesting Things to See in Dubai

What’s more, the ticket is super-affordable at AED 1 per head. I would definitely like to do that.

6.   The Walk and Beach at JBR

The Walk at JBR Interesting Things to See in Dubai

The Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, also called JBR, is a much-loved part of Dubai with restaurants, the beach, and of course, more shopping and definitely one of the most interesting things to see in Dubai.

JBR Beach Interesting Things to See in Dubai

There are open-air cinemas, a water park and plenty of other activities to stay busy! Or one can just relax in the pavement cafes and watch the world and fancy cars cruise by.

adventure sports in jumeirah Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Of course, if you want purely beach and water sports, there’s Kite Beach. One can also enjoy biking, skating, volleyball and a grand view of the Burj Al Arab.

7.   Dubai Marina

Dubai marina Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Skylines are always enchanting and the man-made Dubai Marina is no exception. Some of the world’s tallest building can be seen here as one walks along the water or sail from the Yacht Club.

8.   The Desert

Desert Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Shopping, beaches, ancient trade routes, luxury hotels. What next in the list of interesting things to see in Dubai? The desert. Definitely among the most interesting things to do in Dubai. It is just a twenty-minute drive to the Arabian dessert where a desert safari awaits. There’s also quad biking, off-roading, and sandboarding, traditional barbecues, henna applications and camel rides. It’s a majestic landscape out there and its splendor can be enjoyed simply by taking a long drive. I can imagine what it must be like under the moonlight.

9.   Al Fahidi

Al Fahidi fort Interesting Things to See in Dubai

Now for some heritage Dubai. The Al Fahidi historical neighborhood is among the oldest in the city, built in the early 1900s by merchants from the Persian town of Bastak and called the Bastakiya Quarter. One can explore the labyrinth of lanes flanked by restored heritage buildings and wind towers.

Bastakiya Mosque Interesting Things to See in Dubai

The Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding here offers Arabic classes, heritage tours and guided mosque visits so you can take in the local culture. There are craft shops, cultural exhibits, museums, art galleries and courtyard cafes. If you missed the abra ride to the souks at the Dubai creek, don’t miss it here.

10.  IMG Worlds of Adventure

IMG Worlds of Adventure Interesting Things to See in Dubai

If adventure and theme parks are your thing, the IMG Worlds of Adventure is all set to thrill. This is a massive theme park the size of 28 football fields featuring exciting rides for all ages with your favorite fiction characters. There are larger than life animated dinosaurs in the Lost Valley.

Dubai Frame Interesting Things to See in Dubai

A fascinating structure in Dubai is the Dubai Frame, which soars into the skyline. This is located in Dubai’s Zabeel Park between old and new Dubai, offering a panoramic view of the city. There’s a glass bridge connecting the vertical towers, creating the shape of a picture frame.

That’s not all—Dubai has much more to see but why not discover them in the course of visiting the above sights? One thing is for sure. Dubai is a wonderful blend of old, new and futuristic and is sure to enchant any visitor.

Have you been to Dubai?

What would you like to add to this list of top 10 interesting things to see in Dubai?

P.S.: Photography credit: Venu Vedula – big thanks for the gorgeous photos! He’s a dear friend and professional photographer. You will love Venu’s stunning Instagram feed.

Disclosure:

This post is in collaboration with Almosafer

8 Comments

  • Reply
    Steve Wright
    October 20, 2019 at 9:08 pm

    Dubai has been on my list of must see travel destinations for years too. I’d have to add Ski Dubai as another super-interesting thing to do. Where else but in Dubai can someone go skiing in the middle of a desert? Thanks for the great article and the gorgeous photos!

  • Reply
    Lauren Kinghorn
    October 21, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Ooh, what a stunning list, Vidya! I’ve been to Dubai AIRPORT… en route to London and even that was enthralling. Very flashy. I got such a kick out of the public bathrooms, the toilets flush themselves! I fly Air Emirates whenever possible because I find their planes the best. I get travel sickness towards the end of long-haul flights but not with Air Emirates. Isn’t that amazing?

    My hubby’s brother and his wife and son live in Dubai. I’m planning a family trip to the UK in June/July next year. Would definitely like to pop in and see the family in Dubai for a few days. Will add all these stunning spots to my must-see list. The kids are going to love that Theme Park and the Arabian Ship!!
    Lauren Kinghorn recently posted…How to Rid Your Office of Pests

  • Reply
    Julie
    October 22, 2019 at 11:40 am

    Wow Dubai looks amazing! I really would love to have the opportunity to travel there one day. It looks like a fantastic family trip

  • Reply
    Ryan K Biddulph
    October 22, 2019 at 10:52 pm

    Wow so awesome Vidya. Reminds me a bit of my time in Doha, Qatar. Magical spot brimming with immense opulence. Definitely on my travel list.

    Ryan

  • Reply
    Nicole Steyn
    October 24, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    Dubai is on my travel bucket list! It looks so beautiful with so many things to do. I didn’t actually realize there was that many places of interest to go visit. Thanks for sharing. I hope to make it there sometime in the near future and I hope you do to… no, I know you will soon!

  • Reply
    FOODNTRAVEL
    October 25, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    Good blog Vidhya.. Dubai being the largest and most populous city in UAE is always amazing !

  • Reply
    Sophie
    November 3, 2019 at 6:37 pm

    Dubai is fantastic city, indeed! On our flight to Barcelona we had a halt in Dubai and I so wanted to go out because the city looked immaculate from the airport, with its clean beautiful structures. And I have heard so much about the sopping ! Can’t wait to go.

  • Reply
    Muhammad Haroon
    November 10, 2019 at 7:46 pm

    Wow so awesome Vidya. Reminds me a bit of my time in Doha, Qatar. Magical spot brimming with immense opulence. Definitely on my travel list.

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