Dubai sights – where to go and what to see

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Throughout the year, the emirate of Dubai attracts tourists from all over the world due to its warm climate, white sandy beaches, as well as world-class entertainment. In addition to iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa and The Dubai Mall, the emirate offers dozens of leisure options; from visiting historical sites and art galleries, to a variety of theme parks and skiing on indoor snowy slopes. We have prepared an article with the best 20 destinations to spend an unforgettable holiday in Dubai.

 

What places are worth visiting in Dubai in 2022?


Our selection contains entertainment for almost all age groups and interests. A sea cruise, an oceanarium, the fantastic Dubai Garden Glow Park, which sparkles with its lights, as well as the world’s largest flower garden; Miracle Garden, are the “universal” destination options. History lovers will appreciate the Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort and the entire old quarter of Al Fahidi, while families with children will enjoy a visit to KidZania Dubai, the many water parks, LEGOLAND and numerous amusement parks. The Ski Dubai ski resort or scuba diving into a huge aquarium with marine inhabitants are ideally suited for those who prefer active recreation.

Many of the proposed entertainment destinations such as the historical and ethnographic complex of Heritage & Diving Village, or the world-famous singing fountains at the Dubai Fountains, can be visited for free. Almost all the places listed can be reached by public transport or you can rent a car and move around the city on your own.

Important! You must first obtain an international driver’s license and study information about the rules of driving in the UAE in order to drive a car in Dubai.

Usually tours of specific areas or destinations in Dubai include a transfer from the hotel or the place of your accommodation. Our highly-skilled specialists at Metropolitan Premium Properties, will help you choose the right property to purchase or if you are looking for a long-term or short-term rental. It can be either a budget studio or a hotel apartment, a luxury penthouse or a spacious villa in any district of Dubai, within close proximity to key attractions and places to relax, according to your own preferences and budget.

 

Dubai Museum & Al Fahidi Fort


Al Fahidi Fort in the eponymous Al Fahidi district is a fortress built in 1787, which is the oldest building in the emirate of Dubai. The fortress was the main stronghold of the emirate’s defense, and was also the residence of the rulers. In 1971, when the restoration of the fortress was made, the Dubai Museum was opened. The area of the exposition constitutes more than 43,000 sq. ft and offers visitors the chance to get acquainted with the history and cultural heritage of the city, these include:

  • Artfully recreated Arab markets
  • See dioramas and installations
  • Mosques and houses, including a dwelling made of palm leaves
  • Visit an exhibition dedicated to pearl fishermen and much more

The exposition includes exhibits dating back to 3,000 BC. You can get to the museum by metro, with the closest subway station being Sharaf DG station, which is a 10-minute walk away.

Aquaventure Waterpark

Aquaventure Waterpark is the biggest water park on the planet and offers over 100 different attractions and water activities for the whole family. There is also an aquarium with more than 65 thousand representatives of marine fauna here. Visitors can get vivid impressions by diving underwater with scuba gear or a mask, surrounded by thousands of fish, including sharks and rays. There is also a special opportunity for everyone to be able to swim with dolphins in Dolphin Bay.

The water park is part of the elite Atlantis resort, which is located on the Palm Jumeirah Crescent. You can get here by monorail, but will need to reach the actually island by metro or bus.

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek is a natural sea bay and the main waterway of the emirate of Dubai, where the oldest districts of the city are located on the shores of Dubai Creek. Entertainment here includes the famous Arab bazaars with local goods including perfumes, gold jewellery and spices and wooden boats for riding along the canal. Visitors also can enjoy the picturesque sunrise, which is best viewed from the Deira marina. The canal embankment also houses the Museum Of Illusions and the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

You can get to Dubai Creek by bus or metro – depending on the specific location along the banks of the canal.

Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque is a large mosque with two minarets, which was built using white stone in the 1970s. The landmark is one of the symbols of Dubai and is considered the most beautiful in the emirate, therefore is depicted on the AED 500 banknote. The mosque was built in the traditions of medieval architecture, during the reign of the Fatimids. The building can accommodate up to 1,200 people and looks especially impressive in the evenings due to the backlight.

Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque in the emirate of Dubai that is accessible to representatives of all faiths. The religious facility is located in the Jumeirah area, which is just a few steps from the Palm Strip Center bus stop.

Al Fahidi Historical District or Bastakia

Al Fahidi is a historic district in Dubai located on the banks of Dubai Creek, where the architecture of the mid-XIX century, including traditional wind towers, has been preserved. There are several museums here, including the Coins Museum and the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. There are art galleries open in some of the ancient buildings, as well as authentic Arabic restaurants. The area often hosts events aimed at preserving the cultural heritage of the UAE.

Two metro stations including Al Ghubaiba Metro Station and Sharaf DG, many bus stops, and a ferry pier are situated on the territory of Al Fahidi.

Heritage & Diving Village

Heritage & Diving Village is an open–air historical and ethnographic museum complex with an area of 10 hectares that is located in the old Al Shindagha area on the west coast of Dubai Creek. Here visitors will be able to see the reconstruction of an Arab village and get acquainted with the life of Bedouins and pearl fishermen. There is also an old market with the products of local artisans on the territory of the complex.

The village is located less than a 10-minute walk from Al Ghubaiba Metro Station.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is one of the numerous attractions located in the biggest shopping complex in the world, The Dubai Mall in Downtown Dubai. The aquarium holds a volume of 10 million liters and is home to more than 33 thousand marine inhabitants, including the largest population of tiger sand sharks in the world. Visitors will be able to walk underwater through a 157-ft transparent tunnel, be able to dive with the sharks in a special cage, and swim on a glass-bottomed boat.

In the underwater zoo, located above the aquarium, 3 ecological zones are available for visitors to enjoy: a rocky shore, a tropical forest and a living ocean.

Aquarium & Underwater Zoo can be reached within 10 minutes from the Burj Khalifa/ Dubai Mall Metro Station, and The Dubai Mall bus station is also situated in close proximity.

Dubai Garden Glow

The luminous Dubai Garden Glow Park with fantastic shining installations made from recycled raw materials has an advantageous location within one of the largest green zones of the emirate, Za’abeel Park, Za’abeel. The attraction is divided into thematic zones including, ice world, underwater world, dinosaurs, etc. Dubai Garden Glow also hosts different acrobatic shows and other entertainment events throughout the year.

Visitors can get here by metro or bus. Al Jafiliya and the World Trade Centre Metro Station 2 are located within a 30-minute walk, while the 2nd Za’abeel Rd 1 stop is only 10 minutes away.

 

Note: If you are considering investing in property in the emirate of Dubai, the Za’abeel area offers exclusive residences for purchase in the elite One Za’abeel complex. To find out more information about this project and other elite complexes in the emirate, read this article.

Dubai Fountain

The world’s highest light and music fountains are one of the most popular landmarks in the emirate, and are situated at the foot of the iconic Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Downtown Dubai.

The grandiose show is held every 30 minutes from about 18:00 to 23:00. More than 830 thousand liters of water rise to a height of 459 ft every second and illuminate more than 6.6K lamps and 25 projectors, giving the illusion of the water being a thousand different colours, during the performance. The floating platform called the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk, which allows you to see the show from a distance of 30 ft, is one of the latest innovations for the convenience of viewers.

It takes 15 minutes to walk to the fountains from the Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall Metro Station.

LEGOLAND

The first LEGOLAND theme park in the Middle East region was inspired by the famous LEGO designers, and offers guests and visitors over 40 attractions and entertainment spots to enjoy. Attractions include a journey through the lost kingdom, a race track, a futuristic puppet show, a water park, and a roller coaster. The age range of each ride constitutes 2-12 years.

LEGOLAND is located near the border of Dubai and Abu Dhabi, in the Park and Resorts entertainment area, and can be reached in just a 5-minute drive from the main highway of the emirate, the Sheikh Zayed Road. You can also get here by public transport by using the Dubai Parks & Resorts Bus Terminal bus stop which is a 10-minute walk away.

Motiongate Park

Motiongate Park is another theme park located in Dubai Parks and Resorts next to LEGOLAND, and is the biggest park in the Middle East, inspired by Hollywood. The concept of various attractions in Motiongate Park is based on famous films and cartoons of the Dream Factory, such as “The Hunger Games”, “Shrek”, etc. During the Backlot Tour, visitors of the park can get acquainted with the process of creating world blockbusters.

Staff Stop 1 and Dubai Parks & Resorts, VIP Parking P1 bus stops can be reached within a 10-minute walk.

Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski complex with artificial snow and slopes for skiing and snowboarding with a length of 242,000 sq. ft. The attraction is located in the Mall of the Emirates shopping complex in the Al Barsha district. Entertainment here comprises winter sports, including going down the slopes on a sleigh or in a huge balloon, watching penguins, and a “snow” cinema. Ski Dubai also has a ski lift for the convenience of getting from the bottom to the top.

Ski Dubai is easily accessible by public transport: Mall of the Emirates Metro Station and several bus stations are located within a 15-minute walk.

Miracle Garden

Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden on the planet with an area of 775,000 sq. ft. More than 150M fresh flowers have been planted here and fragrant sculptural compositions with these flowers have been created. For example, a giant teddy bear, heart–shaped arches and a novelty – “floating lady” are all made out of flowers. The model of the Emirates Airline – A 380, which is made up of 500K plants, is in the Guinness Book of Records.

The landmark is situated in the freehold area of Dubailand, which is a 15-minute walk from the bus stops Damac Northside Buildings 2, Arjan, as well as Sheraton Building 1 and Arjan.

KidZania Dubai

KidZania is a children’s entertainment and educational complex with an area of 75,000 sq. ft. The attraction is a reduced model of Dubai, where children aged 4-16 can enjoy over 70 entertainment options. Little guests are invited to take a trip into the world of adults and try themselves at one of 80 professions, they will receive a “salary” for their “work” and will be able to spend it.

The gaming complex is located in The Dubai Mall, which is a few steps from the bus stop of the same name, and a 10-minute walk from the metro station.

Dubai Dolphinarium

Dubai Dolphinarium, located in Creek Park on the canal coast, offers visitors a chance to watch the family show of bottlenose dolphins and seals, as well as swim with them. In addition, the indoor dolphinarium hosts the only show of exotic birds from all over the world in the Middle East. Visitors also benefit from an Asian restaurant and attractions, including trampolines, a mirror maze, 5D and 7D cinemas.

Visitors can get to the dolphinarium by bus: the Creek Park Main Gate stop is a couple of minutes walk from the landmark.

Dubai Autodrome

Dubai Autodrome has a 3.35 mi long track, a go-kart center and a race track. Guests of the autodrome can watch local and international auto and motorcycle races, as well as trying themselves as a racer. There is also a special track for teenagers aged 12-18.

In addition, Dubai Autodrome hosts corporate events, laser tag games, and children’s parties.

Dubai Autodrome is located in the Motor City area. There are several bus stops along the borders of Dubai Autodrome including Dubai Autodrome & Business Park 2, Motor City, Autodrome Stadium 2, Motor City, etc.

 

Desert safari

You can get acquainted with Arab traditions by visiting a Bedouin village, where you can watch a dance show or a falconry show, ride a camel or try your hand at sandboarding, or enjoy a picturesque sunset of the unique view of the shining starry sky among the dunes, during a desert safari by jeep or ATV.

Dhow Cruise at Dubai Marina

Water excursions on dhows, which are traditional Arab wooden boats with upper and lower decks, take place along the Dubai Creek Canal, the coast of Dubai Marina, as well as Palm Jumeirah. You can enjoy breathtaking views of the sights and panoramas of the city, as well as a delicious lunch or dinner and live performances during your walks.

You can get to Dubai Marina by metro (DMCC Metro Station), tram or bus.

Travel around Dubai by helicopter or air balloon

Travel around Dubai by helicopter or air balloon

During a helicopter tour, you will be able to take in a bird’s-eye view of the iconic sights of the emirate including the Burj Al Arab hotel in the form of a sail, Palm Jumeirah island, The World archipelago, and much more. Several companies such as Helicopter Tour Dubai, Emirates Helicopter Tours and others, offer these types of excursions. Up to 6 passengers can board at a time.

The average flight time constitutes 30 minutes, but can vary from 10 minutes to an hour.

A balloon tour, which lasts for about an hour, offers guests to see the endless desert and the sparkling sea. These flights are organized at sunrise and 4-8 people are placed on board. Some operators offer various programmes such as a romantic date or a family vacation.

Dubai sights

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