Things to do in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

What are the top 5 things to do in Dubai and Abu Dhabi? As a major hub for leisure and business travelers from around the world, the UAE boasts a variety of events and attractions. Whether you are a history buff or cultural tourist, lover of leisure or a fashionista, we’ve put together a list of top 5 things to do that will appeal to everyone.

1. Burj Khalifa, Dubai: See the City from the World’s Tallest Building

There is nowhere better to experience the glamour of Dubai than at the Burj Khalifa.

Downtown Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the distance
Downtown Dubai with the Burj Khalifa in the distance

Standing at an incredible 829 meters high, the Burj Khalifa towers over the rest of Dubai. From its observation deck, you’ll be able to enjoy unrivaled views of the city and surrounding area. Better still, enjoy the view from the Burj Khalifa lounge, where you can enjoy a drink and a live performance while 150 stories high up.

Due to the Burj’s immense size the building is almost like a city in itself featuring a luxury hotel, residential areas, a gym, a spa, a fine dining restaurant, and even an outside swimming pool (on the 76th floor, no less!). So, even if you come to the Burj Khalifa for the view alone, you’ll find plenty of other options to keep you busy. The Burj Khalifa in Dubai isn’t just famous for its size – it’s a movie star too, appearing in the film Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. There is nowhere better to experience the glamour of Dubai than right here.

2. Islamic Architecture in Dubai: Sheikh Zayed Mosque

The mosque is open to all and free of charge.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi

The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the grandest buildings in the Arab world. Its design and construction bring together elements of the traditional architectural styles of different Islamic cultures and civilizations, to form a palatial structure in brilliant white and gold. It is also one of the largest functioning mosques in the world, with a capacity for over 40,000 worshippers or visitors. The mosque is open to all and free of charge. We recommend taking a guided tour to better appreciate the beauty and significant aspects of this mosque.

3. Dune Bashing in Dubai

Dune bashing in Dubai
Dune bashing in Dubai

A must for adrenaline junkies, dune bashing is a desert safari with a difference. From the back seat of a luxury safari vehicle, you’ll slip, slide and skid over sweeping sand dunes in the desert. The vehicles are well protected, safe and comfortable, so although you might find yourself bashing through the desert at high speeds, or driving at steep angles, you’ll be in good hands. Hold on tight for this ride is going to be unlike anything you have ever experienced before!

4. Dubai Creek Tour: Explore Dubai’s Trading History

At the Spice Souk you’ll find the most exotic range of spices and herbs to take home.

Trraditional boat on the Dubai creek
Trraditional boat on the Dubai Creek

Historically, the Dubai Creek was central to the city’s growth and popularity. During the early 19th and 20th century, when the region was dominated by the pearling industry, the Creek was filled with boats on diving and pearling expeditions. Today, the area around the Creek is a vibrant hub for travelers, with a range of activities and interesting sights for you to enjoy.

At the Spice Souk you’ll find visitors hunting for the most exotic range of spices and herbs to take home. The Gold Souk around the corner, where numerous jewelry traders have set up shop, is a glittering sight to behold! As you walk down the Creek, you’ll see traditional dhow boats sail past, or moored against the bank. We highly recommend the evening Dhow Cruise – a great way to take in the sights and sounds around you. Sit back and relax on the deck of your dhow boat and enjoy the glorious sunset and stunning views of the Dubai skyline.

5. Explore the historic Bur Dubai district

If you’re an art-lover, visit Bur Dubai for a number of galleries showcasing the work of renowned artists.

The old Bastakia Quarter of Dubai
The old Bastakia Quarter of Dubai

If you want to gain an understanding of the history and culture of the United Arab Emirates, then a visit to Bur Dubai needs to be on your list of things to do. While at the district, take a stroll through Bastakia Quarter’s pedestrianized streets, past yellow, sandy buildings and Persian style wind towers, and find yourself whisked back in time.

Most of the buildings here date back to the 19th or early 20th centuries and have been restored and repurposed. Indeed, the city’s oldest building, the Al Fahadi Fortress, is now the brilliant Museum of Dubai. While you’re here, drop by the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding, which regularly organizes events and tours designed to enlighten visitors about the culture and history of Dubai. If you’re an art-lover, Bur Dubai will be a treat. You’ll find a number of galleries showcasing the work of renowned international and local artists.

Discover the top things to do in the UAE

Whatever your interests may be, there are plenty of things to do in Dubai and Abhu Dhabi. Contact our travel specialists for a tailor-made trip that will let you experience the best of the country.

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