Witness water dance at the iconic Dubai Fountain, located at the base of the Burj Khalifa. The world's largest choreographed fountain system features a sound and light show which shoots 22,000 gallons of water as high as 150m in the air. Each brightly illuminated jet sways in time to music, producing what has become one of Dubai's most popular shows. Situated outside The Dubai Mall, make time to shop between evening water shows, which begin every 30 minutes.
Now part of the ultimate family itinerary, Dubai Parks and Resorts offers all the big names in one thrilling labyrinth of mega theme parks including Motiongate, Bollywood Parks and Legoland. Spend the day exploring this awesome attraction and finish up at the vibrant Riverland entertainment and dining boulevard. You can even stay at the heart of all the action at Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed luxury resort inside the park.
Experience the region's contemporary cultural scene at Dubai Opera, the city’s latest architectural masterpiece. Shaped like a futuristic dhow, this institution hosts a stellar program of international names and local legends in opera, ballet, theatre and music. Designed by Danish architect Janus Rostock and located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, the 2,000-seat Dubai Opera is a world-class cultural facility. Visit dubaicalendar.com for a full range of performances.
For an experience that marries tradition and luxury, head to Madinat Jumeirah. Literally translated as 'City of Jumeirah' this complex is inspired by an ancient citadel complete with windtowers and water canals. It encloses luxury hotels, private enclaves built in the traditional style, the world-class Talise Spa, Madinat Souk, Madinat Theatre, and more than 40 restaurants and lounges including several like folly by Nick & Scott which overlooks the sea from windtowers. You can also explore the complex waterways on a traditional wooden abra to better appreciate the serene passages and inspired architecture.
Gracing the city's postcards, the iconic Palm Jumeirah is an astounding feat of mankind in the form of a series of artificial archipelagos in the emerald waters of the Arabian Gulf. From above, it takes the form of a stylised palm tree. At ground level, it has some of the city's most popular beach clubs, celebrity chef restaurants and luxury hotels, including the pink arches of Atlantis, The Palm. Sail around Palm Jumeirah or get a bird's-eye view from a jump with Skydive Dubai.
Soaring 828m above Dubai and currently the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa represents a union of art, engineering and heritage. It's home to office space, private residences, the 160-room Armani Hotel and At the Top's observation decks on the 124th and 148th floors. At.mosphere is the world's highest restaurant, with stunning views and an equally stellar menu. There are also more than 1,000 specially commissioned works of art throughout the building.
The hotel's distinctive sail-shaped silhouette has made it an iconic symbol of modern Dubai. Often voted the world's most luxurious hotel, the Burj Al Arab is one of the region's most famous tourist landmarks. Built on a triangular man-made island, the billowing sail-like structure rises 321m above the sea. The Burj Al Arab sets a new standard for hospitality superlatives, including the famous helipad that has hosted numerous celebrity stunts.
The Dubai Water Canal is a 3.2km waterway which winds its way to the Arabian Gulf from the creek in Old Dubai through Business Bay. Along the canal's waterfront are prime Dubai hotels such as W Dubai and the St Regis, as well as a running and cycling track. It will eventually create 80,000sqm of public space to include new hotels and dining and shopping outlets.
Stroll through City Walk – Dubai's newest al fresco shopping district. This chic urban space features an excellent range of boutiques, entertainment centres and restaurants, some whose shopfronts are inspired by London's streets. Enjoy entertainment zones like Hub Zero, The Green Planet and Roxy Cinemas or kick back in the new La Ville Hotel's garden terrace. With a striking skyline view that includes the Burj Khalifa, City Walk is a perfect location for a day or night out.
Discover the contemporary history of the United Arab Emirates at the Etihad Museum located in Jumeirah 1. The Etihad Museum offers a series of interactive pavilions that explore the country’s past through photos, films and more. Visitors can discover what life was like before the UAE's founding fathers signed the treaty that unified the seven emirates, and learn more about the extraordinary economic development since.
Discover old Dubai in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, where winding stone alleys and charismatic windtower architecture reflect life before skyscrapers. Follow the alleyways to hidden tea houses, art galleries and cultural installations that uncover Dubai's past. Afterward, head toward the bustling abra station and take a ride across the creek. There you will find gold, spice, perfume and textile souks where you can bargain over excellent handicrafts and goods.
Discover one of the world's most visited destinations, The Dubai Mall. Located at the foot of Burj Khalifa, this shopping metropolis features more than 1,200 retail outlets, restaurants (some with views of The Dubai Fountain), a mega bookshop, an aquarium, spas and even an ice rink. Fashionistas won't want to miss Fashion Avenue featuring the iconic Level Shoes district, while kids will flock straight to Reel Cinema as well as Kidzania theme park.
The 10 million-litre tank at the Dubai Aquarium is one of the largest in the world, containing more than 33,000 aquatic animals and the largest collection of sand tiger sharks anywhere. Rising to the third floor of The Dubai Mall, the aquarium is home to 140 species of sea life and has several ways to experience underwater life, starting with a stroll through a 48m walk-through tunnel. It's a complete fish-eye view, with sand tiger sharks and stingrays swimming overhead. You can also take a glass-bottom boat tour, get wet in a snorkeling cage and even don an oxygen tank to go swimming with the sharks.
For pure wow factor, visit the indoor ski slopes of Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates. The perfect antidote on a hot summer day, you can walk in and get dressed on the spot to ski. There are five runs of varying difficulty, along with a freestyle area for snowboarders and tobogganers. Families will love the snow caves and tube rides, while Alpine Café is ideal for sipping hot chocolate in minus four degrees or watching the daily march of the snow penguins.
Experience unparalleled fun at IMG Worlds of Adventure, where the equivalent of 28 football fields of space are filled with thrilling attractions in the world's biggest indoor parks. The little ones can enjoy multi-sensory adventures with Ben 10, Gumball, The Powerpuff Girls and LazyTown, while everyone can immerse themselves in Marvel's world.
One of the most beautiful landmarks in Dubai, Jumeirah Mosque was built entirely from white stone in the medieval Fatimid tradition, with towering twin minarets framing a large central dome. Combine a visit to the mosque with the nearby Etihad Museum for a cultural experience of Dubai. Note that non-Muslim guests can visit on all days except Friday and women will be asked to wear a scarf when visiting.
Dubai may be famous for the glitz and glamour of its sky-high towers, but the real heart of the city is, and always will be, the creek. The saltwater estuary is the original site where the Bani Yas tribe settled, and its waters were vital for what used to be Dubai's main forms of economy: pearl diving and fishing. The area is home to the Dubai Museum, the new waterside heritage retail area Al Seef, as well as the labyrinthine alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks. While at the Creek, a ride across the water on a traditional abra is a must, and at an AED1 each way, it's easily the best value tourist attraction in the city.
Dubai Frame is one of the newest additions to the city’s skyline and represents a remarkable feat of engineering. Situated in Dubai’s Zabeel Park, directly between old and new Dubai, the towering structure offers sweeping panoramic views of the city from 150m high. One of its most amazing features is the state-of-the-art clear glass bridge connecting parallel vertical towers to create the shape of a picture frame. Dubai Frame has quickly become a must-see attraction for the city’s visitors and residents alike.
The waters are fairly calm here, with nearby hotels offering a variety of watersports such as parasailing, wakeboarding and banana boating that anyone can sign up for, as well as camel rides. It is by far one of the most fun, family friendly beaches in Dubai, and the skyscrapers of Marsa Dubai provide a spectacular backdrop to your activities, all just a quick stroll from the cafe culture of The Walk.
Discover beach life Dubai-style at Kite Beach in Umm Suqeim. You can swim, surf, jetski or even paddleboard in the gentle blue waters with a view of the iconic Burj Al Arab. There's also plenty to keep the kids entertained, including Wire World high ropes course and a skateboard park. For a quick bite, Kite Beach also offers plenty of cool food trucks and cafes selling tasty beachside meals, including the famous food truck, Salt.
Spend a relaxing day at one of Dubai's most luxurious beach clubs. With sun, sea, sand and sumptuous dining by day and live music and an energetic atmosphere by night, Dubai's beach clubs have earned an international reputation among celebrities and travellers alike. New clubs include Summersalt at Al Naseem and Drift at the One&Only, in addition to Dubai's most popular clubs Zero Gravity or Nasimi Beach.
Imagine this: the sound of crashing waves, the scent of the beach and a delectable feast on your table. We have the best selection of beachside dining, from fresh seafood at Fish Beach Taverna or international cuisine at Jetty Lounge, to a quick, quirky bite at Al Ijaza Cafeteria. For a guaranteed good time with live music or a DJ, visit one of Dubai's famouse coastal hangouts, Barasti. Or, for a fine-dining experience on the water, try Jumeirah Beach Hotel's Villa Beach.
With more than 50km of coastline, Dubai is the perfect place to experience a range of watersports. When it comes to marine thrills, Dubai has it all: diving, sailing, jet-skiing, surfing and much more. To make the most of our clear skies and temperate days, you can opt for a leisurely sunset sail, a high-speed tour on a jet-ski or something a little more daring like flyboarding or, the latest thrill, seabreaching. Stop by The Dive Centre, Nemo Watersports or Surf House.
Dive into Dubai’s many beach clubs catering to families, with paddling pools, play equipment, kids activity clubs and more. Riva Beach Club, Fairmont The Palm and Sofitel Dubai The Palm Resort & Spa all offer spectacular sea views from Palm Jumeirah. Jumeirah Beach Hotel features beautiful sunsets and is conveniently located in the city, while Jebel Ali Golf Resort & Spa offers a serene location with plenty of activities, including a floating waterpark.
Grab something to eat with the sand between your toes. At Kite Beach, taste all-natural fare at Park House, healthy food at LaOla or unbeatable sliders at homegrown Salt. The Surf Café offers a more trendy setting and quick access to Surf House Dubai. Bu Qtair is an unpretentious little seafood shack that serves fresh caught seafood and a mix of other ethnic dishes while Al Ijaza Cafeteria offers no-frills, cheap, quick bites.
Dubai offers the best of both city and sea. Head to Palm Jumeirah for fine-dining restaurants, high-end hotels, luxurious spas, beautiful beach clubs and sweeping views of the gulf. JBR is packed with restaurants, shops and a cinema, all with quick beach access. Dubai Marina has water-facing restaurants, a merry-go-round and pop-up stalls while Old Dubai offers a more traditional experience with bargain shopping souks and dhow rides on Dubai Creek.
For thrilling water activities, try sightseeing with The Yellow Boats, stand-up paddleboarding at Surf House Dubai and flyboarding, where you can hover over the water. Al Boom Diving offers serene underwater exploration, while Wire World offers high-wire climbing, ziplining and more for kids on Kite Beach. Children will also enjoy the inflatable floating obstacle course at The Beach at JBR, as well as the super safe Splash Pad with fountains and tipper bucket.
Dubai’s newest beachfront address, La Mer, is a fine addition to the city’s urban beach cred. This inspirational destination has transformed the suburban Jumeirah 1 neighbourhood, featuring wide open spaces with palm tree-lined boulevards, graffiti art murals and laidback beachside charm. Surrounded by almost 2.5km of relaxing sandy beaches and located near some of the city’s modern landmarks, including Etihad Museum and the Dubai Water Canal, La Mer is sure to become your new favourite address to eat, play and unwind.
Head off-road with Dune Buggy Dubai to discover the thrills of the desert. You can find activities to suit whatever level of adventure you crave. The Morning Dune Buggy Safari features an early bird hour-long ride in your own open buggy. If you're looking for more, try the Evening Desert Safari. Here, you'll go dune bashing in a brand new Land Rover. After the drive, you'll sit down for live entertainment consisting of a traditional dance show. Food, beverages and henna painting enhance the experience with sand boarding and camel riding available to keep the excitement going until late at night.
Soar like a bird over one of the most spectacular drop zones in the world with Skydive Dubai. Step out of a plane at an altitude of almost 4,000m and enjoy the rush. To make sure you remember the experience forever, a cameraman documents the fun. The freefall lasts around a minute before your instructor pops the chute and you begin a leisurely five-minute descent with incredible views of Palm Jumeirah and other iconic landmarks. For an alternative view, try the desert drop zone.
Thrill-seekers can get their kicks at sea in Ghantoot (15 minutes out of town), where Dubai’s latest toys are getting hearts racing. Flyboarding, also known as water jet-packing, sees adventure lovers fitted into a small board and strapped to a specially-made backpack that sucks up seawater, before spitting it back out, propelling the rider into the air. If you have never tried it before, no worries. Even beginners will be able to manoeuvre themselves around the marina – just be prepared to make a splash crash-landing the first few attempts.
Have fun on the water and at the same time take in some of Dubai’s famous landmarks with a jet-ski session. Nemo Watersports and Dubai Jetski offer tours that takes in the Burj Al Arab hotel and other sights from the water. Each tour is accompanied by a qualified instructor and you can go as fast or slow as you like, for anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours. The 30-minute tour features Burj Al Arab while an hour-long session takes you onwards to Jumeirah Beach Residences. The deluxe two-hour version includes this, while also circumnavigating the famous Palm Jumeirah and stopping off at Atlantis, The Palm.
Direct your taxi driver to Dubai's most famous sand dune, Big Red, where you can hop on a quad bike and navigate the sandy landscape yourself. Available to hire by the half hour, the quad bikes are speedy and a helmet must be worn while riding. Follow the natural trail of the dunes, kicking sand in the face of your fellow riders as you hurtle and bounce over Dubai’s most iconic patch of sand. Big Red, or Al Hamar as it's locally known, is easy to spot along the Dubai-Hatta (E44) highway. Ask your driver to wait, or hire one for the day.
This is one for true adrenaline-seekers. Strap this snowboard-like contraption to your feet and glide down the dunes just like you would at the slopes of Ski Dubai. While it's possible to rent a sand board at Big Red, there are a number of companies – such as Dream Explorer Dubai – that offer the full experience. The five-hour morning safari and sandboarding package starts off with a desert safari in a Hummer and ends with a sandboarding session, where you'll learn all the tips for making it down the dunes smoothly.
Take in the rugged landscape of Hatta, nestled in the rocky Hajar Mountains. Explore the centuries-old attractions or simply take in views of the striking scenes from your own camping tent. For a more exclusive experience, try glamping in the serene sands of the Arabian desert. Leading operators including Platinum Heritage and Arabian Adventures offer their own unique take on glamping in Dubai, complete with astronomy sessions, private majlis areas and after-dark wildlife spotting.
Featuring the largest and most diverse number of wildlife species in the UAE, Al Warqa’s Dubai Safari is home to 2,500 animals. Adventurers can encounter monkeys, lions, giraffes, crocodiles and a whole lot more as they explore the park's four themed sections: the Arabian, Asian, African and Safari Village. While its solar-powered driving vehicles and world’s first drive-through crocodile exhibit are impressive feats, the park has big plans in store as it aims to provide a safe haven for 5,000 animals by 2020.
Step away from the city and float 1,200 metres above the desert dunes with a hot air balloon tour. The adventure usually starts at sunrise, followed by an hour-long flight that's worth the early wake-up. Following whichever way the desert breeze blows, you'll get breathtaking views of the rolling red sands, rising sun, grazing gazelles, and majestic Hajar Mountains. With a variety of packages to choose from, you can make it a romantic rendezvous, a corporate celebration, or an unforgettable family fun day.
Experience the thrill of a private flight in Dubai - seeing Dubai Marina or the Dubai desert like never before. Located at the Sky Dive Marina and Sky Dive Desert Campus, Sky Hub offers training courses as well as tandem rides atop a specialised power parachute. Witness the city from a new perspective and get your heart racing with a unique one on one flying experience. The paramotor ride - typically lasting 20 to 30 minutes is completely customisable so you can choose to either sail through the sky for a scenic tour or finish off the flight with some adrenaline pumping spirals and aerobatics.
If there is one thing you cannot miss it's an Arabian Adventures desert safari. Take a backseat (unless, of course, you prefer to sit at the front of your 4x4), strap in and hold on tight as an experienced driver takes on the rolling dunes, teetering on the edge of seemingly sheer drops, before dipping down sandy slopes and back up again. There are a couple of stops for photos before you're safely whisked away to a traditional-style Bedouin camp, where a sumptuous Arabic buffet awaits.
Some of Dubai's most luxurious hotels are located in the desert. Get a taste of old Arabia at Bab Al Shams Desert Resort & Spa, just half an hour from the city centre. Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve takes glamping to another level, with luxury tented-style villas that feature a private infinity pool. Desert stays offer a range of activities like safaris through the dunes, wildlife experiences and majestic views, particularly around sunset.
There are a few cities in the world that have both the desert and beach right on their doorstep. To Dubai's advantage, the azure coastline and sun-burnt dunes are only about an hour's drive apart, meaning you can surf in the morning and sand board in the afternoon. The most common desert activity is a safari, which often includes off-roading, camel rides and a taste of Emirati cuisine. Other activities include stargazing, falconry experiences, sandboarding and camping or glamping.
From graceful gazelles to stately oryx, the Al Marmoom desert reserve is rich with hundreds of species of wildlife. Located near the Bab Al Shams resort, the conservation reserve is home to a vast variety of native and migratory birds as well as local wildlife inhabitants from previously endangered or vulnerable lists. The area is also home to the Al Qudra lakes, which is a popular picnic spot for both locals and visitors.
There are many ways to dine in the desert. Heritage dinner safaris teach you how to cook a local dish while desert safaris offer off-roading followed by a barbecue dinner at a desert camp with traditional majlis-style seating. For comfy views of the desert, upscale resorts feature live cooking stations, wood-fired ovens and traditional seating. Try luxurious Bedouin camping and spend the night with dinner, a hot breakfast and a drive to see the local wildlife at dawn.
From chic outdoor shopping precincts to super-sized city malls, there’s no better place to indulge in retail therapy than Dubai. And it’s not just the shopping that attracts; there’s also ice rinks, ski slopes, fabulous cinemas, spas and restaurant districts to keep you entertained. Take in the attractions of The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, City Walk and the beach opposite JBR as a starting point.
Lavish gold jewellery, hand-woven fabrics, oud fragrances and bargain knickknacks – you'll find it all in our bustling souks, or Arabian markets. While the emirate lives up to its reputation as a thriving modern city, the souks have been a crucial part of daily life and trade for centuries. For an immersive cultural experience, visit the gold, spice, perfume and textile souks in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and for a modern take, visit Souk Madinat Jumeirah or Souk Al Bahar.
If you're looking for stylish boutiques, al fresco dining or simply a leisurely promenade along the waterfront, head to The Walk at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). Along this buzzing boulevard, there's plenty of opportunity to satisfy your retail cravings with an array of fashion, home and handicraft shops and boutiques. For more laidback fun, head to La Mer in Jumeirah 1. This vibrant precinct reflects a seafresh theme, with plenty of bustling beachside attractions including a free-jumping inflatable playground for little ones and fun-fuelled watersports at Sea Breeze.
There’s no place like Dubai for shopping. From The Dubai Mall's Level Shoes store to the glorious Fashion Dome at the Mall of the Emirates, Dubai offers a glamorous and indulgent retail experience. Excellent locations are matched with superb in-store service, immersive brand activations and beautiful store designs to create an unforgettable experience. For a more exclusive touch, the city's best malls also offer personal shopping and styling services, chauffeurs so you can save your energy for shopping, and even at-home delivery of all your purchases. Ready, set, shop.
Go off the beaten track to one of Dubai’s emerging boutique shopping districts like Dubai Design District (d3), which showcases an array of quirky and contemporary products, or Al Quoz, which features cutting edge galleries and contemporary Arabian interiors. There’s also excellent boutique shopping at City Walk, BoxPark, JBR, Al Quoz and the backstreets of Jumeirah. Check out S*uce, Urbanist, Comptoir 102 and West LA and check the local papers for markets of local designers.
From organic produce and local design markets like Zabeel Park's Ripe Market to seasonal events like the Ramadan Night Markets, Market OTB and Beach Canteen, Dubai loves a good market. Don't miss the chance to take home treasures from Dubai's oldest markets like the gold, spice, perfume and textile souks or a sample of modern Arabia from a seasonal pop-up.
Whether it’s about having fun with your family and friends or getting your hands on the hottest fashion trends, Dubai caters to every shopper. The city's immersive shopping experiences offer chic and affordable items, while giving shoppers the chance to celebrate their newly aquired buys with plenty of rewards, Check out the annual Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) for exciting activities, fantastic events and great offers.
Take a walk in edgier precincts including Dubai Design District (d3) and Alserkal Avenue for a look at Dubai's homegrown favourites. The city boasts its own boutique chocolatiers, Mirzam, that crafts indulgent sweet treats from their factory at Alserkal. Meanwhile The Lighthouse at d3 has a curated selection of travel accessories and lifestyle products. There are also plenty of homegrown fashion labels including All Things Mochi, L’Afshar, Taller Marmo and Bil Arabi to choose from.
Held annually, Dubai Food Festival celebrates the city's distinct food scene, celebrity chefs and world-class dining experiences. The festival features a fantastic line-up of events from late February to early March. The exciting schedule typically includes Dubai Restaurant Week, where foodies can taste must-try restaurants for less; an array of beachside food stalls at Beach Canteen; Taste of Dubai, where food, culture and music mix for an epic weekend event; and much more.
While modern flavours and techniques influence Emirati food, the cuisine still retains much of its traditional character. A medley of aromatic spices such as cinnamon, saffron, turmeric and nutmeg take centre stage alongside dried fruits such as almonds and pistachios and fresh herbs like coriander, mint and thyme. Try traditional omelette, mandi and karak tea at restaurants like Al Fanar, JBR's Seven Sands and Al Hadheerah, tucked away among the dunes of Bab Al Shams Desert Resort.
Join in on one of Dubai's favourite pastimes – the famous Friday brunch. There's a brunch to suit any mood, whether you're seeking a romantic vibe, a fun meal among friends or simply fantastic cuisine, Dubai has you covered. Tried-and-true options include Saffron, Bubbalicious and Zuma. If you're looking for something more offbeat, try an evening brunch at Vida's Urban Picnic.
Whether it’s coffee you're after or a bakery bite there’s no shortage of cafés in Dubai. Park House and Surf Café offer laidback vibes near the beach, while Tom & Serg in Dubai's art district is one of a kind. For a caffeine fix in Dubai's finance district, visit The Sum of Us or try the lavender honey latte at The Brass while shopping in City Walk. If you're passing by Galleria Mall, satisfy your sweet tooth at Home Bakery.
With celebrity chefs, rooftop terraces, spectacular cuisine – foodies can taste delicious concepts in Dubai's amazing fine-dining establishments. Try the rotating menu at Enigma, Peruvian cuisine at Coya, French bistro favourites at Couqley or La Serre, Italian classics at Cipriani or superb seafood at Pierchic. If you're looking for fine-dining with Arabian flare, options offering both gourmet cuisine and a world-class atmosphere include Al Nafoorah, Amaseena and Ewaan.
Some of the world's most esteemed chefs and celebrity cooks come from all over the world to set up restaurants in Dubai, adding to the city's ever-increasing portfolio of high-end dining. Sink your teeth into Italy's finest fare at Social by Heinz Beck, or French cuisine at world-famous La Petite Maison or Jean-Georges. For low-key but highly-acclaimed cuisine, try Din Tai Fung or Pots, Pans & Boards.
It can be a challenge to get your kids to eat what’s on their plates. Fortunately, Dubai is filled with restaurants serving kid-friendly meals, with menus featuring international specialties and entertainment that is sure to please the whole family. Even the fussiest of eaters will find something at Dubai's kid-friendly restaurants. Try a weekend brunch at Beachcombers or a yummy breakfast with your child's favourite characters at Mattel Play Town at City Walk.
Imagine this: the sound of crashing waves, the scent of the beach and a delectable feast on your table. We have the best selection of beachside dining, from fresh seafood at Fish Beach Taverna, international cuisine at Jetty Lounge, to a quick, quirky bite at Al Ijaza Cafeteria. For a bonafide good time with live music or a DJ, visit the favourite local party spot, Barasti. Alternatively, for a fine-dining experience on the water, try Jumeirah Beach Hotel's Villa Beach.
From fresh catches and char-grilled steaks to Turkish pide, few places do outdoor dining more innovatively than Dubai. As a city constantly bathed in sunlight, Dubai knows how to enjoy good weather, with the winter months ideal for al fresco eating. Our hippest picks are Aji and Treehouse, while fine-dining outdoors is at its prime at Pierchic. Dubai is also known for rooftop options such as Mercury Lounge, 40 Kong and The Backyard, with awe-inducing panoramic views.
Healthy eating options are popping up all over Dubai. Locally grown organic food and superb locations are fuelling a vibrant health food culture. From the beaches of Jumeirah to the historic winding alleys of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai has everything from cold-pressed juices to paleo salads. Our healthy eateries include innovative names from around the world like France’s Wild & the Moon and home grown gems like Comptoir 102, Life ‘N One and XVA Café.
Explore a different side of Dubai with a walking food tour led by sisters Arva and Farida of Frying Pan Adventures, or simply forge your own path, making sure not to miss Ravi, Special Ostadi and Al Mallah. Sample Dubai's food truck culture with sliders from the iconic Salt truck on Kite Beach, or keep your options open at Last Exit's various themed food truck parks. You can also catch the famous food trucks at an endless supply of events popping up around the city.
For anyone looking to get more from their meal, Dubai offers a host of novel dining options that have broken away from the norm. Experience molecular gastronomy with Indian flavours at Tresind, or sail into the sunset on BBQ Donuts and grill your own meal. You can also journey down the creek on a dhow boat dinner cruise like Bateaux Dubai or dine in the desert at Al Maha Resort and Bab Al Shams.
Dubai is a cosmopolitan city of diversity and contrast at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. For business travellers, the emirate combines excellent infrastructure, world-class cuisine and a playground of leisure activities when you're off the clock. Some of the most fruitful business transactions happen over a meal – we recommend At.mosphere, Café Belge or Zuma to seal the deal. Want to take the edge off? Head to the more relaxed settings at Dusty's or Cargo.
If you're looking for a table for two, Dubai's most exclusive destinations will indulge any special celebration. Headed by some of Dubai’s finest chefs, these restaurants are elegant, ambient and incredibly lavish. Make a reservation at one of Dubai’s better kept secrets, Sky Table on the Sofitel’s 30th floor; indulge in French cuisine at Traiteur's private dining alcove; or enjoy private catering at the Anantara, where diners can choose their intimate locations.
While in Dubai, don't miss the opportunity to dig into the flavours of the Levant and gulf regions with these quick stops that are also easy on the wallet. Bait Al Mandi in Al Barsha delivers a perfectly cooked chicken atop a heaping portion of rice, while Zaroob is known for its mouth-watering falafel with Levantine street food. Also, try Al Mallah's famous shawarma before heading to Firas Sweets for one of the region's favourite desserts, kunafa.
Dubai's theme park scene is one amazing ride. If you haven't visited yet, be sure to include a ride through the world's largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure, as well as the brand new mega theme park of Dubai Parks and Resorts, home to Legoland, Bollywood Parks and Motiongate.
Dubai might be known for its desert, but it also offers the ultimate holiday for those who love the water. When it comes to waterpark thrills, we've got it. Whether it's the hair-raising rides at Jumeirah's Wild Wadi or the wave pool and slides at Aquaventure Waterpark, Atlantis, The Palm, our waterparks will keep the whole family happy. Dubai Parks and Resorts is also home to Legoland Waterpark, which offers more than 20 waterslides and customisable Lego rafts.
Located next to the iconic Burj Al Arab, Wild Wadi Waterpark offers gravity-defying thrills and awesome spills. You can enjoy 30 rides and attractions, including the Wipeout and Riptide Flowriders surfing experiences. At Tantrum Alley, you'll face tornados, while Jumeirah Sceirah has two 120m tandem slides where you can reach an astonishing speed of 80km/h. Toddlers will love the colourful slides, water guns, climbing frames, and huge dumping bucket.
Go on an underwater shark safari, feed Cownose rays, ride the region's longest zip line and try record-breaking slides like Leap of Faith, a 27.5m plunge that slides through the shark tank! If you're not looking for high-speed action, amble along the Lazy River that stretches for more than a mile through the park, while kids enjoy the maze of tunnels, tubes, slides and climbing frames in the Splashers Children's Play Area.
It’s fun. It’s fast. And sometimes 5D! State-of-the-art thrill-rides bring all your favourite characters to life at IMG Worlds of Adventure. Enjoy multi-sensory adventures with characters from Cartoon Network and Marvel Comics heroes. Then there’s the hair-raising Lost Valley with 70 animatronic, life-sized dinosaurs. With non-stop entertainment from live stage shows to movies, it’s a full day for the whole family.
With three theme parks and one waterpark, Dubai Parks and Resorts offers visitors a thrilling experience like no other. Featuring more than 100 incredible indoor and outdoor rides and attractions at Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, Legoland Dubai and Legoland Water Park, this labyrinth of fun is an enthralling experience for all. Find delightful options for the entire family at the centrally located Riverland entertainment and dining boulevard or stay in the middle of the action at Lapita Hotel, a Polynesian-themed family resort inside the park.
Each year from October to April, entertainment hub Global Village welcomes visitors. Many come for the thrilling funfair rides, some for the food, some for the nightly cultural entertainment, and some for the authentic shopping. Here you'll find more than 65 countries showcasing their local products – honey from Yemen, exquisite carpets from Iran and Afghanistan, Argan oil from Morocco, engraved necklaces from Spain and dried fruit from Thailand.
Get lost in a one-of-a-kind world of wonderment at Dubai Miracle Garden. Located in Al Barsha South, the park is home to the region's biggest flower garden with more than 45 million blooming flowers across 72,000sqm, all showcased in a variety of immense sculptures and designs. Feast your eyes on blooming pyramids, stars, igloos, and hearts. Marvel at the record-breaking wall of flowers, or take a stroll under a ceiling of colourful umbrellas. Bursting with vibrant displays, the park feels more like an immersive art exhibit than a tourist attraction. You'll leave knowing you've truly witnessed a miracle: a mega garden in the middle of a desert.
With three unique areas, Dubai Garden Glow has something for the whole family to enjoy. The Glow Garden sparkles in the dark, and is made of over 10 million energy-saving light bulbs and yards of recycled luminous fabric. There’s also Dinosaur Park, which is home to more than 100 realistic animatronic dinosaurs, while the Ice Park has been made from 5,000 tons of ice. There are also musical shows and live performances throughout Dubai Garden Glow, as well as an edutainment zone for the kids and a pavilion with food from around the world.
The Green Planet is Dubai’s very own tropical rainforest. Located at one of the city's most popular lifestyle districts, City Walk, The Green Planet houses more than 3,000 species of plants, animals and birds. Aiming to educate guests about the important role of tropical forests, The Green Planet is an oasis to a world of exotic flora and fauna, including responsibly sourced sloths, snakes, spiders and a vast array of birds, providing a one-of-a-kind experience for the senses.
Learn about Dubai's origins, traditions and culture at one of the city's many museums. A tour of the Dubai Museum is a journey through the past with artefacts dating back to the third millennium BC. View exhibits offering insights into cultural practices, date farming, pearl diving and daily life before the discovery of oil. Visit our new museums, like Saruq Al-Hadid, which unlocks the mysteries of the Iron Age, or Etihad Museum, which provides contemporary history of the UAE.
Discover the contemporary Middle Eastern art scene in Dubai, where galleries in locations like DIFC, Alserkal Avenue and Dubai Design District (d3) are leading the charge with a year round calendar of cutting edge exhibitions. Every March, Dubai celebrates art, with the contemporary art exhibition Art Dubai, the SIKKA Art Fair, Design Days Dubai and Art Week. Thousands of the world's leading artists, designers, curators, gallery owners and experts explore the latest in creativity and design innovation.
Lavish jewellery, hand-woven fabrics, oud fragrances and bargain knickknacks – find it all in Dubai's souks, or Arabian markets. While Dubai lives up to its reputation as a thriving modern city, the souks have been a crucial part of daily life and trade for centuries. For an immersive cultural experience, visit the gold, spice, perfume and textile souks in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood and for more modern markets, visit Souk Madinat Jumeirah or Souk Al Bahar.
Escape the city's skyscrapers and travel back in time with a trip to Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. This atmospheric area is one of the oldest heritage sites in the city, with a neighbourhood that dates back to the early 1900s. A tour of the area offers a beguiling glimpse into the Dubai of a bygone era including traditional wind towers, bustling courtyards and a maze of winding alleyways. This neighbourhood is home to Dubai Museum and a plethora of unique souk shopping.
Dubai is a profoundly modern city, yet Emirati heritage runs deep. From the intricate Arabian designs on the buildings and beachside dhow boat stacks to the unwavering custom welcoming guests with dates and coffee, evidence of the city’s rich past is on display. Travel through Dubai's eras, with the nomadic Bedouin – the region's earliest inhabitants – to the waterside fishing villages of our pearl divers and finally, witness the startling modernity of contemporary Dubai.
The Dubai International Film Festival is a platform for Arab filmmakers and regional talent to come to the fore. Kicking off in early December, the opening ceremony and main events are glittering affairs, rolling out the red carpet at the glamorous Madinat Jumeirah for international stars, awards and film premieres. During this time, various cinema screenings and open-air movies take place all over the city as film fans come together to share their appreciation.
Dubai’s cultural heart meets the city’s modern vision at Al Seef. The new heritage district is located near the iconic Dubai Creek. Phase one of the highly-anticipated development has launched with an irresistible combination of Emirati heritage and hospitality, homegrown concepts and world-renowned brands. The best way to take it all in is to embark on a cultural walking tour of the pedestrian-friendly Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, before wandering over to Al Seef and exploring its charming walkways, fully-operational marina, dining boulevard and events plaza on foot.
This world-class venue stages the city’s first ever resident show, masterminded by creative director Franco Dragone. La Perle is a show that combines the spirit of Dubai with an iconic 860sqm ‘aqua-stage’. Using 2.7 million litres of water for each performance, the custom-built theatre was constructed around the show’s concept. Inspired by the vibrancy of this city, the show has it all – cascading waterfalls, fast-paced acrobatics, a 25m high dive and fantastical characters.
Home to some of the world’s top 100 golf courses and host to three European Tour events, Dubai is firmly on the global golf radar. Choose from top courses like Emirates Golf Club and Jumeirah Golf Estates – both selected for world rankings. Others include the Els Club, Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club, and The Address Montgomerie Dubai. Our advice: opt for an afternoon weekday tee-off to beat the crowds, watch the sunset and finish at sundown in time for a relaxing evening.
Dubai loves a good run, and there are many locations to take in beautiful city views while jogging. Breeze past the futuristic cityscape of Dubai Marina or the leafy green Safa Park, while for a seascape and skyline view, try the track running parallel to Jumeirah Beach Road, which stretches for 14km past Kite Beach, the Burj Al Arab and Dubai Water Canal. Alternatively, take a run on a manmade island at Palm Jumeirah's Boardwalk, boasting views of Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina skylines.
Excitement and entertainment dominate the weekend during the Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens. Every winter, this event draws a huge crowd of outdoorsy, fun-loving sports fans eager to take in the fast-paced rugby action on the pitch and the colourful costume-wearing characters in the grandstands. Along with the rugby, competitions, giveaways, activities and music concerts all help make this one of the biggest events on the social and sporting calendar.
Dubai's cyclists know that jumping on a bike is the best way to get to know this ever-changing city. With great weather from November right through to May, cyclists are drawn to the varied terrains, state-of-the-art cycling tracks and international events. Check out paths like the desert track in Al Qudra or the converted camel path in Nad Al Sheba. Looking for a more exhilarating ride? Hop on a mountain bike in Dubai's hilly town of Hatta for an alternative adventure.
Dubai is the ultimate driving destination. There is a huge variety of off-roading terrain to conquer, from vast desert landscapes to thrilling mountain passes. Enjoy a 4WD safari ride or take control of the wheel in a dune buggy. For a circuit driving experience, visit Dubai Autodrome's fully integrated motorsports facility equipped with race and karting tracks. You can even live your dream car experience by renting some hot wheels and immerse yourself in Dubai's luxury car culture.
Host to the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships where the world’s greatest talent compete, and home to state-of-the-art academies, clubs and an upcoming underwater tennis complex, Dubai is great for a friendly game. Whether you are a squash pro looking for a new challenge or looking to release your inner Federer, you can take your game up a level during your stay in Dubai. Many of Dubai's hotels have outstanding tennis and squash facilities to practise your backhand.
Home to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and host to global tournaments including the Pakistan Super League (PSL) and Indian Premier League (IPL), Dubai is making its mark on the international cricket scene. This year's Emirates Airline T20 Cricket Tournament will see six international teams from around the world compete over two days, welcoming stars like Andre Russell, Darren Sammy and Shahid Afridi.
Dubai's most popular sport, football, takes on many forms – from regional players with dreams of making it big, to avid fans looking for a place to watch the game, we've got it all. Need a venue to catch the latest match? Kick back at the Real Madrid Cafe or Nezesaussi Grill, or kick it up a notch at Velocity or McGettigan's.
Diving, sailing, jet-skiing, surfing, paddle-boarding… when it comes to marine thrills Dubai has it all. With more than 50km of coastline, water sports abound in Dubai. Making the most of the clear skies and temperate days, you can opt for a leisurely dusk sail, a high-speed tour on a jet-ski or something a little more daring like flyboarding or the latest thrill, seabreaching.
If you're keen to experience Dubai from the sea, either sightseeing or fishing, simply charter a boat. Most boats accommodate family or friends groups and a range of watersports onboard, including banana boating and parasailing and operate from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.
While polo around the world may have a royal image, the game takes a democratic form in Dubai, where anyone can attend or even try their hand at the famed equestrian sport. All levels, from the complete novice to advanced riders, are welcome to take lessons and participate. Interested in seeing how the professionals play? Attend one of the regular games played on the green fields of the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club or at the Dubai Polo Club during the polo season that runs from October through May.
Arabian horses, exciting races and dreamy desert landscapes make Dubai the perfect place to follow all equestrian pursuits. Take a one-of-a-kind course in stable management at Hoofbeatz, watch the world’s richest race at the Dubai World Cup, learn the intricacies of dressage at the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club or simply ride across the open desert with fellow enthusiasts from the Emirates Equestrian Centre. Whatever you choose to do, you’re sure to leave with a deep sense of appreciation for these magnificent creatures.
Surrounded by the Hajar Mountains, Hatta is covered in undulating peaks and troughs, perfect for hiking and trekking along the winding wadis at the foothills of the mountains near Oman's border. A popular spot is behind the much-visited Hatta Dam, offering stunning panoramic views. There are currently five official hiking routes mapped out, but advanced trekkers can venture into the rugged mountains for more challenges and some surprises.
Dubai is home to some spectacular spas, offering everything from full-body treatments using the most decadent oils and scrubs, to traditional hammams infused with the elements of Arabia. Spa experiences are part of the Dubai lifestyle, and visitors will find it very easy to join in. Enjoy a hammam at luxurious desert resort Bab Al Shams, or opt for an organic treatment from Palace Downtown. Couples can reserve a spot at Talise Ottoman Spa at Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
From gold leaf facials to amazing nail art, Dubai has it covered when it comes to beauty treatments. The city’s cosmopolitan scene has inspired top international stylists to set up shop, while local beauty experts are happy to share the art of Arabic beauty, in which hair, nails and skin services are all part of the weekly regime. Try Mushkbar, the Doll House, JetSet, Soh Art & Beauty, Marquee, or Hommage Atelier for the men.
Rediscover your radiance with a traditional hammam experience. Using gentle heat to open up your pores and encourage the release of toxins, your body is expertly massaged in black soap and then exfoliated with traditional, natural scrubs, sloughing off dull skin cells. You eventually emerge with smoother, more even-toned skin, that’s incredibly soft. Try the Turkish hammam at Talise Ottoman Spa in Jumeirah Zabeel Saray or the Saray Spa at JW Marriott Marquis.
Dubai is home to some spectacular spas, where you can discover signature treatments using the most decadent minerals, oils and scrubs. From full-body polishes to invigorating gold facials, infuse your skin and body with elements of Arabia. Indulge in some exclusively designed therapies at the regal Talise Spa at Burj Al Arab or the Moroccan-inspired Al Asalla Spa for a truly extraordinary experience enhancing your holiday glow tenfold. A one-hour session isn't enough.
Lift your soul without lifting a finger. Step into a world of crystal-clear pools, cosy private gardens, and soothing surrounds to feel refreshed almost instantly. Dubai’s many luxurious destination spas offer the complete rejuvenation package, from the latest aromatherapy treatments to cosmetic wraps and holistic massages. Check into Timeless Spa, located in the tranquil Al Maha desert resort, or the equally picture-perfect spa at One&Only The Palm, Dubai.
From enriching oils to a rose water spritz and healing balms, Arabian women have been harnessing the power of natural potions and botanicals for centuries. The tradition of henna body painting to adorn your hands, fingers, and legs with ornate designs is a must-try experience. Let local beauty experts treat you to head-to-toe pampering and even give you an Arabic beauty makeover.
Join the city’s meditative hum. As the region's leading yoga destination, Dubai has numerous yoga classes and clubs, led by instructors who radiate enlightenment. From world-class venues to peaceful beachsides, you'll find plenty of sessions all around the city that cater to all ages, levels of fitness and beginners. Add yoga to your stay to keep your body supple and leave with a zen mindset.
Concerned about fine lines, unwelcome wrinkles, or simply wish to maintain the skin you’ve been blessed with? Dubai’s high-tech medical spas are your destination for rejuvenation. These holistic havens combine the licensed professionalism of a medical facility with the tranquility of a spa. Aestheticians, physicians, plastic surgeons and laser technicians deliver personalised beauty and wellness treatments that leave you with the ultimate feel-good experience.
Dubai has an abundance of picturesque parks with cosy spots to spend the day. Zabeel Park, which occupies more than 47 hectares, hosts the seasonal Ripe Market every Friday morning and is equipped with entertaining and educational exhibits. Safa Park, where people come to read books in secret gardens or to jog along the track, boasts beautiful waterfront views thanks to the Dubai Water Canal. If you're up for a drive, make your way to Hatta Hill Park for a picnic with a mountain view.
Thanks to responsible tourism practices, you can get up-close-and-personal with Dubai's local flora and fauna without putting the environment under stress. Head to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve to enjoy guided tours and unobstructed views of the majestic landscape and stay overnight at Al Maha Desert Resort, an award-winning and eco-friendly hotel located within the reserve. Closer to town, you can visit the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary where the flamingos steal the show.
Dubai is not just a desirable hotspot for millions of tourists each year – it's the destination of choice for tens of thousands of migrating birds. In the wetlands, just metres away from the busy city, you'll find the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Translated as ‘Cape of the Creek,' Ras Al Khor sits at the mouth of Dubai Creek and is among the few protected urban areas in the world. Don't miss the flamingos, they steal the show.
The Dubai desert is rich with hundreds of species of wildlife, particularly in the dedicated conservation areas. Keep an eye out for desert dwellers including Arabian oryx, gazelle and hundreds of bird species when you venture outdoors. The oryx's white body and long straight horns make a regal statement against the sand. Keep your eyes peeled for Dubai's other desert wildlife including desert foxes, geckos and lizards.
Bird-watching and falconry are Dubai's pastimes of old; the Al Qudra lakes are home to more than 170 types of bird species, including flamingos and swans. Don't miss the opportunity to experience Dubai's heritage of falconry, where these majestic birds soar through the sky and swoop down at tremendous speeds to catch game, in what is one of the most exciting sports in the region. Visit Bab Al Shams and Al Maha resorts to admire the skill and speed of both falcon and falconer.
Based at the beachside Madinat Jumeirah hotel complex, the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation project runs in collaboration with the Emirates Wildlife Protection Office. The project aims to care for, protect and rehabilitate sick turtles, while also raising awareness of the threats faced by the marine species. A total of 562 turtles have been rescued and released since the project began in 2004. Some have even been tagged, allowing officials to trace their former patients and learn more.
Whether you're spending a day at the beach, on the water or under the sea with one of Dubai's dive centres, don't miss your chance to have an underwater adventure in the Arabian Gulf. Off the coast of Dubai, you'll find a rich array of marine life, including dugongs, dolphins, turtles, sharks and 500 species of fish. In Dubai's warmer summer months, getting PADI dive certified is a favourite pastime among locals.
Head over to the Al Marmoom desert to hop onto a bike for a ride through the sands, or venture in deep to gaze at the night sky with our unconventional take on desert exploration. Head out to the Al Marmoom Camel Race Track for a modern-day take on the traditional Emirati sport of camel racing, before taking a drive through the desert to the manmade Al Qudra lakes for a picnic by the water. Next, carry on to the luxurious Bab Al Shams resort, where five-star comfort meets desert fun.
Nestled in the craggy peaks of the Hajar Mountains, Hatta is known for its ancient Hatta Fort and the remnants of an old village which is still being assessed by historical authorities. This mountain town is a must-see stop on a trip to Dubai, as it has something for everyone from history buffs to adventurers alike. Experience the UAE's rich heritage and take in the mountain views of Hatta Dam with some kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, camping or simply star-gazing.
Dubai’s malls and shopping destinations come to life at this annual event (Dec - Jan), where shoppers will find unbeatable deals on everything from fashion and jewellery to electronics and accessories. The world’s biggest shopping festival, this month-long celebration isn’t just about searching for bargains and shopping 'til you drop. There’s also a line-up of thrilling entertainment, such as firework displays, fashion shows and live concerts, and visitors will also get the chance to win unforgettable prizes, such as SUVs and gold. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is an annual event that usually takes place in March, with exciting activities based around all things literature. In addition to readings, interviews and panel discussions, the festival features a line-up of international writers. There are also literary lunches with famous chefs and many opportunities to meet literature fans and like-minded people. Former events featured various bestselling authors like Jacqueline Wilson, Anthony Horowitz and Mark Billingham. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
The Dubai World Cup is one of the biggest annual events on the region’s event calendar. With USD 10 million going to the overall winner, and a staggering total pot of USD 30 million, it’s no wonder that it’s known as ‘the world's richest horse race’. The Dubai World Cup is a star-studded affair. While it’s all eyes on the world’s best thoroughbreds on track, many glittering international and regional celebrities can be found in the exclusive premium lounges and private terraces. The event usually takes place at the end of March. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
All it takes is 30 minutes to stay fit. The annual Dubai Fitness Challenge – an initiative of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council for Dubai Government – sees the entire city take part in 30 minutes of physical exericise for 30 days. With plenty of family fun at weekend carnivals to workouts by the beach, this event in mid-October makes exercise fun. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Every New Year’s Eve, Dubai comes to life, and this year will be no exception, with celebrations taking place all over the city. There’s plenty to do, for tourists and residents alike. Whether you’re looking to watch the sky light up with spectacular fireworks displays, enjoy a live performance from world-class musicians, or spend the night camping out under the stars in the middle of the desert, there’s something for everyone in Dubai. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
The tennis season starts right here with the annual Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, which takes place at the end of February. Watch some of the biggest names in tennis thrash it out to win big at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Stadium. Having been voted ‘Best Venue’ by players on the ATP World Tour, the stadium is a state-of-the-art facility for players, and offers fans a great view of the matches. See every spin, slice, and smash from the world’s best in tennis over the course of the competition. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
With beautiful coastlines, world-class marinas, and jaw-dropping sailing vessels leisurely floating on the UAE’s horizon, it’s not surprising that Dubai’s love for boating intensifies every year. The Dubai International Boat Show takes place once a year in February/March and is the destination of choice for boating enthusiasts, with an irresistible display of super yachts and luxury leisure craft. From interactive demonstrations to hi-tech product launches, the best-in-show marine event extends well into entertainment and adventure. Even if you’re not in the market for a boat, you can enjoy the host of action-packed water sports, F&B offerings, and live music that will take place. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Since its first edition back in 1989, the Omega Dubai Desert Classic has seen some of the world’s greatest golfers competing in Dubai, with winners including well-known names such as Ernie Els, Rory McIlroy, and Tiger Woods. It is known as the Middle East Major, and has now become one of the leading international golfing events taking place in the first quarter of the year. Spectators will be able to visit Emirates Golf Club and watch the legendary golfers competing over four rounds as they battle it out to lift the trophy. Golf die-hards and sporting enthusiasts alike are sure to enjoy the suspenseful competition on the greens. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
A celebration of all things gastronomic, the Dubai Food Festival takes place annually around February and March, celebrating the diverse culinary offerings of the city with a jam-packed schedule of mouth-watering events and offers. From enjoying special set menus at Dubai’s finest eateries during Dubai Restaurant Week to discovering wallet-friendly hidden gems, Dubai Food Festival satisfies all tastes and budgets. Other highlight events of Dubai Food Festival include Beach Canteen, which brings together the city’s best home-grown food concepts at a fun-packed family event, and Taste of Dubai, where foodies get the opportunity to sample delicious dishes from top restaurants and meet celebrity chefs from around the world. In addition, malls and restaurants across the city join in the festivities by hosting special events and offering exclusive menus and discounts. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Art Dubai is an annual event which takes place in March and presents the who’s who of the current art scene. Visitors have the opportunity to see contemporary and modern art from around the world, and attend the many workshops, lectures and exhibitions on offer. Held under the Patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai, the event kicks off the art season throughout the city. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
The SIKKA Art Fair, an initiative by Dubai Culture, is an annual event that usually takes place around March and showcases feature works of artists based in the UAE and GCC region. It represents numerous nations, encouraging them to share their talent with the wider community while fostering a culture of art in Dubai. Taking place in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, the fair showcases an array of visual arts, performing arts, music and film. Head down to see audio, video and interactive artistic installations, music performances, screenings, poetry readings, painting, photography and sculptures. It’s an exciting line up of 10 days crammed with entertainment, workshops and all things creative. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Thanks to the World Art Dubai fair, buying art doesn’t have to be an expensive, appointment-only affair. At World Art Dubai, numerous artists come from around the world to exhibit, resulting in the largest variety of artworks under one roof. The diversity caters to everyone, and so does the price tag. Now you can both fall in love with and invest in affordably-priced artworks. There’s something for everyone at the fair: creatives with their eye on the art scene can see new concepts and techniques, while those looking for an interactive experience can sign up for one of the many creative workshops on offer. From art talks and live painting to relaxing lounges and Ripe market experiences, all ages will find this event enjoyable. The World Art Dubai is an annual event that takes place in April. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
The Middle East Film & Comic Con is an annual festival and the first and largest pop culture event in the Middle East. Visitors will find a host of brands and celebrities from the worlds of film, television, comics and more. Past years have seen stars like William Shatner and Jason Momoa making appearances, as well as Karl Urban, who’s appeared in the "Lord of the Rings" films and "Thor: Ragnarok". The event usually takes place at the beginning of April. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Dubai’s biggest sailing event, the Al Gaffal Long Distance Race, returns this May, and will close Dubai’s season of marine sports events. The annual race started out in 1991, and has gone on to become an event that celebrates the UAE’s seafaring history. All crewmembers taking part in this race must be Emirati, and teams of sailors will be sailing 60ft dhows, the traditional Arabic vessels. The race starts at Sir Bu Nair Island, and the finish line is here in Dubai, at the Burj Al Arab. Crews will be competing for millions of dirhams of prizes, and previous years have seen hundreds of dhows competing, making it a breathtaking sight. The action can be seen from the beaches near the Burj Al Arab, as the race draws to a thrilling close. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Ramadan is the Holy Month of mental, physical and spiritual elevation where Muslims around the world fast during daylight hours. This auspicious time is also honoured in Dubai, as the city offers later operational timings to cater to fasting hours, plus a more enlightened, charitable mindset. Activities peak in the evening as observers break their fast with families and Dubai’s plethora of eateries come to life with dedicated menus and even purpose-built marquees with special food and entertainment. The exact dates of Ramadan will be confirmed as per the lunar sighting. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Marking the end of a month-long fast known as Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr in Dubai is a truly joyous time where the city of Dubai is united in a sense of generosity and sharing. The city as a whole feels renewed, and spirits are kept high with staycations, holiday offers, shopping sprees, and of course, dining experiences. Friends and family come together to celebrate at home and outdoors around the city. Some fun family options include heading to one of Dubai’s theme parks, which experience record numbers of attendance during this holiday period. Watch this space for more details closer to the holiday. Please note that Eid al Fitr takes place in June after Ramadan but the actual dates are subject to the moon sighting. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
As the bright summer sun lights up the city, Dubai turns the festivity up a notch by kicking off one of its major shopping and entertainment events. Dubai Summer Surprises is an annual festival that takes place in the summer months (June - August) and fills some of the hottest months of the year with the most enjoyable, activity-filled experiences for residents and visitors alike. Brace yourself for an exciting summer with malls and retailers featuring the greatest sales to fuel your shopping spree, raffles and draws to send you home a winner, and shows and live entertainment to never leave you with a dull moment. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Organised by Dubai World Trade Centre in association with Dubai Sports Council, Dubai Sports World is the place to be for the UAE’s sports fans during the long summer months, from June to August. Over these months, you can play all of your favourite sports in the emirate’s largest indoor sports venue. With over 25,000sqm of air-conditioned halls, there’s a wide range of activities and events on offer, for athletes of all ages and fitness levels. The sports and activities you can take part in include football, ping pong, badminton, and trampoline jumping – and there’s also a ninja warrior course. You can join a sports academy for some lessons, or simply rent a court or a pitch with a group of friends. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
The annual mega-design event Fashion Forward returns to Dubai Design District. It is one of the biggest fashion events in the Middle East taking place in October, while providing exposure for the region's fashion industry. Designers from around the world attend, and there will be shows and presentations showcasing the latest couture, ready-to-wear and accessory designers in the Middle East. Visitors will also be able to attend talks and seminars led by industry experts. For more information, please visit www.visitdubai.com/en/events.
Jump on the metro, catch an amazing view from the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa, shop within The Dubai Mall metropolis, take a selfie in front of the famous Dubai Fountain and enjoy a taste of authentic Arabic cuisine in a breathtaking six hours. All you have to do is get off the plane. Watch the video for more itinerary suggestions.
24 hours is never enough time but here's our list of Dubai's best landmarks to see in the shortest time. Go straight to the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, browse the shops at The Dubai Mall before catching a water show at one of the restaurants overlooking Dubai Fountain. In the morning, take a stroll along the beach in the shadow of the beautiful Burj Al Arab, looking across the Arabian Gulf to the Palm Jumeirah. Watch the video for more itinerary suggestions.
In two days, you can discover the city’s freshest districts. Start in Downtown to see the new Dubai Canal, the Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Opera and Souk Al Bahar. After a busy day, you can relax and take in the Dubai Fountain show from a restaurant balcony. Slow it down on day two, with a round of golf at one of our desert courses or some me-time at an award winning spa. Be sure take a dip in the warm blue water of the Arabian Gulf before you go. Watch the video for more itinerary suggestions.
Mix up the city's famous landmarks with some new must-see attractions like Etihad Museum or the Dubai Opera. With three days you will also have time to visit a stunning rooftop lounge or a celebrity chef's restaurant across the city. You'll even have time to visit the desert on a safari, which includes a BBQ among the dunes. Spend your next day relaxing with some world-class shopping at City Walk, The Dubai Mall or one of our historic souks. Watch the video for more itinerary suggestions.
With stunning beaches, world-class shopping, unique cuisine and a view into Arabia's past, Dubai ticks plenty of holiday boxes. Spend the day at on of our pristine beaches; head under the sea at the Atlantis, The Palm and relax in our serene desert. Culture junkies can spend time at the souks and take in the contemporary arts scene at Al Quoz and Dubai Design District (d3). Have a scuba adventure, learn to surf at Kite Beach or see Dubai from above at Skydive Dubai. Anything is possible in Dubai. Watch the video for more itinerary suggestions.
A global powerhouse at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa, Dubai is one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Global accessibility, state-of-the-art infrastructure, world class hotels and a dynamic business environment have placed Dubai as one of the globe’s leading meeting and events destinations. Discover more at visitdubai.com/en/business-in-dubai
Dubai's dynamic nightspots are second to none. From rooftop lounges with unmatched views, to venues for dancing and partying the night away, we've got it all. For a romantic ambience with live music or an in-house DJ, try Nola or La Môme. To party into the early hours, try the famous White, Cirque Le Soir, Cavalli Club or Billionaire Mansion. Whether it's low-key lounging or high-energy beats, Dubai is sure to show you a good time.
Late-night shopping is part of Dubai's culture, with most malls open late – during the week, malls close around 10 or 11pm while weekend hours stretch until midnight. Often, especially during peak shopping seasons like Dubai Shopping Festival in January, Dubai Summer Surprises in July/August and Ramadan, Dubai's most popular malls have extended hours – some as late as 2am.
Want a chilled-out atmosphere with a touch of 'big night out'? Make a reservation at one of Dubai's lounges. Whether you're looking for a rooftop view or a beachside breeze, a swanky ambience or relaxed vibe, we've got you covered. Our favourites include beachside vibes at Jetty Lounge and panoramic views of the Burj Khalifa in all its glory from Treehouse. Other perfect spots include Mercury Lounge, The Sunken Garden at the Ritz-Carlton DIFC and Q43.
If you’re looking to spice up your evening with live music, you have plenty of options. Tuck into Southern American cuisine with live acoustic and jazz beats at Nola Eatery & Social House. Another top spot known for its quality jazz, is Q’s Lounge at Palazzo Versace (the vision of music producer Quincy Jones) while Copper Dog Dubai along The Walk in JBR features live music nights.
The Dubai International Airport is located 4 km (2.5 miles) southeast of Dubai. Transportation from the airport is possible by taxi and bus. Transfer between the terminals takes about 10 minutes using the airport shuttle service. The Terminal 1 departures concourse (Sheikh Rashid Terminal) is linked to Terminal 1 via a tunnel with travelators. Terminal 2 is used exclusively for business and charter flights. Taxi service is provided by the government-run Dubai Transport airport taxi, where each cab is meter-run. Bus service: Bus stations are located opposite both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2. Buses run frequently and serve the most popular places in Dubai (www,dubai-buses.com/index.aspx).Tickets must be bought prior to the journey. You can also take the metro to and from the airport. The metro runs at ten-minute intervals and stops at various stations located across the city.
The bus service in Dubai is an easy, quick and inexpensive way to get around in the city, operated by the Dubai Municipality Transport Section. Fares are low, and a pre-purchased Nol Card is the most convenient payment option. There are special 24-hour passes available for visitors; these work on all forms of transport and allow visitors to easily reach most tourist sites.
There are two metro lines in Dubai, red line and green line. The Red Line runs every 3-4 minutes during peak time and 7 minutes during off-peak hours. Every metro station will have bus connections and taxi pickup. To travel with Metro you need to buy a Nol card or Nol ticket. You can buy your Nol ticket on the ticket vending machine, ticket office or RTA authorised sales agent. Each time you travel, tap your card at the card reader on the fare gates.
The most convenient way of getting around. Beware of uninsured illegal taxis. The four government franchised official operators have strictly controlled fares. Cabs can be hailed at the roadside, or summoned via telephone or one of the electronic booking machines found around town. For those with data services, Uber and Careem are handy and easily available. Driver knowledge is sometimes lacking, so use a major landmark as a homing device when saying where you want to go.