You should make it a point to visit Dubai. Dubai is really worth visiting.
Many people thinl that Dubai is the last place on earth they should be going to. Yet, there is something magnetic about this city that will inevitably draw you to it – you will want to travel there at some point.
Beautiful, shiny skyscrapers, state of the art buildings and beautiful beaches and sand dunes; fine dining; fabulous all-inclusive accommodation options, shopping at Dubai Mall and adrenaline filled experiences all make Dubai a fantastic destination to travel to for a short holiday.
Modern cities such as Bangkok, Saigon in Vietnam, and even Delhi in India, all seem to have a unique vibe, a crazy energy that keeps you wanting to explore more. These are all the kind of things that you end up experiencing if you happen to visit Dubai. This is a city that deserves to be discovered.
In this post, I will highlight all the reasons why you should visit Dubai and share some tips on things to do and places to visit in Dubai, and how to organize your trip there.
Is Dubai Worth Visiting? 15 Excellent Reasons To Visit Dubai
It is a major airport hub
A lot of flights from Europe to South East Asia stop in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) (I stopped in Doha on my way to Indonesia). Airports in the region are simply impressive. This surely is the case with Dubai, which is one of the world’s busiest airports. A lot of people who visit Dubai end up there on a stop over, head out to visit Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa and love it, concluding that Dubai is worth visiting.
It is rapidly changing
No other place on earth knows development to the same level Dubai is experiencing it. At any moment, a new skyscraper is being built and the skyline is always taking a new shape. The best part of it is that since the government is generally involved in the construction of these marvels, if you decide to visit Dubai you can get in for free (hats off for a city that is famous for being so expensive!).
It’s incredibly diverse
If you ever decide to visit Dubai you can rest assured that you will find it incredibly diverse destination. This is a place where people from all over the world fly in and out of, regularly. And more than that, they do work there as it is a huge business hub.
Dubai is a huge melting pot, with cultures mixing to give it a special international flavor.
The food is delicious
Speaking of flavors, did you know that food in Dubai is delicious? Whatever kind of food you may desire is available in Dubai – Lebanese, India, French… you name it! This to me is enough to say that Dubai is worth visiting.
There’s a lot of street food to be found in Al Dhiyafah Road, which means that it is not nearly as expensive as you may imagine. Just one more reason to visit Dubai. If you visit Dubai you can also enjoy food tours and they aren’t that expensive at all.
These are some of the best food tours of Dubai:
- Dubai walking food tour
- Dubai half day street food tour
- Dubai street food tour
- Dubai private tour with 10 tastings
- Food and drinks with a Dubai foodie
- Burj Khalifa tour with gourmet meal
- Burj Khalifa 124th floor at sunrise + breakfast
It’s a sand extravaganza
Among the coolest places to visit in Dubai, there are the desert dunes. Make sure to go on a desert safari – you can ride buggies or camels (make sure that these activities are 100% ethical before agreeing on doing them). You can drink mint tea in the desert; enjoy a belly dancing show; go sand boarding; and even get a henna painting.
These are some of the best desert safari tours of Dubai:
- Red dunes safari with sandboarding
- Dubai desert safari in the morning
- Desert morning safari + sandboarding
- Desert evening safari with dune bashing and sandboarding
- Red dunes safari
- Desert horse riding in Dubai
- Extreme desert safari with dinner
- Skydive in desert
But the beaches are also great
I know a good beach or two – I am from Sardinia after all.
Did you know that some of the best places to visit in Dubai are actually beaches? You can take a yacht for rent to go along the coast. And if you are short on time you can opt for fast boat tours. Do you have the budget? Then splurge on a luxury boat tour.
These are some of the best boat tours of Dubai:
- Dubai Marina boat tour
- Private fishing and cruising boat in Dubai
- Dubai guided sightseeing boat tour
- Speed boat tour of Marina, Burj Al Arab and Atlantis
- Jet boat adventure in Dubai
It’s home to the best shopping
Whether you are a shopaholic or not, if you visit Dubai you can enjoy endless shopping opportunities – this is an incredible destination for that! Dubai Mall is one of the best places to visit in Dubai. It serves as entrance to Dubai Aquarium and Burj Khalifa, it is a great place for eating as it is packed with restaurants, and it even holds the Dubai Shopping Festival each year in January and February.
But there’s more to it: next to the luxury brands of Dubai Mall, Dubai has plenty of souks where it is possible to buy at more than reasonable prices.
You can go to Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is the symbol of the city, one of the most famous places to visit in Dubai and the tallest building in the world at the moment. In other words, if you visit Dubai you shouldn’t skip it for any reason. Needless to say, the views from Burj Khalifa are jaw dropping. Tickets to Burj Khalifa can be bought online.
These are some of the best tours of Burj Khalifa:
- Burj Khalifa level 124 and 125
- Burj Khalifa 3 course meal and level 124
- Afternoon tea at Burj Khalifa
- Burj Khalifa sunset tickets
- Burj Khalifa fast track tickets
Ski Dubai will blow your mind
You really wouldn’t imagine that if you visit Dubai you can go skiing, right? Well, apparently… it is possible (anything is possible in Dubai). In fact one of the coolest (literally!) places in Dubai is Ski Dubai, a ski resort with slopes long enough to either ski or snowboard. They even rent all equipment. I know it makes zero sense, but why not?
These are the best access tickets to Ski Dubai:
- Slope session for two hours
- Ski Dubai snow classic pass
- Ski Dubai slope sessions
- Ski Dubai polar pass
- Ski Dubai skip the line ticket
Bastakia (Old Dubai) will bring you back in time
Bastakia Quarter (also known as Al-Fahidi neighborhood) is one of the places that make Dubai worth visiting. It was built in the late 19th century and the area was meant to be the home of wealthy Persian merchants (indeed the buildings follow the typical architectural style of Iranian coastal houses). It is located near the creek. Buildings in the area are beautifully preserved. Wind-towers had been adjoined to homes and provided some form of cooling system, trapping the wind and funneling it down into the houses.
If you visit Dubai you should not miss the Majlis Gallery, also located in Bastakia, which has a great collection of traditional Arab ceramics and furniture (which are all kept in a wind-tower); and the XVA Gallery, which on the other hand has a contemporary art collection.
Dubai creek is truly lovely
Dubai Creek is one of the nicest places to visit in Dubai. It separates the city into two towns – Deira to the north and Bur Dubai to the south. The creek was what had originally attracted settlers in the area, for fishing and for pearl diving. Of particular interest is the Dhow Wharfage which is located on the Creek’s bank, north of Al-Maktoum Bridge.
Some of the dhows anchored in the creek are over 100 years old, and others are still used by small traders from across the Gulf.
One of the nicest things to do in Dubai is to actually sail on one of the dhows. Many of them have actually been restored as tourist cruise boats and it is possible to sail along and enjoy dinner at the same time.
These are some of the best cruises on Dubai Creek:
- Dhow cruise on Dubai Creek
- Deira Creek 5 star dinner buffet
- Dinner at Dubai Creek
- 2-hour evening dhow cruise with buffet dinner
- Private dhow cruise in Dubai Creek
You can dive to Dubai aquarium
Not only Dubai has an aquarium, bud you can also dive in the Dubai Aquarium. How cool is that?
These are some of the best tours of Dubai Aquarium:
- VIP Dubai Aquarium
- Dubai Aquarium and Burj Khalifa combo ticket
- Dubai Aquarium and underwater zoo
- Dubai Aquarium skip the line ticket
Jumeirah beach is a perfect hangout
Jumeirah Beach is one of the places that make Dubai worth visiting. Not only you can enjoy as a regular beach: you can also go parasailing there, to enjoy a spectacular view of Dubai and of the Palm islands. Up to 3 persons can apparently go on the same parasail – even more fun, actually.
These are some of the best activity tours of Jumeirah Beach:
- Parasailing off Jumeirah Beach
- 1 hour jetski adventure
- Flyboard and parasailing combo
- Jetski rental at Jumeirah Beach
- The yellow boats: 99-minute Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab & Marina Tour
You can get your adrenaline fix at Aquaventure waterpark
Aquaventure Waterpark is one of the coolest places to visit in Dubai to get that adrenaline going. There’s even a lovely private beach there.
These are some of the most convenient passes to Aquaventure Waterpark:
- Aquaventure Waterpark admission ticket
- Aquaventure and Lost Chambers
- Aquaventure and Lost Chambers with transfer
The Dubai Pass makes it actually more convenient than you think
Finally, the Dubai Pass is a great way to save some $ and get a ticket for a lot of attractions. These are some of the best passes:
- Dubai unlimited pass
- Dubai city pass
- 3 attractions 7 day pass
- Flexi attraction pass
- Super saver pass
- Unlimited pass including World of Adventure
- Explorer pass
Further Information To Plan Your Trip To Dubai
The best time to visit Dubai
The best time to travel to Dubai is between November to April, and generally during the winter months. January and February are the busiest months, because that’s when the Dubai Shopping Festival happens in Dubai Mall. Needless to say, that’s when places in Dubai get the most crowded, with hotel rates and airfares skyrocketing.
In terms of weather, winter is the best time to travel to Dubai because it is a bit cooler and hence it is possible to venture on outdoor activities.
The months from April to October are definitely not recommended for travel. That’s when temperatures start rising, going well beyond 40 degrees Celsius. The weather tends to be really hot, and worst than that it is so humid that any outdoor activities are impossible. During those months, you can really only go to shopping malls and all air-conditioned places.
Where to stay in Dubai
Such a famous destination as Dubai has no shortage of incredible accommodation options, to the point that some argue that Dubai is worth visiting just to experience a fabulous hotel. You can opt to stay in one of Dubai’s super luxury hotels, but there also are cheaper options.
Here is a selection of the best places to stay in Dubai:
- Burj Al Arab is one of the most famous places to visit in Dubai and an incredible hotel. It is located on its own island and all rooms have ocean views. And if this is not enough, there is a sky-view bar at 200 meters above sea level. The only minor downside is that it is incredibly expensive. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Rove City Centre: For as expensive as Burj Al Arab is, other places are actually quite cheap – so you won’t have to spend an arm and a leg to enjoy it. Rove City Centre is a budget friendly hotel, as is the rest of the Rove chain. At the same time it is incredibly stylish, in line with the rest of the city. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Dream Inn Dubai: Another option is to stay in a holiday home or apartment instead of a hotel, even better if it has a penthouse. Dream Inn Dubai may seem pricey, but the place is so big that it fits an entire group and the costs can be easily shared. Not a bad option if you visit Dubai with friends. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
For more places to stay in Dubai, check this post.
Have you been to Dubai? Do you think Dubai worth visiting?