Burj Khalifa, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

The 10 Best Places to Visit in Dubai

September 24, 2023

The United Arab Emirates is a rapidly developing country in the Middle East. Its largest city is Dubai, a name almost everyone has heard of but few tourists really know. More and more people visit Dubai from time to time, so we can’t leave it out of our blog.

Dubai is amazing, it really did become our absolute favorite on our first trip and proves it with each subsequent trip that it’s our favorite for a good reason.

We just call it the city of “most”. In one day you can rally in the desert in the 40 degrees and then go skiing on the artificial snow track.

Dubai has something to offer almost every tourist: the fascinating Arab culture, the wonderful beaches where you can swim in winter, the breathtaking skyscrapers with their magical views, the world-class infrastructure (the road network is perfect!) and the multicultural offerings, such as gastronomy. All this while being one of the safest countries in the world and fully respectful of Westerners. Because yes, women drive cars here and you will see people in bikinis. There are even Christmas markets. So don’t fall for the negative reviews.

Before we look at the top 10 things to see and do in Dubai, there are a few questions to answer about visiting Dubai.

Where to stay in Dubai

Dubai is full of great hotels in almost every price range, with a wide choice to suit everyone.

We can recommend several hotels in Dubai, from 3 star cheap hotels to 5 star luxury hotels, which we have selected ourselves.

So here is a selection of the hotels we recommend in Dubai.

3 star hotels in Dubai

  • Rove Dubai Marina: a very well-priced three-star hotel on Dubai Marina, close to more other attractions like Ain Dubai or Palm Jumeirah
  • Rove Expo 2020: we can also recommend other hotels in the Rove chain, such as the Rove Expo 2020 in Expo City, which is a very affordable and well rated hotel. It’s a bit far from the other attractions, but for the price it’s on our list

4 star hotels in Dubai

  • Radisson Beach Resort Palm Jumeirah: a four-star hotel opened in 2022, located on the Palm Jumeirah, offering an almost five-star experience with breathtaking views, beautiful interiors and its own private beach
  • Vida Creek Harbour: a good value hotel near Creek Harbour with fantastic views from its terrace and pool, two restaurants and free private garage
  • Courtyard by Marriott Dubai, Al Barsha: a well-priced four-star hotel in the Barsha district, close to the Mall of the Emirates. If you want to stay in a central location at a good price, this hotel is a good choice
  • The First Collection Business Bay: a four-star hotel relatively close to Downtown. It’s very budget-friendly, has an award-winning restaurant and a pool with fantastic views

Cheaper 5 star hotels in Dubai

  • Al Bandar Rotana: a five-star hotel close to the DXB airport and the Creek, very good value for money, has a private parking garage, great views of Downtown and excellent breakfast
  • Hotel Indigo Dubai Downtown, an IHG Hotel: a five-star hotel in Downtown, relatively close to the Burj Khalifa. A very good value hotel in its category and with excellent reviews

Top luxury hotels in Dubai

  • One&Only Royal Mirage Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach: a top luxury hotel close to Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina, with a private beach, breathtaking outdoor facilities and stylish interiors
  • Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Dubai: a real luxury hotel on Pearl Jumeirah, with excellent restaurants, a huge private beach and wonderful interiors
  • Palace Downtown: The Palace Downtown is one of Dubai’s most famous luxury hotels. It has breathtaking views of the Burj Khalifa, is built in a magnificent Arabian style and its palm-fringed pools are a big favorite among tourists
  • Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai: a popular five-star luxury hotel on the Palm Jumeirah. It has extremely good restaurants, with by far the best breakfasts we have tried. The nightlife is quite active at this hotel, so we recommend it especially for young people. There are also frequent star DJ nights. It has a private beach and a fabulous pool

These are just a few of the many Dubai hotels we can recommend. If you are looking for something different, Booking.com has all the other best hotels in Dubai.

Or if you want to find accommodation in Dubai using a map, you will find the right place below.

How many days is the recommended time to spend in Dubai?

You can see most of the attractions in Dubai in about 4-5 days. If you are also visiting the countryside, want to see the highlights of Abu Dhabi or want to relax, we recommend a minimum of a week or more.

But don’t let that put you off, if you have less time available in Dubai, you can still see the main sights.

When is the best time to travel to Dubai

The best time to visit Dubai is definitely between October and April, so winter and around. Dubai has pleasant temperatures in winter, between 18-30°C during the day.

However, around April it gets very hot with limited rainfall and this lasts until October. It is not pleasant to be outdoors at that time, so we do not recommend traveling then. Even if it is otherwise much cheaper.

And if the weather doesn’t convince you, the extra information is that a lot of attractions are not open in the summer, so you can’t visit many places at that time. So we would definitely advise you to book your trip to Dubai for the winter period between October and April.

Our preferred months are January and February, when the big Christmas tourist season is over and accommodation is a bit cheaper than in December. The only downside is that the sea is a bit cold at that time, so October, November and March and April are much better for swimming.

And if you are looking for the greatest sensation, we recommend New Year’s Eve in Dubai. This is the time of year when prices are at their highest, but Dubai has a wonderful New Year’s Eve, with everything you could possibly want, so it is well worth a trip.

Getting around Dubai

Dubai is a lot bigger than it looks on the map, and getting around can take a lot of time. There are long distances between attractions, so always leave enough time to get from one place to another.
As for us, we always prefer to rent a car, but a taxi is also a very practical option in Dubai. We are sure that a taxi is the most time-saving way to get around Dubai.
However, if you want flexibility, then rent a car and enjoy the wonderful infrastructure of Dubai. Believe us, driving on the 7-lane highways while listening to Arabic music is an incredible experience.

The 10 best places to visit in Dubai

After a little introduction, here are the top 10 places to visit in Dubai.

1. Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world. It is an 828-meter high and 163-story skyscraper with its unique, easily recognizable shape. You can see it from almost all of Dubai, wherever you go. It is located in the Downtown Dubai district, where many places such as hotels and restaurants have been built, from where you can get an amazing view of the Burj Khalifa. In the evening, you can see beautiful laser shows and even more beautiful fountain shows from the Souk Al Bahar Bridge in front of it.

The Burj Khalifa itself can be visited under the name „At the top”. Of course, there are a lot of tourists, especially during the winter peak season, so be sure to book your tickets in advance. They offer several types of tickets that you can choose based on your wallet and your curiosity. If you buy the cheapest for the 124th and 125th floors, you’ll still have stunning views and good photo opportunities. If you buy the most expensive ticket 152-154. floors, then the even better view is accompanied by super VIP service.

Pro tip: book a ticket for 30-60 minutes before sunset and then you can see the view in the light, at sunset and if you stay, even in the dark. You can get there relatively quickly with an online ticket.

2. Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is located right next to the Burj Khalifa. It is one of Dubai’s biggest malls, which is so big that it would take months to get to know it and not get lost in it. Almost all well-known brands can be found there. The aquarium inside is also very interesting, but the best is The Dubai Fountain in front of it, from where you can watch the Burj Khalifa shows.

3. Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future is a recently opened building located on the popular Sheikh Zayed Road. It is a building of stunning beauty from the inside and out, so we highly recommend a visit. You can also buy tickets online. With your ticket, you can see a range of things Dubai’s vision of the future has to offer.

4. Dubai Frame

The Dubai Frame is the largest frame in the world. A lift takes you to the top floor, where you can enjoy a magical view of Dubai from 150 metres above the ground. At the bottom of the upper level, the floor becomes transparent when you step on it, so you can see what’s below. From the outside, the gold color dominates during the day, and the frame changes color in the evening for approx. showing a new color every minute.

If you’re going during the day, be prepared with an online ticket, but there aren’t as many tourists in the evening after dark

5. The Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah is a palm-shaped island in Dubai, which is currently the most famous, as there are already two such palm islands.

The Palm is full of better and better hotels, restaurants and super beaches. Here you can experience the real Dubai luxury.

In a central part of the island is the Atlantis Hotel, one of Dubai’s famous landmarks. It has a fantastic aqua park, a beautiful aquarium, magical beaches, and restaurants of world-famous chefs, so if you can, book there.

However, what is worth seeing even if you only go there for a morning or afternoon is The View at the Palm. This is a lookout point from a skyscraper on the island. You get a wonderful view of the entire Palm Island and a part of Dubai.

The Pointe is also a good location in Dubai, where you can especially enjoy your evening dinner. There are often fountain shows here, which you can admire either from the promenade or from the restaurant terraces.

6. Ain Dubai

The Ain Dubai is a 250-metre-high Ferris wheel on Bluewaters Island, with stunning panoramic views. In fact, it is the largest Ferris wheel in the world. Unfortunately, it was shut down in 2022 for works, but will reopen in 2023. It takes about 40 minutes to get around. You can buy tickets online, but it’s not always crowded.

7. Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Garden is the largest flower garden in the world. Flowers are used to make all kinds of shapes. For example, the life-size Emirates Airbus A380 plane covered in flowers is very popular. Almost every year, tourists are greeted with a new theme, often themed around fairytale characters.

The Miracle Garden is quite on the outskirts of Dubai, so we recommend a car or taxi to get there. The price is a bit high, but it’s worth spending half an afternoon there, because the garden really is amazing.

8. Dubai Expo City

Dubai Expo City remained after the 2020 World Expo, hence its name. The main buildings, exhibitions and pavilions have been preserved and can still be visited. There are also UAE pavilions, Saudi Arabian pavilions, Egyptian pavilions, and many others worth visiting. You have to buy an entrance ticket for the pavilions. Public spaces can be visited for free.

9. Global Village

Global Village is difficult to explain what exactly it is. Perhaps it could be defined as a mixture of an amusement park and a huge market. Perfect for families in Dubai. There’s plenty of entertainment for kids, but adults won’t be bored either. The fair has vendors grouped by different countries and areas, with goods from the USA to Asia. You have to buy a ticket to get in, and then you have to pay for the rest of the entertainment inside. As the Global Village is also very much on the periphery of the city, the best way to get there is by car or taxi.

10. Dubai Creek Harbour

The best part of Dubai Creek Harbour is a pleasant coastal promenade. It’s a favorite spot of photographers in Dubai, because not only are the arches and flamingo statues there exceptionally photogenic, but the Dubai skyline (with Burj Khalifa) can also be seen in the distant gloom. Perfect photos can be taken at sunset, but only when the air is clearer. And in the restaurants in Creek, you can count on a wonderful panorama while eating your food.

The 10 places above are our top 10 places to visit in Dubai when you’re in Dubai. Of course, if you’re in Dubai, don’t miss out on the desert and beach experiences, for which Dubai also offers a multitude of options. We hope we’ve been able to help you organize and get a taste of Dubai’s diversity.

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