• Not Rude, Honest


Dubai is one of those cities that I feel you must visit at least once in your life, it has such a unique combination of activities all in one place that it's simply amazing.

Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Downtown Dubai

Before reading on, let's start with the name - 'Dubai' is pronounced 'du-bye' in English or 'du-bah-e' in Arabic but definitely not 'due-bye'. That's a personal pet peeve and I'm glad we've gotten that out of the way, moving on.


  • Destination: Dubai

  • Country: United Arab Emirates (UAE)

  • Geographical location: Middle East Asia

  • Currency: UAE Dirham (AED)

  • Language: Arabic (English is the unofficial second language)

  • Flag: 🇦🇪


The beauty of Dubai lies in the number of varied activities one can indulge in, there truly is something for everyone.

1. Dubai Mall - As the second largest mall in the world (by total land area), this mall is an experience but be warned, the place is so big that if you don't go there with comfortable footwear, you'll end up buying some to survive the day. Once you arrive you should enquire about the timings for the fountain shows, thank me later. (Cost: Free Entry)

Dubai Mall Aquarium
Indoor aquarium at Dubai Mall

2. Ski - Yup, you read that right. You can ski in the desert land known as Dubai. Just head over to The Mall Of The Emirates and you'll find the indoor ski slopes in Ski Dubai. (Cost: From 190AED)

Ski Dubai - indoor skiing at Mall Of The Emirates
Ski Dubai (credit: Lama Global Tourism)

3. Sky Diving - For my fellow adrenaline junkies, Dubai has a great sky diving company which will allow you to take the plunge with an amazing view of the famous The Palm Jumeirah. That's one for the bucket list for sure. (Cost: 2199AED)

The Palm Jumeirah
Aerial view of The Palm Jumeirah (credit: Richard Schneider )

4. Burj Khalifa - The tallest building in the world is definitely a must see if you're in Dubai. Whether you love heights and want to see the world from the 148th floor on the 'Sky' observation deck, only have the stomach for the 'At The Top' observation deck on the 124th floor or would rather just keep your feet firmly planted at ground level, the Burj Khalifa is a sight to behold and a marvel in the world of architecture. (Cost: From 135AED)

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa at night

5. Desert Safari - Explore the desert while riding quad bikes or dune bashing in an SUV followed by a traditional Emirati meal, camel riding, sand surfing and belly dancing - definitely a day to remember. (Cost: From 200AED) 

Deser Safari
Dune Bashing

6. Dubai Miracle Garden - Think of it as an art gallery of flowers. From a life sized floral sculpture of an Emirates Airbus A380 (world's largest flower structure) to giant floral teddy bears, this garden is not only a place for flower lovers but also a wonderful place to take pictures. (Cost: 50AED)

Dubai Miracle Garden
Yes, those are all floral structures (credit: Dubai Miracle Garden)

7. Nightlife - Its party scene is one of the things Dubai is most known for and it doesn't disappoint. There are clubs and bars littered all over Dubai so it's just a matter of trying as many out as you can before you leave! And yes, there's alcohol. Please note: In Dubai you must be at least 21 years old to get into any club. (Cost: Varies)

Sheik Zayed Road
Sheik Zayed Road at night

8. Waterparks - Wild Wadi Waterpark and Atlantis Aquaventure are two of the most famous waterparks in Dubai but there are a few more. There are also other theme parks available. If you are planning your trip to Dubai for the month of your birthday you should check out the Wild Wadi Waterpark website because you could be eligible for free entry. (Cost: From 299AED)

Atlantis Aquaventure, Dubai
Leap of Faith ride on the Tower of Neptune at Atlantis Aquaventure, Dubai

9. Beach Clubs - Although most beaches in Dubai are man made, they are still a great way to spend an afternoon. Along Jumeirah Beach Road there are several beach clubs that provide sun beds and serve food and drinks while entertaining you with an in house DJ. Those in the Umm Suqeim 3 (an area on Jumeirah Beach Road) have the best views of the Burj Al Arab, one of the world's most luxurious hotels. (Cost: Varies)

Burj Al Arab
Views of the Burj Al Arab

10. Explore Abu Dhabi - Going on a day trip to the capital of the UAE is something I highly recommend as its only an hour and a half drive from Dubai. Home to the magnificent Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi will give you a whole different view of life in the UAE. It is also where the fastest roller coaster in the world is located, Formula Rossa at Ferrari World. (Cost: Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque = Free entry, Ferrari World = 295AED)

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi


These things are not usually recommended but they are my personal favourites.

  • Taking an abra (a traditional boat that serves as a water taxi) across Dubai Creek which is a part of "old" Dubai. While I lived in Dubai I did this with everyone that came to visit. It is a short ride that costs only 1AED but it is so relaxing and the view from the abra is amazing.

  • If, like me, you like a bit of tradition, then the Deira Museum and the various souks are the places to visit. The museum will show you what life was like in Dubai before it became the ultramodern place it is now and the souks will give you a very arabian feel as the aromas of Middle Eastern spices fill y