(Last Updated On: July 14, 2021)

Dubai is often known as a stop-over city for us Australians. We use it to break up the long journey to Europe, sometimes only fleetingly stepping foot in the airport before boarding another plane. Dubai is so much more than just a stop over city, though. It blends beach and desert, old and new and boasts some amazing architecture. I’ve assembled a bunch of amazing travel bloggers who share my love for the capital of the United Arab Emirates to help compile an ultimate list of things to do in Dubai.  

Spice Souk

Full of heaped herbs and spices that can be smelled before they are seen, the Dubai Spice Souk really gives a glimpse into the traditional marketplaces of the gulf region. Also known as the Old Souk, the aromas of frankinscense, tea and spices are inviting and exotic to my Australian nose, as is watching the vendors haggle with buyers. The colours here, too, are vibrant and eye catching as silver bowls full of open herbs and spices are on display throughout the market. The Spice Souk is one of my favourite things to do in Dubai as it really feels connected to another era, to the more traditional Dubai of old. 

Gold Souk

Near the Spice Souk in the centre of Dubai is another local market with a unique history. The Gold Souk is something to be seen, even if you are not in the market for a gold souvenir. Although the market includes typical souvenir shops, the focus for travellers is in seeing the large, glittering shop windows filled with gold. Row upon row of gold. The Gold Souk is larger than the Spice Souk as well, with alleyways traversing from the main walkway into a labyrinth of glittering shops. People travel from all over the Middle East and from around the world to purchase jewellery from the Gold Souk. Some of the pieces were so large it’s hard to believe women wear them around their necks or wrists. Apparently, much of this jewellery is purchased for weddings, and sometimes never worn again. The souk is an interesting look into the shopping culture of the Middle East.

– Amber from Food & Drink Destinations

Dune Bashing

One of the best things to do in Dubai, is to go out in the desert for Dune Bashing. If you’re looking for an exhilarating experience in Dubai, this is the thing to do! Book your tour, and you’ll be picked up in a jeep or a truck, and you’ll head out to the desert sand dunes for the ride of your life.  The driver will stop a little ways before you get there, and let some air out of the tires.  When you get to the dunes, be sure to have your seatbelt fastened, because you’ll be in for a crazy ride.  These drivers are awesome and will drive like madmen up and down the dunes. We had times where our jeep was on the very edge of a hill, and I was positive we were going to flip. It is such an excited experience to have in Dubai…we just recommend waiting to eat your lunch until after your ride!

– Sarah from Our Kind of Crazy Blog

Visiting the Burj Khalifa at Sunrise

Most visitors to Dubai have visiting the Burj Khalifa on their to-do list, and one of the most popular ways to do it is to go up the world’s tallest building in the early evening to see the sun set over this amazing city. Visiting at sunset is a wonderful experience, but it’s more expensive than visiting at other times, and it’s also very busy.
A great alternative is to visit the Burj Khalifa at sunrise. You’ll need to set your alarm very early, but you’ll be rewarded with cheaper prices (our ticket even included a light breakfast – all for almost half the cost of a sunset ticket), far fewer people, and you get to see Dubai wake up. From the 124th floor you can see the bright, nighttime lights of the Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dubai Fountains, then a beautiful sunrise. If you can take the early start, visiting the Burj Khalifa at sunrise is definitely a must-do in Dubai.
– Helen from Helen on her Holidays

Camel Riding

One of the best things to check out in Dubai is camel riding. Such a cool experience! Take this ancient form of transport over the Dubai desert terrain and be amazed by the awesome scenery. You can get to witness the amazing sunset on the back of a camel. Not many more epic experiences than that, is there? You will probably have seen the typical Instagram photo, the selfie with a camel. You will have plenty of opportunities to get an epic photo like this for your travel pics. However, the best part of the day is the amazing view and the experience you will receive. Riding into the sunrise on a camel’s back is something not many people will get to experience in their lives. The camel trip to the desert should come with transport from your hotel in Dubai. Also food should be included, like breakfast and drinks. Don’t forget to take your camera along!

– Louis from Northern Boy

Yellow Boat Tour

 

We had 3 days in Dubai and knew we wanted to see as many of the landmark architectures as we could. That is why we opted for a Yellow Boat Tour. Head down to the Marina and you can catch a jet boat which whizzes you around the coastline, stopping to show you the best areas of Dubai such as the Burj Al Arab, Palm Islands, Atlantis Hotel and the beautiful villas home to the rich and famous.

There are different tours available depending on how long you want to explore for. We took the 99 minute trip costing us 294 per adult but a 75 and 60 minute option is also available. 

– Katie from Creative Travel Guide

Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya is an area in Old Dubai with a ton of artistic influences. There’s beautiful cafes and little galleries all across the area. You do have to make sure to explore here because at first glance it does look like bare walls and nothing else but all the doors lead to nice cafes and cute galleries/stores! Make sure to turn into all the side streets as well because you’ll find plenty of art installations on the side of the buildings and some street art as well.
There’s also a historical aspect to Al Bastakiya because you can find a piece of the old Dubai Wall on display which was surprising given how technically hipster the place is! Finally, if you’ve got time for it, stop by the Arabian Tea House for some snacks, desserts and tea of course! It’s a beautifully decorated cafe and makes for an excellent pit stop on your itinerary and a great place to rest after having walked around for the day!
Liliane from My Toronto, My World

In summing up, there’s obviously so much of this wonderful city to discover. Thanks to all the amazing bloggers who shared their love for the city and contributed to this list of things to do in Dubai. 

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