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13 Best Outdoor and Extreme Sporting Activities in Dubai

By Maresa Manara

Fly Boarding Dubai

There's more to Dubai than five-star hotels: adventurous souls can fly lightweight planes across the desert, dive with sharks in the middle of a shopping mall, and zipline, Superman-style, over skyscrapers. Here's our pick of Dubai's best outdoor and extreme sporting activities—all not to miss for the thrill-seekers out there.

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Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo Arrow

Only in Dubai could you imagine shopping and scuba diving with sharks on the same day, in the same building. That's all possible at Dubai Aquarium, located inside the Dubai Mall. Ten million liters of water hold over 140 species of marine life, from seahorses to jellyfish, and over 300 sharks and stingrays. PADI-certified and newcomers alike have the chance to scuba dive inside the shark tanks, which shoppers can watch as they peruse. Cage-snorkeling is also offered, if you'd like to just get your toes wet, so to speak.


Dorell Sports Climbing Wall Arrow

Fantastic and doable for kids and adults alike, Dorell Sports offers indoor rock climbing for the family. Everything you need is included in a booking (quick belay lessons, safety precautions), and depending on your experience, you can get as much or as little assistance throughout your climb as you need. There's a speed section where climbers can race against record-set times. Plus, the highest climbing wall in the U.A.E. can be found at Dorell Sports.

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Dubai Autodrome Arrow

Petrolheads looking for a Formula One experience will love the racecar driving at Dubai Autodrome. The 5.39-kilometer circuit hosts major motorsport activities, competitions, and training around a grandstand that fits up to 30,000 people. There are indoor and outdoor karting tracks, so beginners can select from a range of experiences that include race lessons in Audis or indoor and outdoor karting. Try the Cycle Bistro, Dubai's only Paleo restaurant.

KTM Desert Motorbike Tour, Mx Dubai Arrow

There are many ways to experience the Dubai desert, but for adventure seekers, this is one of the most ideal. Riders do need to have a bit of experience, but you'll get a refresher course before mounting your bike. Once you are set up, you will cruise sand dunes for a couple hours. It's a memorable experience, both for the riding conditions and views you'll be taking in.

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SeaYou Dubai Arrow

For rentals and water sport activities, SeaYou is where you want to start. Here you can rent or take lessons in kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, sailing, and even dragon boating (a group activity, for those curious). The yoga and pilates classes taught on stand-up paddleboard are a couple standouts, offering a novel setting for your workout that won't take you out of vacation mode.

Fly Boarding Dubai

Flyboarding, SeaRide Dubai Arrow

The adventure continues off Jumeirah Beach with SeaRide Dubai. Run by jet ski world champion Steven Dauliach, SeaRide offers hoverboard, Flyboard, and jet ski experiences in the warm turquoise waters off the Arabian coast with iconic views of the Dubai skyline. Hoverboards (propelled by water jets on their underbelly) allow riders to fly through the air, and with enough balance and practice, the option to fly up to 35 feet off the water. Flyboarding combines wakeboarding and kitesurfing, and boarders can gain up to 10 meters of air or hurdle speedily underwater. With a little confidence, all activities are surprisingly easy to pick up.

Xline Dubai

XLine Dubai Marina Arrow

Fly belly-down across highways, skyscrapers, and swimming pools through the city of Dubai with XLine Dubai, one of the longest, steepest, and fastest urban zip lines in the world. From a height of 560 feet with speeds up to 50 miles per hour, riders soar from the Jumeirah Beach Residence to Dubai Marina, passing once-in-a-lifetime views along the way. There's even an option to ride tandem with friends.

Aqua Venture Waterpark Dubai

Aquaventure Waterpark Arrow

Now considered the world’s largest waterpark thanks to its recent extension, the venue has expanded by a third. Trident Tower, its newest arm, features the largest kids-only waterparks in the Middle East—Splashers Lagoon and Splashers Cove. Aquaventure contains more than 30 slides and attractions, including the emirates' longest lazy river, some thrilling rides (including the Leap of Faith and Poseidon's Retreat), and a private beach. There are also record-breaking waterslides to get the adrenaline pumping; Splashers Park and the Lazy River for families; and opportunities that encourage up-close-and-personal interactions with stingrays, dolphins, and sea lions.

Hot Air Ballooning, Balloon Adventures Emirates Arrow

Flying over the Dubai desert is made breathtaking by never-ending sand dunes with roaming gazelles, oryx, and camels, and a flight timed around catching the sunrise over the Hajjar mountains. You can expect to see Peregrine falcons soaring by your hot air balloon, and your guide will have plenty of knowledge to share about the landscape and wildlife here. The Balloon Adventures Emirates ride is followed by breakfast at a Bedouin-style desert camp, with fresh coffee, tea, smoked salmon, caviar, eggs Benedict, and fruit.

Flying Over Dubai, Skyhub Paramotors Arrow

SkyHub Paramotors has something that few locations in the world can offer: licensed pilots to man tandem flying experiences in what looks like a go-kart and a parachute had a baby. Choose to cruise over Dubai Marina or the desert landscape. It's a calm, sightseeing flight unless you request to see what the nimble apparatus can really do in the sky.

Kite Surfing Kite Zone Dubai

Kitesurfing, Kite Zone Dubai Arrow

Located on kitesurf beach Ness Nass, Kite Surf Dubai was started by kitesurfing freestyle competitor Lewis Deaves and offers both kitesurf and paddleboard lessons. The lessons are long enough and instructors fun and patient enough for beginners to have a great time while learning the ropes in the calm blue Persian Gulf waters. Choose from private and group lessons. There's also tandem riding, which offers the option to learn while riding with an instructor on the same board.

Mushrif Equestrian Club Arrow

Immaculate stables, ponies cooling in fanned paddocks, and sprawling greenery inhabited by local wildlife occupy the Mushrif Equestrian and Polo Club's 1,300-acre property. It's not unlikely that you'll spot fox, rabbit, and deer amid the ghaf trees on your desert trail tour, which you could choose to take at night for a moonlit ride, or at high-speed on an endurance run, among other well-guided riding options.

Reed and wreck diving  Divers Down UAE Dubai

Reed and Wreck Diving, Divers Down U.A.E. Arrow

A quick 40-minute boat ride off Miramar Beach takes you to one of many shipwrecks littering the ocean floor, which are now home to vivid marine life. With a variety of dive locations to choose from, beginner, recreational, and experienced divers will each have their own preferred wreck, like the 12-meter deep Cement Barge, which sank in 1971 en route to Dubai, or the Anchor Barge, which lies at 21 meters.


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Dubai Travel Blog

Dubai Travel Blog


17 Outdoor Adventures in Dubai

Dubai offers plenty of outdoor adventures and activities for the thrill-seeker. You can have a hot air balloon ride over the Arabian desert, go scuba diving in the Persian Gulf, try kite surfing or ultimately Skydive over the Palm Islands.

We have listed the top outdoor adventures and activities you can do and this would be best experienced during winter season when the weather is great to experience outdoors!

Hot Air Balloon in Dubai

Skydiving over the palm islands, mountaineering, desert dune bashing, horseback riding, kite surfing, deep sea fishing, stand up paddleboard, dune buggy adventures, motor racing, parks and fitness camps, beach weekend, 17 outdoor activities in dubai for the active ones.

We hope this post will give you an idea of planning your next adventure in the city. We will add more adventures as this list is definitive (yet). For now, here are some top a outdoor activities that you can do in Dubai .

hot air balloon adventure dubai

Wake up early and witness the amazing sunrise as you float on a hot air balloon over endless sand dunes. The early rise will be worth it as you hover over blankets of desert sand. At times, you will see some Bedouins  as they walk their camels and go about their daily lives in the desert. Overall, this is a good opportunity to be on top of the Dubai desert! Visit  ballooning.ae

skydiving in dubai

If you’ve been thinking of jumping off a plane, what better way than to book a tandem dive and choose to skydive over the Palm Islands for a unique adrenaline rush. Skydive Dubai has two locations for you to jump – over the desert and over the Palm.  For a unique experience,  you can’t go wrong with the view from the top over the artificial islands. Visit: skydivedubai.ae

Related Article:  Five reasons to skydive in Dubai

Trek the UAE mountains and go for an overnight camping in the desert. You will be trekking the unique rocky terrain in the outskirts of Dubai which also gives you a different view. Whereto find these mountain climbing groups? Try asking staff from adventure sports shops for leads on groups that conduct regular mountain trekking activities.

sand dune bashing desert

Dubai is known for its vast desert landscape. With a desert safari adventure always a part of every tourist’s list.  During this trip, tour operators include the sand Dune bashing experience as you head to the camp site. Hold on tight and makes I retouching fasten your seatbelt as the 4×4 takes you to various areas at varying slopes.

There’s a bungy jump in Dubai operated by the Gravity Zone. Bungee jumping is a different thrill as this is a continuous freefall drop even if it’s just a short one. This is a 50m jump which is a sure way to satisfy adrenaline junkies. gravityzone.co

horses polo dubai desert palm

Did you know that the Dubai World Cup is the world’s richest horse race? This is an exciting event where plenty of Dubai’s elite prepare for and witness a variety of horses raving competitively.

Emirates Equestrian Centre and Jebel ali Equestrian Club are some of the nearby centers in the city. But for those who gave time to head out into the desert, the Al Jiyad Stables,  Elite Rangers and JA Resorts Al Sahra Desert Resort Equestrian Center are places that you will surely fancy. EmiratesEquestrianCentre. Com

kite surfing dubai

Head to Kite beach and play with the wind as you perform stunts on a kite board. Schools are available near the kite beach and there agencies that will teach you to learn this sport. Good time to kite surf in Dubai is from December to April as these are the month’s when the winds are strongest.

cycling dubai

Work up dome cardio and ride a bicycle. There is more than 100 km of cycle tracks set up in the Emirate for you to cycle. During December there is a Spinney Dubai 92 Cycle Challenge with more than 2000 cyclists participating.

If you just want to bike at your own pace, Dubai offers plenty of cycling tracks for biking enthusiasts. But you can also look at your local neighborhood park as there might be an available cycling lane.

Related Post: Cycling in Al Nahda Pond Park in Al Nahda 2

deep sea fishing dubai marina

Book a yacht to take you for morning or afternoon of deep sea fishing. The rich aquatic water of Dubai is filled with sea life. Catch barracuda fishes, giant mackerel,  squids, Sherries etc. The yacht can also give you a side trip to the Palm Island and various photo opportunities with the Burj Al Arab and Atlantis, The Palm Hotel.

For the less extreme, you can rent some surfboards and try stand up paddling (SUP). Strengthen your core and have fun as you paddle through the clear and warm water of the Arabian Gulf.

dubai desert buggy drive

Drive a manual-transmission 1500cc buggy and experience an exhilarating dune drive as you explore the mystical scenery of the U.A.E. desert with its magnificent rippled golden dunes. Try not to get stuck in the sand though! You can book a dune buggy experience via  DeltaAdventures.ae

Our blogpost experience driving a sand buggy in Al Faqa desert here: Dune Buggy Experience in Al Faqa Desert by Delta Adventures

dubai aquarium dubai mall shark dive

Various diving centers in Dubai are available so if ever you want to get an Open Water Dive License, you can learn from the experts and dive in the deep waters of the Persian Gulf.

Another unforgettable diving  experience would be in the Dubai Mall’s aquarium. You might want to check it out as for a unique scuba adventure in Dubai.

A bonus, there are also free dive centre’s where you can learn to hold your breath and swim into the deep without using a tank. This is something more  extreme that you can consider and it’s not for the faint. Visit  alboomdiving.com

Polo clubs in Dubai are aplenty.  The   Polo season runs from October to May and games are held at the Dubai Polo Club at Desert Palm and the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club – Arabian Ranches. Classes are available ehich is also open to everyone who want to learn this sport. DubaiPoloClub.com PoloClubDubai.com

golf weekend uae

Did you know that Dubai has over 11 world class golf courses?  Dubai is a known host of golf tournaments, including a couple of the European Tour events. You might wonder how this city planted so much greenery but that’s Dubai for you.

The Dubai Autodrome is where car enthusiasts can witness fast cars battling it out in a race. Car lovers, you won’t find a better place in Dubai than this location.

running track jumeirah beach

If you just want to work up a sweat, jog on the tracks of various parks in the area. It doesn’t cost much and you can exercise in these recreational places scattered in the city.

kite beach dubai

An easy and relaxing place would be the open beaches for you to just get some tan. Lounge on a mat and swim on the beach. There are plenty of beaches available and are open for the public. You can also join people who play around of volley or beach tennis or do other beach activities. Jumeirah beaches are popular open beaches in Dubai. Some notable beaches are also Kite Beach, Umm Suqeim Beach, Al Mamzar Beach, etc.

Related Post: The Beach at JBR

With all these outdoor activities in Dubai,  you will never run out of things to do! Head out and enjoy these various activities. Did we miss anything? Of course, we did. Do let us know and we’ll add it to this list.

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Outdoor Activities To Do In Dubai

One of the most action-packed vacation destinations for tourists from across the globe, the Arab city offers a plethora of happening outdoor activities to do in Dubai . This versatile city, has the best of innovation, technology, architecture, and entertainment for travellers irrespective of their age group. As per your interest you can explore the city of gold, for its rich history and culture and also the modern flings, through its monuments, cuisines, entertainment shows and awesome sights.

For adventure enthusiasts seeking fun and thrill, the exciting banana ride, donut ride, fly fish ride, scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, wakeboarding, and parasailing are some of the fun outdoor activities in Dubai. You can seek endless adventures & leisure with a dinner cruise on Dubai Creek or dine with a panoramic view at Dinner In The Sky. Also engage in the most popular tourist activities like hot air balloon rides, swimming with the magnificent sharks in large aquariums, desert safaris, theme park adventures, and sight seeing at the architectural wonders for a perfect memorable vacation.

Enjoy Hot Air Balloon

Explore the city from a whole new perspective with hot air balloon rides, one of the most sought after fun outdoor activities in Dubai. As you float 4,000 feet above sea level, you can soak in the breathtaking panoramic views while catching a glimpse of Arabian wildlife, such as camels, gazelles, Arabian Leopard, the Giant Long-horned Beetle, and Arabian oryx. If you are taking the hot air balloon ride early in the morning, you can also get the opportunity to enjoy the sunrise.

Experience Adventurous Desert Safari

Desert Safari is one of the best outdoor activities to do in Dubai for all types of travellers. This adventure generally begins with a thrilling off-roading experience on a 4x4 vehicle, followed by watching the mesmerising sunset at the desert and finally a scrumptious dinner spread with authentic delicious Arabian delicacies. You can also watch the impressive belly dance, fire shows, try the traditional Arabian hookah called shisha, and have some beautiful henna painting on your hands.

Go for Dubai Helicopter tour

One of the most awesome outdoor things to do in Dubai is to take an aerial exploration tour of the city. Take a mind-boggling helicopter tour over the stunning city and get a chance to soak in the 360-degree breathtaking panoramic views. Catch a bird’s-eye view of some of the most iconic landmarks of Dubai including Burj Al Arab, Ras al Khor wetlands, and the Palm Jumeirah islands.

Indulge in Water Sports At Jumeirah Beach

With a myriad of amazing beaches packed in Dubai, you cannot keep yourself away from water sports for a long time. You can head to the popular Jumeirah Beach and thrill yourself with a plethora of fun-filled adventurous water sports. Enjoy adrenaline-fuelled water rides such as banana ride, donut ride, and fly fish ride. You may also want to challenge yourself with the adrenaline pumping adventurous water sports like scuba diving, snorkelling, jet skiing, wakeboarding and parasailing.

Enjoy Kayaking in Dubai

One of the most enjoyable outdoor activities to do in Dubai, kayaking in Duabi offers a perfect exploration on the city’s coastline. You can enjoy paddling at the famous La Mer Beach, Burj Lake, or Palm Jumeirah along with the unforgettable glimpses of the view. For more fun and thrill, you can take solo, tandem or guided kayaking tours and choose your own pace to your preferred location to get away in the lapse of nature.

Have Fun at Banana Ride in Dubai

Banana riding is one of the most recommended fun outdoor activities in Dubai that you will love to do with your friends. With a coordinated effort, you will have to balance yourself on the banana-shaped inflatable boat as it gets pulled by a speedboat. As you zoom across the sea waters at high speed, experience the rush of adrenaline and catch a glimpse of the stunning Burj Al Arab with the finest Dubai Scenery. This is also one of the safest water activities that can be done by thrill seekers of all age groups.

Enjoy a Seaplane Ride

Taking a thrilling seaplane ride above the city is one of the favourite outdoor activities to do in Dubai amongst most of the travellers. Experience the plane taking off from the shimmering sea waters for 45 minutes and more, to high altitudes. As you cruise across the mesmerising Dubai skyline, catch a glimpse of some of the iconic architectural marvels of the city, including Burj Al Arab, The World Islands, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Creek, and Palm Jumeirah.

Have an epic time at IMG Worlds of Adventure

For thrill seekers, one of the most recommended outdoor things to do in Dubai is spending a day at IMG Worlds of Adventure , one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world. Your kids can have a great time too, with rides themed around the MARVEL superheroes and Cartoon Network characters. You can challenge yourself by finding your way out of the creepy maze at the Haunted Hotel, and enjoy the mind-boggling 3D experience at the famous Novo Cinemas with VIP service and reclining seats.

Zoom around Palm Jumeirah on a Speedboat

Taking a tour to Palm Jumeirah , the most iconic man made islands on Earth, through a thrilling speedboat ride is one of the most adrenaline-pumping outdoor activities to do in Dubai. As you visit the largest artificial archipelago of the world, get a deep knowledge about the past and present of the city from the professional English-speaking guide on the boat. Keep an eye open for the spectacular views of brilliant architectural marvels of Dubai like the Burj Al Arab, Ain Dubai Ferris Wheel, and The Atlantis hotel.

Enjoy a Gourmet Meal at Dinner In The Sky

If you are visiting the city with your partner, one of the most romantic outdoor activities to do in Dubai is to enjoy a gourmet night meal at Dinner In The Sky. Enjoy the experience of dining in an aerial restaurant that is suspended 50 metres in the sky above the shimmering waters of the spectacular Dubai Marina. As you enjoy your delicious meal, soak in the breathtaking panoramic views of some of the impressive landmarks of Dubai including Burj Khalifa , Burj Al Arab, and Palm Jumeirah.

Cruise Dubai Creek on a Dhow (with dinner)

One of the most popular outdoor activities to do in Dubai at night is taking a dinner cruise across the spectacular Dubai Creek . Onboard the traditional cruise, Dhow to enjoy the live music and entertainment with Tanoura dance and puppet show. You get to see the breathtaking sights of the enchanting city as the captain sails you across the shimmering waters. Finally, savour a scrumptious buffet with delicious Arabian and international culinary delights.

Get soaked at Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark

Spending a day out at Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark is one of the most suggested fun outdoor activities in Dubai for families. While you are at this famous theme park, spend your day dancing with the dolphins, sliding through the thrilling shark-filled lagoons, and trying the spine-chilling Leap of Faith ride. You will also enjoy the once in a lifetime experience of getting up close with over 65,000 marine creatures, including grouper fish, clown fish, sharks, and more.

FAQ's Of Outdoor Activities To Do In Dubai

Which are the famous places to visit in dubai.

Dubai is packed with many of the world’s largest and tallest attractions that are celebrated across the globe. Some of the most famous places to visit in Dubai include Burj Khalifa, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark, Dubai Mall, Ski Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Ferrari World, Dubai Fountain, Madame Tussauds Dubai and more.

Must Checkout: Dubai Dolphinarium

Which are the best beaches for Watersports in Dubai?

Kite Beach, Sunset Beach, JBR Beach, and La Mer Beach are some of the best beaches in Dubai for enjoying water sports like banana boat riding, wakeboarding, and kiteboarding. You can also walk and have some peaceful time on the beaches of Dubai.

What is the best time to visit Dubai?

The best time to visit Dubai is during the winter season, from November to March, when the weather is calm and pleasant and the temperature remains between 17°C and 30°C. While the days are pleasant, the evenings are cool and comfortable, which is the perfect time to experience the outdoor things to do in Dubai.

What are the tips to remember while travelling to Dubai?

  • If you want to do some budget shopping, head to Burjuman Mall and Carrefour departmental store.
  • Remember to carry your own water wherever you go as there is no free drinking water in Dubai.
  • Consider wearing a comfortable pair of shoes as you will have to walk a lot exploring the attractions.

Also Checkout: Dubai Garden Glow

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24 Beautiful Parks and Gardens in Dubai You Simply Won’t Believe!

Many visitors and new residents in Dubai are surprised by just how many parks and green spaces there are to explore across the city – most are free or at a very low cost and are exceptionally family-friendly.

Here, we give you a run-through of all our favourite parks and outdoor spaces in Dubai, along with entry fees and what extra facilities you can find for families.

Several of the city’s parks are run by Dubai Municipality, and a small cover charge is payable for their maintenance and upkeep, which is payable on your RTA Nol card .

Before we dive into the details, you may also be interested in:

  • All our favourite things to do with kids in Dubai (80+ ideas!)
  • Why you’ll love Dubai in Winter
  • 30+ things to do in Dubai for free
  • Dubai’s best public beaches to enjoy year-round
  • The ultimate Guide to Dubai’s best family water parks
  • Complete guide to taking your baby to Dubai

Al Barari Playground

Al barsha park, al ittihad park, al khazzan park, al sufouh park, al wasl park, bay avenue park, dubai creek park, dubai garden glow & dinosaur park, dubai hills park, dubai miracle garden, jaddaf waterfront, jlt dog park, jumeirah beach park, love lake dubai, mamzar beach park, mushrif park, nad al sheba cycle park, quranic park, safa park 2, umm suqeim park, zabeel park.

This stunning nature spot in Dubai has gone from a hidden gem to a local favourite. Known for its adventure playground and relaxed setting, kids can enjoy water play to climbing, giant swings to pirate ships, even exploring the veggie patch, and all in the lush setting of luxury estate Al Barari.

Parents love the Hideout Lounge, where you can enjoy a beverage while the kids play. Plus, there are ice creams, burgers, and shawarma on hand if you want to grab a bite. Pre-booking for this luxury nature play park is essential, especially on weekends.

  • Entrance:  Paid weekdays 25 AED for 2 hours/weekends 35 AED (kids under 90cm free)
  • Facilities:  Playground, cafe, toilets
  • Opening times:  10.00 am to 8.00 pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays)

You can learn more about Al Barari Playground here.

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A beautifully manicured 52-acre park set around a large man-made pond. You can hire pedal or solar-powered boats on the water, as well as pedal Go-Karts, bikes, and e-scooters for exercise around the park.

There are two park areas, suitable for toddlers and your older children, as well as plenty of grassy spaces for picnicking and a running track.

  • Entrance:  Free
  • Facilities:  Park House Café kiosk and toilets
  • Opening times:  6.00 am to 11.00 pm daily

Al Barsha Pond Park

Found on the trunk of Palm Jumeirah , this is a long park that appears under a 3.2km stretch of the Palm Monorail . A great path for strollers and scooters, the park is spotted with playgrounds and water features, as well as fitness equipment, shops, and cafes you can stop at along the way. You may also hear this one referred to as Palm Jumeirah Park.

  • Facilities:  Toilets, shops, and restaurants along the way
  • Opening times:  24 hours

Centrally located opposite Dubai’s City Walk, the distinctive blue and white striped water tower is easy to pick out in this urban park.  There are two shaded play areas with swings, slides, and climbing frames for both toddlers and older children. A good spot for bringing your own picnic; look out for the small little children’s library here too.

  • Facilities:  Toilets, shaded seating and play areas
  • Opening times:  8.00 am to 10.00 pm Saturday to Wednesday & 8.00 am to 11.00 pm Thursday and Friday

Located in a quiet suburban area of the city between Hessa Street and Al Sufouh Road, you will find two children’s play park areas in this cosy little park. It’s better for your younger kids, but also includes a running track, sports courts, and a small coffee shop.

  • Facilities:  Toilets, sports facilities, coffee shop

Another small suburban hidden gem just off Wasl Road, Jumeirah 1. It is not huge, but enough space to unleash the kids on scooters and bikes as well as have a play in the partly shaded playground.

  • Facilities:  Toilets
  • Opening times:  8.00 am to 11.00 pm

Bringing a touch of green to the otherwise concrete jungle of the Business Bay Area, the Bay Avenue Park includes two outdoor gyms, a skatepark, a trampoline area, and plenty of grassy spots where you can pull up a picnic rug, as well as obligatory playground equipment, mostly under shade.

A nearby Spinneys supermarket is perfect for picking up a bite to eat, and the park often hosts a farmers market and yoga in the park.

  • Facilities:  Toilets, skate park

Situated on the western bank of Dubai Creek, this is one of the city’s larger outdoor spaces with plenty of extra facilities and entertainment to enjoy. It’s a popular spot for picnics and barbeques, as well as having a large botanical garden, mini-golf and a go-kart track. There are several children’s playgrounds dotted around the park.

For added extras within the park, check out the Dolphinarium and Children’s City , an edutainment and learning centre including Planetarium. In the winter, the Creek Cable Cars run daily across the park (summertime evenings only).

  • Entrance:  5AED (under 2 free)
  • Facilities:  Barbeques, toilets, picnicking,
  • Opening times:  Sunday to Wednesday, 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. Thursday to Saturday, 8.00 am to 11.00 pm.

Learn more about Dubai Creek Park here

outdoor places to visit in dubai

A seasonal event held within Zabeel Park in the winter months, watch dinosaurs roar to life and the park light up each night with colourful neon creations.

A pricier evening than most of our parks, but definitely fun for a special treat and one of the top park experiences we recommend to our visitors. The dinosaurs are very realistic, so watch for long kids who may be scared.

  • Entrance:  65 AED (under 3’s free)
  • Facilities:  Toilets, dining
  • Opening times:  Saturday to Thursday, 4.00 pm to 11.00 pm, Friday, 4.00 pm to 12 midnight

Learn more about Dubai Garden Glow here.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

One of Dubai’s most incredible new community parks, you’ll find this modern, multi-use park inside Dubai Hills Estate . With 1800 trees, it brings a refreshing splash of green to the suburbs; open to all, you’ll find a huge variety of play parks and sports courts to suit all different age groups.

  • Entrance: Free
  • Facilities: Splash park, skate park, ice rink, dog park, sports courts, playgrounds, restrooms
  • Opening times: 24 hours

The largest flower garden in the world by the total number of blooms sits just outside of the city. Follow a magical maze of pathways between floral and topiary creations, larger-than-life cartoon characters, creatures, and famous sites turned into floral arrangements. The centrepiece of the park is an incredible floral A380 Emirates aircraft.

The garden has plenty of eateries, beautiful swings, and play spaces, as well as relaxing swings. Enjoy some lovely family snaps, though do get there early to beat the crowds and heat.

  • Entrance:  75 AED, kids 60 AED (under 3’s free)
  • Facilities:  Toilets, restaurants
  • Opening times:  (October to April) 9.00 am to 9.00 pm

Learn more about Dubai Miracle Garden with kids here

Dubai Miracle Garden Floral A380 Plane

One of the newer entrants on our list of exciting parks in Dubai, this park is part of the Manazel Al Khor waterfront complex on Dubai Creek, which includes the Jameel Arts Centre. Its claim to fame is as Dubai’s first open-air art park, including the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park and interactive experiences for kids to enjoy.

Check out the “green wall” and the playground area for younger ones. The park includes tables with board games such as chess and an amphitheatre for film screenings and live performances.

  • Facilities:  Toilets, eateries, amphitheatre, board

This is a great little patch of green for the Jumeirah Lake Towers community to explore amongst the urban jungle between clusters O and P. There are three different shaded playground zones for different age groups, as well as a large spider web climbing frame and zip line.

Plenty of grassy areas to enjoy, and in the cooler months, you will find food, music and open-air cinema amongst a packed entertainment lineup.

  • Facilities:  Toilets, eateries,

Got a 4 legged friend? Then this is the one for you. Located in Cluster H, the JLT Dog park provides a safe space where highrise-dwelling residents in Jumeirah Lake Towers can safely head with their pets for some off-leash fun and exercise, including a sandpit, open green spaces, and seating.

  • Facilities:  shaded areas
  • Opening times:  6.00 am to 9.00 pm (closed for cleaning from 3.00 pm to 4.00 pm)

You can learn more about JLT Dog Park here

Another of Dubai’s recently redeveloped parks, beautifully manicured gardens meet the beachfront in the Jumeirah area of the city. There are plentiful spots to pull up for a picnic, as well as barbeque facilities and children’s playgrounds.

  • Entrance:  5 AED or 20 AED per car
  • Facilities:  Toilets, barbeques, food kiosks,
  • Opening times:  Sunday to Wednesday, 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. Thursday to Saturday, 8.00 am to 11.00 pm. Women only days on Monday & Wednesday.

Learn more about Jumeirah Beach Park here

Jumeirah Beach Park

One of Dubai’s more unique parks, you will actually find this beautiful spot of Dubai buried deep in the desert! Well worth the drive, you will be rewarded with a lovely walking/running track that circumnavigates the man-made Love Lakes in Al Qudra, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve .

Pack a picnic or use the designated BBQ spots. Snap away at the park’s many insta-worthy features and enjoy the tranquillity of this eco-spot.

  • Facilities:  Toilets (car park only), BBQ areas
  • Opening times:  Open 24 hours

Learn more about Love Lakes Dubai here

This beautiful beach park in Dubai is located on the Deira side of Dubai Creek. As well as swimming and water sports, a large green park is attached with everything from kids’ play equipment to picnicking spaces and jogging tracks.

Lifeguards are on duty as well as change facilitates, and small chalets can be rented on a daily basis.

  • Entrance:  5 AED per person or 30 AED per car (Swimming pool 10 AED adult/5 AED child)
  • Facilities:  Chalets for rent, swimming pool, sports courts, barbequing, restaurants, toilets
  • Opening times:  Sunday to Wednesday, 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. Thursday to Saturday, 8.00 am to 11.00 pm. Women only days on Monday & Wednesday.

Learn more about Al Mamzar Beach Park here

Al Mamzar Beach Park

One of the city’s oldest nature parks, you are in for quite a different experience from the normally perfectly manicured city parks. Busy on winter weekends, this is one of the best parks in Dubai for family gatherings and barbeques.

You will find a huge range of facilities from bike tracks to sports fields, camel and horse riding, a model house display village, a children’s games area, playgrounds, restaurants, and even a miniature train service. There are also public swimming pools for men, women and children (additional charge) and Aventura Parks , a ziplining course through the Ghaf forest.

  • Entrance:  3 AED per person or 10 AED per car
  • Facilities:  toilets, restaurants, sports fields, bike track
  • Opening times:  Sunday to Wednesday, 8.00 am to 10.00 pm, Thursday to Saturday, 8.00 am to 11.00 pm

You can learn more about Mushrif Park here

A park dedicated to cyclists and fitness enthusiasts, you will find Nad al Sheba Cycle Park adjacent to Meydan Race Course (a converted camel racing track!). There are 4km, 6km, and 8km circuits suitable for beginners through to pros in this lush green spot. There is also a special track for younger children to teach them about road safety.

  • Entrance:  free ( bike rental fee 50AED)
  • Facilities:  toilets and change rooms

This beautiful new park in the Al Khawaneej area of the city is dedicated to the Holy Quran. Covering 60 acres, the park is open to all faiths, although do note it’s a family park, and you should be appropriately dressed.

Inside, you’ll find the Lake, the Orchards, and the Cave of Miracles – with interactive displays (in Arabic). Then, there is a glasshouse that displays plants mentioned in the Holy Quran. There are also play parks and food carts inside.

  • Entrance:  Free (additional 5 AED each for Glass House and Cave of Miracles)
  • Opening times:  Saturday to Thursday, 8.00 am to 10.00 pm. Friday’s 3.00 pm to 10.00 pm

Learn more about the Quranic park here

Another of Dubai’s wonderful little community park, it can be found just off Al Manara Street. The park has three different play areas with lots of shade for picnics, a small food kiosk and toilets. It is fairly quiet during the week and spring to life full of families on weekends.

  • Entrance:  3 AED (under 2 free)
  • Facilities: Toilets, cafeterias, theatre, track and field courts
  • Opening times:  8.00 am to 10.00 pm

Learn more about Safa Park 2 here

A sensational new outdoor space on the waterfront of Dubai Creek. With a little something for everyone, The Block is part of Dubai Design District D3 Park. It features a skate park, basketball and volleyball courts, climbing walls, and traditional play equipment.

You have a great selection of restaurants and cafes nearby in the Design Quarter, so a superb one for grabbing a cuppa and pulling up a seat while the kids play.

  • Entrance:  Free
  • Facilities: Toilets, sports facilities, climbing walls, and cafes nearby

Learn more about The Block here

(Also commonly referred to as Burj Beach Park). Situated close to Sunset Beach, this beautifully landscaped park is the perfect urban family escape, popular with locals and expats alike. During the week, it is women only, and at weekends men can visit with family.

There is a playground suitable for slightly older children, as well as a cafe and toilets within the grounds.

  • Entrance:  Nominal charge
  • Facilities:  Toilets, small café
  • Opening times:  8:00 am to 10:00 pm. Ladies and children during the week, fathers permitted as well on weekends.

Learn more about Umm Suqeim Park

Home to Dubai Garden Glow & Dinosaur Park, as we have already mentioned above, this 52-acre park also has expansive walking paths, barbeques, children’s playgrounds, and shaded areas to enjoy.

There are plentiful additional family entertainment options, including boats to hire on the ornamental lake, bikes to hire, and restaurants.

  • Entrance:  5 AED (under 2’s free)
  • Facilities:  Toilets, restaurants, barbequing, fitness equipment
  • Opening times:  Sunday to Wednesday, 8.00 am to 10.00 pm, Thursday to Saturday, 8.00 am to 11.00 pm

You can learn more about Zabeel Park here

Zabeel Park

Do you know any other parks and family spaces in Dubai? Share them in the comments below!

Before you go… More important things you should know when planning a trip to Dubai

  • Pop into our essential planning information page, it includes everything you need to know about getting around Dubai , a handy guide on what to pack , and top tips for first-timers on the do’s and don’ts, laws, and customs to be aware of.
  • Check out this incredible list of 150+ places you should visit when you’re in Dubai .
  • Pick up a Dubai Pass from iVenture or a Go City Dubai Pass to save up to 50% on top Dubai attractions.
  • Don’t forget to pack your travel insurance !!!
  • Discover the best areas to stay in Dubai , or bag a bargain on your accommodation here:

Take me back to the Dubai attractions home page

Please note we are not a travel agency. This site is a travel blog to help newcomers to the UAE and transit passengers self plan their trip, we cannot book your flights, hotels, visas or connections for you. We may make a small commission if you click on any of our recommendation links . Dubai Travel Planner

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Home » Middle East » Places to Visit

27 BEST Places to Visit in Dubai (2024)

Famous for glamorous shopping, towering buildings, modernity, and sheer excess, Dubai United Arab Emirates is one of the hottest spots in the Middle East right now. Surrounded by sandy desert with a long stretch of Persian coastline, there are plenty of opportunities for relaxation and adventure too. From sunbathing and swimming to diving and dune bugging, you’ll never have a dull moment in Dubai!

However, Dubai’s reputation for exclusivity can put many people off visiting.

There’s no need to swerve Dubai completely though; not only are there some excellent activities that won’t break the bank you can also hit many of the highlights in just a couple of days, meaning that your overall stay doesn’t need to be for too long. Our expert team of travel writers have compiled this list of the best places to visit in Dubai so you can make the most of your trip without blowing your budget.

Spoiler alert: Some of the best places to visit in Dubai are sure to blow you away!

Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighbourhood in Dubai:

These are the best places to visit in dubai, faq on the best places to visit in dubai, final thoughts on the coolest places to visit in dubai.

Jumeirah Neighborhood, Dubai

Jumeirah Beach

Why it’s awesome: Fine white sands meet the sparkling blue waters of the Persian Gulf at Jumeirah Beach. There is no charge to enjoy the public beach and you’ll find various vendors and facilities close to hand. Located on Dubai Marina, you'll find luxury like no other in this neighborhood.

  • Take a stroll along La Mer, a world-class beachfront
  • Visit the Jumeirah Mosque, the largest mosque in the UAE
  • Dine on delicious food at Turkish Village Restaurant & Café
  • Shop until you drop for luxury fashion at Dubai Marina Mall

If Jumeirah Beach isn’t quite your cup of tea, check out where to stay in Dubai before you scroll on down into the main Dubai attractions.

There are LOADS of areas just waiting to be explored, some of which have accommodation options too. If in doubt, I recommend staying on Sheikh Zayed Road, which is the longest road in Dubai and connects you to all the main tourist attractions.

Now, buckle your seatbelts, it’s time to look at the best places to visit in Dubai. This is gonna be fun!

Still deciding where you go? Have a look at our Dubai vs Qatar post to settle it.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

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#1 – Burj Khalifa – Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Dubai

Burj Khalifa

  • Tallest building in the world
  • Incredible views
  • Splendid modern architecture
  • Iconic Dubai landmark

Why it’s awesome: The Burj Khalifa , open since 2010 and built in just five years, is the tallest building in the world. Standing at 828 metres (2,717 feet) tall, it’s certainly an imposing sight! The building is that tall that people on the highest floors can still see the sun several minutes after it has set for those at ground level!

Sleek metal and gleaming glass rise high into the sky, with fountains and a pretty tree- and bench-filled park at the bottom. It has several observation decks from where you can enjoy terrific views over Dubai, and there are places inside to eat, drink, and sleep.

Also across from the Burj Khalifa, you will find Dubai’s hottest attraction, Sky Views Dubai . This adrenaline-packed activity that opened in November 2021 at the Sky Views Hotel allows visitors to slide down a complete glass slide from the 53rd floor to the 52nd floor. If you’re not afraid of heights, this attraction is for you.

What to do there: Stroll through the park at the bottom of the tower and perch on a bench to enjoy the vibe and views. Snap plenty of pictures of the towering beauty before riding the high-speed elevators up to the viewing points. (It is advised to book tickets well in advance to avoid disappointment.) On Level 124 you can enjoy stunning views of the world at your feet, seeing even further afield thanks to the super-strength telescopes. One of the best places in Dubai.

Level 125 has a beautiful Arabian-style lounge with panoramic views. Dare to step out onto the interactive glass floor—it seems to splinter right beneath your feet, all while standing 456 metres (1,496 feet) above the ground.

You can also take a virtual tour to the very pinnacle of the tower and enjoy a virtual flight over the city. To really feel fancy, book one of the drinks packages, such as afternoon tea, a champagne sundowner, or nighttime cocktails.

#2 – Wild Wadi Waterpark – Easily one of the most fun places to check out in Dubai

Wild Wadi Waterpark

  • Cool down in the sun
  • Enjoy various water rides
  • Ideal for a fun family day out
  • Watch the large waterfall cascading at regular intervals

Why it’s awesome: Wild Wadi Waterpark is one of the best places in Dubai to beat the heat and cool down while having heaps of fun. The large outdoor water park has some 30 rides and attractions for people of all ages and it is themed around the story of Juha, an Arabian folklore figure.

There are several pools and places where you can take it easy and bask in the sunshine, and you’ll also find great spots to grab refreshments and meals. Don’t worry if you’ve forgotten any of the essentials as there’s also a shop on site that sells bathing suits, goggles, towels, and anything else that you’d need for a great day. You can also buy a range of merchandise.

What to do there: Take a refreshing dip in one of the pools and relax around the park. Why not spoil yourself and rent a private cabana for your day at the water park?

Lazily drift along Juha’s Journey, a mellow and laid-back lazy river, grab a ring to hurtle down the ring slides, bob in the turbulent waves of Flood River, and try to keep your head above water in Breaker’s Bay, the biggest wave pool in the Middle East. This place is a great spot to spend some time on the weekend in Dubai , just make sure you bring your sunscreen!

Get your body-boarding and surfing game on at the Wipeout and Riptide Flowriders, one of just four such water attractions in the world. Feel an adrenaline surge at Tantrum Alley and Burj Surj, and climb the 32-metre (105-foot) tower of Jumeirah Sceirah to hurtle down the long and exhilarating slide at a breath-taking 80 km/h (50mph).

Watch as your kids have heaps of fun and giggles at Juha’s Dhow and Lagoon, with tamer slides, water cannons, fountains, shallow pools, and more, all with a cool theme. Pick up souvenirs, enjoy a tasty meal, and have a great day to remember.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

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#3 – The Dubai Mall – A great place in Dubai if you love to shop!

The Dubai Mall

  • One of the world’s biggest shopping malls
  • Home to more than 1,000 shops
  • Air of luxury, exclusivity, and glamour
  • Various leisure and entertainment options

Why it’s awesome: The best place in Dubai to spend money, the elegant and huge Dubai Mall is perhaps the most famous shopping centre in the UAE, if not the Middle East. With more than 1,000 shops and a variety of entertainment and dining options, you should plan to spend a good few hours there.

Open since 2008, it is now one of the most-visited places across the entire world! You’ll find men’s, women’s, and children’s fashions, fragrances and cosmetics, toys, electronics and gadgets, homewares, and more. Oh, its also amongst the best places to go in Dubai for some free AC and the top place to visit in Dubai for free toilets.

If you’re visiting in December and January, you’ll be visiting around the Dubai Shopping Festival, which is where you can witness live music displays, light installations, daily fireworks d even a DSF Drone Light Show – that’s how it’s done in Dubai!

What to do there: Escape the heat and step into air-conditioned comfort to enjoy some high-class window shopping and retail therapy. Even if you don’t plan on buying anything it’s still well worth visiting the Dubai Mall to admire the sumptuous surroundings and fancy shop displays. Stores include Chanel, Chloe, La Perla, Aldo, Apple, Tiffany and Co, Clinique, Prada, Mac, Dior, Bose, Lego, Fendi, Gap, DKNY, Puma, Gap, Rolex, and many, many more.

Visiting with kids? No worries! Take them to Kidzania where they can have fun with other youngsters in various cool roleplay settings in a mini world designed just for children.

Catch a film at the 22-screen cinema, grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants, cafes, and concession stands, go ice skating, see the replica of the Dubai Creek Tower in the Atrium, explore the underwater world at Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo , and feel a shiver down your spine in the haunted house of Hysteria. There really is so much to enjoy at the Dubai Mall in addition to shopping.

#4 – Ski Dubai – One of the more unique places to visit in Dubai!

Ski Dubai, Dubai

  • The first indoor ski resort in the Middle East
  • Home to cute colonies of penguins
  • Lessons available for all levels of skiers
  • Experience winter in the desert

Why it’s awesome: What could be more unusual than skiing and enjoying diverse snow sports while surrounded by desert?! That’s exactly what Ski Dubai offers—heaps of wintery fun! The large facility can be found in the Mall of the Emirates and was the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort.

A top way to get some respite from the heat, temperatures are kept at around -1 to 2 degrees Celsius (30 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit) at all times. It offers tons of fun for people of ages, so whether you’re travelling with friends, family, or your love interest you’ll have a great time there. You can book your full-day-ski-pass here.

What to do there: Don your warm clothes and practice your skiing techniques on the five slopes. If snowboarding is more your thing don’t worry—you can do that too. Have a go at bobsledding, tobogganing, snow tubing, and zorbing, tackle the climbing wall. And ride in a snow plough.

Have a blast in the snow, building snowmen, making snow angels, or simply enjoying a good old snowball fight. Don’t miss seeing the penguins too. The facility is home to both king penguins and Gentoo penguins. There’s a cool penguin parade each day, which is sure to enchant visitors old and young alike. Of all the Dubai place to see, this is the only one I can think of that involves snow.

#5 – The Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve – Dubai’s first national park!

The Arabian Desert

  • riding on the back of a camel
  • sand surfing on the dunes
  • BBQ to finish the day

Why it’s awesome: Its camels, romance and surfing down the sand – it just doesn’t get any more awesome than exploring the Dubai Desert Conversation Reserve, Dubai’s first national park! This tour will take you roughly 60 km from the city centre, right into the red dunes. This is THE place to go in Dubai to get away from Dubai…

What to do there: With this EPIC 4×4 desert tour , you’ll be exploring the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve on the back of a camel, have a breathtaking view over the red sand and test your surfing skills down the dunes. The tour ends with a BBQ and, of course, traditional shisha for everyone. The desert is amongst the best places in Dubai to visit – do not miss this if you have the time.

#6 – Dubai Fountain – One of the most incredible free places to go to in Dubai

Dubai Fountain

  • Stunning show that combines water, music, and lights
  • Free to watch
  • Biggest choreographed fountain in the world
  • Boat rides available

Why it’s awesome: Located outside of the famous Dubai Mall on the large Burj Khalifa Lake, the marvellous Dubai Fountain is the world’s biggest choreographed fountain. Created by the same company that designed the famous fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, shows take place at the Dubai Fountain at various times throughout the day.

There are many spots where you can watch the spectacular sound, light, and fountain show for absolutely free. This is a very popular place to go in Dubai so try to get here early though to secure a great spot.

What to do there: Be in awe of the stunning fountain show, set to traditional Arabian music, classical sounds, and contemporary tunes. Marvel at the exquisitely designed show, which incorporates perfectly synchronised jets of water, colourful lights, and music. Gasp as jets of water shoot up to 152 metres (500 feet) into the air and be blown away by the overall beauty and grace of the stunning fountain show.

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#7 – Jumeirah Beach – A perfect place to visit in Dubai if you are on a budget!

Jumeirah Beach

  • Gorgeous white sand beach
  • Stunning views
  • Varied water activities
  • Free to enjoy

Why it’s awesome: Fine white sands meet the sparkling blue waters of the Persian Gulf at Jumeirah Beach. There is no charge to enjoy the public beach and you’ll find various vendors and facilities close to hand, so it’s perfect if you’re visiting Dubai on budget .

Water sports are available at the beach, along with a variety of fun beach sports and activities, or you can simply relax and soak up the sun or bury your nose in a good book. The popular beach also offers great views of the ocean and city skyscrapers.

What to do there: Stroll along the white sandy shore and admire the ocean vistas and views of the city’s skyscrapers, including the iconic Burj al Arab. Spread your towel on the sands to soak up some sun or pay a small amount to rent a lounger and parasol. Paddle and swim in the sea (though do be sure to be cautious of undercurrents and rip tides and make sure that children, especially, do not go far from your reach).

Get some morning or evening exercise by walking, jogging, cycling, or skating along the long beach boulevard, pick up some refreshments from one of the beach vendors, and enjoy a day at the seaside in Dubai.

#8 – Dubai Miracle Garden – A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Dubai

Miracle Garden

  • Romantic and scenic destination
  • One of the biggest natural flower gardens across the globe
  • Eco-friendly initiatives
  • Certain elements in the Guinness Book of World Records
  • One of the top places to visit in Dubai

Why it’s awesome: The stunning Dubai Miracle Garden is an award-winning attraction. Among the biggest flower gardens in the world, it contains many large and beautiful floral displays that are photogenic and impressive. The garden boasts around 50 million flowers in a wide array of hues and 250 million plants.

Opened on Valentine’s Day, it is a great destination for lovers with much natural beauty to admire. Some of the garden’s features appear in the Guinness Book of World Records. The garden featured in a Bollywood movie, with the director eager to show a different side to Dubai than simply towering buildings and high-tech elements.

What to do there: Wander through the pretty gardens, admiring the rich array of flora and inhaling the enticing scents. The aromatic garden is especially alluring. See the gigantic floral clock, observe the peacocks that roam the grounds, marvel at the huge Mickey Mouse topiary, and be awed by the gigantic Airbus A360 floral display (entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the biggest flower-created structure in the world).

Visit the world’s biggest indoor Butterfly Garden, home to around 15,000 attractive butterflies. Other great features include a castle made from millions of flowers, a passageway of umbrellas, a kids’ trampoline park, a walkway of hearts, a hill of flowers, a towering floral teddy bear, a shimmering lake, and a giant tortoise.

You’ll find various places to eat and drink throughout the gardens too, and there are plentiful opportunities to relax and simply enjoy being outdoors and away from the city’s hustle and bustle.

#9 – Dubai Museum – A fascinating educational place to visit in Dubai

Dubai Museum

  • Housed in Dubai’s oldest existing building
  • Wide assortment of artefacts from the Gulf states and beyond
  • Interesting dioramas at the Dubai Museum
  • Travel back through the ages

Why it’s awesome: Dubai Museum is located within the 1787 Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest remaining building in Dubai present on every backpacking Dubai travel guide (as it should be!). The mighty building exudes a sense of strength and history, having been used as a weapons storage facility, a defensive fortress, a prison, and a royal home in times gone by.

Providing insights into the Dubai of old, from a time before oil made the country rich and the modern buildings sprang up in the desert terrain, there are heaps of fascinating displays and exhibits. Open since the early 1970s, the museum seeks to preserve the traditional way of life and culture of Dubai. The museum is one of the best places to see in Dubai for those who want some historical context.

What to do there: Enter the mighty coral-built fortress through the cannon-flanked main entrance to appreciate the structure’s grandeur and strength. Gaze up at the old tower, which dates back to the 1780s, see the reconstructed city walls, and admire the traditional boat (known as a dhow) in the main courtyard.

Make your way around the diverse galleries and halls, seeing exhibitions of musical instruments, weapons, furniture, drawings, pottery, tombstones, and more.

Look into the various replica buildings, including mosques, souks complete with an ironmonger, tailor, carpenter, and other tradesmen, homes, a Bedouin tent, and farms, see how Dubai has changed over the years at the large dioramas, and learn more about the area’s traditional pearl-diving activities. There’s also an onsite gift shop.

#10 – Hatta – A very cool place in Dubai to go for a day

Hatta, Dubai

  • Mountain landscapes
  • Adventure activities
  • One of the oldest preserved heritage areas in the country
  • An hour away from the heart of Dubai

Why it’s awesome: Hatta is a gorgeous location in the Hajar Mountains. Scenic views and a sense of history make for a fantastic day out away from the skyscrapers and modern way of life. The mountain enclave has a cultural town with desert farms and a fortress and Hatta Heritage Village is a great place to see a way of life long since passed.

There are incredible viewpoints and the deep blues of the sparkling lake contrast with the reddish-grey rocks and arid terrain. Of all the places to go in Dubai for nature, Hatta is one of the best.

What to do there: Feast your eyes on natural splendour as you drive through the craggy mountains to Hatta. Inhale deliciously fresh air and try a variety of outdoor adventures—enjoy thrilling mountain biking and hiking, go kayaking on the shimmering lake, and spot a variety of nature.

Admire the vistas from Hatta Dam and learn more about the country’s past at Hatta Library. The Heritage Village is a must, with its ancient fort and recreated huts and houses. History is really brought to life.

#11 – Dubai Frame – A great place to see in Dubai if you love architecture

Dubai Frame

  • Biggest frame in the world
  • Set in pretty parkland
  • Unusual structure
  • Fabulous views
  • One of the Dubai must see places

Why it’s awesome: Dubai Frame, open since early 2018, is one of Dubai’s most incredible landmarks. Standing at 150 metres (492 feet) tall, the large frame is 105 metres (345 feet) wide. Located in Zabeel Park, the structure is surrounded by grass, palm trees, and various other natural features.

Diverse leisure options are available in the park too. Not only is the frame itself a beautiful piece of architecture, made from aluminium, steel, glass, and concrete, but the whole point of the huge frame is to provide cool views of the city’s magnificent skyline and architectural marvels.

What to do there: Stand one side of the frame and see Dubai’s modern skyscrapers as if in a picture, and then move to the other side for a framed perspective of Old Dubai. Depending on your position you can compare and contrast the old and new parts of the city.

Take plenty of pictures of the Dubai Frame and the views through the massive structure. Aside from admiring the structure and getting your Insta-fix, the frame is a great spot to meet up and hang out. Locals and visitors use the area for jogging, skating, picnicking and simply hanging.

Pssst! Heading to Dubai United Arab Emirates just for a couple of days? Check out our in-depth Insider Dubai Itinerary !

#12 – Burj al Arab – One of the most amazing places in Dubai!

Burj al Arab

  • Iconic landmark
  • World’s fanciest hotel
  • Striking architecture
  • Located on an artificial island

Why it’s awesome: The stunning Burj al Arab is one of the most famous hotels in the world. Coined as the world’s only six-star hotel, it offers unrivalled luxury and pampering. You don’t have to be staying at the magnificent hotel to enjoy its splendour however; many people visit simply to admire the iconic structure from outside, marvelling at the sail-like form and gleaming profile.

Standing on an artificial island, the sea provides a gorgeous backdrop to the maritime-inspired building. The hotel has featured in several films and TV shows and diverse high-profile events have taken place at the lofty helipad, including Tiger Woods playing gold, David Coulthard driving an F1 racing car, and a tennis match between Andre Agassi and Roger Federer.

What to do there: If you really want to splash the cash and spoil yourself, book to stay in the world’s most lavish hotel and enjoy star-quality pampering. Guests can enjoy all trapping like the decadent spa, inviting swimming pools, modern fitness centre, and chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce. For a cheaper (though not cheap) experience you can also dine in one of the hotel’s world-class restaurants or indulge in afternoon tea or cocktails. Alternatively, admire the elegant building from the outside and snap plenty of pictures of the striking hotel.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

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#13 – Palm Jueirah – Dubai’s collection of palm islands!

The Palm Jumeirah Dubai

Why it’s awesome: The Palm Islands are a collection of three man-made islands that make up the shape of a palm. Palm Jumeirah is lined with luxury hotels with private beaches, making it the ideal place to stay if you want to be pampered and have a totally luxurious experience.

However, it is also a place best-seen from above. If you don’t have a drone, then you can sky dive and view the structure in all its glory.

What to do here: Take a stroll around the streets of the Palm Jumeirah or bathe on the private beach of one of the luxury hotels (if you’re staying there of course). To be honest, there isn’t much to see here from the ground, it’s more about having a luxury experience at one of the hotels.

#14 – Motiongate Dubai – Awesome place to visit in Dubai with kids!

Motiongate Dubai, Dubai

  • Fun theme park inspired by Hollywood
  • Rides and attractions for people of all ages
  • Fantastic family-friendly day out
  • Live entertainment

Why it’s awesome: Motiongate Dubai, open since late 2016, has various cool areas with different Hollywood-inspired themes. There are diverse rides, attractions, and shows, with something to suit old and young alike. A popular place for a family outing, there are indoor and outdoor activities and attractions. The themed areas include Studio Central, Smurfs’ Village, DreamWorks, Lionsgate, and Colombia Pictures. Enter the world of film and the big screen and meet many well-known characters. There are places to eat and shop too.

What to do there: Get set for an active and fun day out at Motiongate Dubai. Discover the different enchanting areas and enjoy the cool rides. Enter the world of animation at DreamWorks, themed around movies like Shrek, Kung Fu Panda, and Madagascar, and enjoy the whimsical world of Smurfs’ Village. In Columbia Pictures you’ll find attractions based around Sony Picture productions, including Ghostbusters, The Green Hornet, and Hotel Transylvania.

Feel the rush on adrenaline-inducing rides like Blast Off, High Speed Chase, and Capitol Bullet Train, let your kids have a whale of a time in play areas like Flint’s Imagination Lab, Woodland Play Park, and the Smurfberry Factory, and have an interactive adventure at Underworld 4D and Unstoppable Awesomeness. Tap your feet at shows like King Julien’s Side Show Stop and Operation Penguin Shake, and make many magical memories.

#15 – Safa Park – A beautiful outdoor place to visit in Dubai

Safa Park, Dubai

  • Enjoy being outdoors
  • Escape the crowded streets
  • Sporting and leisure facilities
  • Lots of flora and fauna

Why it’s awesome: Popular with locals and tourists alike, Safa Park is a pleasant place to unwind outdoors in Dubai. It’s easy to find a quiet place to relax and chill with a good book. Children can enjoy the play areas and there are facilities for jogging, cycling, tennis, basketball, volleyball, and football. The park’s landscapes include three lakes, a waterfall, and a small forest, and you can spot an array of wildlife. Each month Safa Park hosts a large flea market—visit on the first Saturday of the month for some bargain hunting.

What to do there: Choose a shaded spot to sit and relax and soak up the peaceful air, or get active and partake in some exercise. You can walk or run around the jogging track or grab your friends for a game of volleyball, tennis, or football. Stroll around the shimmering lakes and look out for the many bird species that call the park home. You’ll also likely spot butterflies, small mammals, and small reptiles too. Enjoy the great views of downtown Dubai, cook up a meaty feast at the BBQs, and enjoy an outdoor lunch at the picnic areas.

#16 – Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood – One of Dubai’s coolest historical sites!

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Dubai

  • Experience a traditional way of life
  • Step back in time
  • Set next to the Dubai Creek
  • Various cultural activities

Why it’s awesome: Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood (also referred to as Al Bastakiya) offers a charming glimpse into Emirati life of times gone by. Sitting alongside the atmospheric Dubai Creek, the neighbourhood has much of its original streets and buildings.

Narrow alleyways wind through the olde-worlde buildings and the overall vibe is steeped in history and heritage. The way of life is peaceful and unhurried. There are vendors selling traditional foods and you’ll find a wealth of cultural establishments and small stores. A variety of events take place here throughout the year, including the Sikka Art Fair.

What to do there: Take a leisurely stroll through the winding streets and narrow lanes, absorbing the nostalgic energy and atmosphere. See buildings of old, a stark contrast to the more modern parts of Dubai. Hear whispers from the past as you walk past old homes and towers, imagining a life long since passed.

Learn how the people of yesteryear lived, before oil and wealth drastically changed the city. Travel back to the middle of the 19 th century and uncover past times at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. Browse in the quaint art galleries and soak up the creative air and pause for a break and to watch the world go by in a cosy cafe.

One of my favorite things to do here is to visit an old Arabian tea house and enjoy a delicious lunch meal and some exquisite tea.

#17 – Dubai Garden Glow – Quite the quirky place in Dubai!

Dubai Garden Glow, Dubai

  • Whimsical, colourful, and imaginative
  • Perfect destination for families
  • Blend of art, technology, and nature
  • Environmentally-aware attraction that teaches people about global warming

What it’s awesome: Dubai Garden Glow is an enchanting and amazing evening destination in the large Zabeel Park. Old and young alike are sure to be mesmerised by the stunning lights and displays. While attractive during the day, watch as the park goes through a magical transformation as darkness descends, with many colourful illuminated features. Split into different areas, the park also has a terrific zone dedicated to recycling and eco-awareness. There are street entertainers to add to the carnival-like air and you’ll find various shows and places to eat and drink.

What to do there: Plan to spend at least a couple of hours exploring Dubai Garden Glow and try to time your visit to enjoy the garden both during the daylight and during the dark. Little ones can run and play in the wide open spaces and younger members of the family are all but guaranteed to be transfixed in the large Dinosaur Park. Home to around 120 huge animatronic dinosaurs, it’s certainly exciting!

Appreciate the eco-friendly Art Park, with its striking displays made of empty bottles, old ceramics, CDs, and other recycled items. Marvel at the exquisite ice sculptures in the Ice Park and be dazzled by the beautiful lights of Glow Park. There are lanterns, landmarks, flowers, and animals, all made from lights. Call into the food pavilion if you feel peckish.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

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#18 – Dubai Opera – A great place to visit in Dubai at night

Dubai Opera, Dubai

  • Large performing arts venue
  • See various types of shows and performances
  • Designed to resemble a traditional sailing vessel
  • Major cultural attraction

Why it’s awesome: Dubai Opera is a modern and eye-catching building that was built to look like a dhow, or traditional boat. It was the first purpose-built multi-arts venue in Dubai. The large venue can seat around 2,000 people at any given time and it hosts a variety of shows and events. The program includes musicals, plays, ballets, operatic performances, comedy shows, fashion shows, and more. The interiors are lavish and opulent and the building also has a restaurant and a beautiful sky garden.

What to do there: Check the listings and book tickets to see an event at the Dubai Opera. It’s definitely a great way to inject a little more culture into your stay. Admire the elegant building from the outside and inside and go up to the sky garden to see sweeping views across the city. The great views include the iconic Burj Khalifa and the sublime Dubai Fountain. Dine on delectable gourmet cuisine in the high-class restaurant too. This the best place to visit in Dubai for a blast of Wagner or Puccini although the idea of an opera in the desert is a bit Fitzcaraldo.

#19 – Grand Mosque – One of the most religious places to see in Dubai

Grand Mosque

  • Large Islamic place of worship
  • Hear the call to prayer five times per day from the soaring minaret
  • One of the city’s most important religious buildings
  • Beautiful architecture

Why it’s awesome: Dubai’s Grand Mosque is at the heart of local religious and spiritual life, and it’s also a major place for Islamic culture and social events. The original mosque was built at the start of the 20 th century, though it has been rebuilt several times since with the present mosque dating back to 1998. The towering minaret is one of the tallest in the country. Resembling a lighthouse, it’s an impressive piece of architecture. There are many fine details around the main body of the mosque, including glorious domes, stained glass, and Quranic calligraphy. Of all the Dubai must see places this is the most classical beautiful.

What to do there: Be sure to dress modestly to visit Dubai’s Grand Mosque (or any other place of worship for that matter). Walk around the courtyard and admire the building from the outside and watch as the faithful come to pray. Non-Muslims aren’t permitted in the main mosque, but you can look at the beautiful minaret. Standing at 70 metres (230 feet) tall, the lighthouse-like tower is the tallest in Dubai and one of the tallest in the UAE. Soak up the spiritual air in the heart of the old city. Come back to see the mosque at night time too when it is beautifully lit up.

#10 – Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve – An unknown (but awesome!) place to see in Dubai!

Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve, Dubai

  • Off-the-beaten-track destination
  • Desert landscapes and pretty artificial lakes
  • Diverse wildlife
  • Sustainable tourism initiatives

Why it’s awesome: Situated just around a 30-minute drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Dubai, Al Marmoom Desert Conservation Reserve is a great place to discover the surrounding desert areas. It’s easy to forget that the modern and gleaming city of Dubai is almost entirely surrounded by arid desert. The first unfenced nature reserve in the country, it is home to an interesting array of flora and fauna. The man-made lakes are picturesque and the area also has fascinating archaeological sites too. Many locals come here to enjoy the natural beauty, though it sees relatively few international visitors. It makes a pleasant change to the high-tech aura, frenetic activity, and tall buildings of Dubai.

What to do there: Visit the extensive network of artificial lakes, the Al Qudra Lakes and spot interesting wildlife, including some rare and endangered species. Look out for butterflies, birds, lizards, frogs, fish, and rodents, and see around 40 different species of plants. The observation platforms are some of the best places to see different native wildlife. If you can bear the heat you can enjoy long bike rides along the 84-kilometre (52-mile) track.

Visit the Saruq Al Hadid Archaeological Site, discovered in 2002, to see an assortment of artefacts from the past. Things like jewellery, pottery, weapons, and tools were unearthed here. If you visit in the late afternoon you can witness a striking sunset and then stay for a spot of stargazing. With almost no light pollution it’s a great place for astronomy fans.

#21 – Bollywood Parks – Cool place to see in Dubai with friends!

Bollywood Parks, Dubai

  • Unique theme park
  • Experience Indian culture without leaving the Middle East
  • Diverse rides, shows, and other attractions
  • Plenty of fun for people of all ages

Why it’s awesome: A great place for a fun day out with your family or friends, Bollywood Parks is a unique theme park in Dubai. Indeed, it’s the world’s first theme park to be dedicated to the Indian movie industry. Inspired by the colours, music, and energy of Bollywood, the vibrant amusement park is divided into several captivating zones. There are exciting rides, captivating shows, and cool attractions as well as delicious Indian cuisine, gift shops, and backstage experiences.

What to do there: Get into the Bollywood groove as you explore the five different zones, all full of passion, colour, joy, emotion, action, romance, and adventure. Wander the scintillating Bollywood Boulevard, a riot of colour with enticing eateries and spellbinding shows. Experience Mumbai Chowk with its flair, zest, cuisine, and adventures, and immerse yourself even further into Indian life in the picturesque Rustic Ravine. This is a good place in Dubai to visit for fans of Bollywood – and there are at least a billion of them.

The decadent Royal Plaza is sure to impress and you can step into the silver screen at the Bollywood Film Studios. Enjoy an immersive cricket match at Thrill of Victory, compete against your mates at the Hunt for Gabbar Singh, enter the virtual world at Unleashed, fly high through the skies on Hero’s Flight, travel back in time at Crossroads, and enjoy all the glitz and glam at Stars on Steps. Don’t forget to pick up themed merchandise and fabulous outfits before you leave.

Pssst! Haven’t packed yet? Check out our ultimate Dubai Packing List to know what to bring with you on your Dubai adventure!

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#22 – Dubai Creek – One of the most romantic places to visit in Dubai!

Dubai Creek

  • Scenic saltwater creek
  • Long history
  • Lined with interesting buildings
  • Romantic boat rides

Why it’s awesome: Dubai creek connects the desert with the seaport, and was once a major trading route. It was once at the heart of the pearl trade and was/is a major place for fishing. It’s still a hive of activity today, with vessels of all sizes bobbing along the waters. The creek used to divide the city into two parts: Deira and Bur Dubai.

The Bani Yas tribal group first settled along the edges of the water. Several interesting buildings sit alongside the creek, including Dubai Creek Tower, the National Bank, and Deira Twin Towers, and there’s a pleasant Dubai park close to hand. A nice place for a stroll with your beloved, there are also several activities to enjoy here too.

What to do here: Admire the waterside vistas and take a walk alongside the creek. Admire the attractive buildings at the water’s edge and relax in the large Dubai Creek Park. Get a taste of port life at the Dhow Wharfage, an area filled with traditional sailing boats and a thronging place of activity.

Wave to the friendly sailors and watch as they unload their hauls and cargo. If you’re lucky, you may also catch a glimpse of street performers next to the creek. One of the most romantic things to do at Dubai Creek is to charter a ride on a dhow and admire the city from the water. You can also watch a splendid sunset in the evening times.

#23 – Spice Souk – Certainly one of the most exotic places to see in Dubai!

Spice Souk

  • Aromatic and colourful
  • Pick up local gifts and souvenirs
  • Get a sense of the Dubai of old
  • Practice your haggling skills

Why it’s awesome: Part of the Old Souk, the spice souk specialises in fragrant spices from across the globe. You’ll also find a wealth of beautiful fragrances and perfumes too—it really is a place that appeals to the senses. Furthermore, there are also other goods for sale, including textiles, rugs, and souvenirs. The narrow twisty lanes are lined with open-air stalls and more traditional closed stores and the atmosphere is pretty old-fashioned. The spice souk is definitely a striking contrast to the modern malls and shopping centre in downtown Dubai. This is the Dubai place to go for a taste and smell of typical Arabic life.

What to do there: Get lost roaming the tiny alleyways and winding streets as you peruse a wide selection of spices and fragrances. You’ll find everything here from custom-made scents that smell like designer perfumes, teas, herbal remedies, culinary spices, and incense. Discover common spices used in local dishes and pick up items to take home with you. Don’t forget to haggle and negotiate if you do want to make a purchase. Inhale the rich aromas of things like cumin, saffron, pepper, garlic, turmeric, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. The heady Arabian atmosphere transports you back in time and really gives you a sense of the exotic.

#24 – Jumeirah Mosque – One of the nicer places in Dubai to sightsee!

Jumeirah Mosque, Dubai

  • Important place of Islamic worship
  • Open to non-Muslim visitors
  • Learn more about Islamic culture, traditions, life, and festivals

Why it’s awesome: Built in the late 1970s, Jumeirah Mosque has a traditional Fatimid style with elements from Egypt and Syria. The photogenic building is a popular place for tourists wishing to learn more about Islam. It is the only mosque in Dubai that permits entry to non-Muslims, though do be aware that you should be dressed modestly and that women are requested to cover their hair. (Items are available for visitors to borrow.) Informative, friendly, and educational tours are available for visitors.

What to do there: Admire the large pale building from the outside, taking in the visual beauty of the two minarets, domes, windows, and arches. Take a tour to learn more about the local way of life and beliefs, and feel free to ask questions and take photos. Listen for the harmonious call to prayer issued five times each day from the minarets. Try traditional snacks and drinks like coffee and dates. Try to visit the mosque in the evening too when it is splendidly illuminated.

#25 – Alserkal Avenue – One of the most underrated places to see in Dubai

Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

  • Hub for arts and culture
  • Creative vibe
  • Located in an old industrial area
  • Cool shopping and dining opportunities

Why it’s awesome: Wondering where to go in Dubai for a bit of art? Well cool, creative, hip, and trendy, Alserkal Avenue is an up-and-coming part of Dubai. Once little more than an edgy industrial area, today you’ll find a wealth of excellent art galleries and other creative spaces alongside workshops, studios, stores, and offbeat eateries. Most establishments are housed within former warehouses and factories. The area grew from one single gallery that moved here in 2008. Today, it’s one of the freshest emerging districts in the whole of the Middle East.

What to do there: See the converted industrial buildings and soak up the creative vibe in the many art spaces. With around 60 art- and design-focused venues there’s something to cater to all tastes. Admire a wide selection of artistic works by both local and international artists, learn more about local community projects, watch performing art demonstrations, attend diverse workshops, and purchase unique items to take home with you.

Galleries in the area include Ayyam, El Seed, Green Art Gallery, Carbon 12 Dubai, Jean Paul Najar Foundation , and Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde. Check out the cultural events calendar and see what’s on when you’re visiting the city. Have a look in Salsali, the first private museum in Dubai, shop for hip fashions, gadgets, custom-made jewellery, and boutique lifestyle items, and stop for refreshments in one of the district’s cool cafes and restaurants.

#26 – Ras al Khor Bird Sanctuary – A nice quiet place to see in Dubai

Ras al Khor Bird Sanctuary, Dubai

  • Wild wetlands close to the city
  • Home to many bird species, reptiles, fish, and other creatures
  • Attracts migratory species
  • Top place for keen bird spotters and nature lovers

Why it’s awesome: Peaceful and quiet, it’s difficult to believe that the wetlands and wildlife of Ras al Khor Bird Sanctuary are just a stone’s throw from the urban sprawl of Dubai. The large sanctuary incorporates mudflats, lagoons, mangroves, and salt flats, with habitats suitable for many types of birds and other creatures.

There are fish, crustaceans, reptiles, and small mammals in the sanctuary too, with some species using the area as a breeding ground. It’s an absolute hidden gems in Dubai and one of the few places to get up close to nature near the modern desert-surrounded city.

What to do there: Admire the varied terrain and settle down in a hide to watch for a variety of wildlife. There are so many species of birds to look out for, including kingfishers, egrets, herons, ospreys, storks, peafowl, eagles, and wagtails. The sanctuary is especially known for its huge numbers of pretty pink flamingos in the winter months. You may also see fish, rodents, and other small creatures.

#27 – Kite Beach – An awesome place to visit in Dubai for half a day!

Kite Beach, Dubai

  • Clean and tidy sandy beach
  • Great water sports options
  • Family-friendly destination
  • Good seaside facilities

Why it’s awesome: Kite Beach is one of the best beaches in Dubai. It boasts white sands and a laid-back vibe. There are plenty of opportunities to be adventurous out on the waves too, with activities like surfing, kitesurfing, and stand-up paddle boarding. There’s also no shortage of beach games to watch or join in with, and you’ll find amenities like bathrooms and showers close to the beach. It’s free to visit the public beach. The food trucks and refreshment carts are ideal for keeping hunger and thirst at bay.

What to do there: If you’re after water sports, head to Kite Beach in the afternoon for the best conditions. There are rental stores close to the beach if you need equipment, then you’re good to go! Hit the waves and enjoy active watery adventures! Kayaking, kite surfing, and paddle boarding are just a few things you can do at Kite Beach. You can also relax in the sun, join in with a game of beach volleyball, build a sandcastle, paddle in the sea, and take a long walk along the coast. Lap up the views of the Burj al Arab and, if you visit on a Friday or Saturday, shop for trinkets and souvenirs in the seaside market.

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Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Dubai

What is the most romantic place to visit in Dubai?

Visiting the Arabian Desert at sunset is one of the most romantic places to visit in Dubai for couples.

What is the best place to visit in Dubai with the family?

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski slope and a great place to visit with the family.

What is a free place to visit in Dubai?

The Dubai Mall is free to walk around and is the largest mall in the world. It also has some pretty nice A/C.

What should I not miss in Dubai?

If you’re visiting Dubai for a short trip, you should not miss the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building.

Work through these best places to visit in Dubai for a diverse, fascinating, and memorable trip to one of the coolest destinations in the Middle East. Covering shopping, iconic landmarks, culture, heritage, and nature, there’s definitely something to keep everyone happy.

You’ll find a good selection of budget-friendly attractions and some great hostels and activities in Dubai, so there’s no need to worry too much about making your bank manager angry! Have a great time discovering the city’s highlights and hitting up the very best places to visit in Dubai.

Insider Tip: If you have the money and don’t want to spend hours in the car, driving from one hot spot to the next, you should check out this helicopter tour. Instead of exploring the city from below, you can simply fly over Dubai and have an amazing adventure that not many people get to experience!

outdoor places to visit in dubai

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links . That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!

Nina Az

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  • Visit Dubai

Picnic spots in Dubai

Food & Drink

Wed, January 11, 2023

From a desert feast with the family to tasty bites in the city centre, roll out your blanket at these picturesque places.

Al Qudra Lakes


Just a short drive from Dubai's city centre,  Al Qudra Lakes  are a manmade oasis hidden amid golden sands that are perfect for a private, out-of-town picnic. Unpack your hamper while observing the wildlife – falcons, eagles, ducks, swans and the pastel pink flamingos that gather to fish during the winter. During twilight, watch the native impalas venture to the water’s edge for a drink. Cyclists can also take advantage of the area's cycling track , with road and sand bikes available for rent on-site. Stretching up to 84km, it's the longest designated cycling road in the Middle East.

  • Al Qudra, Dubai

Urban picnic at 3in1

3in1 Dubai

Fancy a picnic by the pool? Vida Downtown's Urban Picnic brunch offers a more upmarket take on outdoor dining, right in the city centre. Walk right into a ready-to-go picnic setting at Vida’s Mediterranean restaurant 3in1, which presents a gourmet twist on lunchtime staples. Fill up your basket with goodies before taking it outside into the sunshine. You can grab a poolside table or cosy up on a private cabana and enjoy fresh oysters, prawns, barbecued steaks, burgers and filled baguettes. Pool access  is also included, in case you fancy a lazy paddle in the shallows after lunch.

  • Vida Downtown Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashed Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai

Picnic Pantry brunch at Dubai Festival City

Picnic Pantry brunch at Dubai Festival City

If you're not done with mealtime festivities, the Picnic Pantry brunch by Crowne Plaza Dubai Festival City makes for an excellent addition to your weekend checklist. Taking over the hotel's bayside lawns every Saturday afternoon, the picnic-themed fiesta is as upbeat as it is a celebration of scrumptious nibbles. Expect a walk-in pantry, BBQ stations , artisanal bread baskets, a special kids' picnic box – and even a candy floss and popcorn kiosk. While you enjoy the live music and pool access, the little ones won't have a shortage of fun activities to keep them occupied.

  • Dubai Festival City - Dubai

Zabeel Park

Zabeel Park

Zabeel Park  is one of Dubai's favourite picnicking spots. Choose your location: the shaded lawn, outdoor seating or the amphitheatre, and while away the day with the family. This incredible park is also home to  Dubai Frame , offering visitors splendid views of both old and new Dubai. Little ones can explore three different technology-based zones featuring educational exhibits, hop on a boat ride or visit  Dubai Garden Glow  – the region's first glowing theme park.

  • Zabeel Park, Zabeel Area - Dubai

Al Sufouh Beach

Couple strolling in Al Sufouh Beach Dubai

Located between Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab , Al Sufouh Beach is one of the city's quieter and more secluded seaside locales (which is why residents call it 'Secret Beach'). While it is free to visit, there are no public amenities around and barbecues aren't allowed here. Its sandy stretches and resplendent sights, however, make it a lovely spot for laidback picnics. Pack yourself a basket of tasty treats, and head out here for a glorious afternoon by the water. 

  • Al Sufouh Beach - Dubai

Burj Park

Amid sweeping vistas of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall  sits a humble respite in the energetic Downtown neighbourhood. Burj Park, a small island with lush lawns, is a charming Dubai destination for a family picnic, with plenty of sun, scenes and space for little ones to run free. Pack a picnic of delicious treats – or collect a multicultural spread from all the restaurants nearby – and cross the bridge from Burj Plaza to find the perfect spot in this vast urban expanse.

  • Burj Khalifa Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, Dubai

The Ripe Market


Dubai's most popular outdoor market  pops up every weekend at a range of venues during winter months, with a flagship location at the Police Academy Park. Combine a fun day of shopping for artisanal wares with a picnic on the lawn and in the sunshine. Bring along a basket and top it up with delicious offerings from the nearby food trucks, as well as fresh fruit from the local farmers' stalls. The atmosphere here is always upbeat and friendly, with live music, workshops and activities.

  • The Ripe Market - Dubai Police Academy Park, Umm Suqeim

Al Barsha Pond Park

Al Barsha Pond Park Dubai

  • Opposite Al Barsha Mall, Al Barsha 2 - Dubai

Special picnics

Desert picnic by Destination Insight

Have a birthday, anniversary or date night coming up and want an experience with a difference? Plan a dreamy picnic that promises to be memorable, with professionals to help you set up. Companies like Pop Up Picnic can arrange a lavish and stunning spread for you, whether it be at a beach, park or your back yard – picture charming table settings, fairy lights, cushioned seating and more in an alfresco space. Or venture further out and delve into an exclusive desert picnic, like those offered by adventure providers Destination Insight. The package includes a thrilling drive into the dunes , where a pretty bell tent, a table laden with gourmet platters and a sunset campfire await.

  • 107, Block-B, Diamond Business Center, Arjan - Duba

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Headout Blog

Top 15 Thrilling Adventure Activities in Dubai!

Things to do in Dubai Adventure in Dubai Outdoor Adventure in Dubai Adventure Activities in Dubai

Dubai is situated on the Persian Gulf coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It may not have the greenest of environments, but the stunning desert landscape is a natural wonder to behold and explore. The massive Arabian desert that surrounds Dubai , the Persian Gulf and the neighboring Hajar Mountains provide the residents of Dubai with ample avenues to explore their adventurous side. Be it desert safaris and dune bashing, or deep sea fishing and mountain biking, the popularity of most Dubai adventure activites has grown immensely.

If you're a resident of Dubai or visiting the emirate for a few days and would love to experience something outside of the glitz-filled extravagances that Dubai has become famous for, then these adventure activities will quench your thirst. Check out some of the most popular thrilling experiences that Dubai and the neighboring regions have to offer.

Quad Biking


Experience the thrill of quad biking in the captivating city of Dubai. Embark on an exhilarating adventure as you navigate the mesmerizing desert landscape on a powerful quad bike. Feel the rush of adrenaline as you conquer sand dunes, navigate twists and turns, and witness breathtaking views. Whether you're a seasoned rider or a beginner, quad biking in Dubai promises an unforgettable experience filled with excitement and awe-inspiring beauty. Get ready to rev your engines and embrace the adventure of a lifetime.

Overnight Desert Safari


Embark on an unforgettable overnight safari in Dubai, immersing yourself in classic outdoor activities and Arabian desert culture. After being picked up in a 4x4 Jeep, traverse the vast desert, capturing breathtaking photos along the way. Visit a camel farm, ride a camel, and capture more memorable moments. Experience the thrill of sandboarding, followed by exploring henna tattoo designs and indulging in shisha and Arabic coffee. Enjoy captivating performances like belly dancing and a fire show, culminating in a delectable BBQ open-buffet dinner. Choose between sleeping under the stars or inside a tent for the ultimate desert camping experience. Conclude the adventure with breakfast the next morning.

Dune Bashing & Sand Boarding


Get ready for an adrenaline-pumping experience in Dubai with dune bashing and sandboarding. Hop aboard a powerful 4x4 vehicle and embark on a thrilling ride over the majestic sand dunes of the desert. Feel the excitement as your expert driver skillfully maneuvers through the undulating terrain. Then, grab a sandboard and glide down the sandy slopes, feeling the rush of adventure. This unforgettable activity combines speed, skill, and natural beauty, leaving you with memories to cherish forever.

Jebel Jais Flight


Soar through the skies like a bird as you zip line across the breathtaking Jebel Jais mountain range, the highest peak in the United Arab Emirates. Feel the adrenaline rush as you glide at incredible speeds, taking in panoramic views of the rugged landscape below. This thrilling experience offers a unique perspective and an unforgettable opportunity to embrace the beauty of Dubai's natural wonders.

XLine Dubai Marina


Strap in and get ready to zip across the stunning Dubai Marina skyline on the world's longest urban zip line. Experience the thrill of soaring through the air at high speeds, enjoying breathtaking views of the cityscape, pristine beaches, and iconic landmarks. Whether you're a thrill-seeker or simply seeking an extraordinary experience, XLine Dubai Marina promises an adrenaline-fueled adventure that will leave you with lifelong memories.

Helicopter Tour - Atlantis, The Palm


Buckle up and take to the skies to witness the iconic resort from a breathtaking vantage point. Marvel at the architectural grandeur as you soar above the luxurious Atlantis complex, Palm Jumeirah, and the shimmering waters of the Arabian Gulf. Capture stunning aerial views and enjoy an unforgettable adventure that combines luxury, excitement, and unparalleled views of Dubai's most famous landmark.

Hot Air Balloon Ride


Experience a magical hot air balloon ride in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE. Slowly float up into the sky and enjoy the peaceful desert and stunning Hajar Mountains. Watch as the sunrise paints the landscape with beautiful colors. Take amazing pictures and enjoy the calm and quiet. This unforgettable experience gives you a special view and a relaxing journey through the sky. You'll create memories that will stay with you forever.



Go for an exciting parasailing adventure in Dubai. Experience the thrill of being lifted high above the clear waters of the Arabian Gulf, like a bird flying in the sky. Feel the excitement as the wind carries you, giving you amazing views of Dubai's famous skyline and beautiful coastline. Whether you love adventure or just want to see things from a different perspective, parasailing in Dubai is an incredible and unforgettable experience that will make you feel free and full of excitement.

Yellow Boats Speedboat


Experience the thrill of Yellow Boats speedboats in Dubai. Hop aboard these fast and agile vessels for an unforgettable adventure on the water. Feel the rush as you zoom across the sparkling blue waters of the Arabian Gulf, taking in the iconic sights of Dubai's coastline. Enjoy the wind in your hair and the spray of the sea as you explore the city's landmarks from a unique perspective. Yellow Boats speedboats promise an exciting and exhilarating aquatic journey like no other.


Experience the thrill of the Donut Ride in Dubai, where you'll ride the waves on a giant inflatable donut, pulled by a speedboat. With a focus on safety, the skilled crew ensures you have an exhilarating experience. Hold on tight as the speedboat driver performs exciting twists and turns. Marvel at the stunning views of the Arabian coastline, renowned for its breathtaking beauty. Get ready for a heart-pumping water adventure that combines excitement, scenery, and non-stop fun.

Seakart Riding


Experience the thrill of driving your own Seakart in Dubai. Explore the stunning coastline and marvel at the city's iconic landmarks from the water. The Seakarts are equipped with modern features for safety and comfort, accommodating groups of up to 3 adults and 2 children. A dedicated tour guide in a separate boat will document your adventure with photos and videos. Enjoy the convenience of provided amenities such as light snacks, fruit juice, life jackets, and bottled water.

Fishing Trip


Prepare for an exhilarating 4-hour fishing excursion in the beautiful waters of Dubai with Ocealics. Join their renowned fishing charter for a deep-sea adventure you won't forget. Board a specially designed 29ft or 32ft Arabian Craft fishing boat that prioritizes both your fishing experience and safety. Enjoy the stunning views of Dubai's coastline as you embark on an exciting journey across the open sea. Get ready to cast your line and immerse yourself in the thrill of fishing in this remarkable location.

Self-Drive Supercar


Experience an exhilarating 2-hour supercar driving adventure that will take you on a thrilling journey through picturesque routes, highlighting the stunning scenery. Receive a comprehensive briefing from our skilled lead driver before embarking on this unforgettable experience. Select from a range of prestigious supercar brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini, and feel the sheer power and control as you drive these high-performance vehicles. Follow the lead car through breathtaking landscapes, capturing lifelong memories with the option of photos or videos.


A gyrocopter ride is a truly unique experience, and Dubai provides the perfect backdrop for it. With the freedom to fly solo alongside the pilot, you'll have an unmatched view of the city and its incredible sights. Take in Dubai's iconic landmarks for a thrilling 20-minute journey, from the majestic Palm islands to the remarkable Burj Al Arab. Enjoy uninterrupted views and the personalized company of your pilot before safely landing back at the drop zone.

Tandem Skydiving


Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush with tandem skydiving in Dubai. Take the leap from a plane soaring high above the mesmerizing cityscape and feel the exhilaration of freefalling through the sky. With a highly trained instructor securely attached to you, enjoy the thrill of a lifetime as you both parachute down and savor the breathtaking views of Dubai's iconic landmarks and sparkling coastline. Tandem skydiving in Dubai promises an unforgettable adventure that will leave you with lasting memories.

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Sachin Kumar

Having lived and worked in Bangalore and Singapore before moving to Dubai, Sachin is one of the many expatriates who've come together over the years to knit the fabric of Dubai’s global culture. An avid urban explorer and photographer, he has spent countless hours uncovering hidden gems in these cities - eating in ramshackled establishments that only the cab drivers frequent, discovering underground markets, exploring abandoned buildings and staying with families that may or may not like him.

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outdoor places to visit in dubai

The Best Outdoor Things To Do During Winter In Dubai

Hot Air Balloon

Winter in Dubai is a magical time when the heat gives way to pleasant, cooler temperatures. It’s the perfect season to step out of your air-conditioned bubble and enjoy the great outdoors. From exciting parks to breathtaking beaches and thrilling adventures, there is plenty to do in Dubai during the cooler months.

With the temperature finally dropping, it’s time to make your winter bucket list to make the most out of the season.

Here are some outdoor activity ideas to add to your list.

Things To Do In Winter In Dubai

Most Instagrammable Places In Dubai

Explore Al Seef

Al Seef is a beautifully designed waterfront promenade that combines the charm of old Dubai with modern amenities. Enjoy a leisurely walk along the creek, dine at various restaurants, and explore traditional Emirati architecture and culture. The “Heritage Area” of Al Seef offers a glimpse into Dubai’s history with its reconstructed old buildings and narrow alleys.

Visit Global Village

Kickstart your outdoor winter adventures in Dubai with a visit to the Global Village. This multicultural carnival comes alive during the cooler months, boasting pavilions from around the world, offering a unique shopping and dining experience.

Global Village is a fun time for the entire family with exciting rides, food hotspots, and special performances. Explore the diverse cultures, indulge in mouthwatering street food, and take a journey that will transport you across the globe.

This year, Global Village will be reopening on October 18th.

Love Lakes Dubai

Picnic at Al Qudra

Al Qudra Lakes, surrounded by sand dunes and wildlife, offers a serene picnic spot in the heart of the desert and is one of the best places to visit in Dubai during winter. Grab your picnic basket and enjoy the cool winter breeze while observing the diverse bird species. You can also get a bike to explore the Al Qudra Cycling Track, which runs alongside the lakes.

Visit Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden is one of the world’s biggest flower parks and it comes alive every winter. Stroll through the vibrant gardens adorned with millions of flowers, including stunning displays and intricate sculptures made entirely of blooms. It’s a perfect spot for nature lovers and Instagram enthusiasts alike. Don’t forget to check out their “Lost Paradise” section, featuring sculptures and structures covered in flowers, providing a surreal experience.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Explore Dubai Garden Glow

Just adjacent to the Miracle Garden, you’ll find the Dubai Garden Glow, one of the best winter attractions in Dubai. As the sun sets, this magical place comes to life with dazzling light displays and 3D artworks. It’s a fantastic family-friendly attraction that’s best enjoyed during the crisp winter evenings. The “Art Park” section, in particular, showcases impressive installations inspired by famous artists and artworks, creating a unique visual spectacle.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Have A Beach Day

Winter is the perfect time to enjoy a beach day with family and friends at one of Dubai’s many pristine beaches. Whether you prefer the lively JBR Beach or the serene Kite Beach, you can relax, swim, or even try some water sports. Don’t forget to watch the mesmerizing sunset over the Arabian Gulf.

Looking for the best beaches in Dubai? Here’s our full guide. 

Dubai Creek Park

Visit Public Parks In Dubai

Dubai boasts numerous well-maintained public parks. Pack a picnic, take a leisurely stroll, or enjoy a game of frisbee in one of these green oases. Safa Park, Mushrif Park, Zabeel Park, and Creek Park are great options to reconnect with nature. MushrifPark, in particular, is a haven for picnickers and joggers, with its lush greenery and serene lake.

Find out everything you need to know about the best parks in Dubai with our full guide.

Aventura Park

For adrenaline junkies, Aventura Park is a must-visit. Nestled inside Mushrif Park, this adventure park offers thrilling zip lines, obstacle courses, and tree-surfing experiences and is one of the best winter activities in Dubai. 

It’s an excellent way to challenge your limits while enjoying the winter weather. The “Ninja Warrior Course” and “Aerial Adventure” sections are particularly popular among adventure seekers. The best part about Aventura Parks is that it’s suitable for both kids and adults and is the perfect destination for a fun family day out.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Dubai’s surrounding desert offers an unparalleled camping experience during the winter months. Set up your tent under the starlit sky, enjoy a bonfire, and revel in the tranquility of the desert. Companies like Arabian Adventures offer guided camping trips for those seeking a more structured experience. You can also consider camping in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve for a more pristine and eco-friendly experience.

RTA Launches Bike And E-Scooter Renting Stations In Hatta

Visit Hatta

A scenic drive from Dubai takes you to Hatta, a mountainous escape with picturesque landscapes. As the temperature drops, it’s the perfect time to explore Hatta Dam, embark on hiking trails, or rent a kayak and paddle through the serene Hatta Dam Lake. Don’t miss a visit to Hatta Wadi Hub, where you can experience thrilling activities like mountain biking and axe throwing.

Visit a Waterpark

If you seek thrilling aquatic adventures, Dubai’s waterparks won’t disappoint. Waterparks like Aquaventure at Atlantis The Palm and Wild Wadi Waterpark are perfect for families and adrenaline seekers alike. You can choose to have a relaxing day as you bask in the winter sun in the many lazy rivers, pools, and beaches in the waterparks, or choose to go all out and enjoy some of the best water rides in the world at Dubai’s top waterparks.

You Might Also Like: The Best Waterparks In Dubai.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Dubai has a network of well-maintained cycling tracks, such as the Al Qudra Cycling Track, Kite Beach Cycling Track, and Nad Al Sheba Cycling Track, where you can rent bikes and explore the city from a different perspective. The cooler winter temperatures make it an ideal time to pedal your way through the city. You can either bring your own cycle or rent one from the Careem cycle stands that are available at most locations.

Dubai Fitness Challenge

Take Part In the Dubai Fitness Challenge

Every year in November, the Dubai Government hosts the Dubai Fitness Challenge , an annual event that encourages residents and visitors to embrace an active lifestyle. Throughout the month, there are many fun and exciting fitness activities like yoga on the beach, exercise classes, and more across the city where residents can participate for little to no cost. The highlight of the month is the famous Dubai run that takes place on Sheikh Zayed Road. If you’re looking for something adventurous to do this winter, don’t forget to join the Dubai Fitness Challenge.

Go On A Desert Safari

Desert Safari is one of the best activities to do in Dubai. During winter, it’s even more fun as the weather is perfect for dune bashing, camel riding, sandboarding, and enjoying a traditional Bedouin-style dinner under the stars. You can opt for a morning desert safari to witness the sunrise over the dunes, creating a mesmerizing sight, or go for a classic evening safari and experience a winter sunset in the desert. 

You Might Also Like: All You Need To Know About Desert Safari In Dubai.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Experience a Sunrise Hot Air Balloon

Winter is the perfect time to experience something new and exciting, like a sunrise hot air balloon ride. Drift gently above the desert landscapes as the sun rises over the horizon in a hot air balloon. It’s a truly incredible way to start your day in Dubai.

You’ll soar above the rolling sand dunes and get an amazing view of the desert below. It’s a calm and peaceful experience, almost like flying. Along the way, you might learn interesting things about the desert and its history from the experienced balloon pilot who will be with you.

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Looking for more things to do in Dubai? Check out our full guide to the best places to visit in Dubai

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Situated in the heart of the city at Al Habtoor City, La Perle is an awe-inspiring production and a spellbinding live entertainment performance that is also the region’s first permanent show, elevating the cultural and entertainment landscape of Dubai. Here’s everything you need to know about La Perle. The Story Before you dive into the […]

Things to do during Eid in Dubai

Wondering what to do in Dubai during Ramadan? You’ve come to the right place! Get ready for a Ramadan experience like no other!! The city transforms into a vibrant wonderland, blending tradition with modern flair. From captivating fireworks that light up the night sky to mouth-watering global cuisines and lively markets, Dubai during Ramadan is […]

Festival City Fireworks

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, Dubai is gearing up for the upcoming celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims worldwide. It’s a time for joyous gatherings, feasting, and spreading goodwill among communities. This year, residents can expect a possible […]

Zayed National Museum

Abu Dhabi is gearing up for a spectacular transformation. There has been a lineup of announcements for groundbreaking projects that are set to redefine Abu Dhabi’s skyline and offer residents and visitors an unparalleled blend of magic, culture, art, and adventure. From the wizarding wonders of Warner Bros. World to the awe-inspiring Zayed National Museum, […]

outdoor places to visit in dubai

24 Best Things to Do in Dubai

From exploring traditional souks to skiing indoors, here's how to get to this know this dazzling city.

In Dubai , it's possible to chill on the beach, stroll in the desert, and have a cocktail at the top of skyscraper all in the same day. “Dubai’s got a glorious magnetism to it," says Nada Badran, a Dubai resident for more than 30 years and experience curator and tour guide with Wander With Nada . "There’s so much palpable energy in the air, and every day the city offers a new opportunity for creative fulfillment."

Despite the above, Dubai is sometimes shrouded by misconceptions, says Isabella Sullivan, founder and editor of Near+Far , a travel magazine for modern Middle East travelers. “The first misconception is that it’s all glossy, fake, and superficial, which couldn’t be further from the truth," she told Travel + Leisure . Another misconception is that it’s not a safe place to visit. On the contrary, Dean Hayter, travel product manager at Origin , says that “living in Dubai is the safest I have ever felt in any city."

So if any of the above has kept you from booking a trip to this vibrant city, you can set your mind at ease. And once you've arrived, here are the best things to do in Dubai.

Related : The Best Times To Visit Dubai for Beautiful Weather, Lower Prices, and Fewer Crowds

Learn about local coffee culture.

The Arab world is known for its coffee — from traditional Turkish coffee to modern delights like cereal lattes — and Dubai has myriad cafes in which to get your daily fix. “[There are] so many cool, unique, artsy, and design-led coffee shops," says Sullivan. "Some have beautiful gardens and outdoor spaces, while a new slew of them have moody interiors and unique, immersive themes." Sullivan’s favorites are The Grey , Nightjar Coffee and Tom&Serg .  

Cruise Dubai Creek.

In the past, Dubai Creek was part of the trade route connecting ports in the Arabian Gulf. Today, it's a beautiful way to see the city , and one of Hayter's top suggestions in Dubai. “Go to Dubai Creek before sunset and hire an abra (traditional wooden boat) for a private cruise," Hayter says. "When you're in the middle of the creek and the sky turns pink and the call to prayer fills the sky, it is magical.”

Go stargazing in the desert.

Fascinated by the night sky? Book a night safari with ecotourism company Platinum Heritage , which includes guidance from an astronomer and use of a telescope. “The sky is so dark that you get to see the most incredible blanket of stars," says Hayter. "If you're with an astronomer who can explain everything you're looking at, it's an amazing experience."

Play a round of golf.

Golf may not come to mind immediately when planning a vacation to the Middle East, but Dubai has several recognizable courses, including The Emirates Golf Club – Majlis Course , which is considered one of the best in the destination. Kelvin Cheung, chef partner at Jun’s and a Dubai resident for two years, suggests checking to see if any of your credit cards include free rounds of golf as a perk. Note that the best time to golf here is between November and March, when the weather is more comfortable.

Relax at a Dubai beach.

“Dubai has some great and uncrowded public beaches, where you can just enjoy the warm Arabian sea and sunshine at no cost,” says Sullivan. Try Kite Beach, since it also offers fantastic showers and bathrooms, plus a handful of food stands and coffee shops. For an extra treat, rent a Careem bike and cruise along Kite Beach’s lengthy boardwalk.

Enjoy the diverse dining scene.

Between the innovative design of its restaurants and the exceptional diversity of its culinary offerings, Dubai is a fantastic place for foodies. When planning your meals, consider chic restaurants like Amazonico , which takes you on a sensory journey through the Amazon; SEVA , a laid back, plant-based cafe within a wellness center; and Jun’s , a fusion restaurant with the Burj Khalifa skyscraper as its backdrop and where the chef aims to introduce himself to each table. “The city offers a wide range of flavors and textures, and truly pushes boundaries," says chef Cheung of Jun's. "Because the Dubai food scene offers top-quality food and service in every corner of the city, my team and I stay motivated to deliver excellence with every experience. There are very few places in the world that cater to such a diverse set of people.”

Indulge in the facilities of a luxe hotel.

Visiting a world-class hotel in Dubai and enjoying its wellness offerings is a must. “Dubai has so many gorgeous hotels, and more often than not, you can purchase day passes to enjoy their facilities, including beaches, pools, and spas; some also have tennis and padel courts,” says Sullivan. "Apps like Privlee and Viya are great for tourists and residents; you pay a fee and have unlimited access to partner hotels, beach clubs, and gym facilities, so you can try somewhere new every day.”

Get lost in the streets of Old Dubai.

“I am probably at my happiest when wandering in Old Dubai’s streets, sikkas (alleys), and souks , which are swarming with activity," says Badran of Wander With Nada. "The labyrinthine souks are where everyone wants to sell you something; ‘Shakira’ and ‘professor’ are heard countless times, as vendors appear to have unanimously agreed it's the best way to capture customers’ attention. People duck into beckoning small shops where stools are commonplace, as is a cup of chai, and every transaction involves a lengthy bargaining debate. Sounds of carts mingle with scents of aromatic spices and musky perfume."

Explore Al Serkal Avenue.

Al Serkal Avenue is an industrial warehouse district that has been transformed into a creative hub. “It’s an oasis of art, community spaces, and all things quirky," says Badran. "To visit is to be transported to another world of art galleries, cozy cafes, boutique shops, and plenty more." The venue's galleries are open to the public at no cost, and it's fun to wander here even if you’re not an art buff.

Go on a desert adventure.

Tour through the desert in a 4x4, or go extreme off-roading in a dune buggy or on a quad bike with Expert Rangers . And if you want the full Arabian desert experience, book the package that includes sandboarding, camel riding, an Arab dinner, and entertainment.

Get the best view of Dubai.

If you're a thrill seeker, consider a dive with Skydive Dubai . Divers fall 13,000 feet through the sky over the Palm Jumeriah — what a memory to take home with you.

Book a traditional spa treatment.

A hammam is a traditional cleansing ritual that involves hot steam, a revitalizing scrub, rhassoul clay, and vitamin-E rich products — you are bound to exit this experience feeling the softest you’ve ever felt. We recommend booking a hammam treatment at the Guerlain Spa at the One&Only The Palm.

Head to Hatta.

Hatta is in the Hajar Mountains, about 60 miles outside of Dubai. This is the perfect place to appreciate nature — go for a hike with spectacular views, kayak in the reservoir, or mountain bike on designated trails. There's also a heritage village that’s home to restored traditional houses and a defense tower.

Scuba dive in a pool.

Deep Dive Dubai isn’t your typical swimming pool — it’s the deepest in the world at about 197 feet deep. Scuba, freediving, and snorkel courses are offered here, and if you're already certified, you're welcome to explore this underwater world designed to look like a sunken city.

Visit the Museum of the Future.

This building is an architectural wonder in shape and design. The exterior is wrapped in Arabic poetry, and the structure's circular shape represents humanity while the abyss in the middle signifies the indefinite future. Inside you will find immersive exhibitions that ask observers to reflect on the world, the future, and themselves. Purchase tickets in advance, as the museum is a popular attraction and day-of tickets aren't always available.

Visit Expo City Dubai.

This venue is a future-forward miniature city that maintains much of what was offered during the World Expo (Expo City was part of the exhibitions, which took place in 2022, delayed due to the pandemic). The sustainable city offers educational experiences and attractions that revolve around global topics, plus multiple playgrounds and parks .

Spend a day at Dubai’s newest resort.

Beyonce performed an exclusive show for the opening ceremony of Atlantis The Royal — what a way to get the world's attention. This ultra-luxurious resort is worth checking out, even if you aren’t staying the night. It’s home to eight restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs (including Nobu by the Beach), a sky-high infinity pool, a club with panoramic views of the skyline, and dozens of other experiences.

Book a tour with Wander with Nada.

Nada of Wander With Nada is a fun and peppy guide, sure, but she's also incredibly knowledgeable about Dubai, and therefore just the guide you want to get to know the destination. Choose from several tour options, including one that highlights Dubai landmarks and another that focuses on Old Dubai.

Party at a beach club.

Beach clubs in Dubai are worth the hype, with Twiggy by La Cantine and Nammos being two of our favorites. Rent a cabana or beach chair and spend the entire day (or just a few hours) soaking in the sun with a drink in hand, listening to vibey beats.

Shop in Dubai Gold Souk.

The streets may as well be paved with gold in Dubai's Gold Souk , a fascinating marketplace with nearly 400 vendors. You will see gold of all karats and styles, from simple to elaborate. Note that if you do plan to purchase something special, don’t be shy about negotiating for a better price, as that is custom here.

Shop in a Dubai mall.

Dubai has no shortage of malls, where you'll find just about every brand you can name. Visit Dubai Mall to see one of the largest malls in the world (it's also home to the Dubai Aquarium); the textile souk for traditional shopping; or the Dubai Design District (D3), which is home to pop-up fashion boutiques and rotating art installations.

Go skiing indoors.

If you can dream it, Dubai can execute it, and Ski Dubai is proof. Want to ski indoors then step outside into warm weather? This is the place. Maintaining freezing temperatures all year long, this ski resort provides guests with ski suits to keep them cozy. Lessons are available, and there's even a chair lift — and penguins — inside.

Order a tailor-made outfit.

If there’s one thing foreigners may not know about the Middle East, it’s that the tailors are amazing, and that most locals have everything from simple, everyday outfits to wedding gowns tailor-made for them. A trip to Dubai is therefore an opportunity to have your dream design brought to life. Visit the textile souk for fabric, get measured by a tailor, and voila, you’ll have a new outfit within days. Getting fit for traditional dishdasha (for men) or abaya (for women) is a nice way to bring a bit of Dubai home, too.

Ride the Dubai Metro.

The Dubai Metro is an extensive and well-maintained public transportation system that connects major locations in Dubai at an affordable price. Residents typically use these trains for their daily commute, so hop on a train to feel like a local.

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Family having fun in the pool - things to do in Dubai 2023

Best things to do in Dubai during summer 2023

  • Indoor Activities
  • Outdoor Activities

A host of fascinating leisure spots lure thousands of visitors to Dubai every year. There is much to do in the city, from shopping at the glittering malls to enjoying a refreshing dip in the gorgeous pools. Travellers planning to visit the emirate in the sweltering summers won’t be disappointed, as various summer activities in Dubai keep the fun quotient high. Here’s a list of the most exciting indoor and outdoor things to do in Dubai in summer.


You can indulge in a plethora of indoor activities in Dubai and have a blast with family, friends or flying solo. Here are some of the top indoor things to do in Dubai in summer!


One of the most fun things to do in Dubai in summer 2023 is to experience the Olympic-sized Ice Rink in Dubai Mall . It offers the best in-mall entertainment and is perfect for kids and adults. You can skate your heart out, grooving to the beats helmed by the DJ at the rink. 

Dubai Ice Rink also offers skating sessions and learning programmes that you can avail yourself. It is also a great spot to host events and organise birthday parties.

  • Prices : AED 110 onwards | DJ Night AED 125 onwards
  • Location : The Dubai Mall, Financial Center Road – Downtown Dubai 
  • Timings : Monday to Sunday, 10:00 am – 12:00 am
  • Contact : +971-800-382-246-255


Located in the Mall of the Emirates , Ski Dubai offers an experience like no other! You can enjoy the thrill of skiing on real snow amidst wintry conditions during the hot, scorching summer. 

Ski Dubai

Besides skiing, there are many other snow-based activities at Ski Dubai . You can have a snowball fight, watch penguins, ride a zip-line, catch a movie at the Snow Cinema or click selfies with the giant Zorb ball.

  • Prices : Ranges from AED 180 to AED 500 depending on the activities
  • Location: Sheikh Zayed Road – Al Barsha
  • Timings: Monday to Friday, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm | Saturday and Sunday, 09:00 am – 12:00 am
  • Contact : +971-800-386


Embark on an indoor skydiving adventure at iFly this summer! Nestled in City Centre Mirdif, iFly offers visitors a simulated gravity-defying VR skydiving tour. 

Once you’re fully geared up in a wind suit and protective goggles, you’re taken to a wind tunnel that moves the air up, making you soar around like you’re flying in the sky.

The experience is exhilarating and the facility takes good care of you to ensure you’re comfortable at all times. Inside the tunnel, you’re accompanied by an instructor who helps you during those pre-flight jitters.

  • Prices : From AED 149 (Beginners) | AED 1,750 (Experienced flyers)
  • Location : Third Floor, Play Nation Area, City Centre Mirdif, Ghoroob
  • Timings : 12:00 pm – 09:00 pm | Friday – Sunday: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
  • Contact :  +971-4-231-6292 | 600-599905


Want to enjoy underwater adventures this summer? Head on over to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo . This stunning aquarium in The Dubai Mall comprises a 10-million litre tank that contains over 33,000 aquatic animals, including the deceivingly-ferocious sand tiger sharks!

You can watch 140 species of sea creatures floating overhead as you stroll through the 48-metre-long underwater aquarium tunnel. The zoo section of the facility is also enjoyably interactive. You’ll encounter many animals, including the giant King Croc, relaxing in comfortable habitats.

  • Prices : From AED 169 per person
  • Location : The Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai 
  • Timings : 10:00 am – 11:00 pm | Saturday and Sunday: 10:00 am – 12:00 am
  • Contact : +971-800-38224-6255


This summer, get ready to meet and play with dolphins at the Dubai Dolphinarium! Offering the spectacular sight of dolphins and fur seals accomplishing awesome acrobatic feats, this hub of fun is hugely popular with visitors in Dubai.

Dubai Dolphinarium

At Dubai Dolphinarium , you can see marine creatures dancing, juggling and jumping through hoops all day. Along with sea mammals, you can even explore 20 different species of animals and birds from all over the world. The facility also hosts a Dolphin & Seal Show six days a week.

  • Prices : From AED 105 for adults (Dolphin & Seal Show) | AED 50 per child
  • Location : Riyadh Street, Inside the Creek Park Gate 1 – Dubai Dolphinarium Building
  • Timings: 10:00 am – 07:30 am | Friday: closed
  • Contact : +971-4-336-9773


Home to the only indoor roller glider in the city, Glitch in Al Ghurair Center is a massive entertainment park with many fun-filled activities. There are several adventure zones there that are made for kids, teens, and adults.

In addition to the action-packed activities, Glitch Duba i offers the GamePort Arcade, where you can play retro video games or test out their VR experiences that will whisk you away to a different realm.

  • Prices : Vary depending on the activities
  • Location : Level 2, Al Ghurair Centre, Deira
  • Timings: 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, Sunday to Thursday | Friday and Saturday, 10:00 am to 12:00 am


Another interesting thing to do in Dubai in summer is to explore the stunning Green Planet in Dubai. Situated in City Walk , this indoor rainforest in Dubai is the epitome of the UAE’s vision of sustainability.

The enchanting biodome is a beautiful tropical sanctuary with fascinating flora and fauna in Dubai. You can witness over 3,000 plants and animals at this facility. 

Spread over four levels, the Green Planet features running waterfalls as well as roaming creatures. You can encounter sloths, sugar gliders, reptiles and birds during your visit. 

  • Prices : From AED 120 per person (UAE Resident offer) | AED 89 (online)
  • Location : City Walk, Al Wasl 
  • Timings : 10:00 am – 06:00 pm
  • Contact : +971-800-7699


Escape the hot weather and test your detective skills at escape rooms in Dubai this summer. From amateur challenges to scary and thrilling adventures, there are all kinds of escape rooms in Dubai for you to explore with your friends and family.  

Among all the escape rooms, Brain Game, Phobia , Brainscape and Escape Hunt offer some of the most adrenaline-pumping games and activities. Crack the code, solve puzzles and deal with complex challenges using the clues available in many different-themed rooms 

  • Brain Game : Kanoo Group building, third floor (302), next to ADCB Metro Station, Karama
  • Phobia : Jumeirah Lake Towers
  • Brainscape : Burj Khalifa District – 203, Building 12
  • Escape Hunt : The Galleria Mall, Al Wasl Road, next to Post Office, Jumeirah 1


There are many indoor theme parks in Dubai that you can visit during the summer. While IMG Worlds of Adventure immerses you into the worlds of Marvel and the Cartoon Network, Dubai Parks and Resorts offers a barrel load of high-octane fun. Each park has a brilliantly eclectic mix of different rides and attractions. 

Parents who want to take their kids to indoor play areas in Dubai can consider KidZania and Mattel Play Town. KidZania offers kids an opportunity to experience practical life-based fun, whilst Mattel Play Town brings their favourite cartoon characters to life.

  • IMG Worlds of Adventure and Dubai Parks and Resorts : Sheikh Zayed Road
  • KidZania : Dubai Mall
  • Mattel Play Town : City Walk


Shopaholics can visit any of the popular malls in Dubai this summer. Whether it’s the mega Dubai Mall or Mall of the Emirates, all these shopping havens have high-end stores, as well as local shops for reasonably-priced accessories. Along with shopping, you can enjoy a meal at the malls’ food courts. Many popular café and restaurant chains have outlets at these malls.

  • Dubai Mall : Downtown Dubai
  • Dubai Hills Mall: Dubai Hills Estate
  • Mall of the Emirates : Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road Interchange 4
  • Dubai Festival City Mall : Dubai Festival City
  • Ibn Battuta Mall: Sheikh Zayed Road, Jebel Ali Village
  • City Centre Mirdif : Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Mirdif
  • City Centre Deira : 8th Street, Port Saeed
  • BurJuman Centre : Khalid Bin Al Waleed Road, Al Mankhool
  • Mercato Shopping Mall : Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1
  • Dubai Marina Mall : Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai Marina
  • Wafi Mall : Oud Metha Road


Summer is a good time to have an indoor movie experience. There are many cinemas in Dubai where you can check out the latest blockbuster with your family and friends. Popular cinema chains include Reel, Vox, Novo and Roxy Cinemas. They are spread across multiple locations in Dubai and have varying showtimes. You can look for showtimes and book tickets via their websites. 

  • Lamcy Cinema : Lamcy Plaza Shopping Mall
  • Cinemacity : Arabian Center in Al Mizhar
  • Reel Cinemas : Multiple, including Dubai Mall
  • Vox Cinemas : Mall of the Emirates, City Centre, Nakheel Mall, Mercato Mall
  • Novo Cinemas : Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart 2, Dubai Festival City Mall
  • Roxy Cinemas : The Beach, City Walk, La Mer, Boxpark


Whether you are vacationing in Dubai during the summers or are a longtime resident, it’s always interesting to explore the region’s rich history by visiting museums and cultural centres. 

Dubai Museum

Founded in 1782, the old Dubai Museum is one of the iconic museums in Dubai . Shindagha Museum is another popular destination in the city, offering a glimpse into the origins of modern Dubai and the customs and traditions of its inhabitants. 

Visitors who want to step aside from the traditional museums can also visit the Museum of Illusions in Dubai. With over 80 optical illusions, it tricks your mind into a jiffy!

  • Dubai Museum : Bur Dubai
  • Shindahga Museum: Al Shindagha area, Bur Dubai
  • Museum of Illusions : Al Seef

Additionally, you can consider some of the best indoor activities in Dubai in the summer of 2023:

  • Check out the 3D Blacklight Minigolf Dubai
  • Smash your stress away at Smash Room
  • Break a sweat at Dubai Sports World
  • Jump and Flip at Sky Zone , Bounce Trampoline Park and BOUNCE-X
  • Rock away your day at Wavehouse Dubai
  • Solve clues and riddles at TEPfactor
  • Have fun at Air Maniax
  • Learn go karting at Dubai Kartdrome, Ekart Zabeel
  • Go for an action-packed day at Dubai International Bowling Centre (Dubai Bowling Centre)


Despite the soaring temperatures, there is still plenty of outdoor fun in Dubai during summer. Here are some of the outdoor activities worth considering:


Zero Gravity is one of the hottest party destinations in Dubai. It’s a great place to relax and unwind during the summer. You can enjoy great food at their Killa Grilla or even book a private BBQ party for your friends and family.

Zero Gravity

If you need to cool off (and you probably will!), you can check out their infinity pool or dip in the ocean on their luxury private beach.

If you are in a more laid-back mood, you can always chill out at The Garden or The Lounges. There are frequently hosted events at Zero Gravity , try and plan your visit around their summer brunch or one of their popular club events.

  • Location : Skydive Dubai, Dubai Marina
  • Timings : 10:00 am – 09:00 pm |Mon: closed
  • Contact : +971-04-399-0009


Set alongside the azure waters of the Gulf, there’s no shortage of beaches in Dubai . The emirate’s sandy beaches are all well-developed and have a host of amenities and activities to enjoy. While the days are too hot for the beaches during summers, you can always enjoy the balmy evenings there before sundown.

Jumeirah beach Dubai

The public beaches offer free entry and an array of facilities. There are changing rooms, toilets, seating areas, running and cycling tracks, and a few (like Al Mamzar Beach) even have outdoor gyms. You can also visit Kite Beach in Dubai for watersports and other activities.

If you are into water adventure sports, visit North Beach, where you can experience kite surfing and paddle boarding. Sunset Beach in Jumeirah offers perfect waves to hang ten, while Kite Beach allows you to engage in competitive kiting.


There’s no shortage of amazing outdoor restaurants in Dubai . Whether you want to dine out on a budget or satisfy your taste buds with decadent gastronomical delights, Dubai has everything you might be looking for. You can find an excellent range of cuisines from all corners of the world. 

Indulge in exquisite Thai dining at Pai Thai, experience the best French cuisine at La Cantine Du Faubourg or feast on Italian goodness at the Il Borro. No matter your choice, you will find your palate delighted with exotic food and your senses suitably entertained by your glorious surroundings.

  • Fish Beach Taverna : Mina Seyahi Beach Resort
  • Folly By Nick & Scott : Souk Madinat Jumeirah
  • Key West : Nikki Beach Resort and Spa


Adrenaline junkies can head to any waterpark in Dubai for a day of fun and adventure. These parks are perfect for adults and children alike, boasting a choice of themed, pulsating slides and year-round sunshine. Away from the plethora of rip-roaring rides, you can dip in the calm pools, soak up the sun and enjoy quiet downtime at these waterparks.

Wild Wadi Waterpark, Aquaventure , Legoland and Laguna Waterpark are some of the hottest waterparks you can visit this summer. While Wild Wadi has a gentle wave pool, Aquaventure Waterpark is known for zip-lining and its shark safari!

  • Wild Wadi Waterpark : Opp. Burj Al Arab – Jumeirah St – Umm Suqeim
  • Aquaventure Waterpark : Atlantis The Palm


Dubai is a wonderful paradise for watersports enthusiasts. With tons of beaches and unique, thrilling activities at your disposal, there’s no limit to options for cooling off in the waves.

From jet skiing to flyboarding, wakeboarding to parasailing, Dubai has everything a thrill-seeker needs to spend their summers on the waves and get their adrenaline pumping.

If you want more laid-back activities on the water, you can go kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding or kick back on a doughnut ride. There are plenty of options if you’re up for watersports in Dubai .


Dubai is a tourist hotspot that offers an array of leisure options. From adrenaline-fuelled adventures to experiencing wildlife, there are many things to do in Dubai. Those looking for fun on a budget can also find some great free things to do in Dubai . Souks, malls, heritage sites and museums are some places to visit in Dubai in summer for free.


You can find many family-friendly places in Dubai. There are numerous parks, beaches, shopping malls, outdoor amusement parks and museums in the city. 

That brings an end to our guide on the things to do in Dubai in summer. Interestingly, many of these activities occur at the city’s top cultural, historical and leisure spots. People flock from all over the world to see and experience these tourist attractions in Dubai .

Apart from Dubai, numerous tourist destinations in the UAE are spread across all seven emirates that you can explore with the family. From beaches to theme parks, the options are never-ending.

What do you like to do during summer in Dubai? Did we miss your favourite activity? Let us know in the comments section below. We’d love to hear from you!

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Nine outdoor places to visit in the UAE before temperatures soar

Although some attractions will close for the summer, others will remain open despite the heat.

Dubai Miracle Garden will close for the summer to prepare for its next season. Antonie Robertson / The National

Dubai Miracle Garden will close for the summer to prepare for its next season. Antonie Robertson / The National

Evelyn Lau author image

Although it is starting to warm up, evenings in the UAE still remain cool and enjoyable. This means there are still a number of outdoor attractions that are worth a visit before it gets too hot.

While some attractions such as Global Village and Dubai Miracle Garden will close for the summer in preparation of its next season, others outdoor areas such as Abu Dhabi's Jubail Mangrove Park and Hudayriyat Island are open year round. However, they are best enjoyed during cooler months.

So, for those who are looking to enjoy what's left of the al fresco season, here’s where to go.

Global Village

Global Village reopened for its 27th season on October 25, 2022. All photos: Chris Whiteoak / The National

Global Village reopened for its 27th season on October 25, 2022. All photos: Chris Whiteoak / The National

Global Village’s 27th season will close on April 30. When the venue opened in October, it celebrate several new attractions, including a 660-square-metre House of Fear, Big Balloon observation experience, Diggers Lab for children to play and learn at a themed building site and Heroes Gallery, a movie memorabilia exhibition. An eco-friendly ice rink also made its debut.

Other new activities include Road of Asia, a street with 43 kiosks that offer food and products from countries not represented in the pavilions, such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, Malaysia, Brunei, Laos, Vietnam, Nepal, Bhutan and the Philippines.

A total of 27 country pavilions were set up this season, with new participants including Qatar and Oman. Visitors can also enjoy more than 170 rides and games in its carnival section.

Sunday to Wednesday, 4pm-midnight, Thursday to Saturday, 4pm-1am; from Dh15, children under three and senior citizens over 65 go free; Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Road and Emirates Road, Exit 37, E311; 04 362 4114, www.globalvillage.ae

Dubai Miracle Garden

outdoor places to visit in dubai

Dubai Miracle Garden has officially reopened to the public for the winter season. All photos: Antonie Robertson / The National

Although its closing date hasn’t been announced yet, the outdoor attraction closes for the summer in preparation for its next season. According to the Dubai Miracle Garden website, there are more than 150 million flowers on display in the 72,000-square-metre grounds.

One of the most popular attractions is the Emirates A380 aircraft made from flowers, as well as an Instagram-friendly floating lady, Smurfs village, a floral clock and a sunflower field. The picturesque displays aren't limited to the horticultural, with an umbrella tunnel and lake providing colourful backdrops.

Around the park, you'll also find giant horse busts, a cartoon-like elephant, heart-shaped arches and a fairy tale-style castle.

Open 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday, 9am-11pm, Saturday and Sunday; tickets Dh75 for over 12s, Dh60 for children aged three to 12; www.dubaimiraclegarden.com

Hatta Wadi Hub

Sedr Trailers Resort offers exclusivity and epic waterside views. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Sedr Trailers Resort offers exclusivity and epic waterside views. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The activity centre will close on May 5. It opened its fifth season in September with a new adventure ropes course for children and adults. With its rugged Hajar mountains backdrop, Hatta Wadi Hub offers plenty of adventure and activities, from downhill carting, zorbing, a human slingshot and axe throwing, to archery, free-fall jumps, wall climbing and trampolining.

Daily, 9am to 7pm; more information is at visithatta.com

Dubai Safari Park

Dubai Safari Park will reopen to the public on September 27. All photos: Dubai Safari Park

Dubai Safari Park will reopen to the public on September 27. All photos: Dubai Safari Park

The park will close for the summer on May 31. It reopened in September with new entertainment and educational experiences, as well as a number of new animals.

With more than half a million visitors last season, Dubai Safari Park spans 119 hectares and provides climate-suitable habitats for thousands of creatures. Expect to see animals such as an Ankole-Watusi cow, Eland antelope, Arabian oryx, Nile crocodile and water buffalo.

Visitors can also explore themed areas such as the African or Asian villages, the Arabian Desert Safari, Explorer Village and Valley. There are also a variety of entertainment shows taking place throughout the day, plus restaurants and cafes dotted about.

Open daily from 9am to 5pm. More information is available at www.dubaisafari.ae

Dubai Garden Glow

Dubai Garden Glow will also close for the summer, although the date has not yet been announced. It reopened for its eight season on September 12 with a host of new exhibits.

The Zabeel Park attraction features hundreds of colourful lanterns that move and sparkle, created using more than 10 million energy-saving light bulbs. It's newest addition, the Glowing Safari, features dozens of lanterns shaped like animals and flowers, while one of the attraction's popular areas, the Dinosaur Park, features more than 100 animatronic dinosaurs.

Sunday to Friday, 4pm-10pm, Saturday 4pm-11pm; Dh65; Zabeel Park, Dubai; 055 918 8126, dubaigardenglow.com

In Abu Dhabi

Jubail mangrove park.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 30 JANUARY 2020. The newly launched Mangrove Walk at Al Jubail Islandi. (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: Janice Rodrigues. Section: National.

Jubail Mangrove Park opened on January 30, 2020. Photo: Antonie Robertson / The National

Although Jubail Mangrove Park in Abu Dhabi stays open year-round, it is best enjoyed while temperatures remain on the cooler side as there is very little shade while walking around its boardwalk, which has three different routes. The longest one stretches two kilometres, the mid-range one is 1.6km and the shortest is 1km. The longest route can take anywhere between 30 to 90 minutes depending on pace.

Throughout the park, visitors can get up close and personal with wildlife such as birds ― herons and flamingos are some of the species found here — fish and crustaceans. There are also education nodes along the way. These include the floating platform (which allows guests a closer glimpse of marine life); power of the sea (a viewing space); roots of the mangrove (a dedicated area to see the roots of the trees); viewing tower (offering higher vantage points); salt collector (“water collectors” at different levels to highlight the changing tides) and beach tower (a low-level platform that gives visitors a chance to get their feet wet).

Open daily from 7am to 10pm; last entry is 9pm; more information at park.jubailisland.ae

The waterfront lifestyle destination stays open year-round, but is good to enjoy during the cooler season as it has mostly offers outdoor seating. There are food trucks for visitors to explore, as well as a children's play area and street art murals. In keeping with the port setting, the retail units are housed in recycled shipping containers, which have been given a colourful update with street art and graffiti.

More information at www.instagram.com/marsamina.uae

Hudayriyat Island

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, November 8, 2020.   The new Hudayriyat Leisure and Entertainment District at Hudayriyat Island.  A boy takes some photos of the many wildlife art works at the Marsana area.
Victor Besa/The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  Haneen Dajani

A boy takes some photos of the many wildlife art works in the Marsana area of Hudayriyat Island. Victor Besa / The National

Hudayriyat Island also stays open throughout the summer, but because there are so many things connected to outdoor activities, it's best to visit now before it gets too hot. The 3,000-hectare island is a community with a focus on fitness and nature . Cycling and jogging tracks, a sprawling obstacle course, courts and other activity areas such as a skate and BMX park can be found on the island.

The island is connected to Abu Dhabi via a suspension bridge that is an extension of Sheikh Shakhbout Bin Sultan Street. Aside from the main road, the island can also be accessed through cycling lanes.

More information available at hudayriyatisland.ae

Sharjah Safari

The Sharjah Safari will be closed from June 1 until August 31. The sprawling wildlife attraction covers an area of eight square kilometres and is located in Al Bridi Nature Reserve in the city of Al Dhaid in Sharjah.

The safari claims to be the largest outside Africa. It is home to more than 1,000 animals and birds and 120 species, including 70 species and rare animals native to Africa, the rarest of which is the black rhinoceros. More than 1,000 native and African trees, including the umbrella-shaped acacia tortilis, have been planted across the site.

It's separated into 12 themed environments, each representing a region in Africa, and the life and terrain of the animals and birds that live in them.

Open daily, 8.30am to 6.30pm; from Dh120; Al Bridi Nature Reserve, Al Dhaid, Sharjah; sharjahsafari.ae

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