What are the best things to do in Dubai?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Paul Brady

There’s plenty to do in modern Dubai, from shopping sprawling megamalls and dining in world-class restaurants to working up a sweat in a number of outdoor activities, despite the sometimes extreme desert heat. Put our Forbes Travel Guide editors’ picks for the five best things to do and see in Dubai at the top of your itinerary:
1. Sheikh Zayed Road. The sci-fi skyline of Sheikh Zayed Road is a spectacular sight akin to the Las Vegas Strip, and visiting the half-a-mile-high Burj Khalifa skyscraper – the tallest manmade structure in the world – offers fantastic views from the 124th floor observation deck.
2. Air-conditioned shopping. Shopping malls in Dubai are sometimes ridiculed as vapid, but in reality they serve as de facto (and air-conditioned) town plazas, offering fantastic people-watching as well as distractions like in-mall ice rinks, aquariums, movie theaters and surprisingly good food courts.
3. Ski Dubai. The now-famous indoor ski slope at the Mall of the Emirates is worth seeing for novelty alone, even if you don’t rent a snow suit and hit the bunny hill. There are five different runs here of varying difficulty, and a tobaggan run perfect for kids who aren’t yet ready to strap on some skis.
4. Old Dubai. The old part of Dubai, found in the lively neighborhoods of Al-Ras and Deira, offers a fascinating peek into the way things were in the emirate less than 100 years ago, before globalization irrevocably transformed the city into the international business and tourism hub it is today.
5. Dubai Museum. Located in Deira, not far from the popular abras (water buses) that ferry tourists and locals across the Creek that divides the city, Dubai Museum is another highly recommended destination for learning more about the history and culture of the UAE.

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