Top Things to do in Dubai apart from Burj Khalifa & Shopping – Dubai Travel Guide

By Rutuja Bhagwat - February 05, 2019

When you hear of Dubai, the first thing that hits your mind is the tallest building in the world; yep, the Burj Khalifa. But, do you know, Dubai has a variety of things to do apart from visiting the Dubai Mall and looking below at the wonderful view from 'At The Top Burj Khalifa'?

Having visited UAE twice, once as a hardcore tourist and the second time as a traveller, as a local, I have to talk a lot about what one can do here. In this post, I would cover offbeat as well as touristy things to do in Dubai, a few of these places will lure you with their pictures!

Here's a list of top things to do in Dubai with price...


Burj khalifa with fish eye angle

DUBAI MALL & BURJ KHALIFA

To all those still wondering how to reach, how to book tickets and a plethora of questions related to this marvel, let me clear it out for you. Burj Khalifa has about a couple of floors open for the public, of course, after purchasing a ticket. The entrance to these floors is via the Dubai Mall. When planning for Burj Khalifa, firstly you have to purchase tickets from their official website. And then on the day of the visit, drive down till Dubai Mall, follow the directions to 'At The Top'. And once you're there, simply ask the concerned person and get in the line. You get a lot of time up top (you can even say, it's unlimited!). You can either book tickets for 124th and 125th floors or add up the 145th floor for some more money. 
Dubai Mall, on the other hand, is one of the largest malls in the world and the number of shops and the carpet area it has will blow your mind. One can enjoy the fountain show, the Aquarium, the Ice Rink, and a couple of more activities here. Just one tip: don't let go of your family's hands here...the mall is too huge to find one another! 
Ticket for At The Top Burj Khalifa (124th,125th floors): AED 146

desert safari in Dubai, camel ride, falcon

DESERT SAFARI

Desert safari is yet another unmissable activity and definitely one of the things to do in Dubai with kids and your family. Depending on the type of package you purchase, you get to go on a desert safari for about 10-20 minutes, ride on a camel, watch belly dancing, fire show, and a few more performances, have meals and refreshments with people across the world, watch peacocks dance (spotted in the summers usually), take photographs with falcon bird as it sits on your arms, buy traditional Arabian scarves and crafts. Desert safari is a one-time experience that you cannot miss. The package begins from the pickup, which happens around 2:30 pm and ends with the drop at your location, which stretches till 8:30-9:00 pm. 
Cost: AED 130

Burj al arab seen from madinat jumeirah souk

MADINAT JUMEIRAH SOUK + (VIEWING THE BURJ AL ARAB)

Burj Al Arab is another iconic building apart from Burj Khalifa and tourists want to get clicked with it. There are two possible places from where you can view the Burj Al Arab; one of it being from the souk. Madinat Jumeirah is a market at the Jumeriah road with cafes, restaurants, hotel, and of course, with shops selling local artwork and crafts. There's no entry ticket so you can simply enjoy an early evening here.


things to do in Dubai

JUMEIRAH BEACH – 15, 16, 17, AND THE PUBLIC BEACH

Jumeirah beach is spread across a vast portion of the coast and it's only through sheer luck or native knowledge can you find the right piece of shore. The public beach (that offers a view of the Burj Al Arab) is good only if you wish to take a photo near this building as you can only surf and NOT swim here. If you're looking for some swimming, then catch a bus to Majlis Al Ghoreifa 1 bus stop. With the help of Google Maps, walk till Jumeirah beach and you're most likely to reach either the no. 15 or the no. 16 beach. You will find only a couple of people and that's about it. Swimming is allowed; there's even a lifeguard watching over you. If you want lunch post swim then the beach no. 17 is a better option as there's a shack on it and a Pizza Hut, KFC nearby (at a walkable distance).

merry go round in global village, india in global village

GLOBAL VILLAGE

Global Village is a seasonal thing to do in Dubai. It is usually functional from October to April so book your Dubai tickets accordingly. The place opens at 4:00 pm and goes on till 1 in the night. (Just check for holidays and other details on their website!) Global Village is a multicultural festival park with podiums of different countries displaying the cultural innuendos and selling handmade crafts and garments from that particular country. You come across podiums belonging to India, Pakistan, America, Syria, Africa, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Japan, China, etc. to name a few. Along with these podiums, there's a huge carnaval (for extra charges) where there are crazy rides, various games (skill as well as arcade games), circus, and a whole lot of amusement for you! This is hands down one of the best things to do in Dubai with kids as they will love this carnaval!
Tip: It is advisable to cover your knees and shoulders, however, when I visited the Global Village, I noticed they were letting everyone enter–– irrespective of their clothes. Nevertheless, to avoid any disappointments, please dress modestly. 
Entry ticket: AED 15

things to do in la mer Dubai

LA MER BEACHFRONT

If you're looking for the best place to click photographs, swim in the blue beach, shop, dine, then nothing like La Mer. If you happen to have time in hand, you must visit this beachfront to simply relax. Start in the morning, swim at the beach, dine at the fancy cafes and restaurants, and shop for some souvenirs, click a LOT of photographs against beautiful graffiti art, blue skies, and palm trees! La Mer is one of my favourite spots in Dubai as it is well connected with the bus route too. Get down at Central Plaza and walk for La Mer using Google Maps. 
Tip: Wear swimming costumes or sports material clothing to avoid any hassle to swim. Changing rooms are most likely chargeable, however, please enquire on reaching. Another tip would be carrying mats or shawls to lay on the beach!

things to do in al mamzar beach park Dubai

AL MAMZAR BEACH PARK

Another beautiful beach area is the Al Mamzar. There's a minimum entry fee, however, the changing room is free of cost. What's better is that it's not very crowded and the water is blue, almost wave-free! The beach is spread across a vast stretch of land so there's ample space to swim. The dress code is not that strict here so you can try wearing your regular cotton tee. The beach park even has dedicated barbeque spaces and it can't get better! If you have a large group of friends, you can grill your meat after a nice swim. The place is definitely recommended!
Entry ticket: AED 5

al fahidi street interior pictures

AL FAHIDI HISTORICAL DISTRICT

Al Fahidi, earlier known as Al Bastakiya, is a street near Bur Dubai with a network of walkable lanes. The place reflects the mid-19th-century traditional lifestyle with sand-coloured buildings (there about 50 such buildings in the area). You come across museums, craft shops, exhibitions, boutique cafes, art galleries, and even hotels. One can simply take a stroll here and visit museums and galleries and enjoy small meals at the cafes.

al seef Dubai light panel board

AL SEEF CREEK AREA

Al Seef is another historically important area that has sand-coloured heritage buildings located on Dubai's creek. You can explore the lanes, click photographs, shop, dine, relax, and even stay here. One can taste food from various cuisines, so whether it is American or Emirati. You can either visit the place during the day time or by the night as the mellow lights offer a romantic and tranquil aura. 

interior shot of ibn battuta mall dome

MALLS IN DUBAI – IBN BATTUTA, EMIRATES, DRAGON MART

Dubai is known for its malls and shopping and you must definitely visit it during the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) as it is one of the best things to do in Dubai in December month. Just like the Dubai Mall, even the Ibn Battuta Mall is a beautiful place to visit because of its various podiums. The mall is dedicated to Ibn Battuta––a Moroccan scholar and explorer––with podiums/zones of every country he has ever visited. Some of the zones you come across are China Court, India Court, Persia Court, Egypt Court, Tunisia Court, and the Andalusia Court. The Mall of the Emirates, on the other hand, has another famous activity to offer: Ski Dubai. Yes, here you get to play with snow in their Snow Park, zip line, snowboard, ski, watch penguins up close, and a couple of more activities.
Dragonmart Mall is a large shopping area located in the International City area of Dubai and not many tourists are aware of this one. It's a Chinese mall selling beauty products, electronics, clothing, perfumes, etc. imported from China. You can bargain here, which is indeed an experience. 

A bit away from Dubai...

sheikh Zayed Mohammad mosque in abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI TOUR

People who come to Dubai usually have a one-day trip planned to the capital city. The best way to travel to the interiors of Abu Dhabi is through tour agents, especially if you only have a day in your itinerary and a tight budget. Reaching Abu Dhabi from Dubai takes about an hour and a half and though there are buses that take you there, travelling inside Abu Dhabi can be a little tedious and pricey. There are city buses and private taxis that take you around. (Check hop-on-hop-off bus tours.) However, the most convenient way would be to book an Abu Dhabi tour starting from Dubai itself. There are several spots that they take you to, where a few are mere photo stops, a few actual stops, and a few noteworthy places that lie on your way. The actual stops include Sheikh Zayed Mohammad Grand Mosque (yes ladies, covering your head, arms, and legs is compulsory), Heritage Village, Hamadan Gallery, dates and chocolate market, and Marina Mall; the photo stops include Emirates Palace, Etihad Towers, Ferrari World, and corniche beach. In conclusion, a one-day Abu Dhabi tour is sufficient to get a taste of the city. 
Abu Dhabi tour cost from Dubai: AED 100 approx

musandam Dibba tour package

MUSANDAM TOUR – ENJOY A DIP IN OMAN'S PENINSULA

Guess what? When you visit the UAE, you can also visit Oman's Musandam Dibba and Khasab...though it does NOT come along with the UAE visa complementary. There are tours from Dubai that take you to the Gulf of Oman by crossing the UAE border! The tour agents apply for your one-day visa and by sailing on a dhow cruise you reach a virgin piece of a peninsula called the Dibba. This is truly a must-take tour as you sail on the traditional dhow cruise, go on a crazy banana boat ride, snorkel your life to find pearls, marvel at the limestone caves, try your hands at fishing, and finally swim in the blue-green waters of the Arabian Sea. The tour package includes pickup and drop, refreshments, meals, one-day Oman visa, and the above-mentioned activities. 
Tip: For those holding a UAE Resident Visa, you need to apply for Oman visa 48 hours prior
Musandam Dibba tour cost from Dubai: AED 200

A FEW MORE...(THE ACTIVITIES/PLACES I CHOSE TO SKIP)

Skydive
Zipline
Dubai Marina 
Miracle Garden
Gold Souk (already visited on my 2012 trip)
Palm Islands & Hotel Atlantis (already visited on my 2012 trip)
Wild Wadi & Aquaventure waterparks
Aquarium at the Dubai Mall
Dolphinarium
The World Islands
Bollywood Parks
Motiongate theme park
Dubai Heritage Village
Dubai Frame...though saw it several times on my way
Bluewaters Island (might visit it on the coming weekend)
Khorfakkan Corniche, Sharjah (might visit it on the coming weekend)

TOUR AGENT –
BAISAN TRAVELS
Mob: +971 55 1669074, +971 55 3679000, Tel  +971 4 3546000

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