Dubai Experience – What to See and Where to Go in Dubai on Your First Visit

Dubai has always been associated with luxury, grandeur and magnificent architecture. Each one of us wants to experience Dubai at least once in our lifetime. Even after researching online and preparing well in advance for the trip, as a first-time visitor are you still confused as to where to go in Dubai? Well, don’t worry! Just read on to know what to see in Dubai on your first trip.

Best Time To Visit Dubai

There are limitless places to visit in Dubai. But Dubai has a warm climate for most months in a year. Everything is air-conditioned – hotels, indoor attractions, and malls. However, there are a lot of outdoor experiences and adventures in Dubai that you can enjoy only when the weather is pleasant.

The best period to travel is between November and April. The weather is pleasant, and all the tourist attractions are open this time of the year. This is the time when the tourist season is at its peak and the hotels and airfares are really high. January and February are the months when the world-famous Dubai Shopping Festival happens. And most of the people take advantage of this season for travel.

If you want to avoid the peak season and also want to travel on a budget, you can look at the months of May, September, and October for travel. This is also the time when many hotels offer a lot of bargains on their rates.

It is better to avoid the months of July and August as it is extremely hot in Dubai and you won’t be able to enjoy the outdoor activities.

Also, Dubai almost goes on a shutdown mode for 30 days, during the holy month of Ramadan. Most of the restaurants, shops, and cafes are closed during the day to facilitate Ramadan fasting timings. You cannot eat, smoke and drink in public as a means of respect to the people who fast. So, it is better to avoid travel during that time as well.

Where To Go In Dubai:

Dubai is celebrated for its megastructures, skyscrapers, malls, and shopping. As first timers, there is no way that you should miss visiting these places. But apart from these, there are a lot of other activities and adventures too that you can experience. The following are some of the best activities and places you should not miss on your first visit.

1. Burj Khalifa:

No trip to Dubai can be complete without a visit to see the world-renowned building – Burj Khalifa. At a height of 2772 meters, and more than 160 levels, it is the tallest building in the world. Experience one of the fastest elevators in the world that will take you to the 124th floor to enjoy a birds-eye view of this fantastic city. You can also use the telescopes to spot the prominent landmarks. There is a guided tour on the 148th level of the building but it is slightly pricy. The Burj Khalifa is open throughout the year from 8:30 am to 11 pm. There are slots for prime and non-prime hours based on which the ticket prices may differ.

Burj Khalifa Things to do in Dubai

2.Palm Jumeirah:

A visit to the world’s first man-made island is a must on every tourist’s agenda. Home to the marvelous Atlantis, The Palm Hotel, the tree-shaped island is almost a wonder in itself. Dotted with posh restaurants, elegant apartment towers, spas and nightclubs, this place is definitely worth visiting to discover the luxurious life that Dubai is known for. It is open 24 hours for tourists, but the best way to see it will be from the Dubai ferry or through the monorail.

Palm jumeirah Dubai

3.Burj Al Arab: 

This stunning structure is touted to be the world’s only 7-star hotel. It is the home to the royals and overlooks the Persian Gulf between the Palm Islands and Jumeirah Beach. The glass façade of the building looks like the sail of a boat and it is definitely luxury redefined. Make a reservation for lunch or tea at one of the restaurants in the hotel to enjoy its interiors.

Burj al arab things to do in dubai

4.Ski Dubai:

This breathtaking indoor ski park is built right in the middle of this desert city. Located inside the famous Dubai Mall of the Emirates, it has an 85-meter high mountain with 5 slopes to ski and other activities such as snowboarding and tobogganing. There are giant snowballs, ice cave and even penguins from Antarctica, this place is full of fun activities and a delight for the whole family, especially the children. It is open throughout the year. The timings are Sunday-Thursday 10 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday 9 am to midnight. The basic package costs 190 dirhams for adults and 170 dirhams for children. Based on what you want to do; the prices will differ.

Ski in Dubai

5.Desert Safari:

Dubai is full of golden sand dunes. And what better way than to spend a day full of adventure and fun in the desert. Enjoy some dune bashing, quad biking, sand boarding, and camel riding. There are also night camps and nocturnal safaris, but they come at an additional price. And give in to your wild side and enjoy some Arabian culture that includes belly dancing, henna tattooing, and Tanura dancing. The prices depend on the type of activities you choose. There are different tour packages for day and night.

Desert Safari Dubai

6.Dubai Creek:

This iconic saltwater creek is associated with Dubai’s trade for ages. It flows through the center of the city, dividing the city into two. The creek is bordered by Bur Dubai Village and Deira Village, both famous for their spice, gold and textile souks. Enjoy a ride on the traditional boats, called Abra and soak in the traditional culture of Dubai. Don’t forget to visit the shops on both sides of the creek to buy some famous Arabian goods. The creek is open 24 hours. The water taxis are open from 5 am to midnight but some even operate for 24 hours. The fare for the traditional Abra ride is just 1 dirham.

Dubai creek

7.Wild Wadi Water Park: 

Located in front of the magnificent Burj Al Arab, this is touted to be one of the largest water parks in the world. It offers more than thirty rides and attractions for your entire family. It is themed around the tale of Juha, a popular character from the Arabian folklore. The opening hours are from 10 am to 6 pm but subject to change without prior notice. Hence, it is better to check the timings before you visit this park. There is complimentary access for children under 2 years of age. The entrance fee for this waterpark is based on height.

Wild Wadi Water Park Dubai is a highly recommended waterpark in Dubai. However, there are others such as Laguna Waterpark, Aqua Fun Waterpark, Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark, Legoland waterpark, etc. you can choose to visit any waterpark based on your liking.

Wild wadi water park

8.IMG Worlds of Adventure:

This is the world’s largest indoor amusement park and a must-visit when you go to Dubai. Experience the characters from Cartoon Network and Marvel Comics come to life through various rides here. At Marvel Zone, you can enjoy entertaining rides based on your favorite superheroes – Superman, Spiderman, Avengers, and the likes. At the Lost Valley Zone, you can enjoy a gigantic dinosaur adventure, along with Flintstone and family. The Cartoon Network Zone take you to the world of your favorite characters. There are a number of shops and restaurants to keep the adults engaged too. The timings are from 11 am to 10 pm and the rates are based on height.

This is one of the best theme parks in Dubai. There are others such as Bollywood Park, Ferrari World, Dubai Global Village, etc. If you have more time, a visit to these places is definitely recommended.

Img worlds of adventure Mark My Adventure

Tips for Travelers:

  • 1. Process your visa at least one month in advance to avoid last-minute delays

  • 2. Book your flights and hotels well in advance to get the best deals

  • 3. Carry your passport, travel insurance, and all other important documents

  • 4. Commute by Metro as it is the fastest and cheapest way to travel through the city as compared to taxis and buses

  • 5. Carry your international debit cards and credit cards

  • 6. Exchange your local currencies at the airport or malls for a good exchange rate

  • 7. Take a ferry ride across the Dubai Marina for an exotic sightseeing experience

  • 8. Book Air bnbs or service apartments if you want some cheaper alternatives to hotels

  • 9. Pre-book a trip to Burj Khalifa online for a much better price

  • 10. Compare prices of gold and other commodities in a few shops and then buy

  • 11. Dress modestly
  • 12. Don’t drink in public as it is prohibited

Conclusion: Dubai is filled with innumerable adventures and activities. You will require at least a minimum of 3-4 days to visit the above places. But if you have the time, plan a longer vacation so that you can explore the other incredible adventures and places this delightful city has to offer.

Handy Resources:

Below are the few resources you should check before making an itinerary.

Cheap Internation Flights: Best place to find cheap international flight tickets.

Best Deals On Hotels: Places to find best deals on hotels.

Amazon: Best place for all your needs. Also, find best travel accessories.

Agoda: Best place to book hotels of your liking. Agoda provides the best solution & great offer while booking a hotel.

Skyscanner: Skyscanner compares various sites & sort the flights based on the rates. A great way to check flight cost. Although the only drawback is that rates are flexible. Hence, the cost might change while you are making the payment.

Jetradar: Jetradar is a comparing site which is just like Skyscanner. But, is much more accurate & much more handy in use.

Booking: Best place to book hostel rooms. There are plenty of options available & with so many properties booking becomes much easier.

Couchsurfing: Best place to find free accommodation. It is as easy as filtering people & messaging. If you will get lucky you will find free accommodation in local resident house.

Club Mahindra: One of the best resort chains in India.

Travel Insurance: There are numerous options available to get one. So, you can choose anything which suits your requirement. Make sure you read the terms & conditions before buying one.