14 Not-to-be-Missed Experiences in Dubai


Dubai Diaries   Entertainment  


Dubai is known as the “City of Gold” and once you arrive you’ll quickly find out why. In such a beautiful and exciting there’s no shortage of things to do while you’re there. Read this list for some of the best things Dubai has to offer, from the thrilling to the chill to the downright delicious. There’s no doubt in my mind that you’re going to have a mind blowing experience no matter which one you choose to do first!



1. OceanAir Travels


Ocen Air Travels
Picture Credits: OceanAir Travels


From what we’ve all seen in the movies, we know the desert is an incredibly beautiful (and vast) place. We also know that it’s very wise to always bring a guide with them. OceanAir Travels is the one of the top tours offered in Dubai and they offer city tours as well as some extra amazing desert safaris. If you want a truly unique experience they even offer a day at the Al Khayma camp. At the camp there’s a camel ride, a traditional meal and performances, and then ending the day stargazing in the complete darkness of the desert. It’s really the best way to live the magic that you felt reading Arabian Nights for the first time! If you prefer to stay in the city however there’s of course plenty to do there as well. Ocean Air is the most rated tour operator in TripAdvisor and are really the cream of the crop when it comes to seeing this magical city.



2. Global Village


Global Village
Picture Credits: Global Village


Have you ever been to Epcot? Did you love the World Showcase? Well, then I can guarantee you’ll love the Global Village! It’s a collection of several pavilions, each representing a distinct world culture with its own food, music, dress, and even language! The 2019-2020 season begins on October 29th and runs until April 4th so start planning your trip now. Each pavilion is really well done with great attention to detail and is well worth a visit! What’s also interesting is to see the interpretation of each showcased culture through the lens of Dubai and the richness of its own “home” culture! And let’s not forget the mountains of amazing and fresh food they offer across the park as well! Get ready to eat your way around the world when you visit. The tickets for entry are super affordable and make for an incredible afternoon. You’ll have no trouble spending 4.5 (or more) hours here exploring every nook and cranny of this enormous place!



3. Popeye Jetski


Popeye Jetski
Picture Credits: Popeye Jetski


Because of Dubai’s amazing location, it’s the perfect place to explore both the desert and the water in the same place! Popeye Jetski is the best way to try something you’ve always wanted to, like a flyboard, jetpack, or jetski. If you haven’t seen a water jetpack or flyboard in action yet, trust me when I say you need to! Even getting behind the “wheel” of a jetski surrounded by the incredible views of Dubai makes for an unforgettable experience you won’t forget. Their instructors are highly trained and will teach you the ropes before taking to the water (or air). No previous experience is required in case you haven’t been lucky enough to try one before so it’s perfect for all levels. Depending on the size of your group and what you’re planning to do, they’ll even pick you up from your hotel for free!



4. Splash Tours


Splash Tours
Picture Credits: Splash Tours


If you’re looking for another must do in Dubai, Splash Tours is a great way to see the city from a different perspective – from a boat tour! They give a few excellent sightseeing tours and have even been awarded the certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor. The have several different types of speedboat tours available and have all of the routes and details posted on their website as well. The guides are well trained and know a ton of information about not only the city but also what to do in Dubai in general! And don’t worry, they’ll make stops along the way to get those perfect photos (without the wind blowing your hair everywhere). One tip I have is to book your tickets ahead of time as they do tend to sell out before the boat leaves. You don’t want to be left on the shore and miss out on this fast-paced tour of this gorgeous city!



5. Dubai Roadsters


Dubai Roadsters
Picture Credits: Dubai Roadsters


Dubai Roadsters is another great way to see the city that may be a bit unexpected. They offer group cycling rides suitable for all levels, from professional to hobbyist as well as friendly and welcoming chat as you ride. It’s a great way to meet locals and see the city while getting some good exercise too, a real win-win! They’ve been meeting up to ride through the city streets for almost 20 years now and are one of the foremost experts of cycling while in Dubai. Even better, the rides themselves are free and you know you can’t turn down a free (and fun) tour of the city while you’re there! Just be sure to bring your bike and any equipment you’d need for a safe and comfortable ride. Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen if you’re out for a ride in the strong desert sun!



6. Gurunanak Darbar, Dubai


GuruNanak Darbar
Picture Credits: Gurunanak Darbar, Dubai


Gurunanak Darbar is a beautiful Sikh temple that is also one of the top places to see in Dubai. They’ve welcomed over 7 million visitors in the last 7 years! Along with the stunning architecture and friendly and welcoming people, this place is always known for something else – breaking world records. It started in 2017 when they set out to host a breakfast attended by the most nationalities in the world. With a representative from the Guinness Book of World Records in attendance, they managed to accomplish their goal and set the record with 101 nationalities (and 600 people) attending. They set another world record next year in 2018 when they distributed 2,083 tree saplings to local students. In an effort to promote sustainability and green living, this was a huge step forward! And who knows, depending on when you visit you may even have the chance to help break a world record in years to come!



7. Children’s City Dubai


Children'sCity Dubai
Picture Credits: Children’s City Dubai


One of the best places for a hands on experience for your little ones, Children’s City has a ton of space dedicated to learning. And better yet, it’s designed for learning without your kids realizing that they’re actually learning! Together with the planetarium they offer exhibits on international cultures, the human body, nature, space exploration, and even a toddler’s area for the little ones. They also have a full events calendar on their website so you can check ahead of time if there are any special events or exhibits going up during your trip too. For example coming up in November is the “Future Space Pioneers Festival” which sounds like something I would have killed to see as a kid myself! Especially if it’s a particularly hot or rainy day, you can keep those kiddos occupied for a couple of hours. They even learn a thing or two while they’re there!



8. Tao Spa Dubai


Tao Spa
Picture Credits: Tao Spa Dubai


We all know that life is stressful and sometimes it can feel like it’s throwing its worst at you. These are the kinds of times where it’s important to really treat yourself and get on your self-care routine hard. While you’re in Dubai you should really check out Tao Spa if you’re looking to take that self-care up a notch or two! The experience is an authentic oriental spa that’s built on the foundations of Taoism. The staff are great additions to the positive vibes at the spa and really do everything they can to promote your relaxation and well-being too! The treatments available are both based on traditional medicine yet modernized using ingredients of the highest quality – because you’re worth it! The facilities themselves are sleek and modern and are designed to promote relaxation and positive vibes as well, the only thing missing is you!



9. Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club


Picture Credits: Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club


Regardless if you’re a seasoned pro or a complete (yet curious) beginner, the sport of polo is something to behold. If you’re game to try it out you need to check out the Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club! They have absolutely everything you’d need, including international sized polo fields to highly trained polo ponies and everything in between. This club is a travel destination for polo enthusiasts around the world because of its beautiful facilities and professionally excellent staff. Even if you’re not traveling to Dubai with the purpose of playing polo, it’s still worth checking out if you want to experience something you won’t find in many other places. They have qualified instructors teaching classes for all skill levels, making it one of the best places in the world to pick up a new hobby too! The club also welcomes spectators if you’re looking for a way to get involved without having to climb up on a horse.



10. HintHunt


Hit Hunt
Picture Credits: HintHunt


If you haven’t tried one before, an escape room is a giant puzzle that you must complete using logic and reasoning before your time limit expires. Fortunately for you HintHunt is one of the best places to try one while you’re in Dubai! They have 5 themes for you to pick from for your escape room experience. Each one has their own story and set of clues you have to follow to “escape” the room before your hour is up! It’s a fantastic way to test your critical thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as to see how your friends work under pressure! Escape rooms are also great for families and most (if not all) of their themes are appropriate for kids 9 and up with a parent alongside. So get out there and try this must-do experience while you’re visiting!



11. TEPfactor Dubai


TEP Factor
Picture Credits: TEPfactor Dubai


Do you remember seeing TV shows like Double Dare or Legends of the Hidden Temple as a kid and thinking “I could do that”? Then TEPfactor Dubai is definitely a must-do! You’re put face-to-face with a total of 21 challenges that must be completed with a team of 2 to 6 players. These challenges will test your fitness, patience, logic, and skill as you work your way through them with the help of your team. Come well-rested and with your most comfortable sneakers because these challenges can be tricky! Thankfully however the staff is available whenever you need them and can provide hints along the way if you get stuck. TEPfactor also sports a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor and there’s always a steady stream of positive vibes and words of thanks from previous visitors. It’s pretty safe to say you’re going to love it!



12. Brainscape Games


Picture Credits: Brainscape Games


Another spot for you thrill seekers out there, Brainscape Games is a great spot to jump into the escape room craze! They have 3 themed rooms to choose from, including their latest and greatest, “The Lost Pharaoh Room”. Each room is well designed and has a full puzzle to go with it – complete with twists and turns for you to work through. These rooms are perfect for team building either with a corporate group or with your friends and family! Kids as young as 8 and adults as “experienced” as 99+ can participate since there’s no physical or skill requirement to the puzzles too. Brainscape Games also has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor with plenty of praise for their excellent puzzles, helpful staff, and well designed facilities. Pro tip: right now you can get 20% off if you book one of the rooms during a weekday!



13. Cavalli Club


Picture Credits: Cavalli Club


Simply put, the Cavalli Club is an absolute feast for the senses. Combining stunning visuals with expertly spun tracks and a whole host of drinks and food, what more could you ask for? They’ve even had the honor of winning several awards for their space and legendary parties so I hope you’re ready to let loose! You don’t have to take my word for it if you don’t want to, even CNN called them the “best party venue in the UAE”! I highly recommend checking out their website before you plan on going since they have a wide range of events and specials that change daily. Don’t miss the “Leave Your Boyfriend At Home Ladies Night” which includes free drinks all night long for the ladies (sorry guys)! One look at this incredible place and you’ll find yourself dancing the night away (and probably more than once)!



14. Little Miss India


Picture Credits: Little Miss India


Rich and colorful curries, buttery naan, refreshing yogurt drinks, vitamin-packed lentils, Indian cuisine really is amazing. If you’re looking for a taste of India while in Dubai, Little Miss India does it the best. Regardless of what type of regional Indian foods you’re after, they do it all! This concept restaurant follows the story of your fictional hostess, Mohini Singh and the cuisine she’s picked up around the world. You feel as though you’re eating in her (highly decorated and gorgeous) home. A home that includes a rather unique bar and a truck that’s a work of art in itself (it’ll make sense when you see it). Their menu matches the unique and mouth-watering vibe of the restaurant and has a large selection of dishes. Everything from kebabs, breads, curries, rice dishes, and of course desserts and even Indian sorbet (try the Indian mangosteen)!





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About the Author: Keith Perrotta

Keith is a freelance writer, English teacher, baker, and travel junkie currently based in Madrid, Spain. When not creating content or teaching ESL he enjoys going to the beach, researching bread recipes, looking through bookstores, and relaxing with a glass of wine. Having lived in the USA, France, Ghana, Kenya, and now Spain, his main goal in life is to visit every continent once (including Antarctica). You can usually catch him eating ice cream in the park or stopping someone in the street to ask to pet their dog.

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