Beauty

12 Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa

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Traveling to Dubai and have only heard about the Burj Khalifa and high-end shopping malls in the global tourist oasis? Grab a chair and a glass of water as we take you through a load of fun things to do in Dubai aside shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

This is an extensive list depending on budget, preferences, season of the year and duration of stay. We are yet to exhaust all the jolly experiences there are to enjoy in Dubai; guess that’s why the Emirati city has put itself well and truly on the global map as one of the top tourist destinations over the past decade.


Walk or cruise the streets or creek

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Dhow Cruise in Dubai. Image Credit: Michael Graffin.

Familiarise with the old Dubai town by taking a stroll along the creek – the spice market is not far thereof. Better still take an ‘abra’ ride across the creek as you watch the lustrous city glisten at you within a rivulet.

Super ‘dhow’ cruises are accessible for that unsurpassed feeling of gradually floating along the stream in the eyes of the extravagant city while your taste bud savour the best of Arabian and international cuisines.

Bash the Dunes

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

While at the Arabian Desserts, the locals will show you how to ‘Dune Bash’ properly. Image Credit: Neil Wilkie.

The Dessert Safari is where you experience the quintessence of a gulf adventure. Whether you are bumping across the magnificent Arabian dessert on the back of a camel, riding in a historical 1950’s Land Rover or modern Mercedes Benz G-Wagon, the unforgettable journey across the dunes leaves an awful bitter-sweet memory you won’t forget in a hurry.

At the end of the trip, you’ll arrive at an oasis setup, where barbecue aroma hangs around and belly dancers await to set off the dance show when the sun sets. Here, dinner goes till the end of the night under the stars before you are whisked back into the city by late night.

Visit the gold and spice souks

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

You’ll find the Dubai spice souks in the aromatic corners of the old town. Image Credit: Danny Choo.

Opting to see the alluring display of elegant gold and spice souks is quite a fun thing to do in Dubai aside shopping away your time in the luxury malls. Look for shops where you’d get customisable necklaces and gold products or packages of dates and stocked traditional medicines to take home – the latter two are easier to spot due to their wonderful aroma. Merchants here are inimitable in the art of bargain so be ready to beat down their discounted offers.

Ski Dubai

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Imagine a ski resort in the far dessert land of the Arabian Gulf. Easier now, isn’t it? Image Credit: S-F via Shutterstock.

You don’t have to be a skier, snowboarder or an enthusiast to be thrilled at the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East. How about the extraordinary beauty of a 22,500-square-meter resort of mountainous winter environment as part of the much-talked-about Mall of the Emirates? A receptacle of amusement for kids, who could be tobogganing or throwing snowballs. Tube slides, giant ball runs, chair lift sightseeing, jumping from the ramp and relaxing over a hot chocolate in a sub-zero climate are also on the menu.

The snow penguins add to the spectacle of this place. The ‘March of the Penguins’ is performed several times a day.


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Nice time at the beach

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

The Burj Arab as viewed from the public beach in JBR. Image Credit: Kemal-Kestelli.

Though Dubai beaches are popular among tourists, it yet ranks among one of the most fascinating shorelines. You’ll cherish her pristine white sandy shores and waters. Strip of restaurants lining beachfront are chief identity of the Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). If weather permits, Jumeirah beach hangout is as simple as rent an umbrella and unwind – a routine that will never get old.

See the World’s Largest Natural Garden

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

The Lady of the Garden at the Dubai Miracle Garden. Image Credit: Oiva Eskola.

Take in the breathtaking view of over 109 million flowers at the Dubai Miracle Garden. If Ski Dubai matched your description of pure genius, having this beautiful garden in the middle of a dessert is truly a miracle. Due to the temperate summer weather of this region, the garden is closed from June to September but reopens for flower gazing from October to April.

Talk about having epic and elegance in one space, the first butterfly garden in the gulf region was incorporated into the project in March last year. Moreover, photos here are really memorable.

Satwa neighbourhood

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Bureu de Change in Satwa. Image Credit: Jay Tornaquia.

You’ll find shops selling anything from electronic gadgets to automobile tyres. Satwa tailors make good bespoken materials, from suits to Italian-style shirts. Another good draw to the quarter are shops selling sewing embroidery supplies you would be hard-pressed to find in your country.

It is one of the few places in Dubai to have a cross cultural experience but non-touristy. Easily spot the tiny restaurants lining the far end of the street for a taste of South Asian cuisine.

The Al Fahidi Fort

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Dubai’s Al Fahidi Fort is a sharp contrast from the busy Bur Dubai area. Image Credit: Jen Leonard.

Remember to visit the Al Fahidi Fort while in the busy Bur Dubai area. There is this awesome underground museum where you’ll find local antiquities as well as artifacts about the history of the area. Exhibition walks wind a path around the galleries.

Eat Burger

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Elevation Burger is one of the newcomers in Dubai’s fast food industry and is worth a try. Image Credit: Martin Lewison.

With a lengthy list of world famous fast food restaurants to choose from, Burgers are among fun things to do in Dubai aside shopping and the Burj Khalifa. Outlets like the Hardees have a variety of classified hot and spicy burgers including charbroiled burgers, chicken burger, chicken, cheese burger, thick burger. Subway, Burger Kings, Elevation, Meat Me are other options to try.

Visit the world’s largest aquarium

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

An indoor Aquarium at the Dubai Mall. Image Credit: Kris Pradez.

See live sharks inside the indoor aquarium at the Dubai Mall. Enjoy various cuisines from the world in the food court. Head over to the Dubai Fountains for the light and fountain show once it’s evening.

Over 140 species of sea lives offer visitors an exciting, educational insight into creatures of the deep at the aquarium and zoo. It features the largest viewing panel and one of the biggest fish tanks in the world.

Wild Wadi and Wonderland

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Have wild fun at the Wild Wadi Water Park. Image Credit: Sarah Ackerman.

The state-of-the-art water-theme park, designed like an Arabian wadi (oasis) offers families and thrill seekers fun, relaxation and adrenalin-pumping action. It features some of the highest and fastest water rides and slides outside of North America. Thrill seekers can be found around the Jumeirah Sceirah – a 108ft (33m) free-fall at 50 miles per hour (80km/hr.) – rollercoaster propelled uphill by high-powered jets. The high waves at Breakers Bay and the whit-knuckle ride at Rushdown Ravine are also regular fixtures at the Park.

Wonderland Theme and Water Park offers thrilling rides and slides like the Action Arm, Red Baron, Lazy River, Surf Hill and the Spinning-Coaster for children looking to get away from the scorching heat of the city. There is an attached low-tech water park for other members of the family.

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Dubai Dolphinarium

Fun Things to Do in Dubai Aside Shopping and the Burj Khalifa.

Dolphins at the Dubai Dolphinarium. Image Credit: Utsav Verma.

You can interact with these intelligent, gentle aquatic mammals or watch the moderate-sized glittering dolphins perform tricks with their trainers. The Dolphinarium is home to four Black Sea Bottlenose dolphins as well as four Northern Fur Seals. Visitors are allowed to swim with the social animals in a pre-arranged session. The Dolphinarium also features a restaurant and gift shop.

Tell us in the comments section below the fun thing you did on your last trip to Dubai.

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