10 Best Dubai Attractions for First Time Visitors

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Is this your first trip to Dubai? You’re in for a terrific treat! It’s hard to recommend all the Dubai attractions to a first-timer, because we want you to see and enjoy everything Dubai offers, which is a lot. Still, we’ve curated 10 wonderful attractions that as first-timers, you simply must enjoy in this city of marvels. So what are we waiting for? Let’s begin and check out where you want to go and what you want to do on your very first Dubai adventure!

1. The Marvelous Burj Khalifa!

Dubai Attractions - Burj Khalifa Dubai

The top Dubai attractions all the time. No visit to Dubai can be complete without a trip to check out the incredible Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world with its amazing shape and glittering glass windows is a sight to see. Be sure to take the fastest elevator in the world to the 125th floor’s observatory deck. From here, you can see all of Dubai plus the desert, all the way to the sea and beyond. You’ll be standing at a height of nearly 500 meters and there are several floors above you. The Burj stands proud at 828 meters. Look down upon the incredible Dubai Fountains from the observatory deck. It’s a stunning show with the water jets shooting up for 155 meters.

2. The Exquisite Dubai Mall

Dubai Attractions - Dubai Mall

Below the Burj Khalifa is the splendid Dubai Mall with its 1200 plus retail outlets. Allow yourself some time to explore this exquisite mall and all its attractions. The Dubai Mall houses the incredibly exciting V R Park, which offers the best virtual reality experience in all of the UAE. There’s also the Underwater Zoo and Aquarium at the basement, where you can walk through a transparent acrylic tunnel, surrounded by colorful marine life. Be sure to taste some great food at the Dubai Mall’s food court, which has over 150 eateries. One of the major attractions at the mall is the Gold Souq, whose glitter can be seen from quite a distance.

3. The Incredible Dubai Miracle Gardens

Dubai Attractions - Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Gardens is a feast for the eyes and for the soul. Spend a restful afternoon in this magnificent garden of exquisite flowers and plants that are shaped to resemble global landmarks, people, arches, hearts and more. Each year, the formations are changed to provide constant excitement to visitors. Flowering plants are shaped to look like giant teddy bears, airplanes, fairy tale houses, castles, cartoon characters and a series of lovely arches to walk through.

4. The Lovely Dubai Garden Glow

Dubai Attractions - Dubai Garden Glow

The Dubai Garden Glow is an extravagant park that opens in November every year and closes in February. Here you’ll find a fantastic land of dinosaurs, all realistic animatronics that move, growl and scare you to death. There’s also a fabulous garden of lights full of eco-friendly artwork made out of millions of small bottles and CDs. There’s also a stunning Ice Park, with huge, perfect ice sculptures. Then there’s the ‘largest glow-in-dark garden’ that’s been made out of tons of energy-saving bulbs and yards and yards of recycled luminous fabric. It’ll be a trip into a modern-day fairy land that will mesmerize you the moment you step in. Try to arrange your visiting time so you don’t miss this top Dubai attractions.

5. Overnight Desert Safari

Dubai Attractions - Overnight Dessert Safari

During your overnight safari, you’ll get to enjoy the best of the day desert and the night desert. You’ll get to enjoy an amazing sunset, when setting sun’s orange glow overwhelms the sky. You’ll get to enjoy a remarkable Emirati and continental feast in the tent, to the accompaniment of belly dancing, Tanura dancing and henna tattooing. After this you’ll get the chance to spend a wonderful night under the stars, soaking in the romance of the night desert.

6. Palm Jumeirah Islands

Dubai Attractions - Palm Jumeirahv

There are many ways to enjoy the remarkable Palm Jumeirah Islands. You can take the monorail to the island and explore via taxi. Or, you can take a helicopter flight over Dubai and make several slow passes over the islands. When you’re on the Palm Jumeirah Islands, be sure to visit the exquisite Atlantis Hotel at one end, and the Burj al Arab at the other. These two magnificent works of artful architecture will blow your mind. Also visit the Aquaventure Waterpark that’s near the Atlantis Hotel for some cool water rides.

7. Dubai Dhow Cruise

Dubai Attractions - Dhow Dinner Cruise

When you’re in Dubai, don’t forget to sign up for an exciting dhow cruise along the Dubai Marina or the Dubai Creek or Dubai Canal – or all three. These water bodies are lined on both sides with incredible architecture, bridges, manmade waterfalls and much more. Sign up for an evening dhow cruise and you can enjoy the sight of the city lit up with colored LED lights. On board the dhow, there’s cultural entertainment and plenty of fine food and music to entertain you.

8. Jumeirah Beach Residence Walk and Dubai Marina

Dubai Attractions - JBR Dubai

The manmade Dubai Marina is fenced by a number of beautiful skyscrapers whose lights illuminate the sky. As you walk along the Jumeirah Beach Walk, admire the city’s splendid architecture, and the fancy uber-expensive cars and yachts parked along the marina. Check out the pricey cafés, restaurants and top Dubai nightclubs in the area. JBR is perhaps the most luxurious area in Dubai, suffused with riches. It’s a great place to spend some quality time in the evening.

9. Ski Dubai

Dubai Attractions - Ski Dubai

Yes, Ski Dubai appeals to be a real-to-goodness ski resort in the middle of the desert. Constantly maintained at -6 degrees Celsius, this fabulous indoor ski resort is several football fields large. There are several ski slopes to pander to each skier’s expertise level. There’s the world’s longest Diamond Run, at 400 meters as well. Be sure to check out the cute penguin park, the ice cave, the snow park and other attractions at Ski Dubai. It’s one of the best Dubai attractions.

10. The Dubai Creek

Dubai Attractions - Dubai Creek

There’s no point in visiting a city and going back without understanding its roots. Explore the Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood, its old houses and windtowers were actually made of black coral. The Dubai Creek is a saltwater estuary, where the Bani Yas tribe settled. The Creek facilitated transport to Dubai’s pearl diving and fishing industries. Today, the area is awash with history. Be sure to visit the Dubai Museum and the spice markets of Bur Dubai. Cross the Dubai Creek in an abra and explore the Deira side with its textile souks.

Conclusion

With this agenda, you’ll be well satisfied with your Dubai trip. There’s more to see in Dubai though – the Dubai Frame for one. Enjoy all our curated Dubai attractions on your first trip and check back with us for more itineraries.


Neha Singh - Dubai Attractions ContributorNeha Singh
Dubai Contributor
An avid trekker, explorer and a true foodie; Neha finds happiness in small endeavours of life and loves to pen them down as a cherished memory. A firm believer that “we have just one life to live and so much to do”, Neha lives every moment to the fullest.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. Hello Neha,
    I am planning to visit Dubai in this December, thanks for sharing such wonderful itinerary. I just wanted to ask is it best time to visit?

    • Yeah you visit in the very right time. Actually the best time is from Nov to Apr, with Jan and Feb are the biggest Shopping Festival of Dubai 🙂

  2. Thanks for the article. I’m also planning to visit in Nov/Dec. Do you know the best place to get accommodation within close proximity to the places on the article?

    • Thanks for the comment! Usually I used Airbnb or booking.com to find the accommodation based on the attractions. You may want to try Traveloka also while traveling around the South-east Asia. I have a page Collaboration with all the convenience to support traveler, I believe you would love to check.

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