Dubai is full of fun and exciting activities to do no matter whether you are on a budget or looking to indulge yourself. Here are some of the best things to do in Dubai and the UAE for expats, couples and families.
More and more expats are now choosing to move to Dubai and you only have to look at the latest news to see just how popular it is with those who spend most of their time in the spotlight. Many choose to live in Dubai for tax-free income, however, Dubai and the United Arab Emirates offer more than that, you will have a whole culture to explore and fun activities to do in your free time.
There are many great reasons to live in Dubai and the UAE. Dubai provides a wonderful lifestyle, no matter whether you have kids, are a couple or are a working expat. There are always many activities to do for both the adventurous and those who prefer a more laid-back lifestyle.
Many of the activities listed in this guide are things you can do at night for free or are for those looking for a unique Arabian experience. Dubai truly has everything for everyone.
- Enjoy the golf at Dubai Creek
- Visit Al Seef
- Go skiing and escape the heat!
- Hit the desert on a safari
- Familiarise yourself with Al Fahidi, Dubai’s old town
- Take your kids to the Aquaventure Waterpark or Legoland Dubai
- Enjoy horse racing in Dubai
- Relax with a BBQ on the beaches in Dubai
- Search for Flamingos
- Become a Food Lover
- Indulge yourself at the Dubai Marina
- Visit the Burj Al Arab
- Visit the beautiful Dubai Miracle Garden
- Visit the traditional Souks and Arabian bazaars
- Watch La Perle by Dragone
- Go to the Opera
- Indulge in a Royal Spa treatment
- Quad biking and sandboarding in the desert
- Learn to ride a camel
- What will you choose to do when you visit Dubai?
- Looking for Help Moving to Dubai?
Enjoy the golf at Dubai Creek
Whether you are an avid golf fan or you simply want to take up the sport as a hobby, then Dubai is the place to be. The Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club is located on Dubai Creek in the heart of Dubai. It is an amazing place to play and has a global reputation. The clubhouse is spectacular and, if you want to try your hand at sailing, then the yacht club is where you will have the opportunity to set sail on the clear waters.
Visit Al Seef
There is no doubt that Dubai is a modern place there are still plenty of hidden gems here. If you want to get a feel for the previous life in Dubai then Al Seef is where you need to go.
It seamlessly brings together old and new but you certainly get a traditional feel. Here you will find plenty of places to eat and you can take a stroll along the promenade which is always a great place for unwinding.
Go skiing and escape the heat!
That all-year-round heat might be one of the reasons why you chose to move to Dubai and nobody will blame you for that! However, sometimes, all you want to do is escape the heat for a while, which is where skiing at the Mall of the Emirates might appeal to you.
Now, you might be wondering how you go skiing in the middle of the desert but this place is totally mesmerising and impressive! You can ski the slopes and try out some snowboarding but, if that is not for you, then the Snow Park is still a great place to visit. All in all, this is a brilliant place to do something different!
Hit the desert on a safari
Why spend all your time in the city when you can venture away from it for a while and enjoy the surrounding desert? There are dunes to explore and Bedouins to discover, and there are many different safaris that you can enjoy.
You can head off for the day; try a half-a-day tour or even camp in the desert overnight. No trip to the desert is complete without a camel ride, but with so many options available you will always find that the lure of the desert is never too far away.
Familiarise yourself with Al Fahidi, Dubai’s old town
If you love history then Dubai is not just about breathtaking modern architecture and flashing lights, because you can roll up your sleeves and really immerse yourself in history.
Al Fahidi was built in the early 20th century but it is a stark contrast to the Dubai that you might know. Once you venture into the area, you will feel as though you have been whisked back in time, but it is the ideal way to learn about the city. You will find the Dubai Museum here, as well as the oldest building in the city. Stick with the town and you will find the Coffee Museum, where you can learn about the coffee culture in the area as well as how it is made. If you want to become a part of Dubai then this could be the place to start!
Take your kids to the Aquaventure Waterpark or Legoland Dubai
Aquaventure Waterpark is now the world’s largest waterpark and should not be missed if you’re looking for a fun day out. Not only are there a multitude of slides, rides and lagoons, but there are also opportunities for up-close-and-personal interactions with stingrays, dolphins, and sea lions.
Another option for younger families is Legoland Dubai with 60 interactive rides and 15,000 Lego models. Many of the attractions are indoors so you can escape the heat and enjoy them all year round.
Enjoy horse racing in Dubai
If horseracing is your thing, then the Dubai World Cup is a massive event that takes place at the end of the horse racing season at the Meydan Racecourse, with horses arriving from all over the world. Although you cannot bet at the track, entry is reasonable and in the evening you can enjoy the festival atmosphere and witness the annual competition for the fashion style stakes.
Relax with a BBQ on the beaches in Dubai
Who doesn’t love a day at the beach when the sun is shining and the water looks as inviting as it does in Dubai? Fortunately, life in Dubai is enhanced by the wonderful beaches on offer. Jumeirah Beach Park is one of the most popular beaches, fully landscaped with plenty of facilities.
There are areas to relax and have a BBQ, and the Arabian Gulf opens up in front of you and invites you to take a dip. If you are someone who loves nothing more than spending time soaking up the sun, Al Mamzar Beach Park offers a similar experience.
Search for Flamingos
View this post on Instagram
If you are a fan of wildlife then you are going to love spotting the pink flamingos at Djijbouti’s Lake Abbe or the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This was put in place in 1985 in order to protect the wildlife but you will find pink flamingos here during the winter. It is a great place to spend time outdoors and away from the city because you sometimes need to have a break and escape it all, despite how alluring Dubai really is!
Become a Food Lover
You will find cuisines from every corner of the earth and that is what makes Dubai so appealing. Whether it is Chinese, Indian or authentic English dishes, you will find everything you need in Dubai. If you are looking for something new, the Grill Shack is highly rated. The great thing is that, whether you try somewhere new or stick with the places you love, a night out with great food is always possible when you move to Dubai.
Indulge yourself at the Dubai Marina
This residential neighbourhood is full of class and character. It is a great place to enjoy a regular stroll and is where you can find the wonderful marina as well as superb restaurants and coffee shops.
It is especially impressive during the evening when it is dark and the nearby skyscrapers illuminate the area. However, you might get more from the experience if you take to the water as this will enable you to take in more sights and views of the marina.
Visit the Burj Al Arab
This is considered one of the most widely known tourist attractions in Dubai but as an expat you can experience it whenever you want. It is an iconic structure where you can enjoy amazing views and delicious food and drinks.
It’s a lavish spot with a lot to offer so you can enjoy the Skyview Bar at the top level and evening sunset drinks or enjoy afternoon tea, brunch, and evening meals taking in views of The World, Jumeirah Beach and The Palm. It is a thrilling place and one that you will always have on your doorstep, so why not make the most of it?
Visit the beautiful Dubai Miracle Garden
You might think that being in the middle of the desert, not a lot will grow but this is Dubai and anything can happen. The Miracle Garden is an amazing place that will allow you to discover the largest natural garden in the world, with 150 million flowers in an area of 72,000-sq-m. It is a great way to explore something different, but also take in the wondrous colours that you might miss from your garden back home.
Visit the traditional Souks and Arabian bazaars
It is imperative that you immerse yourself in tradition and culture, and what better way than by experiencing the bustling souks. These Arabian bazaars are a hive of activity where you can explore the way in which the local people trade.
The market is home to many different products, giving you lots to explore, and you are encouraged to haggle so there is an element of fun added to the experience too!
Watch La Perle by Dragone
If you want to see a show that will leave you amazed then La Perle by Dragone is all you need. This is the number one show in Dubai and with it comes amazing performances whereby acts defy gravity and use the latest tech that will blow your mind. We appreciate that this might be a one-off, but it is definitely a show that you will want to watch.
Go to the Opera
If you are someone sophisticated and appreciate great performances, then the Dubai Opera is another place where you can enjoy shows. The building is a stunning feat of architecture, shaped like an Arabian showboat, and can be used to host a wide range of shows and exhibitions. There is always something exciting going on which means you can’t go wrong with watching a show here.
Indulge in a Royal Spa treatment
There are plenty of luxurious hotels dotted throughout Dubai and they all have a certain character and charm. If indulging in luxurious spa treatments is your thing then you can always make this a firm date in your diary at one of the top hotels.
The One&Only Royal Mirage is a great hotel for enjoying some spa treatments. They use the original methods whereby you lie on a marble slab and are scrubbed to remove dead skin. Then you are massaged, leaving you feeling invigorated and refreshed. The perfect way to start the day if you ask us!
Quad biking and sandboarding in the desert
Do you love the thrill of speed and bouncing across the desert with the wind in your hair? If you are looking for adventure then you are certain to find it with quad biking in the desert. You can hit the dunes and even try out some sandboarding if that is your thing. You will take in impressive views and have an all-around memorable experience.
Learn to ride a camel
For those who really want to throw themselves into the Arabian experience, you can learn to camel ride. The Arabian Desert Camel Riding Center (ARDC) is Dubai’s first licensed camel school and is set up in the Al Marmoom desert. They offer experiences for beginners, experienced riders and also those who prefer to watch rather than take part!
If you are embarking on a new adventure and making the move to Dubai, you might get the very best of city life but you will also have plenty to see and do. Whether you love dining out and taking in views, exploring the desert or sitting back and enjoying a show, there really is something for everyone to enjoy in Dubai.
What will you choose to do when you visit Dubai?
In Dubai, you have a great selection of things to do and we have only just scratched the surface. If you are looking for luxury experiences you will be able to dine in the best restaurants and enjoy stunning views of the Dubai Marina. Many choose to go in the evening to experience breathtaking views of the nearby skyscrapers.
Alternatively, if you are looking for free activities in Dubai, you can experience the thrill of camel racing. These events take place from October to February and is a part of the tradition and culture of the country.
The beaches in Dubai are also wonderful; you can experience a day out with the family in Jumeriah Beach Park, one of the more popular beaches in Dubai, which contains plenty of facilities and an array of places to eat.
Let us know what your favourite things to do in the UAE and we can add them to the list.
Looking for Help Moving to Dubai?
The good news when moving to Dubai is that PSS International will be able to help with shipping your belongings overseas from the UK.
PSS is a removal company that helps thousands of people move each year. You will receive assistance throughout with a dedicated move manager and will receive a cost-effective service. We can help with both household removals and shipping boxes to Dubai and anywhere in the UAE,
If you like to receive a quote for moving to Dubai, contact us at PSS International and we will be able to facilitate your move.