Dubai is quickly becoming one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and it’s not hard to see why. With endless options for adrenaline-pumping action, four-course meals at top-tier restaurants, luxury shopping and family fun for all, the city might just be the best all-ages vacation out there. Still not convinced? Discover our favourite experiences in Dubai before you say otherwise.
Float above the desert on a hot air balloon ride
Ever dreamed of taking in the red dunes of the desert from above? Well, now is your chance with a hot air balloon guided tour. Hop aboard your transfer vehicle and be whisked away to the land of rolling dunes – the Margham Desert – where you’ll be greeted with refreshments. Watch as the balloon inflates in size, then prepare for take-off as you float above the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and native wildlife. Once you have both feet back on the ground, sample an Arabic-style buffet and enjoy a falconry show.
Discover an underwater world at the La Perle show
Gather the whole family to see this once-in-a-lifetime aqua show. This spectacle takes place in a 270-degree theatre, so you can experience the show close to the action as performers move in, on and above water. Watch as dancers dive from terrifying heights, fly across the stage and maybe even join the audience. Book tickets in advance to make sure you don’t miss out on the best seats in the house.
Explore one of the world’s largest indoor amusement parks
Dubai certainly strives to be the best. Joining the likes of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai opened one of the world’s largest indoor amusement parks, IMG Worlds of Adventure, back in 2016. Bursting at the seams with thrill-seeking and ever-expanding rides, this park measures at almost 28 football fields put together. Hold on tight on the signature rollercoaster, The Velociraptor, which flies at 60 miles per hour along eight adrenaline-packed loops.
Chill out in an ice lounge in the middle of the desert
For a truly unique experience, bundle up on a hot day and head to the Middle East’s only ice lounge. Here, you’ll find ice sculptures, ice furniture, and icicles. Head to the bar for a complimentary drink and snap pictures in your thermal clothing to prove you survived sub-zero temperatures. Be sure to grab tickets in advance to ensure you get your desired time slot, as they sell out fast.
Enjoy traditional afternoon tea aboard a private ‘abra’
Riding along the river in a traditional abra boat is arguably the best way to explore Dubai. See all the famed landmarks from a new perspective and even enjoy an afternoon tea from your own private abra. This ride sets sail from the resort Madinat Jumeirah, which is modelled after an Arabian town, daily between 4pm and 6pm.
Indulge in a lavish dinner in a revolving restaurant
Discover a different cityscape from Stratos, the 360-degree revolving restaurant offering panoramic views of Dubai. Housed in Le Royal Meridien, guests come for the sights and stay for the extraordinary food. Sink into one of the plush chairs and order from a curated menu of meats and seafood, including the signature dish of braised short ribs, and for a delectable side, polenta chips.
Drop 13,000 feet for some (literally) hair-raising fun
Get ready for the thrill of a lifetime as you freefall over 120 miles per hour (190 kilometres per hour) over one of the most photographed spots in Dubai – the Palm Jumeirah island. Get strapped in and harnessed to your partner for a tandem jump over 4,000 metres (13,000 feet) in the air. Take flight and embrace the fall before the parachute launches, allowing you to kick back and take in the whole of Dubai. Be sure to snap a few pictures after one of the world’s most memorable jumps.
Take to the sky on a flyboard
For a truly unique adventure, try flyboarding in Dubai. Rocket high above the waters of Jumeirah Beach on a board, as water propels from the jets in your feet. Discover new heights and skills as you practise over a half-hour session and be sure to strike your best pose. You’ll leave with a memorable photo set against the backdrop of Burj Al Arab as a souvenir.
Hit the ski slopes indoors
In the middle of the desert, you can find one of the world’s largest indoor ski slopes. With a two-hour pass, you have the chance to test your snowboarding or skiing skills down one of the five different runs available, each designed for a different skill level. Home to the world’s first ever indoor black diamond run, experienced ski bunnies can tackle the 60-metre (200-feet) drop that awaits.
Learn to swim with the fishes
For those who enjoy the beach over the snow, Dubai offers some of the best scuba diving lessons, especially for first-timers. Head to Jumeirah Beach, where your certified and experienced instructor awaits. On land, learn how to use the scuba gear and practise breathing techniques. After a safety demonstration, gear up and make a run for the waves. Marvel at the teeming marine life, from colourful coral to timid fish and maybe even a starfish or two.