The 10 Best Day Trips Within Dubai

Book an experience to make the most of a trip to Dubai
Book an experience to make the most of a trip to Dubai | Katiekk2 / Getty Images
Sometimes, to truly experience a place, it’s worth skipping the multi-city tours and instead indulging in slow travel focusing on one particular city. From marvelling at crowning architectural jewels to sailing on a luxury yacht or exploring an underwater zoo, Dubai has no shortage of activities to keep you busy.
Jumeirah Mosque is one of Dubai’s most iconic sights, and is open to non-Muslim visitors | Nikada / Getty Images

For a one-and-done experience

For those who truly want to see everything Dubai has to offer, this tour is for you. Get picked up from the doorstep of your hotel and travel to Palm Jumeirah, a man-made island shaped like a palm tree and loved by the locals. Take a quick photo break in front of the stunning Dubai Marina, then arrive at the Old Souk where you’ll be greeted by spices and a traditional market experience. Finish off the day on a high note at the Dubai Frame, a 150-metre-tall structure that mimics the shape of a photo frame. From the top you’ll get the perfect photo opportunity, with Old Dubai on one side of the building and modern Dubai on the other.

Located in Zabeel Park, the Dubai Frame quite literally frames the city’s soaring and impressive skyline | Katiekk2 / Getty Images

Experience Dubai’s underwater zoo

Discover an extraordinary walking tour through the Aquarium Tunnel at the Dubai Aquarium. With over 33,000 aquatic animals to observe, plus the world’s largest collection of sand tiger sharks, you’ll likely need at least half a day to see it all. Step into the Underwater Zoo where penguins, piranhas, seahorses and jellyfish all float overhead. For a virtual experience, try the Submersible Simulator where you can swim alongside dugongs and whale sharks.

The Dubai Aquarium is home to the world’s largest collection of sand tiger sharks, and has over 33,000 aquatic animals to discover | Cultura RM Exclusive/Lost Horizon Images / Getty Images

Taste the high life at the Skyview Bar

Choose this tour and visit a lavish bar on top of the world. Soar 200 metres above sea level until you arrive at Skyview Bar, housed at the tip top of one of the tallest hotel in the world – the Burj Al Arab. Upon arrival, settle into this techno-coloured bar and enjoy views over the entire city with wall-to-ceiling windows. Enjoy a drink or two, from classic cocktails to innovative twists. The mixologists here are renowned as some of the best in the city.

For sweeping vistas of the city, head to the Skyview Bar atop the Burj Al Arab hotel, which is famous for being one of the tallest hotels in the world | Dave G. Houser / Alamy Stock Photo

Take in the city from the sky

Take flight on a luxury helicopter for an experience of a lifetime. Climb aboard from a helipad at the top of Atlantis, The Palm, then take a bird’s-eye-view of all of Dubai. Choose from a 12, 15 or 25-minute flight, with an option to fit any budget or time constraint. On the longest flight option, 25 minutes, you’ll see famed sights including the World Islands, new Dubai, Media City, Internet City and Dubai Marina.

The Atlantis, The Palm hotel is famed for its scale and majestic glamour | Markus Mainka / Alamy Stock Photo

Feel the thrill of the world’s largest waterslide

For a break from the city, head to the Middle East’s favourite waterpark – Aquaventure. With a tour pass, you’ll skip the long lines and head straight for the record-breaking waterslides. After an adrenaline rush, try a gentler attraction, like the lazy river; or kick-back on 500 metres of private beach. To try your hand at surfing, hit up the brand new Surf’s Up wave riders and see how long you can hang-ten on this wavy attraction. At the Lost Chambers Aquarium, get up close and personal with marine life at the touch tank or learn more about the underwater world from marine animal experts.

Aquaventure is the Middle East’s favourite waterpark | eli_asenova / Getty Images

Find inner peace at Dubai’s Miracle Garden

Discover the unique blossoming flora and fauna on a tour exploring two of Dubai’s best gardens. First, stop at Butterfly Garden and take in the round-shaped 3D gardens, each bursting with a rainbow of flowers. Stroll through all nine domes, where butterflies of every colour and species roam freely. Continue to Miracle Garden, just next door, to photograph the more than 45 million flowers arranged in creative displays. Be sure to snap a photo of the record-holding Longest Wall of Flowers for a memento.

Miracle Garden in Dubai has over 45 million flowers in bloom | Olga Slobodianiuk / Getty Images

Climb aboard a private yacht

Head out to sea on a luxury yacht tour to see the whole of Dubai. Set sail from the famous Dubai Marina, whether you’re interested in the breakfast, afternoon or sunset tour. Upon boarding, find a spread of delicious dishes to snack on, alongside fresh juice, soft drinks and water. Spend time sunning yourself on the front of the 64-foot boat, snapping photos of Jumeirah Beach.

Take to the water on a luxury yacht tour from Dubai Marina | Neal Wilson / Getty Images

Soak in the aroma of the souks

Step back in time and away from the bustle of the city on a half-day tour through traditional souks. Wander the streets of Dubai’s oldest residential area, Bastakia, then be greeted at the local coffee museum with piping hot cups of traditional Emirati coffee. Wander through the souk markets with Emirati guides, and learn about Dubai’s rich history. Keep an eye out for treasures to take home, such as woven textiles, gold jewellery or aromatic spices. End the day with a relaxing float down the creek in a traditional Abra water taxi.

Look out for aromatic spices for sale in the souks | Nikada / Getty Images

Get your adrenaline pumping on the world’s longest urban zip line

Ride to the top of the 170-metre-high Amwaj Towers and view the city from above. After getting strapped in, lie down flat on your stomach to take in Dubai from a completely unique viewpoint. Fly across the zip line at an incline of 16 degrees and pick up speed until you soar at 80km per hour. With two parallel lines available, you and a friend can take in the experience side by side, plus leave with photos and videos so you can relive the day over and over again.

XLine Dubai Marina is the world’s longest urban zip line | Creative-Family / Getty Images

Marvel at world-famous architecture

For the culturally inclined, this tour offers a full day exploration of the city’s crowning jewels. With a skip-the-line pass, enter directly into the courtyard of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This architectural feat is crafted out of white Greek and Macedonian tiles, while the inside features the world’s largest handwoven carpet and a glass panel glistening with thousands of Swarovski crystals. After, you’ll depart for the Louvre Abu Dhabi museum housed on Saadiyat Island.

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is a sight to behold in Abu Dhabi | John Harper / Getty Images

Be sure to snap a photo of the iconic dome built into the architecture, then head inside to discover a large collection of classic and modern art.