Dubai has so much to see and do, making it a fantastic place to spend your vacation. The city has beautiful beaches, tons of attractions, and plenty of fun activities to keep you busy.
But what makes your trip to Dubai even more exciting are the incredible excursions you can go on. These excursions are like special adventures within your trip, and I’ve put together a list of the absolute best ones.
Get ready to dive into these best Dubai excursions and let the excitement begin!
Table of Contents
1. Red Dunes Safari, Sandboarding & Oasis
If you want an adventure in the desert, there is no better destination than Dubai. It is the emirate that made sandboarding, jeep dune bashing, and quad bike tours famous.
You get the full combination of adrenaline with the GYG Original Red Dunes Safari in one day. Sandboarding, 4×4 jeep dune bashing on red dunes, a BBQ in an oasis, camel rides, and an optional quad bike tour are all on the itinerary.
Your driver will pick you up from the hotel at 15:00 in the afternoon in a 4×4 jeep. Then it goes to the Emirate of Sharjah to the red sand dunes with quads, buggies, and sandboarding.
In the oasis, you experience the sunset in the desert. And at the BBQ you have a view of the clear starry sky at night. My recommendation is the VIP food service as an additional option.
Important: It’s not as hot in the desert as you think because the air is dry. Pack good sunscreen. If you have a bad back, you should avoid dune bashing.
On your own: You can only go to the desert with an organized trip. You can drive to stations with quad bikes, camels, and desert camps with a rental car.
2. Abu Dhabi Sightseeing Excursion
The highlight of the UAE’s largest emirate is the snow-white Sheikh Zayed Mosque.
Add to this the Observation Deck of the Etihad Towers, the Emirates Palace for a picture, the Promenade the Corniche, and the Marina Mall as sights of the Abu Dhabi excursions.
Important: You must take your passport with you! Abu Dhabi is more conservative than Dubai. Women should cover their legs, arms, and head. Men should wear long pants.
On your own: Abu Dhabi is 138 km from the center of Dubai. The journey with a rental car takes about 90 minutes. There is also a public bus.
3. Day in Atlantis Aquaventure Park
Aquaventure Waterpark is the largest water park in the world. It provides fun with 105 slides, attractions, and miles of private sandy beach at the tip of The Palm.
The Atlantis Aquaventure Ticket gives you access to all water park attractions including Wave Rider, Surf’s Up, and access to the private beach at Atlantis The Palm.
The Aquaventure Superpass also includes entry to the famous Lost Chambers Aquarium ,home to 65,000 marine creatures from adorable seahorses to shark feeding.
Whatever you do, the water park is a guarantee of fun, sightseeing with the whole family in one of the world’s luxury hotels.
Important: You can borrow bath towels in the water park. You have to take your other bathing suits with you. Lockers are available at the water park for a fee starting at AED 75.
On your own: You can also buy tickets to the Atlantis The Palm Hotel on site, but there is no guarantee that there are still some left for the day, or book a night at the hotel straight away.
4. Dubai Marina Yacht Tour
A very special way to experience Dubai is to take a yacht trip. Get incredible views of the city skyline aboard a luxury yacht in the Arabian Gulf.
The experience is also possible without millions in the account.
You will be greeted on a red carpet at the Dubai Marina Luxury Yacht Tour, either for breakfast or BBQ.
The cruise lets you see Dubai’s highlights from the water.
With the yacht, you drive through the Dubai Marina, onto the Dubai Eye Ferris Wheel, to the famous sandy Jumeirah Beach, the artificial island The Palm, and to the 7-star luxury hotel Burj Al Arab.
Important: You must take your passport or identity card with you. The dress code is smart casual. No bikinis!
On your own: You can book yacht excursions directly in Dubai Marina, charter a yacht, or take part in one of the group excursions.
5. Old Town Street Food Tour
With the excursion to Dubai’s old town Al Fahidi (Bastakiya) you will experience the traditional side of the emirate. The neighborhood has the old-world charm of Dubai, long before the oil rush.
There are no skyscrapers, no multi-lane roads, and no luxury sports cars.
On the Old Town Tour, you will walk through the lively souks, with spice traders, local groceries, and the famous gold market. You will taste local dishes, and drinks and ride a traditional abra boat on Dubai Creek.
Along the way, you’ll make stops at places that tell something about the history of Dubai, such as the Coin Museum, a look at the simple palaces of Dubai’s first rulers, and a mosque.
In the souks for clothes, textiles, and souvenirs you have enough time afterward to look for souvenirs from your trip.
Important: This is a walking tour, so you should wear comfortable shoes.
On your own: You can also take a taxi to the old town, shop and see the sights on your own
6. Burj Khalifa Level 124 & 125 Entry Ticket
The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world.
It is the new symbol of Dubai and one of the highlights of a trip to the Emirates. If you have only planned a beach holiday in Dubai, then take at least one day for the trip to the Burj Khalifa.
The tower is part of the Dubai Mall area, which also houses the Dubai Aquarium. The three sights are a program for a whole day.
Buy the ticket for levels 124 and 125 in the Burj Khalifa, stroll through the huge Dubai Mall for shopping, see the Dubai Aquarium with its gigantic glass walls and finally eat in a restaurant with a view of the Dubai Fountain.
It is best to take an Uber from your hotel to the Dubai Mall. And reserve Burj Khalifa entry tickets so you can skip the line at the right time.
Buying a combo ticket for the Dubai Aquarium and Levels 124 & 125 at Burj Khalifa will save you money if you want to see both attractions in one day.
Important: You must take a passport or ID card with you to the Burj Khalifa.
On your own: You can also buy the ticket for the Burj Khalifa on site. Expect to have to wait for the next free slot. So buy the ticket first.
7. Half-Day Desert Safari
Don’t have a whole day to experience Dubai’s spectacular desert landscapes? With dune bashing thrills, sand boarding, and quad bikes?
Then there are Half-Day Desert Safaris in Dubai, with departure times from 8:00 in the morning to 14:30 in the afternoon. The trip lasts 4 hours instead of 7 hours with the big desert safaris.
A breathtaking drive through red sand dunes in a 4×4 jeep, the sandboarding experience, a ride on a camel, and an optional quad bike ride are still included in the half-day tours.
You will be picked up from your hotel in Dubai in a modern 4X4 jeep. Then it’s on to the desert.
Important: Pack good sunscreen. It’s not as hot in the desert as you think. The modern 4×4 jeeps are well air-conditioned.
On your own: You can only go to the quad bike stations around Dubai on your own. Never drive alone in the desert. Only do that with desert safaris in Dubai .
8. Helicopter Sightseeing
Are you looking for an extraordinary experience? Then fly to Dubai’s iconic sights in a luxurious helicopter from Atlantis Helipad on The Palm.
Your helicopter flies past the Burj Al Arab, the magnificent palaces along the coast, and the Golden Mile. The flight along the coast of the Persian Gulf takes 17 to 25 minutes, from The Palm to the World Islands.
You take breathtaking pictures of Dubai’s skyline, up to the Burj Khalifa and artificial islands.
Important: You must take your passport with you.
On your own: You can also privately charter a helicopter in Dubai. Decide here between a shared flight or a private flight.