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First-Timer’s Guide to Dubai

First-Timer’s Guide to Dubai

Dubai has more to offer than skyscrapers, malls, and beaches, so be ready for a wider choice of activities than you might first imagine as a newcomer to the city. From must-sees such as the soaring Burj Khalifa and Burj Al-Arab to cruises on Dubai Creek and desert sports adventures, here are our top must-dos for first-time visitors.

Take a Hop-On-Hop-Off-Bus or City Tour

Dubai’s sights are widely dispersed, so they can be difficult to cover without car rental, planning, and long walks in the sun. With a hop-on-hop-off-bus tour, you can check off sites including the Burj Al-Arab and jump off to explore as you wish. Alternatively, take a group or private city tour that whisks you around the landmarks in the comfort of an air-conditioned minivan or coach.

Admire the Views from the Burj Khalifa

Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the world’s highest tower, so a must-visit for newbies. Choose a tour that includes a visit to this soaring skyscraper or prebook entry to go independently. Ride the high-speed elevators to the At the Top or higher observation levels, and marvel at the 360-degree views.

Experience the Desert

A journey into the desert is almost obligatory for Dubai newcomers. Book a tour and head into the sands for a full lineup of desert activities, from dune bashing, camel riding, and sand boarding to dinner and shows at a Bedouin-style camp.

Cruise the Coast or Dubai Creek

Dubai’s skyline is truly Instagram-worthy, so be sure to see it in full wide-screen mode from the water. Options include a RIB or yacht trip along the tower-lined coast or a Dubai Creek dinner cruise to sail by old Dubai’s minarets, bridges, and wind towers aboard a traditional Arabian dhow boat.

Dive into Aquaventure Waterpark

If you have children with you, don’t miss a day at Aquaventure, the Middle East’s biggest water park. Plunge down Poseidon’s Revenge, brave water coasters, enjoy the kids’ Splashers zone, and enjoy included entry to the Lost Chambers Aquarium at the Atlantis hotel.

Delve into Old Dubai

Take a break from new Dubai’s skyscrapers to discover old Dubai, whose scented souks, museums, and historical buildings are best explored with a guide who’ll share their stories. Many tours showcase Al Fahidi—sometimes called Al Bastakiya—a charming quarter of shady lanes, courtyards, and 19th-century wind-tower houses built for Persian pearl merchants.

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9 Tours and Activities | All Dubai Tours

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Big Bus Dubai Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Big Bus Dubai Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

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2102
Explore Dubai at your own pace on a double-decker, open-top Big Bus Dubai tour. Admire top Dubai attractions including the Burj Khalifa, Burj Al-Arab, and Old Dubai, and hop on and off at any of the stops around the city to visit souks, malls, and museums as you please. Choose from a 1-day Classic, 2-day Premium, or a Deluxe 5-day unlimited attraction pass. Tickets include an array of extras like a Dubai Creek cruise, admission to Dubai Museum, shopping discounts and more.
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  • 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$44.00
From
$44.00
Taking safety measures

Dubai City Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

Dubai City Half-Day Sightseeing Tour

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1228
Discover the best of Dubai on a half-day Dubai sightseeing tour with an expert guide. Traveling by comfortable coach or minivan, take in Dubai’s top landmarks as you absorb the cosmopolitan atmosphere. Snap photos of the Burj Al-Arab, the sail-shaped hotel on its own artificial island; learn about local history at the Dubai Museum, ride an ‘abra’ water taxi across Dubai Creek, and much more. Sign off with a visit to the Deira Spice Souk and free time to explore the brilliant Gold Souk.
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  • 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$31.30
From
$31.30
Taking safety measures

Atlantis Aquaventure & Lost Chambers Ticket

Atlantis Aquaventure & Lost Chambers Ticket

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451
Throw yourself into the action of Aquaventure Waterpark in Dubai with an entrance-only, all-day ticket. Part of the Atlantis The Palm resort, the Aquaventure Dubai boasts impressive water rides and adventures fit for all ages. Enjoy the attractions as you wish: career down corkscrew chutes, ride through shark tunnels, watch the little ones at the new Splasher’s Island area, and unwind on the lazy rivers. Then enjoy admission to The Lost Chambers, the Atlantis-themed aquarium containing 65,000 marine animals across 21 exhibits.
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  • 8 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$78.75
From
$78.75
Taking safety measures

Dubai Desert 4x4 Safari with Camp activities & BBQ Dinner

Dubai Desert 4x4 Safari with Camp activities & BBQ Dinner

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2186
Discover the beauty and customs of the desert on this Dubai desert safari. Leave Dubai in a comfortable 4x4 with a guide, and enjoy an exciting mix of traditional and modern desert adventures. Ride a camel, surf a sandboard down the Dubai sand dunes, and relax at a desert campsite as the sun sets. Get a henna tattoo, watch a ‘tanoura’ folk dance, and top off your trip with a delicious barbecue dinner, including shawrma station, and exotic belly dancing show under the stars as you sit around the campfire.
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  • 6 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$84.63
Price varies by group size
From
$84.63
Price varies by group size
Taking safety measures

5-Star Premium Dhowstar Dhow Cruise Dubai

5-Star Premium Dhowstar Dhow Cruise Dubai

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148
Make an evening in Dubai extra special with a 2-hour Dubai Creek dinner cruise on the world's largest ‘dhow’— a traditional Arabian boat. Step aboard the beautifully illuminated Rustar floating restaurant, and admire Deira’s sparkling landmarks over a sumptuous dinner buffet. Settle on the outer deck or in the elegant cabins, and savor international and Emirati dishes prepared by the 5-star Movenpick hotel as you pass the floodlit Rolex Towers, souks and other landmarks. As you dine, enjoy an array of entertainment, including traditional Emirati dance shows and live music.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$90.00
From
$90.00
Taking safety measures

Dubai Guided Sightseeing Boat Tours

Dubai Guided Sightseeing Boat Tours

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725
Zip and zoom along Dubai’s most spectacular stretch of coast on a cruise by RIB (rigid-inflatable boat). Step aboard your high-speed craft at Dubai Marina, and hold the rails as your skipper opens the throttle and speeds you over the waves. Whizz around the man-made archipelago of Palm Jumeirah, and enjoy unobstructed views of the Palm Atlantis, Burj Al-Arab, royal palaces, and Dubai Lagoon from the sea. This RIB cruise is limited to a maximum of 10 people, so you enjoy a more personalized experience.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 39 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$35.76
From
$35.76

Burj Khalifa Level 124 'At the Top' Entrance Ticket with One-way Transfer

Burj Khalifa Level 124 'At the Top' Entrance Ticket with One-way Transfer

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199
Look out from the Burj Khalifa’s ‘At the Top’ observation deck with this entrance ticket to the 124th-floor viewing point. Ride the moving sidewalk to the tower as you watch a multimedia presentation on Dubai’s history, and take the high-speed elevator up to the observation deck. Then, behold the incredible views over Dubai Marina, the Burj-Al Arab and other sights through the panoramic windows. Use the digital telescopes to view and learn about the landmarks below, and browse the gift store before returning to ground level.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$82.00
From
$82.00
Taking safety measures

Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider

Explore the Backstreets of Old Dubai with an Insider

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121
Many visitors miss Dubai’s older side, concentrating on its futuristic architecture and glitz. This half-day walking tour bucks the trend, showcasing the old residential and souk quarters. Browse Deira’s souks, ride a wooden ‘abra’ boat across Dubai Creek, and explore Al Bastakiya’s lanes and wind towered houses while learning about Emirati history and culture. A traditional Arabian lunch and entrance fees included.
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  • 4 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$103.00
From
$103.00
Taking safety measures

Burj Khalifa Level 148 'At the Top SKY' Entrance Ticket with One-way Transfer

Burj Khalifa Level 148 'At the Top SKY' Entrance Ticket with One-way Transfer

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140
Gaze out over Dubai from the Burj Khalifa’s highest observatory with this ‘At the Top SKY’ ticket. Savor coffee at the plush SKY Lounge and ride a special elevator to Level 125, situated above the public ‘At the Top’ deck. Revel in the views from here and then visit Level 148, home to the world’s highest open-air observatory at 1,820 feet (555 meters)up. Breathe in the staggering outlook, see the life-size videos and finally, chronicle the story of the tower at the fascinating ground-level SKY exhibition.
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  • 1 to 3 hours
  • Taking safety measures
From
$160.00
From
$160.00
Taking safety measures