What are the best things about Dubai

19 reasons why it is worth visiting Dubai!

Dubai is one of the most modern cities in the world

Dubai is very western. Different cultures and nations come together here. The city is one of the most international places in the world. Only 20% of the people are native (Emirati). The remaining 80% come from all over the world.

In Dubai the principle applies: higher, faster, further. More and more superlatives are emerging here. Among the best known are The Palm, Burj Khalifa with the Dubai Mall and The World. Dubai is particularly distinctive from the air. If you see the palm tree on approach for landing, you know where you are.

At the end of the article you will find Tips on hotels, excursions and activities.

Tip: Buy Burj Khalifa tickets online in advance
Here you can go directly to all tickets - at the end of the article we have also put together an overview for you.

Dubai is not Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates borders Saudi Arabia, but they are mistakenly associated with Saudi Arabia. The countries have theirs own language, culture and customs. Of course, there are still similarities. But you can't necessarily compare Germany, for example, with Holland, France, Poland or the Czech Republic, just because the countries border one another.

Yes, Women are allowed to drive in Dubai and you will also on very many unveiled women to meet. There are hotels and bars that legally serve alcohol and on the beaches you will see as much bare skin as in other countries. A mixture of tradition and modernity is maintained in Dubai.

Tip: Withdraw cash free of charge in Dubai
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Dubai is more than just a stopover station

You shouldn't just have Dubai on your screen as a stopover station. There is really a lot to see and do while sightseeing in Dubai. Many only associate Dubai with Desert and luxury or paint yourself expensive cars off andrich sheikhs with a hawk in their arms.

Ok, there is a lot of it, of course. In Dubai there is actually everything you can imagine. Dubai is filthy rich. But just let yourself in for a little longer and you will see what a great atmosphere the city has and what great people live there.

We always like to travel to Dubai and also to Abu Dhabi. The Flight time of just under 6 hours (from Frankfurt) is easy to bear. We have friends there (we met on a trip around the world) and of course you get to know a city very differently than when you visit it like a tourist.

That's why we've got you a mix hereDubai sights and travel tips compiled, that will make your stay unforgettable. By the way, the best travel time is in the German winter.

1. Burj Khalifa - the tallest building in the world (yet)

The Burj Khalifa is currently the tallest building in the world at 828 m and one of the most popular Dubai attractions. You will love and hate the building. Lovebecause the view from the observation deck is simply phenomenal. To hatebecause you will just never get this building in the right photo.

No matter how much you bend, either you don't have the tip on it or the composition is not as you would like it to be. I messed up a little and used the panorama function of my iPhone.

➜ All admission tickets to the tallest building in the world at a glance


Burj Khalifa tour

There are several ways to visit this top attraction and I think that once in a lifetime you should enjoy this view. But you can't just go to this attraction and take the elevator up to the viewing platform. The different options are a little confusing, so I'll try to break it down. You can also take a look at our detailed article.

You have to book a ticket for a Burj Khalifa tour. And it's best to buy this ticket well in advance. Especially in the high season or on New Year's Eve, you have to plan a little more in advance. Otherwise it can happen that you no longer get a free appointment.

The tour takes approx. 90 minutes. There are different queues at the entrance. A normal (which can sometimes be very long) and a "Fast Lane", in which you are faster, see below.

Burj Khalifa Ticket 124th + 125th floor - AT THE TOP

The most popular Burj Khalifa ticket gives you access to the 124th and 125th floors. The 124th floor is a viewing platform with an outside terrace, the 125th floor has a viewing platform without an outside terrace. Especiallythe 124th floor (AT THE TOP) is very popular and offers the best view.

Beearly enough at the entrance, even if you already have a ticket. You can avoid the long lines by taking a Burj Khalifa Fast Lane ticket with skip the line. On the way to the viewing platforms, the history of the building is clearly visualized and then it goes up. You can also borrow an audio guide on site. Sunset tickets are also very popular.

The most popular tickets 124th + 125th floor - AT THE TOP

➜ Ticket: for the 124th & 125th floor
➜ Ticket: Fast-track admission ticket for 124th & 125th floor*Recommendation*
➜ Ticket: for the 124th & 125th floor at sunset

Ticket 148th floor (incl. 124th + 125th) - AT THE TOP / SKY

With this popular ticket you get Access to the 124th, 125th and 148th floor (!). The 148th floor, like the 124th floor (AT THE TOP), has an outdoor terrace and is theSKY lounge. From there you have a view from an even greater height. As a tourist, you won't get any higher than this floor.

We did this tour here. First we took a seat in a waiting room and gotDates and arabic coffee. Then we went through the exhibition with a guide who explained a lot and we drove up to the viewing platforms.

You can get another one in the SKY LoungeSoft drink. Here it feels like floating above all things. You can stay here for a maximum of half an hour, otherwise there will be a traffic jam. You can still stay on the other viewing platforms and have a beautiful view of downtown and the Dubai Fountain.

The most popular tickets on the 148th floor (incl. 124th + 125th) - AT THE TOP / SKY

➜ All tickets at a glance
➜ Ticket: 124th, 125th & 148th floor with guided tour *Recommendation*


2. Dubai Fountain

The artificial lake lies at the foot of the huge skyscraper Lake Burj Dubai with the famous water fountain, also called Dubai Fountain. It is the top attraction in downtown. And how could it be otherwise, it is of course the largest water fountain in the world. Over a length of 275 m, up to 100,000 liters of water shoot up to a height of 1 to 150 m. Pretty impressive.

Every half an hour from 6 p.m. you can watch the Dubai Fountain spectacle, how the water dances to the music and everyone pulls out their smartphones to record it. There's no getting through here on New Year's Eve.

3. Dubai desert safari

Since we know people in Dubai, we go on a desert safari every time we are there. And to be honest: it's just the Oberhammer! Here you can find a detailed article about our Desert safarithat we will never forget. Cruising through the sand dunes in your own jeep is something very special.

But I've already taken part in guided tours and that's different than when you're out with friends, but it still has its appeal to dash over the dunes. You can easily integrate a desert safari as a day trip into your Dubai vacation.

In any case, you should try out a safari like this. One of the most popular tours is a desert safari with a barbecue. But there are various other tours.

Book the desert safari online in advance

➜ All desert safari offers fromDubai: Desert safari from Dubai
➜ 5-hour tour with dune bashing: desert safari with dinner from Dubai
➜ Desert safari with quad tour: Desert safari with quad tour & dune surfing

➜ All desert safari offers fromAbu Dhabi: Desert safari from Abu Dhabi
➜ Tour with Dune Bashing: Desert safari with BBQ and sandboarding from Abu Dhabi


4. Burj Al Arab

The Burj al Arab, also just called Al Arab, is one of the top Dubai attractions. The Burj al Arab counts next to that Burj Khalifa one of the most famous buildings in the world and is a very popular Dubai attraction. It is 321 meters high and has the shape of a sail. Officially, the hotel has "only" five stars, but the media often add two more stars due to the luxurious furnishings. Only that becomes more luxurious Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi viewed.

If you can't afford a night in the Burj al Arab, you can get to know the hotel on a cocktail tour in the Skyview Bar. This is how you get to the Skyview Bar, you can move relatively freely in the hotel and enjoy the view of Dubai.

Book Burj al Arab tours online in advance

➜ Cocktail tour in the Skyview Bar
➜ Boat tour around Palm

5. The World Island - Lebanon Island

One of the most extraordinary places in Dubai is The World Island, also Lebanon Island called. The World Island is the only island of the project "The World" that is ready and also public is. "The World" will later consist of 300 islands and is currently in the development phase.

The island is only by water taxi from Jumeirah Fishing Harbor (Fisherman Marina Jumeirah 1). Admission (including boat transfer) to the island costs AED 200 per person and the journey takes about 15 minutes. The boat departs every hour from 11 a.m.

For info: There are day trips only possible there. The island has no hotel and offers no overnight accommodation. But you can spend a wonderful day there. There is a restaurant, bars, a pool and sports activities. But the island is not very big.

It's more of an islet. In any case, you can relax very well there and it is a special kind of experience. From the beach there is (still) a great view of the Dubai skyline.

You can find more beautiful beaches in our detailed article on the beaches of Dubai.

Buy the World Islands ticket online in advance

➜ Dubai World Islands: day access Lebanon Island

6. The Palm Jumeirah

The Palm is probably the most famous project that you know from Dubai. You can see the artificially raised island from the plane. At the moment we are also working on two more "Palm Islands", "Palm Jebel Ali" and "Palm Deira".

Spend the night on the palm tree

There were a few on the artificial island a thousand villas and vacation rentals built. There is pure luxury here. By far the most famous hotel here is the Atlantis Hotel. If you drive to the island by car, you can see this gigantic and massive structure from afar. I haven't stayed there yet. If you have stayed there before, please tell us about your experience as a comment.

I have stayed at Anantara Resort before and it was a memorable one. The pool area, which is directly adjacent to the accommodations, is something special. You can virtually jump into the pool from your room. You have a great one from the beach Skyline view from Dubai. I found the Rixos just as nice. I liked the beach area even better because it is much bigger.

However, the traffic on the island is a disaster. The city is and will remain a permanent construction site. Therefore, you always have to expect traffic jams, traffic delays and delays. Just so that you have this in mind when planning your tour.

Marvel at Dubai's skyline from "The Palm"

If you don't stay overnight on the palm tree, you should still make a detour to the outer ring. If you go to the northeast part you can do a great one from there Panorama of Dubai's skyline with the Burj Khalifa and Burj al Arab enjoy.

On the other side, the southwest ring, you also have a great view of the city. It's especially nice to watch the city from here in the evenings. It is best to drive to the Hotel Jumeirah Zabeel Saray. You have the best view from the promenade in front of the hotel. And you can also take a look at the hotel. It is one of the most splendid hotels on the island.

7. Helicopter sightseeing flight

The Helicopter flight is one of my personal highlights and I recommend everyone to do such a tour. During the sightseeing flight you will pass beautiful sights. From the air you simply have the best view of "The Palm" or "The World". My helicopter tour lasted a total of 12 minutes and started on Atlantis Hotel.

The flight went along theBurj Al Araband towards Burj Khalifa. From there overThe World Islands and back to the starting point. Unfortunately the flight had to be postponed three times due to a sandstorm and the visibility was not the best, but luckily it still worked. You can find the experience report in the detailed article.

Book the helicopter tour online in advance

➜ Helicopter flight: Helicopter flight 12 to 25 minutes


8. Dubai Marina, JBR

In Dubai Marina and Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR for short) It's always something going on. JBR Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dubai and has one huge promenade. Here is everything you can imagine.

Countless restaurants (Cheesecake Factory is my favorite), shops, boutiques, a market, a fair and a cinema. You won't get bored at the Dubai Marina, either during the day or in the evening. By the way, you can quickly see which restaurants in JBR are good and which are not. If one is relatively empty, you don't even need to go inside. If you need a reservation, always get in there.

I have already stayed at the Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach Hotel, which I can recommend without further ado. Good service, great location. And already at the Hawthorn Hotel & Suites by Windham. The location is great here and the rooms are also good, but the entrance is kind of stupid, so that you always have the feeling of coming through a department store garage. We personally like Dubai Marina best.

9. Dubai's beaches

Many don't want to believe me, but Dubai has amazing beaches! And they are almost all different. You can either lie down on the beach to relax or do one of the countless activities. Starting from Jet ski, above Kite surfing, Flyboarding, to fitness, skating or volleyball, the beaches really have a lot to offer. You could even run a marathon along all of the beaches, as there is a well-developed running route along the coast.

The sand is great and the water is partly turquoise. There are plenty of places to eat or snack, and some private beaches even serve alcohol.

The most popular beach among the younger generation isBarasti Beach. Barasti is a party stronghold and many festivals are celebrated here on the beach. Entry is free of charge and from 21 years of age, the minimum age for alcohol consumption. It's the only public beach in town that sells alcohol.

If you want to find out more about the beaches, take a look at my detailed article.

10. Arabic food

The Emirates have great food. In the meantime, however, it is no longer that easy to find an authentic Arabic restaurant in Dubai. There are a lot of western restaurant chains that you know from everywhere.

This is a recommendation from meAl Fanar. There are many traditional Arabic dishes here. One delicacy is for example shark. Looks like tuna and is refined with many spices. But there are also great ones vegetarian dishes. The best thing to do is to try the menu up and down. The dishes are all delicious!

The atmosphere here always reminds me a bit of Phantasialand. There are figures and objects everywhere. Whole sceneries were created here that were probably modeled on the 1960s in Dubai. By the way, you can either traditionally eat with your hands or with cutlery.

Note: It is best to keep an eye on where the Al Fanar is, because it has moved twice in two years. Everything changes very quickly here. Suddenly there is a high-rise where there used to be a small house.

If you want to make a detour Abu Dhabi do, I can also do the traditional one Coffee shopMeylas recommend and that Al Marzab. The cuisine here is similar to that in Al Fanar.

11.Dubai Mall with Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Mall is right on the Burj Khalifa and with over 1200 stores is currently the largest shopping center in the world and one of the most popular shopping malls. You always have to say now, because you never know what's coming next year.

You can't really call the Dubai Mall a shopping center. The Dubai Mall is almost like a small city and it is also one of the most popular sights. There are countless shops, restaurants, but also a huge aquarium, an ice rink for ice skating or a cinema. In short: you can do anything you want - really anything. You won't get bored there.

Insider tip for a good view:

If you like one while eating View of the Burj Khalifa want to have, look for the restaurant Al Forno on. Have a seat on the terrace and you have a magnificent view of the Burj Khalifa and the famous fountain. The pizza is delicious and you can watch the hustle and bustle from above.

Book your aquarium ticket online in advance

➜ Combined ticket: Burj Khalifa & Dubai Aquarium: combined ticket

12.Mall of the Emirates - Ski Dubai: a different kind of skiing holiday

The Mall of the Emirates is similar to the Dubai Mall, but a little smaller. It offers "only" 600 shops. She is especially known for "Ski Dubai", so that you can Skiing in the mall can.

Restaurant tip:

If you don't want to ski yourself but want to watch the spectacle, you can best do it from the comfort of the Cheesecake Factory out.

13. Downtown Dubai

Not only the Burj Khalifa or the Dubai Mall are worth a visit. Just stroll around theLake Burj Dubai and along theSheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard. This is the promenade that extends around the Burj Khalifa. You will surely find a few nice corners.

14. Historic old town Bur Dubai - Dubai Creek

At the South bank of Dubai Creek is the renovatedOld town of Dubai: Bur Dubai. The sights of the old town stretch along the Dubai Creek. Some of the oldest parts of the city are believed to be here. There are several historical sites and museums to visit. A dhow ride is worthwhile on Dubai Creek.

Textile souk

Stroll through the alleys of theFabric market Old Souk (old market) and discover the endless selection of textiles and clothes.

Al Fahidi Fort - Dubai Museum

The al-Fahidi fort is a fortress built in 1787 and known today as the Dubai Museum. It is the oldest building in the city. The museum illustrates the time before the discovery of oil. The museum is one of the sights that you have to see the first time. But that's enough.

Heritage & Diving Village

In the past the place consisted of fishing villages and Bedouin societies. The Heritage & Diving Village is a great opportunity to explore the past of the United Arab Emirates. If you want to leave the modern skyline world behind you and want to experience what it looked like here in the past, you've come to the right place.

15. Souks in Deira - Spice & Gold Souk

The arab markets, also called the souk, invite you to stroll. If you've been to Bur Dubai before, take one Water taxi (1, - Dirham) and drive over the Dubai Creek to Deira. Or vice versa.

In Deira you can use the Souks stroll. The most popular attractions include the Spice Souk and Gold Souk. Take a deep breath and enjoy the various scents of the herbs and spices, which are nicely lined up in spice bags. Bargaining is a must and is one of the Dubai highlights.

Even if you might not want to buy anything expensive, you should take a look at what can be made of precious metals. You can marvel at various pieces of jewelry and jewels on the gold souk. By the way, everything is real.

16. Madinat Jumeirah Souk

The arab market Souk Madniat is near the Burj Al Arab. It is also called the “City of Merchants”. The typical Arabic flair of a bazaar awaits you in the souk. Here you will find fashion, jewelry, art, antiques, oils, spices and many restaurants and bars. It is a kind of lagoon city in the style of Arab palaces. You can also explore the city with a so-called Abras (water taxi).

17. Jumeirah Mosque

The Jumeirah Mosque In contrast to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, it is rather modestly built. But still no less impressive. Non-Muslims are also allowed in the mosque 6 days a week.

The mosque can accommodate up to 1200 people and was built entirely from white stone. If you want to visit the mosque, make sure to wear appropriate clothing - men's long pants, women's shoulders and head covered.

Trips to the mosque at sunset, in order to then photograph them in a special light, are particularly popular.

18. Royal Palace - Za’abeel Palace

Sheikh PalaceMuhammad bin Raschid Al Maktum you will only see from the outside. But you can to Za’abeel Palace Gate, too Zabeel Palace Gate written, drive and get an impression of how big the palace and the area are. Many do not get lost here, but if they do, then to take pictures of the gate and the many peacocks that present their plumage.

19. The Dubai Frame

"The Frame" is a popular sight (since the beginning of 2018) and it is again a building that is very difficult to get completely on the lens. But the building is really cool and well worth a visit.

You can take the elevator up and walk across a glass floor. You can also see in the exhibition how Dubai sees itself as a city of the future. The view of the skyline from up there is awesome. And probably even more beautiful in the evening. On the one hand you look at modern Dubai and on the other at Old Dubai.

Depending on the time of day, there can be a very long line. We were there between 9 and 10 in the morning. From 11 a.m. it was already very full. The Dubai Frame is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Book The Dubai Frame tickets online in advance

➜ Combination ticket: Half-day city tour in Dubai including Dubai Frame

Hotel recommendations:

Our recommendation: YES Ocean View
➜ The Oberoi Dubai
➜ Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham JBR
➜ Park Hyatt
➜ Nassima Royal
➜ Mövenpick Jumeirah Beach
➜ Le Méridien

Exceptional accommodations:

Take a look at our detailed article with the most beautiful and extraordinary hotels in Dubai! The best known are probably the luxury hotel Atlantis or the Burj Al Arab. If you don't want to afford the hotels, you can visit them on a sightseeing tour with the Hop On Hop Off bus.

➜ Burj al Arab Jumeirah
➜ Atlantis The Palm Dubai
➜ Jumeirah Zabeel Saray
➜ Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort
➜ Rixos The Palm Dubai
➜ Signature Luxury Holidays - Sea Breezer
➜ Kempinski Residences Palm Jumeirah
➜ Residence & Spa, Dubai at One & Only Royal Mirage

Withdraw money for free

With the free 1plus Visa Card from Santander Consumer Bank, you can withdraw cash free of charge anywhere in the world!

Burj Khalifa tickets at a glance

The most popular tickets 124th + 125th floor - AT THE TOP

➜ Ticket: for the 124th & 125th floor
➜ Ticket: Fast-track admission ticket for 124th & 125th floor*Recommendation*
➜ Ticket: for the 124th & 125th floor at sunset

The most popular tickets on the 148th floor (incl. 124th + 125th) - AT THE TOP / SKY

➜ Ticket: Ticket 124th, 125th & 148th floor with guided tour *Recommendation*

Dubai City Pass

➜ City Card: for 1 to 7 days


Dubai Travel Guide:

Travel Guide Dubai & Ras Al Khaimah: Personal - Authentic - Individual | City & outdoor guide with 68 maps, metro map, folding map, Google Maps, city walks, food, street art & beach tips
  • Top sights & activities, restaurant & hotel tips, rooftop bars & sky bars
  • Tips for 1-3 days, 1-2 weeks & stopover
  • City walks, beach, street art & outdoor guides
  • Insider tips from locals, tips for travel preparation & culture
  • 68 maps, metro plan, folding plan & Google Maps

Activities & excursion tips:

You can visit the most important sights and most popular attractions on a bus tour with a hop-on and hop-off bus. The buses drive past all the landmarks. So you can go on a relaxing sightseeing excursion. A dhow boat trip is also popular.

➜ Holiday activities: all at a glance
➜ Nice outdoor activities: sunset desert safari with dinner