Exploring Dubai

There is lots to do and see in Dubai, making it an exciting place to live and study. Explore the city and the surrounding emirates and discover its hidden treasures for yourself.

With so much on offer, Dubai and the surrounding emirates have something for all tastes, whether you are looking for thrills, culture, shopping, or history.

Explore Downtown Dubai

Dubai's iconic downtown area is a must-see for any visitor, whether it's taking in the impressive skyline or making the most of the huge range of entertainment options.

Watch the world famous Dubai Fountain create an impressive show with lights and music, or visit the top of the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, and take in the spectacular views across Dubai. Chill out at the Dubai Ice Rink, or explore the shops of The Dubai Mall.

Explore history

Although Dubai is known for being a modern city, its rich history is never far away. Dubai is filled with heritage and cultural sites. Find out more about Bedouin life, visit one of the many museums, and learn about the traditions and culture of Dubai.

Head to the south of Dubai Creek to visit the Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort to learn more about the history of Dubai and its people through artefacts and interactive displays. Explore the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to get a sense of the traditional lifestyle, with traditional buildings and winding alleyways playing host to cafés, restaurants and cultural centres.

Travel further out to Abu Dhabi and visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center, one of the largest mosques in the world and an important centre for education and cultural tourism.

Explore The Dubai Frame, one of the newest landmarks in Dubai's skyline and take a journey through Dubai past, present and future.

Explore the unexpected

Walk with dinosaurs and discover a magical glow in the dark garden at Dubai Garden Glow, or ski in the desert and experience a chilly minus 4 degrees at Ski Dubai.

Visit the unique Bollywood Parks Dubai, a theme park inspired by Bollywood with rides, live entertainment, and stage performances, or head to Dubai Mall to the VR Park, an indoor theme park based entirely around virtual reality.

Take a ride down the free Downtown Slide, a 19m long tube slide which has been designed to stay cool on even the hottest of days, or head down to the free bird hides at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary at Dubai Creek to spot the flocks of flamingos in the wetland reserve on the edge of the bustling city.

Explore outdoors

Head out of town to Jebel Hafeet, the second highest peak in the UAE, and take in the incredible views across Al Ain. In the foothills of Jebel Hafeet sits Wadi Adventure, one of many water parks in the UAE, complete with a 3.3 metre surfing wave and three different levels of white water rafting.

Back in Dubai, you can hire a bike and explore Downtown Dubai and Dubai Marina, or take a walk along the Palm Jumeirah Boardwalk enjoying views of Dubai's skyline and the Arabian Gulf.

If you are looking for somewhere to relax outdoors, you can explore one of Dubai's many beaches or parks.

Explore festivals

Dubai celebrates a huge range of festivals and events throughout the year. National Day, celebrated on December 2 each year, marks the day the emirates joined together to form the United Arab Emirates in 1971. Most businesses and organisations close for a few days, and celebrations include parades, concerts and firework displays.

The Dubai Shopping Festival, taking place from December to January, is a great place to for bargain hunters, whilst the Dubai Food Festival is the perfect opportunity to try something new. 

Exploring during Ramadan

Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, is regarded as the holiest month of the year for Muslims. During Ramadan, Muslims focus on prayer and reflection, and adults are expected to fast from dawn until dusk each day. Dubai will slow down during this time, with businesses and organisations operating reduced opening times.

Whilst non-Muslims are not expected to fast, there are a few etiquette rules to be followed to respect those who are fasting. Eating and drinking will not be allowed in public on campus during this time, and eating, drinking and smoking are forbidden in public during daylight hours across the country. 

The daily fast is traditionally broken by a sip of water and dates, followed by a large feast known as Iftar. Iftars are sociable events, with friends and families gathering together to eat. Throughout Dubai, Iftar buffets are offered everywhere, from restaurants and hotels to Legoland!

Ramadan ends with Eid al-Fitr, celebrated with the first sighting of the crescent moon. There is a three day public holiday and across the city there are a huge range of exciting activities and performances. Look out for events across Dubai during this time.


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