• Joanna Abraham

The 16 best things to do in Dubai- 2018 Events & attractions (with photos)

A city of extremes

Dubai is a city of extremes. It is a place where seemingly impossible dreams are materialized to reality.

Having spent over a decade and a half in the city, what I've come to like most is the perfect balance of business culture and entertainment attractions that the city has to offer.

If 'work hard, play hard' sounds like your motto, Dubai the city for you to be in.

It is a place of profound traditions and world-class architecture; I'm talking Burj Khalifa and the like.

A few figures; Dubai happens to be one of the most economically sound cities in the world, with a GDP per capita of 68,200 USD.

Dubai is the 4th most visited city in the world.

Weather you're a newly-arrived resident, or a foreign tourist, Dubai provides a variety of events, attractions and landmarks for you to feast your eyes on.

Here are 16 exciting things you can do:

#1 Visit the Dubai Mall, and shop till you drop

Shopping on a vacation might sound cliche to many. Well, not if it's at the Dubai Mall.

With over 1,200 plus shops and 150 restaurants, an Olympic ice rink, an indoor waterfall and of course- my favorite- the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai Mall is in a league of its own. #2 Visit the Burj Khalifa, and gaze down at Dubai from 800m in the air

The tallest building in the world as of this writing, the Burj Khalifa inevitably dominates the Dubai skyline. It has a 124 floors, all with stunning views of the city.

If you're really feeling it, you can even dine at At.Mosphere, a famous fine dining restaurant located on floor 122.

#3 Visit the Dubai Fountain, and film a dancing fountain to post on your Instagram story

The Dubai Fountain gives you an inspiring water, music and light show. Its located at the base of Burj Khalifa and is totally worth watching.

The water jets strategically located across the promenade, can shoot water up to 150 m high in the air, making for a spectacular show. And splash zone.

#4 Visit the GITEX expo, and get yourself some tech gizmos

The Gulf Information Technology Expo (GITEX) is one of the biggest consumer electronics expos in the Middle East.

If you're as big of a technology fanatic as the 150,000 visitors that stop by annually, you have no reason not to be present at the event.

The GITEX event is also a hotbed of product launches, new releases and crazy discounts and deals. #5 Visit the Dubai Marina and admire an engineering marvel

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is the world’s largest man-made marina.

Admire the tallest apartment buildings as you stroll through Dubai Marina Walk or sail along it from the Dubai Marina Yacht Club.

#6 Visit the Dubai Shopping Festival, and get yourself some great discounts and offers

Said to attract over 3 million visitors to Dubai annually, the Dubai shopping festival (DSF) is one of the largest retail events in the Middle East.

It is a month long event, usually scheduled to take place during the first quarter of the year.

During DSF, retailers all over the city are known to offer great bargains and discounts on retail products ranging from apparel and household items to electronics and books.

#7 Take part in the Dubai Marathon, and break a sweat

dubai marathon 2017

Held in January each year, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is one of the most popular athletic events in the Gulf.

Like many other things in Dubai, it is the world's "richest" long distance running event in history, with one million dollars offered for a world record and USD 250,000 for the winner.

Besides elite athletes several hundred thousands of enthusiasts take place in the full, half and quarter marathons that take place on the event day.

#8 Attend the Dubai International Jazz Festival, and sway to some music

The Dubai International Jazz Festival takes place in the month of February each year. Enthusiasts from over the nation flock to the venue and enjoy performances form top artists.

#9 Spectate the Dubai Tennis Championships, and watch world class players battle it out

With a whopping 3.06 Million USD in prize money, the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships is 500 level tennis tournament that attracts large crowds of sporting enthusiasts from across the globe.

#10 Visit the Palm Jumeirah and walk over a man made island

A Palm shaped man made island, The Palm Jumeirah is home to great of hotels, like – Fairmont, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and the Atlantis.

Fancy dinning options include Nobu or 101 Dinning Lounge.

#11 Visit traditional Dubai, and learn about Arab culture

fort fahidi dubai

Old Town, the home of traditional souks, classic Arabian-style homes, is a must watch for every culture enthusiast.

A prime example of old-style Arabian architecture is Al Fahidi Fort, built in 1799, making it one of the oldest buildings on the Arabian Peninsula.

#12 Visit the Dubai Creek and go a dhow ride

Strolling along Dubai Creek is a trip down Dubai's heritage.

The water, was what kindled pearl diving and pearl trade in Dubai- an activity that helped the citizens of the UAE find their first bit of economical stability.

Dubai creek is where the real heart of the city is. #13 Head to Kite Beach and kite surf

Kite Beach is the best place in Dubai to lay your feet in the vibrant stretch of sand and hit the waves. Can get a hold of cool drink from one of the cafes just steps away from the beach.

There’s plenty of activities along with a beautiful view of Burj Al Arab.

A perfect spot for a full day at the beach.

#14 Go on a desert safari and bash some dunes

There are several prominent desert safari routes in Dubai; some as close as a 25 minute drive from Downtown Dubai.

Besides the thrill of dune bashing, desert safaris are also great places to go quad biking and surfboarding. #15 Skydive and come falling down from 10,00 feet in the air

While Dubai gives you an impressive sight from the ground, why not try giving it a look from 10,000 feet in the air. It's just as good.

Guided by professional instructors and trainers, you are sure to have a great time. #16 Attend a prominent business event

Business expos, seminar and meetups are common sight in Dubai.

Understanding the business scene here is all about networking with the right crowd. One of the best places to connect with influential businesspersons and know more about business in Dubai, is at business expos and meetups.

The Global Innovation Summit, SME World Summit and Made in UAE Summit are popular events that you must not miss. Upcoming events like the Expo 2020, themed as ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, are sure to bring in international crowds of business-owners and entrepreneurs, making Dubai a hotbed of business activity and entrepreneurship. Dubai is set with the excellent weather, endless shopping, outstanding entertainment and the growing commercial opportunities.

“Our happiest moments as tourists always seem to come when we stumble upon one thing while in pursuit of something else.”

About Stride Plus Events

Stride Plus is an events organizing and management company based in the UAE, focused on business, networking and community events.

Learn more about out services here.

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