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Dubai is built to please any kind of visitor, including children. Because of the extreme temperatures, many activities take place indoors. But as travelers will quickly discover, just because an attraction is located in an enclosed space doesn’t imply it’s in any way tame, or the least bit subtle.

Things to do in Dubai


This former Iranian neighborhood, located on the banks of the Dubai Creek, is over 100 years old. Spend a day here touring this village’s narrow lanes, which snake around the collection of gypsum-colored traditional Emirati buildings constructed before the oil dollars rolled in the 70’s. Begin at the XVA Gallery, which is housed in the most impeccably renovated Bastakiya former home.

, 011-971-4-353-5383,
Tags: things to do | culture | history | gallery

Dubai Museum

Built in 1781, the Al Fahidi Fort currently serves as the home for the Dubai Museum. Step in for a thorough look at life-size recreations of traditional Dubai homes back when pearls were this city’s main commodity.

Al-Fahidi Fort, 011-971-4-353-1862,
Tags: things to do | culture | history | museum

Gold Souk

Narrow alleyways lined with gold merchants stretch on for miles in Dubai's traditional gold souk (market). Go for the jewelry - there isn't a style or color that can't be found here. Be prepared to bargain and never settle on the asking price.

Gold Souk,
Tags: shopping | editor pick | things to do | culture | history

Moroccan Hammam

Spend a few hours being scrubbed and pampered in a traditional Moroccan hammam. Several hotels and spas have them, but the city’s best is at the One&Only Royal Mirage.

One&Only Royal Mirage, Al Sufouh Rd., 011-971-4-399-9999,
Tags: luxury | smart splurge | things to do

Ski Dubai

The world's very first indoor ski resort is the size of three football fields. Located in the center of the Mall of the Emirates, this 275-foot-high synthetic hill has several runs, as well as a snow park for children. Because no one expects you to bring ski clothes to Dubai, the resort provides all the amenities - even hot cocoa at the top of the "mountain."

Mall of the Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Rd., 011-971-4-409-4000,
Tags: family | skiing | things to do | adventure

The Third Line Gallery

If you’re interested in expanding your knowledge of regional artists, head over to The Third Line, which has one of this city’s finest contemporary art collections.

Al Quoz 3, 011-971-4-341-1367,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | gallery

Wild Wadi

This water park located next to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel has dozens of attractions including surfing machines, waterfalls, and the biggest slide outside of the North America.

Jumeirah Beach Rd., 011-971-4-348-4444,
Tags: family | things to do | water park

XVA Gallery

Located in Bastakiya, the heart of Dubai’s heritage district, this camel-colored gallery has become a mecca for art events, film screenings, and live music. It even operates a small boutique hotel on its second floor. A recent expansion has made room for a new shop, which is run by the owners of Sauce, Dubai’s most creative and independent retailers.

Bastakiya, 011-971-4-3535-383,
Tags: art | things to do | culture | history

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