If you’re planning on visiting one of the most lively cities in the world, then you need to know about certain places you just can’t go without visiting. There are about a thousand places that you can see, but there are always time restrictions on travel. Before visiting this amazing city, I researched and read many blog posts on recommended places to see. The lists went as long as 50 different places and some recommendations just weren’t very worth it. Based on your interests, it would be better for you to visit certain places if you don’t have much time to spend. That’s why I’m writing this blog post to specifically target young adults who are planning a trip to Dubai! These are places you will love to see on your trip to get the most out of your travel.
Burj Khalifa (AT NIGHT!!)
I’m sure you’ve read everywhere that the Burj Khalifa is a must see on your trip to Dubai. Well, all those bloggers are right. You have to see the Burj Khalifa. However, to get the most out of the Burj Khalifa experience I would definitely recommend that you visit it during sunset or at night. The views are just breathtaking so you don’t want to miss it! If you would like to see the difference between day and night at the top of Burj, here are side by side comparisons.
As you can see, the view at night looks 100x better. Unfortunately I could not get a picture of the sunset view, but I hear it is the BEST view you can get. So, if you have a few extra dollars to spend, you should definitely get the peak time ticket. Another recommendation I have for when you visit the Burj is to get a SKY ticket. This upgraded ticket will get you to the 148th level of the building, as well as the regular 124th and 125th levels. The 148th level is a lounge area with refreshments and MUCH LESS people. The Burj Khalifa is one of the most popular places to see in Dubai and is always packed, especially Thursday-Saturday! I experienced both the regular ticket and the SKY ticket, and I can 100% say the SKY ticket is worth it. I went on a Friday during the day with my regular ticket and waited in line for about 2 hours. With my SKY ticket, I got to skip the line and go straight up to the top! With my regular ticket, once I finally got to the top in a cramped elevator, I entered a room completely filled with people! It took an hour just to try and get a decent picture. If you are the type of person who needs to get amazing pictures at every place you visit, then this is not the ideal situation. With the SKY Lounge ticket, there were much less people which gave me plenty of time to have a photoshoot with my friends. I also got to sit down in couches to sip tea and eat baklava while enjoying the view! If you’re going to a rich city like Dubai, you should enjoy the experience like a sheikh! If you can’t afford to get a SKY Lounge ticket during sunset, that’s okay. You’ll still get amazing views and love it. But to get the best experience possible, I highly recommend buying tickets ahead of time online so you can at least skip one of the lines AND showing up 30-45 mins early! If you buy your ticket for a certain time to match your schedule, it will all go down the drain with how long this visit will take. You should show up early so by the time you finish waiting in line, the time you enter is closer to the time you booked your ticket for. The entrance to the Top of the Burj is in Dubai Mall, so the best way to get there would be for your Uber driver to drop you off at the mall entrance and then follow the signs above to get to the Top of the Burj.
Dubai Mall (All Day)
If you’re planning on visiting both the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, I would recommend visiting them on the same day since they are located right next to each other. When I visited Dubai Mall I stayed outside from day to night (not kidding!). Outside near the fountain is the place to be to see the fountain show every 30 minutes and the Burj Khalifa light show every 15 minutes. From daylight to sunset to night time, the view looks so different. If you want good views and camera angles, the best places to see the fountain show are from the left side away from the mall and from the balcony of the Apple Store! Getting some ice cream and relaxing by the water passes so much time! You can also do some exploring outside to see the different shops, take pictures with the water, Burj Khalifa, and I <3 Dubai light up sign, and maybe even see some cool cars parked in the back!
You could definitely spend a couple hours relaxing outside, but there are also tons of things to do inside the mall as well. There is a full movie theatre inside, just like every other mall in Dubai. I wouldn’t recommend seeing a movie there since there are so many other things to do. There is a VR Park, ice skating rink, indoor aquarium, and much more! Being the 2nd biggest mall in the world, Dubai Mall is always packed. I wouldn’t recommend going there if you actually have real shopping to do. It is way too big and crowded to shop with an agenda. Window shopping and walking around is the way to go when visiting this mall. You should definitely eat at the various food halls on every floor. There are a number of different cuisines and desserts that are amazing to try during your walking breaks. I actually was able to walk around the entire mall which took a couple hours. You might not be able to do this due to energy levels and time constraints 🙂 Therefore, I recommend picking a few things you want to see such as the Aquarium and Louis Vuitton store. Visiting the luxury section of the mall is a must see! You will feel very rich and not out of place unlike usual since a number of people are walking in and out of these stores. A store associate may even convince you to buy one of their pieces!
Clubs (Nightclubs AND Beach Clubs!)
When you finish your activities during the day, don’t go to sleep yet! Nightlife in Dubai is something you don’t want to miss! Dubai has a number of clubs which are very popular among the wealthy and celebrities. Before you go to Dubai, you should probably start following some club accounts to find out which one of your favorite singers is performing that weekend! If you get lucky, you may even get to meet your idols and party with them at their table. Dubai has a club for absolutely everything so here’s a few unique ones that may peak your interest. If you’re into epic parties and over the top scenes, WHITE is the outdoor club for you. It’s one of the top rated clubs and a hot spot for all your favorite celebrities. You can expect an artist or two to perform there almost every week. Another plus to this club is its location. You can find WHITE at Meydan Racecourse near another club called Drai’s, which also hosts weekly performers. I would recommend going to these clubs when there is a performer in order to get the full experience. These clubs have ladies nights 1-2 times a week which means free entry and free drinks for the ladies! Definitely plan out your club trips in advance to have the most fun for the best price!
More clubs to check out if you love to party is Billionaire Mansion and Toy Room. These high end clubs are the place to be. The high energy and atmosphere will make your Dubai trip one to remember! If you want a club that’s a little different from the usual, you should check out Club Boudoir. Every night is a different theme with different DJs from around the world. Popular nights are Thursdays which are Bollywood nights. If you like Bollywood, you would love Club Boudoir. Indians from all over Dubai come together to sing and dance all night long. Aside from Bollywood nights, they also have ethnic nights which are dedicated to Middle Eastern music and dancing. If you really want to immerse yourself in Dubai, partying Arab style would be the way to go. If you’re wondering where all the Europeans in Dubai go to party, Zero Gravity is where they party. Zero Gravity is a beach club and nightclub located at Skydive Dubai near Marina. Unlike most clubs in Dubai, Zero Gravity is open day to night. So if you’re a party person who loves to be by the pool, you would love the atmosphere there. Dubai is more known for its club scene and bars are really not as popular in this Emirate. Hopefully one of these clubs peaked your interest so you can party all day and night long!
Desert (Midday and Night)
If you’re traveling on your own, this may be a bit confusing since Dubai itself is a desert. However, there are certain spots in the desert that drivers know where you can go on camel rides, safari rides, quad biking, get henna tattoos, see bellydancing shows, eat a barbecue dinner, and smoke shisha. This is an ultimate Dubai experience that you need to have when you visit. The best way to participate in all of this is to book a tour online. Usually a driver will pick you up from your hotel from the tourism company which is very convenient. This is the best and easiest way to get the desert experience as the desert is huge and you won’t be able to find where all of this is located. I would recommend going to the desert around 4-5pm to have enough time to ride the camel, go quad biking, and get pictures. The camel ride lasts around 15 minutes and they will take pictures for you. Then when the sun starts to set, you can go inside the camp to get henna done and smoke shisha. When the bellydancing and fire show start, you can sit and enjoy the show with your veg/non-veg barbecue dinner. Doing all of these activities is cheaper than you would expect, so I recommend booking a reservation!
Make sure you have cash with you because all of these activities are cash only if you pay when you get there. Also take your time with pictures so you can get the best ones possible! You can ask anyone in the tourism group to take pictures for you if you are alone or want a group picture.
If you go to Dubai, you HAVE to go to Global Village and spend all your money. Global Village is an outdoor multicultural shopping destination and amusement park. It is literally a village separated into different countries with vendors inside each country selling popular products from that place. Everything you can think of is sold from beauty products to clothing to decorative pieces to food. Every 30 minutes, there are live shows put on by each country showing off their culture. It is truly a cultural experience you don’t want to miss. It’s extremely lively and packed during the winter season.
Be sure to check if Global Village is open during the season you are planning your trip to Dubai, because it is only open during the cooler months. In the center of it all, there is a DJ who provides electronic music all night. During busy days of the week, it will take hours to get through the whole thing. You may need to dedicate half the day to staying there. On weekdays there are less people and you may be able to visit each country in a couple hours. Entry into Global Village is only 15 dirhams, but if you want to experience the culture through food and buy the countries’ popular items, you may be spending a lot more than anticipated. The amusement park rides are on the expensive side however, so if you have amusement parks where you live, I would recommend skipping that part. Definitely go there with an empty stomach because there are sooo many cuisines you can try! Try to eat as many different foods as possible because each country has amazing food you may not get to ever try! Everyone’s favorite country to visit is Africa so definitely don’t skip that. Visiting the Middle Eastern countries will give you a better perspective on how the culture differs between each one. Dubai is an expat country, so people from all over the world live there. Global Village is a great representation of Dubai in how everyone brings their culture to the Emirate. You will be doing quite a lot of walking so wear comfortable shoes and clothes. If I remember correctly, it is cash only. There are ATM machines at the venue, so if you forget to bring money you can always get some last minute. However, if you are converting cash or if you have high international conversion rates, bringing cash is something to think about beforehand. I would say to bring around 300-500 dirhams to be on the safe side. The opening of Global Village is something everyone is Dubai looks forward to so I hope you get to experience all the culture!
Jumeirah is my personal favorite area in Dubai. It consists of beaches and strips of restaurants and it’s very lively all day. My favorite beach, Kite Beach, is located there. It has volleyball nets, amazing fries on a stick, a boardwalk and a lot of beach. If you love sand and water, you have to go to Jumeirah. There are a number of water activities you can take part in as well such as jetskiing. During the day is relaxing by the water, but at night all the supercars and motorcycle tricks come out. If you like seeing cool cars, eating dinner or dessert in Jumeirah will get you that experience. There are amazing restaurants along the strip where you can eat outside so you won’t miss out on the fun. You can go to Jumeirah anytime, so if you have any gaps in your schedule you should definitely think about going to the beach.
Another landmark worth visiting is the Burj Al Arab – the world’s only 7 star hotel. There are a number of restaurants you can dine in, however they are quite expensive. You can’t get into the Burj Al Arab unless you have a reservation, so I would recommend making a reservation to get dessert there to save money and see the luxury. La Mer is another beach which is definitely worth going to. It is quite new and is beautifully decorated all around to give you many photo opportunities. The difference between Kite Beach and La Mer is that La Mer has many restaurants and a water park, while Kite Beach has more food trucks and smaller restaurants. The cuisine in La Mer is to die for. The restaurants are top rated and very popular for brunch. The small beach town is beautiful at night so I recommend going later in the day to see the sunset and to enjoy the vibe at night.
Dubai Marina is a great place to see during the day and night. There is a long walkway along the water where you can get a great view of the city buildings. There are also restaurants all along the stretch where you can get smoothies, food, and smoke shisha. I recommend getting a yacht reservation for you and your friends so you can party and swim in the water. This is perfect during the day and sunset. Once it gets dark, you can still party on the boat, but you can’t swim. This is perfect for any type of celebration. You can bring your own food and drinks for almost any of the yacht companies or you can pay extra for a barbecue. The prices for a private yacht are not that expensive if you split the cost with your friends. There are also several dhow cruises which are dinner and a boat ride. This is perfect to meet up with someone to talk or for your family. There are shows on the boat as well which reflect the middle eastern culture. It is definitely a great experience.
If you like adrenaline and views, you can zip-line across Marina as well! The views at night are amazing and it will be an experience to remember. This is a great place to party Dubai style with yachts and dinner cruises. Marina is a must visit place on your list.
These are the places you definitely can’t miss on your trip to Dubai and are very enjoyable for young adults. Although I made this list for younger people, older people will also have a great time! This list is for people who only have a few days in this brilliant city. Hopefully you can maximize your stay with these tips. If you have more time, skydiving and snorkeling in Palm Jumeirah are things you should add to your itinerary. You should also consider visiting the neighboring Emirate, Abu Dhabi. There you can find the famous Ferrari World, Grand Mosque, and Presidential Palace. I hope you find this post helpful and have fun on your trip!