Your Ultimate Dubai Travel Guide for 2024

Dubai is a dazzling destination that offers travelers a magical experience of both the old world and the new. Between luxury shopping, five-star hotels, and thrilling attractions–Dubai is guaranteed to exceed all your expectations. You can plan for the trip of a lifetime by checking out this brilliant Dubai travel guide for 2024.

Dubai is the most populous city in the United Arab Emirates and lies directly within the Arabian Desert. This sprawling metropolis attracts visitors intrigued by its modern amenities set against a sandy desert backdrop. Dubai brings in travelers and nomads from all over the world, and the city ambitiously aims to be the most visited city by 2025.

Whether you prefer a slow-paced vacay on the beach or shopping till you drop at a luxury mall, Dubai has everything you could want in a vacation. Check out this Dubai travel guide to pick attractions for your vacation itinerary, learn some important Dubai travel tips, and discover the best time to visit Dubai. Don’t hesitate to plan a trip to Dubai that could be your next favorite vacation of 2024!

Best Dubai attractions for couples

Dubai Desert Safari

A camel ride in the desert is an unforgettable experience. Photo by Dan Rentea.

This epic adventure is one of the coolest things you can add to your Dubai travel guide. Book a thrilling escape with an off-roading experience in the Arabian desert, also known as dune bashing. Enjoy an exhilarating Arabian Desert experience with camel rides, sandboarding, henna painting, Arabic tea, and a lavish BBQ spread of Arabian delicacies. You may even get to meet a camel! Enjoy the sun-kissed dunes with your significant other and watch as the stars fill the night sky. These tickets include hotel pick-up for easy travel to the desert.

The Dubai Frame

The Dubai Frame standing in Zabeel park.
Zabeel park with the Dubai Frame in the background. Photo by Fritz John Asuro.

The Dubai Frame has become one of the most popular attractions in Dubai, especially for those who like to test their fear of heights! The Dubai Frame is a massive structure that was developed to link the UAE’s past to its present. As you enter the frame, you’ll see immersive 3D projections that portray the magic of ‘Old Dubai’ and explore a deep dive into the city’s evolution from a humble fishing village to its modern-day metropolis. As you catwalk the glass floor on the Sky deck level, you’ll see panoramic views of both ‘Old Dubai’ in the north and ‘New Dubai’ in the south. It’s the perfect outing for couples looking to experience one of Dubai’s iconic landmarks and enjoy a heart-pounding thrill!

Best Dubai attractions for families

IMG: Worlds of Adventure

Visitors experiencing thrilling rollercoaster at the IMG: Worlds of Adventure amusement park.
Spend a day at the world’s largest indoor amusement park. Photo by Jeremy Thompson.

Plan a trip to Dubai for the whole family by spending a day at IMG: Worlds of Adventure. There are over 1.5 million square feet of non-stop thrills and fun at the world’s largest indoor theme park. The theme park has five different zones with exhilarating rides like the Lost Valley Dinosaur Adventure Zone, where you may get lost in prehistoric times! Or, the kiddos can meet their favorite characters from both Cartoon Network and the Marvel Universe. Plus, the CN Live Stage Show features acrobatics, live music, and dancing. Your family trip to Dubai is incomplete without a visit to the IMG theme park in Dubai.

Museum of the Future

The Museum of the Future is one of Dubai’s newest attractions and the perfect addition to your Dubai travel guide for 2024. The city’s latest masterpiece encourages its guests to explore the world of tomorrow. Your family will enjoy the immersive experiences that set off all five of your senses as you learn about futuristic discoveries. The Museum of the Future was developed by some of the world’s leading designers to create a thoughtful exhibition of science, technology, and spirituality. It’s an inspiring experience that you and your family won’t soon forget.

Best landmarks to visit in Dubai

Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall in the center of Dubai.
When visiting Dubai, the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, should be on your bucket list. Photo by gumbao.

As you plan a trip to Dubai, the Burj Khalifa should be at the top of your list of unmissable landmarks in Dubai. You quite literally cannot miss it! Burj Khalifa is the tallest tower in the world and is visible from anywhere in Dubai. You can see it from any street, but to truly get the full Dubai experience, you’ll have to journey to the top. You can purchase a ticket to the world’s highest observation deck for an otherworldly view of Dubai from the 125th floor. But if you want to tempt fate even more, check out the outdoor terrace on the 148th floor. Plus, the VIP experience puts you even higher up in the world’s highest lounge on the 154th floor. There are high-speed elevators, so it’s a quick trip to the top!

Dubai travel tips for visiting Burj Khalifa:

Be careful not to miss out on world-class views by visiting the tower on a hazy day. If you want to secure the best view, try to book your time slot right before sunset. The sky will be clearer right at the end of the day, so it’s your best shot at a fantastic view.

Burj Al Arab

Burj Al Arab is built on an man-made island.
The Burj Al Arab hotel is one of the most distinctive in the world.

One of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks is the Burj Al Arab, a sail-shaped hotel that represents the UAE’s futuristic ambitions. The Burj Al Arab is jokingly called “the world’s only ‘seven-star’ hotel” for its astounding luxuries and special care and attention of its guests. You can take a guided tour of the hotel to gain a deeper understanding of Dubai’s humble beginnings and how far the city has come in terms of wealth and stature. Architecture lovers will especially appreciate the tour, and you can snap your own pics of one of the most photographed buildings in the world! Don’t forget to add the Burj Al Arab to your Dubai travel guide for 2024.

The Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountain

Dubai is known for its numerous world records, including the record for the largest mall in the world. The Dubai Mall has more than 1,200 shops and attracts almost 100 million visitors each year. It’s perfect for travelers who prefer the finer things in life and love to shop at luxury brands like Valentino and Dior. You may even run into a few celebrities on a shopping spree!

The Dubai Fountain also holds the record for the tallest fountain in the world, making it a must-see on your Dubai travel guide. You can catch multiple fountain shows a day that shoot up 22,000 gallons of water nearly 500 feet in the air. If you don’t mind a little spray, then you can get on the floating viewing platform for a much closer look.

How to get around Dubai

Public transport is one of the most convenient ways to get around Dubai.

Dubai is a modern city with modern transportation, so there are many ways to get around Dubai. It has the largest driverless train system in the world, including many modes of transportation that make for quick and easy travel to all of the city’s top landmarks.

As you plan a trip to Dubai, you’ll find there are many transportation options to choose from in the city. You can purchase the NOL pass to travel on public transportation. The subway cars and trams are sleek and elevated and even have women-only cars for safety and privacy reasons. The metro, tram, and buses are all air-conditioned, and there are over 1,500 buses running more than 100 routes. It is cheapest to travel via bus in Dubai.

If you prefer to have a driver, taxis are ubiquitous throughout the city. You can pre-book them or hail them from any popular city corner. The pink taxis are “Ladies and Families-only” cars with female drivers. You can also use the Uber app or the local Careem app to book a ride.

You can also rent a car in the city if you feel confident driving foreign cars. It’s the fastest way to get around and ideal for travelers doing day trips out of Dubai. However, traffic can be heavy during peak times, especially on the highways.

One of the coolest Dubai travel tips for getting around Dubai is to jump on board an abra. An abra is a traditional wooden boat that operates between the Bur Dubai and Deira areas. Add riding an abra to your Dubai travel guide to truly feel like a local. The boats can carry about 20 people at a time, and they’re a great way to avoid traffic in the city.

The best time to visit Dubai

Since Dubai is located in the Middle East, it’s notoriously known for being a hot city. So, many travelers plan their Dubai vacation during the winter months, November to March. It’s a very popular time to visit since the temperature is a bit cooler, running from the low 60s to the mid-80s Fahrenheit. However, the city can be a bit more crowded during this time, and hotels and flights can be more expensive.

If you want to avoid the crowds completely and benefit from the cheapest prices, then you should travel in the summer months from June to August. However, keep in mind that temperatures average around 105 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer.

The sweet spot for the best time to visit Dubai is in either September or April. It’s not too hot or crowded and makes for a pleasant time to visit Dubai. However, try to avoid visiting Dubai during Eid al-Fitr, the three-day festival that marks the end of Ramadan, since it can get very crowded in the city.

Dubai tips for tourists

Before visiting Dubai, it’s important to do your research on the local culture so you can be respectful of the country’s rules and regulations. Here are some important Dubai tips for tourists to help you plan your next big trip.

🪪 Do you need a visa to visit Dubai?

No, you do not need a visa for a short-term visit to Dubai, but you will need your passport.

🗣️ What language is spoken in Dubai?

Arabic is the official language of the United Arab Emirates. However, English is widely spoken and found on most signage in Dubai.

👫 Is PDA allowed in Dubai?

Minimal public displays of affection are allowed in Dubai, like holding hands and a kiss on the cheek. Also, keep in mind that in some areas of Dubai, photography is prohibited, so look out for signs and respect the rules.

💃 What should I wear while visiting Dubai?

As a tourist, you are not restricted to a dress code in Dubai. However, one of the top Dubai tips for tourists is to wear conservative clothing while dining out or visiting a religious center. If you are dining in a restaurant, then you should cover your shoulders and wear pants or long skirts and closed-toe shoes. You will be expected to cover your shoulders if visiting a religious center, like the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi. If you prefer, you can wear a traditional hijab and abaya while visiting a mosque.

🍷 Can travelers drink alcohol?

Since Dubai has a largely Muslim population, alcohol is not widely served throughout the city, and it is illegal to drink in public. Alcohol is only served at officially licensed establishments, like hotels, restaurants, and bars specifically for tourists. If you see a restaurant with signs saying “dry,” they do not serve alcohol. It is also not polite to ask for alcohol if you don’t see it on the menu.

Looking to add more exciting experiences to your Dubai travel guide? Check out everything there is to do in Dubai.

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