If traveling is your thing, then Dubai should be on your travel itinerary. This vibrant, glittering city is a very popular gateway for global travelers. It doesn’t matter whether you’re traveling to Dubai from the east, west, north or south. It doesn’t matter if Dubai is a stopover on your way elsewhere. It doesn’t matter if you have just one day to spend in Dubai. We’re here to make sure that your one day in Dubai is as glorious as can be. Just to give you a taste of what you can experience when you plan a longer, much-deserved trip to the City of Gold and the City of Luxury – Dubai.

  1. Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Sightseeing Tour
hop on hop off big bus sightseeing tour - One Day in Dubai: Top Things to Do & See in Dubai
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If you have just one day in Dubai, there’s no better way to see Dubai than through the hop-on-hop-off big bus tour. Just look at all the places you get to see and enjoy on this tour! You get to enjoy a fantastic peek at the magnificent Burj Khalifa, and the Dubai Mall. Then you get an eyeful of the Dubai Fountains as well. The big bus tour takes you to one of Dubai’s most intriguing tourist spots – the Palm Islands, where you can view the Lost Chambers Aquarium and Atlantis The Palm. The best part about this hop-on-hop-off tour is that there’s a bus every 10 minutes. You don’t need to stick to the bus you hopped on to. Just hop off wherever you want, and explore your favorite landmarks on foot. Want to do a bit of shopping at Dubai Mall? Just hop off and get in there. Grab the next bus out and catch the rest of the tour at your ease. You also get to enjoy a continuous commentary on Dubai’s landmarks and their history, in 12 different languages. An onboard guide keeps you entertained with anecdotes, along with the history and context of the things you’re seeing. The entire tour covers about 40 points of interest, including the Jumeirah mosque, Dubai Marina, Spice Souk, and more.

2. Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountains and the Burj Khalifa

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Venture into Downtown Dubai for some time at the Dubai Mall, the world’s only location where a Gold ATM can be found. With a multitude of retail outlets, eateries, an enormous multiplex movie theater, and a Virtual Reality Park, Dubai Mall is all set to impress. It’ll take you days to truly appreciate every corner of this humungous mall, so don’t even bother. Just take in the fabulous lobby, the atrium, the layout of the retail outlets, the Gold ATM and VR Park.

The famous dancing Dubai Fountains is the biggest choreographed fountain system in the world. Be sure to visit during the evening so you can watch the spectacular water and light show illuminate the sky. Book your tickets for a chance to enjoy the magnificent view from the Burj Khalifa’s At The Top viewing deck on the 125th floor. The view from this viewing deck is unbeatable. Even the ride up the fastest elevator in the world is not without its surprises. There are projections and video installations that will take you right into different places. The jaw-dropping, panoramic views of Dubai and its surroundings are so worth your time, money and effort. So are you still wondering where to go in Dubai? The question should be, where not to go in Dubai! This city of never-ending delights has so many attractions, you’ll need weeks to take them all in.

3. The Palm Islands

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This incredible man-made archipelago offers some of the most breathtaking views in Dubai. Sign up for a tour of the Palm Islands and get to know the island’s history, future landscape plans and current projects. You can cruise amongst the inner fronds of the Palm Islands, admiring the amazing architecture of the many hotels, residences, resorts and entertainment centers along the way. All along the fronds of the Palm Islands are hundreds of miles of beachfront, created exclusively to promote tourism. Be sure to get your snorkeling gear on and explore the underwater panorama if you have the time.

4. Desert Safari

desert safari - One Day in Dubai: Top Things to Do & See in Dubai

The Dubai desert is one place where you can be whoever you choose to be. Not much of an adventurer? No worries. The desert doesn’t ask questions and you don’t have to justify anything. You can just enjoy any desert sport you like – the high-octane, adrenalin-jerking dune bashing, where you’ll be roller-coastering over the dunes. The high-energy quad biking, with or without a companion, over the wadis and valleys of the desert. Riding a beautifully-decorated camel on the undulating dunes just like the Bedouins of old. Sand boarding, similar to snowboarding, down the tall dunes on the hot smooth sands. All these adventures await you in the desert. Wait, there’s more. The best desert safari Dubai is one that gives you all the adventures you seek and then some. How about some cool cultural entertainment too? Belly dancing, tanura dancing, henna tattooing and dragging on a shisha pipe? Lounge back on silk cushions in the Welcome Tent like a real Sheikh and enjoy bespoke luxury during the evening.

5. Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers Aquarium

aquaventure waterpark - One Day in Dubai: Top Things to Do & See in Dubai
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Your one day in Dubai will be incomplete without adding the Aquaventure Waterpark and the Lost Chambers Aquarium to your Dubai itinerary. One of Dubai’s most award-winning waterparks, Aquaventure has enough thrilling rides and slides to keep you happy for a long time. Let’s face it – Dubai is a hot city. What better use of your afternoon than a riotous time at a waterpark? Enjoy your time at Aquaventure and then head out to the Lost-Chambers-Aquarium-at-Atlantis-The-Palm. The aquarium is divided into 10 different areas, where you can get up close to a major variety of marine life. Waltz around stingrays, jellyfish, piranhas, sharks and other deadly creatures. Among the watery ruins of Atlantis you can spot a number of marine creatures swimming, hiding or just pretending they don’t see you. It’s the Middle East’s largest open-air marine habitat. Want to know more about the mythical lost city? Join the myth tour and soon you’ll get to know more. Book your visit during the night and you’ll get to see the Lost Chambers’ scuba divers dive in and out of the tanks, giving the marine creatures an once-over and feeding them. It’s as good a show as any!

6. Ski Dubai

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Ok so you’ve been to ski resorts at Switzerland, Aspen and other places. But have you ever been to a humungous indoor ski resort, right plonk in the middle of a scorching Middle Eastern desert? We bet you haven’t. As you enter this snowy spectacle from the blazing heat outside, you spend some time in a cool room to orient yourself to the changing temperatures. Then you are giving warm hats, scarves, jackets and fleece pants to don, and the door opens to let you into the mega indoor ski resort with the world’s first indoor black diamond ski run and a penguin zoo. It doesn’t matter if you cannot ski worth anything. You can try your hand at one of the beginner slopes, or go tobogganing, zorbing, or just chilling at the mountain-top café with a hot chocolate. Just riding the chair lift to one of the slopes is a fabulous adventure! If you’re hell-bent on skiing, there are lessons and ski rentals for every skill set. The kids can enjoy the cool Ice Cave, the Penguin Park and the enormous snow playground where they can build a snowman and have a snow fight. Ski Dubai is one of the coolest things to do & see in Dubai.

Conclusion

There’s much more to enjoy in the scintillating city of Dubai. The next time you have a day or (hopefully more time) to spend in Dubai, be sure to check out IMG Worlds of Adventure, the White Wadi Waterpark, Laguna Waterpark, the Love Lake, Dubai Miracle Garden, Dubai Garden Glow, the Global Village and a few heritage tours.

Cover image credits:Mohammed Tareq / Shutterstock.com