A girl with her back to the camera at sunset with the Burj Khalifa seen in the background.

10 things to do in Dubai this summer

Dubai is the perfect summer getaway. Not only is the weather incredible, but there is no shortage of attractions and things to do. From theme parks and beaches to world-class shopping and cultural adventures in the desert – no one experiences boredom in Dubai.

To help you start planning your summer itinerary we’ve rounded up 10 of the best things to do during summer in Dubai (there’s a lot more than 10 attractions in Dubai, so if we’ve left out your favourite let us know in the comments).

1. IMG Worlds of Adventure

Welcome to the Dubai’s largest indoor theme park. It’s split into five adventure zones: Marvel, Lost Valley, Cartoon Network, IMG Boulevard, and Novo Cinemas. For the thrill-seekers, some of the most popular attractions include Avengers Battle of Ultron, Adventure Time – The Ride of OOO with Finn & Jake, and Forbidden Territory. Then when it’s time to re-fuel stop by one of the themed food-stalls such as Powerpuff Ice Cream Parlour, Tony’s Skydeck, and Carnivore Hut.

2. Dubai Parks and Resorts

If the world of Marvel and Cartoon Network wasn’t enough, you can immerse yourself in even more of your favourite fictional worlds at Dubai Parks and Resorts. At Motiongate Dubai, you’ll find attractions based off of Hollywood favourites such as Ghostbusters, Kung Fu Panda, The Smurfs, Shrek and The Hunger Games.

Then in Bollywood Parks, the world’s first Bollywood-themed park, you can discover the hidden gems of Indian cinema. There are rides based off some of Bollywood’s top films, the chance to see a Bollywood production in action, and you can even ride inside a cricket ball in a game of cricket!

Also within Dubai Parks and Resorts you’ll discover Legoland Dubai, and Legoland Water Park. There’s also the on-site hotel Lapita Hotel Dubai.

3. Make a splash at Aquaventure

Aquaventure is the largest of Dubai’s waterparks and home to several world record-breaking rides and attractions. There’s the Leap of Faith, a 27.5-metre plunge that carries you through a clear tube surrounded by sharks and rays (we know you’ve seen photos!). You can also zipline across the park.

For smaller members of the family, there’s the Splashers Children’s Play Area – a maze of kid-friendly tunnels, tubes, slides and climbing frames.

4. Explore a tropical garden at The Green Planet

The Green Planet is a four-level glass building that houses a real rainforest with over 3,000 species of tropical flora and fauna. Along its guided track you’ll come across everything from the 45 metre-high canopy level, to the midstory, the forest floor, and the flooded rainforest. It’s even home to the world’s largest man-made self-sustaining tree!

5. Take a stroll along City Walk

City Walk is Dubai’s newest urban precinct: which is home to chic shops, al fresco restaurants, beautifully designed outdoor spaces and a boutique hotel! For entertainment, families will enjoy Hub Zero, Green Planet, Mattel Play! Town, a cinema and a year round calendar of events. Meanwhile foodies will love the modern-Indian restaurant Farzi Cafe, the fusion cuisine at Sikka Cafe, and the sweet treats at Cocoa Kitchen.

6. Purchase gold jewellery at the Gold Souk

A holiday in Dubai isn’t complete without a day at the Gold Souk, one of the oldest and most fascinating traditional markets in the emirate. As you walk through the lanes, you’ll be treated to one of the biggest selections of gold jewellery and gemstones crafted in a variety of carats. All merchandise is carefully regulated by the Dubai government to ensure the authenticity of its quality, so you can be sure your purchases will be genuine. Haggling is also encouraged.

7. Experience traditional dining at Bab Al Shams

Foodies can’t leave Dubai without sampling the best Arabic food Dubai has to offer. The Al Hadheerah restaurant at the famous Bab Al Shams Resort & Spa is renowned for its authentic Arabic food. Not only that, but you can treat yourself to a dining experience under the open sky in a traditional desert fort. There will also be live bands, dancers and falconry displays to keep you entertained.

8. Walk through history in Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Found along the Dubai Creek, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood will transport you back to 19th century Dubai, prior to Dubai becoming the glamorous metropolis it is today. Along the streets you’ll discover traditional wind towers constructed from stone, teak, gypsum, palm wood and sandalwood, as well as cultural activities, museums, art galleries, special events and traditional food. It’s also home to The Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.

9. Relax on The Beach at JBR

The Beach at Jumeirah Beach Residences is the perfect combination of beachside beauty and bustling cosmopolitan lifestyle. There’s plenty to do – from a wide selection of beachside dining and shopping to watersports such as parasailing and wakeboarding. Plus, there’s a 600m running track, outdoor gym, and beach volleyball court. Then in the evening, there’s a chance you’ll be treated to some live entertainment.

10. Admire the Dubai Fountain

End your holiday by heading to Downtown Dubai and witnessing the tallest performing fountain in the world. Submerged within the 30-acre Burj Lake, at the foot of The Dubai Mall, powerful water jets are laid out strategically over an area equal to the size of two football pitches. The fountain jets up to 22,000 gallons of water as high as 140m in the air at any one time.

You can see the night time performance from 30m away. Though you can also opt to view it from The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk, which is a new addition to the spectacle. Or even book yourself a spot on the Dubai Fountain Lake Ride, where you’ll be treated to the best seats in the house.

Morag Lee

Morag is the resident blog writer at Barrhead Travel. Can usually be found exploring a cruise ship or on a city break.