aerial view of dubai palm jumeirah

Get a rush when you see Palm Jumeirah from above. (Photo: Getty Images)


7 Out of this World Experiences You Can Only Have in Dubai

Dubai is accustomed to having the world’s attention focused on its many wonders. The larger-than-life emirate hinges on constantly pulling off the unthinkable and surprising the world. There’s no dearth of things to do or fun to have here for people of all ages.

Wondering where to start? Here are some one-of-a-kind experiences that the city offers.

As always, check for travel restrictions and closures before planning your trip.

Skydive over the Palm Jumeirah

Get a head rush and a fabulous bird’s-eye view of Dubai as you jump out of an aircraft with Skydive Dubai.

Dive over the desert or the enchanting Palm Jumeirah islands. An ode to the life-giving palm tree, Palm Jumeirah is an entirely human-made structure consisting of villas, apartment blocks, hotels and restaurants and looks best when viewed from above.

Whichever location you choose, you’ll start your dive at more than 13,000 feet (nearly 4,000 meters) above the ground, and the adrenaline rush combined with the stunning views guarantee memories of a lifetime.

Go up the Tallest Building in the World

burj khalifa
The Burj Khalifa is an unforgettable sight. (Photo: Getty Images)

In a city where superlatives matter, the Burj Khalifa — the tallest building in the world — is a much-loved structure. Standing tall at 828 meters (2,716.5 feet), the engineering and architectural marvel was built in an astoundingly short period of six years.

Visitors can take super-fast elevators to observation decks on the 124th, 125th and 148th floors. Once you’ve reached a deck, step out and take in some of the best panoramic views of the city. To linger longer, head further up to the Lounge (on floors 152 through 154) and have high tea and snacks or a glass of bubbly with gourmet canapes, all served with a spectacular cityscape as a backdrop.

Ski Slopes and Penguins in the Desert

Nothing is impossible in Dubai, and you’ll validate this for yourself at Ski Dubai. Part of the Mall of the Emirates, the indoor ice wonderworld is nothing short of magical. Go skiing, tumble down the slopes in a gigantic Zorb ball or enjoy a chairlift ride.

For a few hours you are likely to forget that you are in a desert. Don’t leave without meeting the resident gentoo and king penguins. Wrap it up and thaw out with a divine hot chocolate.

Scuba Dive in the World’s Deepest Pool

Before the discovery of oil, it was valuable pearls hidden in the depths of the ocean that brought the UAE and surrounding region its fame.

Get a taste for diving as you learn the basics or hone your skills at Deep Dive Dubai. At a depth of 60 meters (197 feet), the facility’s pool is the world’s deepest and largest underwater attraction.

Shop the World’s Largest Mall

interior of dubai mall
Loosen purse strings at the world’s largest mall. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you mistake Dubai Mall for a township you aren’t far from the truth. Situated in the heart of Downtown Dubai, the mall houses more than 1,300 retail outlets, an Olympic-sized ice rink, an enormous aquarium and underwater zoo, a VR park and many other leisure options.

One of the most visited attractions in Dubai, the mall is impossible to traverse in a single day. Even so, there’s a large expansion project underway.

Ride on the World’s Largest and Tallest Observation Wheel

aerial view of dubai waterfront
Take a spin on Ain Dubai. (Photo: Getty Images)

Promising to be a new way to see the city, Ain Dubai, the latest attraction to open in the emirate, is turning heads. The enormous observation wheel rises some 250 meters (820 feet) above the ground and offers riders, nestled in the comfort of its 48 air-conditioned cabins, a 360-degree view of the city’s many landmarks. Besides just enjoying a relaxing ride, host events or even have a small, intimate gathering.

Snap a Pic at the World’s Largest Frame

Fancy a picture to capture your visit to Dubai? Head to the gigantic, rectangular, golden Dubai Frame for the perfect backdrop.

Situated on the cusp of old and new Dubai, the frame offers sweeping views of both sides of the city. Don’t miss the exhibition that gives you a peek into the future of Dubai.

During Expo 2020 Dubai, enjoy the best of Dubai and Abu Dhabi at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy from October 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022 with convenient access to the Expo 2020 Dubai site and in close vicinity to the best of what UAE has to offer.