The eyes of the world will turn to Dubai when they host the world for Expo 2020 Dubai although originally scheduled for 20th October 2020 to 10th April 2021. It has now been postponed to be between 1st October 2021 and 31st March 2022. I will personally be in Dubai again for the Expo 2020 Dubai themed ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. While the Expo 2020 will dazzle you with the latest in the world of art, music, gastronomy, architecture and entertainment, I believe there will be time for you to explore the rest of Dubai and these are the top 10 things to do in Dubai while you’ll there for Expo 2020.
10 things to do in Dubai during Expo 2020 Dubai.
1. Burj Khalifa
Of course, your trip to Dubai would not be complete without visiting the iconic Burj Khalifa. A visit to Burj Khalifa is a must on a Dubai trip and the first on the list of the top 10 things to do in Dubai. The tallest building in the world is an incredible attraction. It stands tall at a proud 828 meters (2,716.5 feet). By comparison: The Shard, the tallest building in the United Kingdom is about 309.6 metres, this gives you an idea of how mind-blowing this structure is.
Climb up to the 124th under 5 minutes in the supersonic speeding elevators and use the dominating structure to your advantage by enjoying all the best panoramic views of Dubai Skyline. Even better, go there by sunset!
It is best to buy tickets for Burj Khalifa online or through a tour operator before you visit. The queues for the tickets are usually really long and it is best you avoid that. The ticket options vary and you can get all the information here.
2. The Dubai Mall
A Dubai Shopping Mall? Well, there are about sixty-five shopping Malls in Dubai for over 3 million people and its amazing that there are more malls on the way.
The Dubai Mall – Downtown, effortlessly blends entertainment, lifestyle and shopping together to create an all-inclusive destination. Ladies, all your window shopping dreams will come true! There are about 1200 designer stores here and it is arguably the largest shopping centre in the world.
Do you want to want to buy gold? Check! There are over 220 shops for this!
Do you want to shop at Arabian souqs? Check. The smell of the spices and intense will hook you up.
Swim with sharks? Also, check.
If you’re not sold to the idea of visiting yet, then you will need to go into the Dubai Mall if you want to visit Burj Khalifa because the entrance to Burj Khalifa is through the Dubai Mall so why don’t you wander through its buzzing shops and lavish interiors and immerse yourself in a one of a kind experience
3. Dubai Fountain
This is a free activity which is a rare thing in Dubai so get your cameras set to snap and enjoy it.
Every night, directly outside the Dubai Mall, the famous fountain show in front of the Burj Khalifa takes place. The Dubai fountain on the Burj Khalifa lake is, the biggest fountain in the world and every night with the sound of Arabic and Oriental tunes echoing through the air, and the water, lit by colourful lights dances to choreographed music. The energy of the people around the fountain is a beauty to behold!
The show lasts a few minutes and starts at 6 pm. After that, the show is repeated every half hour until 11 pm.
There are also two-afternoon shows at 1 pm and 1.30 pm (Fridays 1.30 pm and 2 pm). However, at night the Dubai fountain is illuminated and therefore definitely more impressive. There is always quite a crowd around the fountains and you will need the patience to find a good photo spot.
4. Mall of Emirates
The Mall of Emirates is located along the popular Sheikh Zayed Rd, Al Barsha.
It has a fantastic range of entertainment, food and fashion outlets which will surely keep children and adults fed and entertained for hours.
Worth a mention for entertainment at this beautiful mall is the famous Ski Dubai where you will feel like you have been teleported to the French Alps. Some of the activities here include huge slope runs, chair lift, bob sledging, zorbing, snow tubing and many other.
The food court here has over 100 food outlets including Sezzam – a restaurant, part of the Kempinski Hotel which has about a thousand seats. It is divided into three separate areas: Flame, Steam and Bake and as the names suggest each area offers food cooked according to the different methods.
If fashion is your thing, you’ll feel right at home here because there are over 80 luxury stores with all the big players such as Cartier, Bottega Veneta, Dolce & Gabbana, Chanel, Michael Kors, Salvatore Ferragamo, Brunello Cucinelli, Roger Vivier, Jimmy Choo, Alexander McQueen and many more. Window shop, bargain and you might bag a deal or two.
5. The Dubai Frame
As you can guess by now, it is the biggest picture frame as well as the largest frame in the world. The beautiful structure is positioned in a way that a view from one side represents modern Dubai and the other view – the Old Dubai. The elevators at Dubai frame speeds you up without you noticing that you’re up to 150 meters (about 492ft). On entrance at the top, you are free to view the skyline and take in the breathtaking views of old and modern Dubai. There is a glass floor which is quite interesting and terrifying at the same time. A must-see place if you like Architecture, design and engineering.
6. Old Dubai
Immerse yourself into the authentic Dubai’s pre-oil-discovery culture. Learn about the Bedouin culture, the traditional souks and the mosques. Here, you can…
• Visit the Gold Souq where you can find the cheapest gold in the world.
• Visit the Grand Souq – where you can find all your heart desires from the aroma of herbs, spices and fragrances.
• Dubai Creek – truly experience the traditional life of Dubai by riding an Abra through the flowing lake for the only 1AED.
• Dubai Heritage Village – Discover the history of Dubai, learn about its historical significance, and see their traditional costumes and crafts.
7. Jumeriah Public Beach
The Jumeriah Public Beach is a spotlessly clean white sand beach on the Arabian sea. It has free entry and it is open for public visits between 7.30 am and 10 pm every day except Thursday and Fridays when it opens until 11 pm. The beach is best experienced in the evening and it’s a stunning background for the iconic Burj Al Arab photo shoot.
There are also a variety of water sports stationed here including Jet Ski, Paragliding and snowboarding for the adventure junkies.
8. Dubai Desert Safari tour
One of the most authentic ways of experiencing the culture of the Emirates is by escaping to the desert. A classic Dubai desert safari will include several activities in a day or half-day safari tour. The activities can include camel riding (opt for the sunset ride for stunning pictures), henna painting and dressing up, golden dune bashing in a 4WD, quad biking over sand dunes, soaring over the desert in a hot air balloon, holding a falcon or camping under the stars with entertainment from belly dancers and fire trickers.
It is an experience that must not be missed.
The quality of experiences varies so it is wise to research and read reviews of the various tour companies and guides out there.
9. Dubai Miracle Garden and Global Village
The Dubai Miracle Garden is a unique experience not to be missed when in Dubai. This breathtaking arrangement of flowers is one of a kind in the region. It features an exotic display of approximately 45 million blooming flowers.
At the Dubai Miracle Garden, no season is the same as the garden gets redecorated with new creations and flower concepts. The Dubai Miracle Garden closes for six months in the summer and reopens in November with entirely new masterpieces.
Spend about 4 hours here and take in all the beauty, splendour and talents of creatives. After enjoying the afternoon and early evening here, ahead to the Global village which opens only in the evening.
Just like Dubai Miracle Garden, the Global village opens in November and closes in April, but when it is open, it is open every single day, also, Mondays are reserved exclusively for families and women.
There are over 70 country pavilions at the Global Village which gives a tiny perspective into the species, flavours, traditions, cultures, colours, textures and customs of these countries.
Imagine a place where you can walk from Africa to China then to Russia and then back to Turkey. That’s how the Global village makes you feel. There are over 23 restaurants, 120 stalls, nearly 30 pavilions amusement park, 7D cinema and all kinds of shows.
You have unlimited possibilities of enjoying your time at the Global Village.
Don’t miss the extravagant action-packed stun show.
10. Dubai Marina
Finally on my list of the top 10 things to do in Dubai while visiting Dubai for the Expo 2020 Dubai is the Dubai Marina.
There are a variety of dinner cruises tour companies that explores the Dubai Marina. We went with 5-star luxury dinner cruise – Dubai Marina. The cruise was for an hour and a half and it had a buffet-style dining experience and entertainment. We opted for the sunset cruise which takes you through the Marina with a beautiful backdrop of the sun-sets over the city. It was beautiful to see Dubai from a different perspective.
In summary, enjoy everything Expo 2020 Dubai has to offer and spare some time to visit the top 10 things to do in Dubai from my list.
If you are thinking about family-friendly things to do in Dubai while visiting the Expo, read my blog post on the best things to do in Dubai as a family.
Essentials needs for your holiday in Dubai.