Destinations Middle East

Expo 2020 Dubai – Top 10 things to do in Dubai

The eyes of the world will turn to Dubai when they host the world for Expo 2020 Dubai starting from 20th October 2020 to 10th April 2021. 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 super sonic speeding evelators 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 varies and you can get all the information here.

Burj Khalifa by @13weekstravel

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

.Dubai Mall Gucci store by 13 Weeks Travel

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 colorful 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 6pm. After that, the show is repeated every half hour until 11pm.
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 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.

Mall of Emirates @13 Weeks Travel

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 represent the 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 beathtaking 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 only 1AED.
• Dubai Heritage Village – Discover the history of Dubai, learn about its historical significance, and see their traditional costumes and crafts.

Abra taxi by 13weekstravel

7. Jumeriah Public Beach

The Jumeriah Public Beach is a spotlessly clean white sand beach on the Arabian sea. It has a free entry and it is open for public visits between 7.30am and 10pm everyday except Thursday and Fridays when it opens until 11pm. 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.

Burj Al Arab JetSki

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 vary so it is wise to research and read reviews of the various tour companies and guides out there.Dubai Desert Safari by 13weekstravel

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 over to the Global village which opens only in the evening.

Global Village

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

Dubai Marina buildings

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 half and it had a buffet style dinning 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.Dubai Frame by 13weekstravelBurj Khalifa by 13weekstravel


Burj Khalifa by @13weekstravel

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  1. Kedia Silveira-Ra says:

    I find this post very helpful. I’m planning to visit Dubai with my family so it is nice to know all the wonderful places we can visit. I’m definitely visiting the Old Dubai and get myself some cheap gold – it is must. Thanks

    1. Bolupe says:

      Thank you for your kind words. I’m glad you found this article helpful. The gold souk was definitely one of my highlights. You know how gold glitters and for the best sincere price, you can’t resist buying at least one.

  2. Great post! Dubai sounds like an amazing place to visit. You definitely painted a nice picture of it and I will be putting it on my list of places I want to go to in the future. The Miracle Garden must be so beautiful to see in person!

    1. Bolupe says:

      The Dubai Miracle Garden is truly beautiful and breath-taking given that it is a miracle to have such large assorted flowers growing in the Desert climate. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Thanks for the great recommendations. I don’t know much about Dubai. It looks like a great place to visit. The Global Village sounds amazing. I’m going to add it to my list of places to go.

    1. Bolupe says:

      Thanks, I’m glad you found the post helpful. Expo 2020 Dubai promises to be the bigger version of the Global Village. I can’t wait to return to Dubai for it.

  4. Hi and thanks SO much for this useful article,
    We’re in Australia and I’d love to take my kids and husband to Dubai. I do know it’s pretty expensive so we’d need to make sure that activities don’t cost too much. Do you have any posts that could help me out with this?

    1. Bolupe says:

      Thank you for stopping by and I’m glad you found this article useful. I’m curating a post on how to enjoy luxurious Dubai at a low cost. Please subscribe so that you can get the notification when it’s up.

  5. Thank you for your very informative post. We didn’t realize that there are so much to see and do in Dubai. The thrill of climbing up 124 floors in less than 5 minutes must be very exciting. Or maybe scary? Pair this with a classic Dubai desert safari and the Dubai experience would be complete. But yet, there is still so much to see and do. Thanks again for sharing.

    1. Absolutely, there are many things to do Dubai. I’m still buzzing from my last visit and super excited for my Expo 2020 Dubai visit. I can’t wait to see the new things that will be on offer.
      Thanks for stopping by.

  6. What an amazing post, Dubai seems like an beautiful place I have always wanted to visit and maybe sometime soon i will be able to go . I cannot wait to visit and see everything they have to offer thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Thank you. If you can, plan your visit during the Expo 2020 Dubai. It promises to be the best.

  7. I have been wanting to go to Dubai during the expo season!
    This is definitely helpful.
    Great post!

    1. Bolupe says:

      Fingers crossed that Expo 2020 Dubai still goes ahead.

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