Discover Endless Inspiration: Explore Our Blog
Rich and Practical Tips For Your Travels
Table of Contents

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.

10 things to do in Dubai

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 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.

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 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.

83e9cd0ae9804179a2ccc06ba3e07eeb cropped optimized

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.

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 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.

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 varies 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

ffce92dd095b9d6460ccc9b428aa3cc5 cropped optimized

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.

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 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.

  1. Travel camera
  2. Camera Stand


Dubai Frame by 13weekstravel

Burj Khalifa by 13weekstravel


image 9264239 13447628


* indicates required

32 thoughts on “Expo 2020 Dubai – Top 10 things to do in Dubai”

  1. I would love to see Jumeirah beach again. I have seen it as a kid and I wonder how it has evolved. Dubai mall is a lot of fun for any age group – so much to see and do there. And yes, the Desert Safari is a must too. Nice to read this post and refresh my childhood memories

  2. The fact that the Expo has got postponed to next year is an opportunity for me as my schedule was too packed this year. Dubai has been one of my bucket list destinations for many years but have not managed to make it. I would now target next year for sure during the Expo. I now know what to do and what all to see there. Thanks for all the information.

  3. I live in Dubai and can say, you have selected all beautiful places in Dubai for Expo 2020. As I have been to Burj Khalifa and the musical fountain many times, but it is always great to go again and again there. Beaches of Dubai are also wonderful. Global village is my favourite place to see so many stalls from different countries at one place and I love to check all products or cultures of the world at one place. Thanks for sharing it.

    • Oh Yes, the golden sand beaches in Dubai are absolutely lush. I can’t wait to visit the Global village again. It is one of my favourite place too.

  4. I’ve been seriously considering a visit to Dubai since sometime now. It is the transit point that I cross twice a year, and I never do anything except sit in the airport. I’m now seriously considering taking a day off at Dubai and then catching the connecting flight next day.
    Ofcourse Burj Khalifa is in the list. But as a history buff, I think I’ll be more interested in Old Dubai and its heritage village. I’ve been wanting to visit the Dubai Creek since quite some time.

    • I hope you get to explore Dubai in-depth soon. It is truly an amazing destination.

  5. Dubai is definetly at the top of my bucket list, it is such a unique city. The global village sounds amazin! It kind of reminds me of Epcot in Orlando, but so much better! I love exeriences like that where you get the culture of so many countries all at once. I always love the unique food and shopping opportuities.

    • Yes, I was blown away by the Global village and what I enjoyed the most was the cultural performances by different countries in a huge pavilion.

  6. I have been to Dubai many years ago. I have seen these places and I agree that these ones are amazing and must be visited when in Dubai. I loved Burj Khalifa at night with all the city lights, even though going up was a pain with so many people.

    • Yes, going up in that lift with many people was a concern but I think the views up there pays for the little inconvenience.

  7. The desert safari tour sounds like such an interesting thing to do! I love exploring things while I’m in town on business. It looks like there is so much to do in Dubai!

    • Absolutely, there is so much to see and do in Dubai. Yes the Dubai Safari tour is simply amazing.

  8. I have’nt been to Dubai yet, but i have all these places already on my Dubai Travel List. What fascinates me the most are the souks, and the musical fountain outside Dubai Mall. I would also love to visit during the time when the Dubai Miracle Gardens and Global Village is open.

    • Yes, the Gold souks is heaven for gold lovers and the musical dancing fountain is mind-blowing. If you visit Dubai between October and March then the Global Village and Dubai Miracle Centre will be open.

  9. Dubai has been on our list for a while now and your list of things to do in Dubai will definitely be useful for us! We are not into shopping but we will definitely visit the Mall of Emirates because it doesnt sound like an ordinary mall! The Old Dubai sounds also very interesting, would love to have a stroll there.

    • I know shopping is not for everyone but Dubai has a way to lure you into buying stuff, the Old Dubai is amazing to experience and I hope you get to visit Dubai soon.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

    • 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.

  12. 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?

    • 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.

  13. 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.

    • 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.

  14. 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!

    • 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.

  15. 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

    • 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.


Leave a comment