Top 10 Dubai Attractions for New Residents


Dubai is a city that seamlessly blends modern marvels with rich cultural heritage, offering a wide array of attractions that cater to all interests. For new residents, exploring these iconic landmarks and cultural sites is essential to truly experience what the city has to offer. From towering skyscrapers and luxurious malls to serene beaches and historical districts, Dubai provides a diverse and exciting environment for its residents. This article highlights the top 10 attractions in Dubai that every new resident should visit to fully appreciate the city’s unique charm and vibrancy.

Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai

The Tallest Building in the World

No visit to Dubai is complete without experiencing the awe-inspiring Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 828 meters. Located in the heart of Downtown Dubai, the Burj Khalifa offers breathtaking views of the city from its observation decks on the 124th, 125th, and 148th floors. The “At the Top” experience provides an unparalleled vantage point to take in the stunning cityscape, the Arabian Gulf, and the surrounding desert. Ticket prices for the observation decks range from AED 149 to AED 599, depending on the level of access and time of day.

In addition to its height, the Burj Khalifa is a marvel of modern engineering and architecture, featuring a design inspired by the Hymenocallis flower. It houses luxurious residences, corporate suites, and the Armani Hotel, offering a glimpse into the epitome of opulence and sophistication. The building also hosts various events and exhibitions, making it a cultural landmark in the city. For new residents, a visit to the Burj Khalifa is a must to appreciate Dubai’s ambition and vision.

The Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain

Adjacent to the Burj Khalifa is The Dubai Mall, one of the largest shopping malls in the world, covering over 1.1 million square meters. With more than 1,200 retail outlets, including high-end brands like Gucci, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton, The Dubai Mall is a shopper’s paradise. Beyond shopping, the mall offers a range of entertainment options, including an indoor ice rink, an aquarium, and the VR Park, providing fun for all ages. The mall is open daily from 10 AM to 12 AM, with extended hours on weekends.

One of the mall’s most popular attractions is the Dubai Fountain, the world’s largest choreographed fountain system, located on the Burj Khalifa Lake. The fountain features daily performances set to music and lights, with jets of water reaching heights of up to 150 meters. Shows run every 30 minutes in the evenings from 6 PM to 11 PM, and midday performances are also available on weekends. Watching the Dubai Fountain show is a mesmerizing experience that captures the spirit of Dubai’s innovation and extravagance.

Palm Jumeirah

Iconic Man-Made Island

Palm Jumeirah is an iconic symbol of Dubai’s architectural prowess, renowned as the world’s largest man-made island. Shaped like a palm tree, the island is home to luxurious residences, hotels, and entertainment venues. Its trunk and 17 fronds are lined with high-end villas and apartments, offering stunning views of the Arabian Gulf and the Dubai skyline. The crescent of the Palm features some of the city’s most luxurious hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, and the iconic Atlantis The Palm.

The Palm Jumeirah Monorail connects the island to the mainland, providing easy access to its attractions. For new residents, exploring Palm Jumeirah is a testament to Dubai’s ability to transform ambitious visions into reality. The island offers a unique blend of tranquility and luxury, making it a sought-after residential and leisure destination.

Atlantis The Palm and Aquaventure Waterpark

Atlantis The Palm is a major attraction on Palm Jumeirah, offering a plethora of entertainment and dining options. The resort is home to Aquaventure Waterpark, one of the largest waterparks in the world, featuring thrilling water slides, a lazy river, and a private beach. The park’s signature rides, such as the Leap of Faith and Poseidon’s Revenge, provide adrenaline-pumping experiences for visitors of all ages. Entry to Aquaventure Waterpark starts at AED 289 for adults and AED 239 for children.

Atlantis also houses The Lost Chambers Aquarium, where visitors can explore marine life in a series of underwater tunnels and chambers. The aquarium is home to over 65,000 marine animals, offering interactive exhibits and educational tours. Entry to The Lost Chambers Aquarium is priced at AED 135 for adults and AED 95 for children. Additionally, Atlantis boasts an array of world-class restaurants, including Nobu and Gordon Ramsay’s Bread Street Kitchen, providing a diverse culinary experience for residents and visitors alike.

Dubai Marina

Scenic Waterfront Views

Dubai Marina is a bustling waterfront district known for its stunning skyline, luxurious residences, and vibrant lifestyle. The Marina is an artificial canal city carved along a two-mile stretch of the Persian Gulf shoreline. It features a marina with berths for yachts and boats, providing a picturesque setting for evening strolls along the promenade. The area is home to some of Dubai’s most iconic skyscrapers, including the twisting Cayan Tower and the towering Princess Tower.

Dubai Marina is a popular residential area for expatriates, offering a range of apartments with breathtaking views of the water and the cityscape. The district is well-connected by public transport, with the Dubai Marina Metro Station and tram services providing easy access to other parts of the city. For new residents, living in Dubai Marina offers a blend of modern urban living and serene waterfront views, making it one of the most desirable places to reside in Dubai.

The Walk and Dubai Marina Mall

The Walk at JBR is a popular destination within Dubai Marina, featuring a bustling promenade lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants. This outdoor shopping and dining destination offers a vibrant atmosphere, with street performers, markets, and entertainment events adding to the lively ambiance. Popular dining spots along The Walk include Catch 22, Cheesecake Factory, and PF Chang’s, offering a variety of cuisines to suit all tastes.

Dubai Marina Mall, located in the heart of the Marina, provides a more traditional shopping experience with over 140 retail outlets, a cinema, and a range of dining options. The mall features popular brands such as H&M, Sephora, and Adidas, catering to the shopping needs of residents and visitors. The Reel Cinemas within the mall offers the latest movies in a comfortable setting, making it a popular spot for entertainment. For new residents, exploring The Walk and Dubai Marina Mall is a great way to experience the vibrant lifestyle and diverse amenities that Dubai Marina has to offer.

These three attractions—Burj Khalifa and Downtown Dubai, Palm Jumeirah, and Dubai Marina—offer a glimpse into the diverse experiences that Dubai has to offer. From the awe-inspiring heights of the Burj Khalifa to the luxurious living on Palm Jumeirah and the vibrant lifestyle in Dubai Marina, new residents can immerse themselves in the unique blend of modernity and tradition that defines this dynamic city. The following sections will explore more attractions, ensuring that new residents can fully appreciate the rich and varied tapestry of Dubai.

Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach

Pristine Beaches and Water Sports

Jumeirah Beach is one of Dubai’s most popular and picturesque destinations, offering pristine white sands and clear blue waters. This beach is perfect for a relaxing day by the sea, where residents can sunbathe, swim, and enjoy the stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. The beach is well-maintained and features lifeguard services, ensuring a safe environment for all visitors. Families particularly enjoy Jumeirah Beach due to its clean, family-friendly atmosphere and the availability of various facilities like restrooms, showers, and changing rooms.

Kite Beach, located further along the coast, is a haven for water sports enthusiasts. Known for its vibrant atmosphere and active lifestyle, Kite Beach offers a range of activities such as kite surfing, paddleboarding, and beach volleyball. Equipment rentals and professional instructors are available for those looking to try their hand at these exciting sports. Additionally, Kite Beach hosts various fitness events and competitions throughout the year, making it a lively spot for both residents and visitors.

Beachfront Cafes and Restaurants

Both Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach boast a plethora of beachfront cafes and restaurants, providing a variety of dining options. At Jumeirah Beach, visitors can enjoy a leisurely meal with stunning sea views at venues such as The Beach House and Palm Grill. These establishments offer a mix of international cuisines, from fresh seafood to Mediterranean delights, ensuring there is something to satisfy every palate. The relaxed, beachside ambiance makes these spots perfect for a casual lunch or dinner.

Kite Beach is home to several trendy food trucks and casual dining options that cater to the active crowd. Salt, a popular food truck, serves gourmet burgers and truffle fries that have become a favorite among beachgoers. For those looking for healthier options, Seva Table offers a range of organic and plant-based dishes. The variety of dining options available at Kite Beach ensures that visitors can refuel after a day of water sports and beach activities. These beachfront eateries not only offer delicious food but also contribute to the vibrant, social atmosphere of the beaches.

The Dubai Creek and Al Fahidi Historic District

Traditional Abra Rides

The Dubai Creek is a historic waterway that has played a crucial role in the development of the city. It divides Dubai into two main sections: Deira and Bur Dubai. One of the most charming experiences for new residents is taking a traditional abra ride across the creek. These small wooden boats have been used for centuries to transport people and goods between the two sides of the city. Today, an abra ride remains a popular and inexpensive way to experience the historic charm of Dubai. For just AED 1, passengers can enjoy a short journey across the creek, taking in the sights and sounds of the bustling waterway.

Abra rides offer a unique perspective of the city’s historic architecture and vibrant markets. As you glide along the creek, you’ll see traditional dhows, modern skyscrapers, and bustling souks, creating a striking contrast between old and new Dubai. The abra stations are conveniently located near major attractions such as the Gold Souk and Spice Souk, making it easy to combine a ride with a visit to these iconic markets. This experience is not only a step back in time but also a practical way to navigate the historic areas of Dubai.

Dubai Museum and Historical Sites

Located in the Al Fahidi Historic District, the Dubai Museum is housed in the Al Fahidi Fort, which dates back to 1787 and is the oldest existing building in Dubai. The museum provides a fascinating glimpse into Dubai’s past, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that depict the traditional way of life in the emirate. Visitors can explore galleries featuring archaeological finds, historic photographs, and reconstructions of traditional Arab houses, souks, and mosques. The entrance fee is a nominal AED 3 for adults and AED 1 for children, making it an affordable cultural experience for all.

Adjacent to the museum, the Al Fahidi Historic District (also known as Al Bastakiya) offers a well-preserved glimpse into Dubai’s architectural heritage. This area is characterized by narrow winding lanes, traditional wind-tower houses, and quaint courtyards. The district is home to several art galleries, cafes, and cultural centers, such as the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, which offers guided tours and cultural experiences. Exploring Al Fahidi provides new residents with a deeper understanding of Dubai’s rich history and cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination.

Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve

Desert Safari Adventures

For a completely different experience, new residents should not miss the opportunity to explore the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR). This protected area offers a glimpse into the natural beauty of the Arabian Desert and is a prime location for desert safari adventures. Various tour operators, such as Platinum Heritage and Arabian Adventures, offer guided safaris that include thrilling activities like dune bashing, sandboarding, and camel riding. These tours provide an adrenaline-pumping experience as well as a chance to appreciate the serene beauty of the desert landscape.

Desert safaris typically include a visit to a traditional Bedouin-style camp, where guests can enjoy cultural activities such as henna painting, falconry displays, and traditional music and dance performances. The tours often conclude with a delicious barbecue dinner under the stars, offering a taste of authentic Arabian cuisine. Prices for desert safari packages vary depending on the inclusions, but they generally range from AED 250 to AED 600 per person. These adventures offer an unforgettable way to experience the desert and its unique culture.

Wildlife and Nature Tours

In addition to the excitement of desert safaris, the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve is dedicated to preserving the natural habitat and wildlife of the region. The reserve is home to a variety of native species, including the Arabian oryx, gazelles, and desert foxes. Guided nature tours provide an opportunity to learn about the conservation efforts and the unique flora and fauna of the Arabian Desert. These tours are usually conducted by experienced naturalists who offer insights into the desert ecosystem and the challenges of wildlife conservation.

One of the highlights of a visit to the DDCR is the chance to see the Arabian oryx, a species that was once on the brink of extinction. Conservation programs within the reserve have successfully reintroduced these majestic animals, making the DDCR a leading example of wildlife conservation in the region. Visitors can explore the reserve in 4×4 vehicles, on foot, or even on horseback, depending on the type of tour chosen. These educational and immersive experiences provide a deeper appreciation for the natural heritage of Dubai and the importance of preserving it for future generations.

By exploring Jumeirah Beach and Kite Beach, The Dubai Creek and Al Fahidi Historic District, and the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, new residents can experience the diverse attractions that Dubai has to offer. From the serene beaches and historical sites to the adventurous desert landscapes, these destinations showcase the multifaceted charm of the city. The following sections will continue to highlight more must-visit attractions, ensuring that new residents can fully appreciate the vibrant and dynamic nature of Dubai.

Global Village

Cultural and Entertainment Destination

Global Village is one of Dubai’s most popular seasonal attractions, offering a unique blend of cultural experiences, entertainment, and shopping. Open from October to April, this multicultural festival park brings together pavilions from over 90 countries, showcasing their unique crafts, foods, and traditions. Each pavilion is designed to reflect the architectural and cultural essence of its country, providing visitors with an immersive experience. For new residents, Global Village offers an excellent opportunity to explore the world without leaving Dubai, making it a perfect place for families and individuals to enjoy diverse cultural experiences.

The park features a wide range of live performances, including cultural shows, concerts, and street entertainment. Visitors can enjoy traditional dance performances, acrobatics, and musical acts from various countries, adding to the vibrant atmosphere of Global Village. The main stage hosts internationally renowned artists and bands, ensuring there is always something exciting happening. With entry tickets priced at AED 15, Global Village offers affordable and diverse entertainment options for everyone.

International Pavilions and Shows

One of the highlights of Global Village is the array of international pavilions, each representing a different country and offering unique products and experiences. Visitors can explore the pavilions to shop for handcrafted goods, clothing, and souvenirs from around the world. From Indian spices and Persian carpets to African artifacts and European chocolates, the variety of products available is astounding. This global marketplace allows new residents to experience the richness of different cultures and cuisines in one location.

In addition to shopping, Global Village is known for its spectacular shows and entertainment. The park features a range of themed shows, including stunt performances, circus acts, and fireworks displays. The Carnaval area offers thrilling rides and games for children and adults, making it a fun destination for families. The food court and numerous food stalls offer a diverse selection of international cuisines, allowing visitors to sample dishes from various cultures. Whether you are looking for entertainment, shopping, or culinary adventures, Global Village provides a comprehensive cultural experience that highlights the diversity of Dubai.

Dubai Parks and Resorts

Theme Parks: Motiongate, Bollywood Parks, and Legoland

Dubai Parks and Resorts is a massive entertainment complex that is home to three world-class theme parks: Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, and Legoland Dubai. Motiongate Dubai is a Hollywood-inspired theme park that features rides and attractions based on popular movies from studios like DreamWorks, Sony Pictures, and Lionsgate. Visitors can enjoy thrilling roller coasters, interactive attractions, and live shows themed around blockbuster films such as Shrek, The Hunger Games, and Ghostbusters. With ticket prices starting at AED 245, Motiongate offers a day full of excitement and adventure for families and movie enthusiasts.

Bollywood Parks Dubai is the first theme park in the world dedicated to the vibrant film industry of India. The park features a variety of attractions and live entertainment inspired by Bollywood movies, including musical performances, stunt shows, and interactive rides. Visitors can experience the magic of Bollywood through themed zones, each offering a unique blend of entertainment and cultural experiences. Ticket prices for Bollywood Parks start at AED 175, providing a colorful and entertaining experience for all visitors.

Legoland Dubai, designed specifically for families with young children, offers a range of interactive rides, building experiences, and attractions based on the popular LEGO brand. The park includes themed zones such as Adventure, Kingdoms, and Imagination, where children can explore and build with LEGO bricks. Additionally, Legoland Water Park offers a variety of water slides and attractions for a fun day in the sun. Combined tickets for both Legoland parks start at AED 295, making it a great value for families looking to enjoy a day of creativity and fun.

Riverland Dubai Entertainment District

Located within Dubai Parks and Resorts, Riverland Dubai is a themed retail and dining destination that connects all three theme parks. This entertainment district is designed to transport visitors to different eras and regions, with themed zones such as The French Village, Boardwalk, India Gate, and The Peninsula. Each zone offers a unique atmosphere, complete with shops, restaurants, and entertainment options that reflect its theme. Riverland Dubai is open to the public without an entrance fee, making it an accessible and enjoyable destination for all visitors.

The French Village, with its cobblestone streets and medieval architecture, offers a charming European ambiance. Visitors can dine at various restaurants, such as Le Pain Quotidien and Pascal Tepper, or enjoy a coffee at Starbucks. The Boardwalk zone is inspired by 1950s America, featuring diners, ice cream parlors, and live entertainment reminiscent of a classic American boardwalk. India Gate showcases the vibrant culture of India with its colorful architecture, street performances, and Indian cuisine, while The Peninsula, located at the heart of Riverland, hosts events and concerts, adding to the lively atmosphere.

Riverland Dubai provides a relaxing and entertaining environment where visitors can unwind after a day at the theme parks. With a variety of dining options, shops, and live entertainment, it offers a complete experience that complements the excitement of the theme parks. For new residents, Dubai Parks and Resorts, along with Riverland Dubai, provide an ideal destination for family outings and entertainment.

Dubai Opera and Cultural Venues

World-Class Performances and Events

Dubai Opera is a cornerstone of the city’s cultural scene, offering a diverse program of world-class performances and events. Located in Downtown Dubai, this architectural marvel is designed to resemble a traditional dhow, blending Dubai’s maritime heritage with modern elegance. The venue hosts a wide range of performances, including opera, ballet, classical music, theater, and contemporary concerts. With its state-of-the-art acoustics and flexible seating arrangements, Dubai Opera provides an unparalleled cultural experience for residents and visitors alike.

The opera house regularly features performances by internationally acclaimed artists and ensembles, making it a must-visit destination for culture enthusiasts. Past performances have included productions like “The Phantom of the Opera,” concerts by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and ballets by the Russian State Ballet. Ticket prices vary depending on the performance and seating, with prices starting from AED 250 for some events. For new residents, attending a performance at Dubai Opera is a fantastic way to experience high-quality cultural entertainment.

Cultural Experiences and Art Galleries

In addition to Dubai Opera, the city boasts several other cultural venues and art galleries that offer enriching experiences for new residents. The Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz is a leading arts district, home to numerous contemporary art galleries, creative spaces, and cultural events. The district hosts exhibitions, workshops, and performances, providing a platform for local and international artists to showcase their work. Galleries such as Leila Heller Gallery and Carbon 12 are known for their thought-provoking exhibitions and contributions to Dubai’s vibrant art scene.

The Etihad Museum, located in Jumeirah, offers a deep dive into the history of the United Arab Emirates. The museum’s interactive exhibits and artifacts chronicle the formation of the UAE, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of the nation’s heritage. Entry tickets are priced at AED 25 for adults, with discounted rates for children, students, and senior citizens. The museum’s engaging displays and educational programs make it an excellent destination for families and history enthusiasts.

For those interested in contemporary culture, the Dubai Design District (d3) is a hub for design, fashion, and innovation. The district hosts events such as Dubai Design Week and Fashion Forward, attracting creatives from around the world. d3 also features a variety of cafes, restaurants, and retail spaces, making it a lively and inspiring environment. New residents can explore d3 to experience the cutting edge of Dubai’s creative industries and engage with the city’s dynamic cultural landscape.

By exploring Global Village, Dubai Parks and Resorts, and cultural venues such as Dubai Opera and Alserkal Avenue, new residents can immerse themselves in the rich and diverse cultural experiences that Dubai has to offer. These attractions showcase the city’s commitment to celebrating global cultures, providing world-class entertainment, and fostering a vibrant arts scene. The following sections will conclude the exploration of top attractions, ensuring that new residents can fully appreciate the multifaceted charm of Dubai.


Dubai offers an extraordinary array of attractions that cater to the diverse interests and lifestyles of its residents. From the towering heights of the Burj Khalifa and the luxurious living on Palm Jumeirah to the vibrant cultural experiences at Global Village and Dubai Opera, the city provides endless opportunities for exploration and enjoyment. These attractions not only showcase Dubai’s architectural and cultural marvels but also highlight the city’s commitment to creating a dynamic and inclusive environment for its residents.

Whether you are a thrill-seeker looking for adventure at Dubai Parks and Resorts, a history buff eager to explore the Al Fahidi Historic District, or a nature enthusiast wanting to experience the tranquility of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, there is something in Dubai for everyone. The pristine beaches, bustling markets, and world-class entertainment venues ensure that new residents can immerse themselves in the city’s rich and diverse offerings.

As you settle into your new life in Dubai, make it a priority to explore these top attractions. They will not only help you appreciate the city’s unique blend of tradition and modernity but also provide memorable experiences that make living in Dubai truly special. Embrace the vibrant lifestyle, engage with the diverse community, and take full advantage of everything this remarkable city has to offer. Welcome to Dubai, a city that promises an exceptional quality of life and countless adventures.



Comments are closed