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Activities in Dubai That Don’t Suck

The United Arab Emirates was the first country I ever traveled to other than the United States!

How do I go about describing Dubai? Glamour, gold, glitz, gaudy? All of those combined into one? I’m sure it’s not to be pretentious, having the tallest building in the world, indoor ski slopes in the mall or a garden of 45 million flowers in the middle of the desert. No, Dubai? Be pretentious? Never.ย I feel like if Dubai were a person, it would be my attitude to a T ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, nothing wrong with that. This city is unlike any other in the entire world. Between its cultural dynamics, iconic skyscrapers and shopping galore, this place is sure to surprise you. Here are some activities in Dubai that DON’T SUCK!

dubai

Watch the Dubai Fountain Show


I’m not cheating on Vegas, I promise. It will always have a special place in my heart, but Dubai’s Fountain Show kind of takes the cake. With it being the largest choreographed water system on the entire planet, this performance is sure to make you wet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not like Magic Mike wet, but you get the idea. Don’t miss out on this spectacular show!

Helpful Hint: A local told us about a restaurant called “Zeta”. An Asian Fusion restaurant with high prices but perfect views of the show. Go there, and you can enjoy a nice dinner, some champagne and sit front row to the largest fountain show in the world! You’re welcome.ย 

fountain show

Go Tubing at Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates


I’m not playing some sick joke on you. Yes, there really is an entire ski place in the mall. Equipped with snow, boards, skis, tubes, AND hot chocolate! Those Middle Eastern summer months can get pretty brutal, but no need to travel elsewhere to cool down! Head to Ski Dubai! Ha, I feel like an infomercial. It’s pretty amazing to see in person. Instead of busting my ass trying to ski down the slope, my boyfriend and I opted to go tubing AND fuck around in the playground area. Whatever you pick, you’re sure to have a blast.

ski dubai

Skydiving


Get over your fear of heights RIGHT THIS SECOND. Seriously, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity that you shouldn’t pass up. If you read myย Skydiving Dubaiย post, you will understand why this adventure is so awesome! Free falling over a man-made island shaped like a palm tree, then gliding in the air for about 5 minutes while you gaze out over the city. What more could you want? I decided Dubai would be my first experience because DUH. That view is like nothing else in the world! At a mere $1999 Dirhams ($500 USD) it is worth every penny!

skydiving

Visit the Beach


I got really really lucky when visiting Jumeirah Beach. My boyfriend was working and I was stuck roaming the city alone. I get off the metro and somehow start talking to a girl who invited me to sit with her and her friends at the beach! Soaking up the sun, frolicking in the ocean and just conversing with girls my age made the perfect day! You might not get this lucky, but nonetheless, the beach is something to see. I specifically went to Jumeirah Beach, but any would do just fine!

jumeriah beach

Go to Top of Burj Khalifa


Tourist trap? Probably. But you can’t go to Dubai and NOT go to the top. 360-degree sight lines to the entire city. Sure, it’s pretty annoying to try to get a glance when all you see are selfie sticks and tourists running around like crazy, but those things are irrelevant when you see the view. We ended up getting there at sunset, so it was even more spectacular.

top of burj

Desert Safari


Since my boyfriend was there for work and I was there to tag along, I tried to plan some activities for later in the day when he was free. Most of his meetings ended late or we would end up having to attend dinner’s with clients so the Desert Safari was off the list! BOOOOO ๐Ÿ™ From what I researched and heard, there is a sunset safari where you can go jeep riding, camel riding, and watch the sunset over the sand dunes while eating a complimentary buffet in the beautiful tent area. Pricing starts around $73 USD pp so it’s a great deal! Try it and let me know how it is!

dubai

(source)

Go to the Miracle Garden


Skydiving was #1 on my list but the miracle garden definitely took the #2 spot. Located near DubaiLand, about 20-25 minutes outside the heart of the city, this garden was just breathtaking. 45 million flowers in the middle of the desertโ€ฆbut whoseโ€™s counting right? The pictures you see online just does not capture the beauty of this place. Very cheap to get in (roughly $10 USD), and you can walk at your own pace. You can find a railroad with train cars filled with flowers that boast different countries flags, windmills made of flowers replicating Holland and even an Eiffel Tower made completely ofโ€ฆyou guessed it..flowers! 360 panoramic views of nothing but color.

miracle garden

Visit and/or Stay At Atlantis, The Palm


I had the absolute pleasure of staying at Atlantis, The Palm here in Dubai. Being from the United States, I have traveled to the Bahamas many times and played at the water park at the Atlantis there, but it was nothing compared to this. Dubai has a way of making everything that much bigger and better.

Each side of the hotel gives views of different parts of the city. One looking to the ocean and the other to the downtown area. Luckily, we stayed on the ocean side and woke every day by sun rays over the water. Other than the views, the activities are what sold me. Since my boyfriend was gone most of the day, I had to explore on my own…which was fine to me because Atlantis had everything. Delicious restaurants, luxurious spa and fitness centers, a water park, an aquarium, AND a nightclub. I never wanted to leave. This hotel is sure to mesmerize you. If you aren’t staying there, at least go check it out! You can pay to do most of the activities, otherwise, if you’re a guest, they’re free!

atlantis

dubai

Sandboarding


Again, I did not get to do this, but when I go back this is first on my list! What is better than snowboarding down an indoor ski resort slope?? Surfing down a sand dune! Dubai IS the desert so, in the outskirts, that is the perfect place to try your luck at boarding! Just don’t face plant going down, otherwise, you’ll hurt yourself and your ego.

dubai

(source)

Aquarium Diving


We aren’t talking about getting into a pool full of great whites here, its more like some smaller sharks, angelfish, and stingrays to be exact. Atlantis offers an array of dives including snorkeling, noncertified scuba diving, and aquatreks. Whichever you decide to do, DO ONE! Or all! I did the noncertified scuba diving where I got to explore the entire aquarium with an instructor. I think it was better than regular ocean snorkeling because everything was in one place! It will only set you back about $150 USD which isn’t bad…remember, IT’S DUBAI!

dubai

That’s all folks. Do you agree with these activities?? I wanna hear all about your trip to Dubai and what you did there so I can educate myself for when I return. If you haven’t made it to Dubai yet, I suggest you hop on over to the Middle East and take some adventure advice from the queen herself so that your trip to UAE doesn’t suck!

xo Bonvoyage Babes


  1. Hailey Phillips says:

    What an incredible city!!!! That hotel sounds absolutely amazing! And those sky diving views are to die for! Did you land on the beach or in some other part of the desert?

  2. This stuff all sounds awesome! Skydiving isn’t high on my list of things to do, but it looks like it would be awesome in Dubai!

  3. I still can’t get convinced to visit this city, though. Too megalomaniac for my taste… For the rest, enjoyed your read.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      My boyfriend was there on business and I just got to play so it was like a free trip for me besides activities! So totally worth it like that!

  4. Joy Sheehan says:

    HOLY! The skydiving looks insane! I’ve heard it was a great place to do this activity in but dang! Adding it to my list now.

  5. Anonymous says:

    love it!!

  6. I would HAVE to go skydiving over Dubai. I mean how can you leave there without checking that off your list?!

    These are all great ideas though! Love the miracle garden too ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. These activities definitely don’t suck! Skydiving must’ve been amazing too!

  8. Rob Taylor says:

    Dubai is so over the top. The skiing will always make me laugh. Really cool adult playground though, for sure.

  9. Jess says:

    So many cool things to do in Dubai! I’m pleased I ticked most of those off when I visited. You should check out the Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Cultural Understanding if you get a chance. I did the Cultural Walk and the breakfast and it was great to see a local perspective on what can come across as a superficial city. The souks are all nearby as well.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Awesome!! I plan on going back for sure so will definitely check it out. Especially if you can escape the fantasy world for a little while.

  10. Victoria says:

    this post is makes dubai look like so much fun! I have never really considered dubai as a travel destination just because i feel it is too commercialized. Dubai is back on my radar! I pinned this post so I can access it again

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      I mean, its totally commercialized BUT there is a lot of cool things to do there! I wish I could do the boarding and desert safari! To me those are better than visiting just another boring museum in Europe or something ya know? Thanks babydoll for pinning it! You should definitely check it out ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. I was so unsure whether of the over-the-topness of Dubai made me want to visit or run for the hills, but this looks great! Awesome post ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      I feel like regardless, everyone looks at it differently so by seeing for yourself I’m sure you will get something totally different from it! Thanks girl!

  12. Iva says:

    Wow! You went skydiving! My favorite thing I did in Dubai is the desert safari – riding on a camel, getting inked with henna, and doing that spinning dance. Also loved the museum in Old Dubai and swimming with the dolphins! You’re so brave to have done skydiving!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      ahhh I didn’t get to do those other things!! Would love to go back and try. Yes, skydiving was awesome but I was not nervous!

  13. Ariane says:

    Looks great! I would love to go skydiving or sandboarding!!! you’re photos look absolutely enticing!

  14. Bhushavali says:

    Skydiving atop the Palm island??!!!! 5 solid minutes of just gliding???!!! You gotta be kidding me!!! Now, I wanna go there!!! And really, how do they manage to water all those flowering plants in the middle of the desert!!!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      haha right?? They better have a bomb watering system! Yes the skydiving was unlike anything I had ever done!

  15. Nice rundown of stuff to do in Dubai. I have never been. My good friend is in love with that place so I need to go one day. That garden looks incredible. Sandboarding sounds interesting too!

  16. You’re so daring! I think I’d be too scared for Sky Diving! The Beaches and Miracle Gardens look incredible! Thanks for sharing!

    http://fromannette.com/

  17. Well I’m bloody sold to Dubai now! I particularly like the fine dining with champagne by the water show, snow tubing well complemented with hot chocolate (in the desert lol!), visiting the beach & that remarkable hotel of clubs, yummy food & spa! Oh and skydiving, I did it locally & it was epic so in Dubai over the palm, like you said, it must be super duper epic! Actually, I think I would give all these activities a try because it wouldn’t be fair to leave any out!

  18. second attempt at commenting, given I can’t find the one I just posted. If however it’s there somewhere (I looked, no luck, but ya never know), you will be a lucky bitch to have a double comment! Anyway, in the previous comment I mentioned which activities I would choose: skydiving because I did it before & it was epic, but in Dubai over a palm island, it would be super duper epic! Also I said I would choose:
    The beach
    Tubing complete with hot choccy, in the snow… in the desert lol!
    That it hotel: clubbing, eating yummy food, to name a couple!
    the water show: you sold me at fine dining with champagne beside the water show!
    .
    Then I decided that I would choose all the activities, because I feel it would be unfair to choose some & leave out others. Because we all know, that unlike these activities in Dubai, selective-ness sucks.
    Never been to Dubai, but you’ve sold me!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      yayyy one lucky bitch I am! It’s because I have to approve your comment first before it goes on my site…ya know, in case you want to blackmail me or sabatoge me, I get to stop it first haha. YES!! You should literally try alllllll of them. Water show and champagne? Obviously. Skydiving…A MUST! and everything else…like duhhh! You should go JUST because its so over the top!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ thanks for the double comment sugar buns <3

  19. Indrani says:

    Wow! All thrilling stuffs! But I guess they must be making a hole in the pocket! The tickets cost really huge all put together.
    Need to choose only few out of these.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Yes, it does burn a hole but that’s to be expected in Dubai! I mean if you think about it though…its not terribly more expensive than regular places.

  20. Suruchi says:

    Dubai was never on my list. But this flower tower, colors and sky diving is all fascinating me so much. The garden is incredible..After seeing your pictures I feel I should add Dubai to my bucket list.

  21. This city is unbelievable…to think that they reclaimed all that land from the sea, and created an oasis out of a desert. So much to do!

  22. Chloe says:

    I don’t know what to expect when I visit Dubai! These activities sound so much fun, especially sand boarding and going into the desert. It seems like you need to have a generous budget for this city though!

  23. Jodie says:

    haha I love this – activities that don’t suck! Catchy! You actually make me want to visit Dubai!

  24. I’ve never considered a visit here but it looks amazing. I would love to stay at the Atlantis and do the aquarium dive. I’ve never done a dive like this.

  25. Kristine says:

    That view of the Palm islands is super awesome as you skydived! Also, u stayed at Atlantis? Lucky you! I only drove past and viewed it from outside, already very impressed by how grand it was!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Very very grand! And Atlantis was on the edge of the Palm which was cool to see while I was skydiving! ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. TheDameIntl says:

    So much to do in Dubai! I haven’t been yet but my mom’s been and I’ve seen a few travel vlogs and it looks like a super unique and interesting place to visit.

  27. Dubai looks out of control! I would love to see the Miracle Garden. I had never even heard of that. And I would like to see the fountain show. I am used to the one in Centennial Park in Atlanta, but this one looks even better.

  28. I just love dubai and the things to do there. I visited it in 2015 and since then i have really wanting to go again.

  29. Sam Sparrow says:

    These are some amazing tips for Dubai! Had no idea it had a vegas style fountain show, I think I’d very much like to see that!

  30. Meghan says:

    I have never been to Dubai, but these suggestions sound perfect! I have seen tons of pictures of the Miracle Garden, but liked that you chose the perspective you did and explained in detail about it because I haven’t seen much info on it!

  31. Ami Bhat says:

    Dubai is just amazing…everytime I think I have seen it all, it comes up with something new. The miracle gardens have missed my notice earlier. It looks really lovely. Thanks for this list.

  32. Michelle says:

    Great post, I really wanna visit Dubai!

  33. Caroline says:

    Awesome post! Dubai is definitely on my bucket list of places to go.

  34. Umberta says:

    So many things to do!! I would love to skydive, but it looks so scary!!

  35. Mimi says:

    pretty good place to go for the first time though! Dubai isn’t at all what the media say and is a pure oasis of the middle east hihi!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Yeah I think everyone should just see it for themselves. It reminds me of Vegas, like some people either love or hate it!

  36. Therie says:

    Skydiving seems like the perfect activity to do in Dubai! Must have been one thrilling experience!

  37. Lisa says:

    First of all, I have to say I lol’d so hard at your title, just brilliant! I’ve never been interested by Dubai, but it’s good to know there are activities that don’t suck! I did a desert luxury camp in the Sahara in Morocco and it was incredible, so yes, you need to go back and do this! The fountain show sounds kind of cool too.

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      Ha, glad I could make you laugh but it’s totally true! I hate going places and seeing the same old activities everyone says to do! Ahh so jealous, I will definitely be back to try it out!

  38. Amazing! I have a ton of Emirates miles to use so I am considering a weekend in Dubai. These tips will come in very handy. I think a sky dive is on the cards and I’d also love the aquarium dive. Thanks for sharing ๐Ÿ™‚

  39. Raghav says:

    Dubai never fails to impress me. There is really something for everyone and every time you go back to Dubai there is something new to experience. I love how they have something for the adrenaline junkies and for shopping and of course attractions that are more relaxing. Great list.

  40. Mel Butler says:

    I spent a few days in Dubai on my way to Australia and really enjoyed it, I remember going to the Mall of Emirates and watching the people ski. I never knew they did tubing there and that looks like so much fun to do. Diving at the Aquarium sounds amazing and lot of fun to do, I am definitely going to add this to my list for next time.

  41. Shibani says:

    Dubai is high up on my list to do anytime soon, and hoping to visit it in a couple of months. I like all the activities here, skydiving at 500$..that’s really high, but I guess worth in Dubai ๐Ÿ™‚ I like to see Burj Khalifa myself, but I know it has got all touristy now and it can get very tricky to see in amidst all those tourists trying to take pictures but after all it’s still a must-do in Dubai ๐Ÿ˜‰

  42. Kate Storm says:

    Dubai has definitely always struck me as a place like no other! That manmade palm tree-shaped island is wild–never heard of that one before! I don’t think I’ll ever plan a huge trip to the UAE, but I suspect we may have a 24 hour layover to experience it on one day!

  43. James says:

    I once sure the Bellagio water show playing to Billie Jean, can the Dubai fountain better this? Sky diving over those stunning views must be incredible, as the views from the top of Burj Khalifa. I’ve not heard of the Miracle Garden but it looks a very Instagrammable place!

  44. Yukti says:

    I live in Dubai and agree completely with you on all these activities. My favorites are JBR Beach, Fountain show and Miracle Garden as they are so beautiful and lively places. Atlantis and Sky Diving are also fun but little expensive so can be done once or twice a year only. But rest of the things can be done frequently.

  45. Heraa says:

    Sounds about right, Dubai was also the first place I visited and for that it will always be my first love. Sky diving must have been an amazing experience as that’s the only thing I have missed doing there. Atlantis is really fun place. The aquarium diving also seem fun.

  46. Winsant says:

    Makes me want to visit Dubai…..

    I am a flower person so miracle garden is my pick followed by sky diving.

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