Dubai has no shortage of amazing things to do, which makes choosing only ten kind of tough. It’s also a destination famous for its priceyeness, but there are plenty of attractions and activities that visitors don’t need a massive travel budget to do. So if you’re lucky enough to experience the wonderland that is Dubai, be sure to check out these stunning sites and exhilarating experiences that you can actually afford.

Delight Your Senses at the Spice Souk
Shoppers at the spice souk in Dubai

Stroll between sacks of cardamom, cloves, cinnamon…any spice you could possibly imagine, really. Friendly shopkeepers will help you select the perfect sachet to take home. With all of the colors and textures, this place is heaven for amateur and professional photographers alike.

Up Your Bling Game at the Gold Souk
Woman window shopping at the gold souk in Dubai

Located near the spice souk, Dubai’s gold souk is the place to go for all things accessories. Layer on ornate bangles or drape yourself in a silk scarf – this is the place to find a stellar souvenir.

Take a Desert Tour

A car driving in a desert tour outside Dubai

Image via Flickr -CC BY 2.0 – Ajay Suresh

If you feel like you need to get away from the big city for a day, take a desert safari tour, complete with dune driving, camel rides, and a fully outfitted campsite with food prepared on site.

Hit the Slopes in a…Mall?

Skiers on the slope inside Dubai Mall

Image via Flickr – CC BY-SA 2.0 – Petr Kadlec

You can do just about anything in Dubai, even ski or snowboard indoors. The Mall of the Emirates has an indoor ski slope complete with tons of man-made snow. You need to see it to believe it!

Grab a Bite to Eat at the Burj Al Arab
View of Burj Al Arab in Dubai

Most of us can’t afford to stay in this luxury hotel, but you can enjoy the stunning architecture and state-of-the-art amenities (and people watching – let’s be real) while lunching at one of Burj Al Arab’s top-notch restaurants.

Enjoy the Intricacy of Jumeirah Mosque
Jumeirah Mosque in Dubai

Located just south of the Dubai Marina, Jumeirah is the only mosque in Dubai that allows non-Muslims to enter to take in the intricate painting and ornate décor. If you’re planning to enter the mosque, be sure to dress modestly as a sign of respect (long sleeves and long pants or skirts, as well as head coverings for women).

Get Wet at Wild Wadi Waterpark

Swimmer at Wild Wadi Waterpark in Dubai

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Sarah_Ackerman

This state-of-the-art waterpark is comprised of 30 water rides and play areas for travelers of all ages. Take a relaxing float down the lazy river or get your adrenaline pumping on the 100-ft water slide.

Go Underwater at the Dubai Aquarium

People exploring the Dubai Aquarium

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Matt Lowe

Unlike any aquarium you’ve ever seen, Dubai’s version has over 33,000 animals and 140 different species. Walk through glass tunnels or take a tour in a glass bottom boat. Thrill seekers can even dive with the sharks.

Take Time to Smell the Flowers…45 million of Them

View of Dubai Miracle Garden

Image via Flickr – CC BY 2.0 – Srilatha Sharma

Located in Dubailand, Dubai Miracle Garden is home to elaborate, whimsical topiary displays (think hearts, rainbows, stars…) that change with the seasons.

Look Way, Way Up at Burj Khalifa

The world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa, is one of Dubai’s most famous sites. Once you admire the structure, you can purchase a ticket to go up to the observation deck, which offers fantastic views of Dubai.

Have you visited Dubai? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments section.

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About The Author

Jen Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing (www.luciditewriting.com) and Bouchard Design Co.