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Plan Your Trip to Dubai: Best of Dubai Tourism

About Dubai
Everything feels extra spectacular in Dubai—from the ultra-modern Burj Khalifa to the souks and malls filled with gold and jewellery vendors. It’s a place where if you can dream it, you can do it: Whether that means skiing indoors, dune-surfing in the desert, or zip-lining above the city. But it’s not all glitz and adrenaline-pumping action. Stroll through the winding alleys of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood to see what Dubai was like during the mid-19th century. Or visit the Jumeirah Mosque (one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims) and learn about Emirati culture. Spot some street art on Jumeirah Beach Road and grab a bite at a shawarma shop, or spend the day hunting for spices and perfume then round things out with a Michelin-starred meal. You can really do it all and we’ve got more recs, below.

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Essential Dubai

How to do Dubai in 3 days

From the biggest skyscrapers to the best hidden-away restaurants
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My favourite spots for drinks with a view

I’ve learned one crucial thing while living in Dubai for fifteen years—everything constantly changes. Leave the city to travel for a few weeks, and you’ll likely return to a plush new 5-star hotel or a swanky Michelin-starred restaurant. The upside is that if you love a perfectly made sundowner with a gorgeous view, there’s always somewhere new and fabulous to discover. Here are my seven (current) cocktail spots in the Venice of the Gulf.
Emma K P, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
  • SUSHISAMBA
    315
    This lavish bar restaurant on the 51st floor of the Palm Tower is a must-visit for its creative Japanese-Peruvian-Brazilian fusion offerings and the expansive views across the famous Palm Jumeirah (especially if you book the gorgeous private Sambaroom). Cocktails here are truly works of art, and I often catch myself yearning for the Samba Melon Sour paired with a plate of the marinated Chilean sea bass.
  • ZETA Seventy Seven
    142
    Just when you think you’ve taken in all the best views in Dubai you’ll discover another one. This adults-only infinity poolside bar on the top of the Address Beach Resort is 77 floors up. It has dazzling views along the Dubai coastline and across Bluewaters Island with its Instagrammable Ain Dubai observation wheel. There’s a sophisticated and exclusive vibe here, not to mention a robust menu of signature cocktails such as ‘Venus’ with its blend of passion fruit, lemongrass, and citrus liqueurs. It pairs wonderfully well with the lobster rolls.
  • Mott 32 Dubai
    38
    Bar hop (lift hop?) to another location inside the Address Beach Resort to double your fun. Head to the 73rd floor for a slightly hidden gem that will whisk you east to China. Mott 32 boasts gorgeous views over Bluewaters Island that are similar to Zeta 77, but the atmosphere here is a little darker and more mysterious, as are the cocktails. Don’t miss the Hong Kong Iced Tea, made from tequila, Cassis de Crème, Blanc Lillet, basil seeds, and jasmine tea. If hunger strikes, check out the exquisite Peking Duck, smoked with apple wood.
  • Folly
    385
    Few places are better suited for a first date than folly in Souk Madinat. Overlooking the pretty waterways with the sail silhouette of the Burj Al Arab hotel as a backdrop, this is where those in the know go to get to know one another. The excellent cocktail list here boasts novel creations like Candy Cloud – a mix of fruity flavours with Zacapa 23 rum and Veuve Clicquot Rose. For nibbles, try the seafood arancini with marmite emulsion.
  • Luma Pool Lounge
    8
    One of my favourite spots to catch a sunset in “old” Dubai is Luma at Address Grand Creek Harbour. With artsy décor and a laid-back ambiance, their classic cocktails are made with love – especially the martinis – but the red wine sangria is also a spicy treat while you watch the boats cruise idly by. If your stomach is grumbling, opt for a mix of starter plates (the Arabic lamb hummus is yum).
  • The Tap House, Downtown
    1,375
    Several bars have terrific views of the famous Burj Khalifa Tower, but Tap House in Souk Al Bahar is the best for my money. Not only does it have a Burj view on steroids, but the cocktails are ambitious. My tastebuds bow down to the Lusty Martini made with blue pea vodka, elderflower syrup, lime juice, ginger, and egg white – ideally paired with the pulled beef brisket on a bun.
  • The Penthouse at Five Palm Jumeirah Dubai
    1,477
    This chic rooftop venue on the 16th floor of FIVE Palm Jumeirah boasts spectacular views of the Dubai Marina skyline on one side and Downtown Dubai on the other. A popular nighttime party spot with the fashion set, this is where you have to treat your senses to the Desert Rose cocktail – a heady mix of rose-infused vodka, rose liqueur, and citrus. Meanwhile, the extensive Japanese food menu will keep you full. Make sure to try the wagyu beef sliders.

Explore Dubai by interest

Hit the mall or market

Standout spots for one-of-a-kind finds

Grab a drink

Cocktail lounges and beach clubs worth a stop

Make a day of it

Easy trips that take you beyond the city

Take it outside

Action-packed outdoor experiences 

For the architecture buff

Historic sites, modern skyscrapers, and more