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Dubai is a city of lights and sand that flawlessly integrates its traditional Arabic history with new wave luxury and architecture. In just four decades Dubai has risen from a barren desert community to one of the world’s leading travel destinations!
With its rich ancestry, stunning buildings, decadent global cuisine, immense shopping opportunities, and magnificent beaches it is easy to see why it would be any travelers dream destination.
However, this massive city can seem overwhelming at first. Dubai has so much to see and experience, how can you fit it all in? The answer lies in guided tours. Tours will give you an immersive experience whether it is through food, culture, or simply sightseeing.
Here is a guide to some of the best tours in Dubai to make sure you get the most out of your trip!
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One of the best food tours in Dubai!
Breathe in the unique aromas of the spice souks as you are guided through the streets of the city center, sampling 10 unique local dishes that highlight the truly multicultural nature of Dubai. This all-encompassing food tour allows you to go at your own pace as you take a bite of your first camel burger or cool down with some saffron ice cream!
If you are the type that craves a culturally immersive experience while dining with the locals, this tour is bound to satisfy your foodie dreams!
A great tour for those with luxury in mind!
What better way to embrace Dubai’s decadence than by dining on the high-end cuisine of Dubai Souk al Bahar while taking in the beautiful water show at the dancing fountains! You will be given a one on one experience with a local guide that can help you choose your main course, cocktail, and dessert at this award-winning lounge bar.
This is the perfect customizable experience for those that want to feel like royalty while they treat their taste buds to some of the best food Dubai has to offer.
If you are visiting Dubai you HAVE to check out our article about Dubai’s coolest neighborhoods to stay!
A must do for history buffs!
The Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood dates back to the 1890s and was on the verge of being demolished to make way for newer construction in the 1980s. Now, this restored district proudly displays the Dubai Al Fahidi Fort, the oldest building in the entire country, that houses the Dubai Museum. Here you will learn about Arabia, culture, religion and what life used to look like for its citizens.
Afterward, you will be welcomed on a traditional “abra” that will lull you down the Dubai creek and through the spice souks and oldest gold souk boasting its magnificent jewelry!
Great for outdoor lovers and culture enthusiasts!
Prior to the 1960’s oil boom most of Dubai’s society consisted of desert living Bedouin people. Through this tour, you will get a taste of the ancient society by sharing a meal, watching a mix of belly dancing, tanoura, and haridi performances, and trying out a sheesha or hubbly bubbly pipe, all in the glow of the beautiful desert’s setting sun.
Before arriving at the Bedouin camp you will be treated with an hour-long exhilarating 4WD ride through the towering desert dunes and given the opportunity to try your legs at sand surfing!
Perfect for those want to full desert life experience!
The best way to experience a culture is to fully place yourself in it and that is exactly what this tour offers. Similar to the regular desert safari, you will experience the thrills of bashing through the Red Dunes and sandboarding before being treated to a Bedouin barbeque and traditional dances!
The additional benefit is feeling what it is like to sleep in a traditional Bedouin tent on a Nawar bed before being woken up as the sun streaks across the sands and you travel on a camel through the morning desert breezes.
Water tour are great in Dubai!
The Dubai Marina is now world famous for housing multi-million dollar private yachts! With this tour, you can feel a part of the grandeur as you are given a red carpet entrance and sail along the Jumeirah coast.
Take in the sights of the city skyline, beaches, and Blue Water Island as you leisurely soak in the rays on the upper deck of the yacht. Refreshments and food options are offered at every time offered. It’s a great way to see Dubai from a different perspective while feeling as upscale as the city itself.
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The perfect full day tour!
This tour is great for those that want to pack in the most sightseeing in a short period of time. This full day tour will guide you through the Al Fahidi Museum, let you explore the iconic spice and gold souks, give you time to shop at the Dubai Mall, sail you along the Dubai Creek and let you take in the awe-inspiring views from the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world!).
Still not enough? How about strolling down the Dubai Marina walk or checking out the Palm Jumeirah Island. Yep, that is included as well! This is the equivalent of 7 tours in one.
We love this 1/2 day tour!
The Abu Dhabi Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the crown jewel of the middle east. This 22,412 square meters spiritual center serves over 40,000 worshippers at any given time and has past the Taj Mahal as the world’s most loved landmark!
With its opulent marvel floors, 24-carat gold plated Swarovski crystal chandeliers, jewel encrust internal columns and massive handwoven carpets, it is easy to see why. Construction, which started in 1996, took 12 years and $545 million to complete! The Mosque is a level of decadence that can only be experienced not explained.
One of the coolest bus tours in Dubai!
This fully customizable bus tour gives you a multitude of options to see the city on your time and at your own pace. You will be treated to 360-degree views from the top of this double-decker gem as a guide provides you with the fascinating history of the landmarks you pass.
Feel free to jump on or off at any site that strikes your fancy while being provided free entry or discounted prices to museums, lounges, and additional tours. A great way to prioritize what you want to see on your own budget.
Great for couples!
Take in the romantic views of the twinkling Dubai skyline as you float down the Deira side of Dubai Creek. You will float past the major architectural and historical landmarks as you dine on a selection of freshly prepared international fare from the a la carte menu!
After dinner, you can take a romantic walk on the exterior deck while gazing at the stars and lights of the beautiful city. One of the most intimate ways to see Dubai at night.
Highly recommended for families!
Your children will be amazed as they wander through the underground aquarium tunnel as a variety of aquatic life glides overhead! You can opt to try scuba diving or get up close and personal with the sharks in their underwater shark tank.
Or just walk through taking in the enormous variety of exotic species seen in few other places, including King Croc and his Queen, one of the largest crocodiles in the world! Located in the Dubai Mall this experience is sure to have something special for the whole family.
MUST READ – Heading to Dubai next? Check out our post about some of the most fun day trips from Dubai!
Best tour for amazing city views!
Experience the sprawling beauty of the ever-growing Dubai cityscape from the best possible angle. With 12, 17 and 22 minute rides with dedicated highlights of the cities most iconic buildings and beaches you will be able to fully customize your experience.
The knowledgeable pilot will provide live commentary on the landmarks as you soar over the coast, Dubai Creek and the famous Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! If you don’t have a fear for heights and want to get the best possible views of Dubai this tour is great for you!
Our favorite tour of Burj Khalifa!
This premium tour is a great way to gather in all of the wonders the Burj Khalifa views offer from the highest observation decks in the world without the hassle of crowds! You will learn the history of this infamous 555-meter tall building through the ground floor exhibit before being guided to your dedicated premium elevator which will whiz you up to the clouds and the luxurious lounges.
Relax as you as you are soothed with the synchronized sounds of the dancing fountain below and make sure to look for the sunset option which only maximizes the enchanting experience.
Great for nature lovers!
The Green Planet is an enormous enclosed bio-dome which recreates a tropical rainforest in the middle of the arid desert! You will be surrounded by such inhabitants as monkeys, bats, snakes, sloths and birds as you learn the nature and balance of this enchanting ecosystem.
The magnificent flora and fauna will eventually lead you to the largest indoor man-made life-sustaining tree on the planet. This is an extraordinarily immersive educational tour that gives you a glimpse into another world not many get to see. If you love nature or just love to learn, this experience is sure to leave you breathless. Get the full details here.
The best tour for photography fanatics!
If you have limited time in Dubai but still want to get amazing shots of all the major landmarks, this tour is right for you. Your 2.5 hour tour will start at the base of the Burj Khalifa where you can pose with the musical fountains as this wonderous building looms in the background.
Next, you will be whizzed to the Palm Island which will give panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf that is sure to make everyone jealous. You will also be stopping by many places in Old Dubai and Burj Al Arab. With ample time to get every snapshot, this tour is every photography lovers dream!
A relaxing fishing tour!
Take this private tour to some of the best fishing spots in Dubai! Relax in the sun while the waves lap against the boat and catch the beautiful coastal views as well as unique deep sea fish.
Your captain will entertain you with stories that your family and friends are sure to remember in this partial adventure, partial relaxation tour. Don’t worry if you are a beginner or an avid fisherman, all your fishing needs will be met by your knowledgeable captain.
Recommended article – Dubai’s 15 best Museums (some that tourists never see)!
A great interactive tour for all ages!
Falconry goes back 2,000 years and was an integral part of Arabian desert life as these birds of prey were used to hunt for smaller animals. In this tour, you will be taught about this ancient art through a live 90-minute interactive demonstration and history lesson.
Afterwards, you will be treated to a small breakfast before being taken into the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, the largest national park in the UAE, where you will get to spot desert dwellers such as the Arabian Oryx and Gazelles!
A fascinating guided small group tour!
This full-day guided small group tour will give you the full experience of Abu Dhabi and its ornate architecture. You will start by being guided through the mesmerizing Sheikh Zayed Mosque on a 1.5-hour tour with your original guide.
Next, you will be stopping by the Abu Dhabi Corniche, where you can take in the scenic views of the Arabian Gulf as well as the ornate structures of the Emirate and Presidential Palaces. Afterward, you will learn more about the culture of an old Emirate village in Heritage Village before ending in a grand finale at the luxurious Etihad Towers.
The best interactive dolphin tour!
If you have ever dreamed of swimming with dolphins, this is the way to experience it! During this tour, you will be given interesting facts on the dolphins and other marine life as you interact with the playful creatures in the depths of Dolphin Bay Lagoon.
This magical tour will allow you to hug, dance with and be spun around by these friendly high energy animals. Due to the depths of the lagoon, however, this tour is only recommended for strong swimmers and children over 8 years of age. If you fit these criteria, you will not want to miss this one of a kind experience.
Our favorite private tour!
Something magical happens to a city at night when all the lights begin to twinkle and the streets are filled with happy travelers and dinner aromas. In this fully customizable tour, you will be able to excite your senses further with trying out traditional street food at the Dubai Marina, strolling down the JBR walk at Jumeira Beach to view the moonlight scattered along the water, and take in a dancing fountains performance all under the expertise of a local guide.
Most unique water tour experience!
This amphibious bus is the first of its kind in all of the Middle East and seamlessly takes you from the streets through the waterways without ever having to leave your seat! This double-decker bus will guide you through the luxurious financials districts and stunning buildings of downtown before driving straight into the waters as you are taken around the historic districts.
A guide will keep you on your toes with educational information, games, and refreshments as you cruise in the most unique ride in all of Dubai.
How do I book a Dubai tour?
There are a multitude of ways to book the perfect tour. The easiest way to do this is pre-purchasing tickets online so you can browse the different selections and avoid annoying lines. Our favorite website for this is getyourguide.com. They make booking easy and have options in almost every category you can imagine.
How much do tours in Dubai cost?
Considering the luxury and upscale settings that have become synonymous with Dubai, their tours are surprisingly affordable. You can find a wealth of informative, immersive, exciting tours in every category for under $100. The price increases for tours that include a high-end dinner, private guides and/or transportation.
How long do tours in Dubai last?
Tour durations vary depending on the activity. Generally speaking, walking tours will last between 1-3 hours, while more in-depth sightseeing tours will last about 4-5 hours. Longer tours outside of the city will likely take you about 5-8 hours otherwise known as full or half-day tours.
Dubai is a fastly growing city with the warmest welcome in middle eastern culture. The layers of history, economic growth, fascinating architecture, religion and desert life make it sleek and modern without sacrificing on heritage. The fusion of the world’s cutting edge creations standing beside strong Arabic traditions can be found nowhere else in the world!
Make sure that you see everything this Arab beacon can offer at every angle. Whether you are sightseeing from the ground, soaring into the clouds at Burj Khalifa, playing in the waters of Dubai Creek, or stepping back in time at a sun-soaked Bedouin camp, give yourself the time to let your senses take over and fill you to the brim with the unique experiences only found in Dubai.
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Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.