Dubai day trips: Top five activities

Choosing from the extensive Dubai day trips on offer can be daunting as the city is a veritable playground bursting with attractions for every age, interest and ability. Here we've gathered some of our favourite things to do on a day trip in Dubai, encompassing everything from swimming and relaxing, to exploring and dining.

Dubai day trips
Dubai day trips - photo courtesy of Dubai Tourism

Dubai day trips: five unmissable things to do and see

Thanks to the bright hot sunshine and reliably dry conditions, Dubai continues to attract more and more people, especially couples and families, keen to experience some serious fun under the Arabian sun. Read on to discover five of the best Dubai day trips going to ensure you make the most of your time in the famous Emirate.

1. Wade into the water at Wild Wadi or Aquaventure

Fighting it out for top spot in the UAE's water park charts, and ideal destinations for Dubai day trips, include these two well known parks, perfect for some aquatic family fun. It's worth noting that the UAE has a number of other water parks in Abu Dhabi and elsewhere in the Emirates.

Wild Wadi

Whether you want a relaxing day or an adrenaline-fuelled adventure is up to you; both are on offer at Wild Wadi*. Choose from floating down the 360-metre Juha's Journey lazy river, bobbing about in Breaker's Bay wave pool, enjoying the nicely-named Jumeirah Sceirah and allowing yourself to hurtle down the Burj Surj.

  • Cost: admission is based on height, costing 295 AED per person for those over 1.1 metres and 235 AED for those under the limit. Children under two enter for free.
  • Opening hours: the park opens at 10am and closes at either 6pm, 7pm or 8 pm depending on the season.
Poseidon waterslide at Aquaventure
Poseidon waterslide at Aquaventure - photo courtesy of Dubai Tourism


Aquaventure* is a 17 hectare park that sits within Atlantis The Palm, where you'll find a Splasher's Play Area for young children, and a private beach, but thrill-seekers shouldn't miss out on the sheer drops of the Towers of Neptune and Poseidon.

  • Cost: 250 AED for those over 1.2 metres, otherwise 205 AED. Kids under two enter for free.
  • Opening hours: 10am until sunset.

2. Head out to the Heritage Village of Hatta

A visit to this sleepy town in the southeastern corner of the Emirate against the backdrop of the Hajjar Mountains makes for one of the most popular of the many Dubai day trips on offer.

Just six miles from the Omani border, the town strives to portray Dubai life before the skyscrapers set in, with a Heritage Village including an ancient mosque and an historic fort.

Hatta with its striking mountains
Hatta with its striking mountains © Mario Ruckh - Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

The area also has a distinct climate, making it a great place to escape the heat. As a day trip from Dubai the village visit is often combined with a desert safari, and you can also go for a refreshing swim in the freshwater Hatta rock pools, set within striking volcanic canyons - although you'll need a 4x4 for this part of the drive as well as your passport, as technically the pools are in neighbouring Oman.

  • Cost: admission is free
  • Opening hours: the Heritage Village is open Monday to Sunday (excluding Fridays) from 8am until 8pm. It's open from 2pm on Fridays with restricted hours during Ramadan.

3. Witness the wildlife at Ras Al Khor

The Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary is a unique natural environment and protected area within Dubai's ever-changing landscape. With 270 species of bird, including egrets, ospreys and flamingos a visit makes a Dubai day trip for the whole family.

Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary
Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary - photo courtesy of Dubai Tourism

You can literally hide out in one of the three specially constructed bird hides, which allow you to watch up to 1000 flamingos feeding just 15 metres away from you - it makes the perfect vantage point for photos: a top tip is to bring binoculars for an even better view of the birds.

  • Cost: admission is free
  • Opening hours: open 9am until 4pm (feeding time) daily, closed on Fridays

4. Lose yourself At Al-Mamzar Park

Al-Mamzar Park is a private beach and park, popular with those getting away from the crowds and hanging out with loved ones in Dubai. With five beaches equipped with lifeguards and helpful facilities including barbeque areas, changing rooms and umbrellas, you can settle in and enjoy one of the most stress-free of our Dubai day trips.

  • Cost: admission is 5 AED per person or 30 AED with car
  • Opening hours: 8am to 11pm Saturday to Tuesday, and 11.30pm on Thursdays and Friday. The park also runs ladies-only days, currently on Mondays.

5. Find the perfect all-day Friday brunch

Friday is the first day of the weekend in the Arab world, and in Dubai the Friday brunch has been elevated to an art form, with families and friends getting together for a decadent and indulgent meal that can last practically the entire day.

The Yalumba Restaurant
The Yalumba Restaurant - photo courtesy of Le Méridien Hotel Dubai

As this is Dubai, Champagne brunches are popular, with some hotels offering unlimited bubbles as well (try Yalumba at Le Meridien, which offers all you can eat and as much Bollinger as you can drink) - arguably making it the very best of Dubai day trips out there.

  • Cost: varies depending on location and what's on offer, but the unlimited buffet at Yalumba mentioned above costs 499 AED per person.
  • Opening hours: most brunches run from around noon until 4pm

Whether you fancy riding the rapids, buffing up on the history or sipping on bottomless Champagne, the variety of Dubai day trips ensures there'll be something just right for you. If you'd like to find out more about holidays to Dubai, visit our dedicated section or check out the latest travel deals and discounts from leading brands such as Atlantis The Palm.

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Jaillan Yehia

Jaillan Yehia

Posted on Wednesday 8th October 2014 in: Excursions Family Middle East Nature

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