Are you headed to the United Arab Emirates and looking for things to do in Dubai alone? As the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a bustling metropolis that has something for everyone. From its sprawling malls and luxury hotels to its sandy beaches and desert safaris, there is no shortage of activities for solo travelers to enjoy. Solo travellers come to Dubai from all over the world. Whether it's a stop off on the way to another destination, visiting for business trips or just for a city break, there are plenty of activities for solo travellers in Dubai. My first ever solo trip was to Dubai. I came for 4 days to see if it might be somewhere I would like to live. And it turns out, it was! Less than two months later, I was living there! I didn't know a single soul there when I first arrived, but that didn't stop me from having an amazing time. I made the most of my time alone and did some really cool things that I never thought I would do alone. So, in this article, I'll give you my top picks of things to do in Dubai on your own, as well as some tips such as where to stay, what to pack and safety in Dubai. Where to stay in Dubai as a solo traveller If one thing's for sure, there is an abundance of hotels for solo travellers in Dubai. First step in choosing where to stay is to pick which area you want to base yourself. Downtown Dubai - close to many popular attractions Dubai Marina or Jumeirah Beach Residence - great if you're looking for spectacular sea and marina views Dubai Creek - to keep your budget down and enjoy city skyline views Jumeirah Beach - for luxury and pampering Here are some options in each area Downtown Dubai The Address Skyview has a spectacular rooftop (54th floor!) infinity pool overlooking the Burj Khalifa, the most attentive staff and a breakfast spread that will set you up for the day. This hotel is centrally located within walking distance of the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, and has a beautiful rooftop pool with views of the city skyline. Rove Downtown Dubai is a trendy and modern hotel with great views of the Burj Khalifa. It's located in the heart of downtown so you're close to all the action, but it's also great value for money. Dubai Marina / Jumeirah Beach Residence The Ritz Carlton is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city and it's located right on the beach with beautiful views of the sea and Dubai eye on Bluewaters Island Grosvenor House is located right on the marina so you can enjoy the views from your balcony or from the outdoor pool. If you're on a budget, the Wyndham Dubai Marina is a great option as it's centrally located and has all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. FYI: this area is my top pick for solo travellers in Dubai. Dubai Creek The Park Hyatt Dubai Creek is a beautiful hotel with an outside pool set among palm trees and spectacular views of the downtown city skyline. At Golden Sands Hotel Creek you can enjoy panoramic views of the creek from the rooftop pool. The Edge Creekside Hotel is a highly rated creekside hotel, but with a more budget-friendly price tag. Jumeirah Beach Jumeirah Beach Hotel has a prime spot on one of Dubai's most popular beaches with great views of the Burj Al Arab. The Burj Al Arab Hotel is a luxury seven star hotel that needs no introduction. If you're looking to splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and it's incredibly expensive), this is the place for you. Park Regis Boutique Hotel is steps from the beach and has wonderful views of the Burj Al Arab. Relax in the hot tub or out on the terrace! What to wear in Dubai as a solo female traveller It can be tricky to know what to wear in Dubai as a female traveller. However, you don't need to worry about being covered up all the time. For the most part, you can wear what you like. Most tourists wear shorts and tshirts, sundresses, etc. You can wear bikinis on the beach. There's no need to cover your shoulders or knees unless you're visiting a mosque or some shopping malls. In saying that, it's important to remember that you're in a Muslim country and wearing respectful clothing is always appreciated. During the summer months, it's HOT and humid. You'll want light airy clothing. In the winter, it's still pretty warm but get's a little chilly in the evenings, so you'll want to bring a cardigan or scarf to keep you warm. Check out my full packing list for Dubai for more information. Things to do in Dubai alone Stroll around Dubai Marina This famous man-made marina is located on the Persian Gulf coast of Dubai and home to many luxury yachts, hotels and apartments. The beautiful waterfront area is teeming with life, from locals and tourists alike. You can stroll along the promenade, stop for a coffee or lunch in one of the many cafes, or simply people watch from one of the benches.

Are you headed to the United Arab Emirates and looking for things to do in Dubai alone?

As the largest and most populous city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a bustling metropolis that has something for everyone. From its sprawling malls and luxury hotels to its sandy beaches and desert safaris, there is no shortage of activities for solo travelers to enjoy.

Solo travellers come to Dubai from all over the world. Whether it’s a stop off on the way to another destination, visiting for business trips or just for a city break, there are plenty of activities for solo travellers in Dubai.

My first ever solo trip was to Dubai. I came for 4 days to see if it might be somewhere I would like to live. And it turns out, it was! Less than two months later, I was living there!

I didn’t know a single soul there when I first arrived, but that didn’t stop me from having an amazing time. I made the most of my time alone and did some really cool things that I never thought I would do alone.

So, in this article, I’ll give you my top picks of things to do in Dubai on your own, as well as some tips such as where to stay, what to pack and safety in Dubai.

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Where to stay in Dubai as a solo traveller

One thing’s for sure, there is an abundance of hotels for solo travellers in Dubai. First step in choosing where to stay is to pick which area you want to base yourself, then choose your budget and you’ll be able to pick the perfect hotel.

Things to do in Dubai alone: Jumeirah Beach Hotel
Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Downtown Dubai

Downtown Dubai is the central business district of Dubai and home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Located on the southern shore of the Dubai Creek, Downtown is a mix of high-rise commercial buildings, luxury hotels and apartments, and shopping malls.

The area is popular with tourists and expatriates alike and is a great place to people watch, shop or enjoy a meal in one of the many restaurants and cafes. There are also several cultural attractions in Downtown Dubai including The Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and The Dubai Mall (the world’s largest shopping mall).

My recommendations in Downtown Dubai are:

Dubai Marina / Jumeirah Beach Residence

This is my favourite area in Dubai. Dubai Marina is a large man-made marina city, home to luxury yachts and some of the best views in Dubai. Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is a 1.7km long strip of beachfront apartments, hotels, restaurants and cafes adjacent to the marina.

The area is popular with tourists, expats and locals alike and there is always something going on. From markets and live music to beach yoga and outdoor movies, there is no shortage of activities in Dubai Marina / JBR.

My recommendations in Dubai Marina / JBR are:

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek is a saltwater creek that runs through the city of Dubai. It divides the city into two main sections – Deira (on the north side) and Bur Dubai (on the south side).

The area around Dubai Creek is one of the oldest parts of the city and is where you’ll find some of Dubai’s most traditional architecture and culture. The area is also home to the Gold Souk, a traditional market where you can haggle for gold jewelry, and the Spice Souk, where you can find every kind of spice imaginable.

My recommendations in Dubai Creek are

Jumeirah Beach

Jumeirah Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach on the southern shore of Dubai. It’s the best place to relax, go for a swim or catch some rays.

The beach is also home to several luxury hotels, including the Burj Al Arab (the world’s only 7-star hotel), as well as a number of restaurants, cafes and bars.

And of course, there’s always the Burj Al Arab Hotel if you want to go completely mad and blow the bank!

What to wear in Dubai as a solo female traveller

It can be tricky to know what to wear in Dubai as a female traveller. However, you don’t need to worry about being covered up all the time.

For the most part, you can wear what you like. Most tourists wear shorts and tshirts, sundresses, etc. You can wear bikinis on the beach. There’s no need to cover your shoulders or knees unless you’re visiting a mosque or some shopping malls.

Things to do in Dubai alone: me on a bridge over the Marina

In saying that, it’s important to remember that you’re in a Muslim country and wearing respectful clothing is always appreciated.

During the summer months, it’s HOT and humid. You’ll want light airy clothing. In the winter, it’s still pretty warm but gets a little chilly in the evenings, so you’ll want to bring a cardigan or scarf to keep you warm.

Check out my full packing list for Dubai for more information.

Things to do in Dubai alone

Stroll around Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina

This famous man-made marina is located on the Persian Gulf coast of Dubai and home to many luxury yachts, hotels and apartments.

The beautiful waterfront area is teeming with life, from locals and tourists alike. You can stroll along the promenade, stop for a coffee or lunch in one of the many cafes, or simply people watch from one of the benches.

Get a birdseye view from the top of the Burj Khalifa

The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, standing at 830 metres (2,722 feet). Located in downtown Dubai, the Burj Khalifa is the most popular tourist attraction in the city. It’s a great place to visit as a solo traveller, either during the day or at night.

View from top of Burj Khalifa
View from the top of the Burj Khalifa
View from the bottom of the Burj Khalifa
View from bottom of the Burj Khalifa

The normal Burj Khalifa tickets include entry to the 124th and 125th floors, but if you want to include an extra special experience, why not include lunch/dinner at the rooftop Burj Club, or get a ticket which includes entry to the 148th floor?

Don’t miss out on the view of the Burj Khalifa from the bottom. Especially when it’s lit up at night, it’s the most mesmerising sight.

Explore Dubai Miracle Garden

Dubai Miracle Garden is located in the Dubailand district of Dubai. The garden opened in 2013 and is home to over 50 million flowers and 250 million types of plants, making it the world’s largest natural flower garden.

You’ll be absolutely amazed at the intricate designs and shapes made out of flowers, from hearts and stars, to houses and even an Emirates A380 airplane!

Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai Miracle Garden – Image by Ezat KH from FlickrCC

Be sure to get there early and get a picture in the umbrella tunnel – it’s beautiful!

The best time to visit is during the cooler months, from November to February. During this time, the garden is open daily from 9am to 9pm on weekdays and 9am to 11pm on weekends.

Skip the line at Dubai Miracle Garden with this ticket!

Take a day trip to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital city of the United Arab Emirates, and only a 1-hour drive from Dubai. If you have some extra time while you’re in Dubai, you should consider taking a day trip to Abu Dhabi to explore this fascinating city.

There’s plenty to see and do in Abu Dhabi, from visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque the largest mosque in the country, taking photos of Emirates Palace, and strolling along the famous Corniche.

Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi
Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi

If you don’t fancy arranging a trip to Abu Dhabi yourself, I recommend joining this organised tour which includes all transport and entrance fees.

Note: women must be fully covered in loose clothing and hair should be covered to enter the Grand Mosque. Don’t worry if you’re not prepared – you can usually rent an abaya at the entrance.

Wander around The Madinat Jumeirah

This is on of my favourite places to visit alone in Dubai. It’s a stunning resort complex which includes three luxury hotels, over 50 restaurants and bars, a souk (market), theatre, and more.

It’s the perfect place to spend a day or evening alone, as there’s plenty to keep you occupied. You can explore the souk and haggle for some souvenirs, grab a bite to eat or drink at one of the many restaurants, or enjoy a show at the theatre.

Christmas Markets at Madinat Jumeirah
Christmas Markets at Madinat Jumeirah

If you’re staying in one of the hotels at the Madinat, you can enjoy free abra boat rides, meandering through the winding waterways around the complex, which is a great way to see everything! If you’re not staying at the resort, you can still pay AED100 to take an abra ride. Or simply stroll around the complex.

I love the traditional Arabian style architecture and the relaxed vibe of this place. It’s definitely worth a visit!

Ride the longest urban zipline over Dubai Marina

Looking for an adrenaline-pumping activity while you’re in Dubai? Then look no further than the XLine Dubai Marina, the world’s longest urban zipline!

Ziplining over Dubai Marina
Ziplining over Dubai Marina

You’ll start your experience with a short training session before getting suited up in all the safety gear. Then it’s time to zip your way over the stunning Dubai Marina, flying past some of the city’s most iconic skyscrapers

This is an incredible experience and a great way to see Dubai from a different perspective. Just make sure you book your ticket in advance as spaces fill up quickly!

Find out more about my zipline experience here!

Browse the shops at Dubai Mall

If you’re a fan of shopping (or even if you’re not!), then you’ll love Dubai Mall. This is the largest mall in the world, and it’s an impressive feat of architecture.

In addition to being home to over 1,200 stores, Dubai Mall also has an aquarium, ice rink, cinema complex, and much more. You could easily spend a whole day here and not get bored!

If you need a break from all the shopping, I recommend grabbing a coffee at one of the many cafes or restaurants, or taking in the views from the top of the Burj Khalifa.

Getting to the Dubai Mall is super easy too – just hop on the metro and get off at the Dubai Mall stop. Then it’s a 10 minute walk through a bridgeway to the mall.

Experience a Dubai Desert Safari

A Dubai desert safari is a must-do activity when you’re visiting Dubai, and it’s great to do even if you’re travelling solo.

When you join an organised tour, you’ll be picked up from your hotel in a 4×4 vehicle and taken into the desert for a fun-filled day of activities. These usually include dune bashing (a roller coaster ride through the desert!), sandboarding, quad biking.

Dune bashing in Dubai
Dune bashing in Dubai

You’ll also get to watch a stunning sunset over the desert and enjoy a delicious BBQ dinner under the stars. It’s an unforgettable experience!

Camel rides are also part of the experience, but please don’t partake in these. Snap Happy Spoonie doesn’t condone the use of animals for entertainment.

I’ve done numerous desert safaris while living in Dubai and my favourite has to be this one.

Take in the scenery at The View Observation Deck

For incredible city skyline views of Dubai, head to The View Observation Deck on the Palm Jumeirah.

The Palm is a man-made island with a breathtaking palm tree design, and it’s one of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks. The View is located at the top of the tallest building on the Palm.

Things to do in Dubai alone: The view, Palm Jumeirah
The View, Palm Jumeirah

You’ll take a high-speed elevator to the deck, which has glass floor to ceiling windows, as well as glass steps to get closer to the edge and get the best pictures. You can see all the way as far as The Atlantis Hotel at the end of the Palm from the observation deck.

I recommend going early in the morning to avoid the crowds. Prebook your tickets here to skip the line.

Be a kid at a water park

Looking for a fun activity to do in Dubai that’s suitable for all ages? then visit one of the city’s many water parks!

My personal favourite is Aquaventure water park, which is located at Atlantis The Palm. This water park has over 100 slides, a wave rider, a zipline, a rapids ride and a private beach.

If you’re an adventure junkie, you’ll have to try the terrifying Leap of Faith, which is basically a 98 feet vertical slide taking you from 0 to 60km/h in 3 seconds!

There are different tickets available – from day passes to super passes and season tickets. Check out the options here!

Go for a dip at Kite Beach

Kite Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Dubai, and it’s easy to see why. This beach has everything you could want, from stunning ocean views to plenty of activities to keep you entertained.

Kayaking at Kite Beach
Kayaking at Kite Beach

You can either stroll along the 2 kilometer beach, admire the views of the Burj Al Arab and grab a snack at one of the stalls along the way, or get active and rent a paddle board or kayak, go for a run along the jogging track or even join in with the skaters at the skate park!

It’s called Kite Beach because it’s a popular spot for kitesurfing, but don’t worry if you’re not a pro – there are plenty of beginner lessons available too.

Treat yourself to a hot air balloon ride

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience while in Dubai, a hot air balloon ride over the vast desert is a must. And no, this isn’t just for couples!

You’ll be picked up from your hotel early in the morning and driven out into the desert. After a quick safety briefing, you’ll be on your way up into the sky to witness the most incredible sunrise!

Hot air balloon over Dubai Desert
Hot air balloon over Dubai Desert – Image by Ter 551 from FlickrCC

The views are absolutely incredible, and, depending on which tour you book, you’ll even get to enjoy a delicious breakfast after you land before being transferred back to your hotel for a quick nap before heading out to explore again. This is definitely an experience you’ll never forget!

Check out some hot air balloon tickets below.

Visit the Gold & Spice Souks

The Gold & Spice Souks are two of the most popular souks (markets) in Dubai, and they’re located just next to each other in Deira

The Gold Souk is a dazzling display of glitz and glamour, with a huge array of gold shops selling everything from gold coins to jewelry. It’s incredible to see so much gold in one place! If you have any gold you want to sell, this is the place to get it valued.

Spice Souk Dubai
Spice Souk Dubai – Image by Laurent Gass Photographie

The Spice Souk is also a must-visit, especially if you love the smell of spices. This market is full of colourful stalls selling all kinds of spices, from turmeric to saffron. You can even buy mixed spice blends to take home with you.

Be sure to haggle for the best prices at both markets – it’s all part of the fun!

Things to do alone in Dubai at night

Be wowed by the Dubai fountains

The Dubai fountains are a must-see, especially if you’re visiting Dubai for the first time. These spectacular fountains are located at the base of the Burj Khalifa.

This choreographed fountain show takes place every 30 minutes from 6pm to 11pm when they dance to music and shoot water up to 150 meters in the air, accompanied by colourful lights. It’s truly a sight to behold!

Dubai Fountains
Dubai Fountains

My favourite place to see the show is from one of the restaurants in Souk Al Bahar (there’s nothing like a glass of wine to make the fountains even more spectacular!).

If you want to get up close and personal with the fountains, you can even take a boat ride on the lake. This is definitely the best place to see the show.

See the world at Global Village

Global Village is a must-visit if you’re in Dubai during the winter months (October to April). This huge outdoor market is like a mini world’s fair, with pavilions representing 90 different countries from all over the globe.

You can wander around the different country pavilions, try traditional foods and shop for souvenirs and even go on a balloon ride. There’s also a main stage with regular cultural performances, from Bollywood dancing to Flamenco shows.

Every Friday and Saturday there’s an incredible fireworks display at 9pm, so make sure you’ll hang around until then.

You can buy skip the line tickets here.

Take a Dhow Dinner Cruise

If you want to experience a traditional Arabic dinner, there’s no better way to do it than on a dhow cruise. These wooden boats have been used for centuries by Arabs and are now a popular tourist activity in Dubai.

Dhow Dinner Cruise Dubai
Dhow Dinner Cruise Dubai – Image by Andrew Price

Most traditional wooden dhow cruises include a buffet dinner with both Arabic and international dishes, as well as unlimited soft drinks. You’ll also get to enjoy live entertainment on board, such as belly dancing and Tanoura shows

The best place to see the Dubai skyline is from the water, so a boat tour is a great way to do it. Find out more about tickets here.

FAQs for Solo Travel in Dubai

Is Dubai safe for solo travellers?

Absolutely. In fact, Dubai is the safest place I’ve ever travelled to. I never once felt unsafe or uncomfortable, even when walking around alone at night. Of course, you should always take the same precautions you would in any major city and be aware of your surroundings, but there’s no need to worry about crime or safety in Dubai.

What are the best tours for solo travellers in Dubai?

There are plenty of great tours for solo travellers in Dubai. I would recommend the Desert Safari and day trip to Abu Dhabi for sure.

What should I pack for a solo trip to Dubai?

Pack light and airy clothes, as well as items to use as cover ups when necessary. See my full guide on what to pack for Dubai here.

What is the best way to get around Dubai as a solo traveller?

The best way to get around Dubai is by using the Metro or taxis. The Metro is cheap and efficient, but taxis are also reasonably priced and easy to hail, although you may want to avoid rush hour if possible. There’s also Dubai Tram and the Palm Monorail.

When is the best time to take a solo trip to Dubai?

The best time to visit Dubai is during the cooler months, from October to April. This is when the weather is most pleasant and there are plenty of events and activities taking place.

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Conclusion

If you ever wondered what to do in Dubai alone, I hope you’re no longer wondering! There are plenty of activities and attractions to keep you busy, whether you’re into culture, history, nature or just want to relax on a beach.

And while there are so many things to do in Dubai alone, you’ll never really feel alone in this vibrant and welcoming city.

Happy solo travels!

vourneen

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