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15 Best Things to Do at Dubai Marina

15 Best Things to Do at Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina has a deserved reputation as one of the city’s most enjoyable tourist attractions. Established in 2003 and continuously growing, the marina has restaurants, beach resorts, and tour opportunities. It truly is for every type of tourist.

Adventurers can take high-in-the-sky helicopter tours or experience the world’s longest urban zip line. Shoppers will love visiting Dubai Marina Mall and perusing the local markets.

Water lovers have their fair share of excursions, like swimming at the local beaches or going on a fancy yacht tour.

Simply looking to relax? Afternoon tea and watching the sunset sounds like a perfectly mellow day. Scenic during the day and bustling at night, the fun never ends. Read about the best things to do at Dubai Marina and prepare for a unique vacation destination.

What is the Dubai Marina?

Alt text: Dubai Marina skyline with boats in sRGB.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Dubai Marina is a man-made city that spans 3 kilometers of the Persian Gulf coastline. This marina claims to be the largest of its kind worldwide. 

A completely new waterfront was designed during construction in the early 2000s, flanked by more than 8 kilometers of public walkways. These landscaped areas make up what is known as Dubai Marina Walk, home to a sizable selection of boutique stores, gyms, restaurants, and more.

Dubai Marina is also home to some of the finest examples of high-rise architecture, including the world-famous Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). Another particularly notable sight is the Dubai Marina Towers. All of this makes for a fantastic skyline, particularly at sunset.

To fully enjoy Dubai, tourists should explore all the city offers. The Dubai Marina is a top destination in the United Arab Emirates, with its stunning skyline and abundance of activities. Let’s run through the most interesting, fun, and memorable things to do:

Things to Do at Dubai Marina

1. Visit the Beach

Jumeirah Beach, Dubai: Beachgoers, Ain Dubai Ferris wheel, multilingual beach instructions
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: 34JM+CHQ – Dubai Marina – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Looking for a serene way to unwind in the area? Then check out the many beaches that offer a tranquil escape. JBR Beach and Dubai Marina Beach are unquestionably the most popular choices among visitors. 

JBR Beach, in particular, offers incredible views over the Arabian Gulf. The beach is near the Jumeirah Beach Residence, hence the name. The beachfront mocktail lounge, Smoky Beach, is a favorite spot for anyone who wants to cool off with a drink and some small bites after a day in the hot sun. For nearby dining, Kababji Abo Ali serves up delicious Egyptian dishes.

Another great choice, Dubai Marina Beach, is situated right in the beating heart of the marina. Ideal for people-watching, you can wander along the promenade or attend one of the many beach clubs and resorts.

The most convenient way to visit Dubai’s beaches is to stay at one of the many hotels with beach access. Leave your room, walk downstairs, exit the building, and you’re there! Some of our favorite beach hotels in the area include Rixos Premium Dubai JBRHabtoor Grand Resort, and One & Only Royal Mirage Resort.

2. Go on a Yacht Tour with Breakfast or BBQ

Marina with yacht and skyscrapers Dubai, UAE
TIMDAVIDCOLLECTION / Adobe Stock

Address: Al Hubob St – Dubai Marina – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

If you’re fancy, consider taking a yacht tour around Dubai Marina. This yacht tour offers breakfast or BBQ, depending on the time of day your excursion begins.

Most tours are two hours long, and the Afternoon Yacht Tour lasts three hours. Your ticket includes beverages, life vests, and free onboard WiFi (but get off your phone!).

The yacht tour passes by numerous landmarks, including the world’s largest Ferris wheel, the iconic man-made island of Palm Jumeirah, and the famous Burj Al Arab resort.

Bring your camera to snap photos along the way, and pack sunscreen. Note that this is a shared tour, and the dress code is smart-casual–no bikinis! For more yacht tours, check out Dubai Marina Yacht Club as well.

See Related: Best All-Inclusive Family Resorts

3. Enjoy Aerial Views on a Helicopter Tour

Helicopter viewpoint on Dubai Marina skyline
jovanning / Adobe Stock

Address: The Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

This luxury helicopter rides over the marina is bucket-list worthy. The sky-high experience lasts 17 or 25 minutes, depending on your selected tour option.

You’ll soar over iconic landmarks, including the Palm, Atlantis, and the Golden Mile. While taking in the sights, a professional pilot will deliver an informative narration of the area.

This helicopter excursion is best suited for a small group. The group size limit is six people, with a combined weight limit of 1,014 pounds. Groups who exceed the weight limit must split up in another helicopter, with additional costs.

Feel free to take photos of the aerial sights from your cell phone so you won’t forget the views. However, professional cameras, selfie sticks, and tablets/iPads are prohibited.

4. Enjoy Outdoor Dining in World Class Restaurants

Traditional Turkish and Lebanese brunch spread at ZouZou Restaurant in Dubai showcasing vibrant Mediterranean cuisine
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

With hundreds of restaurants in the area, you can find eateries to suit all tastes. Restaurants with outdoor dining are especially enticing, as they offer expanding city views.

Cargo is known for its Asian cuisine and harbor-side views. For a picture-perfect view of Dubai’s iconic Ferris wheel, head to Asil Dubai, offering Turkish, Lebanese, and Moroccan dishes.

If you prefer a more relaxing atmosphere, reserve a room at Wavebreaker, nestled next to the beach. It’s known for seafood and fruity beverages.

Seeking casual outdoor dining? Then, stop by one of Dubai’s food trucks around the marina area. The local markets are also great places for a quick pit stop and bite.

5. Watch the Sunset

Sunset Over Dubai Marina
Raphael17 / Wikimedia Common, CC BY-SA 3.0

It’s easy to focus on the many different daytime activities Dubai Marina offers. But when the sun goes down over the Persian Gulf, it’s one of the most majestic sights imaginable.

The sun sets quickly in Dubai, so securing a suitable spot ahead of time is worth the effort. Pack your sunglasses and sunscreen, and then settle into one of the many outdoor restaurants and cafes with a viewing area. The local beaches also offer great spots to enjoy the view.

For an even more convenient place to watch the sunset (or sunrise), consider staying at one of the multi-level hotels around Dubai Marina. Reserve a room on a high floor at hotels like Address Dubai MarinaArjaan by Rotana, or Avani Palm View Dubai. You won’t have to leave your room (or bed) to marvel at the stunning sky.

6. Visit the Dubai Marina Mall

Building Of Dubai Marina Mall
Jpbowen / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA.4.0

Address: Sheikh Zayed Rd – Dubai Marina – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

The world-famous Dubai Marina Mall is truly a shopper’s paradise. With 140 stores, this impressive retail hub offers nearly everything you can think of, from high-end designer labels to everyday essentials. That’s why Dubai Marina Mall is the ideal destination for any shopper.

Discover a treasure trove of restaurants (almost two dozen!) inside the mall to recover after a busy day of retail therapy. There is also a nice blend of tourists and locals at Dubai Marina Mall, making it an excellent place for people to watch and meet new friends.

If you plan on spending a lot of time at the mall, consider staying at Address Dubai Marina, a beautiful hotel that offers direct access to the Dubai Marina Mall.

7. Stroll Along the Dubai Marina Walk

Panoramic view of Dubai Marina with skyscrapers and leisure boats, reflecting cosmopolitan lifestyle.
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Dubai Marina Walk – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Where else can you find a man-made canal city that hosts exquisite luxury yachts? Take everything in properly by strolling along the Dubai Marina Walk on foot.

Not only will you gain a close-up view of the magnificent Dubai skyline, but you’ll also get a feel for the whole neighborhood of Dubai Marina. Moreover, there are interesting businesses and things to see along the way, so you’re always in for an exciting stroll–the journey is never dull.

Ready to wander along the marina walk? Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and plan your route accordingly. The entire marina walk loop is 8 kilometers long, but you can shorten your adventure by cutting across several streets to make mini loops.

The easiest and quickest way to access the marina walk is by staying at one of the hotels that are steps away from the path. Dubai Marriott Harbour Hotel And SuitesInterContinental Dubai Marina, and Crowne Plaza Dubai Marina are conveniently located along the walk and are surrounded by great restaurants, shops, and more.

See Related: Most Beautiful Cities in the World

8. Ride the Ferry

The floating ferry in Dubai Marin
efesenko / Adobe Stock

There is no lack of transportation around the marina area, from the Dubai Metro Station to the water taxis. However, a trip on the Dubai Ferry is one of the best ways to experience Dubai.

Starting your journey at the Dubai Marina Yacht Club will give you a fantastic view of the cityscape. After that, feel free to venture into open water, where you’ll find a different but equally stunning view of the city.

Sail down the Dubai Canal, viewing the magnificent city skyline. The Burj Al Arab and Palm Jumeirah are just two of Dubai’s most famous landmarks you’ll pass by on your ferry ride.

Ready for a unique journey like no other? Look no further than the ferry for an unforgettable experience of Dubai, whether you’re a tourist or a local. And for more water adventures, Dubai Marina Yacht Club provides a more upscale experience.

9. Go Zip-lining

Dubai Marina Cable ride zipline xline between the skyscapers
Bernadett / Adobe Stock

Address: Dubai Marina Mall – Dubai Marina – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

You can ride the world’s longest urban zip line if you feel adventurous! This thrilling activity gives you a bird’s eye view of the marina while soaring up to 80 kilometers per hour. Whether you ride solo or on a parallel line with a friend, you’ll have a memorable (and fun) time.

And speaking of memorable, the zip-line package includes photos and videos of your 1-kilometer flight so that you can remember the experience for years to come.

The zip line is operated by a qualified and certified team, performing daily tests and regular maintenance. Safety first! Riders must be at least 130 cm tall and weigh between 50-100 kg.

10. Go for a Swim

Swimming Pool In Address Dubai Marina
Dubai Marina / TripAdvisor

If you need to cool off from the blistering heat, there are several swimming pools around Dubai Marina, but the braver visitors might want to dip in the Persian Gulf. Do not try this unless you’re a strong and experienced swimmer. Despite the warm water year-round, the waves can become choppy.

If swimming in the Gulf is not for you, several public pools can be found at the Dubai Marina, as well as a few private options. Alternatively, there is an artificial lagoon where you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy the scenery. 

Don’t let stormy days rain on your parade. If you want to swim no matter the weather, stay at a local hotel with an indoor pool. Tamani Marina Hotel and Flora Creek Deluxe Hotel Apartments make swimming fun, even without the sun.

Enjoying the water is among the best (and most refreshing) things in the Dubai Marina.

11. Take a Ride on a Traditional Abra Water Taxi

Dhow cruise in Dubai Marina
Sergii Figurnyi / Adobe Stock

Dubai Marina is a great place to take a water taxi. You can cross the water on a modern water taxi, but going for a ride on a traditional Abra Water Taxi is the oldest method of water transport. The Abra boats are beautifully crafted with hand-carved wood and intricate curves.

You can call one of these boats from the area’s significant hotels or shopping centers. The Abra Water Taxi is a fun and unique way to experience the marina and get from point A to point B in the most scenic way possible.

If you plan, you can book a sunset Abra tour of the Dubai Marina area. Regarding water transportation, the traditional Abra Water Taxis are gorgeous boats in the marina and will infuse your journey with some tradition.

Not a fan of water transport? The Dubai Marina Station may be a better fit.

12. Visit Jumeirah Beach

Empty Beach Chairs On Jumeirah Beach

Address: Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Include Jumeirah Beach and Jumeirah Beach Residence as your must-see locations when visiting Dubai. This famous and beautiful beach is very close to the marina. The beach is the ideal place to take a refreshing dip or relax while lazing on the sand.

Jumeirah Beach is nearly 2 kilometers long and expansive, with room to spread without worrying about bumping into others. People also love visiting this beach for its crystal-clear water, so if you enjoy snorkeling, be prepared to see all the underwater details.

While at Jumeirah Beach, marvel at the site of the nearby Burj Al Arab, which many believe is the most impressive building in Dubai. I highly recommend taking a small group tour of the Burj Al Arab while you’re here. From the surrounding sights to the clear water to the relaxing atmosphere, you may never want to leave this beach gem.

See Related: Top Black Sand Beaches in the World

13. Zero Gravity Beach Club

Zero Gravity Beach Club
Management / TripAdvisor

Address: Skydive Dubai Drop Zone – King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Zero Gravity Beach Club is a well-known entertainment hub with plenty to see and do, no matter what you’re into. During the day, it’s a great place to kick back, bask in the sun, and enjoy a leisurely breakfast or lunch.

Are you in an adventurous mood? Zero Gravity is the base of Skydive Dubai. If you’d rather not experience this extreme activity, sit and enjoy watching others get their thrills.

Zero Gravity Beach Club also has restaurants and lounges, and it transforms into the hottest place to party at nightfall. Home to acclaimed musicians and DJs, it’s an excellent place to meet new people and enjoy time with friends.

14. Ski Dubai

Ski Dubai in Mall of the Emirates
Sergii Figurnyi / Adobe Stock

Address: Sheikh Zayed Rd – Al Barsha – Al Barsha 1 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort – a winter wonderland with real snow! One of the top places to visit in Dubai with kids, Ski Dubai, ensures the whole family will enjoy a day out. But really, the activities here are for the adrenaline junkies as well.

Whiz down the twin-track bobsled run or the world’s first indoor black diamond run for an exhilarating experience. If you’re new to winter sports, book a lesson at the park’s ski school. There’s even a cross-country skiing circuit if you’d prefer to explore more leisurely.

Head to one of the on-site cafes or restaurants when ready to warm up from the chilly snow. Alternatively, ride the Ski Dubai chairlift for a bird’s eye view of the entire park. Seasoned skiers and total beginners are guaranteed an unforgettable time at Ski Dubai.

See Related: Top 10 Most Beautiful Cities in the World

15. Have Afternoon Tea at The Burj Al Arab

View of the luxury beach of Dubai and Burj Al Arab
jon11 / Adobe Stock

Address: ص.ب 74147 – Jumeirah St – Umm Suqeim 3 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates

There is no denying how majestic the Burj Al Arab resort is. Some describe it as the world’s only seven-star hotel, and it’s not difficult to see why. If the architecture alone doesn’t sell you, how about the luxurious amenities, including gold-accented suites, an award-winning spa and pool, and fully-staffed private yacht charters?

Most of the resort is for guests, but outsiders can dine at the resort restaurants. We recommend the afternoon tea on the first floor at Sahn Eddar. Enjoy coffee, tea, pastries, scones, and miniature sandwiches while admiring the opulent surroundings.

Be sure to make a reservation, as time slots book up fast. This may be the fanciest afternoon tea you’ll ever experience.

FAQ

How long is the Dubai Marina walk?

The Dubai Marina walk is 8 kilometers, or 5.3 miles, long. You can stroll the full loop or cross one of three roads for a shorter loop. The best time to explore the marina walk is early morning, before the hustle and bustle of tourists and commuters.

Can you swim in Dubai Marina?

Yes, the water at Dubai Marina is clean enough for swimming. Many beaches in the area are open to the public. However, swim in designated areas for safety, as rough ocean conditions can occur.

Is the Dubai Marina safe?

Yes, Dubai Marina is known as a safe place to explore, even for solo travelers. Nighttime is a favorite time to visit the upscale restaurants and entertainment facilities at every turn.

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