Skip to main content
Flag of United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates Middle East Abu Dhabi 5,628,805 inhabitants 83,600 sq km 67.33 inhabitants/sq km Emirati dirhams (AED) population evolution

Top tourist attractions in United Arab Emirates

Here is a list of top tourist attractions in United Arab Emirates. Only the topmost tourist destinations are presented here. To see other destinations, please check the images from United Arab Emirates section.

Curious if any of these place from United Arab Emirates made it our best tourist attractions in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.

You can also view all tourist attractions in United Arab Emirates and other countries on our tourist attractions map.

Burj Khalifa

Skyscraper

Burj Khalifa, known as Burj Dubai prior to its inauguration, is a skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and is the tallest man-made structure in the world, at 829.8 m. Construction began on 21 September 2004, with the exterior of the structure completed on 1 October 2009. The building officially opened on 4 January 2010, and is part of the new 2 km² development called Downtown Dubai at the 'First Interchange' along Sheikh Zayed Road, near Dubai's main business district. The tower's architecture and engineering were performed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill of Chicago, with Adrian Smith as chief architect, and Bill Baker as chief structural engineer. The primary contractor was Samsung C&T of South Korea. In March 2009, Mohamed Ali Alabbar, chairman of the project's developer, Emaar Properties, said office space pricing at Burj Khalifa reached US$4,000 per sq ft and the Armani Residences, also in Burj Khalifa, sold for US$3,500 per sq ft. He estimated the total cost for the project to be about US$1.5 billion. The project's completion coincided with the global financial crisis of 2007–2012, and with vast overbuilding in the country; this led to high vacancies and foreclosures. With Dubai mired in debt from its huge ambitions, the government was forced to seek multibillion dollar bailouts from its oil-rich neighbor Abu Dhabi. Subsequently, in a surprise move at its opening ceremony, the tower was renamed Burj Khalifa, said to honour the UAE President Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan for his crucial support.

The Dubai Mall

Shopping center

The Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping mall based on total area and sixth largest by gross leasable area. Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, it is part of the 20-billion-dollar Downtown Dubai complex, and includes 1,200 shops. Access to the mall is provided via Doha Street, rebuilt as a double-decker road in April 2009. Twice delayed, Dubai Mall opened on 4 November 2008, with about 635 retailers, marking the world's largest-ever mall opening in retail history. However it is not the largest in gross leasable space, and is surpassed in that category by several malls including the South China Mall, which is the world's largest, Golden Resources Mall, SM City North Edsa, and SM Mall of Asia. The Dubai Mall recorded 60,000 tickets sold for the Dubai Aquarium and Discovery Centre in the first five days, following its opening. The Dubai Mall hosted over 37 million visitors in 2009, and attracts more than 750,000 visitors every week. while in 2010 it hosted 47 million, and saw footfall increase by around 27 percent over 2009, despite the economic crisis.In 2012, Dubai Mall continued to hold title of world's most-visited shopping and leisure destination, and attracted more than 65 million visitors, an increase of more than 20 percent compared to the 54 million recorded in 2011. It attracted more visitors than New York City with over 52 million tourists in 2012, and Los Angeles with 41 million. The numbers also surpass visitor arrivals to all landmark leisure destinations and theme parks in the world including Times Square, Central Park, and Niagara Falls.

Yas Island Marina Circuit

Structure

The Yas Marina Circuit is the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. The circuit was designed by Hermann Tilke, and is situated on Yas Island, about 30 minutes from the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. Yas Marina is the second Formula One track in the Middle East, with the first being in Bahrain. A two day GP2 Asia Series test was held to officially open the circuit, which was held a week before the 2009 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It also hosted the opening event for the Australian V8 Supercars series, the Yas V8 400, in February 2010.

Ferrari World Abu Dhabi

Amusement Park

Ferrari World is a Ferrari themed amusement park on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. The central park is situated under a 200,000 m² roof making it the largest indoor amusement park in the world. Ferrari World officially opened on 4 November 2010. The theme park is home to Formula Rossa, the world's fastest roller coaster.

Palm Jumeirah

Tourist attraction

The Palm Jumeirah is an artificial archipelago created using land reclamation by Nakheel, a company owned by the Dubai government in United Arab Emirates and was designed and developed by HHCP architects. It is one of three planned islands called the Palm Islands which would have extended into the Persian Gulf, increasing Dubai's shoreline by a total of 520 kilometres. The Palm Jumeirah is the smallest and the original of three Palm Islands originally under development by Nakheel. It is located on the Jumeirah coastal area of the emirate of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

Dubai Autodrome

Tourist attraction

The Dubai Autodrome is an FIA sanctioned 5.39 km motorsports circuit located in Dubailand, Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Opened in October 2004 with the final round of the LG Super Racing Weekend featuring the final rounds of the FIA GT Championship, European Touring Car Championship and 2004 Formula Renault V6 Eurocup season, Dubai Autodrome was the first part of the Dubai Motor City development that was available for use. The venue hosted the December 2005 A1 Grand Prix and the FIA GT Championship from 2004 to 2006. The track record at the longest configuration was set by Kamui Kobayashi with a time of 1:41.220 in a GP2 Asia car. The circuit was designed by Clive Bowen of Apex Circuit Design. Since 2006 the Autodrome has been home to the Dubai 24 Hour, a GT, sports car and touring car automobile endurance race open to both professional and semi-professional teams. Some of the world’s most famous drivers have driven competitively or visited the circuit including the likes of Michael Schumacher, Jacques Villeneuve, Kimi Raikkonen, Johnny Herbert, Jean Alesi, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Nelson Piquet, Nico Rosberg, Romain Grosjean, Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg, Sebastien Buemi, Jean Eric Vergne to name some.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque

Mughal Structure

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates and is considered to be the key for worship in the country. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was initiated by the late President of the United Arab Emirates, HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who wanted to establish a structure which unites the cultural diversity of Islamic world, the historical and modern values of architecture and art. His final resting place is located on the grounds beside the same mosque. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world. The mosque site is equivalent to the size five football fields approximately. As the country's grand mosque, it is the key place of worship for Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid it can be visited more than 40,000 people. Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Center offices are located in the east minarets. SZGMC manages the day to day operations, as a place of worship and Friday gathering and also a center of learning and discovery through its educational cultural activities and visitor programs. The library, located in the north/east minaret, serves the community with classic books and publications addressing a range of Islamic subjects: sciences, civilization, calligraphy, the arts, coins and includes some rare publications dating back more than 200 years. In reflection of the diversity of the Islamic world and the United Arab Emirates, the collection comprises material in a broad range of languages including Arabic, English, French, Italian, Spanish, German and Korean.

Wild Wadi Water Park

Amusement Park

The Wild Wadi Water Park is an outdoor water park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Situated in the area of Jumeirah, next to the Burj Al Arab and the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, the water park is operated by Jumeirah International, a Dubai-based hotelier. Wild Wadi has a heated/cooled wave pool, multiple water slides and two artificial surfing machines. In addition, the park had the largest water slide outside of North America, but recently it was removed to make space for two other rides . Another feature of the park is an 18 m waterfall that goes off every ten minutes. The water park also has two gift shops, three restaurants and two snack stands. It was featured in The Amazing Race 5 and The Amazing Race Asia 1, in which teams had to slide down a 21 m drop. It was later featured in The Amazing Race Australia 2, but instead, the teams had to ride the Surf Machine and use boogie boards to surf their way to the end where they will get their next clue.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel

Skyscraper

Jumeirah Beach Hotel is a hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The hotel, which opened in 1997, is operated by the Dubai-based hotelier Jumeirah. The hotel contains 598 rooms and suites, 19 beachfront villas, and 20 restaurants and bars. This wave-shaped hotel complements the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab, which is adjacent to the Jumeirah Beach Hotel. The hotel occupies a location on the beach. Visitors to the hotel have at total of 33,800 square metres of beach for their use. Beside the hotel is the Wild Wadi Water Park. All guests in the hotel have unlimited access to the waterpark. The beachfront area where the Burj Al Arab and Jumeirah Beach Hotel are located was previously called Chicago Beach. The hotel is located on an island of reclaimed land offshore of the beach of the former Chicago Beach Hotel. The locale's name had its origins in the Chicago Bridge & Iron Company which at one time welded giant floating oil storage tankers on the site. The old name persisted after the old Hotel was demolished in 1997 since Dubai Chicago Beach Hotel was the Public Project Name for the construction phase of the Burj Al Arab Hotel until Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the new name.

Dubai Creek

Tourist attraction

Dubai Creek or Khor Dubai is a saltwater creek located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It ends at Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. Some sources say that the creek extended as far inland as Al Ain, and that the Ancient Greeks called it River Zara. Historically, the creek divided the city into two main sections – Deira and Bur Dubai. It was along the Bur Dubai creek area that members of the Bani Yas tribe first settled in the 19th century, establishing the Al Maktoum dynasty in the city. In the early 20th century, the creek, though incapable then of supporting large scale transportation, served as a minor port for dhows coming as far away as India or East Africa. Although it impeded the entry of ships due to current flow, the creek remained an important element in establishing the commercial position of Dubai, being the only port or harbour in the city. Dubai's pearling industry, which formed the main sector of the city's economy, was based primarily on expeditions in the creek, prior to the invention of cultured pearls in the 1930s. Fishing, also an important industry at the time, was also based along the creek, whose warm and shallow waters supported a wide variety of marine life. Dhows used for purposes of fishing were also built on the foreshore of the creek. The importance of the creek as a site of commercial activity was a justification to introduce improvements to allow larger vessels to transit, as well as to facilitate loading and unloading activities. This led, in 1955, to a plan to develop the creek, which involved dredging shallow areas, building of breakwaters, and developing its beach to become a quay suitable for loading and unloading of cargo. The creek was first dredged in 1961 to permit 7 feet draft vessels to cross through the creek at all times. The creek was dredged again in the 1960s and 1970s so that it could offer anchorage for local and coastal shipping of up to about 500 tons. The dredging opened up the creek to much more continuous traffic of merchandise, including the development of re-export, and gave Dubai an advantage over Sharjah, the other dominant trading centre in the region at the time. Al Maktoum Bridge, the first bridge connecting Bur Dubai and Deira was constructed in 1963. Although the importance of the creek as a port has diminished with the development of the Jebel Ali Port, smaller facilities, such as Port Saeed, continue to exist along the creek, providing porting to traders from the region and the subcontinent.

Dubai Waterfront

Building

The Dubai Waterfront was expected to become the largest waterfront and largest man-made development in the world. The project is a conglomeration of canals and artificial archipelago; it would occupy the last remaining Persian Gulf coastline of Dubai, the most populous emirate of the United Arab Emirates. It was planned to consist of a series of zones with mixed use including commercial, residential, resort, and amenity areas. The vision of the project is "to create a world-class destination for residents, visitors and businesses in the world's fastest growing city". Run by the Dubai Waterfront Company, the project is open to foreign investment with its real estate developer, Nakheel, owning a 51% stake. Waterfront was being developed by Nakheel, one of the world’s largest privately held real estate developers. The artificial islands would be formed to resemble the most widely recognized symbol of Islam, the star and crescent. This would produce a shelter around the Palm Jebel Ali, one of the three Palm Islands, the largest artificial islands in the world also being constructed by Nakheel.

Universal Studios Dubailand

Amusement Park

Universal Studios Dubailand is a proposed Universal theme park located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Its plans call for it to be located within Dubailand, a planned entertainment mega-complex. The project broke ground in July 2008 but was put on hold shortly thereafter, and as of December 2012, no construction work has taken place on the project since early 2009.

Al Ain Zoo

Zoo

Al Ain Zoo is a 400-hectare zoo located in the foothills of the Jebel Hafeet Mountains in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. It mainly comprises Arabian antelopes and oryx, eland, gazelle, lechwe and can be found in the tree shaded paddocks which offer excellent breeding conditions. The Al Ain Zoo hosts the almost extinct white lion.

Dubai Zoo

Zoo

Dubai Zoo is a 1.5-hectare located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It was originally built in 1967 by a Dubai resident when H. H. Sheikh Rashid bin Maktoum, the late Ruler of Dubai, permitted Otto J. Bulart to build a zoo on a two hectare plot in Jumeirah. It is still the oldest zoo in the Arabian Peninsula. It was considered a Dubai landmark in the late 1960s as it indicated the "town's end". In 1971 the management of the Dubai Zoo was taken over by the Dubai Municipality. During the first couple of years of its existence, the Dubai Zoo housed only a few animals like the big cats, monkeys and hoofed-animals. There was also a small aquarium with some fishes and reptiles. From May 1986 to May 1989, a part of the Zoo was redesigned and rebuilt. From June 1989 to the present there has been constant re-designing and renovation. Dubai zoo is the first Arabian zoo to breed the rare Chimpanzee and the Arabian or Gordon's wildcat. In recent years, the Dubai Zoo has come under fire for the conditions in which its animals are housed. Animal rights activists and even hotels and tourist websites encourage the boycotting of the facility. Cages in which the animals are trapped are reportedly so small that the animals can barely move.

Six Flags Dubailand

Amusement Park

Six Flags Dubailand was a proposed theme park to be built in United Arab Emirates by Tatweer Dubai LLC under a licensing agreement with Six Flags. The park was scheduled to open in November 2013, but Six Flags terminated the agreement in 2010, after Tatweer failed to make a payment due to Six Flags, breaching the contract.

Qasr al-Hosn

Tourist attraction

The Qasr al-Hosn, is the oldest stone building in the city of Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Mushrif Park

Tourist attraction

Mushrif Park is 5.25 square kilometre desert-like park in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It is located in the eastern part of the city, about 16 km from the traditional center of Dubai. The park was created in early 1980 by Dubai Municipality and was hugely expanded and refurbished in 1989. The entrance fee to Mushrif Park is 10 dirhams per car. To use the swimming pool, adults pay 10 dirhams and children pay 5 dirhams. The park is open daily from 0800 to 2300.

Dubai International Convention Centre

Building

Building Type - Convention, Exhibition, Financial Architect - Tony Kettle Location - Dubai, UAE The Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre was built in 1979 by the late H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai. The Dubai World Trade Center is considered to be the focal point of business within the Middle East. Since its inauguration, the centre has played a role in stimulating regional and international trade through the UAE. The complex comprises the original 39-story office tower, the World Trade Centre Residence, eight exhibition halls, the Dubai International Convention Centre, which can accommodate more than 4500 delegates in its multipurpose hall when set in auditorium style, a business club, and residential apartments with a leisure club. The DICC has 35,000 square metres of adjoining exhibition space.

F1-X Dubai

Amusement Park

F1-X Dubai was a proposed theme park dedicated to Formula One. It would have been the first official F1 theme park and was to be built by Union Properties close to the Dubai Autodrome as part of the MotorCity section of Dubailand. Union Properties obtained the exclusive rights to build such parks, budgeting $360 million for the Dubai site and originally having plans for sites also in Europe and the Far East. The amount that Union Properties borrowed for the whole project was around $1.6 billion. There were to have been three bespoke roller coasters on the site, intended to simulate the experience of driving an F1 car. The theme park area was designed to feel like an F1 paddock. Both of these factors were helped by the fact that several leading F1 teams were involved with the design and development of the park. 270 hours of productions were also planned to form a full schedule of entertainment within the park. In March 2009, it was reported that the site's originally planned opening in the third quarter of that year would be delayed as banks and other investors had pulled funding for the Dubailand project, of which it was to be a part. In July 2010, Bernie Ecclestone stated that the park was "not happening", possibly cancelling the project. As of August 2013, the official MotorCity website still bears a message claiming that the park will open in 2010.

Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium

Zoo

Al Ain Zoo and Aquarium opened in 1969 and has since expanded into one of the largest collections of both common and rare animals. Arabian antelope and deer comprise a large area of the zoo. A variety of African antelope, such as oryx , eland , gazzelle and lechwe can be found in the tree shaded paddocks which offer excellent breeding conditions.