The City of Gold comes alive after sunset and if you know where to go there are wonders awaiting you. Today we are going to let you in on some of the secrets of this city that you can enjoy after dark by yourself or with someone special. So, what are some of the best things to do in Dubai at night?
Night cruises, the Glow Garden, and much, much more! Dubai is truly the city that never sleeps.
In this article we’ll tell you about some of the amazing things that you can see and do at night in Dubai. While some of these attractions will require a fee we’re going to also let you in on some things that you can do in Dubai at night that won’t cost you a penny. Without further ado, let’s talk about the Dubai nightlife!
The Dubai Glow Garden
Our first attraction is a doozy. Some time ago a pool of 150 artists got together to create the Dubai Glow Garden as a treat for those of nocturnal persuasion. With over 30 installations spread across the 40 acres of the park, the Glow Garden offers a place to leisurely stroll after sunset for a truly unique experience.
Look for it at Zabeel park if you would like to see it’s wonders for yourself. Hours of operation are from 4PM to Midnight Saturday to Wednesday and from 4PM to 1AM on Thursdays and Fridays, so if you are planning on exploring the city at night be sure to add the Glow Garden to your itinerary. Price of admission is AED 65, which is about $18 USD and in our humble opinion, quite the bargain.
Night dining at Noire
Located at the Fairmont Dubai on the 9th floor, Noire offers a unique dining experience to titillate your senses. At Noire you will be treated to one and a half hours of eating… in the dark.
Yes, we’re serious.
In order to maximize your sensory enjoyment of the food the lighting has been removed completely. Outfitted with night vision goggles your waiter or waitress will bring your cuisine and in the absence of light the delightful tastes of your food will be sharp and vivid.
In fact, you won’t even be told what you are eating until the experience is over.
This unique concept has made Noire famous worldwide and you can experience it yourself but you will want to book in advance. The price is AED 360, which is about $98 per person, and dinner starts at 7:30PM
Go skiing.. in a Mall?!
Known for its amazing architecture, if something doesn’t occur naturally in Dubai then someone is going to make it. Dubai’s architectural wonders never cease to amaze and if you want to do something unique and exciting in the wee hours then you should get yourself to the Mall of the Emirates on Sheikh Zayed road.
Inside a manmade ski slope awaits you and it’s quite possibly the most fun you can have in a mall! Be sure to get plenty of pictures, however, as this is certainly yet another thing that you won’t find anywhere but Dubai.
If this strikes your fancy, the hours of operation are from 10AM to 11PM on Sunday through Wednesday. Thursdays, from 10AM to Midnight, and Fridays they are open from 9AM to midnight. If you want to go on Saturday, they are available from 9AM to 11PM. ****Your entry fee is typically going to 260 AED, which is around $70 USD, which we think is quite fair for an experience this unique.
Now that you know where and when to go be sure that you don’t miss your chance to ski at the mall!
Dinner, a dance, and a Dhow Night Cruise on Dubai Creek
If skiing at the mall seems a little on the crazy side then why not segue your evening activities into something more leisurely. For AED 220 you can take a three-hour cruise on the salty and serene waters of Dubai creek. Even better, you can dine while you watch the lights of Dubai around you and enjoy the sinuous movements of the Tanuri dancers.
All the while with the staggering architectural wonders sprawled about you and lit up like Christmas.
Truly a dining experience to remember, if you feel like treating yourself or want to add a little romance for you and someone special then consider a cruise on Dubai creek.
Arabian Nights – Nighttime Desert Safaris
During the day there is plenty to do in the desert. Sand skiing, riding camels, and more, but at nighttime the desert comes alive as well. Enjoy a barbeque meal coupled with belly dancing and fire shows to captivate your attention as you enjoy your late night repast. There are a number of camps which you can choose from for your unique Bedouin lifestyle experience, such as:
- Al Maha Resort Dubai
- Arabian Adventures
- Atlanta Desert Safari Camp
- Bedouin Camp
- Oasis Palm Tourism
Make sure that you don’t miss this one. While the architecture of the City of Gold is endlessly fascinating your trip is simply not complete until you’ve sampled the mysteries of the desert!
Burj Khalifa Fountains
Free and spectacular, the fountain show is a sight to see in the daytime but a real treat at night. The fountains are all illuminated and exquisite, so you don’t want to miss this. From 5:45 to 11PM you can also take a lake ride and see the fountain show as you cruise the lake, adding another optical dimension to the delightful fountains. Be it walking or riding, this is a show you won’t want to miss, so head to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa and see this show for yourself.
The Spice Markets and the Gold Souk
Do you like to cook or fancy a little bling to remember your trip by? The Spice Markets and the Gold Souk are definitely worth your time. In the Spice Markets you can find fresh and exotic spices that you simply cannot get at home. The Gold Souk is something to see as well.
Dubai is known as the City of Gold for a good reason. An important hub in the gold trade, it’s the only place in the world with ATM machines that allow you to withdraw actual GOLD. The Gold Souk reflects the opulent wealth of this city quite nicely, with gold jewelry that you won’t find anywhere else in the world. Even if you don’t purchase some it is amazing to behold all of this treasure amassed in one place, so don’t miss the Spice Market and the Gold Souk. You can find the Gold Souk and the Spice Markets within walking distance of the Al Rais metro, just ask around and within minutes you’ll be there.
Feed Sharks and Rays at Lost Chambers
When it comes to unique experiences the city of Dubai never disappoints. Take the Lost Chambers, for instance. An underwater aquarium with an Atlantis theme which allows you to feed sharks, rays, and play with seahorses. Never a city to do things halfway, the Lost Chambers is the biggest aquarium in the Middle-East and Africa and is home to 65000 creatures of the sea. This is a unique experience and one to treasure, so explore the lost city of Atlantis and meet its swimming denizens.
You’ll be glad that you did.
The Lost Chambers is open from 10AM to 10PM and located at Atlantis, the Palm. Admission cost is well-worth it too, at only 100 AED ($27.50 USD) to enter this world-famous aquarium, so don’t miss out!
The coolest place in Dubai… The Chillout Ice Lounge
Yet another amazing thing that you can only see in Dubai, the Chillout Ice Lounge is a definite must-see. When you arrive, you’ll be outfitted with a Parka and you’ll need it. The inside is kept at a temperature of -6 degrees Celcius. It’s necessary to maintain the staggering assortment of ice sculptures within. Hot drinks are available to chase the cool away as you explore the interior with your eyes. If you are hungry, you can grab a bite to eat as well, so whether you feel the urge for a unique drinking experience or simply a sub-zero snack, the Chillout Ice Lounge has got you covered.
You’ll find the Chillout in the Times Square center at ground level and your entry fee is only AED 100 for two people, which comes to about $27.50 USD. The sights you’ll see are worth every penny.
Vox Rooftop Cinema at the Galleria Mall
For a cinema experience like no other head to the Galleria mall. On the roof you can snuggle up with someone special under a blanket while enjoying a movie outside in the fresh air. You’ll be comfortable as well, as the seating at Vox is a couch for one or two. Admission costs for a one person is AED 137 ($37 USD) from Sunday to Wednesday and from Thursday to Saturday it’s AED 158 ($43 USD). For couples, the Sunday to Wednesday ticket will run you AED 316 ($86 USD) or AED 368 ($100 USD) from Thursday to Saturday. Ticket cost includes your comfy couch as well as snacks, with the single or couple options offering your choice of a hot dog or nachos, salted or caramel popcorn, an Evian water, a soft drink, and monkey cookies. Book in advance if you can as you can sometimes get a two for one ticket on select nights!
Dubai Shopping Malls
You won’t believe some of the things which you can buy in one of the world’s wealthiest cities. Whether you make a purchase or not, it’s completely free to window shop and this gives you a glimpse into the world of the wealthy. There are a number of malls for you to choose from, but these are the MAJOR must-see malls:
- Burjuman Center
- Dubai Mall
- Dubai Marina Mall
- Ibn Battuta Mall
- Mall of Emirates
- Mirdif City Center
- Wafi Mall
So why not see how the other half lives? It’s free, fun, and you can find things at THESE malls that you certainly can’t get at home.
Beaches and Camping for good, free fun
Dubai has a number of wonderful and free public beaches that you can check out during your visit. Three of the most popular beaches you can visit for only the cost of transportation are:
- JBR Beach
- Kite Beach Dubai
- Umm Suqeim Park Beach
You aren’t just limited to beaches for your ‘outdoor time’, however. Just a kilometer or so away from the city there are places that you can camp out for free. You’ll just need to bring your own tent and snacks. If you aren’t quite confident about camping alone on the outskirts there are ‘official’ campgrounds that you can use for a nominal fee, such as Trilines Camp and the Northtours Desert Campgrounds. Whatever option you choose, the sight of the starry desert night is one that will stay with you for a lifetime!
Frequently Asked Questions about Things to Do in Dubai At Night
1. Is it safe to walk around at night in Dubai?
When it comes to safety, Dubai is almost a crime-free city. Note that almost does not mean completely, however, and use your common sense. While you can walk around confidently without having to worry about pickpockets for the most part, if it’s 2 in the morning and you are dropping Dirhams on the ground then you are likely to attract some unwanted attention. As long as you keep your wits about you then you should be good. We would also counsel against accepting rides from strangers, especially those with 4 wheel drive vehicles. Stick to Taxis and other forms of public transport and you will be just fine.
2. Are there a lot of dress codes for Dubai establishments?
Yes. While probably the most liberal dress code in the Middle-East, there are still some rules that you should follow. For the most part, ‘normal’ clothing is tolerated, but there are some things that are considered to be against the law. Women do not have to cover their faces in Dubai, but it is recommended that skirts go down below the knees as anything higher is going to attract negative attention. Basically women will want to make sure that their clothing covers from the shoulders to the knees and keep in mind that visits to any government offices will likely require more conservative dress as well.
For men, shorts are okay, but pants and shorts should be made of materials that do not reflect body contours which might disagree with the locals. Long trousers will be required if a man is going to be visiting a Mosque but beyond this, t-shirts and shorts are just fine. Some clubs, however, may require business casual dress for males to enter, so be sure to dress up if you are going out.
3. What should I avoid doing in Dubai?
There are a number of things you will want to avoid while you are visiting Dubai. While quite liberal compared to other parts of the UAE, keep in mind that cultural norms are very much different and you will need to be respectful of them. Some examples of things that get you in trouble are as follows:
- Don’t drink in public as it’s a crime. So is being drunk in public, so be sure to drink responsibly.
- Cross-dressing can earn you jail time and/or heavy fines, so this is something to avoid as well.
- Unmarried couples are technically forbidden by law to stay together in a hotel. While the police aren’t going to be knocking door to door trying to catch violators of this law, cohabiting can earn you jail time, fines, and possible deportation so be careful if you are cohabitating and not married.
- Avoid public displays of affection. Married couples can hold hands but kissing and even hugging in public is not allowed.
- Review your medications before you go. Some medicines, such as Codeine, are illegal in Dubai and the laws in UAE regarding drug usage are strict. Violations can result in fines, imprisonment, or even DEATH, so if you are taking medications then be sure to check if they are legal in Dubai before bringing them.
4. Is Gold cheaper in Dubai?
You betcha! While a 5% VAT is added to the price of gold and gold jewelry that you purchase, it is still considerably cheaper than most other countries in the world.
5. What is the best currency to take to Dubai?
While the Dirham is the local currency and thus, the best to have on hand, the U.S. dollar is widely accepted at most places so in some cases you won’t have to exchange your currency. That said, it is better to simplify things by exchanging your home currency for Dirhams as soon as possible so that you can avoid worrying about conversion rates. It just simplifies things.