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Best Dubai Mall Attractions in 2024

Best Dubai Mall Attractions in 2024

Want to know the best Dubai Mall attractions? There are so many great things to do in Dubai Mall that I recommend that you dedicate at least one day in your Dubai itinerary to fully explore it. In this guide we compile the best things to do in Dubai Mall for couples, singles and for those visiting Dubai with family as well as rounding up the best free things to do in Dubai Mall for those visiting Dubai on a budget. 

Dubai Mall Attractions 2024

Obviously when people think about Dubai Mall the first thing that comes to mind is the amazing shopping. And it is true that Dubai Mall is one of the best shopping experiences in the world. But it is so much more than that. When we lived in the UAE we came to the Dubai Mall all the time because it never felt like we had ever experienced everything it had on offer.

So for this reason we have compiled a list of the best things to do in Dubai Mall and tips for visiting each of them. 

Important Note: This post may contain affiliate links which means if you click through and make a purchase I will make a small commission at no extra cost to you

Go Up the Burj Khalifa

View from top of Burj Khalifa - the best Dubai Mall Attraction

Best Dubai Mall Attractions

Burj Khalifa is top of most people’s Dubai bucket list so it makes the top of tis list. Now technically the Burj Khalifa is a separate building to Dubai Mall, however we have included it in this list because you actually enter the Burj Khalifa complex through the Lower Ground floor of Dubai Mall.

There aren’t a lot of things that need to be booked when planning your trip to Dubai but the Burj Khalifa is definitely something that you do need to book in advance. The reason is that there are limited tickets, so to get the time and price of ticket you want you should book this in advance. 

There are actually  two observation decks at the Burj Khalifa – one at the 124th floor and one at the 144th floor. You can get tickets for either the lower level observation deck or for both. Obviously only going to the lower level deck is the cheaper experience but I think if possible you should try and do both for the full Burj Khalifa experience. 

The ticket price will also vary depending on whether you are travelling up at peak time. Peak Time tends to be from afternoon and sunset tends to be the most expensive time of day to visit but it is also the most instagrammable time sp be sure to know how you want to caption your Dubai photos. 

To give yourself plenty of time to get through the queue, lift, exhibits and also have enough time to spend admiring the view at the top we recommend that you allocate at least 2-2.5 hours at the Burj Khalifa. 

For more tips for visiting the Burj Khalifa check out this post. 

Visit the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo

Visiting Dubai with a toddler - the Aquarium should be on your Dubai Bucket List

When we visiting Dubai with our toddler and also our older children, top of the list of things they request to do is the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.

Dubai Aquarium is one of the most impressive aquariums in the world and is famed for having the largest suspended aquarium tank in the world.  And given how large this tank it would be impossible to visit and not see the aquarium which is of course free to do. 

However if you want to truly see and experience the aquarium you will need to buy tickets.  Ticket prices include the walk through tunnel but also the Underwater Zoo upstairs. We always recommend buying your tickets in advance or going upstairs to the Underwater zoo kiosk as the queue there is much smaller. 

There are also options to do experiences while at Dubai aquarium too such as shark diving, fish feeding and Croc encounters.

Even without booking an additional experience we would normally spend at least 2 – 3 hours at the aquarium easily. 

Play DXB

Play DXB has actually been in Dubai awhile but in different incarnations. First it was called, Sega Republic then Dubai VR Park and is now known as Play DXB and is the world’s largest indoor virtual reality park. So if you have a gamer in your party then this is a place that you will want to visit. 

But if VR isn’t your thing or you are traveling with younger children then there are also trampolines and inflatable play areas to enjoy too. 

Depending on how many of the attractions you want to enjoy we recommend allocating 1-3 hours to fully complete everything that Play DXB has on offer. It is a pay for play ticketing system so this will affect how much tickets are. 

Emirates A380 simulator

This is another one for the gaming and virtual reality fans. The entrance to the simulator is just opposite the Dubai Aquarium so can be easily combined with a visit there. In this simulator you will learn how to land this famous aircraft at some of the world’s most famous airports. 

Ticket options for the simulator are for 15, 30 and 60 minute sessions so depending on which you pick will depend on how long you spend here and the cost. 

Go Ice Skating

It always amazes me when we visit malls in the Middle East, whether in Qatar, Abu Dhabi or Dubai, just how many actually have large ice rinks in the centre. Dubai mall is no exception.

In fact Dubai Mall actually boasts an Olympic size ice skating rink in the center of it. And while not the most unique thing to do in Dubai this is one of my families favorite indoor things to do indoors in Dubai to keep cool in the summer. 

You can book lessons here but if you just want a bit of skating fun we recommend allocating an hour to this activity in your Dubai Mall itinerary. 


If you are visiting Dubai with children then Kidzania has to be on the list of things to do in Dubai Mall. The target age for Kidzaniea is children between the ages of 4-12. And while Kidzania isn’t a unique thing to do in Dubai it is certainly a great fun one for kids. 

Kidzania is basically a kids city where your children can try their hand at a variety of jobs and earn Kidzania money.

Children can easily spend 4 hours in Kidzania so I would allocate at least half a day to this experience. 

Ekart Zabeel

EKart Zabbel is part of the Zabeel extension to the mall and can be found on the rooftop. 

Get Scared at Hysteria

I will be honest, this is something on the list that I have not experienced personally. I hate being scared and I am always in Dubai Mall with my young children so this one definitely isn’t for me.

However if you like the feeling of being terrified a visit to Hysteria Dubai’s premier haunter house is an absolute must. 

Not recommend for under 16s. 

Free Things to do in Dubai Mall

So now you know the best paid for Dubai mall attractions to visit we will run our attention to the best free things to do in Dubai Mall for those on a budget. 

Dubai Fountains

Dubai Fountains - what to see on a dubai babymoon and tips for travelling to Dubai while pregnant

Now the top of my favorite free things to do in Dubai mall is not actually in the Mall itself but is just outside. The Dubai Fountains are an absolute must for any visitor to Dubai Mall. 

If you can we recommend watching the fountains in the evening as they light component is more easily appreciated at night. One of my favorite ways of watching the fountains is from one of the Dubai Mall restaurants with outdoor seating. If you want to do this it is worth making a reservation to ensure you get a good spot. 

Otherwise you can just go outside and enjoy the show. The fountain show lasts for around 5 minutes but it is recommend if you are there at weekends or busy periods such as holidays that you arrive up to 30 minutes before to make sure you get a good viewing spot. 

I have heard that the music change the fountain dances and ranges from Arabic to English pop classics but most admit that we have only ever heard them dance to Arabic music but I really enjoyed the more local flavour this added.  

And if you don’t mind spending a bit of money on the experience you could alternatively hire one of the Abras and see the fountains from the water itself.

Visit the Dubai Dinosaur

Toddler looking at Dubai Mall dinosaur

Dubai Dinosaur of the best free Dubai Mall attractions

My son us a huge dinosaur fan so whenever we visit the Mall we have to go and visit the Dubai dinosaur.

This dinosaur from the diplodocus family was discovered in 2008 in Wyoming and occupies the domed area of the mall. At 8metres tall and 25metres long, this quick thing to do in Dubai is worth adding to your Dubai Mall itinerary.

Visit the Dubai Aquarium from the outside

As I have said before, the Dubai Aquarium is my toddlers favourite place to visit in Dubai so we always buy a ticket to visit the tunnel and the underwater zoo. However if you don’t want to splash the cash on an entrance ticket it is possible to see the large tank from the outside and many people do indeed just see the aquarium from the outside. 

View the Burj Khalifa from the Ground

See the Burj Khalifa on your Babymoon in Dubai - one of the best things to do at Dubai Mall

See the Burj Khalifa on your Babymoon in Dubai

There is no denying the going to the top of the Burj Khalifa is expensive so for those looking to visit Dubai on a  budget just admire the building from the base. You still get a sense of its size and it is truly a beautiful building. 

See the Human Waterfalls

I’m a huge fan of public art and the human waterfalls at Dubai Mall is a great example. This striking water feature designed by Antony Gormley, also known for the famous Angel of the North Statue in Northern England.

The free diving human statues seemingly fall for 3 storeys and although it won’t take long to see it is certainly worth adding to your Dubai mall itinerary. We usually just pop by this as we are walking the mall usually on our way from the Dubai Aquarium out to the fountains or the Burj Khalifa. 

Best places to eat in Dubai Mall

View of Restaurants on the outside of dubai mall

Best Places to eat in Dubai Mall

As we recommend spending at least one day in Dubai Mall you will want to have at least one meal in the mall. Now depending on who you are traveling with and food you like will spend on what food you will want.

Some of our favorite restaurants in Dubai Mall are:

  • The Cheesecake Factory – a US institution that always has a queue no matter where in the world you are visiting. 
  • The Social House – on the ground floor of Dubai Mall this eclectic menu has something on offer for everyone and 
  • Eataly

However if you want a restaurant with a view of Dubai Fountains then we recommend:

View of the outside of Dubai Mall

Best things to do in Dubai Mall

  • Tribes – An African eatery that is particularly great for meat eaters and that has amazing fountain views
  • Open Flame Kitchen – the most upscale restaurant on this list that has views of the fountain.

Sample Dubai Mall Itinerary

So now you know all the best free and ticketed Dubai Mall attractions we will show you our preferred Dubai Mall itinerary. However this is only a sample and you could these in any order or change it up completely: 

  • Arrive at Dubai Mall
  • Head to see the Dubai Dinosaur 
  • Dubai Mall Aquarium 
  • Lunch (we usually grab a quick lunch as we go)
  • Photos at the Human Waterfall 
  • Head up the Burj Khalifa at Sunset
  • Have dinner ideally at Tribes – with a fountain view
  • Head home

Where to Stay Near Dubai Mall

If you are only in Dubai on a short layover then we recommend staying on the Dubai Mall side of town as it is close to the main airport.

And if the main thing you want to do is experience the Dubai Mall then the best places to stay are: 

  • Palace Downtown
  • Armani Hotel Dubai
  • Address Dubai Mall

However if should be noted that these are very expensive hotels. But if you are travelling to Dubai as a family and aren’t sure if you want to stay in a hotel near Dubai Mall or elsewhere then be sure to check our our guide to where to stay in Dubai for families

How to Get to Dubai Mall

How to Get go Dubai Mall by Metro

Dubai Mall can be easily reached on the red line of the Dubai Metro. The stop is Dubai Mall / Burj Khalifa. 

By Taxi, Uber, Careem

You be hard pushed to find a taxi driver that doesn’t know how to get to Dubai  Mall and they are plenty of taxi ranks at most entrances / exits of the Dubai Mall. 

Things to Know before visiting Dubai Mall

Dubai Mall Dress Code

Although you will see many people in Dubai Mall in inappropriate clothing, I recommend that you follow all of the Dubai customs regarding clothing. There are many things you might do at home that aren’t culturally accepted or allowed in Dubai. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the local customs before going. 

Click here for our complete guide on What to wear in Dubai.

So there you have it our complete guide to the best attractions in Dubai Mall both free and ticketed. But if you have any other questions about visiting Dubai Mall leave us a comment below and we will do our best to answer.