23 Reasons to Visit Dubai in 2023

23 Reasons to Visit Dubai in 2023

Home to an endless array of world-class attractions, awe-inspiring landscapes, spectacular hotels, and epic events, there are countless reasons to visit Dubai in 2023. With activities for all budgets, preferences and requirements, Dubai will entertain visitors year round. From new hotel and resort openings to crowd pleasing events and much loved attractions, this content piece outlines the reasons to visit Dubai, spanning arts and culture, culinary experiences, spa and wellness as well as events and festivals.


1. Museum of the Future (pictured - new – opened February 2022)
A distinctive addition to the Dubai skyline, this architectural marvel takes visitors on a journey into tomorrow. The façade of the uniquely-designed museum features quotes of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in Arabic calligraphy designed by the acclaimed artist Mattar bin Lahej, whilst the rooms inside are dedicated to various themes including space exploration, climate change, technological advancement, and wellness.

2. Mohammed bin Rashid Library (new – opened June 2022)
A cultural hotspot, Mohammed bin Rashid Library is the largest library in the region and home to 600,000 physical and digital titles across its 54,000 sqm building in Al Jaddaf. This seven-storey architectural marvel, which is designed to look like an open book, comprises nine thematic libraries, a cafe, bookstore and an indoor and outdoor amphitheatre.

3. Alserkal Avenue
One of Dubai’s most celebrated cultural districts, Alserkal Avenue is located in the industrial area of Al Quoz and features contemporary art galleries as well as yoga, spinning and wellbeing studios, homegrown cafés and Cinema Akil, which screens independent arthouse movies. A magnet for cultural types, Alserkal is home to some of Dubai’s most well-known art galleries including Leila Heller Gallery which showcases the works of contemporary artists from the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Turkey, Custot Gallery, representing modern and contemporary artists from Europe and the US, and The Third Line which presents contemporary Middle Eastern artists.

4. Expo City (new – opened October 2022)
Building on the legacy of Expo 2020 Dubai as the first World Expo held in the region, the newly opened Expo City aims to be a global hub for innovation, sustainability, entertainment and dining. The destination features a myriad of events, concerts and exhibitions taking place throughout the year across this expansive mini-city.

5. Old Dubai
Visitors to the city can immerse themselves in history by taking a trip to explore the wonders of Old Dubaithe Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) where guests can gain a deeper appreciation of Dubai’s culture and customs over a hosted meal before heading to the Coffee Museum, which showcases why coffee plays such an important part in Arab culture.


6. Theme parks
Kids and kids at heart will enjoy spectacular rides and attractions across multiple magical destinations, with a host of movie and comic book characters to enhance the experience. Dubai’s theme parks include movie themed MOTIONGATE Dubai, as well as Bollywood Parks Dubai which plays tribute to Bollywood films and stars of the silver screen, and LEGOLAND Dubai, home to the tallest LEGO building in the world.  Water fans can also head to Dubai’s iconic water parks including Aquaventure Waterpark, LEGOLAND Water Park and Laguna Waterpark for aquatic adventures.

7. Activities for little kids
Dubai is the perfect spot for families and little ones, with a host of engaging and exciting educational and enriching experiences that are ideal for children of all ages. These include visiting an immersive rainforest experience at Green Planet, the chance for kids to rule the world at KidZania, and the world’s largest indoor ski slope that can be found at Ski Dubai.


8. Architecture
Dubai is known for its soaring skyscrapers and spectacular skyline.  As well as being home to  Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, Dubai boasts a number of other awe-inspiring architectural feats including the sail shaped Burj Al Arab and the world’s tallest picture frame, Dubai Frame.  Or travel back in time and explore the windtowers of Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood alongside Dubai Creek.

9. Amazing pools
The city is home to a host of epic swimming pools reaching new heights and depths. These include the highest 360-degree infinity pool in the world, Aura Skypool and the world’s highest infinity pool  at Address Beach Resort, both boasting breathtaking city views. In addition, Deep Dive Dubai  has entered the Guinness World Records for the deepest diving pool in the world, with a depth of 60.02 meters allowing thrill-seekers to dive into another dimension.


10. MICHELIN starred restaurants
The Michelin Guide Dubai was launched in June 2022, recognising the city as a world-renowned gastronomic destination. The emirate's rich and diverse culinary scene is full of innovative dining experiences, hidden neighbourhood gems, and creative menus that reflect Arabian traditions, world flavours and inspirational modern fusion. Highlights of the inaugural guide include LOWE, the modern zero-waste Dubai restaurant which was awarded a coveted Green Star, as well as Ossiano, which takes diners on a journey to the depths of the ocean.

11. Street food tours
Dubai is host to a range of street food tours which showcase off the beaten path restaurants and dishes.  These tours take guests on a journey through the culturally diverse side of Old Dubai and beyond and include a choice of walking tours with Frying Pan Adventures, or why not undertake your own foodie walking tour of Dubai's souks?

12. Time Out Market
Situated within Souk Al Bahar adjacent to Dubai Mall, Time Out Market is a unique dining venue showcasing signature dishes from across some of Dubai’s most popular homegrown restaurants. Head to the wraparound terrace and sample delicious dishes paying homage to a variety of cuisines while enjoying the spectacle of the Dubai Fountain.

13. Al fresco dining
Dubai boasts a wealth of restaurants with outdoor seating and stunning beach and city views. West Palm Beach on Palm Jumeirah is the perfect location to enjoy unmatched views of the skyline whilst enjoying the sounds of the ocean, with a range of restaurants and beach clubs to choose from.   Alternatively, visitors can indulge in Downtown Dubai’s incredible alfresco venues, including URLA, a decadent Aegean inspired eatery situated directly below Burj Khalifa.

14. Emirati cuisine
Beyond Dubai’s rich international influences, authentic Emirati dining experiences are at the heart of the nation. Dating back centuries, Dubai has long been established as an essential stopping point for global merchants. Visitors can sample traditional Emirati dishes at a number of iconic venues throughout the city including Al Fanar, Arabian Tea House, Al Khayma and Logma, all of which serve up authentic, rustic dishes passed down through generations.

15. Dubai brunch – an institution
Brunching in Dubai is a weekend institution with many restaurants throughout the city presenting their own interpretation of the dining experience. Many of the city’s most renowned brunches are hosted at restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, such as Gordon Ramsay's Bread Street Kitchen at Atlantis, The Palm serving up fresh takes on British pub classics, or Jose Avillez’ Portuguese restaurant Tasca at Mandarin Oriental Jumeira which provides guests with vibrant flavours and a lively atmosphere.


16. Adventures in the air
There are a host of wonderful experiences available throughout the city allowing visitors to soak up Dubai’s awe-inspiring desert and city landscape, from a magical hot air balloon ride soaring above the desert to helicopter tours giving visitors a bird’s eye view of the distinctive Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and beyond.


17. Malls
Dubai is a shopper's dream and with a multitude of malls boasting fun attractions, there's much for the shopaholic to explore. Located in the centre of Downtown Dubai, Dubai Mall is the region’s largest indoor shopping mall and one of the world’s most visited entertainment and retail destinations, with more than 100 million visitors ever year. Visitors can also head to Mall of the Emirates where a wide range of couture and fashion awaits, as well as designer pop-ups, events and activities for the whole family. Bargain lovers can also visit Dubai Outlet Mall, offering a host of designer goods at discounted prices.

18. Souks
A trip to Dubai isn't complete without a visit to the Gold Souk, Spice Souk and Textile Souk. Whether you’re just browsing or hunting for a stunning piece of jewellery, saffron or handwoven authentic Arabian textiles, haggling with the shopkeepers is part of the shopping experience.

19. Waterfront Market
The buzzing Deira Waterfront Market is an absolute must-visit for foodies and seafood lovers. Visitors can choose fresh seafood from the market and have it cooked to your taste at one of the destination’s range of restaurants.


20. Dubai Shopping Festival
Between 15 December 2022 and 29 January 2023, the Dubai Shopping Festival will see seven weeks of celebrations take place with daily deals, immersive competitions, raffle draws and memorable events taking place. The event will also include daily fireworks and drone shows during the retail festivities.

21. Emirates Airline Festival of Literature
A world leading international literary festival and the largest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Middle East, Emirates Lit Fest will take place from 1 to 6 February 2023 at Dubai Festival City and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library. Promoting books, reading and the richness of words in all its forms, visitors will be inspired during exciting talks, activities, workshops and author appearances.

22. Art Dubai
The Middle East’s leading international art fair and a major catalyst in the local, regional and international conversations on art from the region returns to the city between 3 and 5 March 2023. Art Dubai offers an opportunity to discover and broaden the mind through thought-provoking talks on topics shaping the art world, from NFTs to AI.

23. Dubai Food Festival
Taking place from 28 April 2023 and running until 7 May 2023, Dubai will mark the 10th year of the annual celebration of the city’s vibrant dining scene. The event will showcase the melting pot of flavours and cuisines available throughout Dubai, from live cooking shows to the city’s best street food, as well as the ever popular Dubai Restaurant Week whereby diners can sample set menus at some of the city’s finest restaurants for an affordable price.


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24. Dubai Desert Classic
This world-class sporting and social event takes place on the iconic Majlis Course at Emirates Golf Club from 26 to 29 January 2023. Welcoming world number one Rory McIlroy and many other big names all competing for the Dallah Trophy, the Dubai Desert Classic is a key event on the golfing calendar.

25. Emirates Airline Rugby 7s
Held at The Sevens Stadium in Dubai, the event is the largest sports and entertainment festival in the Middle East and will return to Dubai in December 2023. The event will see teams take part from countries across the world, as well as performances from international DJs and music acts.

26. Sole DXB
This homegrown music, art and sneaker event that connects creatives and celebrates street culture is set to take place in December 2023. The festival is host to a series of live performances, talks, workshops, screenings, sports tournaments and more, all of which are an ode to the spirit of the streets. Showcasing more than 80 brands and attracting tastemakers from across the region and the globe, it is an unmissable event for streetwear and music enthusiasts.


27. Action fueled activities
Adrenaline junkies can enjoy an array of exciting activities in Dubai in 2023 such as the once in a lifetime free-fall and parachute experience with Sky Dive Dubai.  A light aircraft transports skydivers 13,000 feet above the iconic Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina ready to exit the plane for a tandem jump with up to 90 seconds of freefall before being gently guided back to the ground by the highly qualified instructors. Alternatively, adventure seekers can get their hearts pumping whilst zipping across Dubai with the city’s skyscrapers below them at the world’s longest urban zip line at Xline Dubai Dubai Marina. This 1 kilometre long, 170-metre high zip line allows brave souls to race through the skies at speeds of 80km per hour.

28. Golf Courses
Dubai is home to a vast array of world-class golf courses equipped with luxury club houses and endless offerings for golf lovers. These include Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, located directly on the historic Dubai Creek, which is known for its distinctive landscape shaped like the sails of an Arabian dhow (boat) and Emirates Golf Club, which opened in 1988, becoming the first golf course to be built in the Middle East. It features two of the best must-play golf courses in the city, both of which offer breathtaking views of the Dubai cityscape.  In addition to these, visitors can enjoy Dubai Hills Golf Club, which boasts a large, well-lit practice area with a driving range, putting green, and short game area in addition to the course or Jumeirah Golf Estates, a world-class golf destination with multiple restaurants across the venue.

29. Get on the water
Catch the breeze and enjoy an afternoon of cruising Dubai’s waterways with Xclusive Yachts. Choose from a host of signature luxury yachts, or jump aboard a rib tour or dinner cruise. Keen fishers can also book a half-day sport fishing charter during a deep-sea adventure.

30. Winter sun: Beach activities & water sports
Dubai has virtually guaranteed sunshine year-round, with winter temperatures being ideal for enjoying the city’s range of pristine beaches. Across Dubai’s range of long stretched beach landscapes visitors can enjoy an array of activities, yachting experiences, water sports and more.


31. New hotels and resorts
Dubai constantly raises the bar when it comes to providing transformative experiences and active adventures for today’s discerning global traveller. From new luxury properties on Dubai’s World Islands, and family friendly resorts on Palm Jumeirah to immersive experiences, one-of-a-kind activities and lifestyle events taking place across the city, now is the time to plan a trip to Dubai and discover what’s new.

New hotel openings: Marriott Resort Palm Jumeirah, Vida Hotel and Residences - Dubai Marina Yacht Club, Address Grand Creek Harbour, NH Dubai The Palm, VOCO Dubai The Palm, Atlantis, The Royal Resort & Residences, The Lana – Dorchester Collection, One&Only One Za’abeel Resort and Private Homes.


32. Spacations
The city is bursting with fitness-inspired activities, yoga classes and destination spa, which can be found throughout the city. These include a range of decadent spas and wellness experiences available at luxury destinations such as Blended Wellness, located at Dukes Hotel, Talise Spa at Burj Al Arab and the spa at Anantara World Islands.