In Dubai, the aptly titled City of Gold, where towering skyscrapers, busy souk marketplaces, and opulent hotels line the streets, old meets new. It’s a place where luxury abounds, with traditional Arabic culture merging with the city’s more modern influences.
By day, as the desert heats up, the city comes to life with no shortage of tourist-friendly attractions, ranging from adrenaline-pumping amusement park rides to visiting the observation decks of the world’s tallest skyscrapers.
When the sun sets, the magic is turned up a notch (and the heat is toned down a notch), and Dubai comes to life. With many pubs, clubs, and lounges to keep you entertained till the early morning hours, the city features some of the best nightlife in the Middle East.
Shop until you drop at the Dubai Mall, see a show at the Dubai Opera House, dine like a king or queen at one of Dubai’s many Michelin-starred restaurants, party at one of Dubai’s trendy nightclubs, enjoy front-row seats to the spectacular Dubai Fountain Show, watch a traditional dance show, sink a few cocktails at one of the city’s many rooftop bars, or embark on a soul-searching desert camping adventure beneath the Milky Way.
As you’ll know, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Dubai at night, whether you’re a partygoer, adventurer, beach bum, art enthusiast, or foodie. Some of the fun things to do in UAE at night are:
1 – View the city from the observation decks of the Burj Khalifa
The Burj Khalifa, which dwarfs everything around it and appears on numerous postcards, is the world’s tallest building, standing at over 828 meters (2,716.5 feet) and more than 160 stories high.
The observation decks on levels 124 and 125 provide unrivaled views of Dubai. On a clear day, the sharp contrast of the beautiful blue ocean, dusty golden desert, and built-up gleaming cityscape is nothing short of spectacular! It’s breathtaking throughout the day, but as the sun sets, twilight transforms into dusk.
If you want to make a night of it, reserve a table at one of Burj Khalifa’s many restaurants. For example, at Atmosphere on Level 122 (the world’s highest restaurant), you may savor exceptional fine-dining cuisine surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows and some of the city’s most incredible vistas.
If you’re feeling courageous enough to venture out into the fresh air (don’t worry, it’s entirely safe), there’s also an outdoor terrace on level 124 (as well as level 148!).
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to literally fly over Dubai on the ‘Dubai – A Falcon’s Eye View’ ride, and consider stopping by the trendy Burj Club for some happy hour cocktails with your buddies.
For something truly unique, book a stay at the Armani Hotel Dubai, which is also housed in the Burj Khalifa, and has easy access to uninterrupted cityscape views and spa and pool facilities.
2 – Visit Dubai Garden Glow, a Lighted Wonderland
Dubai Garden Glow is a massive outdoor park filled with magnificent glow-in-the-dark artworks that seem like something out of a storybook.
This one-of-a-kind attraction is perfect for an evening stroll with family or friends (or a cutesie date night, perhaps?). It features four zones made up of no less than 10 million LED lights – Dinosaur Park (where you’ll find more than 100 animatronic dinosaurs on display), Art Park, Magic Park, and the main event, the Garden Park.
And, if you work up an appetite while you’re there (which is highly probable), there are tons of food trucks dishing up outstanding international cuisine and live music.
Dubai Garden Glow, a must-see for any tourist to Dubai, is open from October to May each year at Gate 6 of Zabeel Park, dazzling every day from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (and 11 p.m. on Saturdays).
The quirky exhibit is an inexpensive evening diversion, costing only AED 65 (about $15 USD), with free admission for children under the age of three (assuming they can stay up after nightfall).
Keep in mind that admission to the Ice Park will cost an additional AED 40, but as a realm of imagination that exhibits the beauty of art and nature, it’s a no-brainer add-on.
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3 – Attend a Candlelight Concert at Night.
A Candlelight Concert, which takes place in a variety of secret settings throughout the city, is the ideal way to escape the hustle and bustle of Dubai’s busy streets and enjoy an evening of classical music (sometimes with a modern twist) in some genuinely unique circumstances.
The locations will be kept hidden until shortly before the concert when you will be emailed a map and directions to follow. All you have to do is show up early, take a seat, sit back, relax, and enjoy the spectacular show!
These 60-minute concerts are small and intimate, with limited seats available, so it’s better to book ahead of time. A little old-world musical charm goes a long way in such a fast-paced and sophisticated city.
4 – Go Scuba Diving… Late at Night
Just over an hour’s drive from Dubai’s main attractions is the emirate (and eponymous city) of Fujairah, which is home to some of the best night diving in the world.
We know what you’re thinking: Night diving doesn’t sound like much fun. But believe us when we say that this is an experience you will not want to miss. The waters of Fujairah are alive with marine life, and a night dive will allow you to observe this fascinating world in a new (literal) light.
Furthermore, you can be confident that you’ll be in good hands with the experienced instruction of a PADI-certified instructor. And what if you need to be certified? Several tour operators provide beginner-friendly dives (albeit these are usually during the day).
Why not make a day of it since you’ll be in Fujairah anyway? Make an agenda that includes visiting the Al Bidya Mosque and the Fujairah Historic Fort, some beach time, and dinner at one of the city’s renowned seafood restaurants.
5 – Book a Classic Dhow Cruise
A long-standing Arab tradition, a dhow cruise is one of the most atmospheric and romantic things to do in Dubai at night.
You’ll be treated to stunning views of some of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks as you gently glide down the creek (or across the marina, or around the manmade Burj Khalifa Lake, depending on where your adventure takes you) as the warm night air wraps around you.
Of course, no dhow cruise would be complete without a delectable buffet supper (often featuring world and Arab cuisine), live entertainment in the form of traditional Arabic (or modern pop) music or a belly dancer, and, probably most importantly, unlimited alcohol.
Numerous tour operators in Dubai provide dhow cruises that last two to four hours, so browse to pick one that best meets your interests (and budget). Just make sure to book ahead of time!
While a dhow cruise can’t go wrong anyplace in town, it’s the most fantastic way to see the beautiful fountain show on the Burj Khalifa Lake.
6 – Deep Dark Dubai Combines an Escape Room with a Haunted Mansion.
Do you fancy yourself as the next Sherlock Holmes or Hercules Poirot? Do you want to put your investigative skills to the test? So, go to an escape room during the day to solve a couple of old puzzles.
By night, sign up for the scare of your life at Deep Dark Dubai, an escape room meets haunted home experience unlike any other.
There will be live actors, jump scares, and plenty of suspense to keep even the most unaffected thrillseekers on their toes in four different hour-long escape games set in two different and hauntingly designed homes.
This is not for the faint of heart and certainly not for children – but if you’re looking for an entertaining (and a little terrifying) way to spend an evening in Dubai, it’s well worth a look!
Of course, plenty of code-cracking, problem-solving, and good old-fashioned detective work will be done – see if you and your squad can escape before time runs out!
It’s one of the most unusual things to do in Dubai at night, open till 2 a.m. in the Al Quoz district – but boy, will you have plenty of stories to share!
7 – At AYA, you will be Transported to Another Universe
Enter a universe where anything seems imaginable, where the cosmos comes to life, and your wildest desires become a reality. AYA is one of Dubai’s most advanced immersive experiences, mixing technology and art to transport visitors to alternate planets.
This fantastic adventure will take you through 12 different WAFI Mall areas spanning 40,000 square feet. Explore the Outland, traverse the River, and marvel at the gravity-defying Falls.
The experience lasts roughly 2 hours and will make you forget about your daily life while giving you a new respect for the breadth of human artistry. Bring a camera with you to capture these wonderful experiences.
Let your imagination go wild as you dance between the interplay of light and music. You’ll even be given a passport to keep track of and remember each room you visit. This is an event that individuals of all ages and abilities may enjoy, making it a memorable adventure.
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8 – Visit the MOTIONGATE Theme Park for a Trip to Tinseltown
One for the film buffs and adrenaline seekers among you: MOTIONGATETM Dubai is a one-of-a-kind movie-themed theme park divided into five zones, each themed after one of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.
There’s Studio Central, which transports you to the Golden Age of Hollywood; Dreamworks, an indoor animated paradise with rides dedicated to Kung Fu Panda, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar, and Shrek (to name a few); Columbia Pictures and Lionsgate, both of which host an outdoor slew of studio-related attractions; and the kid-friendly Smurfs’ Village.
There’s something for everyone, from The Hunger Games to Hotel Transylvania and Ghostbusters, and with over 30 rides and attractions, plus frequent events and meet & greets, you’re sure to have a good day.
What’s the best part?
It’s open until 8 p.m. every night, making it an excellent late-night activity. MOTIONGATETM Dubai covers you whether you’re searching for a fun family activity or an adrenaline-pumping thrill experience.
9 – Create Snowmen at Ski Dubai
Indeed not the image that most people have in mind when they think of Dubai, but the indoor ski resort is one of the most entertaining things to do in Dubai at night – especially if you’re searching for a way to escape the heat!
It’s a beautiful, calorie-burning spot to enjoy some time on the slopes without having to leave town, with five distinct lines (including a unique slope for little ones), as well as a Snow Park, Ski School, and a whole lot more distributed around the 22,500-square-meter indoor facility.
There’s also a toboggan run, frequent toasty films (blankets included) at the winter cinema, snowman, igloo-building activities, and even penguin encounters, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a beginner or a black run fanatic.
When you’re done skiing, you can unwind in one of the on-site restaurants or take in the scenery from one of the outdoor terraces – all while enjoying some world-class après-ski. Furthermore, given its prominent location in the Mall of the Emirates, you’re never far from some shopping therapy.
While most ski slopes close at sundown, the beauty of this indoor mountain is that it stays open until 11 p.m., well past most people’s bedtimes.
10 – Visit the Infinity of Lumière’s Exhibit
At Infinity des Lumières, a diversified art museum meets a futuristic immersion, blurring the boundaries between art and entertainment in the most extraordinary way imaginable.
This 2,700-square-meter walk-through art installation, focusing on technology and innovation, is a kaleidoscope of lights, colors, and noises that will leave you speechless.
The range of exhibitions is reason enough to attend, delving into classic European painters like Van Gogh, legendary Japanese artists like Hokusai, and exploring bizarrely beautiful themes like the universe with art and music by Thomas Vanz.
The way these paintings, sculptures, and installations are brought to life, however, is what will have you going back for more. And, while it may be aimed more towards the artistically inclined and culture-savvy crowd, with plenty of photo opportunities and social media-friendly moments, there’s no doubt that this evening activity is suitable for all comers.
You’ll find this colorful experience on Level 2 of the enormous Dubai Mall – which also means you’re a stone’s throw from a slew of popular attractions like the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Aquarium, and the Dubai Fountain Show. It’s open until 11 p.m. every night and takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to run through all the sections.
11 – Watch the Hypnotic Dubai Fountain Performance
The Dubai Fountain Show is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. It is both majestic and breathtakingly gorgeous.
Furthermore, it is entirely free to watch! This amazing spectacle, which takes place every half hour from sunset to 11 p.m., is set to a variety of music from around the world, including classical and Arabic sounds, as well as modern pop compositions.
It’s a spectacular display of light, water, and music that will leave you mesmerized, with water jets shooting up to 150 meters in the air.
It is located at the foot of the Burj Khalifa in Downtown Dubai. While you’re welcome to dine with a view at a nearby restaurant or simply wander around the area (read: snap photos from the Walk Bridge) and take in the sights and sounds, the most enchanting way to see the dancing fountains is on the water itself.
There are plenty of options to get up close and personal with this world-famous site, with kayaks, paddle boats, and traditional dhow vessels with dinner included.
12 – Sail Away on a Sunset Cruise
Whether it’s among the billionaire yachts moored at Dubai Marina or along the banks of the old-world canals, A sunset cruise, whether on Dubai Creek or farther out in the old Al Seef neighborhood, has long been regarded as one of the most romantic things to do in Dubai at night – not to mention a terrific way to fight the heat owing to the calm sea wind.
As the sun sets over the city skyline, you and your group – whether it’s a family, a group of friends, or a special someone – may enjoy a leisurely cruise complete with canapes, beverages, and live music, making an impact that will linger long after the night is done.
With so many different boats and cruises to select from – everything from luxury yacht charters to traditional abra rides and private sailboats – you will find something to fit your style and budget.
A night bus trip will take you to the main attractions.
Take an open-top, double-decker bus through the streets of Dubai to see the city’s finest attractions lit against the night sky. This activity is excellent for first-time visitors because it provides a map of the area and helps you become acquainted with your surroundings.
You’ll discover fascinating facts and anecdotes about Dubai’s history, culture, and architecture from your onboard guide (depending on your tour, this may be a recorded audio guide or a live guide) while seeing some of the city’s most renowned monuments lit up in all their splendor.
While each tour is unique, some are themed. Some are private, (allowing you to choose your own stops). The most common hop-on-hop-off options include stops at the Jumeirah Mosque, the Burj Al Arab (the coveted 7-star hotel), The Palm Jumeirah Island, Dubai Marina, the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall (where you’ll get to see the fountain show), Dubai Creek, the old part of town, and much more.
To add to the thrill, specific bus trips can be paired with other popular Dubai activities, such as a dune buggy adventure or a dinner cruise.
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13 – Party the Night Away at Dubai’s Greatest Nightclubs
Do you want to let your hair down? Drink a few shots and dance until your feet turn blue. You’re in luck because Dubai features some of the top nightclubs in the world.
There are lots of nightlife alternatives for any style of clubber, from world-famous party locations like White Beach Dubai, Billionaire Mansion Nightclub (see #30), and Zero Gravity to more private places like Boudoir (with its very French ambiance) and the Cavalli Club (the city’s longest-running club).
And if you need a little liquid courage before hitting the dancefloor, just scroll up to #42 and have a few pre-drinks at one of the city’s best rooftop bars.
So there you have it – 13 exciting nighttime activities in Dubai! Everyone on this list has something for you, whether you want a wild night out or a more low-key evening.