Dubai draws millions of visitors each year, most of whom flock to its cutting-edge skyscrapers, leisure attractions, and desert dunes. While many sights get busy—especially during the peak winter season—there are ways to beat the long lines and escape the main crowds. Here are our tips.
Dubai’s top attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa and Wild Wadi Waterpark, are all very popular in peak season, so it’s wise to book entrance tickets in advance. Prebooking often allows you to select time slots before they’re booked up—or when an attraction is quieter—and save you time and hassle while you’re in the city. Some advance tickets also give you skip-the-line access, so you’ll spend less time waiting in lines outside.
Visit Dubai in Summer
Dubai’s high season is November–April, when the comfortably warm weather and almost permanent sunshine draw the most visitors. Consider traveling mid-November or mid-March, when numbers tend to dip, lessening the crowds. Alternatively, brave the May–September summer season, when most tourists stay away. Although the heat makes outdoor activities challenging, most key attractions, such as the Burj Khalifa and malls, are open and air-conditioned.
Hit the Desert and Sights Early
Many Dubai attractions are best enjoyed early, before the sun and daytime crowds reach their height. As most desert safaris are timed for the evening—when convoys of 4WDs race over the dunes—consider a sunrise or midmorning trip to experience the desert at its quietest and during one of its most evocative times. The same rule applies to Dubai’s principal sights: Arriving at opening time will help you dodge the main crowds.
Sightsee Beyond Dubai
While visitors flock to Dubai’s landmarks and parks, many overlook other parts of the UAE. Go off the beaten track by joining tours that take you out of the city. Day trips to inland Al Ain, the UAE’s quiet east coast, and the mountains around Hatta are all great escape-the-crowd options.
Go for Luxury
Private and luxury tours let you relax and explore without jostling for space. Many also feature customizable itineraries that let you choose where to go—losing the crowds along the way if you wish. Book a private city tour that whisks you around Dubai’s sights in your own chauffeured sedan, or enjoy a cruise along the coast on a luxury yacht that’s completely yours for a few hours.