Things You Need to Know When Planning an Excursion in Dubai

Dubai offers many wonderful things you shouldn’t miss. From jaw-dropping vistas and experiences to hassle-free shopping at Dubai Festival City Mall, there are plenty of things you can do when in the city.

But to enjoy all that to the fullest, there are two most important things you need to know when planning an excursion to Dubai Festival City:

1. Get the Timing Right

While you can visit Dubai any time of the year, travel enthusiasts and tourists recommend going there during the winter months between November and April. This is because the temperature in the city is cooler this time of year.

The place comes alive with heavy tourist traffic during this time, particularly from December to February, since that is when the Dubai Shopping Festival is held.

Below is a quick roundup of the climatic conditions in Dubai during specific months to help you pick the best time to go:

November to March

As mentioned earlier, winter in Dubai takes place from November to April.

However, this isn’t the snowy winter you’re probably used to in the Western hemisphere. In the UAE, winter translates to cooler, more pleasant weather that is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities.

Many tourists choose to visit during this season, which also means the city will probably be crowded. It is also the peak season for hotels and other industries in the tourism sector, so expect higher airfare, lodging, and tour rates.

Pro Tip: Book everything well ahead of your chosen travel dates to make sure you get the best possible rates. This will also help you prevent inconvenience later on.

April to October

Once the winter season is over, expect the temperature to rise in Dubai. Between April and May, the temperature can reach up to the higher forties.

Dubai’s summer months can get really hot and humid, making it almost impossible to enjoy outdoor activities. Fortunately, there are plenty of indoor destinations that are equally thrilling and entertaining, like those found in Dubai Festival City.

2.   Choose the Best Items to Add to Your Itinerary

A trip to Dubai is never complete without exploring the best of what the place has to offer. There is a wide range of attractions to choose from, but there are three destinations you should never skip:

Appreciate Dubai from the Sky: Burj Khalifa Observation Decks

Want to appreciate the beauty of Dubai without having to travel for hours across the city? Try visiting the Burj Khalifa Observation Deck “At The Top”.

Located on the 124th and 125th floor of the world’s tallest skyscraper, the decks offer breathtaking vistas of Dubai viewed from 456 meters high.

Dubai skyline at sunset from the Burj Khalifa Observation Deck

Bask in incredible engineering and witness the City of Gold through various multimedia displays and a state-of-the-art virtual reality telescope that features downtown Dubai, the Gulf, and dancing fountains.

Tourists can explore the 360-degree observation decks, with the following themes:

  • Floor 125 – This floor is dedicated to Arab culture and arts, with a slick design following a Masharabiya motif décor theme.
  • Floor 124 – This is where you’ll find the Burj Khalifa outdoor terrace to behold the beautiful 360-degree views of Dubai.

If these floors aren’t high enough for you, you can also head to the top of the skyscraper. Located 555 meters above the city, At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY deck offers urban views beyond what you can imagine.

Ticket prices for the 148th floor at Burj Khalifa start at AED 379. Packages may also include personalized tours led by a Guest Ambassador.

Witness an Instagrammable Water Show Like No Other: IMAGINE

If you’re visiting the emirate anytime soon, consider adding the Dubai Festival City to your itinerary.

For a unique experience, schedule your trip around the evening. This will let you witness Dubai Festival City’s spectacular record-breaking attraction – IMAGINE.

This one-of-a-kind sensory rollercoaster ride of an experience combines light, water, and fire with surround-sound technology in a jaw-dropping show.

A dual-record breaker, IMAGINE features 30 fountains, giant aqua screens, pyrotechnics, music, lasers, and lights set to narrate emotional stories.

Dubai Imagine show at night

Before you head there, remember that the show is held every evening, with half an hour intervals. You can choose to visit any of the IMAGINE shows at the listed times:


Sat – Wed: 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. (every half hour)


Thu – Fri: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. (every half hour)

Shop for Souvenirs and Luxury Items: Dubai Festival City Mall (DFCM)

Dubai Festival City is home to plenty of fun and exciting attractions. Besides serving as a modern business hub, it is also a major entertainment and shopping destination and where you’ll find one of the best malls in Dubai carrying the same name.

Dubai Festival City Mall is one of the most stand-out shopping destinations in Dubai, close to Dubai International Airport. It boasts family-friendly and exciting attractions.

There is much to explore here, including:

  • More than 400 stores, including luxury international and local brands
  • 90 international and local cafés and restaurants
  • The 18-screen Novo Cinema
  • Bounce-X indoor Freestyle terrain park

If you’re planning to shop and dine, consider reserving a table at restaurants with outdoor seating. This will allow you to take advantage of the mall’s fabulous view of Dubai Creek while you enjoy mouthwatering meals.

Dubai Festival City Mall is home to the only IKEA in Dubai and Robinson’s department store.

Need a quick trip to the grocery? You need not go too far as DFCM also has a massive Carrefour supermarket within the premises.

You can also find plenty of famous fashion brands, including:

  • Zara
  • H&M
  • Marks & Spencer
  • Centerpoint

Think those big names already comprise the magic of Dubai Festival City Mall? Think again. All these barely scratch the surface of what you’ll experience once you’re there.

The Best of Dubai

Dubai is popular for so many reasons that it can be challenging to plan an excursion that will suit your taste. Get to know the best things Dubai has to offer to make sure your visit exceeds your expectations.

You can find out more about visiting Dubai on our partner site Dubai Travel Planner or use our 4-day Dubai itinerary to start planning your own adventure

Find all our tips for first-timers to the UAE over here

Disclosures: This post has been written in collaboration with Dubai Festival City, one of our favourite family destinations in Dubai. There may be compensated links on this page with our affiliate partners which earn us a commission at no additional cost to you.

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