10 things to do in Dubai in September

From swimming in infinity pools to visiting an artificial island; from the tallest building in the world to a wooden boat ride. Here's what to do at this time of year

Nuria Rozas

Nuria Rozas

9 min read

10 things to do in Dubai in September

Souk Madinat Jumeirah | © Zosia Korcz

Although there are many things to do in Dubai, in summer most activities are under cover or under water.

And in September, temperatures can reach 40º C. However, this magical and contrasting city has many plans designed to cool you down. In this article I propose ten things to do without dying scorched by Lorenzo in the attempt.

1. Take a stroll along the Dubai Estuary

On Abra in Dubai| ©Denise Chan
On Abra in Dubai| ©Denise Chan

If you want to feel like a Dubaiti, use one of its means of transport par excellence: the abras, and take advantage of it to take a nice 15-minute ride along the historic Dubai estuary, where you will enjoy a gentle breeze while. The abras are motorized water cabs that transfer passengers between Bur Dubai and Deira, the old center of Dubai, and have little or nothing to envy to the gondolas of Venice and its canals.

Take the opportunity to visit the Deira district, visit the popular souk of spices and contemplate its multicolored aromas from the most remote and unsuspected places on the planet.

In addition, to return I recommend you to book a traditional sailboat cruise with dinner. A wonderful experience where you can enjoy the colorful sunsets and the busy life of the fishermen and traders who ply its calm waters every day. You will relive the old-world charm of Dubai!

Book a traditional sailboat cruise with dinner

2. Have fun at the Atlantis Aquaventure water park

Family Fun at the Atlantis Aquaventure| ©Jeremy Thompson
Family Fun at the Atlantis Aquaventure| ©Jeremy Thompson

In my short but intense trip in the middle of September, in the city of sun, desert and exoticism, one of the plans I liked the most was to spend a day away from the hubbub of downtown in the Atlantis Aquaventure water park, perfect to disconnect.

The best part? It has 79 slides to bring out the child in you, a private one-kilometer beach to lie on and a wave machine for those who want to get in shape and show off their six pack during their vacation.

Book tickets for Atlantis Aquadventure

3. Want to have a dolphin encounter?

Swimming with Sharks| ©Roman Odintsov
Swimming with Sharks| ©Roman Odintsov

The entrance to this water park includes, in addition to free access to the aquarium where you can do many activities such as snorkeling or scuba diving surrounded by more than 65,000 marine animals, an encounter with dolphins in Atlantis, a unique experience that you will never forget and in which you will learn all about dolphins thanks to the accompaniment of a professional guide. The swim is so real that you will think you are immersed in the salty seas.

The swim is so real that you will think you are immersed in the salty seas. Are you up for it?

Book a dolphin encounter in Dubai

4. Skip the line entrance to the most fascinating skyscraper in the world

Climbing the Burj Khalifa| ©Jose Aliling
Climbing the Burj Khalifa| ©Jose Aliling

Visiting Dubai in the summer season has its advantages, among them is that you can book your ticket and climb the Burj Khalifa, an icon of architecture and the tallest skyscraper in the world with its 828 meters high, without waiting for the long queues that form in high season.

If you are curious and interested in going, check out this article with the ticket prices of the observatories of the Burj Khalifa. From the observation deck located on the 124th floor you will have luxury views over the desert and the architectural wonders of Dubai. The country has made this building its own the saying "big horse, whether it walks or not, proof of this is that it has accumulated 100 Guinness World Records.

Book tickets for Burj Khalifa

5. Get your boots on the gastronomic festival

Typical Arabian food| ©PHRS
Typical Arabian food| ©PHRS

If you want to try the best restaurants in the Middle East, take a look at the program of the Dubai Summer Surprises festival, which as I said is held from July to September and usually includes a specific event dedicated to foodies called Summer Restaurant Week. This plan I am sure will become a favorite choice for foodies looking for where to eat in Dubai.

During the festival, the city's restaurants create special menus for the occasion full of aromas, spices and flavors. What surprised me the most is how they combine traditional recipes and turn them into the most avant-garde and sophisticated dishes, but without breaking the bank. Doesn't it make your mouth water just thinking about it? Well, imagine trying it.

Restaurant Week prices

But... How much is a menu at this festival going to cost me? In the last edition, 30 restaurants joined the Summer Restaurant Week and agreed on the following prices (as a guide to give you an idea):

  • Breakfasts: for 16 €. To start the day off right!
  • Lunch: two courses for 23 €.
  • Dinner: three courses for 36 €. Ideal to treat yourself!
  • Children's menu: 6 €.

Book a gastronomic tour of Dubai

6. Find bargains at Dubai Summer Surprises Festival

Women shopping| ©Arina Krasnikova
Women shopping| ©Arina Krasnikova

Almost as eagerly awaited as Black Friday is the Dubai Summer Surprises festival, which runs from July 1 to mid-September, when large shopping malls and small business owners prepare a special program to offer discounts in stores, hotels, restaurants and entertainment complexes. Get ready to spend!

I suggest you take the opportunity to treat yourself or buy some souvenirs at a good price for your loved ones. What I liked most about the event was the opening with fireworks, the projections on big screens and the shows inside the Burj Khalifa; at The Palm fountain and the galas organized by the Dubai Festival City Mall, which will make you feel like Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman" loaded with bags. Leave the thrifty in you at home!

Book your ticket to the Burj Khalifa

7. Cool off in the world's largest infinity pool

Aura Skypool suspended 200 meters above the city| ©Aura Skypool
Aura Skypool suspended 200 meters above the city| ©Aura Skypool

Would you swim in an infinity pool on the 50th floor of a skyscraper? If you don't have vertigo, this summer plan is perfect for you. In this emirate where it is hot 365 days a year, the pool, especially in July in Dubai, August in Dubai and September, becomes essential. So put on your swimsuit and... duck into the water!

In Dubai, everything is big, that's why they have created the Aura pool in the Palm Tower, which is suspended 200 meters in the air and is the highest infinity pool in the world. If you take a dip in it you will be able to observe the incredible panoramic views of the skyline of Dubai, the artificial island Palm Jumeirah and the Persian Gulf.

Although it is not an economical plan, I advise you, if you want to treat yourself and cool off in this pool with a view, it is best to do it after lunch, when you will enjoy one of the most beautiful and impressive sunsets you have ever seen in your life. Believe me you won't want to put your feet down to the ground (literally). And if you liked the plan, don't hesitate to book your ticket for Aquaventure.

Useful information about the Aura pool

  • Where: Entrance to the pool from the St. Regis Hotel. At The Palm Tower, 50th floor, Palm Jumeirah.
  • Price: from $40 for the morning pass, $48 for the afternoon pass and $88 for the full day.
  • Timetable: morning session (from 10am to 2pm), afternoon (from 3pm to 7pm) and full day.

Book your ticket for Aquaventure

8. Discover the neighborhood of Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah by night| ©PhareannaH[berhabuk]
Madinat Jumeirah by night| ©PhareannaH[berhabuk]

At night in Dubai, temperatures drop to 32°C in September and it is the best time of the day to explore the city and the different neighborhoods of Dubai. I recommend you tour Madinat Jumeirah, a huge shopping, hotel and restaurant complex designed to recreate a typical city with Arabian houses.

The goal of the architects, who took three years to build this neighborhood, was to show what life was like for the inhabitants of the Creek area before Dubai became a city of skyscrapers. Who has seen it and who sees it! You can take advantage of the walk and sit down to enjoy dinner at one of the charming outdoor tables overlooking the canals and traditional boats.

A tip: Don't miss the sea turtle hospital located in the canals, whose mission is to care for these injured animals before returning them back to the sea.

Book a night bus tour of Dubai

9. Immerse yourself in the local culture and visit the Jumeirah Mosque

Jumeirah Mosque| ©PhareannaH[berhabuk]
Jumeirah Mosque| ©PhareannaH[berhabuk]

Among the concrete masses we find a secret jewel that goes rather unnoticed, the Jumeriah Mosque, where we will discover the history of the region and we will be safe from the summer heat.

Specifically, the temple is open from Saturday to Thursday, but can only be accessed at 10:00 am. The entrance fee is about 6 euros and on Fridays it is closed to the public, as it is a holy day in the Islamic culture.

Is the guided tour worth it?

One of the things you should know before you go is that you cannot visit it on your own, but access is allowed as part of a guided tour program. The visit lasts 1 hour and 15 minutes in which you will appreciate the architecture of the temple, you will delve into the culture of Islam and even taste some typical products. Ah! And of course it's worth it.

10. Sun protection in the shopping malls

Dubai Mall| ©mostafa meraji
Dubai Mall| ©mostafa meraji

The best way to combat the high temperatures in Dubai in September is to take cover from the sun in any of its emblematic malls, where you will enjoy a pleasant climate thanks to air conditioning. These tempting places are packed with stores, restaurants and attractions for travelers.

Visit the Dubai Mall

Shopaholics will find Dubai Mall to be their own personal paradise. The mall has become the largest in the world and houses more than 1,200 stores of all tastes and prices, from the popular brands Topshop and Zara to the most luxurious designer brands such as Chanel, Dior and Louis Vuitton, among others.

Also, if you do not intend to buy, do not worry, because this mall is like a real museum. My favorite corner was the Gold Souk on the first floor, where you are transported to the Arab palaces with its elegant decoration and camel statues.

Inside the mall you can also see a huge aquarium full of thousands of species of fish, an Olympic ice skating rink (yes, you read that right, ice in the middle of the desert), the largest cinema in Dubai, and the Kidzania playground, where children play at becoming different professions.

Nuria's Traveller Tip

Dine at a restaurant in the mall and choose one with a view of the 'dancing fountains' show. You will have an unforgettable evening!

Temperatures in Dubai in September

Touring Dubai| ©Dan Bentley
Touring Dubai| ©Dan Bentley

The weather in Dubai is still very warm in this month, especially in the first half of the month, so if you have a choice, I recommend traveling in the second half of September, when the sun begins to give a slight respite. In general, temperatures during this period range from a minimum of 28°C to 40°C, while the average is 35°C. But who said fear on vacation?

Although this sun can be scorching, think that it is one of the most modern and cosmopolitan cities in the world and there are plenty of things to see and do in Dubai. Therefore, its leisure offer is ready for visitors to spend a fascinating summer in its restaurants, shopping malls and playgrounds with air conditioning (the star element of the summer period).

Book a night bus tour of Dubai

What can I pack in my suitcase in September?

Packing your suitcase| ©Vlada Karpovich
Packing your suitcase| ©Vlada Karpovich

Remember to pack a hat or cap for your head, sunglasses and high factor sunscreen. Because, as my mother used to tell me, skin has a memory. Also, I suggest that before you start packing your suitcase, take note of how to dress in Dubai:

  • Avoid shorts.
  • Do not use cleavage, being a traditional country with a strict dress code is frowned upon.
  • If you want, you can wear dresses, but better long dresses.
  • Wear linen or cotton clothes that perspire in the heat.

Book a private transfer from the Dubai airport