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Accessible attractions in Dubai

Accessible attractions in Dubai

People with disabilities or special needs – known as ‘people of determination’ in the UAE – can add these top landmarks to their holiday wish list.

Burj Khalifa

People of determination will find touring Dubai a breeze, even when it comes to exploring the world’s tallest building – Burj Khalifa. The entrance is through Dubai Mall where pathways are flat, smooth, and spacious. There is a wheelchair ramp leading to the ticket area and the At The Top viewing deck. The line to take the large elevator may seem long but staff are always happy to help you bypass queues. Once you reach the observation deck, you can freely move around in a smooth outdoor area. The large glass windows extend down to the floor, offering visitors spectacular views of the city.

Kite Beach

Kite Beach was the first Dubai beach to open a disability access ramp and offer accessible bathroom stalls. It has a parking lot with flat access to the beach area too, while a paved path and a firm mat help you get across the sand so wheelchair users can easily reach the waterfront. In addition, a long, flat, smooth path runs along the beach, and further paved and leveled tracks lead to various seating areas and food trucks like homegrown favorite Salt for a quick bite.

The Dubai Fountain

Seeing the famous dancing fountain is a big part of the Dubai experience and this attraction is perfectly accessible for everyone. Set on the 30-acre Burj Lake next to the record-breaking Burj Khalifa, this water and light spectacle performs different songs through the evening, ranging from classical to contemporary. The Dubai Fountain boardwalk allows you to get as close as nine meters from the show and guests can begin their journey from Burj Park or The Dubai Fountain promenade at Dubai Mall. Please note that the promenade can get quite crowded, especially on weekends.

Dubai Frame

Located at Zabeel Park, the Dubai Frame provides excellent views of the city, with the modern part on one side and Old Dubai on the other. A wheelchair ramp is available from the street to the sidewalk next to the building, which has step-free access, wide doors, and a spacious elevator. There’s also complimentary wheelchair service, assistance from trained staff, integrated restrooms, and service counters. At the viewing level of the Dubai Frame, the floor is flat and smooth, making it very easy to move around.

Dubai Miracle Garden

If you’re looking to relax and take a break from the city crowds, head to the Dubai Miracle Garden – an oasis of more than 150 million flowers and plants. The paths are smooth and accessible for wheelchair users to explore all the floral courtyards, colorful arches, intricate patterns, and exceptional displays in a myriad of shapes. Located just a short drive out of the city, the attraction also offers VIP parking, disabled toilets, and club carts.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

Visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world. The 10-million-litre tank houses an incredible array of species worth spotting. If you’re short on time, you can admire a part of the aquarium free of charge from the ground floor of Dubai Mall, but we recommend getting a fish-eye view of sharks and stingrays by passing through the 48-meter-long underwater tunnel. Due to the nature and design of some of the attraction’s experiences, a few of the venue’s packages do not cater to people of determination, so it’s best to check before booking.

Al Mamzar Beach Park

Nestled alongside a corniche, Al Mamzar Beach Park offers visitors more than 200 acres of tree-lined landscapes alongside the shore. The park features five beaches, swimming pools and play areas for children. Like Kite Beach, there are wheelchair-friendly pathways built to international standards so wheelchair users, as well as parents with pushchairs and elderly visitors, can reach the water easily. The beaches also feature specially-designed and dedicated counters for visitors with disabilities.

Dubai Dolphinarium

Wheelchair users are well-catered for at Dubai Dolphinarium. The indoor hotspot has special seating for people of determination to watch the stars of the show – bottlenose dolphins and fur seals – dance, juggle, play ball, jump through hoops, and even paint. Seats can be easily reserved, but if you call ahead prior to your visit, the staff can also help accommodate additional needs to make your experience as welcoming as possible.

Jumeirah Mosque

As one of the most beautiful mosques in the emirate, Jumeirah Mosque welcomes visitors to learn about Islam and the local culture. You can find a wheelchair ramp to enter the building on the opposite side of the property. Next door is the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) which offers interesting insights into Emirati culture. There is a ramp at the entrance, and the interior is flat and has plenty of room for wheelchair users to navigate. The center also has an elevator to reach the upper floor and an accessible bathroom.

Wild Wadi Waterpark

Waterparks can be challenging to navigate for those with special needs, but at Wild Wadi Waterpark there are a few areas that have some level of accessibility. One example is the wave pool. which has roll-in access and plenty of space to navigate. Another enjoyable attraction is the lazy river. With some assistance, people of determination can get into a tube and comfortably float around the venue while enjoying incredible views. Wild Wadi also has an accessible bathroom with a roll-in shower and a chair attached to the wall. Guests with disabilities can receive a 50 percent discount on the attraction ticket at the gate by presenting a valid disability card and are also able to bypass queues at rides.

Souk Madinat Jumeirah

Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a modern take on an ancient Arabian market with beautiful architectural features, as well as various galleries, shops, and dining destinations. Outside, at the drop-off area, the souk has a sidewalk ramp that leads to a large elevator taking you inside. The hallways are flat, smooth, and spacious. Most shops have plenty of space for people of determination to navigate between displays, and the souk also has a large accessible restroom.

Abra ride on Dubai Creek

While this experience is not entirely accessible directly by wheelchair and assistance may be needed, it’s definitely high up on every visitor’s wish list. On the west side of Dubai Creek (closest to Downtown Dubai), there is step-free access to the dock and a single step down onto the boat. The boat is rather narrow but can accommodate small to medium-sized wheelchairs. On the east side of the Creek (near the Spice and Gold Souk), take one step to get off the boat and onto the dock, with a wheelchair ramp leading to the sidewalk.

Spice Souk

Visit the Spice Souk and experience a true Arabian marketplace full of heady aromas. The souk has a wheelchair ramp from the street to the sidewalk and smooth flat pathways between shops. Most of the shops have basic access features like ramped access, wide doors, and plenty of space to navigate between displays. However, quite a few have steps, though there is always someone to ask for help if needed. Please note that there is no accessible toilet nearby.

Gold Souk

Located next to the Spice Souk, the Gold Souk is one of the oldest traditional markets in town. On your way from the Spice Souk to the Gold Souk, there are a series of sidewalks and curb cuts that people of determination can use. The entrance to the souk has a sidewalk ramp, while inside there are plenty of flat, smooth pathways between shops. Some stores have step-free access and wide doors, but others have one or more stairs. There is a spacious public restroom too but requires a small step to enter it.

Etihad Museum

The Etihad Museum gives visitors a great opportunity to learn about the country’s history and heritage through a series of interactive displays. There is a wheelchair ramp from the street onto the sidewalk of the building. The museum has elevators to reach different levels, as well as wide, flat, and smooth pathways between exhibits. Please note that some of the exhibit areas have long slopes. You can also visit Union House next door, the place where the constitution was signed in 1971, officially forming the United Arab Emirates.