Dubai vs. New York

Luxury-wise, Dubai is the better choice. But when it comes to diversity, New York has it all, from its luxurious blocks in Upper Manhattan to its broad choices all around.  Food, nightlife, entertainment, and shopping – it’s no wonder New York is a world-class travel choice for many. However, Dubai is also safer, has more shopping opportunities, and boasts a lavish vacation for anyone willing to splurge.
Dubai vs. New York

Table of Contents

Here’s a quick comparison between New York and Dubai:

New York has green parks. Dubai has deserts. The world’s iconic attractions are also located in both cities – Burj Khalifa and Times Square.

Both are also fashion capitals and boast excellent nightlife opportunities. But while New York’s luxury scene is limited to Upper Manhattan, Dubai’s lavish offerings can easily be seen all throughout the city.

That said, Dubai lacks the creative scene that New York has 3x more of. Broadway shows, theater, art performances, you name it.

Between Dubai and New York, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. If you’re finding it hard to choose, don’t worry.

Whatever fits your vacation preferences more will ultimately help you decide. And to narrow your choice down, you’ll learn everything there is to know before making a decision.


If you’re truly looking for new and unique experiences, you’re spoiled for choice in Dubai.

The city boasts a lavish playground, from its desert to urban landscape. Dubai is also known for its futuristic architecture, exciting nightlife, and world-class beaches.

Not to mention, you have plenty of opportunities to recharge and rejuvenate in the city’s open spaces.

It may not be green parks you’ll see, but the Sahara desert has a charm on equal footing as a nature park.

That’s not all.

Did you know Dubai is also often attributed as a paradise for photographers? The urban landscapes are truly one of a kind in Dubai.

Consider yourself more of an outdoor person that prefers spending time in nature? Well, even a nature lover would be impressed.

The skyscrapers are record-breaking. And so are its skylines, mosques, museums, and state-of-the-art buildings. Even if you’re not a city person, it’s easy to fall in love with these man-made feats.

What’s more, Dubai is an excellent place to spend a vacation as a family, couple, and even solo. Dubai ranks as one of the safest cities in the world, making it safe to travel even for solo female travelers.

If you’re traveling on your honeymoon, Dubai is home to a wide array of fine dining establishments. This includes hotels, restaurants, and waterfront destinations perfect for a private honeymoon getaway.

Lastly, Dubai has plenty to offer families traveling with kids too. Ski Dubai is one of the most popular, along with Aquaventure Waterpark. And of course, who could ever miss out on Legoland Dubai?

Over the years, Dubai has grown phenomenally. Even its cultural, arts, and theater scene are rapidly growing.

If you want unique experiences, iconic attractions, and a world-class vacation spot, Dubai is a must-visit. But before you hop onto any travel booking sites, read the sections below for more details.

What Makes Dubai Unique?

Gorgeous Spots for Unwinding, Taking a Break, and Recharging in Peace

Dubai is home to a vast selection of gorgeous spots for taking a break. In fact, many decades ago, Dubai was mostly just sand.

And to this day, the Arabian Desert still stands as one of the most enchanting places to be. Gorgeous sunsets, camel encounters, and a beautiful orange-red landscape all make up the Arabian Desert.

You have plenty of opportunities if you’re craving a more adventurous day in the sand. However, those who want a peaceful time above all can choose to go camping or do a camel safari.

Camping in the desert is a unique experience, wouldn’t you agree? And a camel safari isn’t something you get to experience just about anywhere too.

From there, make your way to Dubai’s waterfront communities. There are four breathtaking waterfront spots perfect for spending the day:

  • Dubai Marina
  • Dubai Water Canal
  • The Palm Jumeirah
  • Dubai Creek Harbor

Among all four options, The Palm Jumeirah deserves special recognition. After all, it’s also known as the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Plus, it’s a man-made island that forms the shape of a palm tree. On a helicopter ride, seeing the Palm Jumeirah from above is absolutely stunning.

Aside from spending the day at any of these waterfront communities, you can also book the night here. Hotels and resorts in these areas are expensive, no doubt.

That said, a peaceful stroll or even just hanging by a café in the area is a blissful experience in itself. Alternatively, you can also dine alfresco style at any of these waterfront spots for an unforgettable Dubai experience.

Now if you’re thinking Dubai only has waterfront communities and deserts to keep you recharged, think again.

For the general visitor, one may not even be aware that Dubai has several parks. Plus, a lot of places to unwind where you don’t have to break the bank.

About an hour away from the city sits Al Qudra Lake. The vibes here are peaceful and full of serenity. If you want to catch wildlife while spending a day in solitude, visit the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary.

There’s also the Miracle Garden for nature lovers and Al Mamzar beach for sunseekers. Other amazing beaches in Dubai include Kite Beach, Jumeirah Public Beach, and Black Palace Beach.

Lastly, for those that want to reconnect with nature, recharge at any of these parks around the city:

  • Burj Park
  • Safa Park
  • Zabeel Park
  • Mushrif Park
  • Al Ittihad Park

Contrary to popular belief, there are more than 15 parks around Dubai. So if you’re ever in need of green spaces to take a break, you don’t have to worry about where to find one in the city.

Nightlife That Never Sleeps

For any vacationer that enjoys a good party, Dubai is full of nightlife experiences open daily and every week.

Safe to say, Dubai has no day offs when it comes to partying, jamming to great music, or hitting a club. Even better, you have varying options to choose from.

Cirque Le Soir, White Dubai, and Blue Marlin are the most raved about. In fact, these are considered household names already in the city.

That said, those aren’t the only unmissable nightlife experiences you’re limited to. For more partying and unforgettable nights, check out any of these topnotch bars in Dubai:

  • Coda
  • Boudoir
  • BLU Club
  • Stereo Arcade
  • Soho Garden Palm Jumeirah

Barasti also deserves a special mention, combining the best of both worlds for relaxed and serious partying.

The ground floor of Barasti offers live music catered to guests that simply want a laid-back nightlife. The other floor offers eccentric music perfect for serious partiers that want to dance the night away.

The best part about partying in Barasti is the amazing views of the Persian Gulf and Dubai skyline. With a view this grand, there’s no denying you’ll have a great time partying here. Take note that Barasti is a beach bar so you can come in your most comfortable beach attire.

If partying hard isn’t the kind of nightlife you’re after, that’s absolutely fine. Because Dubai also has a lot of mellow and soft nightlife experiences, from romantic walks to sea cruises.

Want a long romantic walk that boasts impressive ocean views? Head to the Dubai Marina at night. Around the area, you’ll also find dozens of cafes and restaurants.

For a more private nightlife experience, you can rent and hop on a yacht for a peaceful cruise.

Speaking of private nightlife experiences, how does dinner at the top of the world sound? At.mosphere is exactly the place to experience that.

Hailed as the highest-situated restaurant in the world, there’s no better place for a special occasion. Even then, the restaurant’s setting is perfect for some afternoon tea or morning coffee session. Above all, the world-class cuisine, elegant interiors, and impressive views make it truly one of a kind.

Alternatively, you can also dine at Buhayra Lounge, which is just as classy and luxurious. The restaurant boasts poolside dining and a private tent so you can enjoy your meals in peace.

Can’t decide what you should do in Dubai at night? Take a stroll at JBR The Walk. Here, you’ll find boutiques, restaurants, cafes, and even a beach.

It’s the perfect place to visit at night if you want to do something spontaneous.

Extravagant and Unlimited Shopping Opportunities

Why is Dubai worth visiting? For anyone in need of retail therapy, the city is a paradise for shoppers. Even better, tax-free shopping.

And what’s more, you can find everything in Dubai. That includes budget items and goods to luxury brands that even cities like New York can’t compete with.

Dubai is well-known for its overflowing choices of every conceivable global brand. But also, the city is home to the largest mall in the world: the Dubai Mall.

The shopping mall measures 1,114,836.5 square meters (12 million square feet). That’s at least 50 soccer fields combined.

So, what does that mean for shopaholics?

Literally, you can shop till you drop just spending the day alone in the Dubai Mall. With so many options though, it’s hard to say you could even finish exploring the entire mall in just a day.

Aside from Dubai Mall, there’s also the Mall of Emirates which is an architectural wonder. The mall is home to over 700+ stores and is also hailed as one of the most iconic places to shop in Dubai.

But if you’re looking for price steals and inexpensive deals, two shopping malls often come to mind. And that’s the Dubai Outlet Mall and The Outlet Village.

Wafi Mall and Global Village also sell luxury brands and affordable goods perfect for every budget.

Now if you’re looking for pre-owned luxury products like Chanel, there’s one place you can trust. Garderobe, located on Jumeirah Beach Road, sells pre-owned luxury goods. Some of the brands you’ll find here include Alexander McQueen, Celine, and Chanel.

Other great shopping malls to check out in Dubai include:

  • City Walk
  • Souk Al-Bahar
  • Deira City Center
  • City Centre Midrif
  • Mercato Shopping Mall

Vast Choices of Entertainment for the Whole Family

On the surface, Dubai might just seem like a city of opulence. But you’d be surprised that it’s also a fantastic place for a family holiday.

Enter Legoland Dubai.

If you’re bringing toddlers and young kids, this is a dream come true. The amusement park boasts water slides, arcade rooms, and a lot of games to keep your kids entertained.

There’s also Ski Dubai, located in the Mall of Emirates. Although it’s a man-made slope, indoor skiing is a great activity you can spend the afternoon with as a family.

If you’re traveling with older teens, you can opt for a desert safari, buggy rides, and desert dune surfing.

Jumeirah Beach Park is perfect if you want to spend the whole day under the sun. There’s a children’s play area here, along with food kiosks, restaurants, and facilities for recreational activities.

Plus, you can also visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, located in Dubai Mall. Not to mention, Dubai’s aquarium boasts the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world. This also includes 300+ rays and sharks and more than 140 species of aquatic animals.

Overall, Dubai promises a wealth of attractions that cater to young adults, kids, and even seniors. It’s not just deserts, shopping malls, and luxury you’ll find here.

So if you’re thinking of visiting Dubai with the family, there’s no doubt you’ll have an amazing time.

New York

Voted as the best city in the world, how does New York stack against Dubai? There’s no doubt New York has plenty to offer.

The city is sprawling with nonstop entertainment, and more than 100 billionaires call New York their home.

And of course, New York is without question one of the best places for exploring its quintessential food scene. Nature lovers can also spend days – if not weeks – touring and enjoying Central Park.

Sports and active travelers will also enjoy the New York City Marathon. And broadway fanatics can easily find an opera house, catch a theater show, or witness a live performance worth snapping memories of.

Safe to say, one can easily fall in love with this city. But at the end of the day, it’s not so much about why New York is worth visiting.

There are countless reasons that make it one of the best cities to visit. What really matters is whether it fits your vacation preferences.

And on that note, the next sections discuss all that in greater detail.

What Makes New York Unique?

An Explosive Food Scene

Whatever the cons of New York, there’s no denying it excels in offering one of the best food scenes in the world. Plus, it has exceptional food quality and variety. Just as how iconic the Statue of Liberty is in New York, so is its food scene.

Diversity thrives in New York’s DNA, and you’re bound to find a tempting treat at every turn. There are endless options all around the Big Apple, but don’t limit yourself to places like Times Square. Or even Central Park. While these are all hotspots to grab a bite, you’re seriously missing out if that’s where you spend half the time.

New York has steakhouses, taco trucks, pizza joints, Asian eateries, and everything imaginable.

If you want dim sum, Peking duck, and $2 dumplings, head to Chinatown. For modern Vietnamese cuisine, visit the Bushwick neighborhood.

The neighborhood of Flushings is famous if you’re craving new food experiences. Here, you’ll find a lot of establishments specializing in Korean, Uyghur, Vietnamese, and Taiwanese cuisine.

For the best bang for your buck and the most affordable eats in the city, Hell’s Kitchen bags the #1 spot. This neighborhood is king when it comes to affordable cuisines and 24-hour eateries.

Want upscale and gourmet food? Upper West Wide or Upper Manhattan would be your best bet. That said, West Village is the priciest but also the most picturesque food scene to explore.

Lastly, New York’s café scene is scattered all throughout the city. It’s inevitable you’d find at least 15 cafes just by strolling around a single neighborhood.

And don’t worry, you’ll find plenty of cozy cafes perfect for reading a book. That includes trendy cafes perfect to post on social media or third-wave options for a perfect cup of joe.

Seriously, if you visited New York for the food, that would be enough. But there’s more to the Big Apple than just chowing down on great eats, like…

The Broadway, Arts, and Cultural Scene

Here’s another stellar quality about New York: Broadway Theater. For any theater nerd, this is a city worth staying for. Not to mention, the city’s downstage scene is famous for groundbreaking pieces and live shows.

However, Broadway Theater is just the beginning of boundary-breaking performances to come.

Lincoln Center showcases musicals, intimate shows, and several major dramas. If you want to see up-and-coming talents, visit the theaters in Midtown Manhattan.

Delacorte Theater offers outstanding Shakespeare performances. Fourth Arts Block in East Village is famous for its legendary LaMaMa production. And Upright Citizen Brigade is popular for its sketch comedy and improv.

For more inspiration, visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art – the city’s grand jewel of artistic displays. There’s also the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and dozens more.

In fact, did you know New York has more than 35 museums? So, you have endless options if you’re after a day to spend in solitude or simply want to admire countless pieces of art.

Bountiful Green Spaces

Make no mistake, New York is home to the highest number of skyscrapers in the US. Overall, the Big Apple, also known as Empire City, has 274 skyscrapers and counting.

But even with all the architecture you can marvel at, it’s not without its green spaces. And believe it or not, Central Park isn’t the only green belt for nature lovers to admire.

Did you know that Pelham Bay Park is 3x the size of Central Park? It has plenty more green, riding trails, and even waterside golf courses.

Staten Island also has a state forest and a state park full of hiking trails serenity seekers will instantly love.

The best part of all of this? New York has over 1,700 parks spread throughout the city and specifically within its five boroughs.

So if basking in the sun matters to you most during your vacation, you’re spoiled for options. Prospect Park, Bryant Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park are just as impressive picks as Central Park.

But if you want to go on a full-on nature park excursion, here are several to visit apart from those mentioned:

  • The High Line
  • Fort Greene Park
  • Hudson River Park
  • Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Easily, New York isn’t just a hub for entertainment, theater, food, and arts. It’s also a nature park oasis that nature lovers, sunseekers, and anyone in need of private downtime will love about the Big Apple.

Incredible Diversity and Unlimited Itinerary Options

New York is a melting pot of attractions and things to do. The Big Apple caters to all travelers, and it’s no wonder it also hails as the #1 city in the US.

Being a global capital, families won’t run out of things to do here. The same goes for sports fans, nature lovers, solitude seekers, and outdoor junkies.

On that note, creating a list of things to do for your vacation in New York is a no-brainer. You can spend your entire vacation exploring the five boroughs of New York.

This will allow you to experience the city’s arts, creativity, food, culture, nature, and nightlife scene. Alternatively, you can tour New York at your own pace and spontaneously discover new experiences.

It’s also worth mentioning that New York has a well-connected subway system. This means you can explore other cities easily and conveniently.

Want to include day trips and weekend getaways in your New York itinerary? You can visit Beacon if you want a change of pace and a break from the busy city life. Kingston is also a great option if you’re looking for a small-town feel.

For nature lovers and avid hikers, spending the weekend in Mohonk Preserve is absolute bliss. Kerhonskon also has spectacular nature spots, along with several beautiful lakes and forests.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to your vacation in New York. The city is full of hidden gems sure to make your trip worth it, especially if you’re in the mood to splurge.

Is Dubai Better Than New York?

Dubai is better than New York when it comes to shopping opportunities. New York is better when it comes to entertainment, attractions, and things to do.

Whether it’s catching a broadway show, visiting a museum, or sightseeing, New York really has it all. You’ll never run out of things to do in the Big Apple, so you’ll never feel bored throughout your trip.

That said, both Dubai and New York are fantastic places for nightlife. And while New York has 200+ skyscrapers, Dubai’s architecture is more worth marveling at.

Plus, Dubai has waterfront communities and deserts perfect for a romantic holiday. Or even better, if you’re craving a vacation that doesn’t involve a lot of noise and crowds. On the topic of safety, Dubai is also very safe.

At the end of the day, both cities have a lot to offer tourists.

But if you’d rather spend your vacation in peace and away from the noise and crowds, Dubai is the better pick. Not to mention, Dubai offers unique and new experiences that New York can’t compete with.

Granted, New York has all sorts of things to do. However, doing a desert safari, exploring the Arabian desert, and trying a camel safari are experiences only Dubai has.

Now, what if you don’t mind the noise and the hustle and bustle of a busy sidewalk and city? New York may be a great option then.

The Big Apple offers vast diversified experiences. Entertainment-wise, you’ll always have something to do. The same goes for tourists who enjoy taking day trips for a change of pace.

Even if you wanted to go as far as Coney Island or Far Rockaway, you can simply take the subway. What’s more, there are countless neighborhoods to explore around the city too. And every neighborhood offers its own unique attractions.


Is Dubai More Beautiful Than New York?

Dubai is more beautiful than New York if you’re referring to man-made beauty. One could even say that Dubai is an artificial oasis.

The Burj Khalifa, Dubai Water Creek, Palm Jumeirah, and Atlantis Hotel are all great examples. These structures will leave you in awe the minute you see them, and the magnitude of their beauty is beyond inspiring.

However, New York is more beautiful than Dubai in terms of greenery. Plus, New York has a lot of attractions and skyscrapers that are just as beautiful.

Walking around the streets of New York is perhaps one of the best things to do while living in the city. Times Square is a fun place to be at any time of the day. There’s also the Brooklyn Bridge for a great morning or evening stroll.

Central Park is another beautiful landscape to spend the entire afternoon in. And if you’re willing to make the drive, Tivoli Bays, Fire Island, and Orient are enchanting places to escape.

Is Dubai Richer Than New York?

In a recent study, Dubai outpaced New York, Singapore, and Paris in foreign investments. These are some of the wealthiest countries in the world, and Dubai also ranks as the wealthiest in the Middle East.

Dubai is also a hub for trade and commerce. Plus, the city holds 4% of the United Arab Emirates’ oil and gas reserves.

That said, according to Virtual Capitalist, New York ranks as the wealthiest city in the world. It’s also considered the financial heart of the US. Plus, it’s home to a lot of Fortune 500 companies, along with about 345,000 millionaires and 107 billionaires.

If you look at the GDP of both cities, Dubai’s is recorded at 503 billion. Whereas New York’s is at 1.59 trillion.

Although Dubai is considered to be the wealthiest in the Middle East, New York is still richer.

Dubai vs. New York Skyline

Dubai’s skyline is impressive, and not solely because of its skyscrapers. There’s no question that Dubai’s innovation with regard to architecture is A+.

Man-made feats are found all over this city, and it’s no wonder Dubai is also hailed as a photographer’s dream.

From Burj Khalifa, the views are impressive and truly a man-made marvel.

New York’s skyline is great, too, but is not as innovative or creative as Dubai’s. Compared to Dubai, New York also has older buildings that haven’t been maintained as well.

Between the two, Dubai’s skyline is more beautiful. From mosques and buildings to museums, these are impressive architectural feats any traveler would fall in love with.

Dubai to New York Distance

From Dubai to New York, the total distance is 6,853 miles or 11,028 kilometers.

Dubai to New York Flight Distance

The flight distance between Dubai and New York is 5,937 nautical miles or 11,000 kilometers. This is assuming a straight-line distance as well. Overall, the average flight from Dubai to New York takes about 14 hours and 25 minutes.