Visiting Dubai soon but you don’t know where to start?
Fear not, let us help you with creating an itinerary that will suit your travel wishes and timeframe for Dubai.
Based on our own personal experience in Dubai, we have carefully crafted one day and multiple-day itineraries for visiting the city. These are just samples that we, ourselves followed. You can always change the itineraries or remove attractions that you don’t feel like seeing.
If you are traveling to Dubai, here are the easy sample one and multiple- day itineraries you can follow: DAY 1
If you have only one day in Dubai, then the most practical thing to do is to explore the downtown core of the city.
Fortunately, Dubai’s downtown is loaded with attractions that will keep you busy for a day or even more! It is the perfect destination for families because of the kid-friendly sites that are within walking distance of each other.
1. Go up the Burj Khalifa
We highly recommend this activity. Going up the tallest manmade structure in the world is an incredible experience! From up there, you can admire all of Dubai – the whole 360 degrees of it. As an added bonus, you can also see Sharjah – another Emirate in the distance!
Just remember that you need to purchase the ticket online well in advance, otherwise you might be disappointed.
Travel Tip: If you are planning to explore Downtown Dubai, then choose a hotel that is close to the Burj Khalifa. This will significantly cut your commuting time and make your itinerary in Dubai more efficient.
How to Get to the Burj Khalifa by Dubai Metro Train:
Go to the nearest Dubai Metro Station and catch a train that stops at the Dubai Mall Station, which on the Red Line.
From the Dubai Mall Station, you can walk through the covered, air-conditioned pathway that connects the station to Dubai Mall.
Dubai Mall is connected to the visitors’ entrance of the Burj Khalifa.
Ideally, booking a hotel in Downtown Dubai area gives you convenient access to the Burj Khalifa. However take note, that most hotels here are more expensive. If you are traveling on a budget, then we suggestbooking a hotel that is close to a Dubai Metro Station, and not necessarily directly beside the Burj Khalifa.
For example, during our trip to Dubai, we decided to stay at the One Ibis located in World Trade Centre neighbourhood.
The One Ibis is just a few minutes walk away from the World Trade Centre of Dubai. We felt comfortable, yet the price was significantly less than staying right near the Burj Khalifa. This station is only three stops away from Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Metro Station on the Red Line. This took us only 10 minutes on the Dubai Metro. Now, that is what we call convenient and affordable!
Have lunch at one of the hundreds of restaurants housed in the huge mall. For more affordable meals, head out to Dubai Mall’s very own food court. Other worthy attractions in Dubai Mall include the Human Waterfall Art Work, the Skating Rink, Kidzania, VR Park, and the Emirates 360 Experience. This is one of the coolest and most extensive malls in the world.
3. Visit Souk Al Bahar
Make your way to the outdoor grounds at Dubai Mall, and walk over the bridge that connects to Souk Al Bahar.
Souk Al Bahar features traditional Arabian architecture but also manages to look modern and luxurious. The covered market is equipped with its own shops and cafes. You can also go to the souk’s highest floor to capture a fantastic view of the Burj Khalifa.
The Dubai Fountain sits in the center of the manmade Burj Khalifa Lake, which looks like a massive blue swimming pool.
The show is considered to be the world’s largest choreographed fountain exhibition of its kind.
Although the Dubai Fountain Shows are also held in the afternoon, the show is best witnessed at night, with the lights and water providing the perfect contrast to the dark surroundings.
I’ve seen a couple of fountain shows during my travels, but the Dubai Fountain Show is the best and most elaborate I’ve seen so far.
Daily Afternoon Shows Except Fridays – 1:00 pm and 1:30 pm
Friday Afternoon Shows – 1:30 pm and 2:00 pm
Daily Evening Shows – 6:00 to 11:00 pm every 30 minutes.
Each fountain show lasts for about 5 minutes. It’s brief but it’s beautiful!
Travel Experience: If you happen to visit Dubai during December like us, you will also be treated to a Burj Khalifa Light Show. I would have never of guessed that they would have a Christmas- themed light show for the Burj, but they actually did, and it was so cool!
Remember: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain and Souk Al Bahar are all in the same complex and are located within a short walking distance from each other. They are all accessible by train, and the nearest Dubai Metro Station to them is the Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall Station.
Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a good first stop during the morning of your Day 2 Dubai trip itinerary.
The souk is a modern take on the traditional Arabic market. The main area with shops and restaurants is covered, with its interior designed with wooden beams, columns, and traditional glass-embellished lamps.
Dubai has more traditional souks to explore, but the best part about Souk Jumeirah is its outdoor area. If you walk out of the covered souk area, you will see a very well-designed outdoor space. Restaurants and cafes here have balconies overlooking an artificial canal network. From the balconies, you can get outstanding views of the famous Burj Al Arab, one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. This is arguably the best hotels to stay at in all of Dubai if you can afford it!
If you want to explore the charming canal network of Souk Madinat, you can easily get a ticket for a canal cruise on a traditional boat called an abra.
2. Spend time at the beach.
Being on the coast, Dubai has something that many landlocked Arabic cities envy – beaches. The beaches in Dubai make the city a more well-rounded destination.
After visiting Souk Madinat Jumeirah, you can easily take a taxi to one of the beaches along the Jumeirah coast. The closest one and one of the nicest is Sunset Beach.
Sunset Beach is only about 2.8 kilometers away from Madinat Jumeirah.
3. Drop by Mall of the Emirates.
From Sunset Beach, take a taxi and have lunch at the Mall of the Emirates, which is about 5 kilometers away. This mall is one of the most popular ones in Dubai, and home to Ski Dubai, an impressive indoor ski arena.
Dubai Marina is a stunning area that offers the best skyline view in Dubai. It is especially magnificent at night!
The marina is home to around 300 restaurants. You can have dinner there if you want or just walk around. From there, you can walk to JBR (Jumeirah Beach Residence), which has its own great collection of restaurants, cafes and hotels.
If you are already in the Dubai Marina area, then please consider going for a cruise. In our case, we took the night cruise, which travelled through the stunning Dubai Marina Canal, passing by iconic Dubai coastal landmarks like the Burj Al Arab and Dubai’s downtown skyline.
After the cruise has finished you can conveniently take the Metro back to your hotel.
Set a day to see the historic neighborhoods of Dubai. These neighborhoods are not as fancy and modern, but they provide you a different perspective and a whole new appreciation of Dubai’s humble beginnings.