Are you planning your 5 days in Dubai itinerary and wondering about what to do? Organizing a trip to this city can seem overwhelming at first but this post helps you plan your 5-day Dubai itinerary.

Dubai, located in the United Arab Emirates, epitomizes luxury and innovation. From deserts to beaches, from skyscrapers to gardens, from adventurous activities to a relaxing day at the pool with a view – you could spend weeks there and do all the top things, but with just 5 days, you need to prioritize what to see.

And here you will find a useful itinerary to help you plan your trip.

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Dubai itinerary for 5 days, Arzo Travels


  • Day 1:  Wild Wadi Waterpark or Jumeirah Beach/Kite Beach and Madinat Jumeirah
  • Day 2: Dubai Frame, Zabeel Park, Jumeirah Palm, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Fountain
  • Day 3: Gold and Spice Souk in Dubai Deira, La Mer Dubai, Desert Safari
  • Day 4: Day trips: Abu Dhabi, Miracle Garden, and Global Village or Theme Parks
  • Day 5: JBR – The Walk and Dubai Marina
  • How to get to Dubai & how to get around 
  • Where to stay
  • Best time to visit
  • More travel tips for your 5-day trip


Okay, let´s talk about places to visit in Dubai in 5 days.


Of course, the start of your Dubai trip also depends on what time you arrive, but I recommend starting your Dubai trip slowly.

Wild Wadi Waterpark or Jumeirah Beach/Kite Beach

Wild Wadi Waterpark, located in Dubai near the famous Burj Al Arab, is a popular outdoor water park with exciting rides and attractions.

It belongs to the Jumeirah Group and has some cool slides and fun water activities. As a guest of any Jumeirah hotel, you will have free access. 

Wild Wali park with kids in 5 days in Dubai
Kids, in particular, will love it here. You will have great views of the Burj al-Arab from the waterpark, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai. 

  • You could spend all day here, or less. I assume staying 4-5 hours is a minimum.
  • Buy tickets online (and skip the lines) but the tickets are not cheap. 
  • If you are looking for a cheaper option, go to Jumeirah Beach and enjoy some time at the beach.

Both, Kite Beach and some of Jumeirah Beach are free public beaches in Dubai. The beaches are a good alternative to the waterpark.

Why is Dubai better
Jumeirah Beach with Arzo Travels

Jumeirah Beach is lovely, with great views of the world´s most famous hotel – Burj al Arab. It is a public beach in Dubai and it is not overly crowded. Beaches in Dubai are spotlessly clean, safe, and fun. Normally, you can leave your stuff at the beach when you hop into the water. I felt safe enough to do so, but still, keep an eye on your things.

  • Hop-on and hop-off sightseeing companies stop here, but there are also regular bus stops (there is no metro stop nearby).
  • There is no entrance fee for these beaches
  • I recommend the beaches as a great alternative to Wild Wadi Waterpark.
  • A couple of hours should be enough before visiting a place close by.

So, either get to the water park or the beach and then just head to pretty Madinat Jumeirah afterward.

Madinat Jumeirah

Madinat Jumeirah is designed to resemble a traditional Arabian town, complete with meandering waterways and pathways, and lush gardens.

This area is so pretty and picturesque and a must-see to include on your 5-day Dubai itinerary. You should plan for a few hours – especially if you plan to have your dinner here. I recommend getting here while there is still daylight outside to see it during the day and night.

Instagramspots in Dubai
If you are a hotel guest at one of the Jumeirah hotels, you can take an abra (water taxi) for free. If you are not a hotel guest, you can buy a ticket for the abra and relax while seeing the area from the water.

Madinat Jumeirah has its own souk and many restaurants and cafes come with a view of Burj al Arab. They are quite pricey though, but I do believe it is worth it, as the view is not something that you can get just anywhere. It is not far from the public part of Jumeirah Beach (and just a stone’s throw from Wild Wadi), and though the area is not huge, it is the perfect place to end your first day here.

  • There is no entry fee for the souk, and it is a great free thing to do in Dubai.
  • I think, 2-4 hours for the area is enough + dinner time (restaurants in the area are a might more pricey than in some other parts of the city).


Here is what you can do on Day 2 in Dubai.

Dubai Frame & Zabeel Park

One of the newer attractions is the huge, golden Dubai Frame near Downtown (near = meaning 10 kilometers). 

It stands as a massive picture frame, offering panoramic views of the city’s old and new areas. This iconic structure, opened in January 2018, is 150 meters high and 93 meters wide and is considered the world’s largest picture frame.

Views from Dubai Frame - best photo locations

You will have great views of Burj Khalifa (where you will be heading later that day), and it gives a good overview of the city. Walking on the glass floor is a bit weird and can be scary (after all, it is 100 meters above the ground), but it is so different from the rest of our 5-day Dubai itinerary.

Though it probably isn’t the best place for people who are scared of heights.

  • Tickets are around 12€ and you can buy them at the ticket center. 
  • At 9 or 10 am, when it opens, it is not crowded, so you can enjoy the views and have the glass pathways almost to yourself. 
  • It will probably take 1-2 hours in total to see the Golden Frame and walk through it.

If you don’t believe that Dubai has meadows and greenery, then you have not been to Zabeel Park, where the Dubai Frame is located. This lovely park is a perfect place to recharge your batteries (literally, because you can charge your mobile with the chargers you will find there for free) and prepare yourself for the craziest part of the day.

  • Entry for Zabeel Park is about 1,20 €, and it is just next to Dubai Frame so you can do both attractions in the morning.
  • An hour or two should be enough to spend in Zabeel Park.

Jumeirah Palm

Alternatively you can spend the morning on Jumeirah Palm. It is an artificial archipelago and is renowned for its palm-tree-shaped design. 

The Palm Jumeirah is home to a mix of luxury residential and leisure facilities. It hosts a wide range of high-end hotels, including the famous Atlantis – The Palm, with its waterpark and aquarium, lavish residential villas, upscale apartments, and marinas.

The trunk of the palm is lined with apartment buildings, while the fronds are home to exclusive villas with private beaches.

Arzo Travels Dubai Palm from above

  • If you are interested in visiting an aquarium, you could visit the Lost Chambers at the Atlantis Hotel.
  • You could also do a boat tour or just stroll the area.
  • There are not many attractions on the island but if you walk along the promenade, you have great views of Dubai and also get to see some of the most luxurious hotels in Dubai.
  • I think a few hours on the Palm is enough.

Whether you decide on the Palm or Zabeel Park and the Frame, I suggest getting to Dubai Downtown after lunch at the latest. Here you will find some of the main attractions in Dubai.

Dubai Mall

Even if you aren’t into shopping, you should visit Dubai Mall at least once. It is located directly next to Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain, and it is out of this world. 

The Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest shopping centers by total area- with over 1,200 stores, you will have plenty of options for shopping here. But it is also home to the famous Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink; and the massive KidZania, an interactive children’s ‘edutainment’ center.

Dubai Mall at night
I have never bought a lot at Dubai Mall, but I like strolling it at least once or twice every time I am in Dubai. Fashion Avenue within Dubai Mall is extremely picturesque, and there are plenty of places to eat cheaply in the food court. Check out my Dubai Mall guide for more info.

Burj Khalifa

Afterward, it is time to head to Burj Khalifa, next to the Dubai Mall. If you are not scared of heights, there is an option to get to the “top of Burj Khalifa.”

With its staggering height of 828 meters (2,717 feet), Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. The building is a mixed-use development, housing the luxurious Armani Hotel, residential apartments, corporate offices, a gym, and a 122nd-floor restaurant (At.mosphere).

Some floors are open to the public, providing breathtaking panoramic views of Dubai.

7 days in Dubai - best vintage points

Get your tickets in advance. If you want to buy your tickets at the ticket counter, you will be waiting for an eternity (which isn’t so much fun). Even with an online ticket, you have to stand in line for a bit but not that much.

If you actually visit the Top of Burj Khalifa but want to see Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa from outside during daylight, you should probably check out the area before you get on the top. 

I would plan in between 3-5 hours for visiting Burj Khalifa. It takes some time to find the entrance (located within Dubai Mall) and lines can be long.

Dubai Fountain

Dubai Fountain is located just in front of the Dubai Mall and is a perfect place to end the evening. The Dubai Fountain, set on the 30-acre manmade Burj Khalifa Lake, is one of the main attractions in Dubai.  

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock

This fountain system shoots water jets as high as 150 meters (490 feet). The Dubai Fountain performs to a range of different songs from classical to contemporary Arabic and world music. During performances, the fountain is illuminated by 6,600 lights and 25 colored projectors, creating a visual spectacle.

The water show takes place several times a day, and at night, it is an amazing place to visit.  

If you are on a budget, you can dine in the mall, which has cheaper dining options. Or, if you don’t have to watch your budget closely, you can enjoy dinner at one of the restaurants with a terrace and a view of Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain.

  • It takes place daily from 6 PM to 11 PM – every 30 minutes
  • It only lasts for a few minutes.
  • The dancing water show is free and open-air.
  • Want to have an extra great view of the Dubai Fountain? Then click here to check out prices for an abra ride.

Dubai Downtown is also a nice place to stroll around at night, so after you are “done” with Dubai Fountain, Dubai Mall, and Burj Khalifa, don’t go straight back to your hotel.

Instead, plan in a few minutes or an hour to discover the area after sunset – I think, it is one of my best places in Dubai by night. It is quite beautiful and interesting to walk around – and absolutely safe, even as a solo female traveler in Dubai.


For day 3, I recommend waking up early because this will be a busy day. After all, some incredible Dubai highlights are waiting for you.

Gold and Spice Souk in Dubai Deira

The Gold and Spice Souks are fun, and in my opinion, must-see spots. It is a perfect place to see another side of Dubai. 

These souks are two of the city’s most famous traditional markets. The Gold Souk is renowned worldwide for its extensive collection of gold jewelry. The souk features over 300 retailers, predominantly selling gold, but also silver, diamonds, and other precious stones. 

Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or Dubai

Nearby, the Spice Souk offers a sensory experience of a different kind. This bustling market is filled with the rich aromas of various spices, herbs, and incense.

Souvenirs, rugs, and Arabian clothes (and gold and spices) are much cheaper than in any other part of Dubai, which makes it also a perfect place to shop if you’re on a budget.

The amount of gold you will see here is astonishing. But so are the spices. It surely takes half a day to discover the area.

Extra tip: If you want to learn more about Dubai and its history, I recommend visiting the Dubai Museum. It is an interesting – even (or especially) for kids – museum in the area that engagingly illustrates Dubai’s history. The entrance fee is just around 1€.

  • The souks are free to visit.
  • Food, drinks, and souvenirs are normally cheaper than in Dubai Downtown. So, this is the place to shop.
  • To get from the Gold and Spice Souk to the other side of Dubai, jump on one of the abras that only cost about 0.25€. 
  • From there, take a bus/taxi to the next attraction.

La Mer Dubai

La Mer is located in the Jumeirah area, but further away from Burj al-Arab than Kite or Jumeirah Beach. It is a fun beach section with many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, and friendly and fun street art. 

La Mer Beach Dubai - best places to visit in Dubai
Burj Khalifa is omnipresent, and from La Mer, you will have a lovely view – a beach with a view of the tallest building in the world!

There are free – and very stylish – showers, and clean toilets, and you can either bring your towels or book some sunbeds and umbrellas.

There are a lot of restaurants, so you will definitely find something to your taste. To see some amazing street art, walk along the rail stores and bring your camera.

There will be many locals and expats here, as it is not a hot spot for tourists yet. Watching the sunset from here is a beautiful way to end your day (and as always, with Burj Khalifa in the background), and thus, it is one of the best places to visit in Dubai.

How to get here: I admit, I am not the biggest fan of public transportation in Dubai. The bus connection is not great, though there is a bus stop close by, so taking a taxi will probably be the best way to get here.

  • The beach is free to visit. Quite some facilities are free, too. 
  • You could spend all day here, especially because it gets even better in the evening! So, you could end your day at La Mer with a nice dinner, or you can stay here for 2-3 hours and then consider this alternative – for your afternoon and evening – below.

Desert Safari

The Dubai Desert, encompassing a significant portion of the United Arab Emirates, offers an authentic desert experience, contrasting sharply with the city’s modern urban landscape.

A desert safari is so much fun and perfect for people of (almost) all ages. So, make sure to add a desert safari to your Dubai itinerary. 

Arzo Travels Abu Dhabi bestthings to do in Abu Dhabi Desert Safari
There are different tours available, but I recommend the 4×4 dune bashing adventure, including a BBQ in the desert. You dine under the stars, often with Arabian music in an Arabic-style “village.” Book a tour. You will not regret spending a few hours in the desert as it is one of the best places to visit in Dubai in 5 days.

These evening tours often start around 3 pm (you will get picked up from the hotel and be dropped off there again around 10 or 11 pm).

There are some morning tours available, too. Find out about the best tours here:

➡️ Click here to get the best prices for an evening safari – incl. BBQ, dune bashing, and more.

➡️ To find out more about a Morning Safari Tour click here


Different Ideas for Day 4

For the fourth day in Dubai, I have several ideas, and you – of course – pick the one you like the most.

Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates’ capital, blends opulent modernity with deep-rooted Arabian traditions. Famous for the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the city also boasts the Louvre Abu Dhabi, showcasing global art.

Its Corniche waterfront, luxury shopping, and entertainment at Yas Island complement the tranquil desert landscapes. Abu Dhabi represents a dynamic mix of cultural richness and contemporary luxury, offering a unique Middle Eastern experience.

A day trip to Abu Dhabi is a great idea.

Getting there from Dubai takes about 60-120 minutes. Though I recommend visiting Abu Dhabi for longer, one day is good enough to get an overview and see the main sights. 

Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi
You can rent a car and drive yourself – driving TO Abu Dhabi is quite easy most of the time. Though I have never driven myself, the streets and roads are not that busy, mostly just a straight shot.

You have much more flexibility if you drive yourself, but driving in Abu Dhabi is a bit more stressful, and parking at popular sights is not always easy. 

If you go there for one day, I recommend booking a tour instead. Tours are not that expensive, and you can enjoy the window views more.

Of course, you are stuck with the tour itinerary and don’t have much freedom. However, it is great for those who like to have a fixed itinerary and learn about the sights and places from a tour guide.

Places to see in Abu Dhabi in a day:

Day Trip Tours from Dubai to Abu Dhabi

Day Tour: Miracle Garden and Global Village

Alternatively, stay in Dubai and visit some more places there.

Dubai Miracle Garden is a unique flower garden located in the Dubailand district. This garden has earned the distinction of being the world’s largest natural flower garden, spanning over 72,000 square meters.

Miracle Garden is located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions. And it is only open in the winter months! You will see flowers – a lot of flowers, designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes – about 50 million flowers and 250 million plants.

Better place to visit in UAE

Afterward, head to Global Village, which is a cultural, entertainment, and shopping destination – offering an immersive experience of diverse cultures from around the world. 

It is close to the above-mentioned garden, and for about 5€, you have entry to a theme park with roller coasters and displays from many different countries in the world. Hence the name. 

Though the roller coasters cost extra, it is a fun place to visit for a day – especially in combination with Miracle Garden as they are close to each other. 

  • Miracle Garden is only open in the winter months (normally from the beginning of November until May)
  • Entry is about 12€
  • I suggest planning 2-5 hours for Miracle Garden

Theme Parks

Dubai is also home to several theme parks that probably would take a whole day. I have not visited any of them, but if you prefer a theme park over the above-mentioned ideas, you could check them out.

➡️ Find out more about the Motiongate Dubai

➡️ Find out more about LEGOLAND Dubai


Okay, JBR – The Walk and Dubai Marina are both fun places to visit during the day or night. Both should be on your list for the last day. Their proximity to each other makes them super convenient to visit in one day.

JBR – The Walk

Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is a waterfront community. This area offers a vibrant lifestyle with a mix of dining, shopping, and entertainment options, including outdoor markets and beach clubs.

The Walk at JBR is a popular destination, featuring an array of restaurants, boutiques, and outdoor activities. 

JBR is trendy during the day (and also in the evenings). For me, it wasn’t love at first sight, but when I visited again, I finally got what the fuss was about. 

JBR Walk - The Beach Dubai
You have free beach access here. You have street art. You have restaurants and cafes. You have stores. You have water sports activities and playgrounds. You have attractions like the Flying Cup (which offers beautiful views of the area from above). 

JBR is definitely fun and a perfect place for your last day in Dubai.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is an affluent residential neighborhood. This man-made marina is flanked by high-rise apartments, luxury yachts, and leisure facilities, offering a cosmopolitan and vibrant lifestyle.

Personally, my favorite city in the world is New York. I was blown away by the skyline. You see, I have a thing for skyscrapers, so it’s no surprise that this is one of my favorite neighborhoods. 

Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7
The density of skyscrapers is high here, and so are the prices for accommodations and dining. But it is still worth a visit.

Seeing the yacht club and strolling the area (beautifully illuminated by night) is now “typical“ Dubai to me, and if you have more than five days in Dubai, this is the must-see place.


After talking about your perfect 5 days in Dubai, here is some info for your trip, so you have a great experience.

How to Get to Dubai

Dubai has two international airports.

Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International). From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes drive (taxi) to get to the old town of Dubai and about 20 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa. However, Dubai is always busy and there is a lot of traffic, thus it might take (much) longer.

Abu Dhabi – Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the second biggest airport in the United Arab Emirates.

If you fly with Etihad Airways, you will most likely arrive in Abu Dhabi. It takes about 60-90 minutes to get to Dubai (about 50-70€ taxi fare).

How to Get Around Dubai

There are a couple of options on how to get around.


  • If you are in Dubai for five days, you could actually rent a car. But you should know that driving there, from my perspective, is a bit crazy.
  • There is traffic almost all the time (the streets are busy even at night), and the people drive fast, like to honk their horns, and are a bit impatient. You should have nerves of steel if you decide to drive, particularly around Downtown Dubai.
  • I do not recommend renting a car in Dubai. The only exception would be for day trips.


  • Public transportation in Dubai is not perfect. You can avoid the crazy traffic by taking the metro, which is great, but a) the metro stations do not have enough stops, so each stop is rather far from the last, b) the buses are not always well-connected for us travelers, so it is not easy to get from one popular station to another, and c) the metros can be stuffed with people.
  • I mostly take the metro for long distances (especially downtown, where there is a lot of traffic, and getting around by cab can mean being stuck in it forever) and then jump into a bus (rarely) or a taxi for the shorter rides if there is no direct connection.
  • If you stay in Dubai for a few days, I recommend getting an NOL card for public transportation. There is a one-time fee for it, but you can then recharge it; public transpiration fees are cheaper this way than if you buy single tickets each time. A ticket costs a bit more than 1€ with the NOL card (about 1.60€ without). 

Metro Station in Dubai


  • Hop-on and hop-off buses are a great way to get from one popular tourist attraction to another – at least for some places (the ones I tested).
  • There are two main sightseeing companies. They offer similar services, but one has a 5-day ticket, and the other offers 7-day tickets. The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B. 

Where to Stay in Dubai

Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standards are quite high. I suggest staying close to Dubai Downtown or Marina. If you are a beach person, pick a hotel close to JBR – Walk. However, these areas are also some of the most expensive ones. 

If you are looking for my personal recommendations for all budgets and areas, click here.

➡️ The Palm: only luxury hotels, best beaches in Dubai, very quiet and a bit remote if you stay at the end of the Palm. Check out this 5* Hotel and Resort: Atlantis Hotel – The Palm Dubai.

➡️ Dubai Marina: best place to stay if you prefer to be in a  lively part of Dubai, with the Marina close by, restaurants and cafes are numerous, but the hotels do not have direct beach access. However, you are quite close to several attractions. My favorite hotel in Marina. 5* Hotel: Grosvenor House in Dubai

➡️ JBR Walk: a lovely area with many restaurants and shops, most hotels have beach access, it is also close to Dubai Marina and Madinat Jumeirah. Check out the 4-star resort: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai.

➡️ Ibis Al Barsha: A nice 3-star budget hotel is Ibis Al Barsha (not perfectly located, but it offers good value for money and is still quite close to Dubai Marina.

Best Time to Visit Dubai

Choose wisely when you visit Dubai.

I recommend visiting during the winter months – from late October to early April. October was too hot for me personally already, but it depends on what kind of weather you prefer.

Summer is from May to September and it gets really hot. However, accommodation prices drop and crowds are gone. Check out my Dubai in the summer months for more info on the weather. 

Check also for the fasting time (Ramadan) because life is different during that time. Many activities cannot be done (also, alcohol is less available), because it is a holy period for Muslims.

More Travel Tips for Your 5-Day Dubai Trip

  • Dress code: The dress code is quite liberal for an Islamic country, but there is a dress code you should follow. Find out more about the dress code here.
  • Intimacy between couples is not welcome in public. Homosexuality is illegal in Dubai. 
  • Alcohol is served and sold but drunk people might quickly get in trouble.
  • Check out my guide with more things NOT to do in Dubai.


If you spend 5 days in Dubai, you get the chance to see a lot – of course not all, but I guess you get a good idea of the city. I hope this itinerary is helpful and you have the answers to your questions about how to spend your time in the city.

From a neutral perspective (and if I hadn’t visited Dubai before), I would have loved this itinerary. I truly believe it is a fun, busy, but not exhausting itinerary. Enjoy your time!

Dubai itinerary for 5 days in UAE, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo

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