7 Day Itinerary Dubai – Places to Visit in 7 Days
- 1 7 Day Itinerary Dubai – Places to Visit in 7 Days
- 2 Travel Tips for a Week in Dubai
- 3 Itineraries for Each Day
Some people might be surprised to hear that you can easily spend 7 days in Dubai without getting bored. After all, there are only skyscrapers and malls, right?
Well, as a regular Dubai visitor who has spent a lot of time in Dubai, I could not disagree more. Dubai has so much to offer and most people just do not realize that you can easily fill 7 days, or even more, in Dubai with fun activities and places to see.
Seriously, if you are open-minded and give Dubai a chance, you will quickly realize that malls and skyscrapers are just a small part of their charm.
If you plan a trip to Dubai and are wondering how to spend your week, this itinerary will help you to make the best of your time and see what others probably do not see.
Travel Tips for a Week in Dubai
How to Get Around in 7 days in Dubai
If you are in Dubai for one week, you could actually rent a car. But you should know that driving there, from my perspective, is a bit crazy. You should have nerves of steel if you decide to drive, particularly around Downtown Dubai.
I recommend getting a NOL card for the 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). Plus, it is valid for several years, so you can use it for your next Dubai trip. A ticket costs a bit more than 1€ with the NOL card (about 1.6€ without).
However, when it comes to public transportation, I am a bit skeptical because a) the metro stations do not have enough stops, so each stop is rather far from the last, and b) the buses are not always well connected for us travelers, so it is not easy to get from one popular station to another.
I mostly take the metro for long distances (especially downtown, where there is a lot of traffic and getting around by cab can mean that you are stuck in a taxi forever) and then jump into a taxi for the shorter rides, if there is no direct connection.
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). They will not stop at each stop, so I only used them as a means of transportation once in a while, as I had a 7-day pass.
The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B.
Accommodations in Dubai
Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap but the standard is quite high.
You can check out rates for accommodations in Dubai here, and if you are looking for my personal recommendations for all budgets and areas click here.
Okay, enough talking. Here are my ideas for Dubai in 7 days – a perfect one-week itinerary:
Itineraries for Each Day
Day 1 in Dubai
Spend your whole day and evening at La Mer
Whether you arrive in the morning, evening, or afternoon, my recommendation is to head to La Mer first.
La Mer just opened recently and will probably become one of the hotspots in Dubai in 2018 and after. The area is located in the Jumeirah area. It is on the beach with a lot of retails stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bath houses, and friendly and fun street art – and, of course, the beach!
It is a great way to get adjusted to Dubai. While you enjoy the nice views of Burj Khalifa, one of the main attractions of Dubai, you can take it easy the first day and hold off on getting into the crazy parts of Dubai.
This place is perfect to spend a full day (there are free, and very stylish, showers, clean toilets, and you can either bring your own towels or you can book some sun beds and umbrellas).
There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something to your tastes. To see some amazing street art, walk along the rail stores and bring your camera.
As beautiful as La Mer is in the daytime, it gets even better in the evening! So before leaving too early, make sure to top your day off at La Mer.
There will be many locals and expats coming, as it is not a hot spots for tourists yet, and there will be plenty of options for dining. Watching the sunset from here is a beautiful way to enjoy your first day in Dubai (and always Burj Khalifa in the background).
How to get here: I admit, I am not the biggest fan of the public transportation in Dubai. The bus connection is not great yet, so taking a taxi will probably be the best way to get here. (P.S. If you have a City Sightseeing hop-on and hop-off ticket, you can get off at Jumeirah Mosque and only have to walk two minutes to arrive at La Mer.)
Day 2 in Dubai
After your first slow day in Dubai, it is time to dive into the craziest part of Dubai – Downtown Dubai.
Spend your Day and Evening in Dubai Downtown
You can start your day in Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world. It has its own aquarium, ice skating rink, etc.
For the fanciest public restrooms and great photo opportunities, head to the Fashion Avenue area (#IHaveaThingWithToilets 🙂 . This posh place will probably overwhelm you and give you a good glimpse of the luxury in Dubai.
You´ll find cheaper lunch options in the food court, but outside of the mall, you also have great restaurants that offer fine dining.
Even though, Dubai Mall is big it is still busy – especially on a Friday (Friday is the Sunday in the Islamic world but shops are still open).
Afterwards, it is time to head to Burj Khalifa, which is just next to Dubai Mall. If you are not scared of heights, there is an option to get to the “top of Burj Khalifa” and either visit level 124+125, or level 148.
Get your tickets in advance. If you want to buy your tickets at the ticket counter you will have to wait endlessly (seriously, it is quite annoying).
The lines get crazy there and you need to plan for the time spent waiting in line. If you want to get tickets for level 148, you can skip the lines.
The prices depend on the time of your visit and the level access you buy.
For a more romantic time, you can also book a ticket to see the sunset, or just head there around 4pm and then stay a little longer.
This might take several hours, so if you actually visit the top of Burj Khalifa, you should probably go outside the mall (before you go up) so you can take pictures of Burj Khalifa during in the daylight.
The front of the Dubai Fountain (you will see signs in the malls that lead you to the correct exit) is one of the most popular places to takes photos.
By the way, this spot is also the perfect place to end your day.
After 6pm, the famous dancing water show goes on (each show takes a few minutes, and it happens every half hour), and I tell you, it gets crazy there. Unless you visit in the summer, this place will be one of the busiest in Dubai.
If your second day is on a Friday, I recommend avoiding this place! Dubai Mall is nuts on a Friday, and it gets so crowded that it is can be hard to walk – even after 9pm (shops are open until 11pm).
For cheap dining options, head to the Dubai Food Mall. For dining with a view, visit one of the numerous restaurants close by (ideally with a view of the fountain, like the Mediterreano of Armani Hotel, but make sure you reserve a table beforehand).
If you do not get to the top of Burj Khalifa, I recommend squeezing in a desert safari on this day. Desert trips, including a ride on a 4×4 and a BBQ in the desert, are definitely one of the best things to do in Dubai. It is so magical and dreamy, and adventurous, that you would regret it if you did not do one.
If you plan to get to Burj Khalifa, then it might be difficult to schedule the desert safari on the same day (and you would miss out on the fountain shows, so make sure to add that on day 3, 5, 6, or 7).
How to get to Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa/ Dubai Fountain: There is a metro station (Dubai Mall station) and many buses that go there.
Day 3 in Dubai
The third day is all about “traditional” Dubai and some more amazing views.
Spend your Day in the Old Part of Dubai and Zabeel Park + Dubai Frame
But before you do, you could start your day with a visit to one of the newest attractions in Dubai, which is Dubai Frame. It is located in Zabeel Park, one of the biggest and lushest parks in Dubai.
There are some cool views from there of Burj Khalifa, and you can walk on see-through glass 100 meters from the ground. It opens at 9am (though when I visited, they did not have tickets until 9:20 and it seems they are still not well organized; so probably get there shortly after 9am, so you still have the view and glass floor almost all to yourself).
If you get up there and take a walk, you will probably need one hour.
Ticket prices: about 12€, you can buy your ticket right at the ticket counter there.
If you need to rest, you could chill at Zabeel Park. If you are visiting with kids, they will love this break, as there are some playgrounds (entrance fee is about 1.20€).
Gold and Spice Souks
Afterwards, jump into a taxi and get to Gold Souk of Dubai.
The Gold and Spice Souks are fun places to visit and, in my opinion, must-see spots. If you are looking for places that have a more authentic touch, you will especially love it here (though the shop owners are mostly from other Asian countries).
Souvenirs and Arabian clothes (and gold and spices) are much cheaper than in any other part of Dubai, so if you are hunting for souvenirs, make sure you do not buy them in one of the expensive malls.
To get from the Gold Souk to the Spice Souk, jump on one of the abras – the water taxis that cost only about 0.25€.
If you ask for the Spice Souk, people will direct you to the correct abra, and after a short ride, you will get to the other side of Dubai, passing the creek.
From there, you can take a ride on a dhow, which is a traditional wooden boat. For less than 15€, you can go on an hour cruise.
To end the day, I recommend visiting Al Seef.
Al Seef was just recently created and is a lovely new area with many restaurants – some in new modern style and others in the traditional Arabic style (though the quislings are new, too).
You will have plenty of options for dining, with nice views of Dubai Creek.
Extra tip: If you want to learn more about Dubai and its history, I recommend visiting Dubai Museum, which is an interesting, but often crowded, museum in Deira that illustrates the history of Dubai in an engaging way.
Day 4 in Dubai
Day 3 was all about traditional Dubai, so this day will be all about the new, modern side of Dubai.
Spend Your Day and Evening in Jumeirah
Wild Wadi Water Park or Jumeirah Beach
If you are into waterparks, you can head to Wild Wadi Waterpark.
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.
If not, you can buy tickets online (skip the lines). The tickets are not cheap, but kids in particular will love it. It would be easy to spend a full day there.
From the waterpark, you will have great views of the Burj al Arab, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai.
The food there is overpriced and not that great, but it is a nice activity.
If you are looking for a cheaper option, go to Jumeirah Beach. It is an open beach with nice views of Burj al Arab and you can cool off there.
In the evening, I recommend visiting Madinat Jumeirah.
It is so pretty and picturesque there. You should plan for a few hours (if you dine there) to check out the area.
It has its own souk and a bunch of restaurants and cafes with a view of Burj al Arab (though quite pricey, I do believe it is worth it, as the view is not something that you can get just anywhere).
It is not far from 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 day.
Day 5 in Dubai
Plan in a day trip to Abu Dhabi.
Spend a Day in Abu Dhabi
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is definitely a beautiful place and worth more than a one-day trip, but since Dubai also has a lot to offer, one day should be enough to see the most important places in Abu Dhabi.
You can read more about a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi here and which sights you should visit.
Day 6 in Dubai
The United Arab Emirates have some great places – Dubai is only one of them.
Spend Your Day in Another Part of the UAE and do a Desert Safari
But there are many other places you should check out, too, so one of the things you can do is take another day trip to Oman (takes about 14 hours), Al Ain, Hatta, or Sharjah.
It depends on what you want to see and not all tours are offered throughout the year. Sometimes, you have to have at least four people to do a tour, so you can check out tours and activities here.
If you have a hop-on and hop-off ticket with Big Bus, you can do a half-day trip to Sharjah for free. I am in love with this city located just next to Dubai. If you are worried that Dubai might be busy for you and you would just like to come to Dubai for one or two days, Sharjah actually is an amazing alternative (but well, you can click here why I think this and what to do in Sharjah)
A desert safari is a must! Spending half a day in the desert, going on an adventurous 4×4 wheel drive, dining under the stars and star gazing is a like a dream coming true in the desert.
You have to fit it in your Dubai itinerary – whether you are there for 2 days, and especially if you are staying longer.
Day 7 in Dubai
The last day, but there is still plenty to do.
Spend your Day at JBR Walk (The Beach), do a Helicopter Tour and Visit Dubai Marina
JBR Walk – The Beach
If you would like to have a beach day, then head to JBR Walk and “The Beach”.
This area is extremely popular during the day (and in the evenings, too) and you have free beach access here. There are so many other things to do, including a ride on the newest attraction, the “Flying Cup,” where you have a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk).
It is a fun place for kids and adults alike, so it’s probably a nice way to soak in some Vitamin D before heading back home.
Helicopter Ride or Sky Dive in Dubai
If you are into something more adventurous, why not head to The Palm, which is actually quite close, and take a helicopter ride from the Atlantis Hotel?
This is definitely an amazing way to get great views of Dubai. Seeing Burj Khalifa, the Palm, Burj al Arab, etc. is something you will probably always cherish.
Other than that, the Palm is lovely for a nice bike ride, but I actually recommend heading to Dubai Marina. This area is full of skyscrapers and one of the best places to take in the awe-inspiring progress Dubai has made in the last few decades.
Most of the crazy skyscrapers can be found along the few kilometers stretch of Dubai Marina, and this is one of the best places to end your Dubai trip.
Stroll along, let your kids rent go-kart bicycles, and keep looking up to enjoy the grandiose views. For a special meal, you can book a dhow dinner, or you can eat in one of the numerous restaurants there.
Pier 7 has a handful of good restaurants that offer some of the best views of Dubai Maria.
For cheaper options, look for restaurants on the side streets or buy something from one of the supermarkets there and sit on the bench, enjoying the illuminated buildings.
Tip: For a very unique dinner, you can book a “Dinner in the Sky” experience – a very unique and fun way to enjoy dinner 50 meters up. It is located at the end of Dubai Marina (or the beginning?) so if you plan to do it, it would be best to schedule it when you are at the Marina.
What do you think? Does this sound like a boring week in Dubai? Personally, I think this Dubai one-week itinerary is so diverse and you´ll get to see so amen different sides of Dubai that you will not have time to get bored. On the other hand, you also get some rest and have some time to just chill and enjoy Dubai in a slower way.
I wish you a wonderful time in Dubai and am looking forward to hearing your feedback!