ENJOY AN EPIC 7-DAY DUBAI ITINERARY
- 1 ENJOY AN EPIC 7-DAY DUBAI ITINERARY
- 2 7 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
- 3 DAY 1 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – LA MER
- 4 DAY 2 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – DOWNTOWN
- 5 DAY 3 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – OLD DUBAI
- 6 DAY 4 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – JUMEIRAH
- 7 DAY 5 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
- 8 DAY 6 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
- 9 DAY 7 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
- 10 PLACES TO VISIT IN ONE WEEK IN DUBAI +
- 11 TRAVEL TIPS FOR A WEEK IN DUBAI
- 12 FINAL THOUGHTS ON A 7-DAY TRIP TO DUBAI
If you plan a trip to this exciting city, you might be wondering about a great 7-day Dubai itinerary so you can see the best it has to offer. Most people do not realize that you can easily fill an itinerary for 7 days in Dubai, or even 14 days and more, with fun activities. So, this itinerary will take you to the main attractions of the city but you will also get to see some less busy places, too. If you stay longer than one week in Dubai, this post will also give you some more recommendations for the best day trips.
At the end of this post, you´ll also find many travel tips – including information on how to get around, where to stay, and many more travel tips for 7 days in Dubai.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.
7 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
Here are my ideas on how to spend one week in Dubai.
DAY 1 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – LA MER
Before getting to the busiest place in the city, start with some beach time. You will have enough hustle and bustle in 7 days in Dubai – so why not start slowly? After arriving and settling in, visit La Mer.
Dubai La Mer
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. With one week in Dubai, you can stay at La Mer for more than just 2-3 hours and I suggest staying here the rest of the day.La Mer has become one of the hotspots amongst locals and visitors and is located in the Jumeirah area. It has many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, 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, you can take it easy on the first day and hold off on getting into the crazy parts of Dubai. After all, you might still have jetlag or just be tired from your flight.
La Mer is fun in the daytime, but it gets even better in the evening! So before leaving too early, make sure to end your day at La Mer and spend time even after sunset.
TIPS FOR DAY 1 IN DUBAI
- You will find free and very stylish showers, clean toilets, and you can either bring your own towels or book some sunbeds and umbrellas.
- There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something for your tastes.
- A water park has opened – perfect for those who like to switch from a beach to a water park with pools.
HOW TO GET TO LA MER: I admit, I am not the biggest fan of public transportation in Dubai. The bus connection is not great yet, but you can get there via RTA Buses 9 and 88. Taking a taxi/uber is another way to get here. If you arrive there by car, you have free underground parking. 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.
OPENING HOURS/PRICES: La Mer is open every day, all day, and there is no entrance fee. The shops are normally open between 10 am to 10, 11 or 12 pm.
- Click here to read more about this fun part of Dubai.
DAY 2 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – DOWNTOWN
After your first slow day in Dubai, it is time to dive into the craziest part of Dubai – Downtown Dubai. This will probably be one of the busiest places during the one week in Dubai. There are several main attractions in Downtown – so, plan a full day for this area.
- DUBAI MALL
- BURJ KHALIFA
- DUBAI FOUNTAIN SHOW
You can start your day in Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world with more than 1,200 fashion, food & entertainment options. Dubai Mall has its own aquarium, ice skating rink, and much more!
- 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 you also have great restaurants that offer fine dining outside of the mall.
- Even though Dubai Mall is big, it gets crowded, especially in the evenings.
HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: You cannot miss Dubai Mall as it is located next to Burj Khalifa. And you cannot miss Burj Khalifa… Just because it is sooooo tall. You can get there by metro/bus. If you get off at “Dubai Mall Metro Station,” you can either take another bus that drops you off at the mall or you have to walk about one more kilometer from Dubai Mall Metro Station to get into Dubai Mall.
Dubai Mall is also a popular drop-off point for sightseeing buses.
The most convenient way to arrive at the mall is probably via taxi, though.
OPENING HOURS DUBAI MALL / PRICES: Dubai Mall is open from 10 am to 1 am, and restaurants and the food court are open to 2 am (!). There is no entrance fee for the mall itself, but you have to pay for the ice-skating rink and other activities.
Afterward, it is time to head to Burj Khalifa. If you are not scared of heights, you can get to the “top of Burj Khalifa” and either visit levels 124+125 or level 148.
Before you get to the top of Burj Khalifa, take pictures of Burj Khalifa during daylight. Explore the area around the skyscraper – it looks nice especially from outside Dubai Mall, next to Dubai Fountain.
- Get your tickets in advance. If you buy tickets online, you still have to queue but it will save you some time. The lines get crazy there, and you need to plan for the time spent waiting in line. If you do not buy tickets in advance, you might still be lucky and buy some at the ticket center.
- If you want to get tickets for level 148 (which come with access to levels 124 and 125, too), you can skip the lines.
- The ticket prices depend on the time of your visit and the level of access you buy.
- For a more romantic time, you can also book a ticket to see the sunset, or just head there around 4 pm and then stay a little longer.
- Visiting Burj Khalifa might take several hours (2-4 hours).
Click here to find out about the ticket prices for Burj Khalifa:
HOW TO GET TO BURJ KHALIFA: While you while seeing Burj Khalifa from everywhere, getting at the top is a bit more tricky. At least, that is how I felt. You have to go to Dubai Mall, and then you will see signs that leave you to “At the top of Burj Khalifa.” The ticket center/entrance is located in the Lower Ground Level of Dubai Mall. You cannot enter it from outside the mall as a regular guest.
OPENING HOURS/ TICKETS: “At the Top of Burj Khalifa” – opens around 10 am, and the last admission is at 9 or 10 pm (depending on the day).
After your time at “The Top” and a lot of time indoors, it is time to get out of Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and spend time in the fresh air. By the way, the Dubai Fountain spot is also the perfect place to end your day.
- From 6 pm, the famous dancing water show goes on. Each show takes a few minutes, and it happens every half hour.
- 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 can be hard to walk – even after 9 pm.
- The water dance is fun to watch and is free.
- You can also book an abra ride and enjoy the water show without all the crowds.
- There are some nice restaurants with a view of the fountain, like the Mediterraneo of Armani Hotel, but make sure you reserve a table beforehand.
WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW SCHEDULE / PRICES: Evening shows 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes
HOW TO GET TO DUBAI FOUNTAIN: There is a metro station (Dubai Mall station), and many buses go there. You could reach the fountain even without entering Dubai Mall (e.g., coming from Dubai Opera), but if you are at Dubai Mall, you will see signs that lead you to the fountain as well.
DAY 3 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – OLD DUBAI
The third day is all about “traditional” Dubai and some more amazing views. Today it is about:
- Dubai Frame
- Zabeel Park
- Gold and Spice Souk
- Al Seef
You could start your day with a visit to one of the newer attractions: Dubai Frame. It is located in Zabeel Park, one of the biggest and lushest parks in Dubai.
- There are some cool views of Burj Khalifa, and you can walk on see-through glass 100 meters from the ground.
- You can buy your ticket right at the ticket counter there or book a guided tour in advance.
- If you get up there and take a walk, you will probably need one hour.
- I recommend starting here around 9:30 or 10 am when the crowds are not there yet.
HOW TO GET TO THE FRAME: By metro: get out at the Al Jafiliya metro stop and then take a bus or walk for the last 2-3 km.
OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Open every day from 9:00 am to 09:00 pm. Tickets are around 12€ for adults.
If you need to rest, you could chill at Zabeel Park. The park is very neat, clean, and lush! If you visit with kids, they will love this break, as there are some playgrounds. It is also not crowded and thus a perfect place after the craziness of Dubai Downtown.
HOW TO GET TO ZABEEL PARK: There are several entrances. If you come from Dubai Frame, you will see an entrance close by.
OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: From Sunday to Wednesday from 8 am to 10 pm, from Thursdays to Saturdays and on public holidays from 8 am to 11 pm, and during Ramadan from noon to 11 pm. Ticket prices are about 1,20€ (payment via RTA-issued Nol Card), kids under the age of 2 do not have to pay.
Dubai Gold and Spice Souks
Afterward, jump into a taxi/bus and get to the Gold Souk of Dubai.The Gold and Spice Souks are fun places to visit. If you are looking for places with 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.
- From there, you can take a ride on a dhow, which is a traditional wooden boat. For less than 15€, you can go on a 1-hour cruise.
- You can also hop on abras – water taxis that cost only about 0,25€ for a short cruise.
- The Gold and Spice Souks are quite intense places – especially for female solo travelers. Staring and cat-calling are common. I suggest dressing moderately.
- However, even after all, I always felt safe and did not worry. It is just loud and hectic at times but not a place I would love strolling after sunset on my own.
HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD/SPICE SOUK: From Zabeel Park – ADCB Metro Station 1- you have to catch a metro and get to Burjuman, then change metro lines and get to Al Ras, and then you just have to walk for a few minutes.
You can also take a taxi/Uber or use the hop-on and hop-off sightseeing buses, which drop you off at the souks.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: It is free to visit the souks and you could visit at any time. However, most shops are open every day from around 9:30-10 am to 9:30 pm. On Fridays, the shops open after 4 pm and are open until around 9:30 pm.
EXTRA TIP: DUBAI MUSEUM – If you want to learn more about Dubai and its history, I recommend visiting Dubai Museum.
- It is an interesting but often crowded museum in Deira that illustrates Dubai’s history in an engaging way.
- Entrance fees are just about 1€, and it is probably the best museum in Dubai.
- From the souks, it is just an abra ride away.
Dubai Al Seef
To end the day, I recommend visiting Al Seef. Al Seef is a lovely new area with many restaurants. Some are in a new modern style and others in the traditional Arabic style (though the buildings are all new).
- You will have plenty of options for dining, with nice views of Dubai Creek.
- Also, there are all kinds of restaurants – from Arabic cuisine to Mediterranean or Asian food. Also, there are some quite fancy restaurants as well as more budget-friendly places to eat.
- Also, there is a Museum of Illusions, some street art, you can do some boat cruises and more.
HOW TO GET TO AL SEEF: From the Gold/Spice Souk, take the abra (water taxi) to get to the other side of Dubai Creek. Then you can walk for 10-15 minutes, and you are in Al Seef.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: There is no entrance fee for Al Seef itself. It is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight.
DAY 4 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – JUMEIRAH
Day 3 was all about traditional Dubai, so day 4 will focus on Dubai’s new, modern side.
Spend Your Day and Evening in the Jumeirah Area.
- Wild Wadi Waterpark
- Jumeirah Beach / Kite Beach
- Madinat Jumeirah
Wild Wadi Water Park
If you are into waterparks, you can/should head to Wild Wadi Waterpark, where you will find some cool slides and fun water activities.
- The water park belongs to the Jumeirah Group. As a guest of any Jumeirah hotel in Dubai, you will have free access (which actually was a reason for me to book a night at a Jumeirah hotel once).
- Ticket prices start from around 25€ for adults.
- It would be easy to spend a full day there.
- You will have great views of the Burj al-Arab from the waterpark, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai.
- The food there is overpriced and not that great – so bring your own snacks.
- You can read my full review here.
HOW TO GET TO WILD WADI WATERPARK: It is just right next to Burj al-Arab’s entrance (which is not open to the public, though). There is no metro station close by. The closest metro station is the “Mall of Emirates” – from there, take a taxi or bus to get there. Some buses stop close by (e.g., bus line 81).
OPENING HOURS: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.
If you are looking for a cheaper option to spend time in the water, go to Kite Beach – a beach with nice views of Burj al Arab, where you can cool off there.
- The beaches in Dubai are, in general, not very crowded (not to our European standard).
- The beaches are clean and safe.
- Always keep an eye on your valuables, but in general, I did not feel I have to watch my belongings like a paranoid (that I am sometimes).
- I am not a person who spends endless hours at the beach, but water rats can have a fun day here without breaking the bank.
- You can do all kinds of watersports – and rent equipment at the beach.
- Bring your own food and towels with you.
OPENING HOURS: The beach is open from Sunday to Wednesday, from 10 am to 12 midnight, and on Thursday to Saturday: 10 am to 1 am. Shops and entertainment are normally open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (restaurants might be open longer).
TICKETS: There is no entrance fee for the beach.
Dubai Madinat Jumeirah
In the afternoon/evening, I recommend visiting Madinat Jumeirah.
Madinat Jumeirah is so pretty and picturesque – you should plan for a few hours (if you dine there) to check out the area.
- It has its own souk and many restaurants and cafes with a view of Burj al Arab.
- You could also do an abra ride here (though they are way more expensive than in Dubai Deira, the Gold and Spice Souk area) and just get lost for a few hours.
- 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 day.
- It is free to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH: From Kite Beach to Madinat Jumeirah, you can take a bus. From Wild Wadi, it is shorter, and you could walk (about 2km) or take a bus. Sightseeing buses also stop here.
OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am. There is no entrance fee to visit Madinat Jumeirah.
DAY 5 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
Now, it is time to leave Dubai for a day and plan a day trip to Abu Dhabi (you can also stay overnight in Abu Dhabi).
- Abu Dhabi
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is definitely a beautiful place and worth more than a one-day trip. Still, since Dubai also has a lot to offer, one day should be enough to see the most important places in Abu Dhabi.
- It takes about 1-2 hours to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.
- You can do guided tours, rent a car and drive yourself, get there by taxi, or – quite complicated – by public transportation.
- The beautiful Grand Zayed Mosque is reason enough to visit Abu Dhabi, but there is more to see.
- You can read more about a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi here and which sights you should visit.
- While Dubai is fun and all that, Abu Dhabi is special. I enjoy Dubai more, but my sister, whom I recently took on a Dubai trip with me, liked Abu Dhabi better.
- If you are in the UAE for 14 days, I would stay in Abu Dhabi for three days.
- If you want to do a guided tour, book one of the best-rated day trip tours from Dubai. Click here to find out about prices for a day trip.
DAY 6 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
If you stay one week in Dubai, you have to do a desert tour.
- Dubai Desert
Dubai Desert Safari
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 stargazing is like a dream come true in the desert.Every time I did a desert adventure (and I did a few), it became a highlight of my Dubai trip. These memories will last a lifetime.
- There are several tours available – all fun and a bit different.
- I recommend doing one with a BBQ (btw: as a vegetarian, I was pleased to find out that there were enough vegetarian options).
- Normally, the tours – whether you do them in the morning or afternoon – take about 6-10 hours.
- Most of the tours will include pick-up service from your hotel.
- Click here to find the best prices for a desert safari tour
DAY 7 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
If you have one week in Dubai, this will be one great option to spend your day.
- JBR Walk (The Beach)
- Dubai Marina
JBR Walk – The Beach
If you would like to have a beach day, head to JBR Walk and “The Beach.” But there is more than just a beach – it is an experience!This area is popular during the day (and in the evenings, too), with many activities you can do. 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.
- There is no entrance fee for JBR – The Walk.
- You have free beach access here.
- Ride the “Flying Cup,” where you have a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk. With your Citysightseeing bus tour ticket, you also have a ticket included for Flying Cups – to enjoy great views of the beach and skyline. If you buy tickets separately, they cost about 15 € (adults).
- You can rent equipment for all kinds of water sports.
- It is also great to have good food – there are so many restaurants and cafes that you will be happy to have a wonderful lunch in a lovely place.
HOW TO GET TO JBR: Take the metro – JLT Metro Station or Dubai Marina Metro Station are the closest metro stations. From there, either walk or take the tram to get to JBR.
OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants usually close later.
I actually recommend heading to Dubai Marina for the afternoon/evening. It is one of the best places to visit in Dubai and should be on any Dubai itinerary. This area is full of skyscrapers and is 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 are along the few kilometers stretch of Dubai Marina, and this is one of the best places to end your Dubai trip. Stroll along Dubai Marina and keep looking up to enjoy the grandiose views. The truth is, I love this area and think it is a great place to end a Dubai trip!
- There is no entrance fee for Dubai Marina.
- Let your kids rent go-kart bicycles.
- 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 Marina.
- For cheaper options, look for restaurants on the side streets or buy something from one of the supermarkets and sit on the bench, enjoying the illuminated buildings.
- For a special dinner location, you can book a dhow dinner. You can do a few boat tours that you can check out:
- Find out about prices for a speedboat tour in Marina
- Find the best prices for a Marina sunset cruise, including dinner
HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MARINA: Take the metro – Dubai Marina Metro Station is the closest metro station.
OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants normally close later.
PLACES TO VISIT IN ONE WEEK IN DUBAI +
If you have more than one week in Dubai, I suggest visiting above mentioned places, and then here are a few more suggestions for the next few days.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Miracle Garden is quite Instafamous – the flower park located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions.
You will see flowers – a lot of flowers, designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes and designs. It is Dubai, so of course, it is the biggest flower park in the world.
- The tickets are about 12€.
- Seeing all pieces should take about two hours.
- However, it is only open in the winter months.
- Check out their website for more info.
Afterward, you could head to Global Village. You have a theme park with roller coasters and displays from many different countries in the world.
- The tickets are about 5€.
- Riding the roller coasters cost extra, but depending on how many rides you take, it is still a cheaper option than a theme park.
It is a fun place to visit for a day – especially in combination with Miracle Garden, as they are close to each other.
Dubai City Walk
Though I have not specifically mentioned it on your 7-day Dubai itinerary, I also strongly suggest visiting City Walk. This newly created area is perfect for strolls and shopping, but you will also find some murals and interesting details here.
- City Walk is also a great place for families because of its many child-friendly activities.
- It is also good for adults to visit the shops, restaurants, and murals.
- I enjoy it in the evening more (but that goes for almost all places in Dubai).
- In general, City Walks is a bit less crowded than other places.
Sharjah is the smallest emirate and is located right next to Dubai. And while Sharjah is so close to Dubai, it is totally different.Yes, you have a few skyscrapers, but Sharjah is much quieter, more relaxed, and very green and it is just a short drive from the old town of Dubai (about 15 minutes).
- Sharjah is way more conservative than Dubai in terms of dress codes.
- You are not allowed to drink alcohol.
- I still loved it and recommend it as a day trip from Dubai.
- Check out my more detailed guide about Sharjah
- Here is a guided tour from Dubai to Sharjah.
The Musandam Governorate is an Omani peninsula projecting into the Strait of Hormuz, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates. Its jagged coastline features fjordlike inlets and its waters are home to dolphins and other marine life.
So far, I have only made it to Oman for one day – visiting the Musandam Peninsula as a day trip from Dubai. And to be very honest, I have mixed feelings about it.
Somehow I totally enjoyed it – getting my very first glimpse of Oman was great. However, the water was not really clean. It was full of oil. Maybe there was an accident, or maybe the water is just dirty all the time. You do a boat cruise, have a lovely Arabic lunch on board, and can do some water sports.
So, if you are in Dubai for one week or a bit longer, you should book a day trip to Musandam. However, keep in mind that everything can get delayed, and you might arrive at the hotel quite late. So plan some relaxing activities for the day after, and do NOT book this activity on the day of your departure.
- It can take quite some time to arrive in Oman (it will take about 2 or 3 hours – one way)
- Check out my detailed post with more information.
- Check out the guided tour that I took for a day trip to Dubai.
Dubai is home to some fun theme parks, however, I haven’t visited any theme parks in Dubai. Since I know how popular they are, I have added them as suggestions:
Dubai Helicopter Ride
If you are into something more adventurous, why not take a helicopter ride? It is a perfect activity for those who would like to see Dubai – once again – from above, so add this to your itinerary.
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.
- I admit I did the shortest ride because prices aren’t low, but it was worth it, and I wish I had done a longer helicopter flight.
- If you would like to read my review of my helicopter tour, click here.
- Click here to find out about the prices for a helicopter ride in Dubai.
Dubai Dinner in the Sky
For a unique dinner, you can book a “Dinner in the Sky” experience – a very unique and fun way to enjoy dinner 50 meters up in the air.
- Dinner in the Sky – Dubai is located at the end of Dubai Marina (or the beginning?), so it would be best to schedule it when you are at the Marina if you plan to do it.
- It is not for the faint-hearted but after a few minutes in the sky, your feet hanging around, you will get used to it and can have a quiet relaxing lunch/afternoon tea/dinner.
- Read my full review here or check out prices for the Dinner in the Sky experience.
So, what do you think? Does this sound like a boring week in Dubai?
- READ MORE: Find 50 great ideas on what to do in Dubai
TRAVEL TIPS FOR A WEEK IN DUBAI
I think this Dubai one-week itinerary is very diverse, and you´ll get to see so many 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 chill and enjoy Dubai more slowly.
How to Get to Dubai
- Dubai has two airports: Al Maktoum International and Dubai International Airport. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International). From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes (taxi) to get to the old town of Dubai and about 20 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa. Don’t be surprised to be stuck in traffic even at night – Dubai is always busy.
- Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the second biggest airport in the United Arab Emirates. It is about an hour’s drive to Dubai (about 50-60€ taxi fare).
How to Get Around in 7 Days in Dubai
- Rent a Car: 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.
- Public Transportation: I recommend getting a 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. Plus, it is valid for several years so that 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.
- Sightseeing Buses: 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, but at most attractions, and 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 – e.g., the Flying Cup, which I will talk about later (and I even did two boat cruises that were included).
- During one of my other stays, I bought a five-day ticket from the other tour company – both have similar services and stops.
- Uber is available in Dubai. Prices are similar (it is not cheaper), and since we can trust taxi drivers in Dubai, I do not see a real reason to use Uber.
- Using a taxi in Dubai is great. There is no haggling. The taximeter shows the price, driven kilometers, and more. It is absolutely safe. There are also a few pinkish taxis – for female passengers, but the regular ones are just fine. Drivers know famous attractions and main streets, but not necessarily smaller hotels or streets – so, if you stay at a place less known, have an app to show him the address/way or take screenshots of Google maps, etc. There are the regular taxis (which a yellowish color and taxi is written on them), but there are also the black Lexus taxis, which are more expensive.
Money and Credit Cards
- The local currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham. Though I always mentioned € in my post, you actually pay in dirham. You can also pay in $ – but normally, it gets more expensive. I recommend exchanging some money and having dirhams with you.
- Most places also accept credit cards – I would not rely on it though. Smaller shops might refuse credit card payments. If you pay with your credit card, you might get asked, whether you want to pay in dirham or your currency. I always choose the local currency (dirham in this case), because I get the better exchange rates if “my bank at home” does it.
The official language is Arabic but people speak English throughout Dubai and the UAE. Most people living in Dubai are actually expats from all around the world and do not even speak Arabic themselves.
In restaurants and shops, you can definitely get around by speaking English only. With taxi drivers, I had some really long conversations in English while some only spoke a few words.
If you speak English, you will be fine. Two of the most important words in Arabic are probably:
- Salam OR marḥaba – hallo
- Shukran – thank you
Accommodations for 7 Days in Dubai
Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standard is quite high. Many 5-star hotels are mind-blowing, but 4- or 3-star hotels in Dubai are fine.
If you are looking for my personal recommendations for all budgets and areas, click here. There you will also find my tips for the best neighborhoods to stay in Dubai.
- Luxury hotel recommendations: Find rates for Intercontinental Dubai Marina (great for adults who enjoy a great hotel in a central location)
- Mid-range hotel recommendation: Get the best rates for Four Points by Sheraton. This hotel offers great value (I stayed here on my very first Dubai trip)
- Budget hotel recommendations: Get the best rates for your stay at Ibis Al Barsha – A decent hotel in a decent location for a reasonable price
FINAL THOUGHTS ON A 7-DAY TRIP TO DUBAI
I have visited Dubai numerous times. I have spent many weeks in Dubai – I have not gotten bored yet. One week in Dubai will pass quickly. I wish you a wonderful time in the city, and I hope that your 7 days in Dubai will be amazing!