2 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY – THINGS TO DO + TIPS
Are you planning to visit Dubai but are unsure what to do in Dubai in 2 days or how much to fit into your 2-day Dubai itinerary?
If you stay longer than 2 days in Dubai, check out my 7-day Dubai itinerary – otherwise, stay here to find out about creating a perfect 2-day itinerary for first-time visitors.
In this 2-day Dubai itinerary, you will find out where to go and what to see, plus many travel tips for a smooth 2-day trip.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my links (no extra cost to you). More about it here.
ARE 2 DAYS IN DUBAI ENOUGH?
2 days in Dubai is a good amount to get an idea of the city. You can visit some of the main sights and attractions but 2 days is not enough to see some hidden gems or really see all of the main sights. It is the minimum amount of days to explore Dubai.
DUBAI ITINERARY FOR 2 DAYS – THINGS TO DO AND SEE
Here are places I suggest visiting in Dubai in 2 days. I also give a time frame, but of course, it really is up to each person how much you can actually do and see.
HERE ARE THE PLACES TO VISIT IN DAY 1 IN DUBAI:
- GOLD AND SPICE SOUK
- LA MER OR JUMEIRAH BEACH
- BURJ KHALIFA
- DUBAI MALL
- DUBAI WATER FOUNTAIN
HERE ARE THINGS TO DO IN DAY 2 IN DUBAI:
- DUBAI MARINA
- JBR WALK
- DUBAI DESERT
- IN SUMMER: MIRACLE GARDEN
DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
So, let´s start your 2-day trip by visiting the souks (markets).
Stop 1: Gold and Spice Souk in Deira
The Gold and Spice Souk is located in Deira, the old part of Dubai. Deira is located in the north of the city and quite close to the airport. Discover the hectic and crazy part of Dubai. Retailers can be quite persistent, which can be quite stressful. However, I truly enjoy strolling along this part, and it is one of the places you have to visit in Dubai in 2 days.
Many people say it is a very intense place, and some did not like it at all. I understand the criticism, but for first-time Dubai visitors, the souks are a must.
- Most stores open around 9 to 10 pm, and it gets busy quickly.
- So I recommend a start early in the morning before all the other tourists come and it gets even more hectic.
- You can buy souvenirs, clothes (including Arabian clothes), gold, spices, rugs and all kind of things.
- The prices are much better than in the malls (especially for souvenirs) and if you are about to buy something, then do it here.
- If you buy something, you must haggle. It is part of shopping in this area, and actually, it can be fun if you do it n a nice way.
TIP FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS: I love this area, but as a solo traveler, it is not easy. There are stares. There will be shop owners who approach you, and so on. It is safe, no need to worry, but it can be tiring. I recommend wearing less revealing clothes if you want to avoid them.
Stop 2: Abra Ride / Bur Dubai
A must-do to include on your Dubai itinerary is a short abra ride. Abras are traditional water taxis that are popular and super cheap.
- The most authentic abra ride is near the gold and spice souk.
- You can walk towards the abra station of Deira Gold Souk and get to the other side (Bur Dubai) by taking an abra (water taxi).
- It just costs a few cents and is a nice and cheapest way to get to the other side of the creek where you can continue your travel.
- You can also have the whole abra to yourself for 5€. This allows great photo opportunities with no one else in the picture, but if you make it to the front of the abra, you can take good pictures even with other people on the boat.
- In Bur Dubai are some museums and another souk where you find more spices, gold, and other things.
- Of course, you can spend a whole day exploring this part of Dubai, but if you only have 2 days in Dubai, I recommend planning in 2-5 hours for seeing these two parts of Dubai.
- If you want to budget your time more wisely, you can plan in one hour.
Stop 3: La Mer
La Mer, a new beachfront area with tons of cool and hip restaurants and cafes, street arts and cool graffiti, and fun details, is a great place to chill. It can be quite busy (for Dubai standards when it comes to beaches), but it is a place you should not miss out on.
- La Mer is a must-see in 2 days in Dubai.
- The beach at La Mer comes with a Burj Khalifa view.
- Take a dip in the ocean, or do some water sports.
- Have some lunch, enjoy the graffiti (there is quite a lot) and then head to the next place.
- Check out my guide on La Mer.
Stop 3: OR Jumeirah Beach
Okay, honestly, you won’t probably be able to visit Jumeirah Beach and La Mer. This would be too busy. So you have to decide on one of the beaches.
La Mer comes with Burj Khalifa’s view, while Jumeirah Beach comes with Burj al-Arab’s view.
- Jumeirah Beach is not too far from Dubai Deira and the souks. You can get there by bus or taxi.
- The open Jumeirah Beach also offers nice views of the only 7* hotel in the world, Burj Al-Arab. Luckily, the Burj Al-Arab is huge, so the pictures do not really show Burj Al-Arab’s distance to Jumeirah Beach.
- Here you can take a rest or take a dip.
- Many beaches in Dubai are private and reserved for relevant hotel guests – Jumeirah Beach is open to the public and free of charge.
- It can get busy, but it does not get as busy as we know from European beaches. From there, get a bus or taxi to Downtown Dubai.
PERSONAL OPINION: If I had time for one beach, I would choose La Mer.
After some time at the beach, slowly head to Dubai Downtown. Dubai Downtown is stuffed with many interesting attractions. You will find, among others, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and Burj Khalifa in this area.
- There is no train connection (neither from Jumeirah Beach nor from La Mer), but you can get there by bus or taxi.
Stop 4: Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world – standing at 828 meters. You can enjoy some amazing views “At the Top of Burj Khalifa.”
- You should plan at least 2-4 hours for visiting the Top of Burj Khalifa (depending on how busy it is).
- To get to the top, you have to use the entrance inside Dubai Mall.
- The waiting lines to get on top can be very long.
- You can either get tickets for levels 124 & 125 or get a ticket for levels 124 + 125, and 148. Of course, level 148 is much more expensive. With a ticket to level 148, you can skip the lines – vital if you have little time.
- Check out Burj Khalifa ticket prices for level 124 & 125
- Check out Burj Khalifa ticket prices for level 148 (including skip-the-line)
- Check out my Burj Khalifa travel guide for more info
Stop 5: Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall is definitely worth a visit, even if you are not a big shopper. It is not only about shopping. You’ll also find the Dubai Aquarium and more attractions here. You could spend several days at the Dubai Mall, so it really depends on how much you are into malls and shopping.
- Dubai Mall is located right next to Burj Khalifa, so there is no travel time. You can start your window shopping straight away.
- You can spend anything between 30 minutes to many, many hours here.
- Considering you only have 2 days in Dubai, try to limit your time to 2 hours max.
- Dubai Mall also has a food court that offers affordable food from all around the world. Of course, there are also all kinds of restaurants in and near Dubai Mall, including many luxury hotels.
Stop 6: Dubai Fountain
Next to Dubai Mall is the Dubai Fountain. Here you can watch nice water fountain shows in the evening.
I suggest ending your first day in Dubai here.
- Evening shows take place from 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM – every 30 minutes.
- It is free to watch.
- It gets busy, and to secure yourself a good spot to watch it, get there way before a show takes place.
- Dubai is safe, and this area is safe at night.
- You can also sit there by yourself in the evening.
- Sitting there and watching tourists while Burj Khalifa is beautifully illuminated at night is a fun day to crop off your day.
Where to Eat in Dubai – Day 1
Deira is great for cheaper food – you´ll find many different cuisines at the Gold and Spice Souks. I suggest having lunch there or at La Mer.
For dinner, I recommend having it in Downtown. Restaurants with a fountain view tend to be more expensive, but there are also good restaurants in the medium-price segment. For the cheapest dinner in Downtown, check out the Food Court of Dubai Mall.
DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
Day 2 in Dubai starts in Dubai Marina.
Stop 1: Marina
Start with a nice stroll through Dubai Marina, which probably one of my most favorite parts in Dubai.
This man-made marina is one of the biggest in the world.
- I really liked the Marina with the canal and all the yachts and could spend hours walking aimlessly around and having a drink once in a while.
- Besides skyscrapers, you will also find many bars and restaurants.
- To see Marina from a different perspective, I recommend a Marina Cruise. There are several options, so look at which one is the perfect choice for you by clicking here.
- Dubai Marina is a beautiful place to visit at any time of the day. It might be even more fun to visit in the evening when it gets busier, livelier, and prettier with all the lights.
- However, for the evening, I recommend another place (more on that later). After lunch and 1-3 hours here in Marina, I suggest one or two more stops for the day.
Stop 2: JBR Walk
You can, alternatively or additionally, add JBR – The Walk to your 2-day Dubai itinerary.
Since it is within walking distance (20-30 minutes) to Dubai Marina, you could also combine it with a trip to Dubai Marina.
- If you prefer some beach time rather than strolling in Marina, I suggest visiting JBR-The Walk only.
- There is no entrance fee for JBR – The Walk.
- It is the perfect place to swim – there are many options to rent water sports equipment.
- You can find some street art, so also get away from the beach and walk around.
- Ride the “Flying Cup,” where you have a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk. You can buy tickets just at the Fyling Cup.
- 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.
Read more: Best places to visit in Dubai at night
Stop 3: Desert Safari
A desert safari tour incl. BBQ normally starts around 3 or 4 pm, so reserve half a day for a trip to the desert.
- You can do the desert tours either in the morning or afternoon.
- A morning desert safari is great as it often includes some sandboarding activities and other activities like dune bashing.
- A morning desert is surely a great experience if you do not have so much time to do shorter tours. The Morning Dune Drive takes about 4 hours instead of 7-8 hours. But if you have two full days in Dubai, I suggest the Sundowner tour. Ending the day in the desert is a great experience.
- Click here for a desert safari in the afternoon/evening.
- Find out more about a morning desert safari here.
- If you have a meal included and are vegetarian/vegan, you can request this in advance. I was so pleased to see the many vegetarian options.
- Often, you will be picked up at your hotel.
- If your tour starts around 3 pm, make sure to be back at the hotel in time. Plan in possible traffic on your way back from Dubai Marina or JBR – The Walk. It would be a pity if you missed out on the safari because of being late at the pick-up location.
Alternative: Miracle Garden
If you visit in the winter months, you could also add Dubai Miracle Garden to your 2-day itinerary. Miracle Garden is a very Instafamous flower park, located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions.
You will see flowers. You will see a lot of flowers. They are designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes. 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 (normally, it is open from November to May)
- Check out their website for more info
Where to Eat in Dubai – Day 2
For lunch, I suggest having it at Dubai Marina or JBR – The Walk.
For dinner, lay back and do not worry. If you book a desert safari with a BBQ, you have to find a perfect dinner spot.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 2-DAY DUBAI TRIP
Here you´ll find essential travel tips for your trip to Dubai.
Security Tips for (Solo Female) Travelers
Dubai is a super safe city to travel to, and I think it is even great to visit as a solo female traveler.
Here are some tips on the dress code for females – to avoid stares and show your respect to the local culture.
How to Get Around in 2 Days in Dubai
Dubai has good public transportation.
- However, some stations are spread out, which means that some walking may be required.
- The metro trains and trams are super clean, safe, reliable, and fast.
Using taxis is an easy and safe way to get around.
- Make sure to use the official ones.
- The black Lexus cabs are more expensive than the normal ones, which are super fine to use.
- There is a meter which has to be on when you get onto the taxi. You normally do not have to worry about scams in Dubai. You pay what you see on the meter (and feel free to tip).
One of my favorite ways to get around in Dubai is by getting a hop-on and hop-off ticket.
Where to Stay in Dubai in 2 Days
Accommodation in Dubai is top – even a 3* hotel is often better than other 3* hotels worldwide. I stayed at all of the ones I mention below.
I recommend staying in a central area, so you don’t waste too much time driving around. With a weekend in Dubai only, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic from your hotel to the attraction.
- Dubai Marina is the 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. Check out this 5* Hotel: Grosvenor House in Dubai.
- JBR Walk is 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 this4* Resort: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai.
- Extra tip: 3* A decent budget hotel is Ibis Al Barsha. It is not perfectly located, but it offers good value for money and is still quite close to Dubai Marina.
- My full Dubai accommodation guide is here – all the best areas and all the best hotels for all budgets.
You can also find budget hotels though you cannot expect super bargains. The best prices are often in Deira, and though I recommend visiting this fun area, it is not an area I recommend staying at – especially not as a female traveler. So make sure to book a room on the main street when choosing Deira.
Best Time to Visit Dubai
- One of the most important travel tips I can give you for your 2-day Dubai is: choose the time of your visit wisely.
- I do not recommend visiting during the summer (May – September). The average temperature ranges from 32.4 °C (90.2 °F) in May, 36.5 °C (98 °F) in August and 34 °C (93°F) in May.
- Even October and April were too hot for me already. But it depends on what kind of weather you prefer.
- Some activities are not possible in the summer months because of the heat.
- The winter months from November to early March are the best times to visit in my opinion.
- The average temperature ranges from 19.5 °C (67.5 °F) in January.
- Hotel prices, however, go up during the winter months and it gets busier. Regardless, my tip is to visit in these months.
- Check also for the fasting time (Ramadan) because life is different during that time. You cannot do many activities during that few weeks (also, alcohol is less available).
- In 2022 Ramadan is from 3rd April to 2nd May.
- In 2022 it is from 23rd March to 23rd April.
More Things to Know About Dubai
Here are a few more posts for your Dubai trip.
PIN ME FOR LATER – 2-DAY DUBAI ITINERARY
Was this Dubai itinerary helpful? Then save it on Pinterest.
I hope you have found some inspiration. Honestly, this is a good itinerary for Dubai in 2 days – in my eyes, at least. You will see the main sights, which do not include any hidden gems but rather great places for a first-time visitor to Dubai.
There are many more things to do in Dubai, but this 2-day Dubai itinerary might allow you to see the most important attractions in Dubai if you have minimal time.
If you have decided to extend your stay – a good idea, by the way – check out my other itineraries.