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Best Places to Visit in Dubai at Night 

best places to visit in Dubai at night for non party people

PLACES TO GO IN DUBAI AT NIGHT (FOR NON-PARTY PEOPLE)

Here you will find out about the best places to visit in Dubai at night.

Dubai might be lovely during the day, especially at hotspots like Dubai Fountain and Miracle Garden, where tons of people can be found discovering their beauty. Still, it gets even more exciting and awesome in the evening. Some areas seem to be in a deep sleep and only awaken at night. Dubai at night is surely more fun than Dubai during the day.

After the sun sets in the winter months, and even more so in summer (April-October) when it is too hot to spend the day outside, people get out of their houses/hotels/malls in the evening time – ready to spend a fun night out.

While some beautiful areas are extremely sleepy during the day, they fill with life at night, and things get exciting.

Find out about the best places to visit in Dubai at night- no clubbing, just places that are fun for people of all ages.

Disclaimer: Though I visited all these places at night (and totally loved them), I kind of suck at taking night shots most of the time, so while the pictures often do no justice, you can trust my words.

I have written quite some Dubai posts, which you can check out here.

Downtown Dubai at Night

One of the best places to visit in Dubai at night is Downtown.

Downtown Dubai, home to many world-famous attractions like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and the Dubai Fountain, is busy during the day but gets crazy in the evening/night.

@shutterstock

WHAT TO DO AT DUBAI MALL IN THE EVENING:

There are a couple of attractions in and around Dubai Mall you can visit.

The Dubai Fountain Water Show runs every 30 minutes between 6 pm-11 pm – but it comes with the crowds. The number of tourists in front of it can be insane. It is free to watch but each show just lasts a few minutes, so be there on time to not miss it.

  • Check out the showtimes here to ensure the times are still correct and you don’t miss out on the show.
Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
@shutterstock

Burj Khalifa is even more beautiful in the evening when illuminated or when the LED show takes place in the evening. That indeed was spectacular every time I watched it.

I could not find a schedule for the LED shows.

Dubai Mall is an attraction in itself. It is open until midnight and it is like a little but very busy town. In the evening, more than during the day, it is stuffed with people dining, shopping, and strolling the biggest mall in the world. 

Dubai Mall at night

Dubai Downtown at night - things to see in Dubai at night

Make sure to walk around the mall and stroll along the streets, as downtown wears its prettiest dress at night (even the trees are illuminated).

You can head to one of the many rooftop bars to enjoy breathtaking views of the downtown area.

City Walk At Night

Another place to visit in Dubai in the evening is City Walk. Lovely but sleepy during the day, it is a fun and popular place to see “after dark.” 

Places to visit in Dubai at night

Whether you visit with children or without (there are some extra activities for kids in the evening), this place is great for enjoying a nice dinner or a quick stroll (the area is not really that big).

The shops are open until 10 pm (on Fridays and Saturdays until Midnight), so it is also a good way to shop your way around Dubai.

As in many popular places, it is a lot about lights – and City Walk is no different and walking here at night is a fun activity.Most Insta worth places in Dubai

La Mer at Night

Another must-see in Dubai at night is La Mer – one of Dubai’s most popular places for locals and tourists alike. La Mer is located in the Jumeirah area with its own beach and many retail stores, restaurants, and stylish cafes.

Places to visit in Dubai at night

While it is also busy during the day, unlike some other hotspots, it is even more beautiful at night. I could spend all day at La Mer without getting bored.

There are so many restaurants and cafes that you’ll be sure to find something that suits your cravings.

La Mer at night with a sunset

You´ll have great views of Burj Khalifa from there, which is even prettier at night than it is during the day – and watching the sunset from there is a lovely and romantic way to start the night.

Dubai Marina at Night

Dubai Marina was established in 2003 – in Dubai, this is practically old! The artificial marina boasts several skyscrapers and restaurants and is another top place to see in Dubai at night.Dubai Marina at night - where to go in Dubai at night

Stroll along the three-kilometer-long stretch of the Persian Gulf shoreline, and do not forget to look up – the high buildings in this area are one of a kind! You won’t take too many strolls in the world that will astound you with so many impressive buildings – that are illuminated in the evening!Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7

Some bars have loud music playing, but in general, it is also very child-friendly.

The sunset is pretty from here, the walks are easy, and the area is pedestrian-friendly. Enjoy great views from one of the restaurants or go on a dhow cruise in the evening (there are also dhow dinner cruises available).

Madinat Jumeirah at Night

This extremely picturesque place is probably best known for its unique view of the iconic Burj al-Arab hotel – Madinat Jumeirah!

With its many walkways, restaurants, and little shops, it is great to visit in the daytime, but it is an even better area to visit in the evening.

At night where to go in Dubai - Madinat Jumeirah at night

Many restaurants, some are part of the luxurious hotels of the Jumeirah group – offer great food (pricey though) with nice views.

While it is one of the most romantic places to visit in Dubai at night, it is also gorgeous for anyone who enjoys an evening stroll or dinner in a fine dining restaurant!

Dubai Desert at Night

One of the things to do at night is to spend an evening in the desert of Dubai (or even at night).Desert safari on a layover

After going on a desert safari (that includes a ride on a 4×4 and normally some wildlife spotting), have a BBQ in the desert (you can even have great veggie options), enjoy a belly dancing show, stay in a “traditional” Arabian camp, and enjoy the sunset and later stargaze.

This is definitely one of the most beautiful memories you will have from your Dubai trip and a great place to spend the evening.

JBR Walk – The Beach at Night

JBR Walk and the Beach are trendy during the day – and after sunset.

DUBAI JBR at night activities
@shutterstock

While most people enjoy going to the beach during the day, you can have an amazing time in the evening, too. Whether you chill at the beach or explore one of the numerous cafes and restaurants, and bars, this place is perfect for families, couples, and anyone who likes popular hotspots with different activities, street art, etc. 

JBR at night in DUbai

The Frame at Night

One of the newer attractions in Dubai is the Frame. After sunset, you will see it illuminated in different colors, even from far.

Where are good places to visit in Dubai at night
Creative Family / Shutterstock.com

However, if you head there yourself, you will have the chance to get some stunning views of Burj Khalifa and other places in Dubai. Since the skyline of the city looks just amazing at night, this place is great to visit after spending a day at Zabeel Park.

  • The frame is open until 9 pm – tickets are 50 Dirham (about 13 €) and can be bought just at the ticket counter. Ideally, you can there before sunset and can enjoy the views while it is still light, watch the sunset here and then enjoy the skyline of Dubai Downtown from here.

Al Seef at Night

It seems that each month a new area pops up. One of the newest ones is Al Seef. 

While it is lovely but extremely quiet during the day, it is a popular place amongst locals in the evening.

Located in Deira, many restaurants have opened that are overlooking the Creek, and it is a calmer place to have a drink and end your day here.

While you will find many modern buildings that host restaurants on one side, you will also find other restaurants built in traditional Arabian houses; but don’t let the look fool you. These were built just recently, but they still have a charm that modern buildings do not have.

Take your time while walking the 1.8 kilometers and seeing another, more unique, and lesser-known part of Dubai in the evening.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING THE BEST PLACES AT NIGHT IN DUBAI

I truly love visiting all the places in Dubai at night – and whether you are in Dubai with your family, with your partner, or alone, the places all can be visited with whomever you are.

Just be careful to respect traditions (no public drinking, not getting totally drunk) in Dubai, and you will have a fun time in Dubai and can easily go around in the evening and nighttime in Dubai.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

50 Best Things to Do in Dubai, UAE

WHAT TO DO IN DUBAI – FUN ACTIVITIES FOR ALL BUDGETS AND AGES

Whether you visit as a tourist for a short time, stay longer, or live in Dubai – here is a list of the best 50 things to do in Dubai.

After endless visits, I have concluded that Dubai does not get boring. There is so much to do and see, making planning challenging and overwhelming. It seems that there are new attractions popping up regularly.

P.S. Some activities are not offered throughout the year. Especially in the summer, some places are closed, so please double-check the dates.

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

  • Booking Tours When I book tours, I normally use GetYourGuide. Many of the links I added will lead you to GetYourGuide as it is my personal favorite because of its generous cancellation policy. Normally, you can cancel up to 24 hours before the tour and get a full refund – especially in times like these – with all the uncertainty, it is a lifesaver. 

TOP THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI 

Are you ready? Here is my ultimate list of 50 cool and most fun things to do in Dubai – for young adults, kids, and everyone else.

GO ON A DUBAI DESERT SAFARI

Going on a desert safari is one of the best things to do in Dubai! Arzo Travels Desert Safari in DubaiThere are many different desert safari tours offered in Dubai, and I tried several of them.

However, my favorite is the one that includes 4×4 wheel drive and a BBQ and a belly dance show. I had enough vegetarian options, but meat-eaters will also find something. Some argue, that it is quite touristy. Yes, it is but it is still a great experience.

ENJOY A SEAPLANE FLIGHT

A seaplane flight sounds pretty amazing, right? A seaplane flight in Dubai sounds even better, as seeing Dubai from above is such fun and one of the more unique things to do. It is a bit fancy and surely not one of the cheap activities you can book, but since it is a lot about Dubai’s luxury, it is a unique activity. 

It is unfortunately not a cheap activity but one of the most unique things to do in Dubai.

  • You can book different tours. Check them out here to find out about prices.
  • There are different take-off locations – when booking check where your flight will start.
  • The flight takes around 30-35 minutes, but plan a couple of hours for the whole activity.

EXPLORE LA MER

Relax at La Mar which is one of the newer hotspots in Dubai. And if you ask me, that is not surprising. La Mer Beach DubaiWhether you want to spend a day at the beach, stroll the beachfront, chill at one of the very cool restaurants and cafes, or just check out the coolest street art – La Mer is a beautiful place and great to visit as a family, with friends, as a couple, or solo.

  • There is no metro going, but some buses and if you stay in a big hotel the shuttle bus might get you here. However, if not, a taxi would be the c choice to get here (taxi drivers will know where it is).
  • There is no entrance fee
  • Most restaurants and shops are open from 10 am until 11 pm.
  • You can also do water sports and rent equipment at the beach area
  • Read more about my tips for things to do at La Mer

DO A SPEED BOAT TOUR

A speedboat tour in Dubai is great to enjoy the breeze – especially on a hot day – and to see Dubai from a different perspective. While the boat rides fast, it stops at several tourist attractions like Atlantis Hotel or Burj Al-Arab -, so you have time for snapping pictures.

STROLL DUBAI MARINA

Explore Dubai Marina and see all the cafes, food trucks, restaurants – and skyscrapers. This is one of the best places for nice strolls.

Dubai accommodation in Dubai Marina IC Dubai Marina

Yes, I am a city girl, and this area is definitely nicer and easier to walk in than many other areas in Dubai that are not very pedestrian-friendly. The amount of skyscrapers is insane. So, whether you come here during the day or in the evening, it is always worth a trip.

If you are with kids, you can rent a little cat car, or you just walk along the beautiful promenade. If you stay a minimum of 2 days in Dubai, it is a place you should visit.

  • Dubai Marina “is open” 24/7 – it gets especially busy in the evening and its the best time to visit
  • You can reach Dubai Marina also via metro and then get use the tram for longer distances (but most of the area is best explored on foot)

HAVE A DRINK AT PIER 7

Dubai Marina is beautiful – especially in the evening! So don´t miss Pier 7 at night and dine in one of the seven restaurants with beautiful views at nightDubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7With all the illuminated buildings (including the shopping mall), the view from there is just superb! I have to admit that the Scene Dubai (4th floor) staff was not the best, but the views are great.

  • For great views AND nice staff, head to the 6th floor ASIA ASIA
  • During the high season, I recommend booking a table on the terrace in advance

ENJOY A MARINA CRUISE TOUR

Boat tours are one of my favorite ways to get around. Walking Marina is fun, but for a unique angle of Dubai´s great Marina, go on a Marina Cruise tour. 

  • If you love food and boat cruises (two of my personal favorite things), you can even book dinner on a boat. 
  • Tours last around 90 minutes
  • Click here for prices

GET TO THE TOP OF BURJ KHALIFA

When in Dubai, visit the highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa which is probably also the most famous attraction in the city.  View from Burj Khalifa At The Top Best stuff to do in DubaiGo to the top of Burj Khalifa and enjoy amazing views from up there. Plan in some time to see the water dance show from above and ideally, plan to see the sunset from Burj Khalifa as well.

  • I had to stand in line for ages, so probably a VIP ticket is the better choice for the people who are less patient. 
  • On my second visit, I got a ticket that included a lunch/dinner at the Burj Club as well, and the price was definitely worth that experience.
  •  On my third trip, I visited with my two little nephews – the older (4 years) loved the views. But Burj Khalifa does not allow strollers for the younger ones
  • To find out more about getting to Burj Khalifa, click here and read my detailed review.
  • Get the best rates for your Burj Khalifa tickets here:
  • Levels 124 & 125
  • Levels 124 & 124 and 148
  • Levels 124 & 125, including a dinner at Burj Club

WATCH THE WATER FOUNTAIN SHOW

Watch the water fountain show at Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and literally see the water dance. The show itself is quite short (about 2-4 minutes), and I have seen nicer shows (e.g. in Kuala Lumpur), but sitting at a cafe and watching it is still lovely.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
@shutterstock
  • This place gets crazy – especially in the evening. Avoid coming here on weekends.
  • For a great – free – view, just visit the Apple Store inside Dubai Mall and get on the balcony so you can see it from above. The “seats” are limited, though, but there are also nice views if you stand just in front of it. However, it might be totally crowded as all the tourists get to the water show on time.
  • Check out the show times here.
  • Since there are many restaurants close by, you can get more exclusive views. I had a nice view from Burj Club, a restaurant that is part of Burj Khalifa.
  • If you want to get very close to the water fountain show, you can do an abra ride. You can buy tickets just at the abra station at the water fountain or booked them in advance.

REST AT ZABEEL PARK

For those who do not believe that Dubai has some greenery, Zabeel Park will prove him/her wrong:

Kids will love it as there are many playgrounds, and the older ones also enjoy the mobile phone chargers in the shape of palms (bring your cable, and you can recharge your phone while relaxing in the park).

  • Located between the Gold and Spice Souks and Burj Khalifa – not too far away from the Crown Prince of Dubai’s palace and from there you can walk to Dubai Frame (more on that later).
  • For a small entrance fee (about $1), you can visit Zabeel Park and relax in the lush and green park.

GET A TAN AT KITE BEACH

Not all beaches are free and public (most actually belong to luxury hotels), but you can chill for free at Kite Beach and enjoy great views of Burj Al-Arab. Chill at Jumeirah Beach Best things to do in DubaiEven on sunny days, it is not crowded by European standards. Personally, I like the beach area at JBR or La Mer a bit better. But if you prefer beaches with a good view of Burj al-Arab, then this is your beach.

SPLURGE AT BURJ AL-ARAB

Want to splurge? Getting inside Burj al-Arab isn’t easy if you don’t stay overnight. You need a written booking reservation for one of their restaurants. So why not have an afternoon tea at Burj Al-Arab (it is still on my own list) at the only “7* hotel in the world”. It is not a bargain but probably an amazing experience.

  • If you do not stay overnight at Burj al Arab, you will need written confirmation for the restaurant reservation
  • Click here to book your dining experience at Burj al Arab
  • Alternatively, you can book spa treatments to get access to the hotel

BOOK A HOT-AIR BALLOON RIDE

One of my personal highlights was flying over Dubai in a hot-air balloon. What to do in Dubai - hot air balloon rideI did my first, and so far only, hot-air balloon ride in Dubai. Dubai surely cannot be compared to Cappadocia in Turkey but it was still worth it.  

  • You are normally being picked up at the hotel
  • It is worth waking up early to have such a unique experience
  • Click here for more information on a hot air balloon ride in the desert.

TRY OUT FLYBOARDING

There are a lot of adventurous things to do for those who like to be more active. The activity is unique and is not offered everywhere, so make sure to try this in Dubai. 

  • Try out Flyboarding in Dubai and soar above the Persian Gulf. 

EAT TONS ON A FRIDAY BRUNCH

Dubai is known for great brunches, so experience an infamous Friday Brunch in one of the top hotels or restaurants in Dubai. I tried out the Friday brunch at the fancy Ritz-Carlton JBR, and I was not disappointed. 

  • Friday Brunches are quite costly, so some research might be needed if you are on a budget
  • Booking in advance might be good (especially for popular places)
  • You might not be able to do a Friday Brunch during Ramadan (the Muslim month of fasting)
  • Ramadan in 2022 – 2. April to 2. May

PARTY THE NIGHT AWAY

I am not a party girl – so I won’t be able to give the best advice firsthand. However, Dubai’s nightlife is supposed to be great if you like to dress up, drink and enjoy fancy nightlife.

  • So, though the Emirates are Islamic, Dubai is quite liberal, and partying – and drinking – is allowed.
  • Just be aware not to overdo it. I saw security being quite strict with drunken people
  • Here are more tips for things NOT to do in Dubai. 

ENJOY THE VIEWS FROM A HELICOPTER

See Dubai from above when doing a helicopter flight – this city is the perfect place to try out this amazing activity.  If you ask me, it is my tip for one of the most unique things to do in Dubai.Arzo Travels Heli Dubai Fligh

  • There are two main companies offering helicopter rides: HeliDubai and Dubai Helicopter Tour 
  • You can choose between a 12, 15, and 25-minute helicopter flight
  • I enjoyed my 12-minute flight but would not have minded flying over Dubai for longer
  • Click here to find out about prices for a helicopter ride
  • Read my detailed post about my own personal experiences of a helicopter ride

EAT DATES

Try out dates in Dubai. When I talk about dates, I don’t mean dating in Dubai (I have never tried that out), but I mean the delicious little things you can eat. You find many different kinds of dates – some with nuts in them, chocolate, and more.

  • Dates are healthy, vegan (mostly), sweet, and a traditional snack of that region.
  • They also make a great gift for your loved ones back home. You can buy them in every supermarket and many other stores and souks (markets).

GO SKIING

Do some winter sports. Though it is surely not the most natural environment to ski, skiing in Dubai is for sure a great place to escape the heat in Dubai.

SHOP AT DUBAI MALL

Explore Dubai Mall – the biggest mall in the world. Seriously, the mall is crazy and it would be easy to spend several days in it. From luxury to budget brands, from beauty and fashion to electronic stores, from fast-food stalls to fine dining restaurants – you will find everything at this shopping mall.

What attractions in Dubai Mall

Whether you are in Dubai for 1 day or much longer, Dubai Mall is a must-see place.

  • Dubai Mall is located next to the water fountain and Burj Khalifa
  • Tips: Do not visit on a Friday (evening) – it will be crowded as heck
  • There is actually a dress code (cover shoulders and knees) though it is not often respected 

GO HOTEL SIGHTSEEING IN DUBAI

The hotels in Dubai are among the best in the world – some are attractions in themselves. If you do not stay overnight in one of the top hotels, you can still see some and be amazed at what hotels could be like.

This can be done in several ways. You can book day tickets for the pool areas of some top hotels, make restaurant or spa reservations, or just visit them without any “obligations”.

  • Burj Al-Arab is not open to the public, you will need a spa/restaurant reservation
  • Atlantis Hotel on The Palm is probably one of the best hotels to check out (no reservation needed)

COOL OFF WITH JET-SKIING IN DUBAI

If you prefer outdoor activities, go jet-skiing in Dubai – where everything is about higher, faster, further, jet-skiing seems to be the perfect activity in Dubai. It is fun, but also very refreshing on a hot day.

EXPLORE THE GOLD AND SPICE SOUKS

Visit the souks in the old part of the city – this part is different from the rest of Dubai, and though it is hectic, it has some traditional charm. Spice Souk in Old DUbai Deira Where to go in DubaiIf you visit, be prepared to haggle – never accept any price immediately. Normally, you can get things for 50%, but you need to be patient and nice while discussing prices. Apart from spices and clothes (you will also find traditional clothes for a much lower price than in the malls), there is gold…a lot of gold.

  • Many souvenirs etc. are much cheaper here than in malls
  • Do not forget to haggle
  • If you like to buy gold, check the gold rate online first
  • For women, I recommend not to wear the most revealing clothes and dress modestly

DISCOVER AL BASTAKIYA

Explore Al Bastakiya, which is quite close to the souks and is one of the oldest districts. It is located at Dubai Creek, and quite charming with the narrow streets. It shows you another side of Dubai and is definitely a nice break from Downtown’s modernity. This is also a more off-the-beaten place, and I have never really seen it as crowded as other parts of the city.

  • The Secret Garden is probably the most beautiful restaurant/cafe in Al Bastakiya
  • It is great to visit at any time of the day, but in the evening it actually is livelier and lovelier

HOP ON AN ABRA

You can also do an inexpensive abra ride on Dubai Creek, which is a natural creek close to the Gold and Spice Souk. Abras are traditional wooden water taxis that you find mostly in the old part of Dubai. Activities in Dubai - ride an abra - Visit Dubai attractions

  • To get from the Spice Souk to Bur Dubai, you only pay about 0,25€ (1 Dirham).
  • If you like to have the whole abra for yourself, you can get it for 20 Dirham (about 5€). 
  • If you prefer a fancier abra ride and do not mind paying a bit more, you can also do an abra ride in Madinat Jumeirah.

LEARN ABOUT HISTORY AT DUBAI MUSEUM

Learn about Dubai´s past. Apparently, Dubai is super modern, but if you visit one of the museums (Dubai Museum is the best choice), you´ll learn more about its past (yes, there is some history involved). It is near Al Bastakiya and very popular amongst UAE visitors.

So it might be quite busy during high season, but it is still worth it, and it is quite illustrated so you learn about the life of people in Dubai easily (and thus it is a great fun thing to do with your kids, too).

  • The entree fee is just about 1€
  • Free with your Sightseeing hop-on and hop-off ticket.

HAVE FUN AT THE DUBAI JBR WALK

You should make sure to discover the JBR Walk by foot – a popular area with many restaurants, hotels, cafes, and access to the beach. Places to see in Dubai in 7 daysIn March 2018 Flying Cup opened. For about 20€, you can hop into the capsule and enjoy an amazing view of JBR The Walk – The Beach.

If you are more into relaxing at the beach, this beach might be a good option (though it can be quite busy)! Alternatively, you can check out street art, eat your weight in meals from all around the world, or do one of the many other activities offered there.

SPEND A DAY AT THE GLOBAL VILLAGE

Another popular place is the Global Village, where you can learn about other cultures. You can also enjoy a ride in one of the 50 rides in the Fantasy Island theme park and visit pavilions of different countries.

  • Pay is about 5€ ($6), but rollercoaster rides cost extra.
  • Location: It is located a bit further away from other Dubai attractions, so it is probably not a place to quickly go through (combine it in the winter months with a trip to Miracle Garden).

VISIT A MOSQUE

Actually, most mosques in Dubai look similar and there is not a big variety in the architecture but they are very pretty overall, so make sure to stop by one and admire the architecture.

Jumeirah Mosque is one of the very few mosques in Dubai open to non-Muslims.

  • You have to take part in a free tour to enter, so check out the times. It is a beautiful mosque – so even if you don’t go inside, it is lovely to look at from the outside.
  • TIP: you need to cover your head/arms/legs as a female when visiting a mosque, and as a male, you also have to cover your arms and legs. It is close to La Mer so you could combine it with a trip there.

ADMIRE FLOWERS AT MIRACLE GARDEN

Miracle Garden is a perfect place to take 10000 pictures. 

This is art that comes from flowers. Though it is totally crowded, it is worth a visit, and I reckon it is great for people of all ages.

  • Miracle Garden is not open in summer, though (it normally opens in November).
  • Take a bus/cab and plan in a few hours for this trip. It is close to Global Village, so the most efficient way would be to see both places in one day.
  • The entrance fee is about 12€ entry

CRUISE MARINA, ATLANTIS, AND BURJ AL-ARAB

Another boat cruise for a hot day. One of my favorite activities anywhere in the world: doing boat cruises.

 I normally spend a lot of time, cruising lakes in Switzerland but also boat cruises in Dubai are not too bad. With all the stunning buildings in Dubai, boat cruises are pretty amazing – and there is something for every taste. 

Whether you like to have dinner on board or just sail along Burj al-Arab, I am sure you will find the perfect cruise for yourself.

HAVE AN ADVENTURE AT IMG WORLDS OF ADVENTURE

The IMG Worlds of Adventure, the world´s largest theme park, is still on my”to-do list” for Dubai.

I am sure your kids will love it – but even the grown-ups can have a fun day here. So plan a day for this giant theme park where it is a lot about thrilling rollercoaster rides.

GET AROUND VIA DUBAI FERRY

An inexpensive way to do a little boat cruise is by doing a ferry ride (okay, I know another kind of boat ride), but it is way cheaper and shorter – and you get from a. to b. 

You can also use your NOL card to hop onto the ferry and get around in some parts of Dubai (e.g., Dubai Marina).

SPEND A DAY AT A WATERPARK

Book a ticket for one of the waterparks in the city.

I never spend much time in waterparks…except when I did in Dubai at the Aquaventure Waterpark…and later at Wild Wadi Waterpark. I enjoyed both my days at the waterpark – though I felt they were very crowded and surely overpriced. Dubai Wild Wadi WaterparkIt is easy to spend a full day at one of the biggest and best waterparks in the region with all the different slides, different pools, and more to do at the waterpark. 

EXPLORE DUBAI VIA HOP-ON AND HOP-OFF

The best way to get around in Dubai is to hop on one of the sightseeing buses and discover many areas by bus – with great stops along the way.

There are actually two operators – either City Sightseeing or Big Bus. Both offer almost identical, but there are some differences in the extras, lengths, and minor differences in the routes.

MAKE A TRIP TO MUSANDAM / OMAN

Explore the neighboring country of the USA and make a day trip to Oman.

On my fourth trip, I finally managed to make a day trip to Oman. It is quite a long drive, but Dubai is still a good base for day trips to Oman’s northern parts.

If you feel like escaping the hustle and bustle of crazy Dubai, then head to Oman.

HEAD TO ABU DHABI

If you do not plan to stay overnight in Abu Dhabi, you should make a day trip to the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, best recommendation for DubaiI highly recommended a day trip to the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi, and see, among others, the stunning Grand Mosque, stroll along the Corniche. Click here to find out what else to do in Abu Dhabi.

GET LOST AT THE CHAMBERS

Visit the Lost Chambers at the 5* hotel Atlantis – The Palm and find out about the Atlantic myth and marine life.

You might have seen images on Instagram already. Honestly, there is not that much to do, and it is a bit lame, but this giant aquarium is probably a fun thing to do as a family.

GET A DAY PASS FOR JUMEIRAH PALM HOTELS

If you do not stay at one of the hotels on the Palm, get a “day ticket for beach access on the Palm“.

The beach at Dubai Palm is my favorite in Dubai, but since it is private, this is an easy and legit way to get access.

DO A BIKE TOUR

Rent a bike at a rental station on the Palm and explore Palm Jumeirah this way. You just need a mobile and a credit card with you.

The Palm is one of the best places to ride because the streets are new, which makes cycling easy.

STROLL MADINAT JUMEIRAH

Madinat Jumeirah is one of the most beautiful places in Dubai. What to do in Dubai on a layoverThough it is a recreation of ancient Arabia, it is extremely modern, and it is also home to some fantastic luxury hotels. You can also dine there, do an abra ride, shop in the souks, or just get lost there. 

From there you´ll also have beautiful views of Burj Al-Arab.

BOOK A PRIVATE YACHT CRUISE

Okay, if you want to splurge, then hire a private yacht. Dubai is the city of the rich – so a private yacht cruise sounds pretty standard there.

DINE AT AN UNDERWATER RESTAURANT

Dubai has several underwater restaurants, so why not dine in an extraordinary atmosphere? I admit that it is still on my own bucket list – but if you have the perfect companion with you, I cannot imagine anything more romantic.

SEE A SHOW AT WAFI WALL

This Egypt-inspired Wafi Mall also has a free light show every evening, which is worth watching. Though Wafi Mall might not be on your two-day Dubai itinerary, it is a fun place to see in Dubai if you are staying longer.

GO SANDBOARDING

Skateboarding can be done anywhere – sandboarding in Dubai is more exclusive. If you love snowboarding, you will love this. I sucked at it – but well, sports, other than walking/hiking/dancing, are not so much my strong points, but it was a fun and cool Dubai experience.

VISIT DUBAI AQUARIUM AND UNDERWATER ZOO

Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, one of the biggest indoor aquariums in the world, is located in the Dubai Mall. You can see a part of it for free when strolling on the ground floor of the biggest mall in the world. If you want to see more of it, get a ticket and discover marine life.

To be honest, I have visited twice so far. Both times, it was included in my hop-on and hop-off tickets. I personally do not think it is worth almost $40 (no discount for kids above 3 years). However, the reviews are good, and if you are into marine life, this might be a fun activity for you.

SEE DUBAI FROM THE FRAME

If you like to see Dubai from above, then head to Dubai Frame. This cool golden frame opened in January 2018, and you get an amazing view from the skyline of Dubai, but you can also walk on the glass floor and see 100 meters down. Attractions in DubaiIf you visit after sunset, is it beautifully illuminated, However, I recommend visiting in the daytime. Check out city tours, including a trip to The Frame.

STOP AT DUBAI GLOW GARDEN

A perfect Instagram location is the Dubai Garden Glow – a garden with beautifully arranged lights. It is not a place to spend hours at. But if you have some free time in the evening, go and visit this place in Dubai.

I only passed it in the evening – when I was in my taxi, and I always have wanted to come back but never made it. Seeing dinosaurs at Dubai Garden Glow makes me believe this is a great thing to do with kids.

SPEND TIME AT CITY WALK

There are so many new areas in Dubai that you might not be able to visit all, but add City Walk to your itinerary as it is one of the best things to do in Dubai for free. Whether you visit with kids (they surely will love it with all the activities they offer for younger tourists) or as an adult.

City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels-4It is an interesting place to stroll along – especially in the evening when all the stores and places get illuminated, and you have a lovely view of Burj Khalifa. You will even find some street art there, and you have plenty of dining options here, too.

Enjoy Your Trip

Enjoy your time in Dubai.

Though I could probably add many more things, these are my 50 favorite things to do.

DUBAI TRAVEL TIPS

Here are some – quick – travel tips. For more detailed information, just click on my Dubai travel guide.

  • Best time to visit: Between late October to the end of March (the weather is lovely around that time of the year, it is not too hot). During this time, you will do most of the best things to do in Dubai (as some activities in Dubai are also closed in the summer months)
  • What to wear: You don’t have to cover up – as a female you can wear shorts and tops but keep in mind, it is still a conservative city, so don’t overdo it. Check out my What to Wear post for more info.
  • How to get around: By public transportation, taxi, and Uber. I never rented a car in Dubai as driving seems very stressful if you aren’t used to crazy driving. Also, guided tours can be great if transportation is included.
  • Where to stay: Ideally, in Dubai Downtown or Marina. If you are looking for beach access, check out accommodations on the Palm or at JBR. Here is my full “Dubai – where to stay” guide.
  • Alcohol is allowed – but only in certain restaurants and hotels.

PIN ME FOR LATER – FUN DUBAI ACTIVITIES FOR ALL AGES & BUDGETS

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best things to do in Dubai, where to go and what to do in Dubai, UAE, PinConclusion: Things to See and Do in Dubai

As you can see, it is not only about malls and skyscrapers. Dubai offers so many activities for people of all ages and fitness levels. And I hope that this post has helped you find out about the best things to do in Dubai – whether you are on a budget or want to splurge. I hope you have found out what to do in Dubai.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

MOST EPIC AND BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN DUBAI

Where to go in Dubai - the best places to visit in Dubai and the best attractions

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO VISIT IN DUBAI

As a regular Dubai visitor, I am always surprised to find out about new, cool and best places to visit in Dubai. It seems a new attraction pops up every day.

Seriously, I doubt any other city is growing as fast as Dubai, and new places pop up each day, and I am sharing with you popular places as well as some more lesser-known attractions for your Dubai itinerary.

Whether you are on a budget or a luxury traveler, here are tips – for each budget and each age.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

TOP PLACES TO SEE IN DOWNTOWN DUBAI

It doesn’t really matter if you are into crazy, busy, glittering, extremely high skyscrapers or not – you have to visit Downtown as it is one of the best places in Dubai to visit. No questions about it. 

Dubai Downtown, Burj Khalifa @shutterstock
@shutterstock

What makes Downtown special? Well, first of all, because it is home to the tallest building in the world… Burj Khalifa!

Burj Khalifa

Standing at 822 meters, the skyscraper is one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai. And while you will see it from many areas – it probably doesn’t come as a surprise given its size – you should get a closer look. 

7 days in Dubai - best vintage points

Tip: If you want to visit the top of Burj Khalifa, book your tickets in advance. 

Dubai Fountain

Next to Burj Khalifa is the Dubai Fountain. To find out about the times for the dancing water show, click here.

Waterfall show in front of Burj Khalifa
@shutterstock

The show is free to watch, just a little warning in advance: It will be crowded. Like seriously crowded. Get there on time to get a good spot or book an abra ride so you can watch it without the crowds.

Dubai Mall

Dubai Fountain is also next to the Dubai Mall, the most famous – and probably the biggest – mall globally.

Whether you are a shopper or not, the mall is more than a compilation of different retail stores and restaurants! Dubai Mall is a must-see place. You´ll find popular Dubai attractions, like the Aquarium, KidZania, or an Ice Rink, and it is probably one of the craziest places to visit in Dubai.

Dubai Mall at night

But even if you stroll through the area, you´ll stumble upon some weirdish things, like figures that kids especially will enjoy or people who like modern art… I, who am neither of those things, was just left… surprised. Nevertheless, I smiled when I stumbled upon those figures here and there, and they might be some secret tourist attraction.

If you are into opera, ballet, or theater, you will love the Opera in Dubai, which opened in 2016 and is a few minute’s walk from Dubai Fountain.

It has become one of the main tourist destinations because of the great hotels and restaurants that are here. Armani Hotel is just one of them. So, I admit that it took some time for Downtown to grow on me, but eventually, it did. Now I love coming back every time I am in Dubai and always discovering something new.

If you plan your Dubai itinerary and aren’t sure how much time to spend here, I recommend planning in one full day to see as much as possible without being too stressed out.

Click here to find out more about accommodation in Dubai Downtown for each budget.

BEST PLACES TO VISIT IN JUMEIRAH

Another beautiful area in Dubai is Jumeirah Here are the best places to see in the area.

Burj al-Arab

The Burj al-Arab has been, and actually still is, one of the most expensive hotels in the world (prices during off-peak seasons like summer or Ramadan are still above 1000€ minimum). It opened in 1999, and visitors love photographing the hotel that is shaped like a sail.

Burj Al Arab great for photo shoots in Dubai

Though you cannot easily enter the hotel (if you aren’t an overnight guest, you need a written reservation for a restaurant, etc.), the interest hasn’t waned at all and is one of the main places to see in Dubai. 

Kite Beach

Popular spots to photograph Burj al Arab are from the beaches nearby, like the Kite Beach/Jumeirah Beach in the Jumeirah area. The beaches right from the hotel (like Kite Beach) are free to visit.

Dubai - Kite Beach with a view of Burj Al-Arab

Though Kite Beach is open to the public, you don’t have to worry about the beach being crowded. It is safe, clean, and quite empty by European standards, so Burj al-Arab’s view is not the only reason it is a must-see in Dubai.

Madinat Jumeirah

One of the most beautiful places in Dubai is, in fact, Madinat Jumeirah – a recreation of ancient Arabia that is, however, quite modern. The area to the right of Burj al-Arab is a charming souk area with one of the best hotels in Dubai and a canal lined with restaurants and little shops.

Instagramspots in Dubai

You can get a ticket and do an abra ride (a little traditional water taxi), do some shopping at the markets (souks), and enjoy great views of the above-mentioned Burj al-Arab. 

If you aren’t an overnight guest in one of the Jumeirah hotels, you can still buy a day ticket and enjoy access to the private beach for a day.

P.S. This area is probably one of the most romantic areas in Dubai so lovebirds will enjoy a nice evening stroll and dinner here.

Wild Wadi

Wild Wadi is also located in Jumeirah, right next to Burj al-Arab. It is one of the two main water parks in the city – perfect for kids and adults alike. 

Wild Wadi Waterpark Dubai book tickstes

A long lazy river and adrenaline-fuelled speed slides, 30 slides, and more – you can spend a whole day there if you love slides, pools, and water activities in general.

  • Check out prices for the Wild Wadi Waterpark. 
  • Tip: If you stay in a hotel that is part of the Jumeirah Group in Dubai, you will have free access to the Wild Wadi Waterpark. Click here to find out more about the best places to stay in Jumeirah.

City Walk

In the heart of Dubai, you will find an Urban Shopping and Dining Paradise. City Walk is a bit sleepy during the day, but it is a fun and popular place to see “after dark.” It is also the perfect place for shopping fans or families as it offers many activities (free and paid) for children.

City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels

You will also find some street art and have interesting views of Burj Khalifa, and you also have some street art here. For the best experience, I recommend coming here in the afternoon and then stay until late.

City Walk in Dubai with Arzo Travels-4

La Mer

La Mer is a bustling beach area with restaurants, shops, street art, and more. This is the place to chill and rest but also to enjoy some “city life”.

Officially, La Mer is also located in the Jumeirah area. However, I felt free to add it here as an extra place to visit. La Mer is great, so I totally fell in love when I visited it for the first time. And this love grew when I visited again… and again.

La Mer Beach Dubai - best places to visit in Dubai

It is different from the rest of the city – more relaxed, fun, and easy-going (we are talking about Dubai standards), and I am not surprised to see it becoming one of Dubai´s top attractions.

It is also a place where you could spend all day – and I mean from the early morning to the late evening.

The “vintage” look of the shops is so unusual that this is quite an unusual Dubai sight. Keep an eye out for the street art and public showers, which were totally cute. 

PLACES TO GO TO IN DUBAI DEIRA

Dubai is not only about modernity. It actually has an old town. Yes, you read right. It has an old town that is pretty charming and totally different from the rest of Dubai.

Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 days

Dubai Creek actually divides Deira from Bur, so some of the places I mention below are actually in Bur, not Deira. However, it is easy to get from one area to the other by hopping on an abra (water taxi) or crossing some bridges.

Gold and Spice Souks

One of the most popular tourist places in Dubai Deira is the Gold and Spice Souks. You´ll find many little stores along the Creek, on both sides. It is so much fun to hop onto a water taxi and get to the other side (and it only costs about 0.25€), which in itself is a very iconic thing to do in the UAE.

The Gold and Spice Souks are crazy – seriously! If you think Downtown is crazy, then you will experience a different kind of crazy here. Gold as far as the eye can see – okay, this might be a bit of an exaggeration, but if you want to see what a gigantic necklace made of high-carat gold looks like, then you can find out here.

But, of course, the souk has more than gold. It is a great place to buy spices, souvenirs, very affordable local clothes, rugs, and more.

Gold Souk in Dubai points of interest

Western people might feel overwhelmed as retailers constantly approach you, but knowing this will help you politely say you are not interested and keep moving.

Women should probably dress a bit more conservatively, especially in this area, if you want to avoid open stares from the locals.

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum is actually on the other side of the Creek. So it isn’t technically in Deira, but I’m still adding it here. The museum is a great place to get a well-illustrated overview of local history. So, it is perfect for kids and adults alike. 

This actually means that it can be quite busy, but I still recommend a visit (p.s. tickets are available for less than 1€; if you have a hop-on and hop-off ticket, it is often involved).

Al Bastakiya

Al Bastakiya (also known as the Al Fahadi Historical District) is another lovely area that I recommend visiting. This historic district is easily reached from Dubai Museum (on foot), and while it is a famous place in Dubai, it is not as overrun as many other places. So, if you prefer tight, winding alleys while enjoying a more authentic experience, then this is one of the best tourist attractions in Dubai for you.

Find out about the best tours in Dubai

Staying in Dubai Deira? Personally, I would not recommend staying here (though I have done so myself). Some hotels are great, but especially as a solo female traveler in Dubai, Deira is probably is not the best choice.

However, you can find a good bargain for luxury hotels in this area and find the best rates for hotels in general. Find the best rates for hotels in Dubai Deira here.

Zabeel Park

Zabeel Park is a lovely, lush, green, and neat park that you can visit for a small entry fee of about 1€. 

Zabeel Park is one of the best places to visit in Dubai

I have added it to the list because it is a great place for families or for anyone who enjoys some tranquility and peace. 

Dubai Frame

You will also find one of the newest attractions, Dubai Frame, which is located right next to the Zabeel park. The golden frame has become a popular sight and looks pretty in the daytime and at night (illuminated in different colors).

The Frame Dubai and more places to visit

But it is not only nice to look at – you can also visit the Frame and enjoy the view from above. The tickets are about 12€ (buy them at the ticket center) and you get access to the top.

Fifty meters above the ground, you can walk on the glass floor and see Dubai from a different perspective. If you are scared of heights this place probably is not for you, though.

MORE PLACES TO VISIT IN DUBAI

Here are a few more places to add to your bucket list and which did it really fit in the other areas.

Dubai Marina

Oh, this is another place that should be on your Dubai bucket list: Marina.

Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7

Tall buildings, good restaurants, a canal, and nice pathways – these are just a few of this area’s features. In the evening, it is a lovely place for nice strolls. Given the fact that the skyscrapers are illuminated, and it gets quite busy, it is a place that you really have to visit.

While not everyone likes the extremely modern look, it somehow represents modern Dubai like only a few places do. Kids will also love it, as you can rent little buggies so that they can be a bit more active.

You will also find many yachts here, and if you are into boat tours (btw, to my thinking, how can you NOT be into boats?), you can book one (speedboat, dinner cruises, and more) and see Marina while lounging.

Of course, shopping addicts will love it here, too, given that Marina Mall has enough shops to make any serious shopper happy.

But most of all, the amount of luxury hotels is impressive. While this means that it is not the most budget-friendly area, you will find several top-notch hotels that include great pool views, etc.

It is especially popular at night – find out why.

  • Personally, I love staying in Dubai Marina. It isn’t the cheapest place to stay, but I love its vibe and the hotels’ views there. Click here to get the best hotel rates in Dubai Marina.

JBR WALK – The Beach

One area you can easily reach on foot from Marina is JBR Walk (The Beach). It is actually one of the liveliest and busiest areas in Dubai, day or night.

Places to see in Dubai in 7 days

While it is actually in Jumeirah, I created a special space for this important place in Dubai, as it is like a little town all on its own.

The beach area (public and free) is very popular amongst visitors, and while it often seems that some areas are deserted in the daytime (at least if it isn’t in the winter), this is quite a popular spot all year round.

Dubai places to see

JBR Walk is home to several luxury hotels (you will find some mid-range hotels as well, but generally speaking, it is a more expensive area) and restaurants – a lot of them.

So, you can easily spend all day here: swim, do some activities like water sports or see JBR from above by getting on the Flying Cup, then have lunch, see some street art, let the kids play on the playground, and top your day off with a dinner in one of the restaurants and bars (there is something for every taste).

JBR – The Walk is one of the best areas to stay – especially if you love beaches or if you are with kids. Find the best hotels and rates for your stay at JBR – The Walk.

The Palm

One of the most prestigious projects in Dubai has probably been the creation of Jumeirah Palm.

This man-made island, in the shape of a palm, is located close to Burj al-Arab (when I speak about proximity, it normally means several kilometers) on one side and JBR Walk (and Marina) on the other.

Arzo Travels Dubai Palm from above

The Palm is famous for its unique shape and because you will find some of the most famous hotels on the island. 

If you ask people about the best places to visit in Dubai, people will probably mention Atlantis.

One of the most iconic hotels is probably the 5-star Atlantis – The Palm, a popular tourist spot because it is also home to attractions like the Lost Chambers and Dubai Aquaventure (and you can do a helicopter tour from here). 

Though you will find some luxury hotels, there is still a lot of construction work going on.

Where to stay in Dubai for all budgets - Atlantis

While the pathways are perfect for nice bike rides or walks, I admit it disturbs me to see all those half-finished construction projects on the way to any hotel on the Palm.

However, this is one of the most exclusive areas in all of Dubai. All of the hotels are top-notch, and it is also a luxurious residential area. If you are short on time and don’t stay in one of the hotels, you can plan in a few hours to have a look around – or you can skip it.

If you have a few days in Dubai, then why not get a day pass? Many hotels offer day pass tickets for their beaches and pools. Admittedly, the beaches here are quite nice (even with all the construction you might see from the beach area).

Dubai Desert

If you visit the desert, you will find another very traditional area of Dubai… the amazing desert. 

Desert safari on a layover

Sure, it doesn’t have the highest dunes ever, and while the desert might not be as iconic as the Sahara, I truly recommend spending some time here. To keep it short, the desert is pretty great. 

If you are in the city and have not planned a trip to the desert… well, you are missing out. The desert is much more than just some dunes. This is a great place for adventurous activities, like 4×4 wheel dune bashing, sandboarding, buggy rides, or hot air ballooning.

There is a lot to see in Dubai´s desert – even if it seems to be just about dunes.

The best place to have a BBQ? In the desert! It is romantic, fun (for people of all ages), and delicious (as an insatiable vegetarian, I feel confident enough to say so).

An evening in the desert (alone or with friends/family) would be a great way to end your Dubai trip. You can even book a hotel in the desert.

ATTRACTIONS TO SEE IN DUBAILAND

Dubailand probably doesn’t belong to Dubai´s most famous places – at least according to its name – but it is home to some main attractions.

Miracle Garden

If you have done some research on activities in Dubai, you will most likely have seen images of Miracle Garden.

Better place to visit in UAE

And Miracle Garden is as pretty as it looks in the pictures. While it can be crowded (it is only open in winter), it is still worth visiting. As the biggest flower park in the world, it is fun for the whole family.

50 million flowers – of all kinds – are displayed in a fun and cool way. If you don’t want to bring your own snacks and drinks, you can buy them from one of the numerous little stalls.  

Global Village

Close by is Global Village, which is another attraction that is open in the winter months and the main draw for families and one of the top places to visit in Dubai with your family.

It is a place for people of all ages. You can ride roller coasters, shop, and dine. And, of course, admire the main attraction: the Global Village. It is a tiny version of the world, with more than 27 pavilions representing 75 different countries.

Tickets are only about 5€ each; food and rides cost extra.

I recommend visiting Miracle Garden first before heading over to spend the rest of the day at Global Village.

IMG World of Adventure

Also, in Dubailand, you will find IMG World of Adventure.

This giant indoor park is open all year long and is especially fun for kids and adults will enjoy it.

Okay, these are the best places to visit in Dubai – in my honest opinion. Most of them are for visitors of all ages, so it is fun regardless of whether you visit as a solo traveler, a couple, with friends, or with your family. 

While exploring all of these places could take weeks – (find my ideal 7-day Dubai itinerary), if you have less time, I hope this guide helps you pick the perfect places for you. 

PIN ME FOR LATER – PLACES TO SEE IN DUBAI

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Epic places to visit in Dubai, UAE, Arzo Travels

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

What to Do in 3 or 4 Days in Dubai

Best things to do and see in Dubai in 3 or 4 days

THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI IN 3 OR 4 DAYS

Are you heading to Dubai soon and wondering about the best things to do in Dubai in 3 or 4 days? Then this post is for you. Whether you stay 3 or 4 days in Dubai, this post is a great itinerary that will help you plan your trip.

While you surely could see the main tourist attractions in only two days, three days in Dubai is a good amount of time to see a bit more of the city. And four days in Dubai is actually even better.

The tips are a mix of my own personal favorite places and places that any Dubai visitor has to see at least once.

I have four different day plans for you. You can skip around and change the dates, but I clustered the activities together to minimize the driving and time spent in the car.

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

In this Dubai itinerary for 3 or 4 days, you will find out:

  • How to Get to Dubai
  • How to Get Around
  • Accommodations for 3 or 4 Nights / Days in Dubai
  • Best Time to Visit Dubai
  • More Travel Tips for Dubai in 3 or 4 Days
  • 3-Day and 4-Day Dubai Itinerary

TRAVEL TIPS FOR 3 OR 4 DAYS IN DUBAI

Before discussing your 3-day and 4-day itinerary, here are also some travel tips for your Dubai trip.

How to Get to Dubai

Dubai has two airports. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International)

  • From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes by 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.

  • If you fly with Etihad Airways, you will most likely fly into Abu Dhabi.
  • It takes about an hour’s drive to get to Dubai (about 50-70€ taxi fare). 

How to Get Around in 3 or 4 Days in Dubai

RENT A CAR

  • If you are in Dubai for five days, you could actually rent a car. But I do not recommend it.
  • 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), 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.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

  • If you like to use public transportation, I recommend getting an NOL card for public transportation. There is a one-time fee for it, but you can then recharge it. Public transportation 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).
  • However, public transportation is not perfect. You can avoid the crazy traffic by taking the metro, which is great, but a) the metro lacks metro 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.
  • While the air conditioning always works perfectly in the metro and the metro station, it is not the best feeling to be with so many people in such a small space, especially at peak times. I am, admittedly, a little claustrophobic, so if you are not, it should be fine.
  • I mostly take the metro for long distances. Especially for downtown. There is a lot of traffic, and getting around by cab can mean being stuck in it forever, so a metro ride can help you save time. Then I jump into a taxi for the shorter rides if there is no direct bus connection.

SIGHTSEEING BUS

  • 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 tourist attraction but at most.
  • There are two main sightseeing companies. They offer similar services, and there are just some minor differences.
  • The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B.

Accommodations For 3 or 4 Nights / Days in Dubai

Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standard is quite high. If you are wondering where to stay in Dubai for 3 or 4 days, I suggest staying close to Dubai Downtown or Marina. If you are a beach person, choose 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.

  • 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 is this 5-star 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 4-star Resort: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai.
  • 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.

Money Tips For Your Dubai Trip

  • Currency: Dirham. However, € and $ are often accepted. I mostly used credit cards and had some change for smaller amounts and tips in Dirham.
  • Tip: If you dine, the tip is often included in the bill (10%), have a look at the receipt. If it is not included, I always tip about 10%  (I always make sure to tip taxi drivers and hotel housekeeping, too).
  • Dubai is expensive. Accommodation, for example, is costly. However, you can buy food in some malls (food courts) or small street shops and do affordable activities. Here is my full budget travel guide to Dubai

Best Time to Visit Dubai for 3 or 4 Days

  • I do not recommend visiting during the summer (May – September). It gets really hot and unpleasant in the summer months. If you enjoy the heat, if you really, really enjoy the heat, visit Dubai between May and September. If you enjoy some warm months without the heat, then visit between late November and February.
  • Check also for the fasting time (Ramadan) because life is different during Ramadan, when many activities cannot be done (also, alcohol is less available).

More Travel Tips for Dubai in 3 or 4 Days

WHAT TO DO IN 3 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY

Let´s start with the 3-day Dubai itinerary.

Day 1: Downtown Dubai and La Mer

Many of the places I mention for this day are actually the main tourist attractions and must-see places.

La Mer – Around 10 am

La Mer is a popular place in Dubai and is located in the Jumeirah area. It is a beachfront with many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, and friendly and fun street art.

Fun day at the beach

It is a great way to get adjusted to Dubai. 

  • With only 3 days in Dubai, I suggest staying at La Mer for just 2-3 hours.
  • There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something to your tastes.
  • See some amazing street art – bring your camera.
  • HOW TO GET TO LA MER: You can get to La Mer 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, 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.

Burj Khalifa – Around 1 pm

It doesn’t matter where you are in Dubai – you will always see it. I am talking about the highest building in the world: Burj Khalifa.  Dubai in 2 daysThe very uniquely shaped building is one of the main tourist magnets of the city. And while you might think it is enough to see it from a distance, I recommend getting very close to it. Actually, I recommend getting to the top of Burj Khalifa.

But let‘s focus on the main attractions here. As mentioned, the highest building in the world is a must-see. 7 days in Dubai - best vintage pointsFrom the top (level 124 & 125, and level 148), you have the most unique views. On the one hand, you will see Dubai Fountain and Dubai Mall underneath you. On the other hand, the view will remind you that Dubai is surrounded by desert – actually, a long time ago, Dubai was a desert itself.

While I truly recommend visiting the top of Burj Khalifa, I also suggest buying tickets in advance. I have been to the top several times and was happy that I had bought my tickets online beforehand. 

The lines to buy a ticket were crazy. But even with an online ticket, you have to queue for some time. But that will be nothing compared to how long you have to wait in line if you buy a ticket that day. Also, tickets may sell out during the busy times of the high season.

  • You have to enter Burj Khalifa via Dubai Mall.
  • The trip should take between 2-3 hours.

Get your tickets here (I normally buy tickets via GYG because of their generous cancellation policy).

Dubai Mall – Around 4 PM

I am not that into shopping, but Dubai Mall is really something. You should add this mall to your 3-day Dubai itinerary. It is crazy, it is unreal, and it is busy. What attractions in Dubai Mall

My favorite area: Fashion Avenue, the luxury department section of the mall. It is less crowded, very fancy, and the public restrooms are the most luxurious I have ever seen. I’m not talking about restrooms in luxury hotels, these are public toilets for anyone to use.

If you prefer more casual toilets and shops, there are also more affordable shops and stores (and restaurants). The food court has the cheapest food options.

  • From the mall, you can get to Burj Khalifa’s entrance and other sights like Dubai Ice Rink or Dubai Aquarium.
  • Yes, the mall is fun but I would not spend more than 2-3 hours in there.
  • Try to avoid Dubai Mall on a Friday. Especially in the afternoons, it gets unbelievably busy.
  • HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: You can get to Dubai Mall by metro/bus. If you get off at “Dubai Mall Metro Station,” either take another bus that drops you off at the mall or walk about one more kilometer to get into Dubai Mall.  Sightseeing buses also stop in front of Dubai Mall.
  • OPENING HOURS DUBAI MALL / PRICES: Dubai Mall is open from 10 am to 1 am, 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, etc.

Dubai Fountain – Around 6 pm

The Dubai Fountain is located just next to the mall and in front of Burj Khalifa. It looks like a giant pool with water that I´d like to jump into – but laws are strict in Dubai, so it’s better to only look.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
@shutterstock

There are free dancing water shows daily for you to enjoy. Be warned: There are always crowds.

If you can, try to get a good view from the Apple Store in Dubai Mall. This is a popular spot and, thus, many want to enjoy the view from there, but there is a limited number of people allowed on the balcony. Be prepared to wait in line.

The bridge to the souk is another popular spot to watch the dancing water show, but you can also stand next to the mall or see it from one of the numerous cafes and restaurants.

You can also book an abra ride (water taxi) and enjoy the water show without all the crowds.

In the evenings, there are often LED shows on Burj Khalifa. THIS is spectacular. However, I haven’t found a reliable schedule for the light shows, but you will be amazed if you are lucky and get to witness one.

  • Each show just takes about 2-4 minutes. Shows take place every 30 minutes after 6 pm. Check out the times here.
  • That being said, my main advice is to NOT visit on a Friday. Friday is the Sunday of the Islamic world. But people get out and get crazy. Seriously, the mall is crowded, and so is everything else. For Fridays, I would suggest a day out.
  • 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.

Stroll Dubai Downtown – After 9 pm

Downtown Dubai is a busy district with a lot of (luxury) shops, (luxury) hotels, and weird little things I have never really understood, like the bananas and other statues. However, it is beautiful – especially when it gets dark and everything is illuminated!

Dubai evenings are long – so even after 9 pm, everything is open and busy!

Day 2 in Dubai – Souk and Desert Safari

This day is the perfect get a complete picture of Dubai as you visit the old part of the city. Dubai Deira is the ideal place to explore souks (markets), and thus, it is a must-see in 3 days in Dubai.

Gold and Spice Souk – Around 10 am

Have you heard of the famous gold souks? You will find them here, and yes, it is true: There is gold…a lot of gold! Gold Souk in Dubai points of interest

Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or DubaiBesides the gold, you can buy souvenirs, (traditional) clothes, rugs, and more in this part of Dubai for a much lower price than in the malls. Where to buy cheap things in DubaiYou should also take the opportunity to ride an abra – a typical water taxi that gets you from one side of the creek to the other (for just 0.25€). This is a traditional and local way of exploring the city. 

  • HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD/SPICE SOUK:
  • Catch a metro and get to Burjuman and 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.

This is a fun but stressful first few hours of the day. So, I recommend heading back to your hotel to get ready for another Dubai highlight! A desert safari.

Desert Safari – Around 3 pm

A desert safari is an amazing way to discover the desert. This part is one of my favorites, and I am sure you will enjoy it, too, because it is one of the best activities for your 3-day Dubai itinerary. If you book the evening safari tour, you will be picked up around 3 pm from your hotel before heading out to the desert.

The tours vary slightly, but most include wild dune-bashing in the desert, then heading to a recreated, traditional camp.

Dining in the desert while watching the stars and a belly dancing show is one of the most unique and best experiences in Dubai. If someone told me they stayed in Dubai for three or four days and had not taken such a tour, I would assume they were crazy. If you are on a budget and only spend money on one activity, I would spend it here). 

This is probably the best way to spend time away from all the modern parts of Dubai.

Find the best desert safari tour for your trip.

Day 3 in Dubai – Madinat Jumeirah, Marina, and JBR Walk 

This day (whether it is your first, second, third, or fourth day) can be all about the new and modern parts of Dubai. This is the beautiful thing: there are so many different areas and neighborhoods that you will not get bored in 3 days in Dubai.

Here are three entertaining and pretty areas that are just waiting to be explored. If you only have time to see one for whatever reason, I suggest visiting Marina. However, it is even better if you can visit all three of them.

Morning in Madinat Jumeirah. Later that day at JBR Walk. And the evening in Dubai Marina.

Madinat Jumeirah – Around 10 am

You can start with Madinat Jumeirah. It is a popular and luxurious recreational area in the souks. You cannot compare it with the old town of Dubai and its souks – this one is way fancier and less authentic. However, I still love it. What to do in Dubai on a layover

If you stroll the souk and then the canal, you will have a view of Burj al-Arab, the most famous luxury hotel in the world. 

You will then see the souk and the luxury hotel. However, if you want to get into Burj al-Arab, you have to be an overnight guest or have a written reservation for one of the restaurants. But that should not stop you from visiting the area – there are plenty of other attractions.

  • HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH: You can take a bus from several places in Dubai Downtown. Sightseeing buses also stop here. There is no metro stop near Madinat Jumeirah.
  • OPENING HOURS: Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am.

JBR Walk – Around 12 pm

In between Madinat Jumeirah and Dubai Marina is JBR The Walk. This is a fun place, especially for beach lovers and families. JBR Walk - The Beach Dubai--3The free, public beach is perfect for water activities – adults and kids alike will love it. Also, there are some activities, like the Flying Cup, and playgrounds. This is actually a great place for the daytime – it is busy, fun, and enjoyable. Close by you will also find a ferris wheel to enjoy nice views from.

You can bring your own picnic or enjoy lunch/dinner in one of the numerous restaurants or cafes. 

  • 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: Shops normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants usually close later. 

So, personally, all three places are good to visit either in the day or night, so I can‘t make the final decision which one to visit when, but this might be a great solution.

Dubai Marina – Around 6 pm

As mentioned, if you don’t have time to explore all of these areas, don’t skip the Marina. This is a wonderful example of the modern part of Dubai. Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7The density of skyscrapers is insane. Walk along the promenade, and you might have neck pain after a while because you will have to look up all the time. If you enjoy fancy yacht trips, this is also the place to be. Though I have never been to Florida, the Marina reminds me of it.

There are a ton of restaurants and bars. For a great view, I recommend having dinner/lunch in one of the restaurants on Pier 7.

  • HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MARINA: Take the metro – Dubai Marina Metro Station is the closest metro station or ask the taxi driver to drop you off at Marina Mall
  • OPENING HOURS / PRICES: It is open 24/7, but shops normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants normally close later. 

What to Do in Dubai in 4 Days – 4-Day Itinerary

Here are more places to see in Dubai in 4 days.

Day 4 in Dubai: Abu Dhabi, Oman, or Theme Park

I suggest a day trip to one of the places below. Of course, you could also squeeze it into your 3-day itinerary, but if you have 4 days in Dubai, it will be more relaxed to do so.

TIP: If you leave on day 4, do the day trip on day 2 or 3. It can always happen that you will be stuck for some unforeseeable reasons. Especially if your plane leaves early, you want to be 100% to be on time at the airport.

Abu Dhabi – Start Around 7:30 – 8 am

For a 4-day Dubai itinerary, I recommend doing a day trip outside of Dubai.

I have a few ideas, and the first is to visit the beautiful capital of the United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabimost beautiful place in Abu DhabiThe city is located about 100 km from Dubai and makes for a great day trip. You can get there by bus (though it is tricky and complicated to use this mode of transportation), taxi, rent your own car, or take a guided tour.

In Abu Dhabi, there are quite a few places to see. One of the most beautiful places is the Grand Zayed Mosque. This mosque is synonymous with beauty, symmetry, and perfection. I have never seen a more beautiful building than this.

The mosque is free to visit, and it is open to non-Muslims. For non-Muslims, Fridays are not a good day to visit, and neither are Islamic bank holidays. You have to dress very conservatively. Women should wear a scarf over their heads and bodies fully covered, men with their legs and shoulders covered when visiting the mosque. Check out my post on the Grand Mosque for more info.

After a visit, you will have time to head to the Emirates Palace or the Corniche, the beautiful promenade in Abu Dhabi with beach access. For the city’s best views, head to the Emirates Towers and see Abu Dhabi from above.

This will be a fun day trip from Dubai, and you will have a great third or fourth day in the Emirates. Check out my more detailed guide on what to do in Abu Dhabi in one day.

Oman – Start Around 7 am

Oman is also a great day trip from Dubai. While I enjoyed my trip, I want to say, in all honesty, that getting from Dubai to Oman was really stressful. Arzo Travels in OmanYou might end up sitting on a bus, and you need to be patient (crossing borders is not difficult but time-consuming). If you are patient, then a day trip to Musandam-Oman is a great way to spend a day.

You will get a good first glimpse of Oman (which might make you hungry for more) – this includes a fun boat tour, some water sports activities, and a local buffet on the boat.

While it was stressful, I loved seeing Oman for a day. Check out my guide on a day trip from Dubai to Oman.

Theme Parks – Start Around 9 am

Dubai is home to many theme parks. Personally, I would opt for a day trip to Abu Dhabi or Oman, but of course, taste differs, especially if you visit with younger ones – or if you love theme parks and roller coasters yourself, the theme parks might be better.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING DUBAI FOR 3 OR 4 DAYS

As you can see, there are many different things to do and see. So, whether you stay 3 or 4 days in Dubai, hopefully, this post has helped plan your 3- or 4-day Dubai itinerary.

Dubai is a good destination for solo travelers, couples, families, and a friend´s getaway. It offers a nice mix of modernity and tradition. You can make it as luxurious as you want but also travel on a budget to Dubai. Check out my Dubai budget post for more info!

I hope, you will have a wonderful trip!Safe Travels, Arzo

 

BEST DUBAI DAY TOURS – CITY & SAFARI EXCURSIONS

Best tours in Dubai - which tours are best in dubai

BEST TOURS IN DUBAI TO BOOK

Are you heading to Dubai and wondering about the best Dubai tours? Then find out about fun day tours from Dubai that are worth the money.

No matter how often I visit Dubai, I always find new places and more things to do; I never actually get bored.

It almost feels like home to me, and whenever I hear people saying, “Dubai is boring” and “there is not much to do and see,” I almost feel offended. Of course, people could discuss many things, but Dubai being boring surely is not the case.

So, before you think there are only malls and skyscrapers, I have listed my favorite and the best tours in Dubai.

By the way: I have also listed the best places to stay in Dubai and the 50 best things to do in Dubai..

Here are the top tours in Dubai that are worth your money!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here. 

Dubai Mall at night

HOW TO BOOK TOURS IN DUBAI

I normally book tours via GetYourGuide. I love GetYourGuide because you can normally cancel tours and activities up to 24 hours in advance without any cancellation fee – this is especially great because we never know what might happen (that is out of our control). And you often do not have this option when booking with tour agencies directly – not even when you book with the best tour operator for Dubai.

So, the top Dubai tours are normally offered via GetYourGuide and because I use them (and pay for the tours myself) I recommend them and have linked to them in this post. 

BEST EXCURSIONS IN DUBAI

Here they are, some of the best Dubai tours and excursions.

DESERT SAFARI in Dubai

One of the best guided Dubai day trips is a desert safari.Best tours in Dubai

If you go to Dubai and skip the desert, you are missing out! The desert is not only extremely picturesque but also a lot of fun. It almost does not matter what tour you do – a Dubai desert trip should be on your itinerary.

Of course, it plays a role in what you personally like and what tour you book. So, here are my favorite desert safaris in Dubai.

DUNE BASHING AND BBQ 

If you want to do something different, book a dune bashing Dubai tour, including BBQ.

There are many different tour operators, and many tours are similar. However, some tour packages and services differ slightly. Some pricier tours have complimentary alcoholic drinks included with the BBQ, while others only offer soft drinks and water, for instance.

Typically, you will be picked up from your hotel, and then you head to the desert and start with some dune dashing – The dune bashing part is fun!

After a few minutes of dune bashing in a 4×4 (including some photo stops), you will have a nice dinner in the desert (in a traditional Arabic camp) and can get some henna paintings and watch a belly dance show.

More desert safari tours: If you prefer a more active tour in the desert, book one that offers sandboarding or a tour where you can drive a buggy.

As for the best desert safari tour operator in Dubai, I recommend GetYourGuide yet again. There are several options so that everyone can find the best Dubai desert safari tour for their own needs.

Desert safaris often are not full-day Dubai tours but take about 4-10 hours.

BURJ KHALIFA TOUR

Okay, though I mentioned at the beginning that it is not only about skyscrapers, I cannot ignore the fact that the tallest building in the world is in Dubai: Burj Khalifa. And to be honest, getting “to the top of Burj Khalifa” is pretty fun and a must Dubai excursion.

7 days in Dubai - best vintage points

Plan in a few hours for this activity. You should definitely book your ticket in advance – the lines are crazy most of the time, and even with a ticket, you might have to stand in line.

I have been at the top three times and probably will visit again. Burj Khalifa, 828 meters high, offers tickets for level 124+125 or level 148.

With the latter ticket, you can visit all three levels. You can also skip all the lines and go to the top quickly, so it saves time, but it’s much more expensive. The view is slightly better, but if you are in no rush or on a budget, then the view from level 124+125 is just fine.

More tours of Dubai – Burj Khalifa: If you would like to combine your Burj Khalifa tour with a lovely dinner (or lunch), you can get a combo ticket for Burj Khalifa and a meal. You will find two different restaurants inside the building where you can get these tickets.

I booked one of them myself, and it was definitely worth the money. Check out my Burj Khalifa guide for more information.

OMAN TOUR – MUSANDAM DAY TRIP FROM DUBAI

A trip to Musandam, Oman, from Dubai, is a fun activity and one of the best-guided tours in Dubai (or better from Dubai). However, this is not for those who dislike longer bus rides because it is a full-day trip from Dubai.Best Dubai tours

The Musandam Governorate is a mountainous Omani peninsula projecting into the Strait of Hormuz, separated from the rest of the country by the United Arab Emirates.

It takes a few hours to get to Musandam, but once you are on a dhow (traditional wood boat), you can relax and unwind (especially after some busy time in Dubai).

Though the drive was too long for my taste, and the water in Oman quite dirty (petrol in the water, I am not sure if that is something Musandam constantly struggles with), I enjoyed the trip and think it is overall great value for money. While I don’t want to say everything was perfect (it is time-consuming), I recommend this tour as it gives you a small glimpse of a different country.

You have several tour operators, but the services are similar.

ABU DHABI DAY TRIP FROM DUBAI

Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, is a beautiful day trip destination from Dubai. If you do not rent a car and drive yourself, I recommend going on an organized tour, as taxi costs add up and you need a taxi in Abu Dhabi to get to several main tourist attractions.Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Abu Dhabi Emirates

Of course, you have to book a tour that includes a trip to the majestic and fantastic mosque – Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi!

The most beautiful building in the world is the main attraction in Abu Dhabi – unlike most mosques in Dubai, this one is also open to non-Muslims. So, you can visit it and explore many parts of the mosque on your own.

Make sure not to book your tour on a Friday or on a religious bank holiday, as the mosque is closed for visitors.

However, there are different day tours from Dubai to Abu Dhabi – some combine a trip to Abu Dhabi downtown, the big Ferrari theme park, or the quiet new Louvre museum. So, when you book your tour to Abu Dhabi, check out carefully which sights will be visited.

Here are some popular day trips from Dubai.

SHARJAH TRIP FROM DUBAI

One of the top Dubai activities – though not very popular – is a trip to Sharjah. The lovely city bordering Dubai (depending on your location, it might take only 20 minutes to get to the city center) makes a great day trip. Sharjah has quickly won me over! Trips from Dubai

I preferred the quietness and calm compared to Dubai– and it is green! But there are more to see than the green parks, exciting shopping malls (though much quieter than in Dubai), a beautiful promenade, and a water fountain show  – Sharjah is the smaller version of Dubai (in green!).

However, if you want to have a night out and enjoy a few drinks – Sharjah is not for you as drinking is forbidden and more conservative than Dubai in general.

Book yourself a tour to see the most exciting tourist attractions in Sharjah. And with a trip to Sharjah, you have also visited another Emirate (it is not only a city but also an Emirate).

I actually recommend staying longer than a day, but it is a top tour if you are in Dubai for a shorter time – here are some tours that will show you Sharjah in a nutshell

DUBAI WATER PARKS

Water parks in Dubai are very popular – apparently, people enjoy some time in the water on warm days.

I am not a water park person, but I visited both of the most famous water parks in the UAE, and it was fun – both times. So, I want to say that water parks in Dubai can be fun even if you are not into water parks. And if you are, you will love it!Wild Wali park with kids in Dubai

Whether you book a tour to Wild Wadi Waterpark, which belongs to the Jumeirah group (and so it comes with a view of the Burj al Arab, the most famous hotel in the world), or a tour to Aquaventure, which belongs to the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm (and so it comes with a view of the Atlantis Hotel); both are places where you can easily spend a day.

They are perfect for hot days and the “chilly” ones (as it never gets really cold in Dubai).

If you are on a budget, I recommend bringing your snacks & drinks, and towels as these are expensive renting, but if you don’t have a tight budget, also book one of the cabanas and enjoy a day in the waterparks.

Kids traveling to Dubai will love either one, but they are both great for people of all ages. You have tons of slides, pools, and other water activities you can do there.

BOAT TOURS IN DUBAI

If you have been following my stories on Instagram, you will realize how much I am into boat tours… and how often I hop on a boat.Where to stay in Dubai for all budgets - Atlantis

Any kind of water transportation is great for me. Tour Dubai in a boat. It’s perfect for several reasons:

Boat tours are fun. And they allow you to do Dubai sightseeing the easy way. They offer you the best breeze on a hot day (and there are many of those hot days in Dubai).

So, these are just some of the reasons why they are my favorite activities in a city of superlatives – if you book the right tours, you can even spend a romantic time on the boat, including a dinner – or you do a fast speedboat tour. The choices are endless.

Here are some of my favorite boat tours for you.

DUBAI CITY TOURS

Dubai is a huge city! I know this is not new to most people, but getting around and seeing the most interesting places can be daunting. 

Some of the popular places are spread out and far from each other, so it takes time and nerve to get from point A to point B (you might spend quite a lot of time stuck in traffic).

Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or Dubai

As mentioned earlier, it is not only about the malls and skyscrapers; but if you have a limited amount of time (let’s say less than two days), you should consider booking a city tour. 

This will allow you to be shown around, see several of the hot spots in Dubai easily.

Taxis and public transportation are pretty affordable in Dubai. Still, prices add up, and a tour might be even cheaper than hopping on taxis or the metro/bus, depending on the places you want to see and learn about the history of the city or at least the history of certain parts of Dubai.

WRAPPING UP DUBAI DAY TOURS

Taking a Dubai trip is well worth the money as there’s an overwhelming number of places to visit.

All there’s left to do is pack for your trip to Dubai. I hope this post has helped you to find the perfect tour and excursions in Dubai for your trip! Enjoy!

And if you are still looking to fix your Dubai itinerary?

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

SOLO FEMALE TRAVEL IN DUBAI – THINGS TO DO + MORE

Is Dubai Safe for Female Travelers?

TRAVELING TO DUBAI AS A SOLO FEMALE TRAVELER

Are you planning to travel to Dubai as a solo female traveler? Then this post is for you!

When I started the blog, my intention wasn’t to focus strongly on travels to the United Arab Emirates. Still, somehow, Dubai has become one of the main focuses of my blog. After many visits and trying out a lot of different activities, I feel confident enough to write about my experiences as a solo female traveler in Dubai.

So, today I am happy to answer your questions in this “Solo Female Travel in Dubai guide.”

Some of the questions I get asked the most is: Is Dubai safe for solo female travelers? I also get asked a lot about the best things to do in Dubai solo.

Dinner in the Sky Dubai with Arzo Travels

TIPS FOR SOLO TRAVELERS TO DUBAI

Dubai is, I think, one of the safest places that I can think of and the best place to travel solo as a female.

  • Are there security issues? Yes.
  • Can we trust all the security information we get from the government in the UAE? Surely not.

However, this post is not about the political situation in the UAE (in terms of women´s rights or human rights) but rather how it feels actually to be there (while neglecting the political situation) as a solo female traveler.

Security Aspects in Dubai

  • The crime rate in Dubai is extremely low, also because there are serious punishes for many crimes.
  • It seems that the police are capable of doing their jobs efficiently. Maybe it is better not to know by which means the police achieve that. However, this makes me feel more secure than in many other places. I have been told by a person who lives there that even if something gets stolen, they will find it very quickly and solve the crime. After a few days in Dubai, I felt safe enough to leave my bag (unattended) at the table while going to the buffet and getting food for several minutes. In Germany, it would be unbelievable to do so. I actually get very careless in Dubai because it seriously feels safe. This does not mean that you should be so careless, though.
  • Based on a woman´s traveler perspective, the country is totally safe. Although people might think Arab countries might not be the most secure places, I cannot second that for Dubai.
  • Actually, since alcohol is not drunk that much in public, I felt much more secure at night than in many parts of Western countries, where drunk people run around at the weekend and make me feel uncomfortable.
  • I feel totally fine strolling popular places like Dubai Marina or Downtown Dubai by night.
  • However, avoid Dubai Deira at night and exercise common sense and you should be fine!

Dress Code For Solo Female Travelers 

  • Though there is no strict dress code for women, I feel safer when I do not reveal too much skin.
  • You can wear bikinis and swimwear at the beach.
  • You should cover your shoulders and knees when in malls. There is actually a strict dress code in most of the malls though many tourists don’t stick to them, and wear extremely short skirts and pants. I heard from locals that security might ask you to leave if that is the case. However, this hasn’t happened often, and most wear whatever they feel like.

Things to do in Dubai alone - Dubai solo guide

How to Get Around as a Solo Traveler

  • I always felt 1000% safe in the regular taxis. There are “pink taxis” which are particularly for women but I have never used them. But I always make sure to sit in the back.
  • When I take the metro, I always go to the women’s department (clearly marked). Stares in the regular compartments can be intense.
  • So, whether I walk, ride a bike, use the metro or call a cab or an Uber – I always felt safe!
  • As a female traveler, I only sometimes felt a little bit uncomfortable in Dubai, though. This normally always had some foreign workers involved, mainly from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, etc. Especially in places like Dubai Creek/Deira, I did not feel totally comfortable. It has gotten better the more often I went. However, I never felt unsafe. I heard some women don’t feel comfortable at all in Dubai Deira, so they refrain from going there. 
  • If you are unsure about how to dress as a female in Dubai, read these recommendations here.

Alcohol as a Woman

While Alcohol is not forbidden for tourists and non-Muslims, I would be cautious. If you have drunk some alcohol and something happens to you – an assault e.g. – the police might be way stricter, and you might end up being punished. 

In general, I recommend watching your drinking carefully – especially if you travel solo.

Accommodation for Female Solo Travelers

  • Though Dubai is super safe – even at night – I recommend, especially for females, to avoid staying in Dubai Deira. Dubai Deira is fun in the daytime but a bit shady after dark – even if it is probably the cheapest area to stay in Dubai (or one of the most affordable). I suggest investing a bit more into accommodation and, if needed, reducing the spending on activities or food.
  • I rather recommend picking another area to stay for solo female travelers – like Dubai Downtown, JBR Walk, or Dubai Marina.
  • You can find my full accommodation guide here.
  • Accommodation cost for solo travelers is almost as high as if you share a room. So, this is the main reason I dislike traveling alone in Dubai.

BEST THINGS TO DO IN DUBAI AS A SOLO TRAVELER

Okay, while I have another post that lists my 50 top activities in Dubai, the list is more focused on solo travelers in Dubai. So here are fun things to do in Dubai yourself.

Dubai Downtown Sightseeing

When you travel in Dubai alone, you can be sure to feel safe in Dubai Downtown. It is the city’s busy tourism hub and home to many attractions like Burj Khalifa (tallest building in the world), Dubai Mall (biggest mall in the world), and Dubai Fountain (the biggest water fountain show in the world).

Dubai Mall at night

This part is crazy. Especially at night, it is crazy!

There is no shortage of superlatives, and it will not be boring to travel alone. There is so much to see that you will probably be too overwhelmed even to realize that you are on your own.

  • You can visit Dubai Downtown easily as a solo traveler. If you are on a budget, you can enjoy the tallest building from a distance, watch the water fountain show for free, and do window shopping. 
  • If you want to get to the “Top of Burj Khalifa”, it saves you time to book your tickets in advance. Ticket prices vary depending on the level of access (levels 124 and 125 only are cheaper than access to level 148) and also the time of your visit. 

Get the best rates for your Burj Khalifa tickets here:

Dubai Desert Safari

Desert safaris are one of the most popular activities in Dubai. 

I love a good desert safari in Dubai. I am actually not sure how many I have done so far. But what I know for sure is that I loved each tour. A desert safari is not only for families or love birds (the BBQ in the desert, which often comes with a safari, is indeed extremely romantic) but a top thing to do for ANY traveler to Dubai.

Desert safari on a layover

The desert safari is actually one of the best activities to make friends. Depending on the kind of safari you get picked up from your hotel, and while there are tons of jeeps (like a caravan), it feels like you form a little team with the other ones in your car.

Most tours include some dune bashing, belly-dance shows, and stargazing.

Somehow, no matter if I ended up with families or a group of friends, we stuck together, dined together, and had a great time together. If you prefer to be yourself during your whole Dubai trip, you can, of course. 

But it is a great way to connect with other Dubai travelers and exchange ideas and experiences. There are also morning desert tours, but my tip is to do the evening desert safari – another fun activity to do alone in Dubai at night.

Find the best desert safari tour for your trip.

Beach Time

Here is another place to visit in Dubai alone – one of the numerous beaches!

Why is Dubai better

Sometimes I am paranoid – unfortunately. That is probably why I am not so much into beach holidays. I am always afraid my stuff gets stolen while I am in the water. I am stressed out and not relaxed. In Dubai, I don’t have this feeling, just because Dubai is so freakingly safe. I can leave my valuables at the beach and hop into the water.

And I even feel safe enough to turn my back and leave my stuff unattended for a few minutes. All thanks to a low crime rate.

So, if you are in Dubai, you can feel free to hit the beach – even if you are as paranoid as I am. Okay, still – exercise common sense and keep an eye on your items but there is no need for paranoia.

Best beaches in Dubai to visit solo: La Mer, Jumeirah Beach (Kite Beach), and the private beaches on Dubai Palm.

Boat and Abra Rides

One activity in Dubai to not miss out on, are boat cruises. Given the Persian Gulf and Dubai Creek, you have enough options to experience boat rides.

I can openly admit that I am into boat rides – speedboats, dinner cruises, or whatsoever. Just put me on a boat and let me enjoy the city from a different perspective.

Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 days

Dubai is great for boat tours – as a solo traveler, you have the chance to make friends. If you prefer being on your own, you can enjoy the beauty of the city while sailing around.

If you are on a budget, try out an abra ride in Dubai Deira. The traditional water taxis are fun, very cheap, and a great way to get around. It is just 0,25€ for a ride – a fun and cheap thing to do in Dubai alone.

Here are some more boat cruise options:

Souks

Some females have told me they disliked strolling the old town of Dubai, Dubai Deira, with the gold and spice markets because people stare. I understand their point. It is a lovely area full of life with many foreign sellers who actually stare at women (and might even call after you).

Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or Dubai

I normally dislike this. However, I tend to dress more conservatively and try to take it easy. I talk to the salespeople and ignore them if it gets too much. If you know how to ignore people or keep them at a distance, it is fun to visit – even as a solo traveler. Even as a female solo traveler.

It probably is not a place I would visit in the evening on my own, though.

Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and the biggest city/emirate in the country. It might be less famous but also a great place to visit. It is about 130km from Dubai and makes a great day trip.

If you are by yourself, you can do a guided tour to Abu Dhabi – or take a taxi. While the latter option is not very environmentally friendly, the taxi ride prices are not high. You pay around 50-70€ for more than 100 km (so 100-140€ in total).

Arzo Travels in Abu DHabi

In Abu Dhabi, you can visit the most beautiful building in the world – Grand Zayed Mosque.

But there are more fun things to do in Abu Dhabi. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi is super safe to travel alone.

Dubai Marina

Marina is an expensive neighborhood in Dubai with stunning skyscrapers, many restaurants & shops, and one of the largest man-made marinas in the world.

So you can admire the skyscrapers – the density of high buildings is crazy.

Dubai Marina at nigt from Pier 7

While it is also nice to walk along in the daytime (if it isn’t too hot), it is even more fun in the evening. When the buildings are illuminated, the restaurants get busy, and people get here to enjoy their evenings.

I have been here so many times on my own, and it makes me so happy to stroll the area.

Since there are many foreigners from all over the world, families, couples, and solo travelers, it is also easy to meet other people and make friends. It is also easy to get to know people here because it is also popular amongst younger people who enjoy a night out.

Dinner in the Sky

Dinner in the Sky Dubai is a restaurant service that uses a crane to hoist its diners, table, guests (up 10 16), and waiting staff 150 feet (50 meters) into the air. If you want to meet people and like to have dinner with others – then try out dinner in the sky (or have lunch or high tea). 

How to book Dinner in the Sky Dubai

This way you get to meet others and don’t have to dine by yourself (if you mind that). I found it a lot of fun. Music, good food (vegetarian/vegan food available on request), entertaining staff, and hopefully some nice dinner guests – this is a fun activity for solo travelers.

  • Click here to book your “Dinner in the Sky” experience and find out about prices.

JBR – The Walk

JBR – The Walk is a popular outdoor dining and shopping promenade in the Jumeirah Beach Residence/Dubai Marina area. It is another fun place to visit solo.

There is a beach section, restaurants, bars, and shops. Whether you like to be alone to meet others – here is the chance to do both.

Places to see in Dubai in 7 days

Bring your towel and swimwear if you plan to spend a day at the beach. Water activities are big here – you can rent some equipment and try out water ski. SUP, or any other of the many options.

Dubai Museum

If you like to see a different side of Dubai, I recommend visiting the Dubai Museum in the city’s old town. The museum is located in Al Fahidi Fort – the oldest building in the city and features galleries about souks, marine life, and more.

 For a little entrance fee (about 1€), you can learn a lot about this rapidly growing city’s history and culture.

Conclusion: What to Do Alone in Dubai

I think Dubai is one of the most secure places to visit as a solo female traveler. Of course, there is no freedom of the press in Dubai – so we only learn about things the government wants us to learn about. So, even if there are incidents, we will probably never find out. However, from my own personal experience – as someone who regularly does a solo trip to Dubai – I can say that I feel safe.

It is not only because of the absence of mugging but also because of getting hit by men constantly. Also, Dubai is fun. I travel solo because I enjoy doing activities on my own. But I also am chatty and like to meet new people once in a while – and meeting people is quite easy in this city.

Safe Travels, Arzo

By the way: I have a thing for countries in the Middle East though I have not traveled much in that area, mostly because I do not know whether I could feel safe in the region (Lebanon is very high on my list). If you are also thinking about visiting Lebanon, you can find How safe it is to travel to Lebanon? Want to read more about Dubai? Click here to read more about it. 

 

Best Things to do at La Mer, Dubai 

Dubai´s newest place to visit, Dubai La Mer

Best Things to Do at La Mer, Dubai

One of Dubai´s newest and most popular hotspots opened in October 2017 – and has become a popular place for people of all ages since then. 

If you come to see it, you will find out very quickly why La Mer is a great place to visit.

On my recent trips, I could not help but visit La Mer several times. After all, it has a lot of different things to offer and quickly became one of my favorite spots – and I am not even a beach person! 

Find out why you should add it to your Dubai itinerary and what to do at La Mer. La Mer Dubai with Arzo Travels Graffiti It is perfect if you want to escape the craziness of Dubai Downtown (while still having a cool view on Burj Khalifa and the Dubai skyline).

You can enjoy some beach time and water sports, go shopping, have a nice lunch/dinner, and see some really cool street art. Even though the private beaches in Dubai are sometimes quieter and nicer, this is more fun and one of Dubai’s best beaches.La Mer Dubai with Arzo Travels

LA MER TRAVEL TIPS

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. This means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost for you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.

How to Get to La Mer

I suggest getting there by car or cab. There is are (underground parking available), but there are more options to get to La Mer.

  • La Mer is located in the Jumeirah area. It takes about a 20-minute drive from attractions like Burj Khalifa (without the traffic) or 30 minutes from Burj al-Arab.
  • City Sightseeing buses stop at Jumeirah Mosque (blue line), which is just around the corner. From there, you can start your journey at La Mer – North Beach.
  • Buses also get here: RTA Buses 9 and 88
  • There is a complimentary shuttle bus from a few hotels in Dubai (though I could not figure out if they also offer the return transfer) that anybody can use.

What to do at La Mer Dubai

Where to Stay at La Mer

Extras/Services at La Mer

  • Free Wifi
  • Information Hub
  • Mobile charging boxes (though none of those worked when I was there and the staff could not figure out what the problem was)
  • Free parking
  • Valet service
  • Complimentary shuttle buses to only a few hotels in Dubai 
  • Prayer room
  • Free showers and toilets
  • Baby changing facilities
  • Wheelchair accessible (many areas)

La Mer Dubai with Arzo Travels-

MORE INFO ON LA MER, DUBAI

La Mer is free – there is no entrance fee for visiting the beach and the waterfront area.

You can also use the showers and toilets for free.

You can rent sunbeds or luxury day rooms. These sunbeds cost money as well as if you rent towels, waterport equipment, etc.

Also, the playgrounds for the kids are free to use. If you want to visit certain places, like Bounce Dubai, you have to pay. 

La Mer Art, Arzo Travels

THINGS TO DO AT LA MER

You can also start your journey at La Mer – South Beach or the North Beach.

Chill at the Beach at La Mer

Before you see the beachfront, you´ll get to see some restaurants, beautiful new walking paths, and a tiny artificial pond. But you do not have to walk for long to discover the coolest section of the beach in all of Dubai.

La Mer Beach Dubai

Dubai´s beaches are not bad, but with all the city life, I feel that a day at the beach is underrated.

However, not so at La Mer. This area has the coolest outdoor toilets and showers ever, as well as other fun details.

Things to do at La Mer Dubai

Best places in Dubai

You can rent sun lounges and umbrellas or even your own cabana, but you can also budget and bring your own towels and umbrellas and chill under the sun.

While the showers and toilets are free, you can also get the paid version (but even the free toilets are quite clean and good to use).Is La Mer worth going?

Toilets at La Mer Dubai

RENT SUNBEDS OR DAY ROOMS:

If you visit Sea Breeze, you can rent sunbeds or day rooms at La Mer South. The day rooms have AC and allow you to spend a luxurious day at La Mer.

  • The price for 1 sunbed is AED 100 and includes 1 sunbed, 1 umbrella, 1 towel & 1 shower token. 
  • Day Rooms are available at AED 600 for 4 people. Each extra person costs an additional AED 100.
  • There are more conditions (like deposits), and there are also special offers (like Ladie´s Day).

Watersports

You can do all kinds of watersports. Depending, if you have to rent equipment, those activities are not free. However, it is probably worth it if you are into water activities. You can rent inflatable pool floats. You can go stand-up paddling, flyboarding, boat cruising, and more.Katersports at La Mer Dubai The view from the beach is great, at least if you ask me. Surely, a secluded beach is also fantastic, but a day at the beach with such a view is unbeatable for a city girl like me.

Activities for kids at La Mer

WATERSPORTS AT LA MER:

  • SUP
  • Pedalo
  • Kajak
  • Water Step Bike
  • Inflatables
  • Boat Cruises
  • Jet Ski & Jet Ski Tours
  • Wakeboard
  • Fly Board
  • Towable and more

Playgrounds

Most kids love the beach, but there are more things for children (and adults) to do at La Mer. There are several playgrounds free to use and for kids of different ages.

Hawa Hawa

Kids will love to trampoline at Hawa Hawa. This is a kid’s heaven! What can kids do at La Mer

Two inflatable dunes and seven peaks allow families and friends to do some trampoline jumping for people of all ages. Did I say just kids will love it?

  • Price:
    20 minutes – AED 30
    40 minutes – AED 45

Laguna Waterpark

Laguna Waterpark opened at La Mer. 

Four distinctive zones – Surf, Relax, Slide, and Splash – seem like a heaven for those enjoying being in the water (without the fish). Plus, there are also a few rides, including a children’s zone.La Mer Waterpark with Arzo Travels in Dubai

There are also a few waterslides that are unique in the United Arab Emirates. Also, tickets for this water park are much cheaper than tickets for the other two main waterparks.

Dining at La Mer Dubai

While many restaurants and cafes are open already, there are still many that are not. However, you will definitely find something that satisfies your cravings.

Restaurants at La Mer Dubai There are not really any budget food options here. However, there are more affordable restaurants, as well as nicer and finer dining options. The restaurants are numerous and pretty stylish (here we have that word again).

There are healthy eating options and hearty ones and a lot of choices for dessert.  

I just loved the food/cuisine choices and the pretty interiors that made me want to stay in the restaurants forever. From Greek to Arabic, from Italian to Turkish food. You will have a hard time deciding on the perfect restaurant because of its numerous choices.Cafes at La Mer Dubai

Train Beach Club

You can do more sports at La Mer than just watersports.
 
Train Beach Club is on the Northside of La Mer Beach and a fully licensed facility. It consists of a beach club, a restaurant & lounge, a shisha area, a state-of- the-art-gym, boxing & yoga studio, a juice bar, and more. I have not visited myself, but it is a great place to visit at La Mer if you want to relax, exercise and all that with great views.
 
For the Train Beach Club, you can buy day passes or get a membership.

Shopping at La Mer

While I like (or better used to liked) shopping in Germany, I do not shop in Dubai. It is more expensive, and I would probably prefer a mall to the beachfront for shopping.

However, shopping addicts will find retail stores here to their heart´s content like Sephora. On a winter day (so probably from November to March), it is probably more fun to shop here than in a mall.

Shopping at La Mer Dubai

From skin care products to eyewear, from souvenirs to cholocate and candies  – the shops are not as numerous as in the malls, but shopping addicts will surely appreciate it anyhow.

  • Retail Opening Hours:
    Saturday to Wednesday 10 am to 10 pm
    Thursday to Friday 10 am to 11 pm

Check out Street Art / Architecture at La Mer

In a city that is, normally, all about glitter and gold, skyscrapers, and modernity, La Mer is refreshingly different.

Street art at La Mer

Best art in Dubai

What to see at La Mer Dubai

I am not sure how to label this kind of style – but this retro, New Yorkian, fun style is so pretty and beautiful that it creates a perfect contrast to Dubai’s skyline, which you can see in the background.

The street art is awesome; not only the “Habibi” graffiti, but each of the images is fun, friendly, and interesting.

The buildings and different elements are so pretty, and this whole retro style has been implemented perfectly. While I do love modernity, I am head over heels for this area and style.  

It shows a different side of Dubai and, okay, it might seem out of place to some, but I found it refreshing and interesting.

Gala Habibi Grafit in Dubai

La Mer Dubai with Arzo Travels-37

Cool art in Dubai

Sunset

La Mer is a good spot to watch the sun set. If you just sit at the beach, or at any of the restaurants you can see a beauatiful sunset. After that, La Mer gets even busier so do not leave after the sunset but stay and enjoy the evening there.

La Mer at night with a sunset

La Mer Dubai with Arzo Travels-30

La Mer Dubai with Arzo Travels-31

If you visit Dubai anytime soon and skip La Mer, you will have definitely missed out.

Safe Travels, Arzo

 

What to do in Dubai in One Day

best things to do in 1 day in Dubai, itinerary

HOW TO SPEND 1 DAY IN DUBAI + TRAVEL TIPS

Whether you plan to spend one day in Dubai as a stopover or as a day trip from Abu Dhabi – this post will help you plan your Dubai trip for a day.

And when people ask me about what to do in Dubai in 1 day, I struggle because I could name tons of places. However, I narrowed it down to the must-see attractions, so that will ease your headache of planning.

IS DUBAI FOR ONE DAY WORTH IT?

Yes, one day in Dubai is enough to see the main sights. Of course, two or three days in Dubai would be better but you can see quite a lot in a day because some attractions are close by. Yes, it is a busy 1 day in Dubai, but I want to make sure you get to see different places and don’t miss out on too much.

DISCLAIMER: THIS POST CONTAINS AFFILIATE LINKS. THIS MEANS I MIGHT EARN A SMALL COMMISSION WHEN YOU BUY A PRODUCT/SERVICE (AT NO EXTRA COST TO YOU). MORE ABOUT IT HERE.

DUBAI TRAVEL TIPS FOR A DAY

Let´s start with some quick travel tips for your one day in Dubai.

How to Get to Dubai For One Day

DUBAI AIRPORT

  • Dubai has two airports. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International).
  • From there, it takes about a 10-20-minutes taxi ride to get to the old town of Dubai, or about 20-30 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa.
  • Warning: Due to a lot of traffic, it might take longer.

ABU DHABI

  • Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH) is the second biggest airport in the United Arab Emirates.
  • It takes about an hour’s drive to get to Dubai.
  • Taxi fare will be about 50-60€ ($60-70). 
  • If you are on an Abu Dhabi trip, and just want to visit Dubai for a day, you can also book guided tours or get to Dubai via bus. Public transportation from the airport to Dubai is not really great.

How to Get Around Dubai

I highly suggest not renting a car. Instead, use public transportation and taxis/Ubers when needed.

Public transportation in Dubai:

  • Overall public transportation in Dubai is okay.
  • The metro is fast, clean, and reliable, but stops are a bit too spread out, in my opinion. However, you can use the metro for longer distances.
  • For shorter distances, you can use buses. In Dubai Marina, you can also use the tram.
  • Buy your metro card at the metro/tram station or on the bus and top it up whenever needed.

Uber/taxis:

  • Though I normally prefer public transportation over taxis, taxis are often the better choice for getting around in Dubai.
  • The prices are okay – one kilometer is about $0.50 plus a starting fee and a little standing/waiting fee.
  • Ubers are slightly more expensive than taxis but offer a flat rate. So you will not get charged for waiting if you are stuck in traffic (which is a very likely scenario).

Is Dubai Safe? 

There is no transparency in Dubai, or the UAE, in general. We will only hear about crime if the government wants us to know. So, we do not really know about crimes and I can only talk about my experience.

  • I – as a solo female traveler – have been to Dubai many times, and I felt safe!
  • I never worried about being robbed, being attacked, or anything else.
  • Exercise common sense whenever and wherever you travel and you should be fine.
  • Deira is the only place in Dubai – and the only place on this 1-day itinerary – where I would not want to stroll alone at night.
  • But in general, I say that you can stroll Dubai (at night) alone or with others without having to worry. Just exercise common sense.
  • Check out my post on solo female travel in Dubai for more tips (also in safety).

One Day in Dubai – Where to Stay

Accommodation in Dubai is pricey. If you stay in Dubai for one night only, I suggest staying in Dubai Downtown, so you are close to the main attractions mentioned here – though it comes with a price tag.

  • Armani Hotel: It is no surprise that this 5-star hotel in Downtown Dubai, just inside Burj Khalifa (it occupies 11 floors of the tallest skyscraper in the world) and Dubai Mall, is synonymous with luxury and pure elegance. Check out rates for Armani Hotel.
  • Carlton Downtown: This 4-star property is also located close to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall – The Financial Centre Metro Station is within walking distance and ideal for those who like to use public transportation. The pool area offers a nice view of Burj Khalifa, and from the 357 guest rooms, you can choose between deluxe rooms all the way up to penthouse suites. Check out rates for Carlton Downtown.
  • Rove Downtown Dubai: This 3-star hotel is located a few kilometers from Burj Khalifa (not far from the international airport). While the hotel is very simple and offers basic amenities, you might be lucky enough to get a room with a view – a view of Burj Khalifa! Find the best for Rove Downtown.
  • You can check out my full Dubai accommodation guide to find the perfect place for your stay here.

PLACES TO VISIT IN DUBAI IN ONE DAY

Okay, with only one day in Dubai, there is not much time to relax. So let’s start straight away!

Old Dubai – Around 9:30 AM

If you are in Dubai early in the morning, then start in Old Dubai. If you are up and out at 9 or 10 am, you are actually doing quite well because most people in Dubai start the day rather late, and you can seize your one day in Dubai to the fullest.

The Gold and Spice Souks in Old Dubai are fun places to visit. Which place to visit - Abu Dhabi or DubaiEnjoy the calm which you will not often experience in Dubai. Most shops might not be open before 10 am. But at least it is not overly busy in the morning.

Stroll Dubai Creek – I love getting here early and watching the people get ready for the day before checking out the shops myself.

This is the place to buy souvenirs, affordable clothes, or spices. They are much cheaper here. Haggling with the shop owners can be fun, and it feels more authentic than shopping in malls. Where to buy cheap things in DubaiAnd if you want to buy gold, then buy it here. Oh, and even if you don’t want to buy gold, it is worth seeing what people could buy. 

While most shop owners are foreigners (Afghan, Indian, and Pakistanis), it is still authentic. Just a quick warning – visiting the souks can feel intense. Shop owners approach you a lot, and it is not really a relaxing time.

This is one of my favorite places to visit – but I know not everyone loves such intense places. Also, it is not what we normally expect from Dubai (because we mostly see modern and luxury areas and not the souks).

  • If you are a female traveler, especially traveling solo, you might want to dress slightly more moderately, as stares can be intense. 

Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 daysTo get from the Gold Souk to the Spice Souk, jump on one of the abras. The water taxis cost only about 0.25€ and are a fun way to cross the creek.

HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD/SPICE SOUK:

  • By metro: Get to Al Ras Metro station, and from there, 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 from around 9:30 am or 10 am to 9:30 pm.
  • On Fridays, shops open after 4 pm and close around 9:30 pm.

La Mer – Around 11 AM

Then, it is time to get to La Mer. It is quite close to Old Dubai. You might not find it on many Dubai itineraries as it is quite new. I think it is one of the best places to visit in Dubai.  La Mer Beach Dubai - best places to visit in DubaiThere is a beach, cafes, and restaurants, as well as water activities you can enjoy. And you’ll get the first good glance of Burj Khalifa, the highest building in the world.

Beaches in Dubai are, in general, very clean and safe! This beach is also free and open to the public. There are even free showers (which are quite stylish). After some time at the beach (and in the water?), it is time for lunch at La Mer.Restaurants at La Mer Dubai

HOW TO GET TO LA MER:  

  • If you are at the Gold/Spice Souk, you have to get to the other side of Dubai Creek by an abra or metro.
  • Then, at Al Ghubaiba Bus Station, you can catch a bus that drops you off at La Mer. 
  • If you get here by car, you will find a parking garage with free parking. 

OPENING HOURS/PRICES:

  • La Mer is open every day and there is no entrance fee.
  • The shops are normally open between 10 am to 10 – 11 pm or midnight.

Click here to read more about this part of Dubai.

Madinat Jumeirah – Around 2 PM

This stop is optional as it depends on how fast/slow you travel.

If you do not want to spend some more time at La Mer, you can add another area to your 1-day Dubai itinerary: Madinat Jumeirah makes for a good short stop.

Madinat Jumeirah is a recreation of ancient Arabia, comprising five-star hotels, ornate souks, and restaurants. What to do in Dubai on a layoverIt is so pretty and picturesque – it has its own souk and many restaurants and cafes with a view of Burj al Arab.

You could also do an abra ride (small wooden water taxis) here. The rides here are way more expensive than in Dubai Deira, the Gold and Spice Souk area, but you can ride them for free if you stay in a Jumeirah hotel.

If you have seen Instagrammers on an abra with Burj al Arab in the background, those pictures were taken here. 

Again, if you do not want your 1-day itinerary to be too busy, skip Madinat Jumeirah and enjoy some more time at La Mer instead. Madinat Jumeirah is just an extra for the very fast traveler.

HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH:

  • From La Mer, walk to Century Plaza 1 station and take a bus all the way to Madinat Jumeirah. There is a little bit of walking included (around 10 minutes).
  • Alternatively, you can take a taxi.

OPENING HOURS / TICKETS:

  • It is free to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
  • Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am.

Burj Khalifa – Around 4 PM

Even if you are in Dubai for only one day, make sure to add Burj Khalifa to your Dubai itinerary. After all, it is the tallest building in the world. 

Before you go to the “top of Burj Khalifa” to enjoy incredible views, take a few pictures of the iconic building in the daytime. What to do in Dubai in 1 dayYou can save time by booking your tickets in advance – with one day in Dubai you don’t want to waste too much time in lines. 

If you want to watch the sunset from Burj Khalifa, it is slightly more expensive. And it is not guaranteed that there is a nice sunset to watch. However, you can try to arrange your Burj Khalifa visit in the late afternoon and watch Dubai from above. 7 days in Dubai - best vintage pointsIt gets busy, and it is not really a relaxed atmosphere, but I still love going up and have done so four times so far. Check out my Burj Khalifa guide.

Don´t underestimate the time it takes to find Burj Khalifa’s entrance. It is located in Dubai Mall and it can take a while to find the entrance inside this giant mall. Also, you can book other packages and combine them with a dinner at Burj Club (I loved it).

Get the best rates for your Burj Khalifa tickets here:

Ticket prices vary depending on the level of access (levels 124 and 125 only are cheaper than access to level 148) and also the time of your visit.

HOW TO GET TO BURJ KHALIFA: 

  • You have to go to Dubai Mall. There you will see signs that lead you to “At the top of Burj Khalifa.”
  • The ticket center/entrance is located in the Lower Ground Level of Dubai Mall.

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).

Dubai Mall – Around 6 PM

Then, it is time to take the lift down and explore Dubai Mall. It is just gigantic – and busy! 

Dubai: What to do and see in 3 days
@shutterstock

If you are into shopping, you could spend days here. I love to stroll the mall because it houses several attractions like Dubai Aquarium.

TIP: Don’t buy a ticket for the aquarium. You get to see some parts of it just by being in the mall and you´ll see the underwater animals. The aquarium itself is not worth the money, in my opinion.

Inside Dubai Mall, you will also find a real dinosaur skeleton on display. 

Shopping in Dubai is more expensive than in Germany or the US – whether it is luxury items or clothes. The time when Dubai was known as a shopping paradise is definitely over. So, unless you are looking for something specific, I would not necessarily recommend shopping a lot.

Dinner: It is probably time for dinner.

  • Inside Dubai Mall, you will find many restaurants. At the food hall, there are some very affordable places with food from all over the world. 
  • Then there are also other – quite high-class – restaurants inside Dubai Mall. I suggest, however, having dinner at Burj Club (and buying your combined ticket with an entrance ticket to Burj Khalifa) or choosing a restaurant outside with a view of Dubai Fountain.

P.S: There is actually a dress code for Dubai Mall. Many people ignore it but you are supposed to cover your knees and shoulders (as a woman or man).

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: 

  • If you visit Burj Khalifa first, you are already inside of Dubai Mall.
  • But how to get to Dubai Mall? You can get there by metro/bus, and it is also a popular drop-off point for sightseeing buses.
  • 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.

OPENING HOURS DUBAI MALL / PRICES:

  • Dubai Mall is open from 10 am to 1 am. Restaurants and the food court are even open to 2 am.
  • There is no entrance fee for the mall itself.

Dubai Fountain / Burj Khalifa LED show – Around 8 PM

After 6 pm, the famous dancing water show goes on. I can tell you, it gets crazy there. I mean, really crazy just because it is so crowded.

Water Fountain Show in front of Dubai Mall @shutterstock
@shutterstock

Whenever the fountain show or Burj Khalifa LED show occurs, this place will be one of Dubai’s busiest. To get a good view, secure yourself a good spot before the show starts.

You can also book an abra ride and enjoy the water show without all the crowds.

Dubai Downtown is a beautiful place to end your day in Dubai – this is where you have all the bling-bling you can imagine.

Sometimes, the LED show takes place – which is honestly even more stunning than the water show. However, I have never really figured out when the LED show takes place. Check out the show time the day of your arrival to find out when to see it.

For a dinner with a view, visit one of the numerous restaurants outdoors that are close by. 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:

  • Shows take place from 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes.
  • It just lasts 3-4 minutes so be there on time.
  • The Dubai water fountain show is free. However, you can also book an abra ride and see the fountain show from a different perspective (and without the crowds). Check out prices for the ride here.

HOW TO GET TO DUBAI FOUNTAIN: 

  • You could reach the fountain even without entering Dubai Mall (e.g., coming from Dubai Opera). If you are at Dubai Mall, you will see signs that lead you to the fountain as well.

OR: ALTERNATIVELY

Alternatively: Dubai Desert Safari – Around 3 PM

Alternatively, you can do a desert safari in the afternoon/evening. I love desert safaris. However, if you have only 1 day in Dubai I am unsure if it is the best thing to do.

A desert safari takes some time (around 5-10 hours), and you will have to schedule all your other activities around it. You have to decide for yourself whether you want to skip on some other activities instead.

Exploring the desert in Dubai

There are different desert safaris – most include dune bashing, stargazing, a belly-dance show and some also include a nice BBQ (for me as a vegetarian/vegan, there were plenty of options available).

I enjoy the time in the desert – yes, it might be touristy but it is fun. Especially the dinners in the desert and stargazing were my highlights.

Though I have done a couple of desert safaris and been back in my hotel on time, keep in mind that delays can always happen. If you have to catch a plane that evening/night, only do a desert safari if you know you will definitely be back on time.

Find the best desert safari tour for your trip.

Final Thoughts on Your 1-Day Dubai Trip

With one day in Dubai, you can get an idea of what the city is about. However, I suggest staying at least 3 days, but knowing it is not always possible, I hope you get the most out of your time.

Whether you follow this Dubai itinerary rigorously or not – the city is certainly like no other, and though surely not perfect, it is a lot of fun.

  • There are a few things to keep in mind when visiting Dubai – check out my guide on what NOT to do in Dubai so you will stay safe!

Enjoy your 1 day in Dubai!Safe Travels, Arzo

 

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