10 Best Things to do in 2 days in Dubai – 2-Day Itinerary

Are you planning to visit Dubai but are unsure what to do in 2 days Dubai or how much to see in 2 days in Dubai?

Find out about the 10 best things to see in two days.

How long to visit Dubai?

Well, there is a lot to do and see  – it is more about skyscrapers and you might be surprised how much there is to see – from artificial to natural beauty.

I recommend visiting Dubai at least for two days – that is the minimum to get a good glimpse of the city and to see Dubai´s tourists attractions, four or five days is a good time to see most important sights of Dubai and still have some time to unwind. 

I have visited Dubai a couple of times and my love for the city has grown with each visit, and so created several Dubai itineraries for you:

If you are looking for a full Dubai guide with all information read my Dubai Guide and check out my list of the top hotels in Dubai). 

Before you find my recommendations, Dubai two-day itinerary, you´ll find a short pre-travel guide for the city.

Pre-Travel Guide Dubai

Security Tips for (Solo Female) Travelers

Dubai is a super safe city to travel and I think, it is even great to visit as a solo female traveler. Here are some tips on the dress code for females – to make sure you are safe in Dubai.

How to Get Around

Dubai has a good public transportation, however, some stations are spread out, which means that some walking may be required. However, the trams are super clean, safe, reliable, and fast.

Using taxis is an easy and safe way to get around- make sure to use the official ones (the black Lexus cabs are more expensive than the normal ones which are super fine to use).

One of my favorite ways to get around in Dubai is by getting a hop-on and hop-off ticket. Click here to check the latest prices.

2 Days in Dubai – Where to Stay

Accommodation in Dubai is top – even a 3* hotel is often better than other 3* hotels throughout the world. Except for Burj al-Arab I stayed at all of the ones I mention below and I truly recommend them.

Apart from the prices, it depends on where you like to stay in Dubai. even thoug, taxis and public transportation is affordable in the city, I recommend staying in a central area, so you don’t waste too much time on driving around. With 2 days only, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic from your hotel to the attraction.

what to do in dubai for 3 days
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Anantara – The Palm

To get the best deals on your Dubai hotel click here.

Not surprisingly, 5* hotels are better than in other parts of the world. Following are some hotels I have visited and reviewed in the past. However, the Palm is not very central (Atlantis is more central than Anantara). So, if you don’t mind driving a bit to many locations and enjoy more exclusivity, then the Palm might be the best choice.

  • The Palm (one of my favorite areas, only luxury hotels, best beaches in Dubai, very quite and a bit remote if you stay at the end of the Palm)

5* Hotel and Resort: Atlantis Hotel – The Palm Dubai

5* Resort: Anantara The Palm Dubai

  • Dubai Marina (best place to stay if you prefer to be in a  lively part of Dubai, with the Marina close-by, restaurants and cafes are numerous, but the hotels do not have a direct beach access. However, you are quite close to several attractions)

5* Hotel: Grosvenor House in Dubai

5* Hotel: Review: Intercontinental Dubai Marina

  • 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 )

4* Resort: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai

I did not stay at the only 7* hotel in the world but if you like to experience the purest form of luxury this might be the best choice.

7* Burj Al-Arab at Jumeirah Beach

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

Check out the best rates for hotels in Dubai

My full Dubai accommodation guide is here – all the best areas and all the best hotels for all budgets.

Budget hotels can also be found though you cannot expect super bargains. The best prices are often in Deira, and though I recommend visiting this fun area, I it is not an area I recommend staying at (especially not as a female traveler), so make sure to book a room at a main street when choosing Deira.

More Things to Know About Dubai

Click here for money-saving tips in Dubai

Read my full Dubai guide here

Find out what to pack for your Dubai Trip

What to Do in Dubai in 2 Days -Best Places to Visit in Dubai 

Day 1 in Dubai 

Gold and Spice Souk in Deira

Start your first day in Dubai with a tour in Deira – the old part of Dubai, located in the northern part of Dubai and quite closely to the airport.

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Discover the hectic and crazy part of Dubai- retailers will tell you to buy whatever they offer and it can be quite stressful. However, I truly enjoy strolling along this part of Dubai and it is one of the places you have to visit in Dubai in 2 days.  

Most stores open around 9 to 10 pm and it gets busy quickly. So I recommend with a start early in the morning before all the other tourists come and it  gets even more hectic. You can buy souvenirs, clothes (including Arabian clothes), gold, spices, rugs and al kind of stuff actually. The prices are much better than in the malls (especially for souvenirs) and if you are about to buy something, then do it here.

If you buy something you must haggle – it is part of shopping in this area and actually it can be fun if you do it n a nice way.

Tip: I love this area, but as a solo traveler it can be difficult. There are stars, there will be shop owners who approach you and so on. It is safe, no need to worry but it can be tiring. I recommend wearing less revealing clothes if you want to avoid it.

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Abra Ride / Bur Dubai 

From there you can walk towards the abra station of Deira Gold Souk and get to the other side (Bur Dubai) by taking and Abra (water taxi).

Bra Ride in Dubai things to do in Dubai in 2 days
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It just costs a few cents and is a nice way (and cheapest way) to get to the other side where you can continue your travel. You can also have the whole aura to yourself for 5€. This allows great photo opportunities with no one else in the picture but if you make it to the front of the bra you can take good pictures even with other people on the boat.

In Bur Dubai are some museums and another souk where you find more spices, gold, and other things (including souvenirs, rugs, and clothes).

Of course, you can spend a whole day exploring this part of Dubai but if you only have 2 days in Dubai, I recommend planning in 2-5 hours for seeing these two parts of Dubai.

Midday / Afternoon 

La Mer

I have found a favorite area in Dubai – La Mer, a new beachfront with tons of cool and hip restaurants and cafes, street arts and cool graffiti and fun details is great place to chill and while it can be quite busy (for Dubai standards when it comes to beaches), it is a place you should not miss out when in Dubai.

La Mer Beach Dubai
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I just had to add it as it is really nice – especially if you head there in the afternoon and end your day there, but it is also great to visit during lunch time, take a dip in the ocean, have some lunch, enjoy the graffiti and then head to the next place.

It comes with a Burj Khalifa view, and is close to areas like Dubai Downtown or Jumeirah Beach (Kite Beach, which I mention further below, though, close normally means about 5 km when I talk about Dubai).

Jumeirah Beach

Okay, to be honest, you won’t probably be able to visit the Jumeirah Beach and La Mer. This would be too busy. So you have to decide on one of the beaches. La Mer comes with a view of Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah Beach comes with a view of Burj al-Arab.

After some hours at the old part of Dubai, you surely have deserved to take a break and unwind. A good – and free place – to chill is at Jumeirah Beach, which is not too far from Bur Dubai. You can get there by bus or taxi.

Where to go in Dubai in 2 days
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The open Jumeirah Beach (Kite Beach), which also offers nice views of the only 7* hotel in the world, Burj Al-Arab allows you to take a rest, as it will get busier in the afternoon again.

Luckily the Burj Al-Arab is so huge, so the pictures do not actually really show the distance Burj Al-Arab to Jumeirah Beach. Many beaches in Dubai are private and reserved to relevant hotel guests – Jumeirah Beach it is open to public and free of charge. I

It can get busy but it does not get as busy as we know that from European beaches. From there, get a bus or taxi to Downtown Dubai.

Dubai Downtown

After some time in at the beach, slowly head to Dubai Downtown. There is no train connection (neither from Jumeirah Beach nor from La Mer) but  you can get there by bus or taxi.

Dubai Downtown is one of the best places to visit in Dubai in one day – stuffed with many interesting Dubai tourists attractions. You will find, among others, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and Burj Khalifa. This place must be on any 2-day Dubai itinerary.

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Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world – and definitely interesting to see. Whether you are just looking while standing in front of it or if ou plan to get at the top – it is one of the most important attractions in Dubai.

If you plan to get “At the Top of Burj Khalifa”, you should plan at least 3 hours for visiting it (depending on how busy it is) and enjoying the awesome view.

I personally definitely recommend a trip to Burj Khalifa – you can check out the best rates here (online booking in advance is a must, espeiclalyl if you have limited time and don’t want to spend much time in line) though the waiting lines to get on top can be very long.

You can either get tickets for level 124 & 125 or get a ticket for level 148 – of course level 148 is much more expensive but with a ticket to level 148 you can skip the lines – especially important if you have little time.

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Dubai Mall

Another place to see in 24 hours in Dubai is Dubai Mall, which is located next to Burj Khalifa.

Dubai Mall is definitely worth a visit, even if you are not a big shopper – there is so much to see and do that it is a place you must see in Dubai in 2 days, even if you only have 1 day you have to add it to your Dubai itinerary. It is not only about shipping, you’lll also find the Dubai Aquarium, and more attractions here.

You can spend several days at Dubai Mall, so it really depends on how much you are into malls and shopping.

 Places to visit in Dubai in 2 days - what to see in dubai in 2 days
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What to see in Dubai in 2 days? 

Dubai Fountain

Next to Dubai Mall is the Dubai Fountain, where you can watch a nice water fountain show.

Schedule:

Saturday to Thursday: 1:00 PM 1:30 PM 2:00 PM

Friday afternoon shows 1:30 PM 2:00 PM 2:30 PM

Evening Shows 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes

Dubai 2 day itinerary - what to do in dubai for 2 days
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Dancing Fountain Show @shutterstock

This area is also lovely to visit in the evening – Dubai is safe and this area is safe at night as well. 

Sitting there and watching tourists while Burj Khalifa is beautifully illuminated at night is a fun day to crop off your day.

I think, visiting Deira and Dubai Downtown is great for one day in Dubai – you could do even more but that would be very stressful, so if you have only 24 hours in Dubai  then this is my 1 day itinerary for Dubai.

Where to eat in day 1 in Dubai:

Deira is great for cheaper food – you´ll find many different cuisines, but for a nice dinner/lunch I recommend dining in Downtown.

If you are hungry, you can look for a restaurant, where you can have a nice view of the Dubai Fountain. Restaurants with a view of the fountain tend to be more expensive but there are also some more affordable restaurants and fast-food stores in Dubai Mall.

Best Places to Visit in Dubai in 2 Days

What to do in Dubai for 2 days? Here are some more tips for your two-day Dubai itinerary.

Day 2 in Dubai 

Marina

For day 2 in Dubai, I recommend spending some time in Dubai Marina. 

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Start the second day with a nice stroll through Dubai Marina, probably one my most favorite parts in Dubai.  This man made marina is one of the biggest in the world – I really liked the Marina with the canal and all the yachts and could spend hours walking aimlessly around and having a drink once in a while.

It is also a great place for visiting in the evening with its many bars and restaurants. It is also a beautiful place to visit in the evening but if you just have 48 hours in Dubai, I would spend my second evening at another place (more on that later).

I recommend a Marina Cruise (there are several ones, so have a look which one is the perfect choice for you by clicking here).   Looking for more things to do in Dubai in 2 days?

Madinat Jumeirah

Another highlight in Dubai is definitely a visit to Madinat Jumeirah, which is a recreation of ancient Arabia. Though several luxurious hotels are located there, many parts are open to the public, and it is very charming with all the beautiful souks, nice canals, and restaurants.

Best places to see in Dubai in 2 days Burj Khalifa seen from Madinat Jumeirah
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You can also do an abra ride (not as cheap as in Deira) and enjoy rides on the man made canals – or just get lost in this cute area. It gives you the best views of Burj Al-Arab and a visit – without dining or taking a coffee break, 1-2 hours are enough if you are in rush.

Plan in at least half a day for visiting Madinat Jumeirah and Dubai Marina – and then head back to the hotel as one of the best things is going to happen…a desert safari. 

Read more: Best places to visit in Dubai at night

Desert Safari

A must-do is definitely a desert safari tour incl. BBQ (you can even request vegetarian BBQ which is just great), which normally starts around 3 or 4 pm so reserve half a day for a trip to the desert – either in the morning or afternoon.

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Do not leave Dubai without doing such a tour – it is a highlight on each of my Dubai trips (and I do a tour each time I visit Dubai). If you like to do a morning desert safari click here to find out the best prices for a tour that normally include dune bashing, photo stops, camel riding, and sand boring activities as well.

It is surely a great experience with so much to see if you do not have so much time (and rather 48 hours in Dubai instead of 72 hours in Dubai you can do shorter tours, e.g. the Morning Dune Drive which just takes about 4 hours instead of 7-8 hours).

Check out Prices for Your Desert Safari

Where to Eat in Dubai Day 2

If you book a desert safari with a BBQ you just have to find a perfect lunch spot – I recommend walking along the Marina and sit in one of the restaurants that are the most appealing to you.

I hope you have found some inspiration to the question “What to do in Dubai for 2 days”. In my eyes, this is a perfect itinerary for Dubai (in two days).

Extra Tips – More Places to Visit in Dubai in 2 Days

After visiting Dubai so many times, above mentioned activities are my top recommendations for a weekend in Dubai. However, I know some might not enjoy all the places as much as I did or do get motion sick (which makes a desert safari less appealing etc.) so here are some alternative tips for you. 

Miracle Garden

If you have some more time I recommend checking out Miracle Garden. Madinat Jumeirah is closer to Miracle Garden than Jumeirah Beach, so I recommend visiting Miracle Garden after Madinat Jumeirah (though it depends where you are heading afterwards or where your hotel is).

Two days in Dubai
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Miracle Garden is closed during summer and very popular in winter – and it is for a reason.

This garden (entry about 10€) is all about flowers and a paradise for Instagrammers in Dubai. It is so photogenic and so different to the rest of Dubai that it should be on your Dubai 3-day itinerary.

Getting there from Madinat Jumeirah will take about 30 minutes by taxi and you should plan in at least 2 hours for discovering the garden itself.

The Palm 

If you have some time you can visit the Palm in Dubai – a man-made island with many luxury hotels on it and a great view of the Dubai Skyline (incl. a view of Burj al-Arab and Burj Khalifa.

Dubai - The Palm @shutterstock
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Dubai – The Palm @shutterstock

You can rent a bike (there is a rental station where you can pick up your bike) – you just need a mobile and a credit card and can then explore the Palm by bike.

While exploring the Palm you can also visit the Atlantis Hotel – you can visit as a normal guest even without staying there and head to the Lost Chambers, which is an interesting place to see (especially with kids). The entry fee is not very high and is a different kind of experience in Dubai – perfect if you are wondering what to do in Dubai in 2 days.

A great way to see the Palm is actually by doing a helicopter tour – while it is not cheap it was an awesome experience and I am sure you will also have incredible experiences. 

There are many more things to see in Dubai but if you have only a very limited time this itinerary might allow you to see the most important attractions in Dubai. 

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Click here for more about Dubai.

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Safe Travels, Arzo
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