You’re counting the days until your trip to Dubai and you honestly can’t wait to pack your bags, get on that plane and arrive in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
But planning a trip can get overwhelming and we don’t blame you, we’ve been there.
That’s why we’re here to help you with this handy-dandy guide on what we think are the best Dubai itinerary ideas!
So what are you waiting for? Read on!
Planning a Dubai Itinerary: The Basics
Before we get into the details of your trip, let’s get some basic information sorted out first.
How many days should you spend in Dubai?
You should spend at least three days in Dubai if you want to see the main tourist attractions within the city!
The great thing about visiting Dubai is that a lot of its attractions are near each other, so you have enough time to go sightseeing, experience the beach and even go on a food tour.
But if you really want to immerse yourself in every aspect of what the city has to offer including what lies beyond the city center, five days would be enough.
When is the best time to go to Dubai?
Since Dubai is in a desert, it’s known for its very hot summers – which means some attractions are closed during this season.
So, if you want to make the most of your trip to Dubai, November to February is the best time to go since the weather is warmer and most events are also held during this time of year.
How do you get around Dubai?
Getting around Dubai isn’t a problem since the city has several forms of public transport to choose from.
Three-Day Dubai Itinerary
If you’re on a multi-city tour of the UAE and you only have three days to spare for Dubai, this itinerary should allow you to enjoy the highlights of the city!
Go back in time to Old Dubai.
What better way to start your tour than going back to the old city?
Old Dubai lets you experience life in the city before its modernization allowing you to understand Emirati culture and traditions, which is important as a tourist.
Start your journey at the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood where you’ll see the old structures in the city including the iconic Al Fahidi Fort.
Within the same compound, you’ll also see different attractions like the Coffee Museum and Coin Museum.
After visiting Al Fahidi, head straight to Deira, the part of Old Dubai where you’ll find the world famous souks.
Shopping for gold at the Gold Souk is a must. But if you prefer to bring home some authentic Middle Eastern spices, the Spice Souk is just next door.
To complete your visit to Old Dubai, ride the abra or old water taxi to cross the Dubai Creek from Al Fahidi to Deira.
Explore the heart of the city in Downtown Dubai.
After spending the entire morning on the other side of town, it’s time to go back to the modern part of the city by visiting Downtown Dubai.
Of course, it’s only fitting to start by seeing the world’s highest skyscraper, the Burj Khalifa, up close.
If you have the budget, you can go to two of the observation decks at the Burj Khalifa to see the city from the clouds.
You can even book a table at one of the restaurants in the building or if you feel indulgent, stay for a night at the Armani Hotel.
But there’s also another vantage point in Downtown Dubai at the Sky Views Observatory located in Address Sky View.
Next stop is the largest mall in all of the UAE. Dubai Mall is a haven for any shopaholic, but it’s also home to attractions like the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo.
After doing some shopping, end your night by witnessing the famous Dubai Fountain Show just outside the mall.
Experience the riviera lifestyle at the Dubai Marina.
Your second day will be all about experiencing Dubai through attractions near the water.
Start your morning by walking around Dubai Marina and admiring all the beautiful yachts docked on the pier and the skyscraper residents lining this part of the city.
You can enjoy brunch at one of these spots while enjoying the views of the water, after which you can take a stroll at Dubai Marina Mall.
Cool down at Jumeirah Beach Residence.
After all that exploring around Dubai Marina, it’s time to experience Dubai’s beach community at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).
The Walk is a beautiful promenade where you can find shops, restaurants and cafes with stunning views of the beach.
You can also enjoy a dip to cool down from the hot weather or just lounge at ione of the cabanas for rent.
Don’t forget to stop by The Beach, which is another retail and leisure complex at JBR.
End the night with a Dhow Cruise.
Dinner cruises are popular in Dubai, but the best one has to be a Dhow Cruise.
This magical experience takes you on a cruise along Dubai Marina on a traditional Arabian boat while you enjoy a great dinner.
You also get to see the beautiful buildings along the marina light up adding to the charm of being in this cruise.
Explore beautiful Palm Jumeirah.
Of course, you can’t leave Dubai without visiting Palm Jumeirah.
Start the day by visiting Atlantis the Palm where you can check out the massive Lost Chambers Aquarium or splash away at Dubai Aquaventure Waterpark.
After a fun morning that could stretch into the afternoon, it’s time for some shopping and sightseeing at Mall of the Emirates.
And right before sunset, make sure to go to The View at The Palm to catch the sunset at the best spot on the island.
Four-Day Dubai Itinerary
If you have an additional day in the city, spend it on the desert to complete your quintessential Arabian holiday.
This itinerary highlights all the activites and experiences that you get to enjoy while on a desert safari.
Feel the thrill of dune bashing.
What makes a desert safari memorable? Of course, the thrill of riding up and down the dunes on an SUV at full speed.
Dune bashing is a must-try activity if you’re visiting the desert, but you have to be ready for the adrenaline if you’re getting into this ride.
Ride a camel.
Riding a camel when you’re in the desert is a no-brainer and there’s no better way to enjoy the views than on top of this gentle animal.
Ride a hot air balloon.
If you want to take your desert experience to greater heights – literally – book a hot air balloon ride that will give you a bird’s eye view of the vast Dubai desert.
Enjoy good food and entertainment at a Bedouin camp.
Most desert safaris include a dinner and some entertainment where you get to enjoy sumptuous Arabic food while you’re being entertained by traditional Arabic dances.
This is one of the highlights of the safari and an experience that you’ll surely never forget.
Spend the night in the desert.
If you can, spend the night in one of the camps in the desert and for sure, you won’t regret it.
These camps offer everything from budget-friendly tent accommodations to luxurious tent-style suites, especially if you stay at the Al Maha Desert Resort and Spa.
Five-Day Dubai Itinerary
Are you extending your stay in Dubai for another day? After getting back from the desert, here are some activities that you can try, especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Experience the wild rides at IMG Worlds of Adventure.
Spanning over 1.5 million square feet, IMG Worlds of Adventure is the largest indoor theme park in the world.
So, if all the dune bashing wasn’t enough to give you the thrill, you’ll surely have your fill of adrenaline at the many rides and attractions in this park.
Feel like a kid again at Legoland Dubai.
Whether you have kids or not, you’ll feel right at home at Legoland Dubai.
Being the first of its kind in the region, Legoland boasts of more than 40 themed attractions, all inspired by the bricks we’ve all come to love.
Be mesmerized by the displays at Dubai Miracle Garden.
If you’re visiting during the winter, you need to see the world’s biggest natural flower garden – and yes, it’s in Dubai.
Dubai Miracle Garden features an amazing display of more than 50 million flowers and 250 million plants shepd into different structures.
Don’t forget to take a photo with the Emirates airplane, the big bear and other displays at the garden.
Go on a trip around the world at Global Village.
Another seasonal attraction that you can catch during the winter time is the Global Village,which highlights over 90 countries from around the world.
This beautiful cultural village offers attractions that cover each of the country’s culture, traditions and of course, food.
Where to Eat in Dubai
Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe
Address: Al Fahidi – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 353 5071
You can’t visit Old Dubai without eating at the Arabian Tea House Restaurant and Cafe, the go-to place for locals who want authentic Emirati food.
Enjoy a quintessential Emirati breakfast spread paired with traditional Arabic coffee named gahwa.
The restaurant also serves classic lunch and dinner food like Machboos and Biryani in a casual dining ambiance.
Address: Palace Downtown 9770 – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Downtown Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 428 7961
If good Latin American food is what you’re craving, Asado is the place to be.
The restaurant is a classic steakhouse overlooking the water and offering Parilla-style cooking,which is an open grill that makes its food more flavorful.
Address: Floor 31 – King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud W – Dubai Marina – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 350 9983
Picturesque views, stunning interiors and good food – these are just some of the reasons Attiko is one of the best restaurants in Dubai Marina.
The terrace is the best spot to enjoy views of Palm Jumeirah and Bluewaters Island while eating some of the best Pan-Asian dishes that the restaurant has to offer.
Seafire Steakhouse and Bar
Address: Ground Level – The Avenues – Atlantis The Palm – Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 426 2626
If you’re looking for good steak, this New York steakhouse is one of the best in the city.
Located inside Atlantis The Palm, Seafire Steakhouse and Bar offers a wide array of choices including the New York Strip, Filet Mignon and Dry Aged Bone-in New York Steak.
Of course, the restaurant also has non-steak options including Salmon, Lobster and Lamb Chops.
Address: 22nd Floor – Atlantis, The Palm – Palm Jumeirah – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 426 0760
If you want to treat yourself to a nice meal while in Dubai, it has to be at Nobu by celebrity Chef Nobu Matsuhisa located on Atlantis The Palm.
The restaurant is famous for its modern take on traditional Japanese food and you also get to enjoy sweeping views of the island while enjoying your meal.
Address: Address Sky View – Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 422 4321
You don’t need to travel to Italy to enjoy good Italian food because Lucia’s has you covered.
This classic Italian restaurant is known for its sumptuous Caprese brunch and other Italian classics. Don’t forget to end your meal with a good gelato.
Where to Stay in Dubai
Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach
Address: 2 Jumeirah Street – Jumeirah 2 – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 270 7777
The epitome of luxury, Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach is the perfect getaway while you’re in Dubai.
Choose from one of the beautiful suites overlooking Jumeirah and indulge in the resort’s signature amenities including its world class Spa.
You also get access to the private beach, a lagoon -style pool and one of the best rooftop bars in the city, Mercury Lounge.
Atlantis the Royal
Address: Palm Jumeirah – Crescent Road – The Palm – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 426 3000
Atlantis the Royal made headlines because of its grand opening featuring Beyonce and a bunch of A-listers, and it continues to wow its guests today.
Located right beside Atlantis The Palm, this resort boasts of a unique shape where its 795 rooms, suites and penthouses offer unparalleled views of the island.
To take indulgence further, the resort’s suites and penthouses all have a pirated glass-walled pool and a stunning landscaped terrace.
Atlantis the Royal also has 17 restaurants and bars, more than 90 pools and a stunning 1.2-mile beach.
Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Center
Address: DIFC – Sheikh Zayed Road – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 372 2222
If you’d rather be near where the action is, the Ritz-Carlton Dubai International Financial Center offers accessibility and luxury in one place.
From its art deco design to its ulta luxurious rooms and suites, you’ll never want to leave this accommodation, although it would be a sin to miss what Dubai has to offer.
The hotel boasts of world-class amenities including its 24-hour fitness center, spa, rooftop pool and several restaurants.
XVA Art Hotel
Address: Al Fahidi Street – Bur Dubai – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 353 5383
Located right in the heart of Al Fahidi, one of the most historical neighborhoods of Dubai, is an art-inspired hotel like no other.
The XVA Art Hotel is an art gallery and hotel in one where each room is carefully curated and furnished with different works of art from local and international artists.
The best part is, some of the best attractions in Old Dubai are just a few minutes away from this accommodation.
FIVE Palm Jumeirah
Address: No.1 Palm – Dubai – United Arab Emirates
Phone: +971 4 455 9988
Combining the calmness of the beach and the energy of a good party venue, FIVE Palm Jumeirah is one of the top luxury hotels in Dubai today.
Offering 470 beautifully designed rooms with views of the Arabian Gulf, the hotel has everything you need for an amazing vacation.
Aside from its world class amenities, FIVE is also known for its restaurants, bars and a famous nightclub where you get to party the night away.
You also get access to the hotel’s private ebach or take a dip at the pool to cool down after a day of going around the city.
Apps to Download When Visiting Dubai
Visit Dubai: An app designed for tourists offering information about the different attractions in and around Dubai
S’hail: A useful app to use in getting around Dubai using public transport since it contains details about the bus, train, tram and water taxis
RTA Dubai Drive: Contains detailed maps of the streets of Dubai, the best parking spots and other useful information to help you drive around Dubai safely and easily
Uber: The most reliable app when booking a taxi or private car service to go around Dubai
Careem: Dubai’s alternative to Uber for booking private transportation