By Neha Singh
Visiting Dubai for seven days? You’re lucky enough to have ample time to discover the city’s both well-known and lesser-known attractions. But, once here, you’ll be astonished to know how quickly the time gulps up your entire week in Dubai. That’s why we’ve compiled this suggested Dubai itinerary which will help you to make the most of your available time in Dubai and beyond.
We’ve put together this travel program considering that you’ve full seven days to discover Dubai.
- Day 1: Visit Downtown Dubai
- Day 2: Explore Old Dubai, Shop at Souks & Tour Dubai Frame
- Day 3: Plan some cool or exhilarating adventure (options available)
- Day 4: Discover Palm Jumeirah, See Burj Al Arab and Take a Dinner Cruise on Dubai Marina
- Day 5: Dubai Parks and Resorts
- Day 6: Travel out of Dubai (options available)
- Day 7: Desert Safari
Day 1: Visit Downtown Dubai
Ascent to Burj Khalifa, Enjoy Dubai Mall, Check Out Souk Al Bahar & Watch Dubai Fountain Show
Downtown Dubai is the city’s modern heart and is certainly the perfect spot to kick off your Dubai exploration. After all, this 500-acre neighborhood hosts some of the UAE’s most prestigious and distinguished landmarks.
Start with Burj Khalifa: Yes, begin with a sky-high sightseeing experience at the world’s greatest building. Burj Khalifa stands tall at a height of 828 meters and its observation deck on 124th and 148th levels feast your eyes with the unparalleled views over the whole of Dubai, its skyline, desert, ocean, and more. Along with all views around, you would definitely enjoy the super thrilling and fastest ever elevator which transfers you to the observation deck in under one minute.
The Dubai Mall: Agreed, this colossal mall is the biggest of its kind and has over 1200 outlets. But, don’t write it off as a destination for shopping alone. It’s an all-in-one place where you’ll get to entertain and engage yourself in an array of activities and experiences. See the massive Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo (sheltering over 33,000 marine creatures), find the best in augment reality and virtual reality at VR Park, and be sure to twirl a spin around Dubai Ice Rink, among many others.
So it really doesn’t matter if you don’t have plans for shopping; just wander around this mall, dine on the go with over 200 dining options, and snap some amazing pictures against the 155-million-year-old Dubai Dino and the stunning Human Waterfalls within the mall.
Check out Souk Al Bahar & Other attractions: This is a traditional style bazaar however with a touch of modernity. After you step out from here, you can continue to the striking Dubai Opera where you can watch a spellbinding show or simply take a tour of its architectural grandeur.
Be ready for the treat of the day: After you explore the surroundings, make sure that you’re ready in time to take in the Dubai Fountain Show. It’s a breathtaking spectacle where light and water is choreographed in tune to Arabic or western music. This is a free attraction found outside of the Dubai Mall and adjacent to Burj Khalifa and Souk Al Bahar.
Day 2: Explore Old Dubai
Shop at Souks, and Tour Dubai Frame
Today, you’ll step back in time with some refreshing historical sights and activities.
Take a Walking Tour of Al Bastakiya Quarter: You’ll leave all crowds and glitz behind as you enter this strikingly preserved old neighborhood, formally called Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. This is a true hidden gem in the heart of the city. Tucked away in Bur Dubai region, a relaxed stroll through its constricted labyrinths will introduce you to the unpretentious structures and sights from a bygone era. You can’t help but lose yourself to the region’s down-to-earth ambiance.
Step into Dubai Museum: There are many museums and art galleries in the region. But if you’ve to pick only one, let it be Dubai Museum! You’ll find this inside the region’s oldest fort at Al Fahidi Fort. And not to mention the inspiring and rich repertoire art and artifacts on display here; they promise you an insightful glimpse into the lifestyle of Emiratis before the discovery of oil.
Abra Ride: While in Old Dubai, don’t miss a sail down Dubai Creek aboard a traditional vessel. Dubai Creek is a natural saltwater creek that segregates the city into Bur Dubai and Deira. And all you need to spend for this historic experience is just AED 1.
Shop at Souks: No visit to Old Dubai is complete without exploring the region’s souks or traditional markets, mainly the Gold Souk where the entire stores here are dedicated to jewelry made of gold and other precious metals. Yes, these Arabian bazaars are real gems that allow you to experience Dubai’s authentic trade scenario.
Tour Dubai Frame: Take the metro or hire a cab to reach this giant picture-frame-like structure, which is just 10 to 20 minutes’ drive from Old Dubai. Besides intriguing past and future galleries, the centerpiece is its 150-meter-high sky deck which treats you with the views of both Old and New Dubai.
Day 3: Plan some cool or exhilarating adventure (two options available)
For today, we’ve two alternatives for you! While the first option is perfect for your anytime visit to Dubai, the second one is especially ideal for your Dubai winter trip (from November to March).
Option 1: Ski Dubai & XLine Dubai / XDubai Slingshot
Ski Dubai: Fancy trying some snow activities in Dubai? Well, it’s possible and you can make it happen at Ski Dubai, surprisingly despite when outdoors blaze at over 50 degrees Celsius. Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is where you can enjoy skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and more. You can catch up with penguins too with temperatures maintained at -1 degree to -2 degree Celsius throughout.
XLine Dubai / XDubai Slingshot: Choose one of these latest Dubai attractions if you want to try your hands in something adventurous, one-of-its-kind, or both. XLine Dubai (at Dubai Marina) is the world’s longest urban zipline, whereas XDubai Slingshot (at Kite Beach) is the world’s fastest human slingshot.
Option 2: Dubai Miracle Garden & Global Village
Dubai Miracle Garden: This is one of the staple sights that you shouldn’t miss on your winter trip to Dubai. It’s the world’s biggest natural garden which leaves you in awe with its millions of colorful flowers arranged in almost all shapes and patterns possible.
Global Village: It’s probably the only place in the world where you can discover the culture, history, and gastronomy of close to 80 countries under one roof. Be sure to visit this vibrant destination and believe it for yourself. There are 30 plus pavilions representing different parts of the world. It’s open from October to April and becomes most active during the one-month long DSF (Dubai Shopping Festival).
Day 4: Discover Palm Jumeirah
See Burj Al Arab and Take a Dinner Cruise on Dubai Marina
The giant palm-tree shaped island of Palm Jumeirah is so famed that it’s one of Dubai’s iconic modern symbols. So be sure to spare a whole day to explore its captivating sights and experiences.
Top Attractions: Striking architecture styles and mesmerizing views of the Arabian Gulf occupy the entire span of this island. Take a walk along its waterfront Boardwalk and further visit the five-star resort, Atlantis, The Palm which hosts some amazing segments like Aquaventure Water Park, Lost Chambers Aquarium, Dolphin Bay, and Sea Lion Point. You can get a quick glance of sights across Palm Jumeirah on a monorail ride.
Exhilarating Adventure Activities: Go on a helicopter ride or participate in an epic adventure like Sky Diving! This not only promises you the fun and thrill of a lifetime but also assures you of the most stunning vantage point to absorb the imposing majesty of this man-made island with a crescent on its top.
Visit Burj Al Arab: Just a few blocks away from here is the world’s only seven-star hotel. Rightly so, it’s one of the most luxurious and expensive hotels with its palatial style décor and magnificent settings on a private island. A stay here may not be possible for all, but you can definitely glimpse into its outstanding interiors by reserving a culinary session at one of its restaurants. Also, have a look at this guide on the best free beaches in Dubai, if some beach time is on your wish list.
Dhow Cruise: Finally, wind up your day with a relaxed dhow cruise at Dubai Marina! Immerse yourself in its atmospheric ambiance of this traditional wooden vessel as you take in Dubai’s awe-inspiring sights from the water. The approximately two-hour cruise is also complete with buffet dining and live shows like Tanura performance.
Day 5: Dubai Parks and Resorts
Dubai is not all about its architectural delights; it has also now grabbed attention for its amazing amusement parts that have been opened in recent years. And topping this list is Dubai Parks and Resorts and for all right reasons. It’s the first integrated resort in the region with two accommodation choices, a dedicated retail and dining section, three theme parks, and a water park. This includes:
Motiongate Dubai: The biggest of all parks in Dubai Parks and Resort is also the region’s first of its kind Hollywood themed park.
Bollywood Parks Dubai: It’s probably the world’s only park that is dedicated to Hindi movies. Yes, it’s where all your Bollywood imaginations come true through its colorful performances, exuberant ambiance, and thrilling rides inspired by movies like Don, Krrish, Sholay, Dabangg, and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara.
LEGOLAND Dubai: It’s an absolute fun and thrill destination for families of kids from 2 to 12 years. There are 60 remarkable rides and attractions in its six themed lands.
LEGOLAND Water Park: It’s adjacent to LEGOLAND Dubai and has over 20 immersive water rides and games which guarantee amusement and leisure to all members of your family.
In fact, it’s worth spending a whole day at this park. Just select the right pass which offers access to all four parks or one or two of your choice.
Day 6: Desert Safari
After breakfast, unwind in your room or move out to do some last-minute shopping until your driver comes to pick you up for your evening desert safari. About 45 minutes’ drive away from the city center, a desert safari in Dubai allows you to end your Dubai holiday in the most memorable with a blend of exhilarating desert adventure, mindblowing cultural experiences, scrumptious BBQ treats, and astonishing traditional shows including Tanura and belly dance show. Here is the post we wrote about our experience with Dubai safari.
Day 7: Travel out of Dubai
When you’ve full seven days in your hands, don’t just limit your vacation to just Dubai activities and attractions. Yes, take a drive out of Dubai to see alluring and distinct sights that lie beyond its limits. And here we have a few options for you to choose from:
Abu Dhabi: Just about 150 kilometers away, it is one of the most popular day trips from Dubai. Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s capital city and boasts of some of the most wondrous architectural treasures, cultural landmarks, and leisure attractions. Sheik Zayed Mosque, Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, Qasr Al Watan, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, and CLYMB Abu Dhabi are just a few to name.
Al Ain: It’s the UAE’s own garden city and of course the greenest and most serene spot in Dubai. So if it’s a tranquil retreat in the lap of nature you’re seeking in your day trip, travel to Al Ain which is less than two hours’ drive away. It’s home to the country’s first UNESCO site – Al Ain Oasis, where you’ll get to see more than 150,000 trees. Other top attractions are Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Museum, and the last of its kind Camel Souk. There is also Jebel Hafeet, the second-highest peak in the country.
Ras Al Khaimah: Nothing comes closer to Ras Al Khaimah for an adventurous getaway from Dubai. Head up to Jebel Jais; here you’ll not only get to take in the country’s highest peak but also experience the longest zipline in the world. You can further tour the age-old forts as well as enigmatic places of interest like Jazirat Al Hamra.
We hope that you’ll find this suggested travel program as a great starting point to plan a week in Dubai. But, this is not a definitive travel program, so make sure that you add, remove, or swap out attractions/activities as per your unique travel interests and needs.
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