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.
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 are security issues? Yes.
Can we trust all the security information we get from the government in the UAE? Surelynot.
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 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.
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, reduce 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.
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 (biggest water fountain show in the world).
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:
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.
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, dinned 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.
Here is another place to visit in Dubai alone – one of the numerous beaches!
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
Once 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.
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.
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).
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).
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.
If you are looking for things to do in Abu Dhabi in 1 day, check out my quick guide here.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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 TRAVEL TIPS
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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.
Where to Stay at La Mer
There are several excellent hotels and also more budget-friendly places, close to Jumeirah.
While the area, in general, is a more expensive one, there are some 3 and 4-star hotels quite close to La Mer, and for more budget-friendly places, you check out our rates in Dubai Deira and Dubai Creek.
Mobile charging boxes (though none of those worked when I was there and the staff could not figure out what the problem was)
Complimentary shuttle buses to only a few hotels in Dubai
Free showers and toilets
Baby changing facilities
Wheelchair accessible (many areas)
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.
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.
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.
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).
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).
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. 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.
WATERSPORTS AT LA MER:
Water Step Bike
Jet Ski & Jet Ski Tours
Towable and more
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.
Kids will love to trampoline at Hawa Hawa. This is a kid’s heaven!
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you visit Dubai anytime soon and skip La Mer, you will have definitely missed out.
Whether you plan to spend one day in Dubai as a stopover or as a day trip fromAbu Dhabi – this post will help you plan your Dubai trip for a day.
As a regular Dubai visitor, I know how much the city has to offer. I never tire of it and often revisit old places, but I also discover something new each time I visit the city.
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, so that will ease your headache of planning.
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.
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DUBAI TRAVEL TIPS FOR A DAY
Let´s start with some quick travel tips first for your one day in Dubai.
How to Get to Dubai For One Day
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 and it takes about 20-30 minutes to get to Burj Khalifa.
Warning: Due to a lot of traffic it might take longer.
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 in One Day in 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 off whenever needed.
Though I 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. First of all – 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.
However, I – as a solo female traveler – have been to Dubai many times, and I felt safe!
I have never worried about being robbed, being attacked, or anything else.
I am not overly cautious, but I exercise common sense whenever and wherever I travel, and I can say that Dubai is one of the safest places I have been to.
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.
Where to Stay In Dubai For 1 Day
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 next to Burj Khalifa 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 are fun places to visit. Enjoy 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.
If you want to wait for all the shops to open, stroll Dubai Creek. I love getting here early and watching the people getting 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 the malls and one of my favorite places to visit. And 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.
If you are a female traveler, especially traveling solo, you might want to dress slightly more moderately, as stares can be intense.
To 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 fun plus you can 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 are open until 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. There 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, spotless 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.
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 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.
La Mer is open every day and there is no entrance fee.
The shops are normally open between 10 am to 10, 11 or midnight.
This stop is optional as it depends on how fast/slow you travel.
You can spend some more time at La Mer. Or you can add another area to your 1-day Dubai itinerary – Madinat Jumeirah makes a good short stop. Madinat Jumeirah 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, you can 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”, take a few pictures of the iconic building in the daytime. It saves you time to book your tickets in advance – with one day in Dubai you don’t want to waste too much time in lines.
If you want to avoid all lines, buy tickets for level 148 (with access to levels 124 and 125).
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.
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.It 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:
If you do not buy tickets in advance, you might still be lucky and buy some at the ticket center.
HOW TO GET TO BURJ KHALIFA:
You have to go to Dubai Mall. There you will see signs that leave 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! Especially on a Friday (which is the Sunday of the Islamic world), it gets insane.
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 the clothes in one of my favorite shops (Oasis). The time had definitely passed when Dubai was known as a shopping paradise. 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 buy your combined ticket with an entrance ticket to Burj Khalifa) or choose a restaurant outside with a view of Dubai Fountain.
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.
Whenever the fountain show or Burj Khalifa LED shows occur, 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 dining 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.
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.
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 activity. 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.
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).
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.
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 surely like no other, and though surely not perfect, it is a lot of fun. Keep in mind that Dubai is a conservative city (even after all), and there are a few things to keep in mind when visiting the city.
Are you heading to this exciting city and are wondering about what to wear in Dubai? Then this post is for you – I share my experiences and knowledge about the dress code in Dubai for women and men.
Whether you are male or female, here is what you should know about what to wear in Dubai – a relatively modern yet still conservative and Islamic city (Emirate).
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I might earn a small commission when you buy a product via my link (no extra cost to you). More about it here.
Women Dress Code in Dubai
So, we start with what to wear in Dubai as a woman, which is a bit more tricky than answering the question of what to wear as a man.
In general, the Dubai dress code is not as strict as in some other cities/countries, e.g. Saudi Arabia. It isn’t even as strict as in Sharjah – a city/emirate next to Dubai. However, it is still not as westernized as some people might think after looking at pictures of “influencers” in Dubai.
There are some things visitors should know.
In Dubai, most people are foreigners, so there are only a few Emiratis. These foreigners are tourists and people who work there, and they have had a great impact on the Dubai dress code.
I always read that you are not supposed to wear too revealing clothes, but actually, I have seen all of them.
Read this post for more information on What to pack for Dubai and buy, if necessary, some clothes/items before your trip.
Can Women Wear What They Want in Dubai?
Yes and no. Keep reading to find out.
P.S. The red Arabian dress I am wearing in the picture at the top was not compulsory. I just thought it was so pretty, and so I wore it.
Do I Have to Wear a Scarf in Dubai?
Though the United Arab Emirates are clearly Islamic, (foreign) women do not have to cover up and can wear more or less those clothes they feel comfortable in – to a certain extent.
So, no need to wear a headscarf/cover your hair (exception for a few places I mention later).
What to Wear in Dubai at the Beach/Pool Area
What can women wear in Dubai at the beach? Dubai is a lot about beaches and pools, and thus, make sure to plan some time in your Dubai itinerary and pack the right clothes.
At the beach/hotel pool, women can wear bikinis or bathing suits. Dubai and Abu Dhabi are still quite liberal. Some other Emiratis aren’t.
However, being topless, of course, is not allowed.
And here are some clothes to wear in Dubai. These items are great for your day at the beach and pool in Dubai:
I am in love with kaftans – a perfect item for the beach, and it is great if you go back to the hotel/restaurant, etc., as bikinis are not liked to be seen in the hotel itself.
A bikini, burkini, or any swimsuit should not be missing on your Dubai packing list for some lazy days at the beach (probably do not take the smallest bikini you have).
You can also take some shorts and tops you can wear if you leave the beach/pool area.
What to Wear on Dubai´s Streets
Can I wear hot pants in Dubai? That is a question I have been asked many times.
When I left the hotel, I saw many people in the metro, cafes, and restaurants wearing hot pants, belly tops, skirts, and other such outfits – it is not forbidden. I assume that many won’t even care or look at you.
However, I felt uncomfortable showing too much skin when foreign workers, especially from countries like Afghanistan or Pakistan, were around.
This was mostly the case in the metro, even though I normally am in the “women only compartment,” or in Deira (the old part of Dubai). There, staring and cat-calling are more common. I definitely dress more conservatively in Dubai Deira. So, I recommend thinking about how to dress.
These items are definitely a great choice for strolls in the beautiful Marina, the Palm, or many other parts of Dubai but also in conservative areas like Dubai Deira.
Maxi Dresses and dresses that cover your knees – with or without sleeves.
Skirts are good to wear, here you can go with long skirts or shorter ones, but I would not go for a mini skirt.
If the weather is not too hot, jeans are a great choice.
T-shirts and tank tops are fine for most places.
Shorts are okay. Hot pants not so much (even if you see many Instagrammers with hot pants, this is actually not always appropriate).
Dubai Dress Code for Dubai Malls/Restaurants etc.
There is a dress code if you go to Dubai Mall, saying that wearing too revealing outfits should be avoided. Ignoring it can lead to being asked to leave or change clothes.
After speaking to some locals, they confirmed that security has gotten a bit stricter – some tourists were told to follow the dress code (or they would not be allowed to enter the mall). However, many Europeans/foreigners don’t care.
Of course, you don’t have to wear a headscarf or long pants. Most malls have a well, not so strict, policy: naked shoulders are not allowed, and skirts/shorts have to be knee-length.
Many people, even expats living in Dubai, claim that there is no dress code and they have never heard of it, but I saw signs throughout the mall. Also, check out the official website of Dubai Mall and scroll down, there you will find some info on how to dress.
What to Wear in a Mosque in Dubai
The Dubai Dress Code in a mosque – actually in any mosque in the world – is strict.
What do I have to wear in the mosque? Most mosques are not open to non-Muslims in Dubai. The Jumeirah Mosque can be visited and you might consider visiting the Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, which is, by the way, the most beautiful building I have ever seen.
In case you actually visit any mosque, you have to wear long sleeves, cover your legs and have a scarf with you because you have to cover your head.
At the Grand Mosque (also known as the Sheikh Zayed Mosque), they offer free dresses/scarfs for the duration of your visit.
In this case, there is not much difference to churches, etc. – just a bit stricter. They take it very seriously, so there is no room for interpretation.
What to Wear in the Desert in Dubai
Dubai´s desert is an amazing destination, and though there is no strict dress code, I would like to mention a couple of things for visiting this part of Dubai.
The desert can get extremely hot in summer. And by extremely hot, I seriously mean extreme heat.
Once, I felt like ice in the sunshine, sweating all over. When I had the crazy to take off my sandals, I immediately burnt my feet. My tip: Do not take off your shoes in the desert on a hot day. It is a terrible idea!
It can get chillier in the evening, so take something to cover your shoulders (at least in fall, winter, and spring).
So, if visiting the desert take:
a (floppy) hat
a scarf and a cardigan (it can get chilly in the evening)
wear bright colors
wear loose clothing
EXTRA TIP: For great pictures, choose clothes that really pop. A yellow or red maxi dress or any other bright color will make you look even more stunning in pictures.
Men Dubai Dress Code
Good news for men visiting Dubai: rules are not as strict for men as for women. Bad news: You still can’t wear whatever you want – especially not wherever you want.
So, if you are wondering about the dress code in Dubai for men, this is what to know:
Men can wear western clothes, like jeans, sweatpants, and shorts. They can also wear singlets, flip-flops and summer clothes. However, if you want to be respectful and not attract negative attention (or worse), then avoid shorts that are very short (and end way higher than the knees), tops that hang too low, or any see-through shirts or pants.
Wearing short sleeve shirts and shorts that cover your knees (or at least, almost) is surely fine.
In the mosque, you normally have to wear long pants.
If you are at the beach, you can go topless. But leave your “top-less time” only for the beaches and put a short on if you leave the beach area.
One exception would be to wear traditional Arab clothes. In Dubai, this means wearing an ankle-length, loose fitting garment made of white cotton, known as a kandora or dishdasha. Actually, the white color and loose fighting are perfect for hot days.
Conclusion: What to Wear in Dubai
Although Dubai is Islamic, it’s still quite liberal.
However, keep in mind the heritage and do not “overdo” it if you do not want to cause any problems and put a bad light on the foreigners.
When you visit the country during the holy month of Ramadan you must be extremely careful – during that time, the dress code is strict, and you should re-think your visit if you do not want to stick to it.
Other than that, it is acceptable to wear skirts, shorts and show some skin. Remember to respect the tradition of every country. But with this post, you have a good understanding of what to wear and the dress code for Dubai.
If you want to find out more about traveling to Dubai as a solo female traveler, check out my Dubai Solo Travel Guide.
So, there is a dress code for female and male visitors, and if you do not want to be a total jerk, try to adjust to it and respect the rules (which aren’t too strict, so it should not be too hard).
Dubai has so much to offer, and most people just do not realize that you can easily fill an itinerary for 7 days in Dubai, or even 14 days and more, with fun activities and places to see.
If you plan a trip to this exciting city, you might be wondering about a great 7-day Dubai itinerary so you can see the best it has to offer.
Some people might be surprised to hear that you can easily spend so much time in Dubai. After all, there are only skyscrapers and malls, right? Well, you will find out there is much more than that to see.
So, this 7-day itinerary for Dubai will take you to the main attractions of the city, and you will also get to see some less busy places, too. If you stay longer than one week in Dubai, this post will also give you recommendations for the best day trips to take in 7 days.
At the end of the itinerary, you´ll also find many travel tips that most likely will be useful for your trip – including information on how to get around, where to stay, and many more Dubai travel tips for 7 days in Dubai.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means, I might earn a small commission when you buy a product (at no extra cost to you) after clicking on my link. More about it here.
7 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
Okay, enough talking. Here are my ideas for 7 days in Dubai.
DAY 1 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – LA MER
Before getting to the busiest place in the city, start with some beach time. You will have enough hustle and bustle in 7 days in Dubai – so why not start slowly? After arriving and settling in, it is time to visit La Mer.
Dubai La Mer
Spend your whole day and evening at La Mer.
If you stay 7 days in Dubai, this is a must-see place, and actually, I suggest starting your Dubai trip here. Whether you arrive in the morning, evening, or afternoon, my recommendation is to head to La Mer first. La Mer has become one of the hotspots amongst locals and visitors and is located in the Jumeirah area. It is on the beach with many retail stores, stylish restaurants and cafes, the coolest bathhouses, and friendly and fun street art – and, of course, the beach!
It is a great way to get adjusted to Dubai. While you enjoy the nice views of Burj Khalifa, you can take it easy on the first day and hold off on getting into the crazy parts of Dubai. After all, you might still have a jetlag or just be tired from your flight.
TIPS FOR DAY 1 IN DUBAI
With 7 days in Dubai, you can stay at La Mer for more than just 2-3 hours.
There are free and very stylish showers, clean toilets, and you can either bring your own towels or book some sunbeds and umbrellas.
There are sooooo many restaurants that you will definitely find something for your tastes.
A water park has opened – perfect for those who like to switch from a beach to a water park with pools.
Watching the sunset from here is a beautiful way to enjoy your first day in Dubai.
La Mer is fun in the daytime, but it gets even better in the evening! So before leaving too early, make sure to end your day at La Mer and spend time even after sunset.
HOW TO GET TO LA MER: I admit, I am not the biggest fan of public transportation in Dubai. The bus connection is not great yet, but you can get there 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, all 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.
DAY 2 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – DOWNTOWN
After your first slow day in Dubai, it is time to dive into the craziest part of Dubai – Downtown Dubai. This will probably be one of the busiest places during the one week in Dubai. There are several main attractions in Downtown – so, plan a full day for this area.
DUBAI FOUNTAIN SHOW
You can start your day in Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world with more than 1,200 fashion, food & entertainment options. Dubai Mall has its own aquarium, ice skating rink, and much more!
For the fanciest public restrooms and great photo opportunities, head to the Fashion Avenue area #IHaveaThingWithToilets. This posh place will probably overwhelm you and give you a good glimpse of the luxury in Dubai.
You´ll find cheaper lunch options in the food court, but you also have great restaurants that offer fine dining outside of the mall.
Even though Dubai Mall is big, it gets crowded. Especially on a Friday. Friday is the Sunday in the Islamic world, but shops are still open and if your second day in Dubai is a Friday, change the itinerary a bit.
HOW TO GET TO DUBAI MALL: You cannot miss Dubai Mall as it is located next to Burj Khalifa. And you cannot miss Burj Khalifa…Just because it is sooooo tall. You can get there by metro/bus. 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.
Dubai Mall is also a popular drop-off point for sightseeing buses.
The most convenient way to arrive at the mall is probably via taxi, though.
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 and other activities.
Afterward, it is time to head to Burj Khalifa. If you are not scared of heights, you can get to the “top of Burj Khalifa” and either visit level 124+125 or level 148.
Get your tickets in advance. If you buy tickets online, you still have to queue but it will save you some time. The lines get crazy there, and you need to plan for the time spent waiting in line. If you do not buy tickets in advance, you might still be lucky and buy some at the ticket center.
If you want to get tickets for level 148 (which come with access to levels 124 and 125, too), you can skip the lines.
The ticket prices depend on the time of your visit and the level of access you buy.
For a more romantic time, you can also book a ticket to see the sunset, or just head there around 4 pm and then stay a little longer.
Visiting Burj Khalifa might take several hours (2-4 hours).
Before you get to the top of Burj Khalifa, take pictures of Burj Khalifa during daylight. Explore the area around the skyscraper – it looks nice especially from outside Dubai Mall, next to Dubai Fountain.
Click here to find out about the ticket prices for Burj Khalifa:
HOW TO GET TO BURJ KHALIFA: While you while seeing Burj Khalifa from everywhere, getting at the top is a bit more tricky. At least, that is how I felt. You have to go to Dubai Mall, and then you will see signs that leave you to “At the top of Burj Khalifa.” The ticket center/entrance is located in the Lower Ground Level of Dubai Mall. You cannot enter it from outside the mall as a regular guest.
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).
After your time at “The Top” and a lot of time indoors, it is time to get out of Dubai Mall/Burj Khalifa and spend time in the fresh air. By the way, the Dubai Fountain spot is also the perfect place to end your day.
From 6 pm, the famous dancing water show goes on. Each show takes a few minutes, and it happens every half hour.
It gets crazy there. Unless you visit in the summer, this place will be one of the busiest in Dubai.
If your second day is on a Friday, I recommend avoiding this place! Dubai Mall is nuts on a Friday, and it gets so crowded that it can be hard to walk – even after 9 pm.
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: Evening shows 6:00 PM – 11:00 PM every 30 minutes
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.
DAY 3 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – OLD DUBAI
The third day is all about “traditional” Dubai and some more amazing views. Today it is about:
Gold and Spice Souk
You could start your day with a visit to one of the newer attractions: Dubai Frame. It is located in Zabeel Park, one of the biggest and lushest parks in Dubai.
There are some cool views of Burj Khalifa, and you can walk on see-through glass 100 meters from the ground.
If you get up there and take a walk, you will probably need one hour.
I recommend starting here around 9:30 or 10 am when the crowds are not there yet.
HOW TO GET TO THE FRAME: By metro: get out at the Al Jafiliya metro stop and then take a bus or walk for the last 2-3 km.
OPENING HOURS / PRICES: Open every day from 9:00 am to 09:00 pm. Tickets are around 12€ for adults.
If you need to rest, you could chill at Zabeel Park. The park is very neat, clean, and lush, and if you are visiting with kids, they will love this break, as there are some playgrounds. It is also not crowded and thus a perfect place after the craziness of Dubai Downtown.
HOW TO GET TO ZABEEL PARK: There are several entrances. If you come from Dubai Frame, you will see an entrance close by and can just walk.
OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: From Sunday to Wednesday from 8 am to 10 pm, from Thursdays to Saturdays and public holidays from 8 am to 11 pm, during Ramadan from noon to 11 pm. Ticket prices are about 1,20€ (payment via RTA-issued Nol Card), kids under the age of 2 do not have to pay.
Dubai Gold and Spice Souks
Afterward, jump into a taxi/bus and get to the Gold Souk of Dubai. The Gold and Spice Souks are fun places to visit. If you are looking for places with a more authentic touch, you will especially love it here (though the shop owners are mostly from other Asian countries).
Souvenirs and Arabian clothes (and gold and spices) are much cheaper than in any other part of Dubai, so if you are hunting for souvenirs, make sure you do not buy them in one of the expensive malls.
From there, you can take a ride on a dhow, which is a traditional wooden boat. For less than 15€, you can go on a 1-hour cruise.
You can also hop on abras – water taxis that cost only about 0,25€ for a short cruise.
The Gold and Spice Souks are quite intense places – especially for female solo travelers. Staring and cat-calling are common. I suggest dressing moderately.
However, even after all, I always felt safe and did not worry. It is just loud and hectic at times but not a place I would love strolling after sunset on my own.
HOW TO GET TO THE GOLD/SPICE SOUK: From Zabeel Park – ADCB Metro Station 1- you have to catch a metro and get to Burjuman, 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.
Dubai Al Seef
To end the day, I recommend visiting Al Seef. Al Seef is a lovely new area with many restaurants. Some are in a new modern style and others in the traditional Arabic style (though the buildings are all new).
You will have plenty of options for dining, with nice views of Dubai Creek.
Also, there are all kinds of restaurants – from Arabic cuisine to Mediterranean or Asian food. Also, there are some quite fancy restaurants as well as more budget-friendly places to eat.
Also, there is a Museum of Illusions, some street art, you can do some boat cruises and more.
HOW TO GET TO AL SEEF: From the Gold/Spice Souk, take the abra (water taxi) to get to the other side of Dubai Creek. Then you can walk for 10-15 minutes, and you are in Al Seef.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: There is no entrance fee for Al Seef itself. It is open from Sunday to Wednesday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Thursday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 midnight.
DAY 4 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI – JUMEIRAH
Day 3 was all about traditional Dubai, so day 4 will focus on Dubai’s new, modern side.
Spend Your Day and Evening in the Jumeirah Area.
Wild Wadi Waterpark
Jumeirah Beach / Kite Beach
Wild Wadi Water Park
If you are into waterparks, you can/should head to Wild Wadi Waterpark, where you will find some cool slides and fun water activities.
The water park belongs to the Jumeirah Group. As a guest of any Jumeirah hotel in Dubai, you will have free access (which actually was a reason for me to book a night at a Jumeirah hotel once).
Ticket prices start from around 25€ for adults.
It would be easy to spend a full day there.
You will have great views of the Burj al-Arab from the waterpark, one of the most iconic buildings in Dubai.
The food there is overpriced and not that great – so bring your own snacks.
HOW TO GET TO WILD WADI WATERPARK: It is just right next to Burj al-Arab’s entrance (which is not open to the public, though). There is no metro station close by. The closest metro station is the “Mall of Emirates” – from there, take a taxi or bus to get there. Some buses stop close by (e.g., bus line 81).
OPENING HOURS: Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 6 pm, closed on Mondays.
If you are looking for a cheaper option to spend time in the water, go to Kite Beach – a beach with nice views of Burj al Arab, where you can cool off there.
The beaches in Dubai are, in general, not very crowded (not to our European standard).
The beaches are clean and safe.
Always keep an eye on your valuables, but in general, I did not feel I have to watch my belongings like a paranoid (that I am sometimes).
I am not a person who spends endless hours at the beach, but water rats can have a fun day here without breaking the bank.
You can do all kinds of watersports – and rent equipment at the beach.
Bring your own food and towels with you.
OPENING HOURS / TICKETS: The beach is open from Sunday to Wednesday, from 10 am to 12 midnight, and on Thursday to Saturday: 10 am to 1 am. Shops and entertainment are normally open from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm (restaurants might be open longer). There is no entrance fee for the beach.
Dubai Madinat Jumeirah
In the afternoon/evening, I recommend visiting Madinat Jumeirah.
Madinat Jumeirah is so pretty and picturesque – you should plan for a few hours (if you dine there) to check out the area.
It has its own souk and many restaurants and cafes with a view of Burj al Arab.
You could also do an abra ride here (though they are way more expensive than in Dubai Deira, the Gold and Spice Souk area) and just get lost for a few hours.
It is not far from the public part of Jumeirah Beach (and just a stone’s throw from Wild Wadi), and though the area is not huge, it is the perfect place to end your day.
It is free to visit the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
HOW TO GET TO MADINAT JUMEIRAH: From Kite Beach to Madinat Jumeirah, you can take a bus. From Wild Wadi, it is shorter, and you could walk (about 2km) or take a bus. Sightseeing buses also stop here.
OPENING HOURS/TICKETS: Shops are open from 10:00 am to 11:00 pm, and restaurants are open from 08:00 am to 02:00 am. There is no entrance fee to visit Madinat Jumeirah.
DAY 5 OF 7 DAYS IN DUBAI
Now, it is time to leave Dubai for a day and plan a day trip to Abu Dhabi (you can also stay overnight in Abu Dhabi).
The capital of the United Arab Emirates is definitely a beautiful place and worth more than a one-day trip. Still, since Dubai also has a lot to offer, one day should be enough to see the most important places in Abu Dhabi.
It takes about 1-2 hours to get to Abu Dhabi from Dubai.
You can do guided tours, rent a car and drive yourself, get there by taxi, or – quite complicated – by public transportation.
The beautiful Grand Zayed Mosque is reason enough to visit Abu Dhabi, but there is more to see.
If you stay one week in Dubai, you have to do a desert tour.
Dubai Desert Safari
A desert safari is a must! Spending half a day in the desert, going on an adventurous 4×4 wheel drive, dining under the stars, and stargazing is like a dream coming true in the desert. Every time I did a desert adventure (and I did a few), it became a highlight of my Dubai trip. These memories will last a lifetime.
There are several tours available – all fun and a bit different.
I recommend doing one with a BBQ (btw: as a vegetarian, I was pleased to find out that there were enough vegetarian options).
Normally, the tours – whether you do them in the morning or afternoon – take about 6-10 hours.
Most of the tours will include pick-up service from your hotel.
If you have one week in Dubai, this will be one great option to spend your day.
JBR Walk (The Beach)
JBR Walk – The Beach
If you would like to have a beach day, head to JBR Walk and “The Beach.” But there is more than just a beach – it is an experience! This area is popular during the day (and in the evenings, too), with many activities you can do. It is a fun place for kids and adults alike, so it’s probably a nice way to soak in some Vitamin D before heading back home.
There is no entrance fee for JBR – The Walk.
You have free beach access here.
Ride the “Flying Cup,” where you have a great bird’s-eye view of the beach and JBR Walk. With your Citysightseeing bus tour ticket, you also have a ticket included for Flying Cups – to enjoy great views of the beach and skyline. If you buy tickets separately, they cost about 15 € (adults).
You can rent equipment for all kinds of water sports.
It is also great to have good food – there are so many restaurants and cafes that you will be happy to have a wonderful lunch in a lovely place.
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: It is open 24/7, but shops and restaurants normally open around 10 am and are open until 10 pm. Restaurants usually close later.
I actually recommend heading to Dubai Marina for the afternoon/evening. It is one of the best places to visit in Dubai and should be on any Dubai itinerary.
This area is full of skyscrapers and one of the best places to take in the awe-inspiring progress Dubai has made in the last few decades.Most of the crazy skyscrapers are along the few kilometers stretch of Dubai Marina, and this is one of the best places to end your Dubai trip.
There is no entrance fee for Dubai Marina.
Stroll along Dubai Marina and keep looking up to enjoy the grandiose views.
Let your kids rent go-kart bicycles.
You can eat in one of the numerous restaurants there.Pier 7 has a handful of good restaurants that offer some of the best views of Dubai Marina.
For cheaper options, look for restaurants on the side streets or buy something from one of the supermarkets and sit on the bench, enjoying the illuminated buildings.
For a special dinner location, you can book a dhow dinner. You can do a few boat tours that you can check out:
Afterward, you could head to Global Village. You have a theme park with roller coasters and displays from many different countries in the world.
The tickets are about 5€.
Riding the roller coasters cost extra, but depending on how many rides you take, it is still a cheaper option than a theme park.
It is a fun place to visit for a day – especially in combination with Miracle Garden, as they are close to each other.
Dubai City Walk
Though I have not specifically mentioned it on your 7-day Dubai itinerary, I also strongly suggest visiting City Walk. This newly created area is perfect for strolls and shopping, but you will also find some murals and interesting details here.
City Walk is also a great place for families because of many child-friendly activities.
It is also good for adults to visit the shops, restaurants, and murals.
I enjoy it in the evening more (but that goes for almost all places in Dubai).
In general, City Walks is a bit less crowded than other places.
Sharjah is the smallest emirate and located right next to Dubai. And while Sharjah is so close to Dubai, it is totally different. Yes, you have a few skyscrapers, but Sharjah is much quieter, more relaxed, and very green.
It takes about 15 minutes by taxi to Sharjah from the eastern part of Dubai.
Sharjah is way more conservative than Dubai in terms of dress codes.
You are not allowed to drink alcohol.
I still loved it and recommend it as a day trip from Dubai.
So far, I have only made it to Oman for one day – visiting the Musandam Peninsula as a day trip from Dubai. And to be very honest, I have mixed feelings about it.
Somehow I totally enjoyed it – getting my very first glimpse of Oman was great.
However, the water was not really clean. It was full of oil. Maybe there was an accident, or maybe the water is just dirty.
It can take quite some time to arrive in Oman (it will still take about 2 or 3 hours – one way)
So, if you are in Dubai for one week or a bit longer, you should book a day trip to Musandam. However, keep in mind that everything can get delayed, and you might arrive at the hotel quite late. So plan some relaxing activities for the day after, and do NOT book this activity on the day of your departure.
I think this Dubai one-week itinerary is very diverse, and you´ll get to see so many different sides of Dubai that you will not have time to get bored. On the other hand, you also get some rest and have some time to chill and enjoy Dubai more slowly.
So, here are some tips for your 7 days in Dubai itinerary.
One Week in Dubai – How to Get to Dubai
Dubai has two airports: Al Makhtoum International and Dubai International Airport. Most likely, you will fly into Dubai International Airport (DXB International). From there, it takes about 10-15 minutes (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. It is about an hour’s drive to Dubai (about 50-60€ taxi fare).
How to Get Around in 7 Days in Dubai
Rent a Car: If you are in Dubai for one week, you could actually rent a car. But you should know that driving there, from my perspective, is a bit crazy. You should have nerves of steel if you decide to drive, particularly around Downtown Dubai.
Public Transportation:I recommend getting a NOL card for public transportation. There is a one-time fee for it, but you can then recharge it; public transpiration fees are cheaper this way than if you buy single tickets each time. Plus, it is valid for several years so that you can use it for your next Dubai trip. A ticket costs a bit more than 1€ with the NOL card (about 1.6€ without).
However, when it comes to public transportation, I am a bit skeptical because a) the metro stations do not have enough stops, so each stop is rather far from the last, and b) the buses are not always well connected for us travelers, so it is not easy to get from one popular station to another.
I mostly take the metro for long distances (especially downtown, where there is a lot of traffic and getting around by cab can mean that you are stuck in a taxi forever) and then jump into a taxi for the shorter rides, if there is no direct connection.
Sightseeing Buses: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 stop, but at most attractions, and so I only used them as a means of transportation once in a while, as I had a 7-day pass.The pass also includes a few cool attractions, so it saves money in addition to getting you from Point A to Point B – e.g., the Flying Cup, which I will talk about later (and I even did two boat cruises that were included).
Uber is available in Dubai. Prices are similar (it is not cheaper), and since we can trust taxi drivers in Dubai, I do not see a real reason to use Uber.
Using a taxi in Dubai is great. There is no haggling. The taximeter shows the price, driven kilometers, and more. It is absolutely safe. There are also a few pinkish taxis – for female passengers, but the regular ones are just fine. Drivers know famous attractions and main streets, but not necessarily smaller hotels or streets – so, if you stay at a place less known, have an app to show him the address/way or take screenshots of Google maps, etc. There are the regular taxis (which a yellowish color and taxi is written on them), but there are also the black Lexus taxis, which are more expensive.
Money and Credit Cards
The local currency is the United Arab Emirates dirham. Though I always mentioned € in my post, you actually pay in dirham. You can also pay in $ – but normally, it gets more expensive. I recommend exchanging some money and have dirhams with you.
Most places also accept credit cards – I would not rely on it though. Smaller shops might refuse credit card payments. If you pay with your credit card, you might get asked, whether you want to pay in dirham or your currency. I always choose the local currency (dirham in this case), because I get the better exchange rates if “my bank at home” does it.
The official language is Arabic but people speak English throughout Dubai and the UAE. Most people, living in Dubai, are actually expats from all around the world and do not even speak Arabic themselves.
In restaurants and shops, you can definitely get around with speaking English only. With taxi drivers, I had some really long converstaions in English while some only spoke a few words.
If you speak English, you will be fine. Two of the most important words in Arabic are probably:
Salam OR marḥaba – hallo
Shukran – thank you
Accommodations for 7 Days in Dubai
Accommodations in Dubai are not cheap, but the standard is quite high. Many 5-star hotels are mind-blowing, but 4- or 3-star hotels in Dubai are fine.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON VISITING DUBAI FOR SEVEN DAYS OR LONGER
I have visited Dubai numerous times. I have spent many weeks in Dubai – I have not gotten bored yet. One week in Dubai will pass quickly. I wish you a wonderful time in the city, and I hope that your 7 days in Dubai will be amazing!
Are you planning to visit Dubai but are unsure what to do in Dubai in 2 days or how much to fit into your 2-day Dubai itinerary?
If you stay longer than 2 days in Dubai, check out my 7-day Dubai itinerary. Otherwise, stay here to find out about creating a perfect 2-day itinerary for first-time visitors.
In this 2-day Dubai itinerary, you will find out where to go and what to see, plus many travel tips for a smooth 2-day trip.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I will earn a small commission when you buy a product/service via my links (no extra cost to you). More about it here.
ARE 2 DAYS IN DUBAI ENOUGH?
2 days in Dubai is a good amount to get an idea of the city. You can visit some of the main sights and attractions, but 2 days is not enough to see some hidden gems or really see all of the main sights. It is the minimum amount of days to explore Dubai.
DUBAI ITINERARY FOR 2 DAYS – THINGS TO DO AND SEE
Here are places I suggest visiting in Dubai in 2 days. I also give a time frame, but of course, it really is up to each person how much you can actually do and see.
HERE ARE THE PLACES TO VISIT ON DAY 1 IN DUBAI:
GOLD AND SPICE SOUK
LA MER OR JUMEIRAH BEACH
DUBAI WATER FOUNTAIN
HERE ARE THINGS TO DO ON DAY 2 IN DUBAI:
IN SUMMER: MIRACLE GARDEN
DAY 1 OF 2 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
So, let´s start your 2-day trip by visiting the souks (markets).
Stop 1: Gold and Spice Souk in Deira
The Gold and Spice Souk is located in Deira, the old part of Dubai. Deira is located in the north of the city and quite close to the airport. Discover the hectic and crazy part of Dubai. Retailers can be pretty persistent, which can be quite stressful. However, I truly enjoy strolling along this part, and it is one of the places you have to visit in Dubai in 2 days.
Many people say it is a very intense place, and some did not like it at all. I understand the criticism, but for first-time Dubai visitors, the souks are a must.
Most stores are open from around 9 am to 10 pm, and it gets busy quickly. On Fridays, the shops open later.
So I recommend starting early in the morning before all the other tourists come and it gets even more hectic.
You can buy souvenirs, clothes (including Arabian clothes), gold, spices, rugs and all kind of things.
The prices are much better than in the malls (especially for souvenirs) and if you are about to buy something, then do it here.
If you buy something, you must haggle. It is part of shopping in this area, and actually, it can be fun if you do it in a nice way.
TIP FOR SOLO FEMALE TRAVELERS: I love this area, but as a solo traveler, it is not easy. There are stares. There will be shop owners who approach you, and so on. It is safe, no need to worry, but it can be tiring. I recommend wearing less revealing clothes if you want to avoid them.
Stop 2: Abra Ride / Bur Dubai
A must-do to include on your Dubai itinerary is a short abra ride. Abras are traditional water taxis that are popular and super cheap.
The most authentic abra ride is near the gold and spice souk.
You can walk towards the abra station of Deira Gold Souk and get to the other side (Bur Dubai) by taking an abra (water taxi).
It just costs a few cents and is a nice and cheap way to get to the other side of the creek where you can continue your travel.
You can also have the whole abra to yourself for 5€. This allows great photo opportunities with no one else in the picture. However, if you make it to the front of the abra, you can take good pictures even with other people on the boat.
The abra ride just takes a few minutes.
In Bur Dubai are some museums and another souk where you find more spices, gold, and other things.
Of course, you can spend a whole day exploring this part of Dubai, but if you only have 2 days in Dubai, I recommend planning in 2-5 hours for seeing these two areas of Dubai. If you want to budget your time more wisely, you can plan in one hour.
Stop 3: La Mer
La Mer is a new beachfront area with tons of cool and hip restaurants/cafes, street art and cool graffiti, and fun details. It is a great place to chill though it can be quite busy (for Dubai standards when it comes to beaches). However, it is a place you should not miss out on.
La Mer is a must-see in 2 days in Dubai.
The beach at La Mer comes with a Burj Khalifa view.
Take a dip in the ocean, or do some water sports.
Have some lunch, enjoy the graffiti (there is quite a lot) and then head to the next place.
Okay, honestly, you won’t probably be able to visit both, Jumeirah Beach and La Mer. This would be too busy. So you have to decide on one of the beaches.
La Mer comes with Burj Khalifa’s view, while Jumeirah Beach comes with Burj al-Arab’s view.
Jumeirah Beach is not too far from Dubai Deira and the souks. You can get there by bus or taxi.
The open Jumeirah Beach also offers nice views of the only 7* hotel in the world, Burj Al-Arab. Luckily, the Burj Al-Arab is huge, so the pictures do not really show Burj Al-Arab’s distance to Jumeirah Beach because it is quite far from here.
Here you can rest or take a dip and cool off.
Many beaches in Dubai are private and reserved for relevant hotel guests – Jumeirah Beach is open to the public and free of charge.
It can get busy, but it does not get as busy as we know from European beaches.
From there, get a bus or taxi to Downtown Dubai.
PERSONAL OPINION: If I had time for one beach, I would choose La Mer.
After some time at the beach, slowly head to Dubai Downtown. Dubai Downtown is stuffed with many interesting attractions. You will find, among others, Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountain, and Burj Khalifa in this area.
There is no train connection (neither from Jumeirah Beach nor from La Mer), but you can get there by bus or taxi.
Stop 4: Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa is the highest building in the world – standing at 828 meters. You can enjoy some amazing views “At the Top of Burj Khalifa.”
You should plan at least 2-4 hours for visiting the Top of Burj Khalifa (depending on how busy it is).
To get to the top, you have to use the entrance inside Dubai Mall.
The waiting lines to get on top can be very long.
You can either get tickets for levels 124 & 125 or get a ticket for levels 124 & 125 & 148. Of course, level 148 is much more expensive. With a ticket to level 148, you can skip the lines – vital if you have little time. I have been on levels 124 & 125 three or four times already but never bought a ticket for level 148. After reading reviews, I found out that the views are not much better – it is mostly about the service and skipping lines.
Dubai Mall is definitely worth a visit, even if you are not a big shopper. It is not only about shopping. You’ll also find the Dubai Aquarium and more attractions here. You could spend several days at the Dubai Mall, so it really depends on how much you are into malls and shopping.
Dubai Mall is located right next to Burj Khalifa, so there is no travel time. You can start your window shopping straight away.
You can spend anything between 30 minutes to many, many hours here.
Considering you only have 2 days in Dubai, try to limit your time to 2 hours max.
Dubai Mall also has a food court that offers affordable food from all around the world. Of course, there are also all kinds of restaurants in and near Dubai Mall, including many luxury hotels.
Stop 6: Dubai Fountain
Next to Dubai Mall is the Dubai Fountain. Here you can watch nice water fountain shows in the evening.
I suggest ending your first day in Dubai here.
Evening shows take place from 6:00 PM to 11:00 PM – every 30 minutes.
It just takes a few minutes, so if be on time.
It is free to watch.
It gets busy, so secure yourself a good spot to watch it, get there way before a show takes place.
Dubai is safe, and this area is safe at night.
You can also sit there by yourself in the evening.
Sitting there and watching tourists while Burj Khalifa is beautifully illuminated at night is a fun day to end your day.
Deira is great for cheaper food – you´ll find many different cuisines at the Gold and Spice Souks. I suggest having lunch there or at La Mer.
For dinner, I recommend having it in Downtown. Restaurants with a fountain view tend to be more expensive, but there are also good restaurants in the medium-price segment. For the cheapest dinner in Downtown, check out the Food Court of Dubai Mall.
DAY 2 OF 2 DAYS IN DUBAI ITINERARY
Day 2 in Dubai starts in Dubai Marina.
Stop 1: Marina
Start with a nice stroll through Dubai Marina, which is probably one of my favorite parts in Dubai.
This man-made marina is one of the largest in the world.
I really liked the Marina with the canal and all the yachts. I could spend hours walking aimlessly around and having a drink once in a while.
Besides skyscrapers, you will also find many bars and restaurants.
If you have a meal included and are vegetarian/vegan, you can request this in advance. I was so pleased to see the many vegetarian options.
Often, you will be picked up at your hotel.
If your tour starts around 3 pm, make sure to be back at the hotel in time. Plan in possible traffic on your way back from Dubai Marina or JBR – The Walk. It would be a pity if you missed out on the safari because of being late at the pick-up location.
Alternative: Miracle Garden
If you visit in the winter months, you could also add Dubai Miracle Garden to your 2-day itinerary. Miracle Garden is a very Instafamous flower park, located a bit further from the other popular tourist attractions.
You will see flowers. You will see a lot of flowers. They are designed and decorated in a lot of interesting shapes. It is Dubai, so of course, it is the biggest flower park in the world.
The tickets are about 12€.
Seeing all pieces should take about two hours.
However, it is only open in the winter months (normally, it is open from November to May)
For lunch, I suggest having it at Dubai Marina or JBR – The Walk.
For dinner, lay back and do not worry. If you book a desert safari with a BBQ, you have already found a perfect dinner spot.
TRAVEL TIPS FOR A 2-DAY DUBAI TRIP
Here you´ll find essential travel tips for your trip to Dubai.
Safety Tips for (Solo Female) Travelers
Dubai is a super safe city to travel to, and I think it is even great to visit as a solo female traveler.
However, Deira – the area where you have the souks – is not the best place to spend the late evenings alone. I would not say, I felt scared but it is uncomfortable as a – female – traveler. So, I avoid this neighborhood in the evening.
Accommodation in Dubai is top – even a 3* hotel is often better than other 3* hotels worldwide. I stayed at all of the ones I mention below.
I recommend staying in a central area, so you don’t waste too much time driving around. With a weekend in Dubai only, you don’t want to be stuck in traffic from your hotel to the attraction.
Dubai Marina is the best place to stay if you prefer to be in a lively part of Dubai. With the Marina close by, restaurants and cafes are numerous, but the hotels do not have direct beach access. However, you are quite close to several attractions. Check out this 5* Hotel: Grosvenor House in Dubai.
JBR Walk is a lovely area with many restaurants and shops. Most hotels have beach access. It is also close to Dubai Marina and Madinat Jumeirah. Check out this 4* Resort: JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai.
Extra tip: 3* A decent budget hotel is Ibis Al Barsha. It is not perfectly located, but it offers good value for money and is still quite close to Dubai Marina.
You can also find budget hotels but you cannot expect super bargains. The best prices are often in Deira, and though I recommend visiting this fun area, it is not an area I recommend staying at – especially not as a female traveler. So make sure to book a room on the main street when choosing Deira.
Best Time to Visit Dubai
One of the most important travel tips I can give you for your 2-day Dubai is: choose the time of your visit wisely.
I do not recommend visiting during the summer (May – September). The averagetemperature ranges from 32.4 °C (90.2 °F) in May, 36.5 °C (98 °F) in August and 34 °C (93°F) in September.
Even October and April were too hot for me already. But it depends on what kind of weather you prefer.
Some activities are not possible in the summer months because of the heat – Miracle Garden, e.g., is closed in the summer months.
The winter months from November to early March are the best times to visit in my opinion.
The average temperature ranges from 19.5 °C (67.5 °F) in January.
Hotel prices, however, go up during the winter months and it gets busier. Regardless, my tip is to visit in these months.
Check also for the fasting time (Ramadan) because life is different during that time. You cannot do many activities during that few weeks (also, alcohol is less available).
Was this Dubai itinerary helpful? Then save it on Pinterest.
I hope you have found some inspiration. Honestly, this is a good itinerary for Dubai in 2 days – in my eyes, at least. You will see the main sights, which do not include any hidden gems but rather great places for a first-time visitor to Dubai.
There are many more things to do in Dubai, but this 2-day Dubai itinerary will allow you to see the most important attractions in Dubai if you have minimal time.
If you have decided to extend your stay – a good idea, by the way – check out my other itineraries.
BEST VIEWS OF DUBAI – HOW TO SEE THE CITY FROM ABOVE
Given the many skyscrapers (and rooftop bars) in Dubai, it is not difficult to see Dubai from above. Actually, seeing this super city from above is an amazing way to fall in love with the city. And while those rooftop bars offer scenic views indeed, here are some other ways to see Dubai from above.
See Dubai From Burj Khalifa “At the Top”
The classic! Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, is not only a popular site to photograph but is also a popular place to take pictures from and offers perfect views from above.The view from level 124+125 (456 meters high) or level 148 (555 meters high) is the most iconic in Dubai, and you´ll get wonderful views of the city.
You will see how much construction work is still going on, you´ll get to see the desert (which is very close to the city center), but you´ll also have some stunning views of Dubai Fountain.
Overlooking Dubai this way is indeed a unique experience. Unfortunately, you won’t be the only one who thinks that visiting the Top of Burj Khalifa is a good idea – it is quite busy most of the day, so booking tickets in advance can be quite helpful.
Ticket prices depend on the time of the visit – it’s just a few € difference in ticket prices, but if you don’t want to stand in line and have access to level 148, you have to pay a few more extra €.
The building will not be the highest building for long – a new tower will break the record, but for now, book yourself tickets for Burj Khalifa if you want to experience the taller building in the world.
See Dubai from Dubai Frame
One of Dubai´s newest attractions is the golden Frame, located close to Zabeel Park.The Frame opened in January of 2018, and this frame allows you to overlook the city and have great views of Burj Khalifa.
But you also have a unique view if you walk the glass floor – looking 100 meters down while casually strolling along.This place is as nice to visit at night as during the day, and the entrance fee of about 12€ is worth it.
Actually, the views from here are almost better than from Burj Khalifa – because you can see the tallest building. Also, it is a great alternative if you are on a budget or want to have some adrenaline rush when walking on the glass and look down.
Enjoy Amazing Dubai Views From a Helicopter Flight
While 15 minutes seem extremely short, it is enough to get some of the best views of Dubai.Flying over the beaches, the Palm, Burj al Arab, and Burj Khalifa, a helicopter ride gives you the chance to see all the iconic places of Dubai. You can book longer helicopter flights and even get to Abu Dhabi by helicopter – probably the fanciest way to get around in Dubai.
The newest attraction in March of 2018 opened at JBR Walk. This fun Flying Cup definitely offers great views of JBR – The Walk and the Beach.You do not even need a drone to get amazing shots of the pristine waters of the Persian Gulf. Whether you do it by yourself or in a group, it is something different and, by Dubai standards, quite affordable (for about 20€, you can buy your ticket at the counter just in front of it).
You get 40 meters above the ground, and the capsule rotates, so you have a panoramic view.Bring your camera to take these shots, and if you are feeling brave, get a drink and enjoy it up there while your feet are dangling in the air.
You do not have to be scared, though – a belt secures you. The experience lasts about 10 minutes, and you can even book the whole capsule and have your birthday celebration up in the sky. If you travel to Dubai with kids, you can either take them with you or enjoy JBR, one of the best places to visit in Dubai.
See Dubai’s Desert on Hot Air Balloon Ride
One of the most beautiful rides you can take is a hot air balloon ride.
A balloon ride above Dubai´s desert is gorgeous and unique – seeing the sunrise in the desert (yes, it means waking up very early). At the same time, passing dunes is an exceptional way to experience Dubai.
While there is no guarantee how high you will soar above the ground (as it depends on the weather conditions), it is a fun thing to do and one of the best views you will have from above. Duration: about 40 minutes, but the whole trip takes a few hours, including hotel pick-up, etc. So if you have a few days in Dubai, add it to your itinerary.
Have Thrilling Views at Dinner in the Sky
The concept of having dinner in the sky (and we are not talking about plane flights) has arrived in Dubai as well.Head to Dubai Marina and have a fun dinner (or lunch or afternoon tea) experience. There are some similarities to the Flying Cup, but in this case, you get up even higher (about 50 meters) and have a different view.
You´ll overlook Dubai Marina, Zero Gravity – the hip beach club in Marina, and have views of the beach! Hold your cutlery and especially your camera tight, so you do not see it falling 50 meters down, as there is no ground under your feet.Oh, I should, of course, mention that food and drink are included (prices depend on the dining option, but the activities start from about 120€ for the afternoon tea, which includes sandwiches and snacks and some non-alcoholic drinks). Click here to read my review “Dinner in the Sky.”
Hop On a Seaplane flight
Something for the bucket list (even mine) is to see Dubai´s attractions from a seaplane.
The trip starts from the water, and you´ll get to see Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah before landing back in the Persian Gulf.
Each of the passengers has a window to look out from, which gives you perfect views of the Dubai skyline. Though the views from a seaplane are supposed to be amazing, I, myself, still have to experience it, but as I have heard positive reviews, I have added it here for you.
Enjoy Thrilling Views and do Sky Dive
A unique way to overlook Dubai is from a jump from the plane for the fearless ones.
At 120 miles per hour, you fall freely, and while you probably will not be able to enjoy the view at the beginning, you might do so once you are more relaxed and soaring rather than falling.
I am not that brave – are you? Apparently, the “crown prince” of Dubai is a fan of skydiving, so you might even meet him up in the sky. Though chances are low, you can still enjoy incredible views that not many others do experience.
Whether you decide to go on a tandem skydive or do it solo, skydiving allows you to see Dubai in a way only a few have – so do it (easy said as I would not, but maybe you are braver than me :).
Great Views From Rooftop Bars
So, if you want to enjoy a drink while having great views, here are some rooftop bars with some of the best views in Dubai (though I have not been to all myself, these are known to be the best bars that come with a view).
Level 43 Sky Lounge at Four Points by Sheraton
For 360-degree views of the city, head to this rooftop bar located 155 meters above the ground.
Tomo at Raffles Hotel
This rooftop bar and Japanese restaurant is located on the 17th floor of Raffles Hotel in the older part of Dubai, so you can enjoy the views of the “new” skyline (which includes Burj Khalifa).
Shades at Address Dubai Marina
For beautiful views of Dubai Marina, head to this rooftop bar. It is open in the daytime, too, and was a perfect choice for my lunch. But the views were even better than the food. I did not use the infinity pool there – but you can buy a day pass and enjoy these views while relaxing in the water.
There are some more amazing viewpoints in Dubai – many of the skyscrapers offer stunning views of the city and Burj Khalifa. However, the above-mentioned places are pretty great if you are looking for the ultimate, the best views in Dubai because each offers quite a unique experience.
Dubai is a fun city but to really understand the city, you have to see it from above – and if you pick a few of the places/activities mentioned in my post, you will get to see Dubai from its best side.
Seen Burj Khalifa? Spent a day at the new hotspot, La Mer? Done all the typical sightseeing things, and now you are looking for something more unique to do in Dubai?
Then, it is time to enjoy dinner in the sky! Dining in the sky, with your feet hanging 50 meters up in the air, is surely something special, and you’ll have great views of Dubai Marina, too!
In this post, I will share my experiences for my dinner in the sky in Dubai. Please find out how to book tickets, where to go, and what to expect, plus my unbiased conclusion of Dinner in the Sky.
WHAT IS DINNER IN THE SKY IN DUBAI?
Dinner in the Sky is a floating dinner table and a trendy way of eating while having amazing views (and often being a bit scared). These days, you will find Dinner in thy Sky in more than 60 locations – and one of them is in Dubai.
A big dinner table, lifted 50 meters in the sky by a crane, can host up to 22 people (plus the staff that stands in the middle and serves food, entertains, and mostly takes great pictures).
When I saw this activity for the first time (on GetYourGuide, I’m sure), I knew I had to do it – and so I did.
Dining in the Sky is a new invention, and some places offer the experience, but it is still unknown amongst many travelers. When I asked my followers on Instagram about whether I should opt for a helicopter ride or dinner, it was a tie.
However, most people were thrilled to hear about this activity. If you are interested in having a lunch/dinner or afternoon tea in the sky, here are my impressions and some important information for this experience in the city of superlatives.
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HOW TO BOOK DINNER IN THE SKY IN DUBAI
I booked Dinner in the Sky via GetYourGuide – I often use this website (or Viator) and hardly ever book my tours directly.
I know the cancellation policy is very generous (we never know what could happen, right?), and if something happens, they could help me.
You can either book lunch, afternoon tea, or dinner. Afternoon tea is the least expensive, while dinner is the most expensive.
Depending on the season, you can see the sunset from up there if you book an afternoon tea. Keep in mind that it could be quite hot if you book lunch in the warmer months.
I opted for the afternoon tea (I ended up booking the helicopter tour), and prices vary greatly.
Also, the timing suited me better (it starts around 4 pm).
MORE THINGS TO KNOW FOR YOUR DINNER IN THE SKY EXPERIENCE
You have to be at least 1,20 meters to be allowed to take part.
There are lockers (without any charge) to stow your items you do not need (do not forget to take out your cameras and mobiles).
The activity lasts about 60 minutes (plus 15 minutes of preparation time), and, personally, I found it to be neither too long nor too short.
It allows you to eat while also taking a lot of pictures from different angles and also have pictures taken of you (more on that later).
WHERE IS DINNER IN THE SKY IN DUBAI
The activity is located in Dubai Marina, next to SkyDive Dubai and Zero Gravity.I was in this area already, so I just walked from Dubai Marina. Public transportation does not drop you there directly. So either get to Habtoor Hotel (or close to Grosvenor House) and then walk (about 10 minutes) or take a taxi and ask to be driven to SkyDive or Zero Gravity.
If you have other activities like skydiving planned, or a day at the popular Zero Gravity, you can schedule dinner here around that.
Review: Dinner in the Sky Experiences Dubai
Okay, here are my impressions – things I liked and things I did not like when I had my afternoon tea in Dubai. I arrived early. There was no wifi, and the toilets did not work, so I went to Zero Gravity for an hour to kill time.
I found out that my request for vegetarian snacks did not go through. It was not a great start, but the staff managed to organize vegetarian food for me last-minute. The catering is by Westin, one of Dubai’s best hotels, so the food is great and of high quality.You get some snacks, juices (not fresh, though it was written in the description), soft drinks, tea, and coffee for afternoon tea.
It can easily replace a meal (you get some more than you see on the tablet here), so I recommend not having lunch right before or planning a big dinner afterward.
The staff, especially onboard, is great.Friendly, fun, with great photography skills (not sure if it was only the person responsible for us, but they did take great pictures and put some effort into it). They did everything they could to make sure that we had a great time up there, including nice music that was perfect for a fun time.
With a crane, you get lifted 50 meters above the ground, and the table rotates slowly, so you get amazing views from all angles.
I felt safer than I thought I would. Since you get moved to the table very closely and have some arm support on the left and right side, it is not as scary as some people might expect and less thrilling than you might think.
However, if you are scared of heights or faint-hearted, this might be an extreme challenge though. But I am sure you (yes, you) will be able to handle it even if you think you will not.
I was holding my glass, etc., with two hands, though, and had my camera wrapped around my neck. I had a necklace/wrist strap that made me feel much more comfortable taking pictures. You can turn the chairs around, which is cool. Unfortunately, not 360 degrees, which is a pity, but it still allows you to enjoy better views, and you can lean back.
Seeing the Marina skyline from this perspective is definitely unique and amazing.Seeing the beach underneath you and Zero Gravity while the sun is setting was a wonderful experience.
IS DUBAI´DINNER IN THE SKY WORTH IT?
The experience was great, and I am happy I went for it. It is probably a great one-time experience, and if you want to try something new, this is a unique thing to do.
If you are looking for an extremely thrilling activity, then this is not for you – skydiving might be the better option, but it does not have to be extremely adventurous to have a great time, right?
I wished the crane was positioned differently, though, so the metal bar (sorry, I do not know the technical term) would not be in the way when taking pictures of the Dubai Eye.
However, it is fun and nerve-wracking initially, but the staff makes you feel safe, so even those who are normally terrified should try this out.