Dubai is so full of spectacular sights that you might wonder how to experience the best ones if you don’t have much time? We’ve put together a little itinerary for you that’ll help you see the best of Dubai in one day. So, assuming you’re in Dubai on business, or on a stopover, you can still enjoy everything this glamorous city has to offer. We recommend that you stay at a hotel close to the airport, to save time and reach all the attractions via a Metro line.
Guest post by Neha
Blog: Dubai Wikia
What’s The Best Time To Visit Dubai?
Dubai is hot – there’s no escaping the desert climate. However, it’s much cooler between November to February. If you’re in Dubai during this period, don’t miss the Dubai Shopping Festival!
What’s Good To Know About Dubai?
- – The Dubai Metro connects the Dubai Airport to Jebel Ali at the other end, where you get off to visit Bollywood Parks, Dubai. Use the Metro to reach the Burj Khalifa, the Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina and Dubai World Trade Centre quickly.
- – The Dubai Tram stops connect with Metro stops and can be used to see attractions not connected by the Metro line.
- – The Dubai Metro runs every day from 5.30 am until midnight, Saturday to Wednesday. On Thursdays, it runs from 5.30 am until 1 am and on Fridays, from 10 am until 1 am.
- – Buy a prepaid Nol card from any Metro station and use it to pay Dubai’s buses, trams, taxis and the Metro.
- – Tourists are expected to wear modest clothing and avoid public displays of affection.
- – Bikinis are allowed in the water but modest cover-ups are best on the beach.
- – Drinking and driving will earn you fines, imprisonment or even deportation.
- – During the holy month of Ramadan, restaurants will be closed during the day. Even non-Muslims are not allowed to eat in public during the day.
- – If you’re a man, it’s best not to shake a Muslim woman’s hand unless she offers to shake yours.
- – Avoid scheduling meetings with locals during the 5 daily prayer times.
One Day In Dubai Itinerary
Follow this guide and make the most of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do during your one day in Dubai.
Early Morning Balloon Ride
You’ll be picked up at your hotel and taken to the launch site at dawn. There you’ll be gliding over the billowing sand dunes in your balloon with a pilot, watching the desert sunrise break over the city. Flying with falcons at 4,000 feet above ground does some wonderful things to your heart. After the flight, you’ll freshen up at a private desert conservation reserve, enjoy a gourmet breakfast and be back at the hotel before 9 A.M. Be sure to book this tour in advance.
Explore the Souks
Grab the Metro and arrive at Al Ras Station, 400 meters from Deira, to explore the Spice and Gold Souks. Enjoy watching window after window of the most expensive gold, mounds of herbs and spices, silk shawls, handicrafts and more. Barter and buy something to take home.
Cross the Dubai Creek
Directly in front of the Deira souks is the ancient Dubai Creek. Grab an ‘Abra’ (a long-boat) and cross the creek to the other side, Bur Dubai. Do some exploring and shopping, and then visit the old and beautiful Sheikh Mohammed Mosque.
Check Out Burj Khalifa
Get off at the Burj Khalifa Metro Station, only 13 kilometers from Deira. Buy an admission ticket for AED 300 and go up to the 148th floor’s observation deck to enjoy the fabulous view of the city. The 828-meter tall world’s tallest building is a fabulous sight seen from any angle.
Visit The Dubai Fountains
The world’s largest choreographed fountains are located on the lovely Burj Lake, in front of Burj Khalifa. Watch the jets of water soar up to 140 meters. There’s a show every half hour, with a different design and song each time. Don’t forget to enjoy the Dubai Fountain lake ride. It is an exclusive, fun and extremely exciting activity you must try.
Break for Lunch
The Dubai Mall is right opposite of Burj Khalifa. Have some lunch at one of the great eateries in the food court. Enjoy some kickass burgers at Five Guys, or some lovely Indian food at Pappa Roti. Check out the list of restaurants in Dubai Mall.
Explore the Dubai Mall
Explore the fabulous mall with its 1000 stores across 4 levels. If you have the time, check out the indoor Theme Park, the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and the Dubai Ice Rink as well.
Don’t miss this one if you have kids with you. KidZania, only 3 minutes from Dubai Mall, is an interactive ‘city’ for children, with kid-sized buildings, cars, offices and parks. Kids can work at any job here, wear uniforms, obtain career advice and even salaries in KidZos and drive small cars around!
Check out the SEGA Republic
SEGA Republic is another cool place for kids. Situated close to KidZania, kids can enjoy 16 rush rides, 170 video and arcade games and a virtual games area where one can snowboard, bobsled, free-fall, joyride; fight the dead and much more. Tickets are AED 300 per person.
Enjoy an Evening Cruise
If you don’t have kids, bypass KidZania and SEGA Republic and take the Metro all the way to the Dubai Marina for a yacht cruise. Important: book the cruise in advance. Cruise in a motor Gulf Craft yacht for two hours along Dubai’s shores, sailing by the Burj Al Arab, the Palm Atlantis and the Palm Jumeirah islands. The Dubai Marina is 23 minutes from SEGA Republic on the Metro line.
Break for Dinner
The yacht drops you back at the Dubai Marina, where you can enjoy dinner at one of the nearby restaurants. The Dubai Marina mall offers a luxurious shopping experience and several classy eateries. Once dinner is done, just take the Metro back to your hotel for the night.
Where to stay in Dubai?
Park Regis Boutique Hotel
Park Regis Boutique Hotel is an elegantly furnished, modern boutique hotel only a two minutes’ walk from the beach. Guests can enjoy a day swim or an evening beach walk. The rooms are bright, modern and quirky with a bit of a beach vibe, while some of them feature a city view.
Rove Hotels are smart, fuss-free and affordable hotels that can be found all over Dubai city. They all feature modern and spacious rooms and a wide range of amenities & facilities like outdoor pool, fitness area, on site restaurant and bar. Pick your favourite according to location.
Extra tips for visiting Dubai
– Dubai’s good transportation system makes it possible to enjoy several wonderful sights in just a single day. However, we recommend that you estimate routes and distances and book cruises and tours in advance to ensure a smooth and memorable day in Dubai.
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