Dubai is a magical city that has become one of the most popular tourist destinations for travelers the world over. Be it beaches, deserts, shopping, history, culture, or architecture, Dubai has everything to offer to its visitors.
From glamour and luxury or old-world charm, this incredible place appeals to all kinds of people. Dubai can be mind-boggling for a first-time visitor, though.
So, are you one of those people who are planning a short vacation to Dubai and is confused about what to see and do? Well, don't be! I have created the perfect 4 days in Dubai itinerary for you.
Why not start your first day by exploring the old part of Dubai and getting an insight into its fascinating history and culture? The Al Bastakiya Quarters takes you on a memorable journey of Old Dubai through sand-colour buildings and a maze of alleys.
Stumble upon Al Fahidi Fort, where the Dubai Museum is located. Next, cross the beautiful Dubai Creek on traditional wooden boats and stop at the lively markets of Dubai. Wrap up your first day onboard the Dhow with a mouthwatering dinner.
Your first stop is the Al Bastakiya Quarter. Also known as Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, this place takes you to the past days when Dubai was a fishing and pearl-diving region.
The houses are made of traditional materials, such as gypsum, coral, sand, stone, and palm fronds. This neighbourhood is dotted with colourful art cafes, boutiques, and cosy restaurants.
A relaxed walk down this area is the best way to start your day.
The Dubai Museum is believed to be the oldest existing building in Dubai. Its galleries depict everyday Dubai life, such as marine life, souks, deserts, mosques, traditional houses, and the likes.
The Monuments Wing displays a vast collection of weapons, arts, antiques, and pottery from trading partners in Asia and Africa. The Underground Galleries are filled with old maps and videos that tell of the rapid transformation of Dubai from a sleepy coastal town to one of the world's most luxurious places.
The Dubai Museum is the best way to get acquainted with the rich history and culture of Dubai.
Next, take an 'Abra' - a traditional wooden boat - and cross the Dubai Creek. Dubai Creek is a saltwater creek that was once a vital part of the city's trade in the past. It separates the city into two main areas, Bur Dubai and Deira. Once here, visit the famous markets of Dubai - the Gold Souk and the Spice Souk.
Enjoy walking down the narrow alleys while you bargain with the shopkeepers for the best deals on herbs, spices, teas, essential oils, and Arabian garments and footwear.
The Gold Souk has more than 100 stores that sell precious stones, gold, and diamonds. If you are not interested in buying jewellery, take a look at the fantastic jewellery in the window-displays of the shops.
In the evening, go for a Dhow Dinner Cruise at the Dubai Marina. It is a 2-hour cruise with a delicious buffet on a traditional wooden Dhow.
Enjoy the fantastic cultural performances, such as Belly Dancing and Tanura Dance, while onboard and taking in the sights of the stunning architecture around you.
This unique experience should surely make it on your Dubai itinerary.
The second day is your chance to explore some of the most iconic landmarks in the city, and see the glitz and glamour that Dubai is known for. Start your day by visiting one of the largest malls in Dubai - the Dubai Mall.
The Dubai Mall is home to several fun attractions, such as the VR Park and the Dubai Aquarium. After that, head to the magnificent Burj Khalifa for the best view of the Dubai skyline.
End your day by watching the colourful Dubai Fountain live in action.
Your first stop on day 2 will be a visit to the famous Dubai Mall. Touted to be one of the largest shopping malls in the world, it boasts more than 1200 stores featuring some of the most high-end brands. It's filled with swanky restaurants, entertainment zones, an ice rink, and even an aquarium.
Even if you don't want to shop, spending a few hours here just window-shopping is a great idea.
For the next stop, visit the thrilling VR Park that is located inside the Dubai Mall.
One of the first of its kind in the UAE, this park is a paradise for gamers. It transports you to an imaginary world where you can fight King Kong, or feel the adrenaline rush by jumping off from the Burj Khalifa.
Be it horror, adventure, sports, adrenaline, or excitement; you can experience all kinds of emotions under one roof here!
You can get a sneak-peek of the enormous water tank of the Dubai Aquarium right at the entrance to the mall. But it does not come close to experiencing the real thing!
As one of the largest suspended aquarium tanks in the world, this aquarium takes you on a captivating journey of marine life. Meet some exotic aquatic creatures, such as stingrays, lionfish, sharks, piranhas, giant crabs, otters, and even a King Croc!
Hands down one of the most fantastic experiences in Dubai is visiting the majestic icon of the city - the Burj Khalifa. Get a jaw-dropping view of the entire city from the Observation Deck on the 124th and 148th floor of the tallest building in the world.
Admire the incredible architecture of this structure that soars over 828 meters into the sky. Spot the famous landmarks of Dubai, such as the Palm Jumeirah, Dubai Marina and more from the telescopes stationed here.
Located right outside the Dubai Mall, this choreographed fountain system is a dazzling display of water, lights, and music. It shoots water more than 500 feet into the air while beautiful music plays in the background.
It looks marvellous in the evenings, and the views are best enjoyed aboard an Abra on the Burj Khalifa Lake.
Spend day 3 of your trip outdoors experiencing the sun and sand and a bit of adventure in Dubai. Also indulge in Dubai's culture and unique experiences it has to offer!
Visit the splendid Jumeirah Mosque to learn interesting facts about Arabic culture and customs. Afterwards, spend a few hours lounging on Jumeirah Beach and at Wild Wadi Waterpark to give in to your adventurous side.
Finally, finish off with a trip to the desert - the perfect way to end this day!
Start your day by visiting the charming Jumeirah Mosque - one of the few mosques open to non-Muslims.
The white marble façade with its towering minarets look stunning, especially in the evening lights. Admire its exquisite architecture and intricate carvings.
This mosque is believed to be the most photographed mosque in Dubai.
This beautiful white sand beach is located on the coast of the Persian Gulf. Lined with exotic hotels, high-end restaurants, shops, clubs, and other entertainment points, this is the best place to hang out and enjoy with friends and family.
There are barbeque and picnic areas, volleyball courts, and swimming pools to keep you engaged throughout the day.
Enjoy the brilliant view of the imposing Burj Al Arab from the beach.
Take a break from the sweltering heat by heading to Wild Wadi Waterpark.
Touted to be one of the largest theme-based waterparks in the world, it offers some thrilling and fun rides for both adults and children.
Based on the tales of Juha, one of the most beloved characters from Arabian Folklore, this waterpark provides an unforgettable experience to people of all age groups.
No trip to Dubai is complete without a visit to the desert.
Book an evening desert safari and enjoy some exhilarating activities, such as sandboarding, quad biking, and dune bashing.
Sit back and experience the Arabic Bedouin camp while watching some entertaining performances, such as a fire show, Belly Dancing, and a Tanura Dance.
Savour a lip-smacking BBQ dinner with an array of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes.
A desert safari is indeed the best way to end your day!
Spend your last day exploring some of the human-made wonders of Dubai by just walking around and visiting the famous hangouts of the city.
Start your morning at the latest architecture landmark of Dubai - the Dubai Frame - which is where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
Next, visit the awe-inspiring Palm Islands, and finish with a relaxed evening in the entertainment hub of Dubai - the Dubai Marina.
One of the newest attractions in Dubai is the Dubai Frame, which is located at Zabeel Park.
The Dubai Frame was built to resemble a massive picture frame. It is a structure that is 150 meters high and 93 meters wide with a bridge on top.
The view from the top is stunning. On one side, you can see Old Dubai (Deira and Karama), and on the other side, you can see modern Dubai (the Burj Khalifa and Emirates Tower).
Palm Island is a human-made archipelago and one of the most mesmerising sites in Dubai.
This beautiful Palm-shaped island with a crescent on top is even visible from space.
Dotted with breathtaking skyscrapers, classy restaurants and fancy apartment complexes, Palm Island boasts of luxury and glitter that Dubai is well known for.
Don't forget to check out the magnificent Atlantis Hotel while you are here.
Visit the liveliest neighbourhood in Dubai to get a taste of Dubai's bustling nightlife.
The promenade is a 7-kilometre long stretch filled with restaurants, shopping malls, bars, and luxury hotels. It is also home to some prominent landmarks, like the Dubai Marina Mall, Jumeirah Beach, and The Marina Walk.
It is the perfect place to spend your last evening in Dubai and experience the city's vibrant nightlife.
The above itinerary includes some of the most famous attractions in Dubai. You are free to customise the itinerary based on your likes and interests.
If you have time, a day trip to Abu Dhabi city is highly recommended. If not, you can always come back for another vacation and visit the attractions you missed on your first trip.
This article was first published on Jan 22, 2020 19:04 UTC.
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