From a helicopter, Dubai looks like a bouquet of sky-piercing architecture hemmed in by the Persian Gulf, the Hajar Mountains and the untamed desert. The city is a beautiful alchemy of humble history and ambitious future.
Be it the record-breaking and up-to-date rides or the hundred-year-old neighbourhoods, no matter where you go in and around Dubai, there is something incredible to witness.
Read on to learn how to spend the perfect one week in Dubai with this Dubai itinerary that includes some of the most touristy and famous attractions.
Holding the most prestigious belongings of Dubai, this area is a must-see. Its resident Dubai Mall is one of the word's largest and fully air-conditioned malls that has something for everyone.
Whether your dream is to catch a glimpse from the tallest free-standing structure in the world, to have the guts to dive with sharks or to watch the city's dramatic fountain sprout water 500 feet up in the air — Dubai has almost everything you could ever dream of, and below is the list to prove it.
Shop the world's trendiest celebratory labels? Check. Skate in an Olympian-sized ice rink? Check. A virtual reality experience? Also, check.
The paradise of Downtown Dubai, the epicentre of family entertainment, and the benchmark for other shopping hubs, Dubai Mall is the world's most extensive shopping, entertainment and leisure destination. Its intricate interior, giant waterfall with divers, resident dinosaur and comprehensive Dubai kids activities are worth looking forward to.
Feed your inner shopaholic with covetable brands like Versace and Alexander McQueen at the thousands of shops. Also, catch a breath at the 200 food and beverage stalls and the sophisticated cinema.
Illuminating the marvels of the ocean floor, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is one of the largest aquariums in the world.
Nestled in the Dubai Mall, this huge attraction features a 10-million litre water tank, a 270-degree walk-through tunnel, and a mind-blowing collection of 33,000 marine animals. Upgrade the experience with other heart-stirring activities, such as shark feeding, shark dives, cage snorkelling, and scuba diving.
Tip - For a more educational experience, visit the Underwater Zoo located above the aquarium. It teaches kids and visitors about the ecology and sustainability of marine life.
An achievement unlike any other, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest human-made structure on the globe and the embodiment of the extraordinary engineering of Dubai.
Sense the tingle in your spine in the world's fastest double-deck elevators, step out onto the world's highest observation deck at the 148th floor, refresh yourself with tea in the opulent lounge, take a closer look at the world through a telescope, and more!
Made by the same brains who designed the famous Bellagio Fountain in Las Vegas, this fountain dances every 30 minutes in the evening and a sea of people gather to capture the visual on their phones.
It's such a mammoth performance that you won't have to elbow your way through a crowd or stand on a chair to get a view. You can also hop on a boat on Burj Lake to take in the fountain.
Following the great beginning to your trip, unwind and eat in the gorgeous complex of Souk al Bahar. It is made up of excellent dining spots, a beautiful shopping centre, is a treasured heritage, and has tall archways and a fantastic vantage point.
Soak up the splendour of the enchanting Arabic environment featuring over 100 shops, 22 restaurants, and cafés and lounges, most of which are situated on the waterfront promenade of Burj Lake.
Keep the second day of this one week Dubai guide locked to the fancy and extravagant side of the city. Palm Jumeirah, an artificial archipelago, is one of the more daring developments in the world.
Extending out into the Arabian Gulf, this vast archipelago is visible from space, and the outer crescent is almost 7 miles long.
In addition to its world-class urbanism and elegant lifestyle, find out about all the adventures it contains in its fronds and crescents by spending your second day in Dubai here.
A walk in the poshest locale in Dubai will introduce you to some of the most luxurious villas in the city, extravagant resorts, exquisite restaurants, 5-star hotels, fabulous shops, chic clubs, a coffee-spiked spa and party hideaways.
And now there's a way to savour it all in one sitting, thanks to speedboat tours!
Experience the ultimate adrenaline rush by jumping out of a helicopter and freefalling at a speed of up to 120 mph as you catch fantastic views of the Palm, Dubai Marina and the Arabian Gulf.
If you'd like to do an activity that is a little less hair-raising, try paddleboarding or kayaking.
Tip - Not strapped for cash? Get a birds-eye view of Dubai's most splendid sights on a 25-minute flight.
Refuel yourself in a celebrity, signature or buffet restaurant that has a winning menu filled with mouth-watering and lip-smacking dishes.
Nobu, Hakkasan, Ayamna and Wavehouse are a few prestigious names.
After lunch, head over to Dubai's No.1 waterpark. Tucked away in the Atlantis, the Aquaventure Waterpark promises a pulse-pounding getaway for a family.
While the children giggle and play in the Kid Area, the brave vacationers can plummet down a slide surrounded by sharks and rays.
Equipped with over 30 rides and attractions, a Lazy River, and a private beach, this attraction offers unforgettable experiences for all ages from thrill-seekers to more laidback people.
Continue the underwater fun theme by hanging out with aquatic animals. Teeming with 65,000 creatures, the Lost Chambers Aquarium contains untold riches and treasures.
Dive deeper by taking a look behind-the-scenes, snorkeling through lagoons, or experiencing Aquatrek.
Home to a five-star hotel, Michelin-starred restaurants, and an exhilarating selection of entertainment and leisure options, Atlantis is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dubai.
After an awe-inspiring day out, settle in the sand. The Jumeirah Beach Residence has beachside dining and shopping outlets, a running track, an outdoor gym and a beach volleyball court.
The watersports enthusiasts can take advantage of the turquoise water by parasailing or wakeboarding. Or, keep your feet dry by riding a camel.
After wandering around New Dubai, it is time to travel back in time for a day.
The many beaches, eye-popping skyline and record-breaking parks are merely one side of this exciting city. The third day is devoted to learning about the Bedouin lifestyle — the time before the mind-boggling developments and rapid growth of Dubai.
Learn about the history and culture of Emirate by visiting the souks, the Dubai Museum, and more. Finish off your evening by experiencing authentic life in a desert camp.
Grab a Metro and get off at Al Ras Station, which is about 400 metres away from the souks.
Meander through the buzzing labyrinth of walkways where you can look through mounds of colourful spices, smell exotic perfumes and buy the best textiles.
Bigger than the Grand Souks, the Gold Souk sells the cheapest gold in the world — it's a bet. And even better, you can haggle here!
Wanting to brush up on your knowledge of the pre-oil-discovery culture of Dubai? Constructed as a fort in 1787, it was only recently that this monarch base was transformed into a museum.
At the Dubai Museum, you can explore rare monuments, tombs, weapons, galleries, mosques, and much more. The museum houses artefacts that span from Africa to Asia and depicts life before advancement.
The Bastakiya Quarter goes back to the days when houses were made of bricks, teak, wood, and mud, were sand-coloured, and featured wind towers. Wander through narrow lanes and observe this different side of Dubai.
Today, there are about 50 buildings comprised of museums, craft shops, cultural exhibitions, courtyard cafes, art galleries and boutique hotels.
Team up with a reliable agent and whisk away from the glitz and glamour to Bedouin camping. The desert blends the rich saga of history with the thrill of escapade.
The session begins with adrenaline-charged pursuits of dune bashing, sandboarding, camel riding and quad biking. After a couple of stops for photography too, you'll head towards the well-maintained camp that sprouts with Arabian splendour, cultural shows, henna design and a delicious buffet.
Tip - To delve deeper in this endlessly fascinating desert, stay overnight under the blanket of stars.
Start your day high in the sky with a fascinating view of Dubai. Afterwards, do a little more shopping at the Mall of the Emirates. And finally, cool things down and dust off the woollies at a full-fledged ski resort in the UAE.
Sign up for a helicopter tour of Dubai to seize an eagle's view of what's best in the city. From the Burj Khalifa to Palm Jumeirah, ask your pilot to flutter around your favourite attractions where you can capture breathtaking pictures.
Here is another chance to shop till you drop with countless brands of fashion, department stores, and sports, lifestyle, electronics, and home furnishing outlets. Discover healthy choices for dining, Dreamscape, Magic Planet and other kids activities in Dubai.
Whether it's your first time in the snow, or you are a seasoned skier, the Middle East's first indoor ski resort and snow park is everyone's crush place.
Sprawling over 22,500 square meters, with five slopes of varying difficulties, Ski Dubai gives you a chance to ski, snowboard, zip line, interact with penguins, take a chairlift ride, and have a nice cup of hot chocolate.
Beat the afternoon crowds by gearing up for an adventurous hotspot and spending the evening on the beach’s recliners.
Get your adrenaline fix by flocking to the largest temperature-controlled indoor themed entertainment destination in the world. It has a high-speed Velociraptor roller coaster to vertical dropping rides.
If you have a penchant for playing sports or relaxing by the beach, there is no better spot to do this than Kite Beach — especially during sunset.
Touted as the largest indoor theme park, IMG Worlds of Adventure has adventure-seekers spoilt for choices. The five epic zones are the maze of fun that keep the young hearts enthralled.
Channel your inner Avenger, get propelled at nail-biting speeds, watch cartoon characters in the fun multi-sensory zone, prepare to scream on a vertical fall, immerse yourself in the battle between Ben and Rook, see dinosaurs roam the Earth, and expect zombies in the Haunted Hotel.
Shoutout to the cheap and cheerful hangout place, Kite Beach.
Indulge in water activities like kite surfing, paddle boarding and kayaking, or just play volleyball. And eventually, if all you crave is to relax, then bask under the sun with a drink in hand while appreciating the view of Burj Al Arab.
You can also fill your appetite with delicious servings at the array of food trucks.
Time to acknowledge the sensational side of Dubai. Akin to Disneyland, Dubai Parks & Resorts is the Middle East's largest integrated leisure and theme park, which will have you covered for the day.
Its cornucopia of choices, four outstanding parks, hotel, dining and shopping corners, cabanas for relaxation and over 100 indoor and outdoor attractions will leave you in splits of joy.
After the sun goes down, tick off the gems of Dubai Marina as you cruise along the striking skyline.
Squeezing three world-class theme parks and one water park into one ticket, the Dubai Parks & Resorts is an absolute fun venture.
Holding the distinction of being the region's first of its kind, and hosting more than 100 innovative rides, there are delightful options for the whole family.
Catch the action, drama and romance of Bollywood through state-of-the-art rides at Bollywood Parks, reimagine the big Hollywood classics and animations as the rollercoasters at Motiongate, and splash into the world of Legos at Legoland Dubai.
You can also take a glimpse through time and kick back among the swaying palm trees of Riverland and Lapita.
Sign off the day with a relaxing dinner on a cruise. Dhow has been revamped to be a beautiful two-deck cruise, which organises events and parties as well.
Admire the brightly lit skyscrapers of the cosmopolitan Marina, delight in the wonderful live dance, and feast on a delectable buffet of international dishes.
Finish off your trip by taking in the entirety of Dubai. Yes, devote an entire day to appreciate and behold the expansive beauty of the city.
From scaling the world’s largest picture frame to floating on a 3.2 km long waterway, take a look at the complete Dubai.
The Dubai Metro can reach most of the attractions on this day.
Tick off another remarkable engineering feat of Dubai on the last day of your trip. Enjoy the tale of two sides of the city from the observation deck of the spectacular Dubai Frame.
Standing at 150m high, take in the sweeping panoramic views of the city at the top while gazing out upon both Old and New Dubai. Don't miss its past exhibition, its crystal-clear glass floor, and the future gallery.
A plaster of modern charisma on a traditional souk is what this Arabic Market promises to deliver. It is a part of the spacious Madinat Jumeirah Resort, where you are sure to find something suitable to take back home.
Browse through the 75 shops, galleries and dining outlets where you can choose from scents, glowing lanterns, homeware, fashion, jewellery, fragrant spices and artisanal souvenirs.
Winding its way into the Arabian Gulf from the Creek in Old Dubai, the Dubai Water Canal is the latest addition to the city's unparalleled transformation.
Take a ferry from Al Gubhaiba to the end of the water canal and witness how the landscape develops from hundred-year-old, small and wide structures, to tall and modern buildings.
Create significant memories as you enjoy a vehicle-free stroll on the European-styled streets of City Walk. Stretching over 13,000sqm, this entertainment hub is dotted with shops, restaurants, fountains, children's playgrounds and plenty of open-air seating.
Dubai is the best place to play, pamper yourself, shop, chill out, dine and dance. This ‘tested and passed’ 7-day Dubai itinerary will ensure you leave Dubai having had a great time!
This article was first published on May 1, 2020 11:09 UTC.
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