Want to take a mini-break to Dubai but not sure how to maximize this available short period? Here is our suggested travel program on how to spend 2 days in Dubai (assuming that you have a full 48 hours in the city). It also comes with some cool alternatives, which are especially for those who want to ditch the usual and go off-the-beaten-track.
DAY 1 – THE MUST DO’S IN DUBAI
Tick-Off The Mandatory Dubai Must-Sees – Al Bastakiya, Gold Souk, Burj Al Arab, Dubai Frame, The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, And Dubai Fountain Show
Today, after a heavy breakfast (yes, don’t skip it), set out to strike-off must-experiences from your Dubai checklist.
Start at Old Dubai that is spread over Deira, Bur Dubai and Al Seef region. Headfirst to the beautifully preserved Al Bastakiya Quarter, also called Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, where you can retrace the ancient Emirati past and modest lifestyle. Check out the humble sand-coloured structures crowned by traditional wind towers. There are also interesting museums and cultural landmarks in the region, such as Dubai Museum (inside the oldest-of-its-kind Al Fahidi Fort), Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding, Coffee Museum etc., to name a museum.
From the Bur Dubai region, cross the waters of Dubai Creek to reach Deira area. Although you can conveniently reach here via road, it’s ideal to take an abra ride across Dubai Creek. Here you can sail aboard a wooden vessel that will cost you just AED 1. Once you step your foot on land here, make your way to its souks, mostly Gold Souk, where you can’t help but soak in its unequalled vigour and sparkling charm with hundreds of thousands of shops all selling gold jewellery.
When it’s time for lunch, you can drop into one of the high-end dining venues in the vicinity or grab food on the go with various street food options dotted all over the region. Continue your sightseeing by heading off to the biggest of its kind Dubai Frame where you can catch a glimpse of both old and new Dubai from a single vantage point or skip it and tour the man-made island of Palm Jumeirah. A monorail ride or a quick drive in and around Jumeirah will introduce you to the city icons such as Atlantis, The Palm resort, Burj Al Arab, and Madinat Jumeirah.
After this, visit the Downtown Dubai area to spend your time till evening or late at night. One of the main attractions here is the Dubai Mall, where you can wander around its 1200 plus shops, try food from its over 200 dining outlets, and further discover some cool and one-of-its-kind attractions such as Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, KidZania Dubai, Dubai Ice Rink, Hysteria, and VR Park Dubai.
Another major highlight to check off here is Burj Khalifa, which is the world’s tallest building. You can make an entry here for its stylish observation decks (at 124th and 148th levels) or lavish culinary choices like At.mosphere and Café Treat. Back on the ground, be sure to watch the Dubai Fountain show at Burj Lake, which mesmerizes you with its perfect harmonization of water, music and light.
Best Tips & Tricks for Day One
- With so much to see and experience in a few hours, don’t attempt to discover the city on your own.
- Instead, pre-reserve your full-day sightseeing tour through a professional travel service provider. Make sure that this comes with a quality vehicle and, of course, the services of an experienced, friendly guide.
- Most city tours don’t cover entry tickets to Burj Khalifa, Dubai Frame etc., but you can save money in this department with combo tours like Dubai City Tour with Burj Khalifa or Burj Khalifa with Café Treat.
- Enrich your Burj Khalifa experience by opting for a time slot that coincides with sunset time.
- While the Dubai Fountain show is a free attraction, you can add additional experiences like the Dubai Fountain show with Burj Lake Abra Ride.
DAY 2: A LITTLE BIT OF CULTURE
There Are Two Alternatives For Today!
Option 1: Culture and Nature Exploration
Highlights: Morning Desert Safari, Dubai Miracle Garden, and Dhow Cruise
Kick-off your day with an early morning desert safari Dubai. 30 to 40 minutes away, this will take you to the region’s supremely isolated dune landscape where you can witness desert sunrise views, take in the desert sands on a dune bash, and experience the timeless Bedouin culture and heritage with camel ride, henna tattooing etc.
Once you return to the mainland, discover the grandeur of nature at Dubai Miracle Garden. More than the 70,000-square-meter garden is an oasis of colourful flowers and lush scenery in the middle of the desert city. Yes, you’ll get to see here millions of rare and unique flowers arranged in a variety of shapes, patterns, and designs.
In the evening, get ready for a dining experience like no other! Just select your desired cruise location at the classy Dubai Marina or more traditional Dubai Creek. Whichever is your chosen location, this allows you to wind up your holiday in the most relaxed way with fantastic skyline views, finest foods, and fabulous entertainment shows on board.
Option 2: Dedicate this Day for Cool Chills and Thrills
Highlights: Visit Dubai Parks and Resorts or Visit Ski Dubai and IMG Worlds of Adventure
Dubai is fondly called the Middle East’s theme park capital. Not to mention, you have a variety of options at your disposal to take your pick from. For hardcore theme park enthusiasts, it’s worth spending a full day at Dubai Parks and Resorts.
It’s the region’s first integrated resort with several accommodation choices and overall four theme parks such as Hollywood-themed Motiongate Dubai, Hindi-cinema inspired Bollywood Parks Dubai, and kids-and-family-specific LEGOLAND Dubai, and LEGOLAND Water Park. In fact, an entire day is not enough to discover hundreds of rides, games, and shows in these parks. So it’s vital to pick the right pass to make the most of your time here.
Looking to bring in a distinct fun and thrill to your theme park visit? You can’t go wrong by touring Ski Dubai. It’s the Middle East first of its kind and the world’s third-biggest indoor ski resort. Yes, you can enjoy all your favourite snow activities like skiing, snowboarding etc., to your heart’s desire.
Another top suggestion in Dubai for theme park lovers is IMG Worlds of Adventure. It’s the largest indoor theme park in the world. From the thrilling foyer section and dinosaur-based Lost Valley section to Marvel superheroes inspired section and rides dedicated to classic Cartoon characters, its four distinctly themed zones constitute its major draw.
48 hours is certainly not enough to explore a buzzing city like Dubai, but this 2 days in Dubai itinerary would definitely allow you to experience a bit of everything that the place has to offer.
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About the author
Neha is a travel blogger who enjoys travelling, meeting new people and learning about the local culture and food. She is always looking forward to visiting new places and likes to play tennis in her spare time. You can find Neha on here.
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