Luxury shopping, beautiful architecture and an amazing nightlife: Dubai offers it all! The famous city is located in the middle of the desert and is known for its many must-see attractions. If you want to soak up the unique Dubai vibes it’s about time to plan your Dubai itinerary! I will share the best things to do in Dubai in 5-7 days.
Dubai Itinerary day 1: Downtown Dubai
When visiting Dubai you really don’t want to miss out on all the spectacular sightseeing attractions that this beautiful city has to offer. Therefore, I would recommend starting your Dubai itinerary in Downtown Dubai where you can visit some epic places. I will break them down below!
For all the shopping queens among us Dubai is definitely THE place to be! The city is known for its luxury shopping and huge shopping malls. It’s no surprise that the Dubai Mall is the BIGGEST shopping mall in the world with around 1.200 shops. If you want you can literally spend your whole day in the Dubai Mall since there are many restaurants where you can have breakfast, lunch or dinner and there are a lot of fun activities to do:
- Head over to the ice rink and take a beginner’s class ice skating or freestyle with friends and family.
- Turn your world upside down and lose yourself in a fully immersive virtual reality experience in the VR park.
- Go karting in the latest generation of electric go-karts.
- Transport yourself back in time by visiting the dinosaur park.
- Watch a nice movie in one of the cinemas.
Did you know that the Dubai Mall also offers a trampoline park and a haunted house? On top of that, you can absorb the wonders of nature in the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo where you will get fascinating insights into the world’s most mysterious marine life. Quite amazing right?!
After visiting the Dubai Mall you can head over to the Dubai Fountain which is located at the center of Downtown Dubai. It’s no surprise that this is the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. Every half hour from 6pm to 11pm you can watch the famous fountain show. It’s amazing how the lights, the music and the water are choreographed! Since the Dubai Fountains are so big, there are a lot of places to view them from different angles and perspectives. Listed below are some of the best places to view the Dubai Fountains:
- View the fountains from up above on the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa.
- Step on a traditional Arabic boat to view the fountains from the water.
- Dine and watch the fountain show at Zeta Restaurant or at the Burj Club.
- View the fountains from the bridge that is crossing the neighbourhood and the Dubai Mall.
- Book a VIP tour to overlook the fountains, LOVE IT!
- Watch the show on the ground right in front of the Dubai Mall.
Another famous activity that you don’t want to skip during your Dubai itinerary is visiting the world’s tallest building: The Burj Khalifa. This famous skyscraper has a height of no less than 830 meters! How cool is it that you can take the world’s fastest elevator to the 125th floor where you can enjoy a phenomenal 360 degree panoramic view of Dubai?! The telescopes on the deck make the entire experience even more impressive. While visiting the Burj Khalifa you will learn a lot about the architecture and technology of the building which is super interesting! Here are some highlights of this fun activity:
- View Dubai from the tallest skyscraper in the world.
- Let yourself be transported by the world’s fastest elevator that takes you to the 125th floor.
- Enjoy the beautiful 360 degree panoramic view.
- Learn everything about the construction and architecture of this gigantic tower.
- Take some Instagrammable pictures!
Places nearby Downtown Dubai
Not only in Dubai Downtown but also around this place there are a lot of fun activities to do. Since the options are endless in this area, I have listed two of my favourite places that you can add to your Dubai itinerary. Are you ready?
Laguna Waterpark is located around 6 kilometers away from Dubai Downtown. It’s the ultimate destination to spend some fun time with friends and family. Everything is possible here: Whether you want to relax in luxury cabanas on the waterfront, enjoy a dip in the infinity pool, experience the best rides and attractions or have dinner with a beautiful panoramic rooftop view. This experience will definitely make your Dubai itinerary a memorable one!
For those who are interested in learning more about the Islam and the local culture in Dubai, the Jumeirah Mosque is the perfect place to be. It’s one of the most iconic landmarks in Dubai and the best part is: Everyone is welcome at Jumeirah Mosque. The architecture of the mosque is incredible. The whole building is made out of pure-white stone with geometric designs and Arabic calligraphy on the domes. Did you know that the mosque is large enough to hold up around 1.200 worshippers?!
Dubai Itinerary day 2: The Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah is one of the man made palm islands in the United Arab Emirates. Viewed from above the palm islands resemble beautifully shaped palm trees, AMAZING! The Palm Jumeirah is home to some of Dubai’s most luxury resorts and fantastic dining opportunities. Even if you are not staying at The Palm Jumeirah the island offers an easy access to a lot of nice attractions that you might want to add to your Dubai itinerary!
Activities In The Air
If you want to catch that beautifully palm-shaped island view from above you can head over to HeliDubai Jumeirah Heliport to take a helicopter tour. You will experience a panoramic view of the Palm Jumeirah and Atlantis the Palm as your cross the trunk of The Palm. During this helicopter tour you will also see a lot of other mesmerising sites of Dubai as the tour continues flying over the beautiful Dubai beaches, the Burj Al Arab and some of Dubai’s other architectural masterpieces.
If you are more like a thrill-seeker Dubai also offers skydiving opportunities. Go on a skydiving adventure and experience a breathtaking free-fall at Skydive Dubai. This skydiving center offers tandem parachuting along with photos & video to make this experience truly unforgettable. The instructors will guide you through the whole process including a demonstration before even setting foot on the plane.
Activities In The Water
One of the more popular activities in The Palm Jumeirah is going on a speedboat tour around the island. During this tour, you can explore the island from the waves and discover fun facts of all the coastline hotels, beaches and some of Dubai’s other top landmarks, such as: Dubai Marina, The Dubai Eye Wheel, The Burj Al Arab and many more!
Did you know that The Palm Jumeirah is also home to some incredible beaches? For the beach bums among us, Drift Beach is the place to be. This award-winning beachfront destination is where style and luxury meet. You can lounge all day at the splendid infinity pool while enjoying the most delicious dishes. What more do you want?!
Photo credits: @driftbeachdubai
Atlantis The Palm
When visiting The Palm Jumeirah you definitely want to check out Atlantis the Palm. Located on a private sandy beach, this 5-star hotel offers stunning views of the Arabian Gulf. It’s the ultimate holiday destination for both couples and families to make lifetime memories.
Even when you are not staying in Atlantis I definitely recommend you to visit this magical place. Especially, the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark is sooooo much fun! It’s the No. 1 Water Park in Dubai on TripAdvisor and with more than 30 slides and attractions you will experience a day full of excitement!
But that’s not all! Atlantis the Palm also offers the famous Atlantean Flyer Zip Line that is designed to take you from one slide to another while being around 20 metres in the air. It offers a stunning treetop view op the park, beach and The Palm island below. Here are some fun facts about The Atlantean Flyer:
- It’s the world’s first zip line integrated into a waterslide tower.
- It’s the longest zip line circuit in the Middle East (500-metre circuit).
- The zip line is located 16-20 metres high with views over The Palm.
- You will fy at speeds of up 10 miles per hour.
Dubai Itinerary Day 3: Dubai Desert Safari
No one should leave Dubai without exploring the beauty of the desert! Going on a desert safari is the ultimate getaway from the vibrant and entertaining city. You’ll ride in a 4×4 vehicle into the Dubai desert where you can experience dune bashing and go sandboarding. Take some instagram-proof pictures, enjoy a camel ride and watch the beautiful sunset. You can choose the 4-hour program or the 7-hour program with the addition of a BBQ dinner. Sit back at the Bedouin camp and watch the entertainment of a traditional Tanura show and belly dancing performance. Here are some highlights of the Dubai desert safari:
- Discover what it’s like to go dune bashing in the beautiful Red Arabian Desert.
- Take the most amazing photos to get your Instagram to the next level!
- Experience a fun camel ride through the desert.
- Feast your eyes on a traditional Tanura show.
- Enjoy a delicious Arabic BBQ buffet.
Dubai Itinerary day 4: Dubai Marina, JBR & Bluewaters Island
Continue your Dubai itinerary by visiting Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) and Bluewaters Island. Three amazing hotspots that are located very close to each other and can easily be combined in one day. You can start your day trip at Dubai Marina followed by visiting JBR and finally Bluewaters Island, but really it’s up to you. Let’s zoom in on each of these hotspots, shall we?!
Dubai Marina is one of Dubai’s most exclusive neighbourhoods. A large number of skyscrapers, hotels, apartments and shops are build around the artificially constructed harbor. Due to the variety of buildings, the beautiful water and the different recreation areas, this part of Dubai is the perfect place to explore by foot. Walk along the 7km palm-lined waterfront walkway of the Dubai Marina Walk that is dotted with global cafes, food outlets and restaurants.
Shop ‘til you drop at the beautifully designed Dubai Marina Mall. This mall has over 140 outlets including fashion brands, couture, dining spots, supermarkets and many more! When you’re done shopping you can enjoy dinner at Pier 7. With a total of seven different restaurants on each of its floors, Pier 7 is the perfect place to explore the taste of various different cuisines.
If you would love to take your dining experience to the next level then you should really climb aboard the Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise. During this popular activity you will see the sights of Dubai Marina illuminated for the night on a 1.5-hour cruise with an international buffet dinner and unlimited non-alcoholic drinks. Get breathtaking views of landmark attractions and experience the electric atmosphere of the canal city.
But that’s not all! Dubai Marina also offers the world’s largest urban zipline: say hello to XLine Dubai. This 1 km zipline stretches the Dubai Marina and will take you from one of the Amwaj Towers across the marina to the Dubai Marina Mall. Look out for the Princess Tower and Cayan Tower on the way down and enjoy the most epic views!
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR)
Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) is located between Dubai Marina and the sea. It’s the world’s biggest residential quarter with more than 35 towers that are able to house over 15.000 people. As well as apartments the complex incorporates several hotels, shops restaurants and more. The buzzing beachside boulevard (also known as The Walk) is a popular walkway where you can find plenty of opportunity for shopping, dining and sociability. Since JBR is located at the beach it’s also the perfect place to spend your day relaxing in the sun, sipping in the sea and to enjoy some delicious food.
Bluewaters Island is located 500 metres off the JBR coastline. This new artificial island is the proud home of the world’s tallest and largest observation wheel: Ain Dubai. Once operational, this massive structure will be able to carry up to 1.400 passengers in its 48 capsules. One full rotation will last nearly 50 minutes so that gives you enough time to enjoy the beautiful view and spot Dubai’s famous landmarks!
If you would like to laze away your day you definitely want to check out Cove Beach. This beautiful beach club really looks like paradise! Cove Beach features a nice restaurant, lounge area, three pools and easy access to the sea. Especially in the weekends, this beach club comes alive with jet-setters, influencers, celebrities, athletes and locals.
Last but not least Bluewaters Island is, like most other places in Dubai, the perfect place to dine and shop! There’s something for all types of foodies and shopping queens among us. Did you know that Bluewaters Island is home to hundreds of retail stores?! From homegrown brands and international fashion to souvenir stores and gift boutiques – there’s enough for everyone!
Dubai Itinerary day 5: time for a tour!
Since I am a huge fan of exploring a new place by car I was stoked to include a really nice day tour in this Dubai itinerary. This tour includes a total of 5 stops that are not more than a few minutes away from each other. Of course you don’t have to visit them all, but you can just pick the spots you like the most and explore them. Let’s start with our first stop!
Dubai Water Canal
The Dubai Water Canal is an artificial water canal that is over 3 kilometers long, stretching from the Creek in Old Dubai all the way to the Arabian Gulf. The canal side-walk comprises one shopping centre, four hotels, 450 restaurants, luxury housing, walkways and cycle paths. You can enjoy the most beautiful views while walking, running or cycling along the canal. You can even take a cruise! Get your guide offers a luxury canal dinner cruise that enables you to feast from a 5-star international buffet while enjoying some mesmerizing entertainment.
Pick your favourite beach!
Just 3 kilometres away from the Dubai Water Canal one of Dubai’s most popular beaches is located: Jumeirah Beach. This white sanded beach is located and named after the Jumeirah district of Dubai. The beach stretches along the coastal area of the city and has many large resorts and hotels close to its frontage area. If you are a huge fan of water sports I recommend you to drive a little bit further down the road to Public Beach. There you will find Nemo Watersports, which is one of Dubai’s most well-known water sports equipment rental services.
Go on a 30-minute or 1-hour jet ski adventure that allows you to explore the Dubai skyline from the sea. You can also try a different expierence by taking a 30-minute flyboard session. It’s all up to you! If you’re more into kitesurfing and kayaking, head over to Kite Beach. This beach is the perfect place for sun-seekers, food lovers and sports enthusiasts. Try kitesurfing, wakeboarding, paddle boarding, beach volleyball and many more!
Wild Wadi Waterpark
If you want to take your water adventure activities to the next level, you should definitely head over to Wild Wadi Waterpark! This beautifully themed water park is one of the largest water parks in the Middle East and offers more than 30 rides and attractions for the whole family. Get yourself ready for a day of fun and jump into one of the aquatic roller coasters, surfing wave machines, slides or tunnels!
After a day full of activities it’s time to relax. Madinat Jumeirah which means ” City of Jumeirah” is a small Arabian city in Dubai with plenty hotels, beachfront hotspots, and a lot of restaurants, lounges and bars where you can chill all day long. It’s definitely worth visiting! You will be fascinated by the beauty of this city while exploring it by foot. One of the famous activities in Madinat Jumeirah is to take a tour in a traditional Abra boat, since there is a 5-kilometres river located through the whole madinat.
The famous and well-known Dubai Frame is the final stop of our mini Dubai tour. This architectural landmark is described as the biggest picture frame of the planet with a height of 150 meters and a width of 93 metes! I guess you can say that this frame is definitely one of Dubai’s most Instagrammable hotspots. What really fascinates me is that the frame literally separates the historic north of Dubai and the modern and shiny south of Dubai. When visiting the Dubai Frame, you will feel as though you have entered a time machine. Beyond the stunning views, the frame takes you on a journey from the ground to the sky where you will experience three different time periods in the UAE – the past, the present and the future, A-MA-ZING!
Extend your Dubai Itinerary
If you can’t get enough of Dubai (which I totally understand!) and if you’re planning to stay a little bit longer than 5 days, I’ve added two more days of fun and exciting activities to this Dubai itinerary. Let’s dive right into them!
Day 6: Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is one of the world’s largest mosques and is located about 1,5 hours from Dubai. As its name suggests, the mosque is named after Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the late President of the United Arab Emirates and the mastermind behind the mosque. It took over 10 years to build this gigantic architecture. Nowadays, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque can be seen as a major tourist attraction. You can book an organized tour with a guide to learn everything about the history of the building. You will be amazed by the beauty of this property and it’s definitely worth visiting! Here are some fun facts about the Sheikh Zayed Mosque:
- It’s one of the largest mosques in the world.
- It can accommodate around 41.000 worshippers.
- The mosque has the world’s largest hand-knotted carpet.
- It has one of the world’s largest chandeliers.
Day 7: Pick your favourite!
Of course Dubai has A LOT more to offer than what’s mentioned in this blog post. Therefore, I created a list with some other fun activities that you can consider while enjoying the beauty of Dubai. Just pick your favourite and make some epic memories!
- Dubai Miracle Garden
- Dubai Butterfly Garden
- Ski Dubai
- Museum of Illusions
- Check out the top activities in Dubai for 2021