A postgraduate in Mass Communications, Neha loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally.
An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering, she loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”.
For those travelling to Dubai anytime soon, then this is the post for you, or simply sit back and enjoy Neha’s post on “How to enjoy your best 3 days in Dubai.”
Thank you for sharing your story with A Mindful Traveler.
How to Enjoy Your Best 3 Days in Dubai
Dubai is one of the most talked about and most happening cities in the world. Right from the duty-free shopping mecca of the Terminal Three building of Dubai International, to the awe-inspiring Burj Khalifa to the many incredible and unbelievable attractions such as Ski Dubai, the Dubai Desert, the Dubai Frame, and the Miracle Garden – Dubai is a mesmerizing reality. Needless to say, you’d want to spend as much time as possible in Dubai, but if you have only 3 days, here’s an itinerary that that’ll bring the best of Dubai to you.
Day 1: Morning – Old Dubai Tour
Begin your first day in Dubai with a trip to the old Bastikaya Quarter, now known as the Al Fahidi Historical District. This old bit of Dubai survives, squeezed as it is between the Bur Dubai District and the Dubai Creek. Sightseeing around Bastikaya before you see the glam aspects of the city is a good way to get to know Dubai as it was before its present-day glamorous avatar. It’s a good way to begin your 3 days in Dubai itinerary.
Check out the old-fashioned sand buildings, the wind-towers that keep the sand houses air-conditioned, the winding streets with their galleries and restaurants and much more. Check out the textile souk and bargain for the best bolts of fabric. Take a scenic tour of the creek in one of the old Abra boats. Explore Bur Dubai and its spice souks – you’ll be able to smell them a long while before you can see them!
Day 1: Afternoon – New Dubai Tour
After spending the morning getting to know Dubai as it was, get introduced to modern Dubai in the afternoon. Stop at the Dubai Frame at Zabeel Park and get a perspective of Old and New Dubai from the viewing observatory. Then stop off at the beautiful Dubai Marina, and watch as adventure junkies go skydiving between skyscrapers. Check out the many luxurious yachts lined up at the Marina. Drive out to The Palm Island and take in the views of the incredible Burj Al Arab from the Jumeirah Beach. Check out the Sheikh’s palace and get a glimpse of the Sheikh’s many peacocks.
Day 1: Evening – The Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall:
The Burj Khalifa looks magnificent during the day but truly spell-binding at night. The multi-coloured LED lights that shoot up and down the façade of the Burj reflect on the Burj Lake opposite the building. The sparkling lights of the Dubai Fountain dance in total symphony, backed by lovely music scores and a choreography that beats anything you’ve seen before.
You can enjoy all three sights in one place – the Dubai Fountain, the Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall. Go up to the 125th floor of the Burj Khalifa to gaze out at the whole of Dubai from the observatory deck. Explore the Dubai Mall, with its 1200 plus retail outlets, 1000 plus eateries in the food court and fabulous underwater Aquarium and Marine Zoo. You’ll soon wonder if you’re at a shopping mall or at a massive amusement park.
Day 2: Early Morning – The Dubai Desert Tour
Sign up for an early morning sunrise desert safari. Wait, ready with your tripod as the sun breaks out over the high sand dunes to capture some mesmerizing moments. Drive amidst the vast expanse of red sand dunes in a 4×4 and enjoy some dune bashing. It gets the adrenaline flowing like none other. Enjoy camel trekking in Dubai’s deserts – one of the most authentic adventures this ancient land offers you. Feel the desert sands under your feet and enjoy rolling on the dunes before the sun gets too hot to do that!
Day 2: Afternoon – Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Dubai Sightseeing Tour
Enjoy a bird’s eye view of Dubai from an open-top bus as it takes you to almost every corner of the Emirate. Listen to the on board guide’s intriguing anecdote filled commentary as the bus stops at each landmark. Whenever you want to explore a landmark in person, just hop off the bus and go exploring on foot. Then go to the bus stop again and hop on to the next bus on the tour line. The big bus tour is your chance to see more than 40 different points of interest in just a few hours. You’ll even get to explore the Burj Khalifa (during the day this time), Souk Madinat, The Palm, Dubai Marina, and others.
Day 2: Evening – Ski Dubai
Visit Ski Dubai to experience first-hand the incongruence of a ski resort in the middle of a flaming desert. Ski Dubai has several ski runs to fit every skill level, plus the world’s first black diamond indoor run. There are toboggan runs and a penguin park and kids’ play area as well.
Day 3: Early Morning – Hot Air Balloon Ride
There’s nothing more exciting than getting up in the morning to go on a hot air balloon ride over the desert and parts of the city. You’ll be picked up at your hotel early in the morning and taken to a location in the desert where you’ll board a gigantic basket. Enjoy fabulous views of the desert, the sea beyond and the city within from several thousand feet into the air.
Day 3: Noon – Hub Zero Entertainment Cafe
Take a break from sightseeing and spend a few hours at the immersive entertainment zone at Hub Zero. Enjoy cutting-edge games such as laser tags to race track racing to climbing walls. Every age group has a selection of activities at Hub Zero. Kids in particular will enjoy the Plants vs. Zombies area.
Day 3: Afternoon – The Green Planet
Right plonk in the middle of Dubai is a real-to-goodness rainforest called the Green Planet. It’s a vertical indoor rainforest that’s four stories high. Each floor has an impressive section of the rainforest such as the impressive Canopy on the very top floor and the flooded rainforest on the second floor. You’ll be awe-struck at the real rainforest wildlife and plants in designated tropical biomes, such as vibrant tropical birds, bright butterflies and more.
Day 3: Evening – Dhow Dinner Cruise Dubai Creek
Enjoy a combination of sightseeing and a full 5-Star Emirati and intercontinental dinner buffet plus entertainment on board. Pretty henna artists tattoo your hands and feet with temporary henna tattoos, while sexy belly dancers gyrate to music from different countries. Set sail on the Dubai creek which divides downtown Dubai into two banks. Enjoy checking out several waterfront landmarks as you meander slowly up the creek.
So there you have it – 3 full days of activities in Dubai, taking most of the major landmarks into consideration. We hope that you find our itinerary useful to you. Go ahead and change things up, adding or deleting attractions as you see fit. Make the best out of your 3 days in Dubai and come back, coz there’s so much more to enjoy!