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Futuristic, glamorous and glitzy – Dubai is here to shock you in every way, to exhilarate your sense, and turn your world upside down. Going to Dubai will surely result in a sensory overload, with the array of smells, sights, and sounds you will be overwhelmed with, and the amount of experiences you can have in such a small city.

Walk around exotic Arabian souks with the backdrop of towering implausible skyscrapers, find yourself lost in gigantic aquariums, have a desert safari and become one with nature and the desert, and spends your days (and money) in the cultural and entertainment hub of the Middle East, a city where it’s impossible to get bored in.


The beautiful thing about Dubai is how compact it is, and how close everything you need to see is to each other. You only need a few days to really get a feel of how the city is like, and whether you spend a day or a week, it is guaranteed that you will not get bored.

If you only have three days in Dubai, you don’t need to fret – this is pretty much enough time to explore the most important parts of the city and really get a gist of the entire vibe and culture.

Save up to 55% on the cost of admission at 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions in Dubai. Benefit from discounts on tours, at theme parks, on museum entrance and more. Book your Dubai Explorer Pass today!

Airport to Hotel transfer

Upon arrival to Dubai International Airport you can save time and money by pre-booking a private transfer to hotels in UAE. Book your transfer here. 

How to spend 3 days in Dubai

3 days in Dubai – Day One

Spend your first day exploring Dubai’s top attractions so you can get those over with and feed that giddy little child inside of you! Whenever we travel to a city, the first things we want to see are usually its symbolic attractions (the Eiffel Tower in Paris…the Pyramids in Egypt…you get it!)

Start at:

Dubai Mall

You might think going to a mall really doesn’t count as a “tourist attraction” but the Dubai Mall is essential on any trip to Dubai. The largest shopping in the world is not only a shopper’s paradise, but also an incredible entertainment hub. You could easily spend a day there, going from one floor to another, checking out the hundreds of shops, the ice rinks, the food options and the souks. It’s an incredible experience to have, and a wonderful rite of passage in Dubai.


Skate along an Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink, take a journey to Paris by visiting the infamous Galerie Lafayette, get funky at Sega Republic with its hundreds of video games, or gawk at the golden décor of the Gold Souq.

Dubai Aquarium and Zoo

Dubai Aquarium One of the most visited attractions in Dubai, and one of the largest suspended aquariums in the world, the Dubai Aquarium is a must-visit! You’ll go through a journey at the Underwater Zoo, walk under a tunnel filled with sharks and string rays, watch over 33,000 aquatic animals, learn about over 200 species, and revel in the beauty of the diversity there.

Save time by pre-booking your Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: Day Admission Ticket online.

There is so much you can do there other than just watching the marine animals too. Interactive approach to educate all visitors on the marine life.

    • You’ll find three different ecological zones and exhibit that is dedicated to each.

 

  • You can dive with sharks!

 

 

  • A cage experience is the safest adrenaline-inducing activity out there as you can dive with over 100 species of marina animals (including sharks and crocodiles) while being suspended in a cage!)

 

 

  • Glass Bottom Boat Riding – feed aquatic species while on top of a beautiful glass-bottom boat.

 

 

See two of Dubai’s most significant monuments with a combined ticket to the Dubai Aquarium and Burj Khalifa. Buy your tickets today here

10 minutes walk to…

Burj Khalifa 

The iconic Burj Khalifa dominated the skyline of Dubai, standing proudly as a symbolic attraction that wows every visitor. It’s one of the most prominent attractions in the world and not only will you spend your time gawking at its beauty from the outside, you can also go inside and have an experience of a lifetime. Who doesn’t love sweeping panoramic vistas? Climb up the world’s tallest service elevator to the 124th floor, and enjoy the breath-taking views of al of Dubai. The city’s skyline, its towering skyscrapers rising from the concrete jungle, the grandeur reflected in all of it is incredible. Try going there by sunset – the view of golden hues painting the buildings into dreamy shades is worth it!

Skip the line by pre-booking your tickets to the Burj Khalifa online for floor 124+125. If you want to also visit floor 148 click here

 

Dubai Fountain

A record-setting choreographed fountain, the Dubai Fountain is the largest of its kind in the world, dancing and moving to a show of light and music to some of the most well-known songs and tunes. It plays from 6 to 10 pm on weekdays and from 6 to 11 pm on weekends (remember, the weekend in Dubai is Friday and Saturday), and it’s an incredible event you can watch for free! For an even better experience, you can enjoy a boat ride on a traditional Abra and experience the performance right from the lake. 10 minutes by car to….

Souq el Bahar 




All Middle Eastern cities have their own souks and bazaars, and even though in the next two days you will be visiting authentic souqs in the Old Town (which needs an entire half a day for), you can visit the contemporary take on that Arabian Souq by the end of your first day.

The perfect place to unwind, the energy of this place is intoxicating – directly translating to market of the sailor, this souq boasts Arabic-style market architecture with stone walkways, high archways, unique textiles and shapes, and much more. The smell of spices, and the exquisite union between present and past makes this place a great place to have dinner at.

There are 22 restaurants at the place, overlooking both, the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain, and you can enjoy one of those many places.

3 days in Dubai – Day Two

Day two of the 3 days in Dubai itinerary will be a long eventful day where you’ll get to immerse yourself in the true exotic nature of Dubai, with its traditional souks and its rugged deserts.

Old Dubai

Experience the true authenticity of Dubai and its Old Town, where you’ll be bombarded by the raw traditions and cultures of Dubai. A lot of people claim that Dubai has no “culture”, and even though it did advance greatly the past few years, Dubai still seems to hold on to its traditions and its authenticity through this souq.

It’s a place with hundreds of souqs and incredible experiences to be had.

From the Gold Souq with some of the world’s cheapest gold, to the Grand Souq with all types of herbs, spices and fragrances, to the Dubai Creek where you can pretend you’re an Arabian prince riding a wooden boat (Abra) through the lakes.

A final visit to the Dubai Heritage Village will give you a glimpse into what Dubai really was like before all the glitz and glamour.

You might also like to Discover the real Dubai with a local guide. How about joining an Old Dubai Culture, History and Souks Walking Tour?

A 15 minute car ride to….

Grand Mosque

True Islamic architecture is showcased in this gorgeous white-washed mosque built in the 20th century. Even though non-Muslims are not allowed inside, they are allowed in the Minaret where the muezzin calls for prayers – an incredibly spiritual experience to be had.

The exterior is also incredible, specifically for people who are not familiar with Islamic culture, so you can enjoy the nine large domes, and 45 smaller ones, along with stunning domes, arches, towers and more – all white and beautiful.

Or instead Visit the Dubai Miracle Garden

This miraculous garden will make you feel like you’ve stepped right into paradise. A paradise perched in the heart of the bustling Dubai, the Miracle Garden boasts millions of colorful flowers, and examples of exceptional gardening skills. You can check out the Butterfly Garden that has over 15,000 butterflies inside.

Evening Desert Safari

Nothing screams Dubai more than an Arabian desert experience, with towering sand dunes, beautiful views, and the immersion into the robust nature of the desert.

The tour includes watching the desert from on top of sand dunes, a 4WD tour, a Bedouin campsite where you can interact with locals and learn about their culture, get henna done, drink mint tea, and enjoy the simplicity of their culture.

You can ride a camel, puff on shisha, or watch a belly dance with the backdrop of the incredible moon lighting up the desert.

Book your Dubai: 6-Hour Desert Safari & Dinner at a Bedouin Camp here.

3 days in Dubai Day Three

Dubai Marina 

Start your third day of the 3 days in Dubai trip at the Dubai Marina, the most luxurious part of all Dubai (as if the entirety of Dubai wasn’t luxurious enough!)

Embrace the modernity and the skyscrapers, along the with the wooden dhow boats and gilded boulevards, and choose a café to have breakfast at, while overlooking the hundreds of yachts dotting the marina.

Take a thrilling 90-minute sightseeing tour by speed boat around the coastal landmarks of Dubai and get a view of the famous Burj Al Arab from the sea. Book your tour here.

A 10 minute car ride to…

Mall of Emirates

You’ll probably spend the rest of the day in Mall of Emirates, running from one activity to another – and there is absolutely no where in the world where you’ll be able to spend an hour skiing snowy slopes and then finishing off your day in a major aqua park.

Ski Dubai

This place is unreal, a huge indoor winter wonderland where you can have snowball fights, interact with penguins, rush down a ski slope, try tobogganing, or just play in the snow. You can even chill at a café inside this winter wonderland with a hot cup of coffee and gorgeous views…all inside a mall.

Experience the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort on a 2-hour or full-day pass. Pre-book your experience here.

A 12 minute car ride to….

Atlantis

Located on the Palm Island, Atlantis resort is a world on its own, with a chance to experience everything water-related.

Things to do:

  • Aquaventure – A gigantic water park, one of the biggest in the region, is a place you just cannot miss. It’s one of Dubai’s top theme parks, and you can speed down water slides, relax by the river, plummet through a shark-filled lagoon, or even just bask in the sunshine
  • Lost Chambers Aquarium – Even though this aquarium is smaller than the one in Dubai Mall, this one offers a much better interactive experience, with themed chambers, a Myth Tour, and an Aquatheatre Show. Book your tickets online here.
  • Meet Sea Lions – Get the chance to meet sea lions and swim with dolphins. Pre-book your experience here.
  • Aquarium Dives – Dive alongside over 65,000 incredible marine animals

Kite Beach Dubai

Spend the rest of your day relaxing by the beach, with a drink in hand, and leave all your worries behind, as you bask in the sunshine. If you still can’t sit still, there’s an array of activities you can do on the beach – from tennis, volleyball, paddle boarding and even kayaking!

Arrange your trip in advance and start your stay in Dubai without stress. Travel from Dubai International Airport to your hotel in comfort with this private transfer service.

Where to Stay in Dubai?

Rove Downtown Dubai 

If you’re looking for a more casual hotel, then you might opt for the Rove Downtown Dubai. The hotel has a more casual vibe, and doesn’t take itself too seriously! The rooms are comfortable, the décor is fun and modern, there is an outdoor pool, and a fitness center along with an incredible breakfast establishment. The location is perfect too – right next to Burj Khalifa! What sounds better than sipping on a drink in the pool overlooking one of the world’s top attractions?

Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com 

Intercontinental Dubai Festival City

The Intercontinental Dubai Festival City is definitely worth its price. The hotel offers a sleek look with spacious rooms, and an ideal location next to the airport and Dubai’s top major historical attractions. There is an undeniable sense of style and character to the hotel’s architecture and the rooms – they are spacious,  oozing with style and look over the Dubai Creek. There are lots of amenities including a golf course, fitness centers, a bar, and spas.

Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com 

Park Hyatt Dubai 

A tranquil Creekside location, an enchanting vibe, magnificent architecture and top-rated restaurants – the Park Hyatt Dubai is a perfect choice of accommodation. There is a swimming pool, palm trees all over, a hammam, and an impeccable service that you’ll experience throughout the entirety of your trip. The rooms are also light and bright and offer perfect views of the creek.

Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com 

Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach 

On one side you’ll be enjoying views of the beach, while on the other you’ll be enjoying the skyline of Dubai….The Four Seasons does not fail to impress. Located ideally in the neighborhood of Jumeirah, there is an undeniable sense of style and character to the hotel. There are over 11 restaurants, lounges, 2 pools, bars, and much more to keep you entertained throughout your trip and the service is nothing less of exceptional.

Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com 

Jumeirah Al Naseem

There are a lot of special touches that make this hotel stand out from the rest. There are exceptional swimming pools, chic bars, lounges, and huge art pieces everywhere. There are 11 restaurant options that range from French to Mediterranean to Moroccan so you can indulge on all types of cuisine as much as you want. The hotel’s open-plan rooms include open showers where you can enjoy ocean views while showering.

Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com 

Check out our other guides to Dubai:

The Ultimate Guide to 5 Days in Dubai 

The Ultimate Guide to 7 Days in Dubai 

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Author

Elena Sergeeva has an accomplished career in tourism marketing and has worked for top Greek and international tourism brands. Elena has worked with luxury hotel brands managing business development and foreign market opportunities in lucrative markets including Russia. Elena is the founder of several professional blogs including Passion for Greece, Passion for Hospitality and Passion for Dubai. Her website development and blogging work has been featured in travel industry and Greek major media outlets.

1 Comment

  1. You are right to say that a lot of things can be seen in Dubai in just three days since the city is compact, and most of the attractions are at a shorter distance to each other. In my trip to Dubai during the last Christmas season, I enjoyed my time at Dubai Mall the most. It’s not just a mall, but a huge entertainment hub where I spent an entire day, just the way narrated. Another favorite place of mine is the Dubai Aquarium and Zoo. What a way to get so close to an entirely different world that is impossible to imagine or dream about. Thanks for such a wonderful blog.

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