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No matter where you go in the world, nothing beats Dubai. It remains an unparalleled destination of glitz and glamor, it remains a futuristic city with dozens of superlatives. With its skyline dominated by the tallest building in the world, its streets dotted with skyscrapers, its beaches stretching along the entire city and its malls offering eccentric experiences – Dubai is a place you never get bored in!
Dubai isn’t just about its five star hotels and fancy cars – it’s a city with a rich cultural heritage, a melting pot of different nationalities and religions, and land of sand dunes and skyscrapers.
From a small fishing village, to one of the most futuristic in the world – your trip to Dubai will carry plenty of surprises! Here’s how you can spend seven days in Dubai and be able to see everything that needs to be seen in this vibrant city.
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! You can read my review of Dubai Pass here.
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. You can specify your exact time of arrival and you will also have direct contact with the driver in order to inform of any delays. I have used this services several time and not only in Dubai. The drivers are professional, the vehicles are clean and you are guaranteed to have a pleasant experience. Book Your Dubai Airport Transfer
I use GetYourGuide mobile application when I travel to book all my tours. It’s perfect because you can pre-book tickets and skip the line at top attractions, it offers you easy cancellation up to 24 hours before and you can even book your tickets on the go. Check out all the available tours in Dubai here.
How to spend 7 days in Dubai
7 days in Dubai – Day One
Start your trip at Dubai Mall – a paradise in Downtown Dubai. You’ll be casually hanging out in the largest shopping center in the world and running around from one store to the other (there are 1200 of them). Dubai Mall effortlessly blends entertainment, lifestyle and shopping together to create an all inclusive destination.
Do you want to shop at Arabian souqs? Check. Swim with sharks? Also check.
With its buzzing shops and lavish interior – Dubai Mall is a must visit!
You’ll be skating the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink, shop in Gallerie Lafayette, or visit Sega Republic and play video games!
See two of Dubai’s most significant monuments with a combined ticket to the Dubai Aquarium and Burj Khalifa. Everyone who comes to Dubai for the first time wants to see these two attractions. I recommend that you buy your tickets online here. You will save plenty of time and money too. If you decide to buy on the spot they usually offer you the most expensive tickets or you will not find a time slot available.
Dubai aquarium and Zoo
Explore over 33,000 aquatic animals, spend a few hours learning about different spaces, and seeing how they live in habitats that are quite similar to their natural habitats. You can walk under a shark-infested tunnel, or watch all the animals!
- Get educated about the marine life!
- Dive with sharks.
- Make your cage experience dream come true as you get submerged amongst 100 species of marine animals.
- If you get scared easily, take a trip on a glass-bottom boat!
Save time by pre-booking your Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo: Day Admission Ticket online.
A 10 minute walk to
Of course your trip to Dubai would not be complete without visiting the iconic Burj Khalifa. The tallest building in the world is an incredible attraction that not only can you stay at, but you can also use it to your advantage and enjoy the best panoramic views.
Climb up to the 124th floor and enjoy the views of Dubai’s skyline. Even better, go there by sunset!
Normally, fountains aren’t usually added to top attractions lists or itineraries in general but the Dubai Fountain is a completely different thing altogether!
With the sound of Arabic and oriental tunes echoing through the air, with the water lit by colorful lights dancing to choreographed music, and with the energy of the people around the place – this fountain is something else!
You can even enjoy a boat ride on the Abra and experience gorgeous views as you float past the fountain.
Souq El Bahar
After you’re done with today’s dose of sight-seeing, head over to the gorgeous Souq el Bahar for a chance to unwind, eat and enjoy beautiful views.
The place is sprawled with oriental Arabic designs, strategically lit edifices, and reflected Arabian style in every corner. Intricate designs, an oriental energy, stone walkways, high archways and great restaurants all make this experience better.
You’ll be eating with views of the Burj Khalifa and the fountain!
7 days in Dubai – Day Two
Spend the second day of your 7 day itinerary immersing yourself in Dubai’s pre-oil-discovery culture. Learn about the Bedouin culture, the traditional souks and the mosques.
Head over to Old Dubai, and explore the different cultures, the traditions, the old way of life, and all the customs that are reflected in the attractions of the Old Dubai.
- Visit the Gold Souq where you can find the cheapest gold in the world.
- Grand Souq – Here you can find all what your heart desires from herbs, spices and fragrances.
- Dubai Creek – truly experience the traditional life of Dubai by riding an Abra through the flowing lake.
- Dubai Heritage Village – Discover the history of Dubai, learn about its historical significance, and see their traditional costumes and crafts.
Visit the Dubai Frame
Dubai Frame is the recent new attraction which opened in Dubai in January 2018. Soaring at a hight of 150 meters this brand new landmark of Dubai has been designed with the idea of connecting old and new Dubai. A great experience for the whole family. We recommend that you visit the attraction closer to sunset to experience it both in day light and in the evening. During the day is also a good time if you wish to escape the crowds. To save time you can also book the Dubai tickets together with a hotel transfer here or you can buy the simple entry ticket here.
A lot of people come to Dubai for its skyscrapers and its glamour, but often people forget that this city is an Islamic one! It’s not that easy to experience true Islamic architecture and monuments in Dubai, but you can experience that in the Jumeirah Mosque which is open to visitors of all religions. White marbles, large domes, soaring minarets, this place is a true reflection of Islamic history. Tours are available daily from 10 am except Fridays. Registration begins at 9:30 am and no pre-booking are required. Ticket price 25 AED, children under 12 are free.
Lunch at Burj Al Arab
You probably will need to get your Burj Al Arab: Al Muntaha Lunch sometime in the middle of the day…How about doing that as you’re suspended in the sky, with sweeping vistas of the city of Dubai?
Admire the spectacular surroundings from the 27th floor of the Burj Al Arab, whilst enjoying a fantastic four-course French cuisine menu in Al Muntaha. Pre-book your experience here.
Visit the Dubai Miracle Garden
This aptly named park is one of the world’s largest natural flower gardens. It’s a perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and walk around millions (literally….100 million to be exact) of flowers, watch the world’s largest floral installation, and revel in this oasis right in the heart of Dubai.
Read about my experience of visiting the Dubai Miracle Garden.
7 days in Dubai – Day Three
Start your day at the Dubai Marina, eat your breakfast by the water as you’re surrounded by skyscrapers, white yachts and a promenade bustling with people.
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.
Dubai Mega Yacht Lotus 200 Experience
Dubai is well known for its brunch culture. How about experiencing brunch on the largest and the most luxurious Yacht in Dubai with amazing views of Dubai skyline?
Lotus 200 is the most luxurious yacht in Dubai — get your friends together and book your Lotus Megayacht Brunch. Enjoy the yacht’s luxurious facilities such as outdoor pool, outdoor heated jacuzzi with sun-beds, live-cooking stations, selection of international cuisines, multiple entertainment areas, lounge, giant top deck, cinema for kids.
Boarding starts between 1:00 — 1:30pm, sailing to Atlantis and then returning back to the Dubai Marina at 5pm. Enjoy a day out in the sea with live entertainment.
Packages and prices:
AED 149 — food and soft beverages
AED 349 — all inclusive
AED 499 — specially reserved VIP
Mall of Emirates
Another mall that is filled with entertainment, fun, and incredible shopping experiences. You don’t just go to Mall of Emirates to shop, you go there to ski off slopes, go to ski bars, explore hundreds of stores, watch movies and play video games!
More into computer and video games? Head over to Magic Planet, with such a nostalgic 80’s vibe with its disco bowling, video games and theater.
Ski Dubai is quite simply a mind-blowing experience. After spending your day in the scorching heat of Dubai, juxtapose that by being transported to a winter wonderland. Have a hot chocolate in a café in the middle of the snow, ski off 7 slopes, play in the snow, or simply interact with penguins!
This indoor ski paradise is a haven for all winter enthusiasts.
Experience the Middle East’s first indoor ski resort on a 2-hour or full-day pass. Pre-book your experience here.
Atlantis The Palm
Only in Dubai can you spend an hour skiing off the slopes and the next in a water park sliding off a slide between sharks.
The world of Atlantis is a fairytale attraction!
- Go to Aquaventure – A gigantic water park with slides, rivers, games and shark-filled lagoons.
- Lost Chambers Aquarium – An aquarium with an incredible interactive experience. Book your tickets online here
- Meet Sea Lions and Dolphins – What’s better than swimming with dolphins and meeting sea lions? Pre-book your experience here
- Dive in the Aquarium along over 65,000 marine animals. In Atlantis, everything is possible.
End your day by chilling at this beach-facing development. Very reminiscent of Promenade des Anglais in Nice, the JBR is a beach promenade bustling with life, dotted with shops and cafes and overlooking one of the best beaches in Dubai.
You can also go to Covent Garden Market and spend some time exploring boutiques, eating or watching a movie.
7 days in Dubai – Day Four
Midriff City Center
Yet another mall, the Midriff City Center isn’t an ordinary mall. Sure, you can check out the 430 stores, go shopping or relax at a spa.
But you can also visit a Soccer Circus, go bowling, check out educational centers or…fly!
We’ve seen skiing at a mall, and diving with sharks at another mall, now get ready for a skydiving simulation inside of a mall. IFLY is the best alternative to skydiving – so if you can’t skydive for medical reasons or you’re just scared, then definitely head there!
An indoors tunnel allows you to defy gravity and experience the sensation of skydiving and the best thing is that it’s great for people of all ages, therefore, making it the perfect family experience. Book your iFly experience online.
After you’re done trying to skydive, head over to the largest indoor theme parks.
With four different zones, you will be spoilt for choice with all the different concepts, games and rides.
Spend the day on the rides and rollercoasters of IMG Worlds of Adventure in Dubai. Pre-book your tickets online here.
7 days in Dubai – Day Five
Hot Air Balloon ride in Dubai
With the rising of the sun, float 1,200 meters above the beautiful sand dunes of Dubai. Watch camels go their own way, sand dunes stretching for miles and get immersed in the beauty of dawn as animals go their own way beneath you!
Leave the city behind and head for the sky on a unique balloon expedition over the heart of the Arabian Desert! Book your experience here
A trip to Dubai would not be complete without a desert safari. Go on a 4WD adventure, get hypnotized at the swaying of the hips of a belly dancer, ride a camel in the middle of the desert, get your hands henna painted, and enjoy the golden dunes surrounding you.
You’ll even have a BBQ dinner under the star-lit sky.
Book your Dubai: 6-Hour Desert Safari & Dinner at a Bedouin Camp here.
7 days in Dubai – Day Six
Your sixth day will be spent away from the glamorous city of City! Embark on a journey to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE. A few years ago, Abu Dhabi was still a hidden gem, only visited by locals and expats who work there…but things have finally changed.
The city is just as glamorous as Dubai (although not as flamboyantly filled with things to do), and it’s definitely worth visiting for at least one day.
A day trip to Abu Dhabi is one of the most popular Dubai day trips, which takes about two hours. There you can explore palaces, corniches, exhilarating parks, and mosques.
Explore the history of Abu Dhabi on an 8-hour tour of the largest city in the United Arab Emirates. Pre-book your experience here.
Sheikh Zayed Mosque
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the true meaning of extravagance. The epitome of the word grand. Gleaming white-washed marble, soaring minarets, and beautiful pristine white domes make this mosque a magnificent place to visit.
A true symbol of Islamic architecture, this mosque can house up to 40,000 worshippers, and you’ll be lost in the beauty of the intricately designed floors….The play of light and shadows inside, the lavish chandeliers…If you only have one place to visit in Abu Dhabi, make it this!
Tip: Make sure you have the right attire, cover your hair, arms and legs.
Emirates Palace, Abu Dhabi
Imagine Arabian splendor mixed with advanced technology, creating a highly-unique edifice. Think vibrant lawns, lush gardens, and five star luxury. 114 domes, a Grand ballrooms, an auditorium, a private beach and a Turkish bath – this palace offers all sorts of luxury. To add to all the lavishness of this place, try cappuccino that is sprinkled with real 24 carat gold flakes…
The Louvre, Abu Dhabi
Live la vie parisenne in the heart of Abu Dhabi by visiting the floating Louvre museum. Yes, you heard that right!
The first universal museum in the Arab world, the Louvre is a showcase of all different cultures and seamlessly blends all of them together to create a highly interesting experience. With paintings, sculptures, exhibitions, typography and much more – your visit will surely be an interesting one!
7 days in Dubai – Day Seven: Dubai
The Dubai Museum is housed in the Al Fahihi Fort, which dates back to the year 1787! There you’ll be able to get all information about Dubai in the past years, see how it advanced through the years, what the older civilization was like and how old the history and culture of UAE actually is.
Check out rare monuments, tombs, weapons, galleries, mosques, and much more. The museum also houses artifacts that span from Africa to Asia and depict life pre-oil discovery.
Spend the last few hours in your trip chilling by the beach! Indulge in all the sports and activities by this beach, from kite surfing to playing volleyball to paddle boarding and kayaking. Relax with a drink in hand, bask under the warm sun and enjoy the vibrant, colorful atmosphere around you!
Immerse yourself in an evening full of culture and art at the Dubai Opera. One of the most prestigious places in Dubai, this place is not only a great place to spend your evening at but also an architectural marvel! The unique structure itself is a masterpiece, and always hosts a variety of incredible events!
La Perle by Dragone
Experience one of the most dazzling water and light shows in Dubai. Imagination has no limits when it comes to the La Perle by Dragone performance.
Water, acrobats, aerial stunts which will simply make you hold your breath and mesmerising lighting are just some of the highlights of this experience. A must when you are visiting Dubai.
Where to Stay in Dubai?
Rove Downtown Dubai
If you’re looking for a hotel right in the center of Dubai, with incredible views looking over Burj Khalifa, and one that is also affordable – then Rove Downtown is the right choice for you! The hotel comes with an outdoor pool, a more contemporary décor, a great restaurant and has an exceptional location. Rooms are more targeted towards millennials and young people, and the interiors are quirky, eccentric and colorful. You’ll find that a lot of the décor is inspired by contemporary Arabic influences and social media as well. Check out the lobby lounge, the artwork and revel in the relaxed vibe of the hotel! There is also a mini market right there, along with a Starbucks as well! Despite the fact that the rooms are simple – their décor makes them super Instagram friendly! Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com
Jumeirah Al Naseem
A few steps away from the beach, this resort boasts the best types of pools (3 to be exact), gardens, and one of the best seafood restaurants. It’s right next to Burj Al Arab and Wild Wadi Waterpark and is located right on one of Dubai’s longest private beaches. The hotel exudes a very modern and luxurious style, with flashy glass windows that overlook the beach, and the service is incredible. There is a bar, spa, tennis court, steam room, sauna, 3 swimming pools and of course – the private beach. You can choose between rooms with either a sea or a garden view from your balcony, and the rooms are super huge and homely. There is a total of 11 bars and restaurants there. Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com
Four Seasons Resort at Jumeirah Beach
This beachfront property tops the list of places to stay in Dubai. You’ll be nestled right in the middle of the Dubai skyline and its magnificent waterfront and you’ll be spoilt with restaurants, lounges, bars and two swimming pools. Located in the Jumeirah neighborhood, the Four Seasons’ décor is nothing less of lavish. Opulent Middle Eastern touches juxtapose shimmering qualities and the service is nothing less of impressive. The Four Seasons resorts have always been known for how impressive their service is – and for good reason. If you’re sitting by the pool, you’ll be getting complimentary refreshments, and there is a steam room, spa, laundry, beach, Wi-Fi, and a fitness center. The rooms are also some of the largest in Dubai. Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com
The One & Only Royal Mirage
The One & Only is nothing less than romantic. This hotel is actually made up of three different properties – one inspired by an Arabian Court, another a Moorish castle, and the last a Residence & Spa. When you book, expect sea-facing rooms, a lavish treatment, a location right next to Dubai Marina and a friendly service. You can choose from 8 restaurants, and the rooms all overlook either the garden patios or the entire Arabian gulf. The décor is very evidently oriental. Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com
Intercontinental Dubai Festival City
The Festival City, is one of the top entertainment hubs for shopping and entertainment there is , and the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City is perched right in the heart of it. You’ll be extremely close to the airport, but in the middle of a bustling hub for fun. This is perfect place to stay if you’re staying at Dubai for a short period of time, or if you would rather be close to the historical center (Deira and Bur Dubai). You’ll be minutes away from reflections of the Bedouin culture of Dubai. There are all types of services you can imagine – from spas, to fitness centers, to saunas to a gold course and a bar, so you’ll never be bored if you decide to stay at the hotel. The rooms are spacious, chic, and comfortable with internet and coffee machines. Add to this incredible views of the city and you’ve got the perfect rooms! The restaurant there is called Reflets and is a Michelin-starred restaurant with incredible seafood, gorgeous views and tasty wine! Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com
Park Hyatt Dubai
A hotel that effortlessly blends different types of architectural influences together – the Park Hyatt is one of the best in Dubai. The rooms are modern, plush, the cuisine is exceptional and there is a palm-lined swimming pool as well! The hotel is super close to Deira and Bur Dubai and is also close to the airport – giving it a perfectly historical location. You’ll find that the décor matches that historical vibe, a style that is reminiscent to Arabian palaces, professional services (along with fitness centers, golf courses, bars, restaurants, saunas and a hammam), and light spacious rooms. Try and get a balcony with views of the Creek! Check out the latest prices and details on Booking.com
For more accommodation options and a detailed guide to the Dubai neighborhoods, check out our post on Where to Stay in Dubai: The Best Areas
For places to eat take a look at Where to Dine in Dubai This Fall