The Ultimate 3-Day Dubai Itinerary

categories: asia travel, middle east travel

Dubai Fountain

Do you wish to take a vacation to a place that is not the average Middle Eastern destination? Then look no further. Dubai is the perfect travel destination if you are looking for Middle Eastern vibes mixed with a touch of luxury and modernity. Furthermore, Dubai is home to some of the world’s most innovative attractions that are found nowhere else. With just a short vacation, Dubai can reveal its contemporary vibes, rich culture, and eclectic unique attractions.

The city of Dubai is often called the world’s most futuristic metropolis. There are very few places on the planet that dream the impossible and have the guts to turn them into a reality, but this is one, perhaps the most ambitious city on the planet. Dubai is one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates and is the most popular destination in the UAE. Often, Dubai is called a desert city, but with the beautiful Persian Gulf flanking it, it’s also a coastal city.

The city contains a medley of some of the most beautiful modern landmarks in the world as well as Bedouin charm that offers a wonderful contrast to the contemporariness surrounding it. From restored ancient houses and bazaars to the glistening of the tallest structure in the world, Dubai is all set to make your jaws drop at every turn.

Even though Dubai is not the biggest emirate in the UAE, it packs a punch when it comes to entertainment and recreation. The city is synonymous with luxury and is home to the only seven-star hotel in the world – The Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.

Dubai also boasts exciting desert adventure, luxury shopping, amazing dining, beautiful canals, and waterways, as well as an array of the world’s finest attractions. There is always something new to see in Dubai’s city skyline no matter how often you visit. An overview of Dubai in 3 days is presented in the below itinerary which provides the finest insight into what Dubai has to offer its tourists. 

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Day 1: Old Dubai and Dubai Downtown

Of course, you want to visit the tallest building in the world – the Burj Khalifa, and that is exactly what Day 1 has for you. But, before getting into that, take a moment to understand what Dubai looked and felt like before it became a global megacity. For this, a trip to Dubai Creek is a must.

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek played a critical role in transforming Dubai from a local village into a shining modern city. The shores of Dubai Creek were home to the first Emirati settlers, traders and fishermen. Today, a major portion of a traditional Arabian settlement is still preserved on the shores of Dubai Creek. Begin your visit to Dubai with a stroll along the Dubai Creek and an abra (boat) ride to admire Dubai’s old-world charm set against the glistening backdrop of towering skyscrapers.

Al Fahidi Fort

Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood

Now that you have seen how far Dubai has developed from its desert origin, you may be intrigued by how settlers in the emirate lived before it became a popular urban city. Dubai’s Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood preserves part of its past. These alleys and houses are a total contrast to Dubai’s modern lifestyle, and it’s as if you have stepped into a completely different world. This section of Dubai lacks luster but has an earthy-toned ambiance that’s soothing.

Saunter along to see houses with wind towers that worked as a cooling system in that era when air conditioners did not exist. Visit some fascinating art galleries in Dubai and have a coffee or Arabian snack at the Arabian Tea House, one of the most popular traditional courtyard cafes in the city.

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum, located within Al Fahidi Historical neighborhood, showcases Dubai’s early inhabitants’ lifestyle and is the ideal place for visitors who want to learn about what life was like for early Dubai settlers. Located in the oldest structure in Dubai- Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum will open your mind with its installations and exhibitions on how simple Dubai’s life was before it became a futuristic metropolis.

Dubai 2015 Souks

Dubai Souks

Our next stop is the Dubai Souks. On either side of Dubai Creek, you will find Arabian bazaars with shops lining the alley that have been in operation for decades. Visit Dubai’s most dazzling spot, the Gold Souks, where you can find a fascinating display of extravagant jewelry of gold and semi-precious stones.

You can shop for amazing traditional goods at the Perfume Souk, Textile Souk, and Spice Souk. The knack of haggling can get you some great deals on authentic jewelry and merchandise. Visit the food scene for a lunch break and sample various food specialties, such as traditional Emirati dishes, and Indian, Asian, and Mediterranean varieties. For an unforgettable view of Dubai Creek, head to Al Seef for its alfresco restaurants.

The Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain

Burj Khalifa and Dubai Fountain

When dusk falls, head to one of Dubai’s most happening hubs – Dubai Downtown. Here, you stand in the vicinity of the world’s most spectacular tower and the tallest one ever made – Burj Khalifa. Don’t miss your Instagram moments and capture this stellar structure for your social media. On the Burj Khalifa’s 124th level, you can experience Burj Khalifa’s ‘At the Top’ experience. It offers unparalleled views of Dubai city and beyond from the highest observation deck in the world. The entire city glows in the evenings, infusing the view with a scintillating aura.

The Dubai Fountain located adjacent to Burj Khalifa adds a spectacular grace to the overall ambiance. It’s an evening you won’t easily forget. Sample some amazing collections of cuisine at Downtown Dubai restaurants, the most recommended ones to try out for a memorable dining experience are Thiptara, Serafina Dubai, and Social House Dubai. For the best experience, make a reservation a few weeks in advance to avoid last-minute hassles or disappointments. The ultimate upscale dining experience in Downtown Dubai is inside Burj Khalifa, at the At.mosphere – the highest restaurant in the world.

Day 2: A trip to Dubai theme park and a unique attraction

Begin Day 2 in Dubai with thrill and joy. Today, Dubai offers you a different perspective – one of adventure and fun. In Dubai, you will find some of the finest recreational spots to enjoy a fun day with your group that has something for everyone. There are many theme parks in Dubai, and you might find it difficult to decide which one to visit. Aquaventure water park and IMG Worlds of Adventure are two of the most adventurous theme parks worth visiting.

Aquaventure Dubai is an outdoor water park and IMG Worlds of Adventure is an indoor recreational park. Book a ticket to one of these Dubai theme parks as part of your indoor or outdoor adventure on day 2 of your Dubai tour. Ensure you have a light breakfast before you head to these amazing parks. You will love every moment of it

IMG Worlds of Adventure

Option 1: IMG Worlds of Adventure

With a size equivalent to more than 28 football fields combined, IMG Worlds of Adventure is the largest indoor theme park in the world. Adventure lovers, kids, and fans of Marvel heroes will enjoy IMG Worlds of Adventure’s rides and shows inspired by the characters of the Avengers and Cartoon Network. The Lost Valley section takes you through prehistoric vibes complete with animated dinosaurs. At this theme park, you can spend a half-day, which is perfect for those visiting during the summer months or for those not eager to spend time outdoors.


Option 2: Aquaventure Water Park

Boasted as the biggest water park in the world, you get a choice of over 100 rides that range from knuckle-whitening water slides to laid-back adventures. The water park is located alongside the Atlantis the Palm on the Palm Jumeirah, which is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai.

Aquaventure water park offers a range of the most daringly adventurous flume rides, some with near-vertical drops that are exciting for extreme adventure lovers. Children have their own splash area that is full of slides, splash pools, and other fun water activities. The water park also features the longest artificial river in a theme park that has varying currents and tides which make up for impressive rafting experiences. The water park offers a wave simulator to surf on as well as a picturesque private beach shore for some laid-back relaxation.

The Museum of the Future, Dubai

Museum of the Future

Take a quick stop at the Museum of the Future before heading back to your hotel. A brand new addition to Dubai’s scintillating city skyline and a stellar architectural wonder, this oval-shaped structure will take your breath away with its grandeur. In contrast to traditional museums that display remnants of the past, the museum showcases the future. Dubai’s first futuristic museum was unveiled in 2022, and it quickly became one of the most popular attractions to visit in the city. Visit the exhibition inside to witness possible future creations and the ideas behind creating a better tomorrow.

Day 3: Desert Safari and Shopping experience

When you go to Dubai, it would be unfair not to spend some time in the Dubai desert while you are there. After breakfast on your last day in Dubai, leave the city behind for a few hours to visit the Arabian desert.

Desert Safari Dubai

Dubai Desert Safari

The Dubai desert is more than just dunes, it lets you unleash an adrenaline rush like never before. You will have the opportunity to enjoy some thrilling desert activities such as dune-bashing, quad biking, sand boarding, and camel rides during your desert safari tour. You would have never thought that deserts could be so much fun!

Desert Camp Dubai

Shopping Malls in Dubai

Having completed your desert adventure, make your way back to the city for the ultimate shopping experience. You should definitely shop in Dubai, which is often referred to as a mecca for shopaholics around the world. Toward the end of your Dubai tour, do not forget to visit Dubai’s prestigious malls such as Mall of the Emirates, Mercato Mall, Wafi Mall, Souk Madinat, and Dubai Mall. You can purchase anything you desire there.

One of the most rewarding shopping destinations is the Dubai Mall, which has 1200 retail outlets for a delightful shopping experience. Located on Jumeirah Beach Road in Dubai, the Mercato Mall provides a different shopping experience with its Italian Renaissance vibe. The Wafi Mall and Mall of the Emirates are two other renowned malls in Dubai that you can check out as well.

Basic Facts about Dubai

Dubai is a city in the United Arab Emirates. The city boasts a mélange of glistening skyscrapers with fantastic modern designs. To the west, you can find the sunny shores of the Persian Gulf. You get to see the endless Arabian Desert and the Hajar Mountain, which lies to its north, as you move away from the city. All in all, it does not seem right to call this city a desert city, as it has a mix of a coastal destination and a mountainous terrain along with a modern city and a desert environment.

The currency of Dubai is the AED and the time zone of the destination is GMT+4 hours.


Best time to visit Dubai

Dubai is often described as a city with two summers – a cool summer and a hot summer. Due to its desert location, it is prone to sunshine all year long. So which months are best suited for a Dubai holiday?

During the cooler months, November through March, when the scorching sun is mild and bearable, and evenings are comfortable, are the most popular months for travelers.

Dubai is famous for its annual Dubai Shopping Festival at the end of the year as well as for its extravagant New Year’s Eve party, which is why December is a very busy time for tourism, and therefore travel services are very expensive at this time of year. Whether you are looking to visit Dubai on a budget or to see it at a time of the year when it is not too crowded, you should probably plan your trip during September and October when most tourists are just beginning to arrive.


Dubai never ceases to amaze its visitors and with an ever-growing list of attractions, this city keeps enticing them to return for more. You will be convinced that there is no such destination as Dubai once you have experienced what it has to offer. The itinerary covers the essentials of old and new Dubai and its cultural heritage and gives an overview of the recreational fun and epic adventures it has to offer for its visitors. However, this holiday plan only skims the surface of what Dubai has to offer, introduces you to Dubai, and has you intrigued to discover more. You can cover a lot more attractions and experience Dubai to the fullest extent with extended stays. If you have a short trip planned, this itinerary is ideal for you.

What do you think? Does this itinerary suit your vacation plans? Tweak it up as per your preference and enjoy a memorable holiday in Dubai.

The Ultimate 3-Day Dubai Itinerary 

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Savita Pillay

by Savita Pillay

Savita Pillay is an educationist turned writer from Pune, India. She is an avid reader, who loves to travel and experiment with various cuisines while on the go.

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