Having a layover in Dubai or just casually dropping by the city for a day? in either case, get ready to rock the one-day trip with this guide.
Dubai is the perfect escape from the grind of daily life; and especially when it’s your flight connection here, squeeze the most out of your stopover. Planning an entire vacation or staying for one day, Dubai is capable of fitting in your schedule. It gives you a bit of everything- from romancing with your partner and eating on the tallest building to exploring art, culture and tradition of the emirate.
What to do in Dubai in One Day?
Since there are so many things going on in the city, stacking only the important activities can be overwhelming. With a whole 24 hours in Dubai, you can divide the tour into old and new cities. This is not an hour to hour routine but the overall gist a of a day to let you spend as many hours in your favourite destination as you wish. The complete one-day Dubai itinerary goes as-
1. Start your day in the old Dubai
People hardly consider this side of Dubai for a day tour but trust us, Dubai’s old town is equally engulfing as the modern part. Built in the 19th century, the Al Fahidi Historic District, locally known as Bastakia Quarter, in Bur Dubai is one of the city’s most picturesque heritage sites. If history is what interests you, then you might want to visit this 1787-built museum located inside the Al Fahidi Fort. Full of museums and galleries in nooks and crannies, the neighbourhood also has cosy cafés, restaurants and motels overflowing along with heritage. You can savour some local dishes here.
2. Shop and haggle for gold
Later explore the spice and gold souks in Deira. Treat your senses to the aroma of herbs and spices along with kitchenware and utensils. On the way, you will find shirt-size necklaces seen through the glass panels, which looks breathtaking. You can buy gold from one of these largest markets of its kind at the most inexpensive rates. Between the souks are the other stores dotting Deira with their sparkling clothes and souvenirs.
3. Jump on the Abra (boat) and glide along the beautiful Dubai Creek
Deira is located north of the Dubai Creek- a creek that was the force of commercial trade earlier and is a saltwater river that formed the heart of settlement in the 19th century. One of the best things to do in Old Dubai is to hop on to an abra or traditional wooden water taxi and take a tour watching the old pearls standing around the creek. It is delightful to absorb the charm of this ancient Dubai as you pass along the traditional houses, towers and minarets.
1. Escape the heat at Dubai Mall
Since its noon by now, the sun is above your head and you see a scorching Dubai, so, duck in the lavish Dubai Mall and spend a few hours here. Shop some luxurious, world-class brands in dresses, bags, shoes, and lot more in Fashion Avenue. It is lavish and expensive. If you are not in the mood to shop, simply wander around the mall and take in its widest spectrum of dining and leisure options. . There are countless things to do here- play, swim, eat, relax and fly. It is home to the largest aquarium – the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, the Olympic-sized Dubai Ice Rink, the largest of its kind VR Park, the kids exclusive KidZania, the horror-themed Hysteria, the gigantic Dubai Dino, and Reel Cinemas with sensational movie experience. If you are planning on shopping in Dubai this winter, don’t miss out on the grand Dubai shopping festival and the irresistible deals at Dubai Mall.
2. Have lunch in the mall
Taste a variety of cuisine from French to American under one roof at first-class restaurants. Dubai is ambitious and passionate about food. So, whether you are at the mall, movie or market be ready for a good appetite. There are hundreds of eateries here from fancy upscale Italian restaurants to grabbing a quick bite of a burger at street style outlet. Seafood-loving family sits in the Red Lobster, the Chilli’s is for buffalo wings, nachos, and cake, and Shake Shack is to try burgers, hot dogs, and frozen custard.
3. Head towards the Burj Khalifa
The feeling of seeing the sunset from the tallest skyscraper in the world beats everything. Burj Khalifa is awe-inspiring and this is the king attraction for your one day trip in Dubai. Be thrilled by the world’s fastest double-deck elevators that take you to Level 125 and then ogle at the jaw-dropping panoramic views of the Arabian Gulf. You can witness what amazing architecture covers up the sand. You can buy the “At The Top Sky” ticket which will fly you to the highest observation deck in the world at Level 148 (at 555m). Besides the staggering outlook, you can check the ‘Dubai—A Falcon’s Eye View’ video attraction, and sip refreshments in the lounge. You can later gaze at the Dubai Fountain’s sprouting water with a backdrop of Arabian music in the illuminating night. The Dubai Fountain, Burj Khalifa and the surroundings bedazzle during the night time which is a sight to behold!
1. See the nightlife scenes at Palm Jumeirah
The Palm Jumeirah Dubai Palm Island is an artificial archipelago built in the form of palm trees is a haven for vacationers. It is huge and the entertainment is grand. From experiencing adventurous rides to exploring beaches, it is everything you have desired for a day. Palm Jumeirah is flanked by skyscrapers, restaurants, malls, cafes, hotels and motels. So go ahead- ride some record-breaking rides, jump in the pools and have a cocktail party by the beach in Aquaventure Waterpark. The Boardwalk at the Palm Jumeirah is also lined with numerous food trucks but arrive early. The 90-minute splash tour in the speedboat encounters the royal places, setting off from Dubai Marina to stumbling upon the Atlantis and Burj Al Arab. The Palm Jumeirah is also home to Atlantis the Palm Dubai – one of the UAE’s most luxurious resorts. It is within this resort that Aquaventure water park is located. The best time to visit the Atlantis in Dubai Palm is during the winter, so plan your trip accordingly.
2. Sink your fork at the best restaurant
Jumeirah is a celebration and as you stroll along the Jumeirah beach overlooking the sail silhouette Burj al Arab, you will bump into lots of eateries. Nobu is famous for lobster and sushi, 101 Dining Lounge and Bar has lip-smacking pasta and seafood, Social is a Michelin 3-star restaurant with great European and Italian cuisines and Kaleidoscope is a kid-friendly restaurant. For something extraordinary and extravagant, dine at The Penthouse.
The intention of this one day in Dubai is to enjoy and absorb the beauty of the city with all the top-notch attractions., without making it enough of a hectic and sweaty excursion. In case, you think you can do a lot more than this and have stored a good amount of energy, visit these attractions like Dubai Marina, Dubai Frame, or do hot air balloon ride which is spectacular during sunrise, or wrap it all in one go with Desert Safari Dubai. If you wish to spend more time in the city, you can always apply for a Dubai transit visa that allows you to stay here for up to 96 hours.