Three Days in Dubai for First Time Visitors

Note: This is a guest post by Dubai wikia

Dubai is so vibrant and diverse that checking off this Arabian city is one of the lifetime goals for most travel freaks. A visit to Dubai is particularly special if it is your debut trip. But if you have got only three days in Dubai, it can be overwhelming too. Don’t worry; come take inspiration from this suggested Dubai itinerary to program and tailor your much looked-forward-to Dubai holiday.

Legoland Dubai

What To Expect from This Three-Day Dubai Travel Itinerary?

This program may not allow you to experience the entirety of Dubai, but it covers the city’s main attractions across every category, from age-old and classical to the latest and brand-new. This itinerary is designed in such a way that you can use it anytime, no matter you visit here during peak winter or hot summer months. Moreover, it is ideal for individuals, couples, and families with kids alike.

Three Days in Dubai Overview

Day 1: Old Dubai & Downtown Dubai

Day 2: Desert Safari, The View at the Palm, Inside Burj Al Arab Tour & Palm Fountain

Day 3: Ski Dubai / Dubai Parks and Resorts, Spa & Dhow Cruise

Day 1: Old Dubai & Downtown Dubai

Morning: Begin your Dubai holiday by going back to the city’s roots. After breakfast, head out to Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, close to Dubai Creek, in the Bur Dubai region! Also known as Al Bastakiya Quarter, this immaculately preserved 19th-century neighborhood transports you to age-old Arabia. Stroll down its narrow alleys, step into the ancient structures now converted into museums and galleries, and sip authentic Arabic coffee and other local delicacies at Arabian Tea House. For those unversed, some of the must-visits here are the 18th century Al Fahidi Fort (which now functions as Dubai Museum), Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU), and Coin Museum.

Old Dubai

Mid-Morning: Continue your exploration of Old Dubai by making your way to Deira. One of the most exciting ways to reach here is on an abra ride along the historical Dubai Creek. All you have to pay for this exciting experience is just AED 1. Following this, amble along with Deira’s packed Arabian bazaars (locally called souks) such as Gold Souk and Perfume Souk, and don’t hesitate to haggle to own some limited-edition souvenirs or merchandise like statement jewelry pieces or marvelous carpets at incredibly low rates.

Dubai Creek

Afternoon to Night: After you grab your lunch by dropping into one of the cafes or restaurants across the region, you will proceed to Downtown Dubai. Be in absolute amazement as the most jaw-dropping experiences await in this ultra-stylish district of Dubai. Not to miss among them are:

Down town Dubai

• Burj Khalifa: It is the world’s tallest structure and is viewable from almost any part of Dubai.  For the most detailed and up-close look at this colossal building, get your tickets to At the Top observation deck on the 124th level or 148th level. Accompanied by one of the swiftest elevator rides, this gives you a stunning 360-degree overview of Dubai’s city skyline, ocean, desert, and beyond.

•The Dubai Mall: This mall is so gigantic that it easily encompasses all things to do in Dubai for three days. So make sure that you do thorough research before you visit here. With over 1200 outlets, serious shoppers must have a clear idea of where to and what to shop here. The same applies to action and fun-seekers. After all, it is packed with a trove of attractions such as Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice Rink, KidZania Dubai, Ekart Zabeel, VR Park, and the latest Infinity Des Lumières to mention a few.

Dubai Mall

• Souk Al Bahar: Whether you are a shopaholic or not, this Arabian style bazaar shouldn’t be missed for its understated yet traditional style appeal.

Night: Before you wind your first day up in Dubai, watch the Dubai Fountain show on Burj Lake (outside Dubai Mall and next to Burj Khalifa). You can witness this marvelous sync of water, light, and music from a convenient vantage point within or close to the mall or via entering one of the region’s dining views that overlook the fountain. You can also admire this view on an abra ride or by standing at the dedicated Boardwalk (extra charge applies for both).

Keep these Things in Mind for Day One

•  Sign up for a heritage tour or walking tour to explore the old part of Dubai to ensure that you don’t miss out on its main attractions.

•  Get a combo pass to save on your visit to attractions across Downtown Dubai. Consider an all-in-one pass that bundles your Burj Khalifa visit with attractions in the Dubai Mall, such as Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Ekart Zabeel, VR Park, etc.

Day 2: Desert Safari, The View At The Palm, Inside Burj Al Arab Tour & Palm Fountain

Morning: Today, you will start your day early with a pre-dawn hotel pick-up for your morning desert safari. This promises you an unforgettable start of the day in an unparalleled setting where you are surrounded by nothing but fine golden desert sands. Amp up the amusement and adventure quotient with a 4X4 dune bash and add more dedicated desert activities such as sandboarding, quad biking, and camel ride.

Desert Safari

Mid-Morning to Evening: Once you are dropped off at your hotel, you can utilize the rest of the day to experience some of Dubai’s newest tours and attractions. Foremost of them are:

• The View at the Palm:  It is an observation deck on the 52nd level of Palm Towers. What makes it special is that it is the first and one of its kind lookout point which gives you the most comprehensive and unimpeded views of the iconic, man-made island of Palm Island. Yes, it allows you to see the entirety of this island, along with its palm-tree-like design, without signing up for any air-borne adventures like a helicopter ride or sky diving.

View at the Palm

• Inside Burj Al Arab Tour: Your first-time visit to Dubai is not complete without taking your picture against the backdrop of this classic sail-shaped five-star hotel. A stay in its royal suite alone can set you back an amount of $25,000 per night. Apart from these, the hotel boasts of many exceptional features and sections which till recently was reserved for its elite guests only. Fortunately, you can now catch a glimpse of all without shelling out a fortune, thanks to the Inside Burj Al Arab tour. This butler-guided tour of Burj Al Arab not only gives access to some of its most secretive and premium segments but also enlightens you with some fascinating facts about this legendary all-suite hotel.

Inside Burj Al Arab tour

Evening:  Give a perfect end to your second day by watching another of Dubai’s brand-new experiences, the Palm Fountain show at the Pointe, Palm Jumeirah. If you think that you’ve already seen a similar aquatic performance (Dubai Fountain) and you can skip it, then you are going to miss its grander version! So don’t miss it; it is the world’s largest fountain show and also the region’s only colored water performance.

Keep These Things in Mind for Day Two 

• Dubai’s desert is just 30 minutes to 40 minutes drive away from the city center. Choose the dedicated desert safari Dubai package if you don’t want to miss the desert sunrise views.

• For those who wish to see Dubai’s desert more distinctly and excitingly, there is a hot air balloon ride that lets you see the pristine Arabian Desert landscape from an unrivaled mid-air vantage point. 

•  Pre-book every activity of day two in advance to avoid all confusion or any last-minute disappointment.

Day 3: Ski Dubai / Dubai Parks And Resorts, Spa & Dhow Cruise 

Morning: Add a mix of thrill, relaxation, and stunning views to your final day in Dubai. Kick-off your day at one of Dubai’s world-class theme parks. You can choose to visit the largest of its kind IMG Worlds of Adventure or even the region’s ultimate theme park destination at Dubai Parks and Resorts (with overall four parks including a water park in its premise.) Want to give an exotic twist to your theme park outing? A must-experience in Dubai is Ski Dubai. Located inside the Mall of the Emirates, this snow-themed park is a year-round destination where can experience winter and snow activities such as skiing, snowboarding, sledding, etc.

Ski Dubai

Afternoon till Evening: Make the most of this time for last-minute shopping, watch a spellbinding show (such as Dolphin and Seal Show at Dubai Dolphinarium) or simply pamper yourself with a body-and-soul-restoring wellness treatment made available at one of the city’s top spas like Talise Spa  (at Jumeirah Al Qasr), Spa (Address Boulevard) and Talise Ottoman Spa (Zabeel Saray Hotel).

Evening: There is no better way to culminate your mini Dubai getaway than with a leisurely dhow cruise along Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina. The approximately two hours cruise glides you past the city’s marvelous floodlit sights as you savor buffet dinner and delight in live traditional shows (including Tanura) onboard.

Dhow cruise Dubai

Keep These Things in Mind for Day Three

• Book your theme park tickets in advance to bag maximum savings and ensure hassle-free entry.

• For further savings, opt for a combo pass packaged with a dhow cruise as well as your favorite theme park experience.


As we wrap up this suggested itinerary, we anticipate that it has given you enough ideas to craft your dream holiday in Dubai. So start planning your Dubai vacation! No matter you are traveling here for three days or even a day, this itinerary offers some cues to get the best out of your limited amount of time in Dubai

This guest post is contributed by Neha from

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