Visiting Dubai for the weekend? Let’s squeeze the best out of the city with this well-crafted itinerary.
Dubai is a metropolis that has revolutionised the world of tourism with its extraordinary achievements. From sky-touching skyscrapers to large-scaled amusement parks, gold-dipped hotel to palatable cuisine, the city has a wealth of attractions for all kinds of travellers. Handpicked from the lot, here’s how to spend your 48 hours in Dubai without regretting a bit:
7 am: Burj Khalifa
Embark on your trip with the unmissable and iconic landmark of Dubai, Burj Khalifa. If you are a fan of sunrises, there is no better place in the world than the world’s tallest building to witness the magical crack of dawn. Ride the fastest elevator and reach the 124th and 125th floor that have a public observation deck, virtual reality exhibition, glass floor, green screen photography, and other enchanting experiences. The view from here is perfect in the early morning. You will be mesmerized by the uninterrupted views of the city through the floor-to-ceiling window. Amp up the breathtaking view with the absolutely scrumptious and delectable breakfast, featuring coffee and pastries at the Cafe. You can tick off this activity, anywhere between 5.30-8.00am on Fridays and Saturdays.
10 am: Dubai Mall
As the afternoon approaches, duck into the air-conditioned, one-stop-shop, the Dubai Mall. Dubai is heaven for shoppers. Dubai Mall is one of the largest shopping destinations that offers ultimate retail therapy if you are willing to splurge. Its Fashion Avenue is a lifetime shopping thrill. The next big thing here is the Dubai Aquarium where you can see and swim with 33,000 marine animals. Stroll in the overlapping walk-through aquarium, feed the sharks under the supervision of experts, and enjoy cage snorkeling. The excitement continues with multiplex, gaming zone, ice rink, waterfall and much more. It would be difficult to check out everything in a day, but there is something for everyone. The mall has hundreds of restaurants serving food from your favourite cuisine of any part of the world. So, refuel yourself with a great meal for lunch or a mid-day snack.
2 pm: Evening Desert Safari
This is the quintessential desert safari in Dubai. In the afternoon, you will set off from the pickup point in a luxury SUV. Whizzing out into the endless desert is a thrilling drive. Evening desert safari is a 6-hour excursion that kicks your adrenaline with a series of adventures and calms you with cultural activities. Indulge in dune bashing — a hair-raising ride where the 4*4 vehicle ascends, drops and slips through the sand mountains. You can add the sand boarding and quad biking option and test your balancing skills. Hop off the caravan in the middle and take Instagram-worthy pictures of the sunset. You will then set off for the camping which has illuminated tents, well-arranged seating areas, a stage and plenty of shops around. Here, watch the belly dancers, get your hands painted with henna, and try traditional Arabic dresses. You will be greeted and served with warm hospitality. There are unlimited refreshments and shisha. Wrap up the day with a delicious Arabic buffet and desserts in the camp.
Take a cab or ride in the metro to reach Old Dubai. Kick start the second day of 48 hours in Dubai with the cultural explosion. Immerse yourself in the traditional lifestyle of 19th century Dubai as you meander through the winding alleyways of this oldest residential neighbourhood. It has buildings with brown doors, courtyards and wind towers. Today, it incubates various cultural and artistic activities. Keep exploring and uncovering the historic gems through galleries, museums and events. Later, have a delicious breakfast at the Arabic Tea House.
Tip: If you are a history buff, discover the oldest fort and the Dubai Museum lying within it.
10 am: Souks
What a delight it is to browse the buzzing traditional Arabian marketplace! The Deira Souks have authentic and best-quality products available at inexpensive rates. Choose your style-statement jewellery in original gold at prices never heard before. Then, follow the lead to the spice and perfume souks. Here are mounds of herbs, exotic scents and everything aromatic. As you continue your journey, you can feast your eyes on handicrafts, textiles, carpets and decor items. Don’t forget to buy those little souvenirs for someone back home.
Tip: Take an Abra ride to cross the Creek and go from textile souks to gold souks.
Spend your afternoon in the world’s most daring development, the giant artificial archipelago, Palm Jumeirah. Fom the upscale restaurants, to the malls, spa, waterparks and beach clubs, the place has various entertainment options to uplift your mood and make it a fun trip. Jump into the record-breaking waterslides in the No.1 water park of the Middle East, Aquaventure Waterpark. You can laze around the beach, rush into the wave pool and even indulge in small bites. For an appetising lunch that creates a burst of flavours in your mouth, there is no better place to experience gastronomy in Dubai than in the restaurants of Palm Jumeirah. Nobu, Ossiano, Zest, A la Turca, and Asia republic are a few of the best dining destinations.
6 pm: Kite Beach
Take a casual break from all the adrenaline rush at the public Kite Beach. Here you could lounge on the recliners, sunbathe, exercise, jog, walk, and grab an evening snack by the food trucks. If you still have the strength in your stomach, test your watersport skills through paragliding and kite surfing.
8 pm: Dhow Cruise Marina
After a full thriving day, it is time to unwind in style. Remain in awe as you sail across the artificial canal and marvel at the fabulous array of buildings in the posh neighbourhood, Dubai Marina. The boat is lit and elegant creating a romantic ambiance for dining at the most delectable buffet. Enjoy the flavours with a live show and refreshments.
Dubai is a city with hundreds of things to do. But you can surely soak up the essence of the city and paint the town red with this ‘tried and tested’ itinerary for 48 hours in Dubai. From the cutting-edge architecture to camel rides in desert safari, this is a comprehensive tour. So, plan well and have the best weekend of your life.