Guest post by Neha from Dubai Wikia
Dubai is the Middle East’s most visited and popular city not for one but for many reasons. It’s a destination full of novel architectural delights, striking culture, jaw-dropping amusement, and of course delicious cuisines that represent different parts of the world.
So, what not to adore about this land of winning combo? Are you traveling to Dubai but have got only 24 hours to discover the city?
Here is a Dubai itinerary that showcases the attractions and experiences that you can enjoy in a day. This also comes with some fascinating Dubai information plus resourceful tips and recommendations to make the most of your trip.
Know Before You Go
When to Visit?
For more outdoor inclined experiences, there is no better time to visit Dubai than during the winter months (November to March.) The weather is cool and generally pleasant throughout this period.
But, whether you’re traveling for a day or two in these months, make sure that you plan in advance to assure yourself of maximum savings on your accommodation, airfare tickets etc.
On the other hand, summer months are equally ideal to visit, particularly for those looking for an exceptionally low-cost break in the city.
Important Dubai Information & Top Things You Should Know
- Dubai is one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, and it’s the second largest of all.
- Most people consider Dubai as the capital of the country. But, Abu Dhabi is the capital city which is also the UAE’s largest city.
- Dubai is an extremely hospitable destination, but it entails its visitors to respect its culture and customs that are greatly influenced by its Islamic religious roots.
- Pack modest dresses for your Dubai trip and be sure to cover your knees, arms, and shoulders when you visit conservative landmarks like mosques, cultural institutions etc.
- Layered dressing is recommended when you visit here during peak season in December – February.
- Don’t smoke and consume alcohol in public as it can even lead to fine payment and jail imprisonment.
- Don’t eat in public if you visit here during Ramadan.
- It’s vital to get approval or permission before you take pictures of important government structures as well as locals.
Arabic is the official language of Dubai and UAE. But, English, along with other languages such as Hindi, Filipino, Malayalam, and Farsi, is widely spoken here, thanks to its multicultural, cosmopolitan nature.
The UAE Dirham is the currency used in Dubai. As it’s pegged to the US Dollar, one US dollar is equivalent to AED 3.67. There are money exchange centers throughout the city. Moreover, while in Dubai, you can use most internationally accepted cards including credit cards, debit cards, VISA cards etc for shopping, dining, accommodations etc.
Best Seasonal Attractions
What we’re going to include in this itinerary are Dubai’s most iconic sights and activities. But, don’t forego the following sights/attractions by any means if you happen to visit here between November and March.
Global Village: Discover culture, cuisines, traditions, and other genuine specialties of different parts of the world on your visit here. Open from October to March, this open-air cultural and entertainment theme park has pavilions representing about 100 countries. So get ready for a sensory overload when you step in here.
Dubai Miracle Garden: Did you know that the world’s largest natural garden is right here in this desert city? Visit Dubai Miracle Garden to see and admire it yourself! You can expect to be enveloped by millions of flowers set in a variety of shapes and themes once here. So it goes without saying this place is an insta-darling. To make the most of it, visit from November to March.
Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF): This one-month festival is so iconic that those in-the-know don’t want to miss it. This annual event mostly falls in December – January when the whole city rains unbelievable discounts and promotion deals. Beyond shopping, it’s also the time to take in the finest in dining and entertainment.
How to get around?
From the world’s longest automated metro line to the buses, cabs, ferries (that are kept to pristine order), Dubai has an immaculately maintained public transport network which makes it super affordable and flexible to get around in the city.
But if you want an absolutely hassle-free alternative to get around in the city, go for a private transfer arranged through a professional service provider. It’s available with or without a driver; so if you want to drive your own, it’s a must to have an international driving permit.
Where to stay?
From desert retreat and beachfront stays to cheap and budget choices, there are lots of amazing hotels and resorts all over Dubai. But when it’s your short trip, it’s best to opt for accommodation that is centrally located and offers easy accessibility to the sights covered in your travel program.
One Day In Dubai Itinerary
Early Morning: Start off with an early Morning Desert Safari
|Pro Tip: Desert safari is an unmissable experience in Dubai. But if you’re in a hurry or hit by jetlag, set out on an early morning drive across the iconic palm-tree-shaped island of Palm Jumeirah or relax in the room until you feel better.|
Seeing Dubai’s desert landscape in the first ray of sun is an incomparable experience! But, pre-book your desert safari trip with roundtrip transfers, so that you can immerse yourself in the commanding desert beauty and tranquillity without any hassle.
This allows you to enjoy a super electrifying ride over the desert sands and further enjoy many cultural experiences like camel riding, henna tattooing, and a souvenir photographic chance wearing traditional Arabian attire, to name a few.
Mid-Morning: Feel Old Dubai at Al Bastakiya Quarter & Souks
|Pro Tip: Want to skip this or looking for more action and fun during your Dubai holiday? Head off to one of Dubai’s amazing theme parks. There are the snow-themed Ski Dubai, IMG Worlds of Adventure (the world’s largest indoor theme park), and mostly, Dubai Parks and Resort – the region’s first integrated resort with four distinct parks in its premise (such as Motiongate Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai, LEGOLAND Dubai, and LEGOLAND Water Park).|
For most people, Dubai is all about its super stylish architectural highlights. While we don’t deny this, we would surely insist you keep aside at least an hour or two to unearth the real cultural and historical gems of Dubai.
For this, first make your way to Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, also known as Al Bastakiya Quarter. Speed-read across its narrow lanes to check out its many art cafes, art galleries, museums and cultural attractions such as the region’s oldest of its kind, Al Fahidi Fort, with Dubai Museum and Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding.
After this, walk towards the saltwater creek of Dubai Creek; it has watched over Dubai’s eventful journey from a sleepy fishing settlement and has largely been instrumental in its transformation to a world-class city. Take an abra ride along Dubai Creek which plies you from Bur Dubai to Deira side for just AED 1.
Once in Deira, you get to wander across some of the city’s main traditional Arabian shopping destinations such as Gold Souk, Perfume Souk, and Spice Souk. And of course, this lets you buy some authentic Emirati stuff at bargain rates.
Afternoon till Evening: Downtown Dubai
|Pro Tip: To avoid hassles and skip long queues, book in advance if you wish to enter some of the region’s top attractions such as observation decks at Burj Khalifa, Dubai Ice Rink, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, VR Park, and KidZania Dubai.|
Downtown Dubai is one of Dubai’s most modern neighborhoods and what makes it stand out are its outstanding sights that enjoy worldwide attention and recognition. Most unmissable among them are:
Burj Khalifa: This 828-meter-high building is the tallest ever man-made structure on the planet. Beyond this distinction, it holds the world’s highest restaurant, the world’s tallest service elevators, and of course, the world’s highest observation deck at its 148th level. One of its most visited attractions is its viewing platform on the 124th level, enriched by one of the world’s fastest elevator rides.
The Dubai Mall: This mall is so gigantic and massive that it’s the world’s biggest mall. So pre-plan is a must when you visit this place with over 1200 outlets, 200 plus dining venues, and loads of amusement and edutainment attractions. Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is one of the ultimate attractions for marine enthusiasts, while Dubai Ice Rink and VR Park are ideal for those in need of a bout of extraordinary adventure and thrill.
Dubai Fountain Show: We’ve saved one of Downtown Dubai’s best for last! After your expedition to Burj Khalifa and Dubai Mall, grab a convenient seat or spot just outside of the mall to catch this astonishingly choreographed fountain show set at Burj Lake. It’s a free attraction, but you can watch it up-close from an unrivaled vantage for a nominal rate. Just head to Dubai Fountain Boardwalk to take an abra cruise across the lake!
Evening: Dhow Cruise at Dubai Marina
|Pro Tip: Don’t want to spend your rest of the evening on the water? Retire to your hotel room or more ideally set out to take in Dubai’s unrivaled entertainment scene. And one of the surefire charmers in this category is to watch La Perle by Dragone; this Cirque du Soleil-style show is definite to blow you away with its ravishing mix of spectacular special effects, stunning costumes, and of course, breathtaking acrobatic performances that take place in, on or underwater.|
We know that by this time you’ll be exhausted. That’s why we have a soothing suggestion to wind up your one day in Dubai itinerary. Yes, a refreshingly gentle dhow cruise along the uber-trendy Dubai Marina is one of the relaxed ways to cap off your Dubai trip. This not only comes with the most amazing views from the water, but also includes scrumptious dining, unlimited refreshments, and traditional shows like Tanura onboard.
With this itinerary for one day in Dubai, we anticipate that this would cater to all types of visitors. So start planning your Dubai holiday – you can rest assured that this will appease all your senses!