Dubai is a great combination of tradition and modern. On one hand, there is the glitz and glamour of the city, and on the other hand, there is the pristine beauty of the desert. The city with its amazing architecture and numerous entertainment options would keep you hooked, while the desert with its natural beauty would not fail to enamour you. There is so much to see and do in Dubai that you can stay here for weeks and still find to do something new, every single day. However, Dubai is also a great destination for quick weekend getaways and you can easily plan a short holiday in the city. If you are in Dubai for a long weekend or for a transit visa, here is a 3 days in Dubai itinerary that would help you cover the major attractions of the city in 72 hours.

Day 01

If you arrive at night, have a relaxing sleep at your hotel and start your sightseeing the next day. On the other hand, if you arrive early in the morning, give yourself a few hours to rest and freshen up before you begin to explore the city. As you are in the city just for a short while, it is important to not spend too much time at your hotel and start exploring as soon as possible.

Dubai Museum

Dubai Museum

Before Dubai became the glamorous and opulent city it is today, it was a modest fishing village. If you are interested in knowing Dubai a little more deeply, your visit must be to the Dubai Museum. Located inside the Al Fahidi Fort, the Dubai Museum is in the oldest neighbourhood of Dubai. Not just the museum, but the surrounding area is also a far cry from the sparkling city of Dubai. However, here is where the heart of the city lies. A visit to the Dubai Museum would give you a glimpse into the life of Emiratis in the past. You would get to learn about their traditional dress, occupation, lifestyle, homes, etc. through some interesting exhibits.

Bastakiya Quarter

historic Bastakiya quarter at night in Dubai United Arab Emirates

The Bastakiya Quarter is located in the same neighbourhood as the Dubai Museum. After a visit to the museum, walk a few paces to check out this charming conservation area. The neighbourhood is made of sandstone houses and buildings that were homes of traders and merchants from Persia. The main highlight of these buildings is the unique wind towers that acted as natural air-conditioners in the past. Walking along the shaded lanes of the Bastakiya Quarter would give you a feeling of being in a different land, far from the modern high-rises of the city. Apart from admiring the beautiful sandstone houses and its palm-hinged courtyards, you can also check out the unique cafes, smart art galleries, traditional restaurants and swanky boutiques that line the Bastakiya Quarter today.

Dubai Creek

Dubai Creek

The Dubai Creek, just like the Museum and the Bastakiya Quarter, is a part of old Dubai. The Creek is an important part of Dubai’s history as it is here where the Bedouin tribes settled after moving from the desert. The Creek divides the city into two: Deira and Bur Dubai. The Dubai Creek was a trading port and was popular for fishing and pearl diving activities in the past. Today, both sides of the Dubai Creek are bustling with business and the place still holds great importance to the city’s economy. You can check out the beautiful sights of the Creek with an abra ride. The abra ride on the Dubai Creek is not only cheap but it is also a great way of getting to know how the Emiratis commuted in the past.

Shopping

There are some amazing malls in Dubai and you would want to venture into each one of them. However, the old Dubai is home some traditional markets and souks. If you want to experience the authentic markets of the city, you can spend your evening visiting the different souks of the city. One of the must-visit souks in Dubai is the Gold Souk where you would find hundreds of stores selling jewellery made of gold, silver, diamond and precious stones. Not only is the price of the gold really cheap here, you can also bargain over the making charges and get a good discount. Apart from the gold souk, there is the perfume souk where you can buy Arabic attar as well as perfumes of all international brands, the spice souk where you can buy a variety of spices and herbs, and the textile souk where you would get to buy a variety of fabrics, garments, souvenirs, footwear, etc.

Day 02

Do not forget to have a heavy breakfast as your second day in Dubai would require you to have lots of energy.

Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall

The afternoon sun can be too harsh and hence after your abra ride, take a taxi to the largest mall in the whole world, Dubai Mall. While the air-conditioner at the mall would cool you, the sheer size of the Dubai Mall would not fail to enthral you. With over 1200 retail stores, a large food court with almost 100 food stalls and plenty of entertainment zones, you can easily spend days at this mall. Even if you do not want to do any shopping, you must visit the mall as it is home to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. The aquarium has a hue water tank, which houses around 33,000 aquatic animals. The tour of the aquarium and underwater zoo would be the highlight of your trip to the mall.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa Dubai
As the day turns into dusk, head to the Burj Khalifa (the entrance is from inside the Dubai Mall). The Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world and the observation deck on 124th and 125th floors as well as 148th floor is open to the public. Book your tickets to the building online beforehand, so that you do not have to wait in the queue. Also, advance booking gives you some discount. Upon entering the building, you would be whisked to the observation deck, in the fastest elevator in the world. Try to time your visit during sunset so that you could see the city in daylight and after sunset as well. The sight from the observation deck is spectacular and do not forget to take some great pictures of the view.

The Fountain Show

Dubai Fountain
After your descend from the Burj Khalifa, reserve a good spot near the Dubai Fountain for a spectacular sound, water and light show. The Dubai Fountain Show is one of the most spectacular things that you would see in the city. From 6 in the evening to 11 at night, the show happens every half an hour and each show lasts for around 10 minutes. The choreographed movements of the fountains along with some beautiful music and marvellous lights would surely touch a cord in your soul. You can also have a coffee at one of the restaurants or cafes nearby to watch the fountain show in a more relaxed way.

Dhow Cruise Dinner Creek

Dubai Cruise Dubai Creek
You may find the fountain show to be spectacular end of your day, but you would change your mind after the dhow cruise dinner on Dubai Creek. If you have enjoyed the view along the Dubai Creek during the day, you would definitely love it more at night. The dinner happens in a traditional, yet stylishly designed dhow where you get to eat a delicious international buffet, watch live performances and enjoy the sparkling sights of the Dubai Creek. The ambience, food and sights give you a relaxing evening.

Day 03

You would want your last day in Dubai to be really memorable. Here is what you can do to make the third day in the city an exciting one.

Ski Dubai and Snow Park

Ski Dubai
Two days in Dubai would teach you that nothing is impossible in Dubai. But still you would find it surprising to know that the city has its own indoor ski park. It is located in the Mall of Emirates and also includes a snow park. Complete with 3000 square meters of snow, this is the world’s largest indoor snow park where you can ski, snowboard, fly over the snow in a snow bullet and have a cup of hot chocolate at the Avalanche Cafe. While you are not busy skiing or playing in the snow, you can also meet the resident penguins. You get all the clothing as well as the equipment for snowboarding and skiing along with the tickets. Arrive early so that you can enjoy the place before it becomes crowded.

Dubai Frame

Dubai Frame
Your next step would be the Dubai Frame at Zabeel Park. Shaped in the form of a frame, it is a newest addition to Dubai’s architecture. The tour of the frame begins with a visit to the museum at the mezzanine level which takes you to the past of Dubai through audio visual presentations. After this, you hop into the elevator which takes you to the top observation deck. The beauty of this deck is that on one side you can see the old Dubai and on the other side, the new Dubai. Once you descend from the frame, you visit another interactive museum that shows you a glimpse of the future of Dubai through state-of-the-art exhibits. In short, the Dubai Frame is like a time capsule, which shows you the past, present and future of the city.

Desert Safari

Desert Safari
The last evening of your Dubai holiday has to be phenomenal and that is why we have kept the desert safari for the last. The desert safari gives you an evening full of adventure, entertainment and fun. You get to enjoy dune bashing, sand buggy riding, quad biking and camel riding in the desert. At the desert camp, you would be able to indulge in henna painting, watch a falcon show and enjoy some fabulous Tanoura and belly dance performances. The BBQ dinner at the desert is the highlight of the desert safari where you would get to devour on some of the choicest BBQ dishes. If you do not have an early morning flight to catch, you can also extend your stay at the desert by choosing an overnight desert safari.

Your itinerary for three days in Dubai may sound hectic. But with proper planning, you would be able to cover all the major places in the city, quite leisurely. For commuting within the city, you can rely on cabs as well as metros.

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