Going to Dubai wasn’t really on our bucket list for many reasons. First, it is scorching hot especially on summer. Second, we live in Macau and it does look like Macau. Third, among many others, the flight tickets are ridiculously expensive. But, when Dubai has risen to prominence as a cosmopolitan hub centre in the Middle East, we took notice. We started to admire it from the pictures we see on social media sites and we could no longer deny that the place is a must. Add the fact that I have a brother working there, so it is certainly a go. This One-Week Dubai Tour Itinerary makes sure you get to visit what Dubai has to offer.
Dubai is a big place and there are a lot of things to see and do so a week-stay is just in order. Also, Abu Dhabi is just a two-hour drive away and should be visited when in Dubai. Desert, amazing skyscrapers, world-class hotels and resorts, and delectable food are what waiting for all of you.
After scouring the internet for the cheapest flight, here are the things to know before going to Dubai.
1. Check whether you need to obtain a visa. Most countries do need to have a visa prior to their arrival, so make sure that you have one before leaving. It doesn’t necessary mean to obtain a visa before buying a ticket, visa is somewhat just for formality, so buy the ticket while it’s cheap. To know more about Dubai Visa or whether you need one, check it right here: How to Apply for Dubai Tourist Visa.
2. Dubai has an efficient Metro System that can bring you almost anywhere you want to go. Make sure that when you book your accommodation, it is near any station and you’ll be fine. Taxis are a little bit expensive, but a convenient way of transportation.
3. If renting a car, go to downtown to rent one not in the airport. You’ll save money.
4. Contrary to popular belief that you have to watch what you are wearing, aside from some sacred mosques or places of worship, you can pretty much wear whatever you are comfortable with.
5. We were warned about too much PDA or public display of affection but I think it wasn’t that strict. I’ve seen couples held hands, which was fine.
6. This is an Arab community, so public intoxication is a no-no. You can drink inside your hotel/apartment rooms, it’s fine.
7. Though you can buy pork at some shops, like Spinneys, it is not available at the leading supermarkets or markets.
8. Avoid going during summer, temperature rises to almost 50 centigrade. November to March is the best time to go here.
9. Activities like desert safari, going to the top of Burj Khalifa should be booked in advance. It’ll save you some money and will guarantee slots. (You can always buy it on the spot, but it’s more pricey)
10. You will have a great time, for sure.
It must have been a long flight, so no long walks and no serious activities on your first day. Depending on where you are staying, you can spend your first day either:
Watching The Dubai Fountain at Dubai Mall and admiring Burj Khalifa from the outside. Burj is just right in front of Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall is the biggest mall in the world.
Let the Dubai Marina/Jumeriah Beach Residence (JBR) introduce you to Dubai. Along the street of JBR is the Promenade with shops, restaurants, and the wonderful stretch of the beach.
Your second day will be full of activities so make sure you are well prepared and excited. Start your day with going to the top of Burj Khalifa.
Burj Khalifa has the distinction of being the tallest building in the world. You may also remember the tower because of Tom Cruise’s crazy stunt on his Mission Impossible movie. You may choose to go up Level 125 or to Level 148. We chose to go up to Level 125 which I think was enough. The view from the top was extraordinary, but it could have been better if the Palm can be seen. For ticket prices and other information, you may visit this link.
Have a lunch at any restaurants at Dubai Mall and do some shopping if you wish.
After looking from the top, go back down and drive to two more destinations.
Miracle Garden and Global Village.
Miracle Garden is an outdoor recreational spot where you’ll see the largest collection of flowers. Pay AED40 for the entrance fee and get lost by wonderful flower arrangements.
Global Village is a famous tourist attraction that will bring you to so many places at one time. The village is a cultural, entertainment and shopping centre like no other. Entrance fee: AED15.
For activities in Dubai, you can use Groupon or Klook for the best offers. You may find suitable activities for you or your group right here: Klook Travel
Going in the morning of your 3rd day at Legoland is optional. You may choose to be on your way to your next destination: Abu Dhabi.
Legoland is Dubai’s famous leisure and entertainment park. If you are traveling with a family, then a stop for a day at Legoland is a must. If you opt not to go here, then start your drive to Abu Dhabi. For ticket price and other information about Legoland, click this link.
Abu Dhabi is the capital of United Arab Emirates and it houses the highest government official of the country. If what welcomes you in Dubai is skyscraper with endless desert and brown area, Abu Dhabi will welcome you with greener surroundings and equally impressive buildings.
Spend your Day 1 in Abu Dhabi with two of the most famous places in the area, Emirates Palace and Grand Mosque.
Emirates Palace is a five-star hotel that boasts an impressive facade and Arabian-designed interior. Behind this is the official residence of the UAE president. In front of the Emirates Palace is the famous Etihad Towers made popular by the movie Fast and the Furious.
Sheik Zayed Mosque or the Grand Mosque is one of the most impressive pieces of architecture that I’ve seen in my life. It is the largest mosque in the world and it is beyond impressive. Truly, a remarkable feat in Architecture.
You may spend the rest of the day and night either going to YAS Mall or the newly opened Louvre Museum. Louvre Museum is a must for art lovers.
Before heading back to Dubai, make the most of Abu Dhabi by going to the Ferrari World.
Ferrari World is a lot better than Legoland and it is a theme park that caters not only to kids but for the whole family. If you love cars, then this is the place for you. For park information and ticket prices, visit this link.
On your way to the city of Dubai make a quick but enjoyable stop at Last Exit. Dubai Last Exit is a street food truck park and perfect for taking a quick break from your long rides. It is home to a number of truck foods/snack that will satisfy your hunger. It is a worthy stop-over.
This is the day for the highlight our Dubai Tour, the Desert Safari Experience. Book in advance a desert safari tour and schedule it in the afternoon. For afternoon session, you’ll be picked up at around 3pm and will head straight to Sharjah for the desert safari tour. Sharjah, by the way, is another Emirate of UAE.
The pick-up point is usually at Lulu Hypermarket, behind the Mall of the Emirates. While waiting for the tour to start, stop at Souk Madinat Jumeirah. Souk Madinat is a local shopping centre that sells local products. The building itself is impressive and it is a good viewing point of Burj Al Arab.
Mall of the Emirates is where the Ski Dubai located. Shop ’til you drop is the name of the game at this mall because of hundred of shops.
Make sure that you arrive on time to not keep other groups waiting. Desert Safari usually ends at 9pm and will bring you back to the pick up point right after. It is a wonderful experience and a must when in Dubai.
Dubai is not always a cosmopolitan city. Aside from the villas you see everywhere, what Dubai looked like during its old days can be found in Old Souk Dubai.
Do a walking tour of the Old Dubai and experience its rich culture and traditional ways of living. Ride an abra, shop at Gold Souk, and be impressed with a large collection of spices, herbs, and textile products at Deira Grand Souk.
In the afternoon, head to Jumeirah Beach and to the other famous Burj, the Burj Al Arab. Jumeirah Beach is where locals and expats spend their free time soaking under the sun and enjoying the beautiful sand and the sea. It is also a good viewpoint of Burj Al Arab.
Burj Al Arab is said to be the only seven-star hotel in the world and is a wonder to look at. It is an impressive building with distinct design and magnetic aura. You can contend seeing it from a far because if you are not staying here then, you are not allowed to enter it.
Your last night in Dubai should be spent at the most beautiful part of Dubai (according to our Airbnb host), the Promenade beach. Eat, enjoy the entertainment activities, make last-minute shopping and simply hang out will give you a very good time.
Depending on the time of your flight, I suggest, take a rest at your hotel or accommodation. Take a swim and enjoy the view from where you are staying.
Do SkyDiving if you have the means and is not afraid of heights. It is a once in a lifetime experience. You won’t be able to see the Palm if you do not Sky Dive. We promised to do it on our next visit.
The Atlantis hotel at the Palm is another good place to visit if you have extra time.
There really is a lot to do in Dubai and as the day pass by you’ll fall in love with city even more. I love Dubai and would love to be back. Didn’t get a solo pic with camel. -;)
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