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Detailed Dubai Itinerary for up to 7 Days (+Map & Planning Tips)

Detailed Dubai Itinerary for up to 7 Days (+Map & Planning Tips)

Visiting Dubai in the United Arab Emirates for the first time and wondering how to plan your trip so that you can see most of the top sights in Dubai?

What are the ‘must-sees’? How many days do you need? And how to plan your time so that you can make the most out of your trip, no matter the duration…

In this guide, we share a recommended Dubai itinerary for 7 days. Why 7? Because this is about the minimum amount of time you need if you want to see most of the top places in Dubai, take a day trip to Abu Dhabi (must-do!), and keep your trip somewhat relaxed and enjoyable.

Our suggested one-week Dubai itinerary is described below in detail, including the map indicating all the top sights and attractions. We also included our experience-based tips to help you with the practical side of planning a trip (such as which tickets to pre-book in order to avoid disappointment).

If your trip is shorter and you have less than a week in Dubai, you can simply adjust our recommended Dubai itinerary based on your interests and the time that you have. To make it easier to decide what to see, we listed the very best places and top attractions first. So for example, with three days in Dubai, follow the itinerary described on days 1, 2, and 3. With 5 days in Dubai, follow the recommendations for the first 5 days, etc.

Of course, you can also ‘mix and match’, pick the activities that interest you the most, switch the days around, and plan your own perfect trip. Use this just as inspiration for the top places to see and what can actually be done in Dubai in a week. And if your trip is shorter, you can also find some suggestions for half a day, a day or two in our guide on planning a stopover in Dubai.

First-timer's travel itinerary for Dubai United Arab Emirates

Dubai Itinerary Overview & Map

Here you can see our recommended Dubai itinerary in a nutshell as well as the map indicating all the top sights mentioned in our article.

Further below, you can find a detailed day-by-day itinerary with more info, tips, and photos. It will give you a better idea of what to expect and how to plan your time so that you can see the very best of Dubai in a week or less.

This is our recommended 7-day itinerary for your first trip to Dubai:

Good to know: In this itinerary, we grouped the best places to see in Dubai and top activities based on their location and the time that you need in order to visit them and to travel in between. Traffic can be really busy, so it’s important to keep that in mind when planning your Dubai sightseeing itinerary! For more tips, be sure to also read our Dubai travel tips.

How to use this map: Use your computer mouse (or fingers) to zoom in or out. Click on the icons to get more information about each place. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the index. Click the star next to the map’s title to add it to your Google Maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open Google Maps, click the menu and go to ‘Your Places’/’Maps’. If you want to print the map or see it in a bigger window, click on ‘View larger map’ in the top right corner.


Practical Info & Planning Tips

Here is some practical information to help to plan your trip to Dubai:

Getting around: The cheapest and fastest way to cover big distances in Dubai is the metro. However, depending on where you are staying/going, a taxi is a very good and affordable option as well. See our guide to Dubai public transport for more info.

Renting a car is quite affordable, but parking can be a real hassle in Dubai. Plus, most guided tours include pick-up and drop-off at your accommodation, so renting a car is not really a must.

Where to stay: For a short trip to Dubai with sightseeing as the main focus, stay close to Dubai Mall (e.g. Sofitel Dubai Downtown). If you are staying for a week or longer, consider the Dubai Marina area (e.g. JW Marriott Hotel Marina) or Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) near the Marina (e.g. Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach).

Our experience: We tend to stay on the beach when visiting Dubai. Once we stayed at Doubletree by Hilton JBR Beach, and recently we stayed at Rove La Mer Beach Hotel which is at the beach, but also close to the Dubai Mall area. This area is still under development but has a very hip and relaxed feeling.

Dubai Frame and city skyline
Dubai skyline.

Tickets and tours: If you wonder whether you need to pre-book anything/everything, my advice is simple: if you don’t want to miss it, be sure to book it in advance. Tickets to the most popular attractions in Dubai often sell out, some even weeks upfront. And even if you can get them on the spot, they are usually (a lot) more expensive than online. For tours, it depends. Usually, you should be able to book last minute, but if you find a tour you like, just reserve it.

Good to know: Most of the attraction tickets and tours we recommend can be booked via the GetYourGuide website which offers very flexible cancelation so you have nothing to lose. This is the website we personally used for all our tickets and tours in Dubai. In our detailed day-to-day itinerary below, you can find more information about tickets and tours that we recommend.

Please note that all the hours in our itinerary are only indicated for your reference so that you have a better idea of how much time approximately you need everywhere. Don’t forget to foresee plenty of buffer time between the attractions that work with timed entry slots!

Planning a trip to Dubai UAE - views from Dubai Frame
Views from Dubai Frame.


Museum of the Future – Sky Views Observatory – Dubai Mall – Burj Khalifa – Dubai Fountains.

Day 1 – planning info/tickets to book:

Good to know: Some of these attractions can also be booked together, as a combo deal. For example, Burj Khalifa + Dubai Aquarium ticket can save you about $20 per person. You can find more options and bundle deals here.

Burj Khalifa tower and Dubai Mall - a must in any Dubai itinerary
Burj Khalifa light show.

Here’s what your first day in Dubai could look like:

Museum of The Future

9.30 – 11.30 AM.

Start your day with one of the most popular attractions in Dubai – the Museum of the Future. The iconic building is one of the most remarkable landmarks of Dubai and the museum is the most sought-after ticket in the UAE.

A visit to this museum gives you a peek into the future of space travel and climate change, but also health, robotics, and AI. With lots of interactive displays, it’s an interesting place that the whole family will enjoy. But frankly, a lot depends on your expectations – some people love it, others say it’s over-hyped. Either way, it’s worth visiting even if just for the remarkable architecture.

PRO TIP: Book your tickets for this museum well in advance. They are usually sold out at least 2-3 weeks upfront. In addition, if you want to be able to pick a time slot as well, you really should book at least a month in advance.

Practical info: The museum is open from early morning and you will need a couple of hours for a visit. So ideally you start your day here and keep the afternoon for the Dubai Mall area. Booking the first time slot is also the best way to enjoy the exhibits without a big crowd!

Dubai Museum of the Future
The Museum of the Future in Dubai.

Sky Views

12 – 1.30 PM

Next, take a metro to Dubai Mall. It’s just two metro stops from the Museum of the Future and as you exit the station, you’ll be right at the next place we recommend visiting – Sky Views. Alternatively, you can also take a taxi, just be sure to ask them to drop you off at the right place depending on what you decide to visit first (the Dubai Mall area is huge!).

Sky Views is an observatory at 720 ft (219.5 meters), offering some of the best 360° views of Downtown Dubai. From here, you have an unparalleled view of the iconic Burj Khalifa, which is located just nearby but also at a nice distance to admire it to the fullest.

In addition to the viewing platform, there is also a glass-bottom walkway, a bit like at Dubai Frame (more about it on day 7 of this itinerary).

Plus, all tickets include one go on the Sky Glass Slide, a short transparent tube that ‘floats’ at the side of the building. Don’t worry – it’s not nearly as exciting as it sounds, and frankly, I’m still not sure if I would queue for it for almost an hour again… But if it’s not too busy, be sure to give it a try. It’s fun!

Dubai travel itinerary - Burj Khalifa view from Sky Views Observatory
Burj Khalifa view from Sky Views Observatory.

Good to know: At an additional cost, you can get a ticket that includes the Sky Edge Walk. Attached with a harness, you walk on an open platform on the 52nd floor. This looks so cool and could easily become one of the best experiences you do in Dubai.

Since one of our kids has a serious fear of heights, I couldn’t try the Sky Edge yet (on the most recent trip, I was in Dubai alone with the children, so hanging on the side of a building while the kids waited inside wasn’t really an option ;)). But if you are up for it, give it a try – it looks amazing and everyone we talked to who did it was very enthusiastic.

Talking about heights, the same kid was totally ok with the glass slide, but he wouldn’t step on a glass-bottom walkway… Go figure…

Practical information: Book timed-entry tickets (with or without the Sky Edge Walk option) in advance. To be on the safe side, give yourself at least half an hour to get to Sky Views Observatory from the Museum of the Future. The metro ride is just 3 minutes, but you also need to walk to the metro and find your way around the Dubai Mall station, etc.

Dubai Sky Views Glass Slide
Glass Slide at Dubai Sky Views Observatory.
Sky Edge Walk at Sky Views Dubai
Sky Edge Walk.

Dubai Mall


Next, time to visit the famous Dubai Mall. Inside, you will find plenty of places for lunch. From fine dining options and pricier restaurants overlooking Dubai Fountains to lower-budget fast-food chains, the choice is overwhelming.

The entrance to Burj Khalifa is also located here, at the lower level of the Mall. Depending on your preference for daytime or nighttime views and/or which time slot you can get for Burj Khalifa (more info below), you can explore the Dubai Mall first or after visiting the tower.

The Dubai Mall complex is so huge and has so much to offer that you could easily spend an entire day and still not see part of it! In addition to hundreds of stores and restaurants, you will also find all kinds of family-friendly attractions here, including an indoor ice skating rink, KidZania, MirrorMaze, cinemas, indoor playgrounds, and many others.

TIP: Do not miss the Dubai Mall Waterfall and Dubai Aquarium. Both can be admired for free, but if you want to visit the aquarium inside, you’ll need a ticket (and it’s really expensive for what it is and even worse if you didn’t think to get your tickets online…). So if you want to visit here, consider this combo ticket with Burj Khalifa (and book in advance!).

Good to know: Dubai Mall is huge and overwhelming for a first-time visitor. There are multiple levels, interconnected with countless staircases and elevators, plus multiple entrances and exits. So foresee plenty of time for everything and don’t plan too many attractions on the same day. Or do the things you absolutely want to do first and then see if you still have time and energy left for the rest.

Gigantic aquarium at Dubai Mall, Dubai UAE
Dubai Aquarium at the Dubai Mall.

Burj Khalifa

+-2 HOURS.

The highest building in the world, Burj Khalifa is the most popular tourist attraction in Dubai. While you can admire this iconic building from outside as much as you like, you will need a ticket to visit the ‘At the Top’ experience.

There are several options for which levels you can visit, and ticket prices vary depending on that, but also on the time of the day when you come.

The standard ticket includes levels 124 and 125 and gives you access to unparalleled 360° views over Dubai and the Arabian Gulf. You can also opt for this ticket that includes levels 124 and 125 as well as lunch or dinner at Rooftop, The Burj Club.

PRO TIP: We recommend getting this ticket that includes access to SKY Level 148 (in addition to standard levels). This ticket also gives you priority access to security and the elevator, which will save you a lot of time and stress. That’s worth a higher price in itself. It also includes an introductory tour with a guest ambassador and access to the lounge with snacks and hot drinks (except during the daytime in the month of Ramadan).

Practical information: The busiest and most expensive time to visit Burj Khalifa is ‘around’ sunset, which in practice means the entire late afternoon. For example, if the sunset is at 6.30 PM, ticket prices are higher between 3 PM and sunset time… But if you only enter at 6.30, the sun will long be gone by the time you get to the top, so I see no point in paying more for the time slots that are too close to the actual sunset time…

TIP: If you want to enjoy daytime views, the sunset, and night views, book a time slot about 1.5-2 hours before the sunset. That way, you should be able to get to the top in time, even if there are long queues. Alternatively, as already said before, get priority tickets which will save you a lot of queueing.

Downtown Dubai aerial view from Burj Khalifa at night
Downtown Dubai and fountain show as seen from Burj Khalifa at night.

Dubai Fountains & Burj Lake Boat Ride

+-15-30 MINUTES.

No trip to Dubai would be complete without seeing the famous Dubai Fountains show at Burj Lake. You can find these fountains outside of the Dubai Mall, at the foot of Burj Khalifa.

While this area is always nice to explore and walk around, the best time to be here is in the evening, when you can see a musical show and the fountains dancing with the backdrop of Burj Khalifa.

The fountain schedule is as follows: daily at 1 PM and 1.30 PM, plus every 30 minutes from 6 PM to 11 PM. On Fridays, there is no show at 1 PM, but there is one at 2 PM. The shows are always slightly different and if you come here in the evening, you’ll likely catch a few of them.

TIP: In addition to seeing the fountains from land, you can also opt for a short scenic boat ride on Burj Lake. These boats also give you a front-row seat during a fountain show. It looks very touristy, but the kids wanted to do it on our recent trip and we all enjoyed it more than I expected. It’s quite affordable for Dubai standards and we all found that it was well worth it. It’s also a nice way to rest your legs a bit after all the sightseeing.

Dubai Fountain Show and boats on Burj Lake
Dubai Fountain Show and boats on Burj Lake.

Spend the rest of your day/evening in the Dubai Mall area. Afterward, take a metro or a taxi back to your hotel.

Good to know: The taxi and Uber stands at the Dubai Mall are located at one of the underground levels, quite far from the Dubai Fountains, and are very confusing to find (plus, the taxi stand is not the same as the one for Uber).

So if you want to call it a day after visiting the fountains, simply walk to any public road on either side of Burj Lake and call a taxi from there – it’s so much easier! For example, there is a taxi drop-off point on the main road behind the Dubai Opera.

Dubai Mall Waterfall
Dubai Mall Waterfall.


Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood – Dubai Creek – Traditional Souks – Dubai Desert.

Day 2 – planning info/tickets to book:

When you think of Dubai, you probably associate it with skyscrapers and all the iconic modern-day landmarks. However, no trip to Dubai would be complete without exploring its old town and the desert.

So on your second day, we recommend that you spend some time getting to know the more traditional side of Dubai.

Arabian lamps shop in Dubai old town
Arabian lamps shop in the old town.

Here is what your day could look like:

Old Dubai

9.30 AM – 12.30 PM.

In the morning, take a couple of hours to explore the Old Dubai.

Start at the nicely restored Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. Here, you can find several low-key museums and a few traditional restaurants, but the best thing to do is simply walk around the area. Here, you will find a completely different Dubai, as it used to look in the not-so-distant past.

Afterward, take a ride on a traditional Abra boat to the northern side of Dubai Creek. Here, you will find the two most popular traditional markets in Dubai: the Spice Souk and Gold Souk.

TIP: We recommend visiting this area with a local guide. Not only because it’s easier and you don’t need to plan anything, but it’s also a nice way to get to know more about the history of the UAE and learn about local traditions and customs. Plus, you can get some tips for haggling at the markets.

Dubai Spice Souk
Dubai Spice Souk.

Good to know: There are many tours that visit the Old Town. They all cover pretty much the same places, including the boat ride. Most tours take about 3 hours, are very affordable, and have great reviews. The main difference is that some of them include some/more local food and drinks.

Frankly, it’s really hard to choose a tour. I wasted hours reading descriptions and reviews and was still none the wiser… So save yourself the trouble and just pick any highly-rated tour that suits your itinerary and you should be fine.

In the end, we chose this guided tour because it includes quite a lot of local food at one of the best traditional restaurants (in addition to the markets and other sights that all tours visit). But if you are less interested in food and more in the area, you can find plenty of cheaper tours as well. Most of them include at least one local snack too.

On our first visit to Dubai many years ago, we opted for a bit longer city tour that included a few other areas as well. The old town part of both these tours was very similar.

Dubai old town street in Al Fahidi historical neighborhood.
Al Fahidi historical neighborhood in Dubai’s old town.

After visiting the old town, get back to your hotel and take some time to relax and enjoy the pool. Depending on the location of your hotel, which desert tour you booked, and the pick-up time for the tour, you should have a couple of hours of free time.

Good to know: When booking a tour that includes a pick-up/drop-off at your accommodation, keep in mind, that they will usually pick you up about 30-45 minutes before the official starting time. If you book tours online, they will usually reach out to you via WhatsApp either the evening before or in the morning.

TIP: Don’t eat too much for lunch if you book a desert tour that includes a BBQ dinner. There is so much food on these tours (and it’s delicious) – you won’t be hungry. Plus, if you opt for a dune-bashing in a jeep, it’s better that you haven’t eaten too much just before that…

Emirati woman baking traditional luqaimat sweets in a desert camp in Dubai UAE
Local woman baking traditional luqaimat sweets in a desert camp in Dubai.

Desert Safari

3 – 10 PM.

A visit to the desert is another experience that should be in any Dubai itinerary. No matter which tour you choose, you are in for a good time, but be sure to read tour descriptions so that you know what exactly to expect!

There are many desert tour options, either about 4 or 7 hours. Unless you want to go on a hot air balloon (in which case it will likely be in the morning), we recommend looking into afternoon/evening tours that include a BBQ dinner.

On these longer tours, there is usually one main activity, such as a 4×4 dune safari in a jeep, a quad bike ride, or a camel ride. The rest of the time is spent in a Bedouin camp where you can find all kinds of different experiences (sandboarding, taking pictures with falcons or camels, traditional dance shows, henna painting, etc.) which are all included with the tour.

The food on these tours is usually very good and plentiful. Water is included and most of the time, soft drinks and local warm beverages are included as well.

Dubai itinerary - camel ride in the UAE desert
Riding a camel in the Dubai desert.

Our experience: We have been on two different desert tours in Dubai (on different trips). They were both evening tours including dinner, had very similar itineraries, and were both very good. The main activity on the first tour we did was dune bashing in a jeep. Other activities included sandboarding, a very short camel ride, a traditional Tanoura dance show, etc.

On a recent trip, we opted for this highly-rated tour. The main activity this time was a 45-minute camel ride. Other activities included taking pictures with falcons, henna tattoos, shisha pipe, traditional dance shows, a fire show, etc.

Good to know: Just like with the old town tours, there are so many desert tour options that it can be overwhelming to pick one. First, decide what you want to do – for example, quad biking, a camel ride, etc. Then, read the description so that you know what’s included. For example, many tours include a short camel ride (for a picture), but only very few do a longer trek through the desert.

In general, all these tours are quite similar, and – at least in our experience – very good. Just be sure you know what you are booking so that you don’t end up on a quad bike while you were expecting to sit on a camel…

Tanoura dance in Dubai desert camp
Tanoura dance show is included in many desert tours.


Burj Al Arab – Souk Madinat Jumeirah – The Palm – JBR Beach – Dubai Marina.

On your third day in Dubai, we recommend visiting the area around Burj Al Arab, The Palm, and Dubai Marina and potentially also the nearby JBR Beach.

If you just walk around without visiting many attractions, then you can easily see all these places in a day. If, however, you opt for any of the activities, you will have to adjust your itinerary depending on the place/time of whatever you decide to do.

There are a lot of attractions that you can choose from on this day, but none of them are ‘must-do’. So a lot depends on your interests and budget. Also, don’t book too many different activities at different locations for the same day, and keep traffic in mind.

The Palm Island Dubai
The Palm Island aerial view from a helicopter.

Here is what your third day in Dubai could look like:

Burj Al Arab & Souk Madinat Jumeirah

+-10 AM – 1 PM.

The sail-shaped Burj Al Arab is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dubai. It’s renowned as one of the world’s most luxurious hotels with lavish interiors and extravagant experiences.

You can just see the hotel from the outside, or you can also book a tour of the interior. If you want to get a taste of true luxury, upgrade to this luxury tour which includes their world-famous gold cappuccino and a visit to the 25th floor where you can see the Royal Suites.

Set against the backdrop of the Burj Al Arab, Souk Madinat Jumeirah is a bustling souk with traditional Middle Eastern charm. This area also has some picturesque waterways offering nice views of the Burj Al Arab.

Good to know: Depending on what you decide to do in this area, you can visit both places in about half an hour. If you book one of the tours, you’ll need at least 2 hours. In that case, we recommend booking the earliest tour, at 10 AM, and having lunch at the souk.

Burj Al Arab view from Souk Madinat Jumeirah - Dubai travel itinerary
Burj Al Arab and Souk Madinat Jumeirah.

The Palm

+-1.30 – 3 PM.

The Palm Jumeirah is a man-made island shaped like a giant palm tree. Stretching into the azure waters of the Arabian Gulf, The Palm is connected to the mainland with bridges and tunnels. The island is home to a large number of luxurious hotels and opulent residences.

One of the most famous attractions here is Aquaventure Water Park at Atlantis Hotel, but since you need at least a day for it, we recommend visiting the water park separately – see day 6 of our itinerary.

On this day, I would just focus on sightseeing. The best place to be is The View at The Palm Observatory from where you can enjoy nice 360° views including a good overview of this unique island. Alternatively, for even better aerial views, you can also opt for a sightseeing tour by helicopter.

If you are looking for nice views and want to relax at the pool, you could also check out the Aura Skypool. Keep in mind that no kids are allowed and that you will need to reserve a specific time slot in advance.

Good to know: Also here, the timing will depend on the activities you choose to do. If you just visit The Palm Observatory (and prebook timed entry tickets in advance!), 1 – 1.5 hours should be sufficient. A helicopter tour takes less time and is better organized, but you also need to arrive a bit earlier, etc. so to be on the safe side, I’d plan about an hour as well.

The View at The Palm Observatory Dubai UAE
The View at The Palm Observatory. It’s usually A LOT busier though!

Dubai Marina


Next, head to Dubai Marina, just 10 minutes drive from The Palm. Or – if you want to make the most out of your day – visit Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR Beach) first and then the Marina after that (the two areas are just next to each other).

The JBR – Marina Beach has a very nice waterfront area with access to a public beach and many cafes and restaurants. In the distance, you can also see the Dubai Eye (Ain Dubai), the world’s largest Ferris wheel. However, it’s been closed for years. The area is nice, but since it’s on a separate ‘island’, you would need quite a lot of extra time to visit there.

Dubai Marina is one of the nicest walkable areas to explore in Dubai. There is not one specific place that you ‘must’ see here and the best thing is to simply walk around along the Marina Walk (see our map for details). On the way, you can also visit the Marina Mall. Alternatively, consider joining a guided e-scooter tour – it’s a great way to see a lot of this vast area without having to walk.

In addition, there are quite a lot of activities that you can do at Dubai Marina. The most popular are luxury yacht sightseeing tours. If you are interested in water sports, you can go jet skiing or parasailing. Adrenaline seekers will love the zip line across the Marina

TIP: Dubai Marina is also very nice in the evening. The atmosphere is great, there are lots of good restaurants, etc. So no matter how you plan this day of your Dubai itinerary, I recommend that you end it at the Marina. Scenic boat cruises in the dark are also really great, offering wonderful night-time views of the Marina skyline.

Good to know: We recommend at least an hour or two for the Marina Walk. In addition, boat tours in this area are really worth your time and some of them can take 2-3 hours. All in all, I would plan a good half a day in this area.

Dubai Marina at night
Dubai Marina.


Day 4 – planning info/tickets to book:

No trip to Dubai would be complete without visiting Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the UAE. It’s about 1.5- 2 hours drive from Dubai, so doable as a day trip.

Just to be clear – there is a lot more to see and do in Abu Dhabi than you could possibly see in a day.

Half a day tour is a good option if you are really short on time and just want to visit the main landmark – Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. But with a week in Dubai, you could definitely spare a day. So we recommend taking a full-day tour to Abu Dhabi. That way, you can see several other places and get a much better idea of what Abu Dhabi is like.

Abu Dhabi Grand Mosque - UAE itinerary
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi is a must in any UAE itinerary!

Abu Dhabi Day Trip

Our experience: We booked this highly-rated day tour and I can highly recommend it. It’s one of the most complete Abu Dhabi tours I could find.

It includes a visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Etihad Towers observation deck, and the Royal Palace, Qasr Al Watan.

For more information, the best tour options, and tips for planning a day trip to Abu Dhabi, please see our detailed guide via the link below.

LEARN MORE: Abu Dhabi Day Tour From Dubai

Dubai UAE itinerary - Abu Dhabi day trip
A day trip to Abu Dhabi is well worth it if you have some time to add it to your Dubai itinerary!

Days 1-4 of our recommended Dubai itinerary include most of the must-sees. But there are quite a few other attractions that are also very popular and considered ‘must do’. However, I find that a lot depends on who you are traveling with, what your interests are, and also on your budget.

Anyway, to help you plan your time, we highlight several of the most popular tourist attractions in Dubai on days 5-7 of this itinerary. We grouped them taking into account their location so that you can make the most out of your time. Take a look below!


Day 5 – planning info/tickets to book:

Dubai Miracle Garden and Global Village are located very close to each other and can be easily visited on the same day/evening. There are also tours/private transfers that can bring you to both places (in about 6 hours).

Good to know: The Miracle Garden is open from 9 AM until 9 PM (11 PM on weekends) so could be visited at any time. However, Global Village is only open from 4 PM (6 PM during Ramadan) until midnight (1 AM on weekends). Furthermore, Tuesdays are reserved for families and women.

TIP: You could spend a good part of this day at the pool/beach and only do sightseeing in the late afternoon/evening. Or, if you absolutely want to make the most out of your time, you could also visit the Dubai Butterfly Garden which is located just next to Miracle Garden.

Alternatively, families might enjoy a visit to IMG Worlds of Adventure, one of the largest indoor theme parks in the world. The tickets are pricey so if you opt for this, you’ll likely want to spend the whole day here.

Miracle Garden Dubai
Miracle Garden Dubai.

Miracle Garden

+- 1-2 HOURS.

Miracle Garden Dubai is a huge floral wonderland with over 150 million flowers. It boasts a breathtaking array of meticulously crafted floral displays, sculptures, castles, and all kinds of structures, all adorned with millions – yes, millions – of blooming flowers.

Some of their sculptures have won various Guinness World Records. You probably already get the vibe in the UAE – everything is big, bigger, the biggest… This impressive garden is no exception. They even have a flowery version of the Emirates A380 airbus, covered in more than 500,000 fresh flowers and plants. 

However, remember that you are in the middle of a desert so it’s difficult to keep most plants alive in a climate like this. That’s probably the reason why the overwhelming majority of flowers are petunias, in just a few different colors.

Good to know: Book tickets in advance and count about 1-2 hours for a visit here. The morning hours are the quietest, but if you want to visit Global Village as well, then it’s best to come in the afternoon and visit both places together.

Dubai Miracle Garden swans
Dubai Miracle Garden.

Global Village

+- 3-4 HOURS.

Global Village Dubai offers an immersive cultural experience taking you on a journey ‘around the world’. The name pretty much says it all – it’s a place where you can experience different cultures while exploring pavilions, each representing another country.

Over 90 countries are represented, showcasing their unique heritage, traditions, products, and traditional foods. From sampling diverse cuisines to shopping for handicrafts, clothing, and souvenirs from around the globe, there’s something for everyone. In addition, they also have live performances, cultural shows, carnival rides, etc.

Good to know: Global Village is one of the most affordable attractions in Dubai and regular tickets cost just a few bucks. However, this is just a ticket to get inside and you’ll have to pay extra for most of the attractions – a bit like visiting a country fair. Plan to spend at least 3-4 hours here.

TIP: Global Village is one of the most visited attractions in Dubai, popular with locals as well as international tourists. So avoid weekends and try to be at the entrance a bit before it opens because it quickly fills up. Friday and Saturday evenings can get crazy busy.

Global Village Dubai, UAE itinerary
Global Village Dubai.


Day 6 – planning info/tickets to book:

Alternative ideas for this day:

If you have a week in Dubai, we highly recommend visiting at least one of the water parks, especially if you are traveling with children or teenagers and there’s only that much sightseeing they can handle in the hot desert climate.

But no worries if you are not interested in spending a day on water slides, there are tons of other amazing things to do in and near Dubai. In that case, see our alternative suggestions above. For more info about waterparks – see below.

Lazy River at Atlantis Aquaventure water park - Dubai trip itinerary
Lazy River at Atlantis Aquaventure.

Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark & Lost Chambers Aquarium

There are several water parks in Dubai. By far the best and most popular is Aquaventure at Atlantis The Palm, the biggest water park in the world. With over 100 rides and attractions, Aquaventure has something to offer for the whole family. You can also meet dolphins and sea lions, and enjoy all kinds of water sports. In addition, you can visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium which is located just near the water park entrance.

Wild Wadi and LEGOLAND Water Park are also nice water parks. They are much smaller, with about 30 rides and attractions at Wild Wadi and about 20 at LEGOLAND.

These water parks are nice for families with younger kids and are incomparably less busy than Aquaventure. But if you want to experience the very best waterpark in Dubai, Aquaventure wins every time.

Good to know: You can spend the entire day at any of these water parks.

PRO TIP: Atlantis Aquaventure tickets are cheaper if booked online and over a week in advance. We recommend a combo ticket that includes entry to the Lost Chambers Aquarium (it’s open late in the evening so you can easily visit after you leave the water park). For more tips and helpful information for your visit, see our detailed guide via the link below.

LEARN MORE: Tips & Tricks for Visiting Atlantis Aquaventure

Lost Chambers Aquarium in Dubai
Lost Chambers Aquarium.


Day 7 – planning info/tickets to book:

On the last day of this itinerary, I want to highlight some additional experiences that we personally really enjoyed on a recent trip to Dubai. They are located not too far from each other in the northern part of the city (not too far from the airport) and could be done on the same day.

If you want to take it easy on your last day in Dubai, you could also just visit one or two of these attractions and spend the rest of the time chilling by the pool.

The two places that we recommend the most are Dubai Frame and AYA Universe. Our kids also LOVED iFly Dubai, but it’s located quite a bit further away and is probably also not for everyone’s interests. The Green Planet indoor rainforest is also amazing (and definitely not just for kids). You can find more info about each of these below.

Dubai itinerary - AYA Universe
AYA Universe.

Dubai Frame

+- 1-2 HOURS.

The Dubai Frame cannot be missed (quite literally). You will see this architectural landmark towering in the city skyline when driving around the city and from many other places. But if you want to visit it, you’ll need to allocate a few hours.

Looking like a gigantic picture frame, this iconic structure consists of two vertical towers connected by a glass-bottomed bridge. From its observation deck, you can enjoy panoramic 360° views of the city’s evolving skyline on one side and the historical old town on the other.

The views are ok but – in our opinion – not as good as from the other observation platforms which we mentioned earlier in this itinerary. Still, we found a visit here quite worth it, because the building itself is truly remarkable.

Good to know: Depending on how busy it is, you’ll need 1-2 hours for a visit. Be sure to book tickets online or you may not be able to enter at all (we saw a few disappointed families turned away at the entrance). Even with timed tickets, the queues are still long, especially in the afternoon. So if you want to visit without wasting too much time, I recommend booking an early morning time slot.

Dubai Frame - a must in any Dubai itinerary
Dubai Frame is very impressive and no pictures can do it justice. Don’t miss it!

AYA Universe

+- 1 HOUR.

One of the more recent attractions in Dubai, we stumbled upon AYA Universe by coincidence. And so glad we decided to visit because it became one of our favorite experiences in the city!

It’s difficult to describe this unique attraction. It’s like stepping into a dreamy world with captivating light displays and mesmerizing high-tech experiences. If anything, I could compare it to the worlds you see in Avatar movies. A colorful, fairytale-like universe that guarantees lots of positive emotions. Recommended!

AYA Universe is located inside WAFI City Mall. The interior of this shopping center is inspired by an Egyptian theme and is quite interesting to see as well.

Good to know: Count about 45 minutes for a visit here, an hour if you also want to walk around the Mall (it’s very small compared to most others in Dubai). Book your tickets online if you want to be able to visit AYA Universe at a specific time slot. There were just a few people when we arrived here in the morning but quickly got much busier. It’s a rather small facility and I think they cap the number of visitors that are allowed inside at the same time.

Dubai trip - AYA Universe
AYA Universe.

iFly Dubai

+- 1 HOUR.

iFly Dubai is an indoor skydiving center located in Mirdif City Centre Mall. This is your chance to experience skydiving in a safe and controlled environment. Btw, they have the real thing in Dubai too – see skydiving tours here.

Before you start, you get a short training session explaining some basic techniques. The regular experience includes two 1-minute flights. It may not sound like much, but they say that when you leap from a plane when actually skydiving, the free-fall time is even shorter than a minute.

Good to know: They work with time slots and allow about 10 people per half an hour, so it’s best to book in advance. iFly Dubai says that it’s suitable for all ages. Most people in our group were children and teens, but also a few adults. Count about an hour for the whole experience.

Despite the name, City Centre Mirdif Mall is not located in the center at all. It’s actually quite a drive from most other attractions in Dubai (about 15-20 minutes from Dubai Frame or AYA Universe). This shopping center is quite big and has many nice restaurants, so you can also have lunch here.

iFly Dubai indoor skydiving experience
iFly Dubai indoor skydiving experience.

The Green Planet

+- 2 HOURS.

The Green Planet is an indoor rainforest featuring several thousand tropical plants and a variety of birds and animals freely roaming inside. If you’ve ever been to a rainforest in Costa Rica, the plants and the animals you can see here are similar.

The Green Planet has several sloths, squirrel monkeys, and all kinds of reptiles. You can also visit a bat cave, see all kinds of colorful birds, and admire the world’s largest man-made and life-sustaining tree.

It’s particularly nice for families with children but is very enjoyable for adults as well. Recommended.

Good to know: The Green Planet is located next to the City Walk Mall in the center, not far from the Dubai Mall area. You can get tickets online. Plan about 2 hours for a visit. The Green Planet closes at 6 PM (much earlier than most other attractions), so keep this in mind when deciding which places to visit on this day and in which order.

Toucan at the Green Planet Dubai
Toucan at the Green Planet Dubai.

So, this sums up our recommended Dubai itinerary. As you can see, there’s A LOT to experience in Dubai and a week will fly by before you know it.

The nice thing about planning a trip to Dubai is that it has such a wide variety of activities and attractions allowing you to personalize your trip and find something that everyone in your group/family will enjoy.

I hope that our suggested itinerary gives you some inspiration on what to see and do in Dubai and helps you plan a perfect holiday.

READ ALSO: What to Wear in Dubai

More info & travel inspiration for Dubai:

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Dubai UAE itinerary for 7 days
How to see the best of Dubai in one week - Dubai itinerary and top places to visit

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