Dubai is a unique city; record-breaking architecture stands side-by-side with traditional, atmospheric quarters. There are manmade islands so huge that they can be seen from the space station. The serene desert is just a few miles away from the bustling, brilliantly-lit city which never sleeps. If you have 4 days in Dubai, you have plenty of time to enjoy a variety of attractions and activities. Let’s map out a 4-day itinerary for you in Dubai, and show you all the fabulous things in store for you when you get there!
Day 1: Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall and Dubai Fountain, Dhow Cruise
- Burj Khalifa: Standing at a majestic height of 828 metres, the Burj Khalifa is the unchallenged tallest tower in the world. On a clear day, the view from the 124th floor’s observation deck is totally stunning. Telescopes are mounted at intervals to allow you a sharper glimpse at landmarks. If you want, you can also sign up for the view from the 148th floor’s observatory deck. Feel like splurging? Enjoy a meal in the clouds, at At.mosphere on level 122. The best treat you’ll enjoy in your 4 days in Dubai.
- The Dubai Mall: The Dubai Mall has 1200+ retail outlets, including high-end designer labels such as YSL and Dior. The food court has a 150 eateries; don’t miss out on the other highlights – the Dubai Aquarium, the Dubai Ice Rink, and the 22-screen multiplex Reel Cinemas in the complex.
- The Dubai Fountain: The Dubai Fountain throws up jets of water to a height of 150 metres in the air. The beautifully- illuminated, multi-coloured jets of water sway in time to world musical numbers. It’s one of the most popular shows in Dubai.
- Dhow Cruise: In the evening, take a relaxed dhow cruise on Dubai’s waters – it’ll be a cruise like none other you’ve experienced. For one thing, the dhow is a vessel unique to the Middle East. The cruise dhow is beautifully renovated, glass surrounded, brilliantly lit up and decorated. For another, you have a choice of cruising on the Dubai Marina, the Dubai Creek or the Dubai Canal, all three of them offering delightful views of the city.
Day 2: Palm Jumeirah, JBR, Kite Beach and Dubai Marina
- Palm Jumeirah: Palm Jumeirah is a palm tree-shaped triumph of an artificial island, one of the largest in the world. The Palm has an endless array of high-end hotels, including names such as the Fairmont, One&Only, Waldorf Astoria, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and Atlantis, The Palm.
- Dubai Marina: The Dubai Marina is the world’s largest man-made marina. Here you’ll find some of the most spectacular architecture in Dubai. Admire the superyachts and the super cars lined up at the marina, and the shopping scene and the vibrant buzz of the place.
- Kite Beach: Towards the afternoon, make your way to Dubai’s most popular beach – Kite Beach. It’s the perfect place to enjoy some cool water sports – kite surfing, surfing, kayaking, and much more. The beach is lined with cafes and restaurants, and there’s a skate park where bikers and skaters fly by at speeds. Kite Beach is full of activity, with an incredible view of the Burj Al Arab to keep you entranced.
- JBR Walk and Beach: Continue your sightseeing on to JBR Walk and Beach, a fabulous spot for dining, shopping and entertainment. If you’re in Dubai over a weekend, do check out some of the nightclubs in the area, where guest DJs pump out great tunes. There’s also a wonderful water park and an open-air cinema. Don’t forget to include JBR In your 4 days Dubai itinerary.
Day 3: Dubai Creek, Al Fahidi, Dubai Canal and the Desert
- Dubai Creek: The Dubai Creek is the true heart of Dubai. The Creek is an old saltwater estuary, the site where Bani Yas tribe originally came from. Explore the Dubai Creek on the ancient wooden vessel, the abra, and check out the incredible architecture on both sides of the creek. On one side of the creek is Bur Dubai, home to spice, gold and textile souqs. On the other side is Deira, where you’ll find stalls of carpets, pashmina shawls and more gold. You’ll find the Dubai Museum as well here.
- Al Fahidi: Get off at Bur Dubai again and stroll through the oldest neighbourhood in Dubai, the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. You’ll enjoy a nostalgic view of a bygone era here, through the maze of winding alleys filled with traditional wind towers and sand houses. Visit the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding and enjoy a guided historical tour.
- Dubai Canal: After you’re done with the historical tour, it’s time to enjoy the Dubai Water Canal, a 3.2km long waterway that extends from the Dubai Creek and dumps in the Arabian Gulf. Dubai Canal creates 80,000 square meters of waterfront that comes with a new running track, cycling path, a beautiful waterfall, and some brand hotels sporting marvellous architecture.
- The Desert: As it gets dark, it’s time to depart on an overnight desert safari. The desert is less than 20 minutes away from Downtown Dubai. Here you can enjoy off-roading, quad biking and sandboarding and camel riding. Scintillating entertainment awaits you, such as henna tattooing, belly dancing and Tanura dancing. Enjoy a wonderful barbecue dinner and spend the night under the stars. It’s one of the most popular things to do in Dubai.
Day 4: Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Frame, Dubai Opera, Dubai Safari
- Madinat Jumeirah: The ‘City of Jumeirah’ is built to resemble an ancient citadel. Within it you’ll find traditionally built private enclaves, luxury hotels, the world-class Talise Spa, Souq Madinat Souk, Madinat Theatre and several lounges and restaurants. Madinat Jumeirah is cut through with canals just like Venice and you can explore them on traditional wooden abras to better appreciate the architecture.
- Dubai Frame: Located in Dubai’s Zabeel Park, the Dubai Frame offers incredible panoramic views from a height of 150 meters. A state-of-the-art clear glass bridge connects the two towers of the Frame to create a picture frame. It’s the best place for a fabulous view of old Dubai and new Dubai from a single viewpoint.
- Dubai Safari Park: Enjoy the Al Warqa Dubai Safari and feast your eyes on 2,500 animals collected from all over the world, and located in four themed sections: the Arabian, Asian, African and Safari Village. The safari has two unbeatable attractions – solar-powered driving vehicles and a drive-through crocodile exhibit that’s the first in the world.
- Dubai Opera: Towards evening, take a break for some culture at the Dubai Opera. If you’ve been to London’s West End or Manhattan’s Broadway, you’ll love the Dubai Opera, with its views of the Dubai Fountain. Shaped like the Arabian Dhow, the Dubai Opera’s stage can be quickly converted to a theatre, hall or concert hall.
There’s more to Dubai than we’ve been able to put down here, specifically the incredible theme parks – Dubai Parks and Resorts, IMG Worlds of Adventure, White Water Wadi Water Park and many others. However, it’ll take you more than 4 days to enjoy all of Dubai – so plan for a longer trip!
Thank you to Neha from Dubia Wikia for this excellent contributor post!