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Top 16 of the Best Places to Visit in Dubai

The magnificent city of Dubai is like something out of a fairy tale – specifically, one of the thousand and one tales of the Arabian Nights that the beautiful Scheherazade narrated to the Sultan. Perhaps all the stories find a home in the land of Dubai – the stunning desert landscape of old has been transformed into a dazzling ultramodern oasis with dozens of tourist attractions. And yet there are parts of the city that retain their old and exalted heritage. Find out the best time to visit sweltering Dubai for all the Emirati experiences you want to mark off your checklist.

In Dubai you can find everything from age old mosques, beautiful beaches, bustling markets and some of the most impressive feats of modern architecture – the tallest building in the world is here and so is the wonder that is Palm Jumeirah – the palm shaped manmade island that can be viewed from space. While five days may seem too little to immerse yourself in this wonderland, we have created an itinerary that allows you to sample all these diverse sides of Dubai in the short span of time. Check it out and customize it to make it your own! You never quite run out of things to do and places to thoroughly explore in Dubai

Day 1

Jumeirah Mosque

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Start your Dubai trip by visiting one of the oldest and grandest places of worship in the Emirates. Jumeirah Mosque is the only mosque in Dubai that allows entry to non-Muslim visitors. Comprehensive tours delving into the history and cultural significance of the mosque are arranged by the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding on Thursdays and Saturdays at 9.45 am. The tour takes around two hours to complete.

Location: Jumeirah Beach Road, Jumeirah 1 – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: two hours.

Dubai Aquarium

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Home to more than 33,000 exotic fish and aquatic creatures, Dubai Aquarium is truly a site of wonders. You can use an underwater cage to dive amongst the 300 sharks that the aquarium houses, or walk through the 48 meter long glass tunnel while the sea creatures swim frolic around you in full glory.

Location: Ground & Level 2, The Dubai Mall – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 3 hours. Tickets to be booked in advance.  

Dubai Mall

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Dubai Mall is where the aquarium is housed, and it has a lot more to offer apart from the exotic marine life. This is the world’s largest mall in terms of area, with over 1200 outlets that will make the shopaholic within you jump with joy. A variety of restaurants housed within the mall serve delicious fare while you drown in shopper’s delight.

Location: Financial Center Road – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: two hours

Burj Khalifa

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End your first day in Dubai with one of the great wonders of the modern world. The Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building at a stunning height of 828 meters, and you can access its observation deck with pre-booked tickets to get a view of Dubai from within the clouds. Do not miss the Dubai fountain show – the world’s largest musical fountain located at the Burj Khalifa lake.  

Location:  1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: Three hours including the fountain show. Tickets have to be booked separately for the observation deck and the fountain.

Day 2

Dubai Gold Souk

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Open your eyes to the second day in Dubai with the unmatched opulence that the ‘golden city’ is known for. The Dubai Gold Souk in Deira is one of the oldest and largest gold markets in the world. You will be stunned by the variety of shades that gold is produced in, as well as the master craftsmanship the Emirati jewellers are world-renowned for.

(Also read: Your Ultimate Guide to Gold Shopping in Dubai)

Location: Deira, Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 2 hours

Dubai Spice Souk

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Also called the grand souk, you will reach this place even if you close your eyes and follow your nose. Located right adjacent to the gold souk, the spice souk is a network of narrow covered lanes spilling with shops selling an unimaginable variety of spices. Depending upon your time and interest, you can visit the nearby souks or markets, namely the textile souk, fish souk or perfume souk.

(Also read: 10 Best Things to buy in Dubai)

Location: Deira, Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 1.5 hours

Al Bastakiyah

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This is the heart of old Dubai, where you can see the signs of history spanning centuries. Renamed the Al Fahidi Historic District in 2012, Bastakiah-Al Bastakiah is the old-quarters that has been preserved and restored to its pristine ancient glory. Lovers of architecture will fawn over the tall minarets, traditional wind towers and narrow winding lanes. In here you will also find some marvellous contemporary spaces like the XVA Art Gallery and the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Understanding.

Location: Al Hamriya, Bur Dubai – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 3 hours


Day 3

Heritage and Diving Village

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Located in the Al Shindagha Historical Neighbourhood near the Dubai Creek, the Diving Village is a recreation of an Emirati village that highlights the traditional craft of pearl diving. Here you will find documentation of the long history of pearl diving off the gulf coast. Pearl diving was the prime occupation of these precincts in ancient times, and divers often risked their lives to obtain the most beautiful pearls from the sea. Catch a ride on an Abra wooden boat and break bread at the authentic restaurants over here to experience the traditional Arab way of life.

(Also read: The Best Street Food to try in Dubai)

Location: Al Shindagha Road, Al Shindagha, Bur Dubai – Dubai

Estimated Visit Duration: 3 hours

Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House

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The home of the former ruler of Dubai has now been converted into a museum and a heritage site. It comes with an unmatched view of the Dubai Creek. This palatial home was built in 1896 and is one of the few perfect examples of a traditional courtyard home. It houses some of the most magnificent examples of Islamic art in the form of intricate carvings and frescoes. The museum within the house holds some of the most significant artefacts in the history of Dubai that must not be missed.

Location: Al Shindagha, Bur Dubai – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 1.5 hours

Overnight Desert Safari 

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After a lesson in history comes a time for a dose of adventure. You will be picked up for your desert safari from your hotel in the afternoon, and you can spend the rest of your day dune bashing and sandboarding in the vast desert around the city. As the night falls, you will be led to a pristine oasis and served a sumptuous barbeque, while belly dancers and fire dancers entertain you through the night. You will be dropped back to your hotel at early morning. Lovebirds especially cherish their time together on an overnight desert safari!
(Also read: The Ultimate Dubai Nightlife Guide)

Location: Liwa desert / Al Faya desert

Estimated visit duration: Full day through to the next morning.


Day 4

Dubai Museum at Al Fahidi Fort

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The oldest building in the city, Al Fahidi fort was built in 1787. For a long time, it was the primary seat of power and the house of the Emir of Dubai. Today the fort has been converted into a museum outlining the long history of Dubai that dates as far back as 4000 years ago. Catch the multimedia light show that tells you the story of the transformation of Dubai from a simple trading port to a mega city.

Location: Al Fahidi Street، Opp. Grand Mosque – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 2 hours

Ski Dubai

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The time for adventure is back again, except this time it is in the most unexpected locale. Ski Dubai housed within the Mall of the Emirates gives you the thrilling experience of snow within the desert. Spend the afternoon making snowmen or being chased by the giant snowball or even trying some of your favourite stunts with a snowboard!

Location: Mall of the Emirates – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 2 hours

Mall of the Emirates

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After all that adrenaline, its time to pamper yourself. The one of its kind Mall of the Emirates houses some of the most sought after brands and boutiques within its walls. The three storey mall is large enough to accommodate 700 shops, Ski Dubai, a 14 screen multiplex and a host of other adventure rides.
(Also check: Best Hotels near Mall of the Emirates)

Location: Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 3 hours


Day 5

Burj Al Arab

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Start your last day in Dubai with a visit to its most iconic structure. The sail shaped Burj Al Arab is a homage to the long history of seafaring that has made Dubai the city that it is. The Burj Al Arab is located on a man made island across Jumeirah Beach, which is a perfect spot for a photo-op with one of the world’s most well-recognized buildings!

Location: Jumeirah Beach Road, Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 45 mins

Wild Wadi Waterpark

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After hanging out at the Burj Al Arab, head over to the nearby Wadi Wadi Waterpark for a cooldown from the sweltering heat. The water park is actually based on the story of Juha from the Arabian Nights, and all the 30 exhilarating rides move the narrative of Juha forward. Rides like the Burj Surj, Master Blasters, Tantrum Alley and Action River are sure to get your heart pumping!

Location: Jumeirah Street, Opp. Burj Al Arab، Jumeirah 2 – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 2 hours

Madinat Jumeirah

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End your trip with a visit to the decadent Madinat Jumeirah located near the palm shaped man-made island that can be viewed from space. Madinat Jumeirah is a resort complex consisting of fine dining restaurants, bars, spas and a private beach. The complex is interconnected with 3 kilometer long waterways that can be traversed by boat, giving you a feel of Venice in Dubai. We recommend a rejuvenating Turkish spa to mark the end of your memorable holiday.

Location: 6 King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud St – Dubai

Estimated visit duration: 2 hours

Sound like the perfect holiday? Get in touch with TripFactory today to book your customized Dubai holiday package

Find out: Everything You Need To Know About Dubai Tourist Visa

9 Best Places to Stay in Dubai

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