Dubai is a great destination to have a lovely time as a solo traveler or with your family and friends. However, even if you have only a day in Dubai to spend, you have numerous options to explore. Therefore, we have come up with a short one-day in Dubai itinerary that will be helpful for you while planning your stopover in Dubai.
A. Interesting Facts About Dubai
Are you on a day trip to Dubai? Well, you are in for a treat — a treat to all your senses. Here is a quick look over its jaw-dropping facts.
- Burj Khalifa, soaring at 828 meters (2,717 feet), holds the title of the tallest building in the world.
- It has a man-made archipelago shaped like a palm tree and is the largest artificial island in the world.
- Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, is home to over 1200 stores, including the biggest brands. It is also home to the largest aquarium that holds 10-million litre tank and 33,000 sea creatures.
- Dubai Miracle Garden is a breathtaking display of over 150 million flowers arranged in stunning floral sculptures.
- Dubai police boast a fleet of luxury cars, including Lamborghinis and Bugattis.
B. How to Spend 24 Hours in Dubai?
Dubai is a glamorous city with landmarks packed next to each other. For someone who is in Dubai for 1 day, this guide will save you from all the sweat and tears of researching. You would need to tick off only the major attractions. So, catering to all interests, here is the best 1-day itinerary in Dubai. Don’t forget to get up crack of the dawn.
Day 1: Morning (Atlantis the Palm)
Early morning hot air balloon ride
If you have an early morning in Dubai, your one day in Dubai should start with this adventurous hot air balloon ride. Many operators offer pickup and drop to the launch site at dawn. It’s a great feeling gliding past the golden dunes and watching the sunrise from the golden dunes making it red. Flying at the height of the falcon is something you could have only seen in your dreams. After the ride, enjoy a fresh breakfast before being dropped back at the hotel—a magnificent way to start your day in Dubai.
Stop at the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark
After a refreshing hot air balloon ride, you should stop at the Atlantis Aquaventure Waterpark. If you start your one day in Dubai post 9 am, then head straight to this amazing destination. With its private beach, you can enjoy the sun’s warmth or try out the incredible waterslides in the Waterpark. One of the coolest waterparks in the world has enough indulgences for all ages. So, whether you are alone or with your family and friends, this will surely enthrall you with its offerings.
Explore the Lost Chambers Aquarium
The Atlantis Palm Resort houses an underwater world in ten different areas. You can get an up-close encounter with different marine species like stingrays, piranhas, jellyfish, sharks, and other marine residents. You can try scuba diving with the marine species and even participate in a live feeding show in the largest open-air marine habitat. Several tour operators can include this destination in their one-day Dubai itinerary planned for you.
Day 1: Afternoon (Mall of the Emirates & Old Dubai)
Break for lunch
Explore the various eateries in the Mall of the Emirates or venture out for some delicious local treats from the ethnic Dubai cuisine in a food court or café. In addition, several joints are offering global cuisines, so select anyone as per your preference.
Head to the Ski Dubai
Welcome to the largest indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai. This spectacular destination is a great recipe to beat the extreme temperatures. Spend your entire energy skiing on one of the five slopes, toboggan runs, and sled races. You can even take ski learning lessons from the pro members. You can also enjoy a session interacting with the penguins housed inside or trying your free skills on the icy playground. Well, Dubai is also home to many outdoor activities, so you can enjoy the thrill both ways.
Explore the Dubai Creek
Old Dubai offers a traditional essence unique to the glitzy and glamorous modern Dubai city. Try out the traditional Abra, a wooden dhow boat ride where you can browse the Deira region’s major highlights. In addition, you can visit the souks to indulge in some shopping guilt or cross over to the Bur Dubai side. You can take a better view as you hop on a dhow cruise in Dubai Creek and Dubai Marina.
Browse through the Dubai Souks
The Dubai Souks offers a perfect opportunity to indulge in some shopping. We recommend you browse through the souks even though you don’t purchase anything. It’s a wonderful feeling getting to see expensive gold, heavy decorative metals, herbs, spices, textiles, handicrafts, and much more within one destination. If you are buying something, do remember to haggle as it can give you a good deal. You will enjoy exploring this wonderful destination as part of your one-day Dubai itinerary.
Day 1: Evening (Downtown Dubai)
Head to the Dubai Mall
If you avoid purchasing something in the souks, you will find it hard to skip your shopping guilt when you head to the Dubai Mall. A fascinating way to explore Dubai in a day. With more than 1200+ retail outlets, several restaurants, a multiplex movie theatre, an indoor ice-skating rink, and plenty of adventurous activities to explore. Explore each corner of the four levels in the Dubai Mall as each retail outlet housed here has a unique offering. Then, grab a quick bite to break down your shopping spree.
Check out the beautiful Dubai Fountains
The dancing fountain is a perfect way to relax your mind and body after exploring the various offerings in the Dubai Mall. The biggest choreographed fountains spray water jets to heights of up to 140 meters at the onset of light and music set to popular global and Arabic hits. Try to grab a spot near the Souk Al Bahar bridge for the best view. One activity that should be on your travel itinerary whenever you plan to explore the best of Dubai in a day.
Explore the tallest observation deck
Well, the mighty Burj Khalifa needs no introduction. Zooming up 148 floors in the fastest elevator is an experience. Explore more about the Burj Khalifa and the concept and story behind building the tallest building worldwide. There are projections and video interactions that make this experience an eventful one. Once you reach the 148th floor, enjoy sweeping views of the entire Dubai landscape as it lights up post-sunset. It’s a sight to witness as Dubai city comes to life. Explore the daring attractions from a bird-eye view. The one-click moment is on the cards as you don’t get to witness the world at such heights daily—one of the perfect ways to bid farewell to your one-day in Dubai itinerary.
Tip: Love the sunset of Dubai? Sail on the sunset dhow cruise Dubai in the Marina location. Pre-book to save time.
C.Tips for One Day in Dubai
- Pack cash for easy and quick exchange in transport or at shops.
- Book tickets for the Burj Khalifa, Aquaventure, and desert safari to avoid queues.
- Carry comfortable shoes and sunscreen, especially during the day.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water and take breaks in the shade.
- If you’re shopping in the souks, be prepared to haggle for the best price.
- Respect local customs and dress modestly.
- If you’re visiting during Ramadan, be aware that many restaurants and cafes will be closed during the day.
- While English is widely spoken in Dubai, learning a few basic Arabic phrases will go a long way with the locals.
D. How To Save Time in Travelling On 1-Day Trip in Dubai?
Dubai is a petite city, but it has plenty of attractions and things to do. With a variety of options to suit your needs and budget, getting around Dubai in 1-day is a breeze. Here is an overview of Dubai’s efficient public and private transport network system:
Choose public transportation: Use public transportation, such as Dubai Metro, that connects important attractions. You can easily reach Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai Marina on the metro. In cases you do not get the metro lines, you can hop on Dubai Trams that run through Jumeirah and Marina.
Buy Nol Card: To save time at every stop, buy a Nol card and recharge it whenever needed. This rechargeable card provides convenient access to public transportation like the metro, buses, and trams.
Take the HOHO Bus: Big Bus Hop on Hop Off Tour in Dubai is also a great alternative to take a quick round of Dubai’s top attractions in 1 day without getting exhausted.
Get a private taxi: You can also hire a taxi or rent a car to explore the areas at your own pace.
Plan your itinerary: Research your destination and create a detailed itinerary, prioritizing must-see attractions and activities. This helps avoid wasting time wandering aimlessly.
Use technology: Download offline maps and translation apps to navigate efficiently. Use travel apps to manage bookings, find restaurants, and access real-time information.
E. Where to Stay for a Short Trip in Dubai?
Even though you have a day to visit Dubai, it is important to get a good hotel to hit the bed and take a rest. There is a lineup of hotels in the city, depending on your budget and location. If you are set to roam in Old Dubai, some of the best hotels in Dubai are:
- Carlton Dubai Creek Hotel
- Arabian Boutique Hotel
- Radisson Blu Hotel
- Al Seef Heritage Hotel Dubai
- Riveira Hotel Dubai
For someone, who is looking to stay in Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai or the city centre, can take a look at the following hotels:
- Sofitel Dubai Downtown
- Rosewood Dubai
- Holiday Inn Express Dubai
- W Dubai -The Palm
- City Premiere Deluxe Apartments
F. Where to Eat in Dubai on a Day Trip?
With its diverse culinary scene influenced by global flavors and local traditions, Dubai offers a plethora of dining options to tantalize your taste buds. To narrow down your choices, here are the best recommendations for places to eat in Dubai:
- If you are in Dubai to soak in its unparalleled luxury and try its finest dining, some of the most exquisite restaurants in Dubai are Pierchic, Maine Oyster Bar & Grill, Ossiano, and Takihasa.
- To satiate your stomach with local flavours, dig into the street eats. Discover authentic Emirati cuisine at Al Mallah Restaurant in Deira and Ravi Restaurant, known for its delicious and affordable dishes like machboos (spiced meat and rice) and luqaimat (sweet dumplings).
- There are numerous unique restaurants in Dubai offering waterfront views and cruise dinner on dhow.
Is Dubai worth visiting for one day?
What should I wear for one day in Dubai?
Do I need a visa for 1-day in Dubai?
What are the must-see places in one day in Dubai?
How can I travel between attractions in 1-day trip?
What is the life-saving tip for visiting Dubai in 1 day?
Dubai’s vibrant and buzzing sights make you feel that no matter how many days you spend, you will never be able to uncover Dubai completely. There is glitz and glamour, and it keeps getting added with each passing season. No matter the purpose of your trip, discovering Dubai in a day will be a magical experience. Don’t forget to learn about etiquette in Dubai.