Two Days in Dubai: The Perfect Itinerary

Two days in Dubai; well, this seems to be quite a less amount of time in one of the Middle East’s most incredible cities. But, part of Dubai’s appeal and fame is in its accessibility; with its most amazing attractions and top experiences easily approachable. This indicates that you can explore as much as you want and get an authentic flavor of the city in 48 hours. The following travel program, along with some important tips and suggestions, are especially for those looking for top things to do in Dubai in 2 days. 

Dubai Fast Facts

  • Location significance: The UAE’s second largest and the most popular city
  • Religion:Islam 
  • Ruler: HH Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
  • Famous for: Stunning skyscrapers, unequalled architecture, massive shopping options, and jaw-dropping leisure and entertainment attractions 
  • Currency:UAE Dirham (AED)
  • Weather:Hot desert climate with pleasant winters (November to March) and extremely hot summers (June to September)
  • Packing Essentials:Comfortable modest clothing, hats, sunglasses, and a good quality pair of shoes 
  • Travel Essentials: UAE visa (only if you’re not eligible for a visa-free entry or visa on arrival). Also Ok to Board (applicable to visitors from Asian subcontinent)
  • Best Time to Visit
    • For Outdoors & Seasonal Attractions:                                    October to March 
    • Looking for exciting events and festivities:                       December to February 
    • Would rather enjoy a pleasant but cost effective travel:                   March to June 
    • For budget travel with unbelievable deals:         July to September 

Where To Stay In Dubai for two days?

Dubai is where you’ll find accommodation for every taste and preference. Whether you seek some insane kind of luxuries or deeply conscious about your pocket or somewhere in between; this city would never disappoint you. Accommodations such as ; the iconic Burj Al Arab, Atlantis, The Palm, Palazzo Versace Dubai, and Armani Hotel Dubai would exceed your imaginations. But go for one of it only if it’s absolutely alright for you to blow up your wallet. 

If it’s a sea-facing view or mid-range ones you’re after, you’ll plenty of them across Dubai Marina, JBR regions. There is a variety of three-star and four-star hotels in Bur Dubai and Deira areas ideal for budget travelers. Citymax Hotel, Ibis Deira City Centre, and Rose Garden Hotel Apartments are just a few to mention. Whenever you plan to visit or wherever you choose to stay, make sure that you book your accommodations in advance for maximum savings. 

Dining In Dubai 

Dubai is a true cultural and culinary melting pot with nationals of 200 countries calling this city their second home. It therefore goes without saying that you’ll get to dine here whatever your taste buds crave for and that too in its most authentic form. What’s more fascinating is that you’ll find here delights suitable for every pocket. So it doesn’t matter if you prefer to dine on the run, in a luxurious ambience or even in the sky. You’ll find all here. 

You can choose to grab a quick bite from the extensive food courts within the malls ; or just sit down for a pleasant al alfresco dining at one of the city’s many outdoor cafes / restaurants. Or head to a dreamy setting with the most sumptuous delights and the best of views in the surroundings. Dubai’s street food scene is equally alluring. And make sure to relish some of the local specialties such as Shawarma, Falafel etc. They are super yum and exceptionally affordable too. 

How To Get Around Dubai? 

There are two options: private transfers and public transport. If convenience and comfortability are central to your Dubai holidays, opt for private transfers with driver. You can choose to drive your own, but in this case, you should mandatorily bring your international driving license. As for public transport, it includes the fastest and one of its kind Dubai Metro, public buses, ferries, and cabs. They all are maintained by Dubai’s RTA (Road and Transport Authority) and are extremely reasonable too.

Barring cabs, all other public transports don’t accept cash and hence you’ll need a NOL card to make payment. You can get it from the strategically placed vending machines across the airport or public place. You can choose from red, silver or gold NOL cards. For your brief visit in Dubai, a red card will be suffice; it’s valid for single use only. But if you’re going to use it extensively, make sure that you get a full day Red Ticket pass which allows you for unlimited rides at a nominal charge. 

Two Days in Dubai Itinerary 

So now let’s see how to spend your perfect two days in Dubai! 

Day One in Dubai – Al Bastakiya Quarter, Palm Jumeirah and Downtown Dubai 

Al Bastakiya Quarter 

Begin your holiday with a step back! After breakfast, make a visit to Al Bastakiya Quarter or Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. You’ll see an altogether different side of Dubai as you arrive here. Some classic art installations, charming museums and several elegant structures from a bygone era make this remarkably preserved part of Old Dubai worth a visit. If you’ve enough time, be sure to spend some time at the region’s art cafes and museums. Mainly Coffee Museum, Sheikh Muhammad Center for Cultural Understanding, and Arabian Tea House Café. 

Palm Jumeirah 

Next, set out to discover the stunning structures, attractions and experiences littered across the world-famous Palm Jumeirah, which takes after a giant palm tree adorned by a crescent on its top. It’s up to you whether you wish to do it in detail or get more specific by limiting it to one or more activities / attractions. Drive around this man-made island. Catch the best views over sea from the waterfront Boardwalk. Visit Aquaventure Water Park (and other attractions at Atlantis, The Palm). And add some activities such as the extreme Sky Dive. Or some exhilarating water activities such as flyboarding, jet skiing etc. Some of the city’s iconic sights ; like Burj Al Arab, Madinat Jumeirah, Jumeirah Beach, and Jumeirah Mosque ; are just a few blocks from here. 

Downtown Dubai – Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Souk Al Bahar and Dubai Fountain Show 

A Dubai trip remains unfinished without experiencing one of its best! Downtown Dubai is the heart of modern Dubai; it’s so vast, exquisite, and sprawling that you should see this to believe it. Head straight here to the colossal Dubai Mall where you can walk around its 1200 outlets, dine on the go (with some 200 dining options), and check out Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Dubai Ice Rink, and VR Park, among its many other highlights. 

Continue to Burj Khalifa whose access is via Dubai Mall itself. A climb atop its observation deck gives you the most breathtaking views over Dubai’s cityscape and beyond. Time your visit here in such a way to catch the sunset views from an unrivaled sky-high viewpoint. Down again, wander the traditional style Souk Al Bahar and click some fantastic pictures against the palatial style background of Palace Downtown Hotel. 

Before you end your first day, watch the Dubai Fountain Show. This extravaganza of water and light blow you away with its well synchronized water moves in sync to western or Bollywood music in the backdrop. 

Day Two in Dubai – Desert Safari, Ski Dubai, Shopping at Souks, and Dhow Cruise 

Desert Safari / Hot Air Balloon Ride 

Start your day by going on an early morning desert safari. It not only journeys you to the city’s untouched part but also gives you a slice of Old Arabia. However, a desert safari tour Dubaijust isn’t about the Emirati past and Bedouin culture; it’s where you can get wild with desert sands on a 4X4 dune bash, quad biking, camel ride, sandboarding etc. If you really want to notch it up, consider a hot air balloon ride over the delicate and beautifully preserved Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve (DDCR.) Whether you choose a standard morning safari or one with hot air balloon ride, make it a point to book it in advance to save both time and money. 

Ski Dubai 

What’s a Dubai trip without visiting one of its world-class theme parks? If you don’t have time to cover all, visit at least Ski Dubai. This snow-themed resort with its varying levels of ski slopes and a massive snow park is simply unmissable. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, tobogganing and all your favorite snow activities to your heart’s content. Before you leave, sip hot chocolate at its mountain themed café. You’ll find this uber cool spot inside Mall of the Emirates.  

Shopping at Souks 

Visiting colossal malls and shopping centers is an inescapable part of any Dubai holiday. Though its traditional Arabian bazaars or souks in Bur Dubai and Deira regions are equally charming. As you’ve already got a taste of Dubai’s mall culture, don’t miss its souks, especially the Gold Souk. Its narrow labyrinths squeezed in with an endless array of gold shops are definite to leave you in awe. If time permits, travel to other souks such as Textile Souk, Spice Souk and Perfume Souk. They all give you a slice of Dubai’s age-old trade scenario while allowing you to purchase some amazing merchandise at the lowest possible rates (and don’t hesitate to bargain for this). 

Dhow Cruise 

After all actions, sightseeing and fun shopping, give a calm and relaxed end to your Dubai holiday with a tranquil dhow cruise. The two-hour cruise will sail you down the historical Dubai Creek as you take in the illuminated skyline from water. Multi-course buffet dining, traditional entertainment and unlimited refreshments make this cruise extra special. To avoid any hassle, make sure that you pre-book your cruise and add transfers if necessary.

Conclusion of your two days in Dubai

So that’s a swift tour of Dubai! Yes, two days is definitely not enough to see the whole of what Dubai has to offer. But following this travel program would surely give you some ideas and inspirations to discover the best of Dubai in limited time. 

Written by Neha from Dubai Wikia, check out her blog for more on Dubai


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