One Day In Dubai – Best Things To Do In Dubai

If you have just one day to spend in Dubai, where all would you go and what all would you prioritise in your to-do list? Dubai is like the Aladdin’s cave – filled with incredible treasures. You’ll want to experience all of it, but you’re faced with time constraints. So allow us to put together a one-day itinerary in Dubai for you, taking into consideration the best and the absolute not-to-miss attractions and activities. You can be sure we’ll squeeze the very best of Dubai within your one day. So come on, get ready to enjoy your one day in Dubai, with our expert itinerary!

Early Morning Balloon Ride

Begin your day with an early morning, pre-sunrise balloon ride over the desert. As you float thousands of feet above the desert floor, you’ll enjoy the most incredible views all around, for miles. Endless dun-coloured dunes stretching for miles on every side, as far as the eye can see. Watch an amazing sunrise from your balloon, as the sun peaks out shyly from the eastern horizon, spreading its orange glow over the desert in spikes of golden rays. It’s the most incredible experience in the world.

Morning Desert Safari

You don’t have to say goodbye to the desert when it’s time for your balloon ride to end. All good things come to an end, and so will your balloon ride, but hey, there’s a morning desert safari waiting for you! Since you’re already in the desert, you won’t need to be picked up and driven to the desert. Begin your morning safari with some rigorous dune bashing and sand boarding. If you like, you can grab a quad bike and roar away on the dry desert wadis. Camel riding is part of the safari too, so get on to the lumpy back of your chosen camel and have some nomadic fun. Take off your shoes and feel the smooth crystals of the desert sands under your toes. Lie down on the sides of a dune and feel the warmth of the sun heat up your skin. It’s still morning, and the sun is not at its zenith yet – the perfect time for a bit of sun bathing on the dunes. The morning desert safari will be the best part of your one day in Dubai itinerary.

Noon – A Taste Of The Burj Khalifa

Once your desert safari is over, you’ll be back at your hotel to freshen up and then it’s time to pay homage to the incredible Burj Khalifa. Enjoy the multimedia presentation on the ground floor of the Burj which showcases Dubai’s progress from being a pearl diving village to the mega tourist destination it is today. Then get on the lift and go up to the 125th floor for the At The Top experience. There are two observatory decks – one on the 125th floor and one on the 148th floor. If you can do it, get the views from both observatory decks – you won’t regret it! Watch as the city of Dubai unfurls into a myriad colours as you gaze into the distance from the observatory deck, surrounded by the desert and the sea. Enjoying the incredible view of Dubai from the 125th floor observatory deck is one of the best things to do in Dubai.

Post-Lunch: Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountains

It’s about lunch time now – the perfect time to make it to the Dubai Mall, which has hundreds of excellent eateries. Enjoy a tasty, high-quality lunch at the mall, and off you go exploring the mall’s 1200 plus retail outlets, the 22-screen multiplex cinema and he indoor ice rink. If you have time, do check out the Dubai Aquarium as well; walking through the acrylic tunnels while being surrounded by the ocean on all sides is a mind-blowing experience. The Dubai Fountains are located just outside the Dubai Mall. Enjoy this incredible choreographed performing fountain which shoots jets of water up to 5 storeys high. The Dubai Fountain is one of the major tourist experiences in Dubai.

Afternoon: Dubai Creek and Old Dubai Experience

No visit to Dubai is complete without experiencing the Old Dubai atmosphere. Start your journey by exploring the Al-Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood where you’ll find the Dubai Museum and the Sheikh Mohammed Center for Cultural Excellence. Learn about the Emirati culture, the Emirati lifestyle, food and heritage. Understand how Dubai has managed to progress into one of the most stunning cities in the world from such humble beginnings.

Stroll through the alleys and small streets of the Bastikaya Quarter, which is what the Al Fahidi Historic Neighbourhood was once known as. Enjoy checking out the traditional sand buildings, the traditional cafes and shisha houses. Explore the spice and gold markets of Bur Dubai and bargain to your heart’s content. Then cross the Dubai Creek to the other side, to Deira side, in a wooden vessel called the abra. Here you can explore the pashmina and woollen carpets market, and bargain to your heart’s content again.

Evening: Time For A Dhow Cruise

As the afternoon’s heat and light give way to the pleasant breezes of a Dubai evening, you know it’s time to get ready for your dhow cruise. The modern-day dhow is a renovated, fully glamourized version of the old Arabian trading vessel you find at the Dhow Wharfage in the Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood. The tour dhow is a beautiful vessel surrounded by glass on all sides, fully air conditioned and strewn with luxurious couches for your comfort. The dhow cruise comes with exciting on-board entertainment such as scintillating belly dancing, Tanura shows, henna tattooing and more. Lean back on silk cushions and smoke your shisha pipe, drawing in soothing draughts of aromatic smoke as you enjoy the entertainment. Feel like a true Sheikh or Sheikha for an hour or two – you deserve it! You can sign up for a dhow cruise on the Dubai Marina, and enjoy the sights of the city skyline, or you can sign up for a dhow cruise of the Dubai Creek and enjoy more rustic sights. Whichever you choose, you will enjoy fantastic entertainment, followed by a full Emirati BBQ dinner on board. Enjoy your dinner and the atmosphere and the company of the other guests on your dhow cruise.

That takes care of your 24-hours itinerary in Dubai. We’ve squeezed in the best of Dubai for your delectation and hope you will enjoy your trip. Of course, you can remove a few items and add other items of interest such as the Dubai Frame if you like. It’s your itinerary. Flex it, play with it, own it.

AUTHOR: A postgraduate in Mass Communications, Neha loves everything about life. Traveling is extremely close to her heart and writing came to her naturally. An avid trekker & explorer, who often takes off some time from her busy life for mountaineering, she loves meeting new people & gets attached to their culture very easily. Her ambition is to explore as many places as she can in her life. She strongly believes in Gandhian principle – “simple living high thinking”. You can follow her on Facebook and her Blog
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16 thoughts on “One Day In Dubai – Best Things To Do In Dubai

  • September 28, 2018 at 3:01 pm
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    Wow Dubai is looking so amazing, especially I never heard about early ballon ride, would be to experience this 🙂

    Reply
  • September 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm
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    Dubai is in my bucket list since last time. and after reading your post, I will go there for my next vacation for sure. great pics.

    Reply
  • September 29, 2018 at 3:40 pm
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    Thank you so much for this itinerary. nicely covered in one day. DUbai is calling me from long now I think I need to plan soon. I want to see Bhuj Khalifa so much it is an iconic monument truly

    Reply
  • September 29, 2018 at 4:18 pm
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    Oh this post is sure going to help me in my coming visit to this place ..thanks a lot for sharing

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 12:38 am
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    I really want to visit Dubai even as a connecting journey from United Kingdom to India or viceversa. Its definitely on my travel wishlist and I am saving your post as I feel I might get a chance next year.

    Ashh
    Ms Tantrum Blog

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 12:40 am
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    Woww these are definitely must-visit places in Dubai. It’s on my travel bucket list and your list would be very helpful.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 4:03 am
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    This is one place we have been planning to go from such a long time. Im quite passionate about Burj Khalifa.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 5:20 am
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    Dubai is so picturesque. I am planning a quick getaway to Dubai and this article helps.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 9:00 am
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    Morning balloon ride has always been a dream for me… If I ever visit Dubai, I would do that at any cost! The desert safari, the fountains, the cruise… Everything is so fascinating!

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 4:02 pm
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    I have seen so many pics of Dubai that it has been on my bucket list for really long. love the way you have explained everything in detail. hopefully one day soon i can fulfill my wish 🙂

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 4:09 pm
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    What a wonderful travel itinerary this is, one day stop at Dubai and visiting all the famous spots, tourist destinations. Lunch at BHurj and desert safari would be amazing.

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 5:57 pm
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    Dubai has always been on my bucket list. Heard a lot about dessert safari. Thanks for introducing so many activities to do in Dubai

    Reply
  • September 30, 2018 at 6:09 pm
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    Dubai is a beautiful place and I would love to visit there sometime. Dessert safari and shopping that’s what I will do.

    Reply
  • October 2, 2018 at 3:03 am
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    If i go to Dubai for a day only – I’ll probably spend all my time shopping. They have some amazing shopping malls and shopping streets. We actually have done that when we were in transit and had a layover for 5 hrs

    Reply

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