Visiting Dubai in one day is quite common . Many tourists who travel on intercontinental flights with the Emirates company take advantage of long layovers to get to know Dubai. It is a huge, modern, luxurious city, where we could spend weeks and weeks enjoying its contrasts. However, it can also be visited in a day and quickly get to know some of its attractions . Here we propose a tour to visit Dubai in one day .
How to get around in this itinerary around Dubai in one day
If you prefer not to worry about transportation and go more relaxed, you can book a 4-hour tour of Dubai . They will pick you up at the point you indicate to go to the most traditional area of the city. You will then be taken to Jumeirah Beach to see the world’s most luxurious hotel . You also won’t miss the palm-shaped islands and the Atlantis The Palm hotel . Finally, you will be dropped off at the Burj Khalifa area so you can go up to the observation deck on your own and explore the gigantic Dubai Mall. However, if you do it on your own as mentioned below, you can get around by taxi and/or public transport. Unlike European cities, it is very difficult to walk around Dubai. Firstly because of the heat and secondly because it is a city that is not designed for pedestrians, but for cars.
Where to stay to visit Dubai in one day
Maybe you’ll take advantage of a stopover and you won’t need to spend the night in the city. However, to visit Dubai in one day, we recommend that you spend at least one night in the city. In our case we stayed at the CityMax Bur Dubai . Somewhat remote, but well connected and super cheap.
What To See In Dubai In One Day: Visit Itinerary
Start the day at Dubai Creek
There is no better way to start this tour of Dubai in one day than getting to know the traditional part of the city . The capital of the United Arab Emirates has not always been linked to eccentricity, luxury and modernity. Quite the contrary. Since the first oil field was found in 1966, the city has changed completely . Especially during the last decade when it has become a quirky place. But until then, Dubai was a humble city and a small commercial enclave on the Persian Gulf . If you want to see that traditional atmosphere, we advise you to visit the Dubai Creek area. The first settlers of the area began to settle in the surroundings of this river to do business with pearls and fish. It was the hub of commerce in Dubai at the time. Now it seems unimaginable, right? This river separates the city into two parts: Bur Dubai and its modernity to the south and Deira to the north . Stroll along the banks of the river and feel the authentic atmosphere of Dubai. And if you want to cross from one shore to the other, you can do it aboard several traditional boats . Look at the people, the architecture, the atmosphere… and then compare it with the financial area of the city. It is impressive to see how black gold has transformed the city! Without a doubt, an essential stop on this tour of Dubai in one day . If you want to save, this is one of the cheapest areas to stay in Dubai.
Also Read: How to get from Dubai to Abu Dhabi
Stroll through Al Fahidi, one of the most interesting areas to see in Dubai in one day
And in the traditional part of the city you can’t miss the historic Al Fahidi neighborhood either. Modern architecture and extravagant shopping malls enchant us, but we are fascinated by Arabic architecture . If you want to enjoy beautiful buildings, Al Fahidi will enchant you. The neighborhood was built in the late 19th century to house Persian merchants, who made a living trading cloth and pearls. They were next to the Dubai Creek, which was the main point of commerce in the area. Stroll through the neighborhood, fall in love with the architecture and enter the buildings. There are several quite interesting galleries and museums to learn about the history of the place.
Browse in the Dubai Mall , something essential to do on your route through Dubai in one day
Then, once you have enjoyed the historic Al Fahidi neighborhood, take the green metro line from there to Burjuman and then the red line to the Burj Khalifa / Dubai Mall stop . It takes almost an hour by public transport. If you prefer to take a taxi, the journey takes just 20 minutes. To do this tour of Dubai in one day, it is better to get around by taxi, which are quite affordable and widely used in the city . But we are also going to indicate how to connect the sites by public transport in case you want to save. Once you know the past of Dubai, it’s time to enjoy its modernity. Going on vacation to a shopping center does not seem like the best plan. But believe us, the Dubai Mall is an absolute blast . It has become one of the icons of the city. It has more than 1,200 shops and restaurants . And that only has 3 floors! But you can’t imagine how big they are… there you will find a huge ice skating rink, a beautiful indoor waterfall and even a medical center . And if you like sweets, don’t miss Candylicious, the largest candy store in the world with 930 square meters. Almost nothing!
Also Read: 25 things to see and do in Dubai
Eat at Vapiano
In the same Dubai Mall you will find a lot of restaurants. Our favorite is Vapiano , a chain that we discovered in Germany and have tried in many cities around the world. They basically serve pasta dishes, pizzas and salads, ideal to eat something good and fast.
See the ski slope at the Mall of the Emirates , one of the most curious things to see in Dubai in one day
Once you have enjoyed the Dubai Mall, it is time to change the shopping center . Take the red metro line to the Mall of The Emirates stop. It will take about 30 minutes by metro and if you go by taxi, about 20. The Dubai Mall is not the only spectacular shopping center in the city. Keep in mind that the heat is extreme throughout the year, so instead of building commercial avenues like Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona or 5th Avenue in New York , they create shopping centers to be able to enjoy shopping without having to suffer those such high temperatures. And not just to enjoy shopping. They even create them for skiing! Yes, you read it right. Inside the Mall of the Emirates is Ski Dubai, an incredible indoor ski resort . It has capacity for 1,500 skiers who can enjoy 5 slopes of different difficulties. Apart from the ski resort, there are also many shops to spend an entertaining time.
Also Read: Where to stay in Dubai
Another of the most impressive things to see on this tour of Dubai in one day is the Miracle Garden. To get there from the Mall of the Emirates by public transport you have to take the 105 bus which will take you directly in 20 minutes for only 5 AED (approximately €1). If you want to go by taxi it will take more or less the same, so the bus is better in this case. It is the most amazing garden in the world since it is located in the middle of the desert . It is impressive to see so many colors in the middle of nowhere. It is true that there is not much variety of flowers (because very few can withstand the hot climate of Dubai). But it is surprising to see the combination of shapes and colors in the garden. Admission costs 50 dirhams (about €11). Only open from November to May The Miracle Garden is only open six months each year: from the beginning of November to the beginning of May. During the summer months the plants would not withstand such hot weather.
If you visit Dubai between May and November or you are simply not interested in seeing the Miracle Garden, you can go to Jumeirah Beach as an alternative. It is a public beach where you can take a dip and cool off with views of the Burj al Arab , the most luxurious hotel in the world . Although the United Arab Emirates is a Muslim country with quite strict rules, you can swim in a bikini on this public beach. The city has opened up a lot to tourism. You can reach this beach very easily from the Mall of the Emirates with a 15-minute taxi ride.
Also Read: 12 Best Tours and Excursions in Abu Dhabi
Dubai Fountains Show
Shortly before 6:00 p.m. we advise you to take a seat outside the Dubai Mall because it is time to see one of the most beautiful dancing fountain shows in the world . It is celebrated under the feet of the impressive Burj Khalifa. In fact, these dancing fountains are the largest in the world. They were designed by the same company that created the ones right outside the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. They work every day from 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. The water jets reach up to 275 meters high! Although if we compare it with the height of the Burj Khalifa they seem small. Watching the fountains dance to contemporary Arabic music is a unique experience on this Dubai in a day tour.
Climb the Burj Khalifa, a must on any visit to Dubai in one day
And right after the first show walk to the impressive Burj Khalifa . You will visit it at the best time because this way you can enjoy the views day and night . So an essential activity to do on this tour of Dubai in one day is to climb the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. It measures nothing more and nothing less than 828 meters high. Almost nothing! Although you will not be able to enjoy the views from its top, you can do so from the highest viewpoint in the world, located on the 148th floor at 555 meters high . An activity not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo. The views are very impressive because you can see that Dubai is built in the middle of nowhere. The only negative is the price. Going up to the simplest viewpoint, located on the 124th floor, costs just over €30 . If you want to access the highest it will cost you €90 . It’s expensive, but it’s a unique experience. We advise you to buy tickets online to avoid queuing at the box office.
Also Read: 20 curiosities of the United Arab Emirates
End the day with a drink at the Dubai Marina
If you still have energy left, we think there is no better way to end this Dubai itinerary in one day than having a drink and strolling through the Dubai Marina . It is the largest marina in the world after the one in Marina del Rey, California. It is surrounded by more than 200 skyscrapers, many of them luxury apartments that will make you dream. Walk along the Dubai Marina Walk and breathe in the sea breeze as you gaze at the spectacular yachts that are docked in the harbour . There are plenty of restaurants and bars in the area to say goodbye to the day and enjoy the atmosphere. We hope you will enjoy this tour of Dubai in one day!