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Short visit? Only 24-48 hours in Dubai

Your guide to Dubai / Things to do if you only have 24/48 hours in Dubai

Only 24-48 hours in Dubai

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You have the chance to go to the United Arab Emirates, but you only have 24-48 hours in Dubai to enjoy what the city has to offer. In a city this huge, how are you supposed to spend it? What is worth seeing that you have to fit it into your jampacked just one or two days? In this guide, you'll learn about must-see attractions.

Enjoy a Morning on the Beach

Jumeirah Beach Walk


Your first 24 hours in Dubai should begin with a simple trip to Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) Walkway. There's plenty to do along the JBR, and that includes finding something to chow down on. Try out some of these excellent nearby restaurants catering to a variety of tastes: 

 

• The Tche Tche Cafe for good Arabic cuisine.
• The Pappa Roti Cafe if it's buns and a hot drink you prefer.
• The Brasserie 2.0 for good food made with the freshest ingredients and meat they can muster. 

 

Now that you're fed and moving a little easier, start your morning by enjoying the beach. These attractions are sure to make a splash:

 

• Enjoy Aqua Fun: the world's largest inflatable water park.
• Take some pictures of the Dubai Marina, as it consists of 14 of the tallest residential towers in the world.
• Take in the views of the palm as you fly through the sky at SkyDive Dubai.

Have an Afternoon Full of Shopping in Deira

Gold Souk


After a fun-filled morning at the beach, it's time to get some shopping in to buy some exotic merchandise to take home with you. Head on over to the Gold and Spice Souks in Deira on the northern banks of the Dubai Creek. Here you'll learn the whats and wheres of the souks, traditional marketplaces full of exotic goods.

Learn Something New in the Bur Dubai Museums

Al Khaleej Rd, Bur Dubai


After all that shopping, it's time to grab another bite to eat, but what to choose? Since you're not too far from the Dubai Creek, hop onto an Abra to sail across to Bur Dubai. You'll be able to find some stalls in this area selling some traditional snacks, perfect for you to grab and munch while on the go. After all, you've only got a little over one day in Dubai to go, and there's still so much to see. Check out the historical monuments and museums in the area, including the Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum House. This is a museum placed in the rebuilt home of the former ruler of Dubai.

Be Amazed by the Dubai Miracle Gardens

Al Barsha South 3


As the afternoon heads to a close, travel on over to the Dubai Miracle Gardens while the sun is still shining. Enjoy a stroll through this magnificent garden, your eyes dancing at the bright floral colors coming in at you from all sides. Everything that can be covered in flowers in this garden is decked out.

Light Up Your Evening at the Glow Garden

Zabeel Park, Gate No- 6 & 7 Area - B


As the sun starts to go down, and your first day in Dubai is coming to a close, make your way to the Dubai Glow Garden. This unique garden is made entirely of light bulbs and the sight is quite beautiful. Once you've seen all you can of the glow garden, grab a cab and take the 10-minute ride to the Burj Khalifa.

Touch the Sky From the Burj Khalifa

1 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Blvd


The Burj Khalifa is currently the world's tallest building, and the reason we recommend heading there after dark is due to the sights of the city after dark. Head on up to "At the Top", the building's observation deck on the 124th floor, and take a look at the city from a bird's eye perspective. The way the city lights up at night is a gorgeous sight, and the pictures you can take from that altitude are awe-inspiring. Be sure to book tickets in advance, though. After leaving the Burj Khalifa, try not to go too far. Instead, stop for dinner at one of the surrounding restaurants, such as Shakespeare and Co. where you can find delicious cuisine of many flavors. After having dinner, walk to the lake at the feet of the Burj Khalifa to catch one of the Dubai Fountain shows that play every 30 minutes. This must-see show is put on by the world's largest fountain, even larger than the ones in Las Vegas that it was originally designed after.

Morning Play in the Sand Dunes

1st Floor, Office #17, The Iridium Building - Umm Suqeim St 


You saw a lot of Dubai in 24 hours, but there's still so much left to see and do. Start day number two after breakfast with a trip into the desert for some dune bashing or camel riding. Just make sure to take plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. Having so much fun out in the desert is an opportunity you don't want to miss.

A Mall Worthy of Your Afternoon

Financial Center Rd, Sheik Zayed road 


The play in the desert is bound to take up most of your morning, so by the time you come back, it'll be time for some more food. Head to the Dubai Mall and be prepared to spend another few hours just roaming around this massive shopping center. Before you get too excited by everything you see, sit down and try: 

 

• Angelina for luxurious French food.
• Eataly for high-quality Italian foods.
• Markette for comfort foods. 

 

After lunch has been achieved, experience the wonder that is the Dubai Mall: 

 

• Try out the opposite of your desert morning by skating on the indoor ice rink (Ski Dubai is at Mall of the Emirates).
• Get completely lost in an alternate reality at the VR Park.
• Check out the wonders of the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo. 

 

Once you've had your fill of the extracurricular activities, then it's time to actually get that shopping in!

Wrap up Your Evening with a Sail Down Dubai Creek

Office No. 3205, Churchil Tower


Make sure to have yourself a show cruise booked in advance for dinner. This boat ride will take you for a ride down Dubai Creek, complete with dinner and live entertainment. While traveling down the creek, you'll have the chance to see Old Dubai from the creek.

If you're in the emirate during Dubai Holidays, make sure all activities are pre-planned and pre-booked. Otherwise, there's no promise you'll get to do what you want!