Dubai is one of the most developed of the seven emirates of the UAE, known to many for its striking skyline with the Burj Khalifa tower. It offers many manmade marvels and attractions for visitors of different tastes, including Miracle Garden, Dubai Frame, La Perle show, and Museum of the Future, among others. The city is constantly developing, so you should revisit it from time to time to see what's new. Check out my four day Dubai itinerary offering diverse experiences to make the most of your time in Dubai.
Day 1 Morning
Dubai Miracle Garden is the world's largest natural flower garden covering 72,000 square metres. More than 50 million flowers of 120 different varieties have been planted there. Launched on Valentine’s Day in 2013, Dubai Miracle Garden holds three Guinness World Records, including the Emirates A380 display along with an 18-metre floral structure of Mickey Mouse. The garden is evidence that it is possible to green the desert through drip irrigation and re-use of the wastewater. The Floating Lady, the newest attraction at Miracle Garden, levitates in the air, arms outstretched without care as her long hair dangles to the ground. Other popular floral masterpieces are the iconic Emirates A380, the world’s largest flower structure, teddy bear, and much more.No two seasons of Dubai Miracle Garden are the same. Every new season is offering new floral themes.
The Dubai Miracle Garden is open for a few months of the year in the bloom season. For example, in the 2021 season, Dubai Miracle Garden was open from November until May.
How to get there:
Take the Dubai Metro and stop at the MOE (Mall of the Emirates metro station)—Red line. Then board RTA Bus route 105 from MOE to Dubai Miracle Garden. A taxi is also available in case public transportation is not convenient for you.
Day 1 evening
La Perle show
For a truly unique theatre experience, book tickets to La Perle—the region's first permanent show that combines breathtaking choreography with daring stunts in a novel 'aqua theatre'.The theatre, located at Al Habtoor City, is specially designed for the show and includes an on-stage pool, futuristic lighting systems, and much more. The theatre can seat almost 1,300 individuals. In 90 minutes of the show, you'll be witnessing world-class artists performing remarkable feats, including aerial acrobatics, death-defying dives, and unbelievable motorcycle tricks. Created by the legendary artistic director Franco Dragone, the story of La Perle pays homage to the UAE’s pearl diving history in spectacular style thanks to the purpose-built theatre where gushing waterfalls and torrents of rain flood the stage and then drain away within seconds. Featuring a cast of 65 artists from across 23 countries, the show ranges from acting, acrobatics, aerial stunts, aquatic effects, and much more!
Day 2 Morning
Four-fifths of the UAE is desert with contrasting landscapes—from the towering red dunes of Liwa to the rich oasis of Al Ain. The dunes, reaching heights up to 300 m, is home to a wide range of flora and fauna and have been the site of successful reintroductions of gazelles and the Arabian oryx. Because of that, no visit to Dubai is complete without a desert safari. I was not 100% happy with my tour company, so check references and make your best choice.If you have more time, go to the Arabian night village to get an in-depth experience of the Arabian Desert.
Day 2 Afternoon
Dubai Frame, one of the UAE’s latest cultural landmarks, is an iconic structure that ‘frames’ impressive views of Old and New Dubai while serving as a metaphorical bridge connecting the emirate’s rich past with its magnificent present. Offering spectacular panoramic views across the city, Dubai Frame celebrates the story of Dubai, from its early establishment to its ambitious plans for future development. Dubai Frame measures 150 metres high and 95 metres wide. Dubai Frame’s rectangular design was inspired by the ‘golden ratio’, which many architects and artists believe forms an ideal structural balance.
Get yourself tickets to the award-winning Dubai Frame and admire gorgeous views of the city. On one side, you'll notice iconic landmarks of modern Dubai, and on the other, you'll see older parts of the city. Useful tip: check the sunset time and arrive at least half an hour in advance to view a sunset from the top of the Frame. After visiting the Frame, head to nearby Glow Garden via a pedestrian bridge.
Dubai Glow Garden at Zabeel Park, the most unique and the largest of its kind, is an example of fine art. The garden features a brand-new theme every season. Get enchanted by the diverse view of ‘Art by Day and Glow by Night’ with the marvellous creations made by the best artists. The garden boasts thousands of stunning eco-friendly art installations created by over 500 brilliant craftsmen from across the world. Find several themed sections illuminated by millions of energy-efficient LED lamps and filled with fascinating replicas of almost everything imaginable, from wildlife animals and marine creatures to flowers, trees, and birds. Apart from these, be sure to check out its newest additions, such as Magic Park, which will leave you in awe with its mind-bending optical illusions created using exceptional 3D art installations, and Art Park. Day 3 Morning
Souk Madinat Jumeirah
Visit Souk Madinat Jumeirah and have lunch at one of the restaurants with a view of Burj al Arab.If you have time, take a walk to Burj al-Arab to get a closer look.
Day 3 Afternoon
Go up to Burj Khalifa at 3 or 3.30 p.m. as tickets starting from 4 p.m. will be much more expensive.
After admiring the excellent views from above, I suggest utilising your time wisely until the first fountain show at 6 p.m. In the meantime, you can visit Dubai Mall, which will amaze you with its glass aquarium wall and breathtaking waterfall with stunning sculptures.
Keep in mind that the fountain show takes place every 30 minutes from 6 p.m. To avoid disappointments, bear in mind that one performance is just 3-4 minutes long.
Day 4 Morning
Visit Jumeirah Mosque
Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most loved architectural treasures in Dubai. Opened in 1979, Jumeirah Grand Mosque was a gift from the late former Ruler of Dubai, the father of the current Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. The style of architecture originated from Syria and Egypt and can accommodate approximately 1,500 worshippers. Jumeirah Mosque is one of the most popular mosques in Dubai, which are open to non-Muslims. Register and enjoy light Emirati refreshments before the presentation at 10 a.m.Booking is not required for public visits. Modest clothing is preferred. Ladies are required to bring their own headcover/scarf. An afternoon visit at 2 p.m. is also available. If you have more time, make sure you visit Sheik Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.
Day 4 Afternoon
Jumeirah public beach or Museum of Future
Spend your afternoon at the nearby Jumeirah public beach or visit the new Museum of Future.The Museum of the Future, one of Dubai's newest landmarks, is located next to the city's superhighway, Sheikh Zayed Road. Launched in February 2022, the museum explores how society could evolve in the coming decades using science and technology. The Museum of the Future has been recognised by National Geographic as one of the 14 most beautiful museums in the world. The museum's striking exterior stands out because of its artistic use of Arabic calligraphy. It reflects inspirational poetry by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a Ruler of Dubai.The museum incorporates elements of traditional exhibitions, immersive theatre, and themed attractions, so visitors can look beyond the present and towards the future's limitless possibilities. Topics include the future of space travel and living, climate change and ecology, health, wellness, and spirituality.
Where to stay
I recommend staying at the hotel with a pool, near the metro station. If you are following my itinerary, you will most likely have time in midday to soak in your hotel pool. As Dubai is a big long city, proximity to a metro station will make your travel around much more convenient. I stayed at two hotels in Dubai.
Rose Rayhaan by Rotana
Rose Rayhaan by Rotana is a supertall hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai’s financial district. With a height of 333 meters (1,093 feet) and 71 floors, it is the 84 tallest building in the world. The highly embellished facade is composed of blue and silver mirrored glass with gold ornamentation. The tower offers guests a choice of 482 rooms, suites, and penthouses. Marble and glass adorn the lobby on the ground floor. Hotel guests can use a fully equipped gymnasium, outdoor temperature-controlled swimming pools, Jacuzzi, steam room, and massage rooms.Spend a night at Millenium Airport Hotel if you have an early flight.
Millennium Airport Hotel
This 4-star hotel is five minutes away from Dubai International Airport and is located next to the GGICO Metro Station with easy access to other public transportation. The hotel features 341 spacious rooms and suites, all equipped with outstanding amenities, including complimentary Wi-Fi. Eight restaurants are offering different cuisines, including Mexican, Italian, Japanese, International buffet, etc. There is a wide variety of leisure options: a superb large outdoor swimming pool with pool bar, expansive garden area, playground for children, spa, and a fully-equipped fitness centre.
If you are in Dubai for the first time, you may add a visit to Heritage Village to learn more about the past of Dubai. Dubai only has two seasons—hot and excruciatingly hot. The winter months between October and April bring blue skies and warm weather to the city. This is the best time to visit Dubai. Although the city has a convenient metro system, it is not covering all tourist hotspots. Taxis are a great way to get around the city; there are plenty of them, and they’re a fairly cheap means of transportation. But don’t assume your taxi driver knows every street and restaurant in Dubai. Upload the Careem application on your phone for your best taxi experience.
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Author: Anita Sāne
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