From record-breaking skyscrapers to white sandy beaches and brand new theme parks, there’s so much to explore in Dubai. While 3 days might not seem like that long, if you plan what’s on the top of your 'to-do' list, it's possible to fit everything in. To help you decide, we’ve put together an action-packed 3-day itinerary…
On your first day in this amazing city you’re sure to want to see some of Dubai’s top attractions, which of course includes the Burj Khalifa. This iconic landmark holds the record for being the tallest building in the world, standing at an impressive 828-metres tall. Visitors can go up to the 124th or 148th floor to take in spectacular panoramic views of the stunning skyline and the vast expanse of desert. The Burj Khalifa observation deck is open from 8:30am until 12am, giving you the option to admire the sun-drenched city in the day, or the illuminated skyline at night. Whichever you choose, make sure you’ve got your camera with you, as you’ll want to capture this picture-perfect moment.
A typical visit to the Burj Khalifa takes around 90 minutes, giving you plenty of time to enjoy the rest of your day. If you want to make sure you see all of the main attractions, enjoy a guided whistle-stop tour of both old and new Dubai with the Dubai City Tour. Highlights include the famous Burj Al Arab hotel, the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque and Palm Jumeirah, before a final stop at the gold and spice souks.
End your first day by sampling some traditional Emirati cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or fine dining, there are plenty of fantastic restaurants to choose from. For your main course, try Machboos- a flavoursome chicken and rice dish with intense spices like paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg, followed by Luqaimat- delicious deep-fried pastry balls sprinkled with sugar, for dessert.
In 2016, Dubai welcomed not one, not two, but three brand new theme parks- MOTIONGATE Dubai, Bollywood Parks Dubai and LEGOLAND Dubai! Each of the parks has the perfect combination of family-friendly attractions and big thrill rides, while the new LEGOLAND Water Park is perfect for little ones to make a splash. Dubai Parks and Resorts is the first integrated theme park resort in the Middle East, and with each park approximately a 7-minute walk from the next, you can visit them all in one day if you’re short on time (although we’d recommend spending a few days if you can).
MOTIONGATE Dubai is all about the movies, letting you step inside the world of Hollywood films. Join the Ghostbusters gang in a paranormal battle, wander through the Smurfs Village and experience the only Hunger Games inspired ride in the world! Bollywood Parks Dubai offers something totally unique and is the only theme park of its kind in existence. Highlights include the mouth-watering Indian cuisine, high speed attractions and the spectacular Broadway-style Bollywood musical held at the beautiful Rajmahal Theatre.
LEGOLAND Dubai is great fun for the whole family, boasting over 40 LEGO themed rides, shows and attractions. There’s also an incredible 15,000 LEGO models made from 60 million LEGO bricks to admire. There are lots of shaded and indoor areas at the parks too, so you don’t have to worry about being out in the Dubai heat all day.
Fitting all the parks in at once would make for quite a full-on day, but if you’re only planning on visiting one or two, why not spend the rest of the day taking a dip in the sea or lazing on a sun lounger at Jumeirah Beach? Just remember to bring your sun cream!
End your last day on a high (literally!) with a breath-taking helicopter tour or an exhilarating Seaplane flight over Dubai, where you'll take off from the water and soar above the city, over famous landmarks like the Burj Khalifa. Get the best views imaginable and enjoy a truly unforgettable experience.
A visit to the Dubai Mall is essential and the perfect place to go if you want to pick up a few souvenirs before you leave. Home to more than 1,200 shops the enormous mall is a shopaholics paradise. But that’s not all; there’s a cinema, an ice rink, a 24-metre long resident dinosaur and a 10-million litre aquarium tank! There’s also a selection of restaurants serving American, British, Chinese, French, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisine, or several coffee shops for when you need a break from all that retail therapy.
One thing you must do before you leave Dubai, is witness the spectacular Dubai fountain show. The show takes place several times throughout the day, with more regular performances every half hour from 6pm through to 11pm. Watch in awe as the fountain jets shoot bursts of water 500-feet into the air and 22,000-gallons of water dance in sync to a range of famous songs. The breath-taking display is simply unmissable and a perfect way to end your final night in Dubai.
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