How to spend three days in Dubai

August 11, 2020

Dubai is an eclectic city that has everything to catch your distinct imaginations and beyond. In fact, the diversity of sights and experiences is what make this destination a favorite of all. But if you’ve only limited time to visit this city, the following Dubai program will help you to comprehensively cover its top attractions and experiences in three days. So let’s check out the top things to do in Dubai in 3 days!


But before going into actual travel program, know that we’ve created this Dubai travel program assuming that you’ve got full three days in Dubai and you’re a first timer in Dubai (or at least visiting Dubai in long time).

Day One – City Tour And Evening Desert Safari 

Dubai City Tour

Photo by ZQ Lee on Unsplash

As this is your first time in the city, it’s recommended to start your Dubai exploration with a guided half city tour. Take a private or shared city tour (offered by an experienced service provider) which helps you to discover the length and breadth of Dubai in a few hours. It drives you around all of the city’s main thoroughfares, along with some exciting photo stops at the city’s iconic sights such as Burj Al Arab, Jumeirah Mosque, Jumeirah Beach, Palm Jumeirah and Atlantis, The Palm. You’ll also visit Dubai Museum and see the ancient Al Bastakiya Quarter on your Dubai City Tour.

Evening Desert Safari

Post lunch, you can utilize the time till pick up (for desert safari) for shopping or simply relax in your hotel room. Following this, get ready for a drive out of the city on a Dubai Desert Safari. You can look forward to enjoy the most exhilarating adventures and cherished cultural experiences as part of this off-road trip. Starting off with an electrifying drive over desert sand, you’ll also get to ride a camel, take pictures wearing traditional Emirati dress, smoke Shisha, and watch traditional performances including Tanura and belly dance. A BBQ dining is also arranged in the desert camp.

Top Tips for Day One

  • Just like you pre-book your accommodation and airline tickets, make sure that you make the advance reservation of your city tour and desert safari as well.
  • Choose a service provider or a tour company with a proven track record of arranging flawless sightseeing tours.
  • Look for combo or multi-tour pass which allows you to enjoy city tour, desert safari and other Dubai must-experiences at a fixed low rate.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask and confirm regarding activities / attractions covered in your city tour and desert safari.
  • If you’re allergic to any food or want to add your favorite activity / attraction, ask your service provider to customize the safari / tour accordingly.
  • If you’re pregnant or have any heart-related ailments or have recently undergone shoulder / hand / head injuries or surgeries, it’s advisable to keep yourself away from high-octane activities that come along with desert safari. An alternative is to opt for a simple and serene Dinner in Desert package which is devoid of actions however gives you a perfect taste of Dubai’s desert.
Day Two – Dubai Parks And Resorts And Dhow Cruise (Alternatives Also Included)

Morning till Evening: Dubai Parks and Resorts / IMG / Aquaventure

Dubai in recent time has grabbed maximum attention for its ever-increasing crop of theme parks. So if action and adventure are indispensable for your holiday, you’re in for a delight once in Dubai! For hardcore theme park lovers, nothing comes closer to Dubai Parks and Resorts (DPR). It’s the region’s first integrated resort where you’ll find two accommodations, several dining options and most importantly, three theme parks and a water park in its vast grounds.


The biggest of all DPR parks is Motiongate Dubai, with a variety of killer rides and attractions that breathe in life to some of the legendary Hollywood movies and characters. The exciting rides and vibrant shows at Bollywood Parks are equally popular and is especially a treat for the fans of classic Hindi movies such as Sholay, Lagaan, Don, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara and Rock On!! Finally, there is LEGOLAND Dubai and LEGOLAND Water Park which are unmissable for families with kids from 2 to 12 years.


You can choose to explore one or two or even all parks in one day; yes, it’s up to you – just pick the right Dubai Parks and Resort pass. Now if you’re looking for an alternative for Dubai Parks and Resort, you can consider IMG Worlds of Adventure or choose to spend a whole day at Aquaventure Water Park which is inside Atlantis, The Palm resort and also have attractions like Lost Chamber Aquarium and Dolphin Bay nearby.


Evening: Dhow Cruise

After all fun and excitement, wind up your day with a relaxed dhow cruise! For this, head down to your chosen location at Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina and then board a traditional Arabian dhow whose role was once integral to boost the region’s economy (mainly before discovering the oil). Whichever location you prefer, you can be guaranteed of the best views over the illumed city skyline as your dhow gently glide and pass you through some of Dubai’s icons. It’s however not just the sighs; the two-hour cruise is further made special with buffet dining, live music and mesmerizing entertainment shows onboard.

But if you want to swap the cruise with a more budget-friendly experience, visit one of Dubai’s beaches like Jumeirah Beach, Kite Beach or the acclaimed Sunset Beach with the views of Burj Al Arab in the background.

Top Tips for Day Two

  • Book your DPR / IMG / Aquaventure tickets and dhow cruise well in advance.
  • Before booking, check for food menu and other inclusions in your dinner cruise. Be sure to notify in advance if you’re allergic to any food or ingredients.
  • To avoid further hassles, book dhow cruise with roundtrip transport. Besides promptly transferring to the cruise spot, this lets you enjoy the sail without worrying about looking for vehicles after the cruise or losing the way to your hotel.

Day Three: Shopping At Souks, Ski Dubai And Downtown Dubai

Shopping at Souks

Shopping in Dubai is an experience in itself and even non-shopaholics admit this. So be sure to chalk out some time for a brief shopping session in Dubai. While its super colossal malls are ultimate spots for retail enthusiasts, there is a distinct charm in shopping at Dubai’s traditional bazaars or souks, shielded away in the Old City regions like Bur Dubai and Deira. There is Spice Souk, Textile Souk, and the most popular Gold Souk where the whole area is inundated with outlets selling nothing but pure gold and other precious jewelry made using platinum, silver etc. Unlike malls, haggling is encouraged here but make sure that you visit here in the morning before these souks gets packed. The rest is assured you can return with some unique souvenirs, stunning jewelry and other cool merchandises at bargain rates.


Ski Dubai

As a city with strong and intense sunlight throughout the year, it’s unthinkable to see real snow in Dubai. But that’s not the reality; just head to Ski Dubai within Mall of the Emirates. Its snow setting is so accurate and lifelike that you’ll literally forget that you’re in a blistering desert city. And yes, you can expect to enjoy all exciting snow sports possible, from skiing and snowboarding to tobogganing and sledging. What’s more; you’ll even get to swim with penguins.  


Downtown Dubai

Once in Downtown Dubai, give yourself plenty of time to explore this stylish, activity packed modern neighborhood. You can hire a taxi or conveniently catch a metro from Mall of the Emirates Station to Burj Khalifa / The Dubai Mall Station.


With many things to do and experience here, start with a trip up to Burj Khalifa. This piercing structure may have already caught your attention by this time, being the tallest of its kind not only in Dubai or UAE but in the entire world. So today, get up-close by going up to its observation deck on 124th level or even higher at 148th level. After you spend some generous time enjoying views from this sky-high belvedere, make your way down to the Dubai Mall.


A dizzying array of 1200 plus shops, about 200 dining venues and some cool sights welcome you here. Wander around this massive mall, grab a quick bite from its food court or many snack / sweet kiosks, and check out its many attractions such as Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, Hysteria Dubai Mall, Dubai Ice Rink, VR Park, and KidZania (if you’re accompanied by your little ones).


More attractions await you outside the Dubai Mall. Visit the traditional style Souk Al Bahar and take a ride in the elegant Dubai Trolley, among others. End you day and holiday by watching the outstandingly choreographed Dubai Fountain Show wherein the water jets out and dances in sync with the popular Bollywood, Hollywood or Arabic music in the background.

Top Tips for Day Three

  • Get your tickets for Ski Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo etc all in advance. This allows you to skip queues and enjoy these attractions without any hassle.
  • Look for bundle packages to save on tickets.
  • To maximize your shopping experience, sign up for a shopping tour.
  • Purchase a red NOL card to get from one metro station to another. 


Attractions and experiences in Dubai are quite vast but we think that this post will give you enough ideas on how to spend three days in Dubai and make the most of your available time here.