Dubai is a popular holiday destination for various reasons. It is home to some of the most marvellous architectural wonders, thrilling theme parks, gorgeous beaches and huge shopping malls. Moreover, amidst all the modernity and glamour, the city has also been able to preserve its traditions and culture. This is what makes the city truly unique. It is a great place to visit if you are planning a long holiday with your family and friends. However, Dubai is also ideal for those looking for a special place for a long holiday. Here we have provided you with details of things to do in Dubai in 3 days.
As your flight descends on the city of Dubai, you would be awed by the sheer elegance and opulence of the place. However, before you explore the modern buildings and constructions of the place, start your holiday with a visit to old Dubai. It is refreshing, charming and gives you a glimpse of Dubai’s past.
The Dubai Museum is located inside the Fahidi Fort, which is the oldest standing structure of the city. The museum displays the life of the Arabs before oil was discovered. It is also displays the time when their main occupation was fishing and pearl diving. You would be able to see the replica of a Bedouin-style house, a traditional dhow, a souk and mosque and different types of Middle Eastern weapons at the museum. Do not miss the audio-visual presentation at the end of the tour that shows the transformation of Dubai.
Another important part of old Dubai is the Bastakiya Quarter, where you would find beautiful sandstone houses, which have been preserved and conserved. While some of them are private properties, most of them have been transformed into quaint cafes, art galleries and museums. One of the highlights of the place is the wind towers which acted as air-conditioners in the past. Walking through the narrow lanes of the Bastakiya Quarter would surely take you to the bygone times of the past.
Dubai Heritage Village
In the same area as the museum and Bastakiya Quarter is the Dubai Heritage Village where you would see a replica of the Bedouin-style villages. Here, you would see actual men and women indulging in the occupations of the past. Weavers, potters and such other craftsmen showcase their talents and give you a glimpse of the life of the past. It also houses the Diving Village where you would get to know the history of pearl diving industry in the city.
After getting to know the history of Dubai, it is time to have some fun. Head to the souks of Dubai where you can buy everything from gold to clothes and accessories. The most famous is the Dubai gold souk where you would find more than 300 stores selling gold and other precious metal and stones. Next to the gold souk is the perfume souk followed by the spice souk. You can also take an abra to visit the textile souk on the Deira side of Dubai Creek. Here you can buy different kinds of fabrics, clothes, shawls, etc. The best way of shopping in these traditional souks is to bargain to get the best price.
Dhow Cruise on Dubai Creek
End this splendid day by going for a dhow cruise on the Dubai Creek. Here, you would get to enjoy the beautiful sights on both sides of the Creek while sailing on a traditional dhow that has been redesigned as a restaurant. During the two hour cruise, you would get to eat a delicious buffet dinner and also watch a splendid Tanoura dance performance. It is a relaxing way to wind up the day after exploring the vibrant and chaotic old Dubai.
After spending the first day in the old area of Dubai, it is explore the new and modern side of the city. Complete with sightseeing and shopping, day two of your Dubai trip would be nothing less than fun.
Your first visit on the second day of your trip would be to Dubai Mall, the largest shopping mall in the world. It is a paradise for shopaholics as you are spoilt for choice for more than 1200 retail stores under one roof. There is also a large food court, a multiplex with 21 screens, an entertainment zone and an ice rink. Even if you do not want to shop, walking inside the Dubai Mall is quite exciting.
Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo
The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo is located inside the Dubai Mall and one of the highlights of the mall. The acrylic tunnel is the entrance of the mall and is also the biggest suspended aquarium in the world. Walking through the tunnel, you would be able to meet more than 33,000 aquatic animals including sting rays, manta rays, sharks, eels, etc. To have a better experience, you can go for some interesting tours like glass-bottomed boat ride, caged shark diving, fish feeding, etc. At the underwater zoo on the upper floor, you would be able to see snakes, crocodiles, otters, penguins, etc.
The Dubai Mall also serves the entrance of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa. With the entrance tickets, you can enter the building and visit the observation deck by riding the super-fast elevators. You can choose to buy tickets of the observation deck either on the 124th floor or the 148th floor. Whichever you choose, you would get a 360° view of the entire city. There is also a museum at the ground floor that shows the story of the development of the Burj Khalifa.
Souk Al Bahar
Close to the Dubai Mall is the Souk Al Bahar, a mall designed like a souk. The combination of traditional and modern elements, the Souk Al Bahar has a unique charm that you must experience. The souk has more than 100 stores that sell local clothes, handicrafts, jewellery, perfumes, books, traditional souvenirs, art pieces, etc. The place has also around 22 restaurants that serve everything from Arabic cuisine to Chinese, American and European cuisines.
Dubai Fountain Show
When you are tired of all the shopping at the Souk Al Bahar, head to a restaurant that faces the Burj Lake, so that you can watch the marvellous Dubai fountain show. It is the biggest fountain in the world and you would be mesmerized by the choreographed water jets that go 150 meters into the air and are accompanied by soulful music and 6600 colourful lights. You can also stand around the fountain or go on a boat tour on the Burj Lake to get a closer look of the fountain show.
As you would be cooped indoors most of the second day, your third day is planned for outdoor as well as adventurous activities.
Desert Safari Dubai
We have kept one of the best experiences in Dubai for your last day in the city. A vehicle would be waiting for you at your hotel or any other pick up point in the afternoon to take you to the desert. At the desert safari, you would be able to indulge in activities like sandboarding, dune bashing, camel riding, etc. Entertainment activities like henna painting, Tanoura and belly dance performances, etc. also await you at the desert camp. One of the best things to enjoy at the desert safari is the breathtaking sunset. Before you leave the desert camp, you would be treated with a delicious BBQ dinner.
If you are staying at a hotel along the coastline, you would be able to visit its private beach every day. However, if this is not the case, Dubai has several open beaches that you can visit for free. The best amongst them is the Jumeirah Beach which is breathtaking with its white sand, blue waters and an amazing view of the Burj Al Arab. Lounge on the beach, swim in its cool water and take part in various water activities. There are also several restaurants and cafes along the beach where you can treat yourself. Arrive early in the morning so you can enjoy the place before it becomes too hot.
The next stop for you would be the Mall of Emirates but not for shopping (although you are free to do so) but to visit Ski Dubai. This is the world’s largest indoor ski park and you would enjoy the cool temperature and the snow after the heat at the beach. You can go skiing, snowboarding and enjoy other snow activities at the ski park. It is also home to penguins that you can meet during the visit. Have a cup of hot chocolate and snack at the indoor cafe before you leave.
Apart from these activities, most nights are free, and you must take the opportunity to explore the nightlife of the city. There are innumerable nightclubs, pubs and bars where you can have a good time in Dubai during your holiday.
Pranitaa is passionate about traveling and photography. She is always curious about new culture, history and traditions. She loves meeting new people while travelling.