Though Dubai is known for its glitz and glamour, record-breaking skyscrapers and a plethora of shopping destinations, there’s a lot more that this city has to offer. Shaped by the surrounding desert and the Persian Gulf, Dubai is home to some of the world’s best theme parks, traditional markets, pristine beaches and hidden alleys in the older parts of the city waiting to be explored.
If you have 5 days in Dubai and are wondering how to spend it, then check out our 5-day Dubai itinerary designed to showcase the best of what the city has to offer.
5 Days in Dubai - How To Spend Your Time
Dubai In 5 Days - Detailed Itinerary
A Slice of Quintessential Dubai
The View at The Palm
Flyboarding at Palm Jumeirah
Dubai Desert Safari
Let's start with the best, shall we? Head to Dubai's latest palm tree, the Palm Tower , for an astonishing experience up in the sky. Towering 240 meters above Palm Jumeirah, the 52nd floor of the tower offers views that will leave you swooning. Grasp views of the Palm Jumeirah, the Arabian Gulf, and the Dubai skyline- all at once! This is also an opportune moment for you to learn about the creation of the Palm Jumeirah. Grab The View At The Palm Tickets here and save yourself the hassle of waiting around in line.
- The observation deck has movable glass partitions for unaltered views of Dubai.
- If you're up for it, head to the VIP lounge for some private entertainment.
- You can book the observatory for private events, celebrations, fashion shows, and more.
The View At The Palm Tickets
Headout Price: AED 100
Jumeirah beach situated right next to Palm Jumeirah is home to many water sport activities in Dubai. Flyboarding is one of the newest extreme sport to hit the coasts of Dubai. Flyboarding consists of a board with a hose that is attached to a jetski engine. The engine pumps water out of the hose at a great force, allowing one to propel into the air at heights of up to 10 meters. While you’re in the air, the board can be maneuvered using hand controls or even distributing your weight accordingly. The arrangement lets you fly, Iron man Style!
- Pay close attention to all the safety instructions given by the instructor and perform this activity under expert supervision.
Flyboarding in Dubai
Headout Price: AED 150
After you've spent the rest of Dubai pootling around the city, you can head for a desert safari in the afternoon. An extremely popular activity amongst visitors to the city, Dubai Desert Safaris take you to Bedouin camps in the stunning desert that surrounds Dubai. Partake in a range of, such as camel riding, dune bashing, sand boarding -- or enjoy a delicious buffet dinner under the stars. The sheer number of activities that are available at such safaris make them an extremely popular choice amongst those who wish to experience life in the desert, with a dash of comfort.
- Make sure to wear comfortable clothing, especially during the desert safari rides.
- While partaking in dune bashing, remember to listen to your instructor carefully: it can be a rough rollercoaster-like experience.
- Pack light: carry only the essential items such as sunscreen and sunglasses.
A Mix & Match of Culture, Thrills & Spills
Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise
Begin day 2 with a visit to the old Bastakiya Quarters. Squeezed between Dubai Creek and the Bur Dubai district, Bastakiya Quarter harks back to the days when Dubai was just a fishing village on the Persian Gulf. This is one of the must-visit cultural sightseeing landmarks in Dubai. The winding streets of Bastakiya are lined with old-fashion wind-towered buildings that have now been converted into galleries and restaurants. Before you finish touring Bastakiya, make sure to visit the textile souk where you'll find some of the best bolts of fabric. Finally, to experience the old ways of Dubai in its truest forms, head to the creek and go for a scenic tour in traditional abra boats.
- This is a nice place to hop between art galleries and boutique restaurants.
- You may choose to opt for a sightseeing tour of Dubai- this includes access to the Bastakia Quarters, amongst other attractions.
After you've walked around the old quarters in the sun, you will definitely be looking to catch a break from the heat. An what better place to do it other than the best waterpark in the city. The Aquaventure Waterpark is situated on the outer arms of the famous Palm Islands in Atlantis, The Palm Resort. The largest water park in all of the Middle East and Europe, Aquaventure Waterpark is also a multi-award winning park, having won the “Best Waterpark in the Middle East 2015” on TripAdvisor and “Middle East’s Leading Waterpark 2016” by the World Travel Awards. Awaiting you at Aquaventure are 90-foot slides where you exit into a shark-infested lagoon, lazy river boat rides and the most famous of them all, Poseidon’s Revenge - dropping you 75 feet before the slide arcs you through a double loop.
- Remember that outside food and beverages, alcohol and glassware are not permitted in the park.
- Aquaventure Waterpark is a shallow pool recreational zone. Therefore, no diving is permitted anywhere in the park.
- Lockers are available for rent.
Finally, end your second day with a relaxing Dubai Marina Dhow Cruise. Its banks are lined by towering skyscrapers that form exclusive residences, hotels, malls and others. Dubai Marina is a spectacle of modern engineering and a dhow cruise is one of the best ways to experience it. Cruising in Dubai Marina, you will be able to gaze at the Dubai Yacht Club, the yacht club promenade, Dubai Marina Mall, Sheikh's Boatyard, Jumeirah Beach Residence and parts of the Palm. The dinner on these dhow cruises feature a delectable menu of international dishes served in a buffet style.
- A Dhow cruise ride can be enjoyed at any time of the day, but we recommend going at sunset for the best views.
- Even tough there is no set dress code for the dinner cruise, we recommend a a semi-formal attire.
A Day Of Non-Stop Excitement
Hot Air Ballooning
Mall of the Emirates
A hot air balloon ride early in the morning and a breakfast after - your third day couldn't begin any better even if you tried. Hot Air Ballooning in Dubai has seen its footprints grow steadily in the past few years. Now, a favourite pastime amongst those visiting Dubai, hot air balloon rides have slowly seen their popularity rise from an activity for the indulgent to an activity that anyone can participate in. Away from the city, the vast expanse of desert land makes for a dramatic and beautiful landscape.
- Book tickets in advance as this activity is high in demand and tickets often get sold out quickly.
- Make sure to get an early night's sleep since hot air balloon tours usually begin at 4-5 AM.
- You don't want to leave your cameras at home: brace yourself for the greatest views and sceneries of Dubai from up, up & away!
Hot Air Balloon Breakfast Safari Tickets
Headout Price: AED 1050
Regarded as the world’s first shopping resort, Mall of the Emirates is home to over 630 international brands that include fashion, department stores, sports, lifestyle, electronics, home furnishing stores and the largest Carrefour in the city. The mall is also home to numerous entertainment experiences. These include Magic Planet, a family entertainment area; a 14-screen VOX Cinemas; the Dubai Community Theatre and Arts Centre (DUCTAC) and the world-famous Ski Dubai, Middle East’s first indoor ski resort and snow park. It also has over 90 international dining and café options.
Ski Dubai is unlike any other park in Dubai, or the Middle East for that matter. With temperatures maintained at -2° C, it is easy to forget that you’re in Dubai once you step into Ski Dubai. Located in the Mall of the Emirates and covered in snow all year round, Ski Dubai is a massive space that covers 22,500 square meters. With 5 slopes that vary in difficulty, height and gradient, there is something for everyone here.
- If you wish to visit Ski Dubai more than thrice a year, we recommend you get yourself the Ski Dubai annual pass.
- It is best to visit the park on a weekday to avoid crowds.
- Charge your phones/cameras adequately before entering the park.
A Trip To The Neighboring Emirate
From rides that go faster than the average speeds of an F1 car round a track to tasting authentic Italian food, there is something for everyone at Ferrari World. You can race your friends in racing simulators with the most advanced feedback systems or go for a roller coaster ride with the tallest non-inverting loop. You can go for a historic, albeit virtual, tour of the historic Ferrari factory in Maranello or even learn how to fly. With so much of world class entertainment to experience, Ferrari World is a must for everyone visiting the United Arab Emirates.
- To avoid long entrance queues, arrive early in the day. If possible, go during the week to avoid large crowds.
- Grab a waterproof electronic wristband so that you don’t have to worry about carrying cash or getting your money wet.
- Remember to take breaks in between and hydrate!
At Yas Waterworld, surf at the world’s largest surfable sheet wave, take the plunge down an epic Slither Slide and pass through wave tunnels on your way down, jump in a six-person water coaster that takes you on a wild ride over twists, turns, rapids, and drops. When you’ve tired yourself out from all the adrenaline, sit back, relax and float along the lazy river. From A-list celebrities to UAE locals, Yas Waterworld attracts and entices with its promise to give you the best water park experience you’ll ever get.
- Arrive at the park early to avoid long queues. If you're heading out at noon, try to plan this during the week.
- Grab a waterproof electronic wristband so that you don’t have to worry about carrying cash or getting your money wet.
- A combo ticket of Yas Waterworld and Ferrari World will save you money.
The Best of Downtown Dubai
Need a shopping guide in Dubai? Or wish to kick back and watch a movie? Then look no further than the Dubai Mall. Occupying a 12 million sq ft space in the heart of Dubai Downtown, Dubai Mall is the world's largest shopping, entertainment and leisure destination. With over 1,200 retail and dining outlets, there is something for everyone here - from leading fashion brands such as Versace, Alexander McQueen and Burberry to over 150 restaurants and cafes, the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo, theme parks for children and an ice skating rink. Situated next to Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall also affords you the opportunity to stand right next to the tallest building in the world and enjoy the lake’s beautiful fountain show.
- If you're looking for transportation options to/from the Dubai Mall, we recommend the metro. It is very easy to follow.
- Since you'll be on your feet all day, we recommend you wear comfortable shoes.
The tallest building in the world needs no introduction. With a total height of 829.8 m (2,722 ft), the Burj Khalifa has been the tallest structure in the world since 2008, even before it was finished. No trip to Dubai is complete without visiting the Burj Khalifa. Over 2 million people visit the Burj Khalifa every year, making their way to the highest observatory in the world - At the Top. Take your pick of Burj Khalifa Tickets.
- Purchase tickets in advance online in order to prevent queuing up for hours at the ticket counter.
- Evenings are some of the busiest periods at the Burj Khalifa. To enjoy the place in peace, head to the observatory in the morning or after 9:00 PM, when the crowd has lessened considerably .
- Sunsets from the top of the Burj Khalifa are considered a thing of beauty, but they're also the most crowded periods. To catch a sunset from the top, make sure to visit the Burj Khalifa an hour before the sunset.
Finally, round your trip off beautifully by watching a show at the Dubai Fountain, right outside Burj Khalifa. One of the most beautiful light, water and music spectacles in the world; the Dubai Fountain is the world’s second largest choreographed fountain system. Situated in the center of Downtown Dubai, the Dubai Fountain offers a breathtaking show of choreographed water jets that shoot over 100 feet in the air and dance to the rhythms of songs from all over the world.
- If you opt for the Burj Khalifa + Boardwalk combo ticket, you can see the Dubai Fountain show from two unique angles.
- Best to arrive for the show after sunset for the best views.
5 Days in Dubai Under AED 2550
Day 1 - View at The Palm, Flyboarding & Desert Safari
Day 2 - Bastakiya Quarter, Aquaventure Waterpark & Dubai Marina Dinner Cruise
Day 3 - Hot Air Ballooning + Mall of Emirates + Ski Dubai
Day 4 - Ferrari World & Yas Waterworld
Day 5 - Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa & Dubai Fountain
Book your Dubai Attractions tickets on Headout, and spend under AED 2,550 on your 5-day vacation in Dubai! Hit up all the prime attractions in the city and save more while you explore more. Read on to see our detailed 5 day Dubai Itinerary and learn more about visiting each of these attractions.
More Dubai Itinerary Options?
Got Some Extra Time On Your Hands?
Try fitting some more must-try activities and must-visit attractions in Dubai into your itinerary:
Motiongate Dubai is the only theme park in the Middle East themed around the biggest entertainment industry in the world - Hollywood. Motiongate Dubai is one of the four theme parks that make up the larger Dubai Parks and Resorts - the largest theme park and leisure destination in the Middle East.
LEGOLAND Dubai is split into two parks - LEGOLAND Theme Park and LEGOLAND Waterpark. Within the main LEGOLAND complex, there’s also a thrilling Waterpark with rides that both you and your kids can enjoy. Join in on the fun and frolic with your family this summer at LEGOLAND, one of the most popular attractions in Dubai.
Dubai Helicopter Tours
From the iconic Burj Khalifa, present in all its magnificent glory, to the striking Palm Jumeirah, a Dubai Helicopter tour offers you bird’s eye view of the city like nothing else does. Add your family or friends to this ride of a lifetime and what you get is an experience you won’t ever forget. Clearly helicopter tours Dubai are a requisite tourist experience.
Dolphin Bay Dubai
Dolphin Bay at Atlantis, Dubai is one of the world's most sophisticated dolphin habitats where you get to not only swim with the dolphins but also feed them and go scuba diving alongside these charismatic creatures. Keeping in store activities suitable for all age groups, ranging from swim diapers to speedos, Dolphin Bay will add an element of excitement to your trip.
Dubai City Passes
A Dubai City Pass promises a good way to explore Dubai. The two most popular passes in Dubai are the iVenture Card and the Go Dubai Card. Both these passes have been designed to help you keep the expenses down while you explore and experience Dubai with ease.Check out our guide in which we go through the details of each card, outline the difference between them them and offer tips on how you can purchase these cards and get the most value for your money
Essential Dubai Guides
Here are a few detailed guides that will help you plan your trip to Dubai better.