Dubai is an extremely popular gateway for global travelers. Whether you're coming from Europe, North or South America, or Asia, the city is a busy stopover point.
If you find yourself with one day in Dubai as a stopover on your long-haul journey, it can be hard to decide what to cram in with such limited time. Fortunately, we’ve put together a number of options that can be used as a one day in Dubai itinerary to help you make the most of your stopover in the Emirate.
This one day itinerary includes:
- Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Sightseeing Tour
- At The Top Burj Khalifa
- Dubai Mall & Dubai Fountains
- Ski Dubai
- The Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis The Palm
- Dubai Creek Cruise
- and more!
We’ve also put together a weekend, 3 days in Dubai, and a week in Dubai posts to help you plan the ultimate vacation.
Example 1 Day Dubai Itinerary #1:
Stop #1 – Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Sightseeing Tour
Start your day early and immerse yourself in the action and spectacle of the city from an open-top Hop-On Hop-Off Big Bus Dubai Tour as it drives down Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai’s main highway. An onboard guide provides you with entertaining anecdotes, context, and history of each point of interest along your tour route.
You’ll have plenty of time to disembark and snap pictures and explore at your leisure as the bus continues its journey. Along the way you’ll have the chance to see more than 40 points of interest on the tour, with such popular highlights as the Burj Khalifa, Jumeirah mosque, Dubai Marina, Spice Souk, and more.
Stop #2 – Ski Dubai
If you want to see something truly amazing, stop at the Middle East’s largest indoor ski resort, Ski Dubai. This snowy spectacle continues to draw in visitors with the world’s first indoor black diamond ski run!
Delight in this sub zero playground in the middle of the desert with Ski Dubai Snow Classic or Ski Slope tickets.
Even if you don’t want to suit up and ski down one of the venue’s five ski slopes, sled, or toboggan runs, you can watch all the chilly action from the all-glass viewing platform within the mall.
Though if you’ve brave enough, Ski Dubai offers lessons and rentals for every skill set, from the beginner to a snow sporting pro. The kids, meanwhile, can enjoy a session in the penguin zone or on the icy playground.
Stop #3 – Lost Chambers Aquarium
Your next stop should be the Lost Chambers Aquarium at Atlantis the Palm Resort. The mythical city’s new underwater home is encapsulated in the Lost Chambers’ ten different areas, where you can get as up close as possible without getting wet to a variety of marine life animals, from sharks, to piranhas, to jellyfish, stingrays, and other fish.
Explore the watery ruins of Atlantis and try to spot as many maritime creatures as you can. The aquarium also houses the Middle East’s largest open-air marine habitat. You can book a myth tour to experience the inside story and get further information on the lost city and the aquarium’s fishy residents.
If you plan your visit right, you might be able to see the Lost Chambers’ scuba divers as they check on all of the animals in the tanks and put on a live feeding show. Consult their website in advance to see the diving schedule.
Stop #4 – Dubai Creek Cruise
Hop aboard a tradtional dhow boat for a cruise around Dubai Creek to get some of the best views of the glimmering metropolis. Dubai Creek encircles the city center, and from the boat you'll see a whole host of the city's sight s that soar into the sky.
Accompanied by pre-recorded commentary and with a complimentary soft drink on offer, this is the gentle way to sightsee, and a must for those that wish to see this famously frenetic city at a more leisurely pace.
Stop #5 – Dubai Mall & Dubai Fountains (free!)
Once you've finished your luxurious tour of the Palm, cruise back down SZR to the Downtown Dubai area for a stop at Dubai Mall and the Dubai Fountains. Dubai Mall once held the title of the largest and most innovative mall in the world. Today it still delights with a multitude of shops, dining options, a huge multiplex movie theater, and even an indoor ice skating rink.
It's certainly a site to tick off on your to-do list with offerings for all ages. One of the mall’s most interesting features can actually be found outside of it: the famous dancing Dubai Fountains. This is the world’s biggest choreographed fountain system that springs to life with music and light performances set to both Arabic and world music hits.
Note that the fountain show begins only in the afternoon. Watch as the spectacular water and light show illuminates the dusky sky as the day turns to evening. Be sure to get a good spot near the Souk Al Bahar bridge for prime viewing.
Stop #6 – At The Top Burj Khalifa
We’ve saved the best for last with your final stop of the day at the ultimate Dubai tourist attraction. Travel up more than 140 floors of the world’s tallest building to experience the dizzying heights of At The Top at the Burj Khalifa.
Learn about what when into the historic construction of this magnificent building before entering a dedicated tour elevator where you'll experience projections and video installations that will make you feel as if you're soaring over the desert terrain. Once you've reached level 148, you're invited to step out and enjoy the world's highest outdoor observation deck.
From here, you’ll enjoy an absolutely jaw-dropping, panoramic view of Dubai, where you can fully appreciate the vivid and daring architecture of the city as an oasis in the desert. This is also a perfect place to snap one final trip photo, almost from the literal top of the world.
Example 1 Day Dubai Itinerary #2:
- Take a Hop on Hop Off Big Bus Dubai Sightseeing Tour - and see all of Dubai on 3 routes - the best introduction to the city. The Red Route (City Tour) takes you to the old quarters of Dubai, where you can hop off at the Gold Souk or Spice Souk.
- Take a 1-hour Dhow cruise on the Dubai Creek and visit the Dubai Museum (all included in your 1 Day Big Bus Dubai ticket).
- Head back to Dubai Mall on the way back and go At The Top at Burj Khalifa.
- Visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at the Dubai Mall.
- Take a tour of the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall in the world!
- Delight your palate with the Arabian Culinary Experience (featuring Lebanese delicacies) at Al Hallab Restaurant on the outdoor terrace with views of the Dubai Fountain show.
Example 1 Day Dubai Itinerary #3:
- You've got to visit At The Top at Burj Khalifa.
- Visit the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo at Dubai Mall.
- Take a tour the Dubai Mall, the world's largest shopping mall in the world!
- Delight your palate with the Arabian Culinary Experience (serving Lebanese delicacies) at Al Hallab Restaurant on the Dubai Mall terrace with views of the Dubai Fountain show. Please note: Fountain shows only start in the afternoon.
- Head to the pristine Dubai desert with the afternoon Desert Safari & BBQ Dinner (includes pick up directly at Dubai Mall around 3.30pm).
Example 1 Day Dubai Itinerary #4:
- Enjoy a family day at Aquaventure Waterpark, at Atlantis hotel on the Dubai Palm Jumeirah.
- Visit the stunning Lost Chambers Aquarium and have lunch at one of the many outlets at Atlantis.
- If you have some time, head to Ski Dubai for some afternoon fun or head to The Beach (JBR) for some afternoon swimming at the sea.
- Enjoy a Dhow Dinner Cruise at Dubai Marina with stunning views of the Marina Waterfront.
Example 1 Day Dubai Itinerary #5:
- Take a rib speed boat sightseeing tour at Dubai Marina.
- Have a swim at The Beach (JBR) and grab lunch at many of the restaurants and shopping outlets there.
- Head to Ski Dubai at Mall of the Emirates for some afternoon indoor skiing & shopping.
- Head to At The Top, Burj Khalifa.
- Delight your palate with the Arabian Culinary Experience (offering Lebanese delicacies) at Al Hallab Restaurant on the Dubai Mall terrace with views of the Dubai Fountain show.
If you follow the items outlined in any of these one day in Dubai itineraries with a Go Dubai pass, you’ll be able to save on combined admission costs. Simply download your pass and then pick and choose the attractions you most want to see. So if you're spending a stopover in Dubai, we hope you'll consider some of the attractions on this itinerary. Happy travels!