Things To Do In Dubai In One Day
If you have just 24 hours to spend in the capital of glamor and excitement, Dubai, what attractions would you like to see, and what thrills would you like to experience? Consider those 24 hours to be the only time you’ll have in Dubai, and suddenly you’ll know exactly how you want to spend your time. You’ll want to experience those things that are unique to Dubai, and nowhere else. We’re thinking the same as well, and we have some excellent options for each time-frame in your travel schedule. Do take a look!
1. Early Morning Option 1: Balloon Ride
How about experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime balloon ride over the pristine Arabian Desert? Sounds great? Your balloon takes off just before dawn and rises several thousand feet into the frigid cold night air of the desert. Watch the undulating purple-colored dunes change color as dawn gets closer. Watch as the sun rises suddenly over the horizon, spilling its rays over the desert, washing the undulating dunes in a brilliance of gold. Your balloon ride includes breakfast on the dunes before you get dropped back to your hotel at 8 A.M.
2. Early Morning Option 2: Explore The Dubai Creek
Rise early, and take a taxi or the metro to the Dubai Creek. Hire a traditional abra or a dhow to cruise the length of the creek, all the way from the Persian Gulf to the Ras Al Khor Wildlife Sanctuary. This will be the treat of a lifetime, as you will gain insight into the way things were in Dubai before the oil boom. Enjoy looking at the old-style buildings made of mud and stone, the water towers that kept Dubai cool before air conditioners, the dhow yard with its ancient vessels and more. Then stop at Bur Dubai and explore the market stalls selling pashmina shawls, carpets and silk. Cross over to the Deira side, and walk among the traditional souks selling perfumes, spices, gold and more. Visit the oldest building here, once the residence of Dubai’s royalty, the Al Fahidi Museum, which houses various artifacts from Dubai’s past.
3. Midday Option 1: Dubai Big Bus City Tour
Dubai big bus tour lines offer three tour routes: Red, Green, and Blue, with 35+ stops located conveniently near top Dubai attractions. You can hop on and off as often as you like to check out sights such as the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, the world-famous Burj Al Arab and the traditional gold and spice souks. Take your time to explore the city the way you want to. You can even squeeze in shopping and refreshment breaks because there are no deadlines for getting back on the bus.
4. Midday Option 2: Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai Fountain
Grab the metro to the Burj Khalifa and zip up to the Observation Deck on the 124th floor. If you decide on this midday option, be sure to book your entry ticket online in advance. Enjoy a fabulous view of the entire city from the top, including the incredible Dubai Fountains that are directly below. Explore the Dubai Mall, paying special attention to the underwater aquarium. If you have the time, hire a dhow and cruise to the Dubai Fountains on the Burj Lake to enjoy the light, sound and water extravaganza up close.
5. Afternoon Option 1: Seaplane Ride Over Dubai
When you’re done with your midday activity, enjoy lunch at one of Dubai’s many fine restaurants. Then it’s time for an exciting seaplane ride over Dubai. Sit back in a fully airconditioned seaplane, and take in the wonderful sights of the magnificent city far below. Get the pilot to fly up close to the Burj Khalifa, the Palm Islands, the World Islands, Dubai Eye, the Dubai Canal and other fabulous attractions. Use a telephoto lens to capture evocative images of the city as you cruise several thousand feet above the city for 2 hours.
6. Afternoon Option 2: Mangrove Kayaking Tour
Though not as exhilarating as a seaplane ride, a mangrove kayaking tour is exciting and unique to the Middle East. Dubai’s coast and nearby islands are surrounded by ancient mangrove forests whose treacherous roots pose excellent challenges to the expert kayaker. If you’re not an expert, not to worry – just join a mangrove kayaking tour and let the experts navigate through the currents into the forests. The mangrove forest is home to an interesting ecosystem; various bird and animal species depend on the mangroves for their existence. You might spot estuarine crocodiles, turtles, snakes and several other exotic wildlife species during your adventure.
7. Evening Option 1: Desert Safari
Sign up for an afternoon or evening desert safari, to enjoy the Dubai desert up close. You’ve already experienced it from the sky, now you get the chance to actually touch and feel the dunes, and enjoy a range of desert sports. If you’re into adventures, try your hand at dune bashing, dune driving, snowboarding, quad biking and camel riding. Enjoy wearing traditional Bedouin costumes as you loll in an authentic Bedouin tent, enjoying the traditional Arabian hospitality and some in-house entertainment. A desert safari is definitely on our list of the top things to do in Dubai.
8. Evening Option 2: Dhow Cruise On The Persian Gulf
Sign up for a dhow cruise along Dubai’s coast, starting at the fabulous Dubai marina. You’ll enjoy watching Dubai’s fully-lit up landmarks reflect in the water, turning the coastline into something from a fairytale. Cruise in and out of the branches of the Palm Islands, getting up close to one of Dubai’s most adventurous achievements so far. Cruise up to the World Islands and admire the way the city has literally reclaimed miles and miles of sand from the very ocean to form these islands in the shape of the world. Your dhow cruise comes with its own onboard entertainment – a Tanura Show and some belly dancing while you sample from a barbecued Emirati buffet dinner.
We’ve given you two options for every time frame for your stay in Dubai. Do take our suggestions to heart while doing your own due diligence, to get the very best out of Dubai. Keep an open mind, and don’t feel rushed. You can always come back for more Dubai adventures!