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How to spend 1 day in Dubai

Once a desert, Dubai is now a bustling metropolis that attracts millions of international visitors every year. Are you interested in culture and history? Or maybe shopping the day away and heading to the top of the world's tallest building sounds more appealing? No matter your interests, Dubai surely has something to catch your attention. And if you only have one day in Dubai, we’ve got the perfect itinerary for you.

Early Morning: Stop and smell the roses in Dubai's Miracle Garden.

Start your day off bright and early in Dubai's impressive Miracle Garden, which opens at 9 am, before that bright Arab sun gets too hot.

The Miracle Garden is much more than just a garden. Perhaps you've seen photos of your friends in the famous Hearts Passage, elegantly framed by the heart-shaped floral structures that make up this romantic tunnel.

However, you can see plenty more miracles in the Miracle Garden besides the Hearts Passage. How about a 35-ton Mickey Mouse sculpture made of nearly 100,000 flowers? Or a life-size floral sculpture of an Emirates A380 jet? You'll also encounter a giant teddy bear and a 15-meter floral clock while exploring the garden. Keep in mind that attractions are subject to change with the seasons, so you never know what wonders you might find!

Late Morning: Soak up some culture at the Jumeirah Mosque.

If you are interested in learning some more about Islamic traditions and customs, the beautiful Jumeirah Mosque is well worth a visit.

Expect the architecture of the mosque itself to be breathtaking; it's a Dubai icon. Mosque representatives lead guided tours through the mosque six days a week, explaining Islamic traditions, holidays, rituals, etc. These tours start at 10 am.

Keep in mind that modest, culturally appropriate attire is an absolute must to enter the mosque. Women must wear a scarf on their head and keep their shoulders covered. Clothing is available to borrow if necessary.

Afternoon: Beat the heat in the Dubai Mall.

By noon, you'll probably want to take a break from that brutal Arab sun and head to the famous Dubai Mall. As one of the largest malls in the world with over 1200 shops, you can definitely “shop ‘til you drop” here. The Dubai Mall offers its visitors far more than just an incredible shopping experience – you can easily spend hours exploring all there is to offer.

If you're ready for lunch, you'll have plenty of dining options to choose from within the mall. You have multiple dining locations to pick from. Looking for a restaurant with a more interesting ambiance? Stop by the Rainforest Café, which has been designed to recreate the feel of a tropical rainforest. 

Are you ready for some entertainment after all the shopping and eating? Prepare yourself then, as The Dubai Mall is also home to a VR park, a 22-screen cinema, a haunted house, a 7-meter-high dinosaur fossil (“Dubai Dino”). One thing is certain, you won’t run out of things to do while you’re here.

Evening: Take in panoramic city views from Burj Khalifa.

From the mall, you can head straight to Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building and one of Dubai’s top attractions. Head to Level 148 to visit the observation deck At the Top, Burj Khalifa SKY – the world’s highest observation desk. Get some refreshments from the SKY lounge before you head down to At the Top, the 360-degree observation decks on Levels 125 and 124.

Make sure you book your tickets to the Burj Khalifa in advance in order to skip the long lines and to ensure the best prices.

Night: Marvel at the Dubai Fountain show.

Finish off your day by taking in the Dubai Fountain Show, located near the Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa. In this impressive show, 6,000 lights and 22,000 gallons of water dance to music from around the world.

For an extra-special view of the show and the city's impressive night skyline, book a short boat ride in one of the traditional "abra" water taxis. It's a perfect way to relax and enjoy the show after a jam-packed day exploring Dubai.


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What people are saying about Dubai

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,628 reviews

We booked the activity just the night before and early in the morning our driver picked us up just in time.everything is well-organized, quad-bike is a fantastic experience and camel ride is fun..Mohammad is a great driver and guide,he made the safari very enjoyable for us.for the ones who doesn’t have plenty of time in Dubai 4-hour morning safari is a good choice..

The desert safari with our driver Najeeb was awesome. We did camel riding and drove buggy on the dunes which was also very nice.

Mr. Ibrahim was very professional, very friendly and very, very good driver. an excellent experience. highly recommend.

Abdul was amazing and so knowledgeable. It was a pleasure to do this tour with him. I would do it again anytime!

It was a great adventure thanks for our guide Ibrahim! 5star experience highly recommended, great value!