The Iconic 4 day Dubai itinerary

Dubai has cemented itself as one of the world’s most Iconic destinations. My 4 day Dubai itinerary hits all of the iconic spots with extra recommendations from my own experience! You can also check out my luxury Dubai trip itinerary!

Day 1

Burj Khalifa

What better way to start your Dubai experience than by visiting its most iconic landmark and the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa! There are a couple of ways you can experience the world’s tallest building:

Go up the Burj Khalifa

You will need to purchase tickets to go up the Burj Khalifa, which can be done online or at the ticket counters in the Dubai Mall. There are two observation decks: the At the Top, located on the 124th and 125th floors, and the At the Top Sky, located on the 148th floor.

The entrance to the Burj Khalifa is located inside the Dubai Mall. Once you’re in prepare yourself for the elevator ride to the top. The elevators at the Burj Khalifa are among the fastest in the world!

Once you arrive at the observation deck, you will have panoramic views of Dubai, if you visit later in the day you might get luck and see the dancing fountains from above. There are interactive exhibits and telescopes available for you to explore and learn more about the city.

Visit one of the Burj Khalifa restaurants At.mosphere or Amal

Enjoy the experience of visiting the Burj Khalifa at a more leisurely pace by booking one of their restaurants, at.mosphere or Amal.

I’ve had afternoon tea at at.mophere, you can also go for breakfast, at.mosphere is located just two floors below the viewing deck and in my opinion better value for money if you’d like to get inside!

Sky Views Observatory

Sky Views Observatory is a futuristically designed podium at The Address Sky View hotel and residences. The Observatory offers unique adrenaline-raising experiences including:

  • An outdoor glass slide, propelling visitors from level 53 at 219.5 m to level 52 at 215.5 m while enclosed in a transparent glass tube.
  • The Edge Walk, is a thrilling air-walk experience allowing visitors to step onto the external perimeter in a hands-free walk taking in the sweeping views of Burj Khalifa while defying gravity.

The Dancing Fountains

After 7 years I’m still obsessed with the dancing fountains. The dancing fountains in Dubai are a spectacular water feature located at the base of the Burj Khalifa.

The fountain performs daily, with shows every 30 minutes in the evening from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm (subject to change), and each performance lasts for approximately 5 minutes. The shows feature a variety of popular songs and music genres, including Arabic, classical, and contemporary music.

How to watch the Dancing Fountains

The Dubai Fountain is free to watch and can be viewed from various locations around the Burj Khalifa Lake.

  • Watch them from the waterfront promenade of The Dubai Mall. it does get busy, however there is plenty of space if you walk closer to Burj Park to enjoy the show.
  • From one of the restaurants connected to Dubai Mall – Take your pick of restaurants over looking the fountains from Dubai Mall (my favourite is Din Tai Fung!), Souk Al Bahar, and the restaurants located in the Burj Khalifa and the Palace Downtown.

Dubai Mall

How much can there be to see in a mall you ask? Dubai Mall is not just any mall, it’s the largest mall in the world. Before visiting download the Dubai Mall app to navigate.

Sites not to miss in Dubai Mall

  1. The Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo – one of the largest indoor aquariums in the world, with over 140 species of sea life.
  2. Dubai Ice Rink – an Olympic-sized ice rink that offers public skating sessions, figure skating classes, and ice hockey.
  3. Fashion Avenue – a luxury shopping destination with over 150 high-end brands.
  4. The Souk – a traditional Arabian marketplace that offers a variety of products, including clothing, jewelry, and spices.
  5. Dubai Dino – a 155-million-year-old dinosaur skeleton that is on display in the mall’s Grand Atrium.
  6. The Dubai Mall Waterfall – a 24-meter tall indoor waterfall that is surrounded by sculptures and artwork.

Day 2

Relax by the beach

Dubai enjoys sunshine all year round, with the summer months producing temperatures of 45 degrees. Paired with the fact Dubai has surprising amount of beautiful beaches and beachside activities you’ll need to spare a day to relax by the beach.

Ways to enjoy a day by the beach in Dubai:

  • From your hotel – The easiest way to have access to a beach or pool is by booking a hotel with access. Beachfront properties are typically higher in price.
  • From a Dubai beach club – Beach clubs in Dubai have been popping up thick and fast and now there options for everyone to enjoy. It’s best to book in advance, check out this list of Dubai Beach Clubs.
  • A public beach – Dubai does have a number of public beaches you can visit, my favorites are:
  1. Umm Suqeim Beach – also known as Sunset Beach, offers stunning views of the Burj Al Arab and is a popular spot for surfing.
  2. Kite Beach – a beach popular with kite surfers and offers a range of beach activities and food options.
  3. Black Palace Beach – a hidden gem located near the Al Sufouh area, offers stunning views of the Palm Jumeirah and Dubai Marina.
  4. JBR Beach – a bustling beach with a variety of water sports, restaurants, and shopping options.

Desert Safari

A Dubai desert safari is an adventure tour that takes you into the heart of the Arabian desert. It typically involves a thrilling ride over sand dunes in a 4×4 vehicle, followed by a visit to a traditional Bedouin-style campsite, where you can enjoy a range of activities and experiences.

Here’s a breakdown of what a typical Dubai desert safari might include:

  1. Pickup: Your tour operator will pick you up from your hotel in Dubai in a 4×4 vehicle.
  2. Dune bashing: Once you’re out of the city, you’ll hit the sand dunes and the driver will take you on an exhilarating ride over the dunes, known as “dune bashing”. This can be quite an adrenaline rush, so if you’re prone to motion sickness, you may want to take some precautions beforehand.
  3. Sunset views: As the sun begins to set, you’ll stop at a vantage point to take in the breathtaking views of the desert landscape. This is a great opportunity to take some photos and capture the moment.
  4. Camel ride: Next, you’ll visit a traditional Bedouin-style campsite, where you can take a short camel ride and experience the traditional way of life in the desert.
  5. Dinner and entertainment: At the campsite, you’ll be treated to a delicious barbecue dinner, with a range of Middle Eastern dishes to choose from. You’ll also be entertained with traditional music and dance performances, including belly dancing.
  6. Stargazing: After dinner, you can relax under the stars and enjoy the tranquility of the desert night. Some tour operators even offer telescope viewing, so you can get a closer look at the stars and planets.
  7. Return to hotel: Finally, your tour operator will drive you back to your hotel in Dubai, usually arriving late in the evening.

Day 3

Visit Jebal Jais

Jebel Jais is the highest mountain in the UAE. Located in the Emirate of Ras al Khaimah you’ll need to hire a car or a driver to get here from Dubai. The top attractions Jebel Jais are:

  • Jebel Jais Flight – This is the longest zipline in the world, with a length of 2.83 kilometers. The zipline takes riders on a thrilling journey through the mountainous terrain of Jebel Jais, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
  • Hiking and Camping – For those who prefer a more leisurely pace, Jebel Jais offers a range of hiking trails that allow visitors to explore the mountain at their own pace. The trails vary in length and difficulty, offering something for everyone
  • Jebel Jais Sledder, which is a unique activity that allows visitors to sled down the mountain on specially designed sleds. The sleds are equipped with brakes and a steering mechanism, allowing visitors to control their speed and direction as they slide down the mountain. The sled run is 1.7 kilometers long and offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape. This activity is suitable for all ages and is a great way to enjoy the mountain in a fun and exciting way.
  • 1484 by Puro – Grab lunch at 1484 by Puro before making your way back to Dubai. It’s the perfect way to take in the views of the Jebel Jai’s mountains. Book well in advance as they do not allow walk ins.

Souk Madinat

What you’ll find in the souk

Souk Madinat is a traditional Arabian marketplace located in the heart of Dubai. It is a part of the larger Madinat Jumeirah complex, which also includes hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues.

The souk is designed to resemble a traditional Arabian marketplace, with winding alleyways, narrow waterways, and colorful stalls selling a variety of goods.

As you wander through the souk, you’ll find shops selling everything from clothing, jewelry, and handicrafts to perfumes, spices, and souvenirs. You can also find traditional Arabian sweets, such as baklava.

After you’ve explore inside the Souk head outside

One of the main attractions of Souk Madinat is its picturesque setting. You can enjoy stunning views of the Burj Al Arab and the surrounding waterways from the outdoor seating areas of the restaurants and cafes. I’d recommend take the Abra boat ride along the waterways, you can do this in two ways:

  • Pay to enjoy the Abra Boat Ride along the waterway, tickets can be booked from the Abra station found on the waterway.
  • Make a booking at a connected Madinat restaurant and catch a ride for free – Pai Thai, French Riviera, Shimmers, Zeng He’s are all restaurants you could book to enjoy this privilege.

Souk Madinat is a unique and memorable experience that offers a glimpse into the traditional Arabian marketplace, however it isn’t as authentic as visiting the original Souks which are found in old Dubai.

Day 4

JBR, Bluewaters Island and Dubai Marina

I’d recommend visiting these sites by foot, Dubai isn’t the most walk friendly city but these Iconic areas are all well connected can be reached from one another by foot.

Dubai Marina

Dubai Marina is a man made canal where you’ll find residential buildings, restaurants, Dubai Marina Mall and many docked yachts. You can explore the marina by renting one of the many career bikes or lime scooters if you don’t feel like walking.

Dubai Marina is also famous for its skyline, which includes some of the tallest and most iconic towers in Dubai, such as the Princess Tower, the Cayan Tower, and the Marina Torch. The area offers a vibrant and cosmopolitan lifestyle, making it a popular destination for expatriates, tourists, and locals alike.

Jumeirah Beach Residence

Jumeirah Beach Residence, also known as JBR, is a waterfront residential and tourism development.

JBR has become a popular destination for tourists and residents alike, as it offers a wide range of entertainment and recreational facilities. The area features a 1.7 km long beach promenade known as “The Walk”, which is lined with cafes, restaurants, and shops. Visitors can also enjoy water sports, and other outdoor activities.

Bluewaters Island

Bluewaters Island is a man-made island located off the coast of JBR. The island is a mixed-use development that offers a variety of attractions and amenities.

At the center of the island is the Ain Dubai, which is the world’s largest observation wheel at over 250 meters tall. It offers stunning views of the Dubai skyline and the Persian Gulf.

Bluewaters Island also features a variety of shops, restaurants, cafes, and entertainment venues, including the Caesars Palace hotel and a large retail and dining destination called The Wharf. The island also has a public beach, which is open to visitors and residents alike.

The island is easily accessible from the mainland via a pedestrian bridge and by road.

Museum of the future

No Dubai itinerary is complete without a visit to the Museum of the Future, Dubai’s latest iconic landmark.

The museum features interactive exhibits, immersive experiences, and multimedia installations that showcase cutting-edge technologies and ideas. It covers a range of topics, including artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, smart cities, and biotechnology.

I have to admit I was slightly underwhelmed when I visited the Museum, I find the view from the outside is more inspiring than the inside! If you think this might be the case for you I recommend you visit Monkey Bar at the 25 Hours hotel an incredible view of the striking structure over a few drinks.

Are 4 days enough for Dubai?

You might find that with only 4 days your Dubai itinerary is packed and you are rushed off your feet trying to see all of the iconic sites, I recommend visiting for a week to enjoy all Dubai has to offer at a more leisurely pace.

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