A bird's eye view of Dubai with the Burj Al Arab in the center and the coastline meeting the water.
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2 Days In Dubai Itinerary: A Perfect Weekend Getaway

From glitzy skyscrapers to traditional Arabian markets and desert landscapes, Dubai has a lot to offer.

Here is your 2 days in Dubai itinerary to plan a perfect weekend getaway.

I live in Cairo and I love a getaway to Dubai for world-class shopping, a bustling art scene and hidden gems. I’ve also visited Dubai a few times on work trips – and it’s always offered something new!

You can unwind on the beach, learn about local fishing traditions and have a Michelin-star dinner with a glittering city view. You’ll never get bored in Dubai.

So where do you begin to plan your perfect weekend?

Here Is My Ultimate 2 Days In Dubai Itinerary:

DAY ONE

MORNING: Dubai Marina

Skyscrapers line the waterfront in Dubai with an old traditional wooden boat in the foreground.

Start your weekend with a morning stroll at the Dubai Marina to take in the world’s tallest block of skyscrapers – and the city’s most beautiful skyline.

Walk down the beautiful palm-dotted promenade, browse the Dubai Marina Mall or hit the beach at this impressive spot. The marina boasts buildings that measure more than 300 m and it’s definitely a must-see on your Dubai itinerary.

The modern, glimmering glass architecture here is stunning.

And the marina is packed with restaurants and beach resorts perfect for a morning cappuccino overlooking the Arabian Gulf.

Best Things To Do At Dubai Marina:

  • Take a ride on the world’s longest urban zip line.
  • Visit the beach (I recommend the sandy Jumeirah Beach).
  • Book a yacht tour with breakfast.
  • Take in the views on a lux helicopter ride.
  • Sail on a traditional abra taxi.

Dubai Marina is known for its luxury. You’ll find rows of yachts and some of the city’s most luxurious apartments and hotels. If you’re a lover of fine dining, the marina is packed with incredible restaurants and superb views.

– by Laura of Laure Wanders

AFTERNOON: Souk Madinat

A narrow street through the souq lined with sand-colored buildings and a square tower in the background in Dubai.

Do some afternoon browsing at the nearby Souk Madinat, a luxury Arabian-style bazaar at the Madinat Jumeirah resort.

Stroll through more than 75 shops, galleries and restaurants in a quaint, old-town setting.

This Middle Eastern souk offers fine silks, high-end fashion, home ware and jewelry. Splurge on a beaded handbag, silk scarf, enticing oud perfume, spices and camel milk soap packaged in gold wrapping.

Souk Madinat boasts traditional architecture with all the comforts of a modern-day shopping mall. There are restaurants with glowing lanterns and ice cream shops. And there’s a lovely outdoor terrace with a view.

It’s also a great place to shop for unique souvenirs – and a perfect spot to spend a stop-over in Dubai.

– by Linda of Muy Linda Travels

EVENING: Burj Khalifa

The enormous Burj Khalifa in Dubai rises up as seen through an arched gap in a gate.

Finish your first day in Dubai at the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building with stunning views of the city.

Burj Khalifa is one of the top attractions in Dubai with lightning-fast elevators and dizzying observation decks. And it’s absolutely stunning at sunset.

Rising above the clouds at the height of 829.8 meters, this architectural masterpiece opened in 2010 after 5 years of construction. The tower features 160 floors and two observation decks on level 124 and 125.

Ride to the decks for incredible 360-views of Dubai, the Persian Gulf and the surrounding desert. And stop by Level 125, which is dedicated to local culture with an interior inspired by mashrabiya, or traditional lattice windows.

Take a breather at At the Top on Level 148, a lounge with Dubai views from the comforts of an outdoor terrace and premium lounge.

– by Elena of Passion for Dubai

EVENING: Dubai Mall

The glittering multi-story Dubai mall seen in the evening glowing with lights that are reflected in a nearby pool of water.

Spend your evening at Dubai Mall, the world’s biggest shopping mall packed with dancing fountains, aquariums and traditional souqs.

Dubai Mall is just a short walk from Burj Khalifa and there’s a doorway to the skyscraper right inside the mall.

Catch the musical Dubai Fountain Show, the world’s largest choreographed fountain. Or experience the illuminated evening water show from an abra, a traditional wooden boat floating on the waters of Burj Lake.

Insider’s tip: The Dubai Dino, A 155-million-year-old well-preserved fossil of a Diplodocus Longus is on display inside the mall.

And don’t miss the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, home to more than 33,000 beautiful marine creatures including a 700-kilogram King Cros.

A sweeping white ice skating ring in Dubai with half a dozen people skating across a MasterCard logo in the ice.

The Dubai Ice Rink at Dubai Mall is an adventure with prices starting from AED 93.50 per person for 90 minutes of skating, including the skates.

There’s something counter-intuitive yet satisfying about doing winter sports in a desert country like the United Arab Emirates. So it’s no surprise there’s a large ice skating rink at Dubai’s most famous mall.

Book your time slot online to avoid waiting lines. And rent extra equipment like a gliding aid or helmet on the spot.

– by Iris from Mind of a Hitchhiker

DAY TWO

MORNING: Hot Air Balloon OR Desert Safari
Option 1: Hot Air Balloon

A hot air balloon glides across sand dunes in the desert outside Dubai.

The rolling sand dunes just outside the city are Dubai’s playground.

There are many activities for desert adventurers – but the most magical is a hot air balloon over Dubai’s desert at dawn.

A sunrise hot air balloon requires a very early start. Pick-up is at 4am from your hotel – and it’s a good two-hour drive to the launch site.

But trust me – it’s worth the sleep deprivation when you’re gliding over the desert.

Drift over the dunes in a blanket of silence punctuated by the sharp blast of the burner firing. The dawn light picks out a thousand golden hues as it illuminates the dunes.

And if you’re lucky you might spot some wildlife. Camels, goats and snakes make their way across the sand while hawks circle overhead in search of prey.

– by Julianna of The Discoveries Of

Option 2: Desert Safari

A jeep roles across golden sand dunes in the desert near Dubai.

A Dubai desert safari lets you to experience the magic of the vast sand and teaches you about Bedouin culture. It’s a great chance to discover the region’s rich heritage.

Choose from a wide range of desert safaris in Dubai including morning, evening and overnight tours, romantic experiences, budget and luxury tours.

Morning safaris are more activity-focused and perfect for those who don’t want to spend all day in the desert. Options include dune-bashing, ATV tours, sand boarding, falconry demonstrations, camel rides and sunset photography sessions.

– by Sarah of CosmopoliClan

AFTERNOON: Jumeirah Mosque

A mosque with a large dome and two minarets peaks from behind some palm tree leaves in Dubai.

Dive into some local culture with a visit to Jumeirah Mosque, one of the city’s most beautiful and the only mosque open to non-Muslims.

Jumeirah Mosque is built in the style of the Fatimids, the 8th-century conquerors of North Africa, and opened in 1976.

Take a guided tour of Jumeirah Mosque for an insight into Emirati culture and traditions. The 75-minute tour is held daily at 10 am and 2 pm except Fridays.

There’s no need to book in advance. Just arrive at the mosque a half hour before the tour starts to register. The fee of 35 AED includes Arabic tea and coffee.

There’s a great American guide who’s a convert to Islam and married to an Emirati. She offers insight into the mosque, the pilgrimage to Mecca and women’s rights in Islam.

– by Vanessa of The Travelling Colognian

EVENING: Al Bastakiya

A coffee house in Dubai inside a small beige building surrounded by framed pictures on the wall and pink flowers.

Finish your last day in Dubai at Al Bastakiya, a historic district that once housed Persian merchants and is now home to art studios and galleries.

Al Bastakiya is now a booming art and cultural district with cafes, museums, shops and boutique hotels. This old part of the city, known as the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood, dates back to the 1890s.

Most buildings in Al Fahidi recall an era before the creation of the emirates. There are wind towers and wooden beams around interior courtyards with shaded patios and quiet cafes.

Don’t miss the Dubai Museum to learn about the history of this Emirate from its humble pearl trade origins to today’s business hub. Check out the impressive aerial photos of Dubai that show the city’s development over the past four decades.