With three days in Dubai, there’s time to experience all of its main draws, from desert expeditions and day trips to the open seas, scented souks, amusement parks, and deluxe leisure experiences. Here’s how to get the most out of a 3-day trip to Dubai.
Flanked by sands, Dubai is the perfect base for delving deep into the Arabian desert. Float above the dunes at sunrise by hot-air balloon, or burn rubber on a quad or buggy ride. Alternatively, sample Bedouin culture with a wildlife experience: watching the ancient art of falconry and scouring the dunes to spot Arabian oryx, gazelle, and more.
This afternoon, continue with a 4WD guided desert tour. Most trips include a dune bash, sunset photo ops, and a Bedouin-style camp sojourn beneath the stars replete with a barbecue, sparkling belly dancers, and activities such as camel riding and henna art.
Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s futuristic-looking capital, is a popular and easy-to-do day trip from Dubai. Most tours take a day to show you its top sights, including the white-marble Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Plus, some include entry to the avant-garde Louvre Abu Dhabi or Ferrari World, the huge indoor park of Ferrari-branded rides.
Another day-trip option takes you across the border to Oman’s Musandam Peninsula to cruise along its mountainous coast. Settle in on an Arabian dhow and drift around its steep-sided bays, where you can swim and snorkel in the aquamarine waters.
Today's the day to immerse yourself in Dubai. Begin by admiring the 360-degree views from the Level 124 observatory at the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest tower, in the early-morning light. Or take a dawn seaplane flight to see the rising sun glinting on Dubai’s skyscrapers. For daylong fun, head for the thrilling fantasy worlds of Dubai Park and Resorts, or take a city sightseeing tour. There’s a tour option for all, from modern architecture round-ups to city-wide overviews and hop-on hop-off bus tickets. Speedboat or yacht trips are exhilarating ways to see the sights while enjoying the breezes and waves of the Persian Gulf.
Make your last evening truly memorable with a gourmet dinner at one of Dubai’s opulent hotel restaurants. Or book an evening cruise on the Dubai Marina or Dubai Creek, letting the city lights come to you as you relax and dine in style.