The Best Itinerary for 2 Days in Dubai (+ Where to Stay)
You have decided to go 2 days in Dubai and you’re looking for the best places to visit and activities?
You’re at the right place!
In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this perfectly optimized 2-day itinerary in Dubai that will allow you to discover the must-see attractions of the city.
In addition to the best things to do for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips to save time and money as well as accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.
So, ready to discover the best places to visit in Dubai in 2 days?
- The Best Itinerary for 2 Days in Dubai (+ Where to Stay)
- How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at Dubai’s tourist attractions
- Dubai in 2 days: the best itinerary
- Day 1 – Old Dubai
- Day 2: Sightseeing and activities in Dubai
- Day 2 in Dubai – Option 2
- Where to stay in Dubai?
- 2 Days in Dubai with your familly
- More places to visit during your 2-day stay in Dubai
- Map of your 2-day itinerary in Dubai
- Flight prices to Dubai
- You’re traveling to Dubai? These articles will help you !
How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at Dubai’s tourist attractions
Over only a few years time span, Dubai quickly became one of the most visited cities in the world.
Every year, millions of visitors come to Dubai to discover the city’s best places to visit.
You can thus expect to wait for long time to get inside all must see attractions! I’m especially thinking about the Burj Khalifa or Dubai aquarium.
If you have already been to big European cities such as Amsterdam, London or Rome you probably know what I’m talking about.
Hopefully, there are several ways to save a lot of time and optimize your 2-day itinerary in Dubai 😁.
1. Dubai Explorer Pass
You want to save time and money during 2-day trip to Dubai?
I have the solution for you: You should buy the Dubai Explorer Pass.
There are several versions of the Dubai Pass, depending on the number of activities you would like to do.
There is a Dubai Pass for 3, 4, 5 or 7 attractions.
Unlike for other city passes, the duration of your stay doesn’t matter. The only important thing is the number of activities you would like to do during your 48 hours stay in Dubai.
It’s thus very important to plan your visits in advance to know how many activities you would like to do and choose the correct version of the City Pass.
The Dubai Pass grants you access to no less than 50 different attractions, including of course all the most famous ones such as the Burj Khalifa, the day trip to the desert and the entrance to the Aquaventure park of Atlantis hotel.
To order your Dubai Explorer pass, you just have to click here or on the green button located a bit below in the article. You will then receive in the mail with your pass (you can print it or download it on your smartphone).
The only thing you will then have to do is to present the pass at the entrance of all tourist attractions.
After booking, in addition to the city pass, you will also receive by email a guide with all the necessary information about the attractions (schedule, how to get there etc..).
Here are the most popular attractions included in the Dubai Explorer Pass:
- Access to the observation deck on the 124th and 125th floors of the Burj Khalifa
- Aquarium and underwater zoo
- Ticket for Dubai Hop On Hop Off Bus
- Boat trip from Dubai Marina or in Dubai Creek
- Aquaventure Waterpark, at the Atlantis Hotel
- Desert Excursion with Barbecue
- Motiongate Dubai
- Legoland Dubai
- IMG Worlds of Adventure.
To get the full list of activities, you can click here: Activities included in the Dubai Explorer Pass.
To purchase your Dubai Explorer Pass, it’s very simple – you just have to click on the green button below:
2. Skip-the-line tickets for Dubai’s tourist attractions
If you don’t want to buy the Dubai Pass, the other solution for your 2-day stay in Dubai is to purchase skip the line tickets for each attraction you want to visit.
In that case too, you will need to plan your weekend in Dubai a bit in advance in order to get your tickets.
And that’s what we’re here for, as it will allow to save time and money 😎!
Yes, in Dubai, online tickets are cheaper than the tickets sold directly at the ticket office.
In order to make it easier for you, I have prepared the list of all skip the line tickets that will be useful for your 2-day trip to Dubai. By purchasing them using these links, you are 100% sure to get the official tickets.
The great thing is that in addition to the entrance tickets to the tourist attractions, you will also be able to book amazing guided visits and activities such as a day cruise on a yacht!
To check the prices and to book, just click on the links below (you’ll also find them throughout the article):
- Guided tour of old Dubai (Deira + Bur Dubai)
- Traditional boat tour
- Luxury cruise with gourmet dinner
- Dubai Frame
- Aquarium + Underwater Zoo
- Burj Khalifa
- Dubai zip line
- Marina cruise on a luxury Yacht
- Mall of the Emirates
- La Perle Show
- Aquaventure Waterpark
- Aquaventure + The Lost Chambers
- Excursion to the desert
- Excursion to Abu Dhabi
Dubai in 2 days: the best itinerary
It’s now time to plan your 2-day itinerary in Dubai!
For each day of your stay, I will give you all the details you need to organize your visits, as well as a map showing the attractions of the day.
This itinerary is perfectly optimized, you can follow it and enjoy a stress-free stay in Dubai!
This way, you won’t waste time waiting in line to buy tickets and will be able to see as many places as possible during your 2 day stay.
If you still have any questions after reading this guide (or need help to organize your trip), you can ask me in the comments section located at the bottom of this article.
Day 1 – Old Dubai
Day 1 visits:
A. Deira district
B. Bur Dubai
C. Dubai Museum
D. Dubai Frame
E. Dubai Garden Glow
A. Deira district
You will start your 2-day itinerary in Old Dubai, one of the oldest districts of the city.
To get there, the easiest is to take the metro and stop at Al Ras station.
Far from the skyscrapers, the old Dubai (and Deira district especially) is well known for its colorful souks.
During your stroll, you will discover:
- The gold souk, a long alley lined with stores offering sumptuous (and very imposing!) gold jewelry. But don’t worry, if you’re looking for something more discreet, you’ll find it too!
- The Perfume Souk, located on Sikkat Al Khail Street. You can’t get lost, just follow the smells!
- The spice souk and its countless spices: curry, chili pepper, saffron….
If, in addition to doing a bit of shopping, you want to learn more about Old Dubai’s history, you should really opt for a guided tour.
The best one is about 3 hours long and will take through Deira’s alley, the maze of the souks and to Dubai Museum (I will tell you more about it a bit below).
It’s the perfect tour to learn everything you need to know about Old Dubai and the local lifestyle!
*This guided tour of Deira and Bur Dubai includes everything from section A to C of this first day itinerary.
You need to book your guided tour of Old Dubai by clicking on the green button below:
B. Bur Dubai
After Deira, let’s stay a bit more in Old Dubai and visit Bur Dubai, the other ancient district of the city.
To get there from Deira, it’s super easy: you will just have to take an abra (a traditional boat) to cross Dubai Creek. It takes 5 minutes and only costs 1 AED!
When you disembark, you can start by taking a walk along the Creek, towards the house of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum. There is a museum housing documents and photos of the city’s history there.
Then, you can turn around (get back to the boat pier) and enter the Old Souk, the heart of Bur Dubai district.
The Old Souk is a great place to purchase souvenirs, however you will need to bargain if you don’t want to pay the “tourist price”!
In Bur Dubai, you will also find numerous Indian stores all around Hindi Lane and Meena Bazzar.
It will then probably be time for you to have lunch, and you will have several options:
- One of the many small restaurants frequented by locals. Perfect if you’re looking for cheap traditional food!
- Al-Seef Market, featuring restaurants and stores located in replica traditional houses
- Sheikh Mohamed Cultural Center: lunches are organized every day in a traditional house with an inhabitant of Dubai. Perfect to learn more about the local culture! It needs to be booked in advance by clicking here.
C. Dubai Museum
During your 2-day stay in Dubai, there is one place you should visit to learn more about the city’s history: Dubai Museum.
As it’s also located in Bur Dubai, that’s your next destination for today!
From the origins of the city, to the incredible economic boom of the 60’s and then the crazy future projects, you will learn everything about the history of Dubai.
You will see, the museum is very interesting and is a great way to understand the evolution of the city.
The entrance fee is 3 AED only, so you have no reason to skip this visit!
*Please note that the museum is closed on Friday mornings.
D. Dubai Frame
For the rest of the afternoon, you will explore the modern part of the city and discover the extravagant side of Dubai!
And for that, there’s no better way than to head to Dubai’s brand new attraction: The Dubai Frame.
You can climb to the top of this 150m high golden photo frame to admire a superb panorama.
The view is truly unique, with the old districts of Deira and Bur Dubai on one side and Downtown Dubai’s skyscrapers (including the famous Burj Khalifa of course!) on the other.
And to make it more sensational (otherwise we wouldn’t be in Dubai), a part of the floor is made of glass!
To reach Dubai Frame from the museum, you have 2 options:
- The metro, from Al Fahidi station to Al Jafiliya station
- Take a taxi – A 5 km trip (taxis are cheap in Dubai) and the driver will drop you off right in front of the park entrance where the Dubai Frame is located.
E. Dubai Garden Glow
To end the evening in style, you will want to head to Dubai Garden Glow, your last visit of this 1st day.
This large park is known for its hundreds of sculptures coming to life every evening during light shows with musical backgrounds.
And it’s not just for kids!
The park is so well done that it will please both children and adults alike. It’s really a great place to make beautiful photos and videos and spend a great moment.
The ticket price (65 AED) also includes the entrance to another park located just next door: The Dinosaur park. It features true size dinosaur sculptures, and some of them even move and growl when you pass by.
You should start with the Dinosaur Park at the end of the day (around sunset time) and then visit the Dubai Garden Glow after dark.
Dubai Garden glow is open from 4pm to 11pm.
Day 2: Sightseeing and activities in Dubai
Day 2 visits:
A. Etihad Museum
B. Jumeirah Mosque
C. La Mer
D. Dubai Mall
E. Dubai Fountain Show
F. Burj Khalifa
A. Etihad Museum
To start your 2nd day in Dubai, you should visit the Etihad Museum.
It’s the perfect place to learn more about the foundation of the United Arab Emirates. In 1971, The 7 Sheikhs signed the “Declaration of Union”, the important first step to kickstart the country’s economic development.
In the museum, you can discover their testimonies through several films and interactive terminals explaining this historical moment.
This visit is a perfect complement to your visit to Dubai Museum on the first day!
It takes around 1 hour to visit Etihad Museum and the entrance fee is 25 AED.
B. The Jumeirah Mosque
After leaving the museum, walk along the road for about 10 minutes to arrive at Jumeirah Mosque.
To visit the Mosque, you must be accompanied by a guide. He will teach everything you need to know about Muslim traditions and the 5 pillars of Islam.
The 1h15 visits take place every day (except Fridays), usually around 10am and 2pm.
Please note that you can only enter the mosque with your legs and shoulders covered (applies to both men and women). In addition, women must also cover their hair.
Even if you don’t want to do the guided visit, you can at least admire the Mosque’s architecture as you walk by: Jumeirah Mosque is close to Etihad Museum and on the way to the next stop of this itinerary.
C. La Mer
After the mosque, keep walking for about 5 minutes to arrive at “La Mer” waterfront promenade.
In La Mer, you will find many restaurants and cafes with terraces. It’s the perfect place to have lunch by the sea!
You can then walk along the seafront and enjoy the splendid view of the whole Dubai skyline.
And of course, if you want to do relax, simply rent a deckchair and enjoy some time at the beach.
D. The Dubai Mall
Spending 2 days in Dubai without going to the Dubai Mall, the most visited mall in the world, is literally impossible!
To get there, the easiest is to take a taxi from La Mer.
There, you can enjoy shopping in more than 1200 stores: Luxury boutiques or international brands like H&M … There is something for everyone!
The hardest will probably be to find your way around this huge shopping center. Hopefully, you can download the Dubai Mall app or grab a map and find your favorite shops easily.
And if you don’t feel like shopping, that’s not a problem either: in the mall, there are numerous cinemas, an ice rink, a go-kart track and a flight simulator waiting for you.
While in Dubai Mall, you should also go to the aquarium and underwater zoo: you’ll start by going through the glass tunnel featuring sharks and rays before before reaching the underwater zoo.
There, you can see marine life from around the world as well as King Croc, the star of the aquarium and one of the largest living crocodiles in the world.
There is always a long waiting line in front of the aquarium, at any time of the day.
Hopefully, you can purchase tickets online in advance and save time and money!
There are 2 types of tickets for the aquarium (click on the links to book):
- The classic: Aquarium + Underwater Zoo ticket
- A combined ticket: Aquarium + Underwater Zoo + Burj Khalifa – Certainly the most interesting for you, as you will visit the Burj Khalifa at the end of the day. A great way to save money!
The aquarium and underwater zoo are included in the Dubai Explorer Pass.
E. Fountain Show
In the late afternoon, as soon as it gets dark, head to the large artificial lake outside Dubai Mall to attend the famous Dubai Fountain Show.
The Dubai Fountain Show takes place every 30 minutes between 6pm and 11pm.
There are several version, with different music tracks, so don’t hesitate to watch a few shows if you are around for the evening!
As the show is extremely popular (honestly, I didn’t expect to see so many people!), you should arrive a bit early to get a good spot by the water.
And if you want to admire the show from a unique viewpoint, you should opt for boat tour on the lake.
It needs to be booked by clicking the button below:
F. Burj Khalifa
After the fountain show, it will be time for one of the most thrilling experience of your 2-day itinerary in Dubai: visiting the Burj Khalifa.
You could admire the skyscraper from all angles from the lake and from many places in Dubai, but now it’s time for you to go up!
I saved this visit for last for a good reason: the view is much more impressive at night when the whole city is lit up than during the day.
From the observation deck on the 124th and 125th floors of the world’s tallest tower, the view is simply breathtaking.
And that’s not all! If you feel like it (and purchase the correct tickets), you can go higher, up to the 148th floor.
Located 555 meters above the ground it’s simply the highest observation deck in the world.
However, don’t even try to go up to the Burj Khalifa without booking your ticket first!
There won’t be any time slot available or you’ll have to wait for hours.
Here are the 3 different tickets available (click on the orange links for information and to book):
- Entrance ticket At The Top Burj Khalifa – Access to the 124th and 125th floor
- VIP Ticket – At The Top Sky – Access to the 148th floor of the Burj Khalifa + 124th and 125th floor + fast track entry at the security checkpoints and elevator
- Ascent to the 124th floor + dinner at the Burj Club restaurant.
And if you want to visit the Aquarium and Burj Khalifa, you should buy this ticket:
The entrance to Burj Khalifa is included in the Dubai Explorer Pass.
Day 2 in Dubai – Option 2
You wanna do something different during your 2nd day in Dubai?
No problem, here is another option!
The following visits will be different: in the morning, you won’t go to Etihad Museum, the Jumeirah Mosque and La Mer.
Here is what I suggest instead:
A. Yacht Cruise from Dubai Marina
In the morning, let’s first head to Dubai Marina and go for a luxury yacht cruise!
You can choose between the 2-hour cruise with breakfast that starts around 9am, or the one that includes a barbecue lunch and departs around 11:30am.
In both cases, you will discover some of Dubai’s highlights from the sea: Ain Wheel, the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, JBR and its beaches lined with luxury hotels and residences and of course the famous Burj Al Arab hotel!
To book your luxury yacht cruise, it’s very simple, you just have to click on the green button below:
B. Dubai Marina Zipline
After your cruise, you can take advantage of being in Dubai Marina to try out one of the best activities of the city: Dubai Xline, the longest urban zipline in the world!
You will start from a rooftop at 170 meters high and enjoy a 1km long flight above the Marina.
Of course, the photos and videos of your experience are included in the price: A great memory of your flight amidst the skyscrapers in Dubai!
To book your zip-line ride in Dubai, simply click the button below:
C. Dubai Mall / Dubai Fountain / Burj Khalifa
From the Marina, you can then take the metro directly to Dubai Mall and continue the itinerary I talked about in “option 1”:
- D. Shopping at Dubai Mall
- E. Visit to the aquarium
- F. Fountain show at the end of the day
- G. Get to the top of Burj Khalifa when it’s the night falls.
Simply click here to get back to the detailed explanation for that part of the itinerary.
Where to stay in Dubai?
Now that you know the best itinerary to visit Dubai in 2 days, you still have to take care of one thing: finding the perfect hotel for your stay!
In order to help you out, I have prepared this list of the best hotels in Dubai depending on your budget, ordered by districts.
And as Dubai is the city of luxury and excess, I have also dedicated a special section to the best luxury hotels in Dubai, so you know where to look if you want to treat yourself or for a special occasion!
In any case, you should book as early as possible to get the best prices. The hotels that offers the best value for money in Dubai are often fully booked months in advance!
The best hotels in Downtown Dubai (near the Burj Khalifa)
- DoubleTree of Hilton Dubai – Business Bay: Located 1.5 km from Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. Very spacious and comfortable room, well decorated and equipped from 110€ per night, breakfast included. Strong points: free shuttle to the Dubai Mall, good breakfast, comfort, tranquility. This my favorite hotel in Dubai for its exceptional value for money!
- Rove Downtown: Only 600 meters from the Dubai Mall. Bright and clean double room with view on Burj Khalifa, from 150€, breakfast for 15€. Strong points: Access to the Dubai Mall on foot, helpful staff, free shuttle service to the beach, Dubai Museum or Madinat Souk.
- Taj Dubai: Located 800 meters from Burj Khalifa. Modern and luxurious room with bay window overlooking the city and marble bathroom starting at 220€ per night, breakfast at 32€. Strong points: The magnificent view from the roof, the Indian decoration, the large swimming pool. An excellent hotel in Dubai city center, perfect for a romantic stay!
- Palace Downtown: Located on the lake at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, this 5-star hotel offers magnificent rooms with balcony, with an exceptional view of the Burj Khalifa. From 380€ per night, breakfast at 39€. Strong points: the exceptional location, the beautiful surroundings, the very attentive and helpful staff. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Downtown Dubai!
The best hotels in old Dubai (Deira and Bur Dubai)
- Golden Sands Hotel Apartments: Located in Bur Dubai, 1.5 km from the Dubai Museum. Apartment equipped with kitchenette and washing machine, from 80€ per night, breakfast from 11€. Strong points: Cleanliness, the heated swimming pool, the comfortable apartments
- Swissôtel Al Ghurair Dubai: Located in Deira district. Warm and spacious room from 115€, breakfast at 27€. Strong points: the pleasant staff, the view, the good breakfast. It’s my favourite in Old Dubai for its excellent value for money!
- Hyatt Regency Creek Heights Residences: Located next to Creekside Park. Very spacious, super comfortable and very well equipped rooms starting at 130€ per night, breakfast at 33€. Strong points: 5 minutes walk from the metro, the warm welcome, the quiet location, the spa.
- Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Deira Creek: 5* hotel located in Deira bay. Double room with balcony overlooking the bay from 150€, breakfast at 29€. Strong points: The proximity of the metro and the shops, the beautiful swimming pool, the comfortable bed and the amazing view. This is my recommendation for a luxury stay in Old Dubai!
Dubai’s best beach hotels
- Delta Hotels by Marriott Jumeirah Beach, Dubai: Located 300 meters from the beach. Rooms and apartments with sea view from 125€, breakfast at 27€. Strong points: The view, the comfortable beds, the location near the beach and the harbor.
- Amwaj Rotana, Jumeirah Beach – Dubai: Located along “The Walk”. Rooms with balcony overlooking the Gulf and Palm Jumeirah from 175€, breakfast at 24€. Strong points: the exceptional view, the proximity of the tram and metro, restaurants and shops at the foot of the hotel.
- Sofitel Dubai Jumeirah Beach: Located 150 meters from the beach. Contemporary room with balcony and sea view from 230€, breakfast at 22€. Strong points: the infinity pool, the very good breakfast, the spa, the ideal location to enjoy the sea.
- Grosvenor House Hotel and Apartments: Located on the port promenade. Elegant and bright double room from 290€, breakfast at 42€. Strong points: Comfort, access to the private beach, the quality of the food.
The most beautiful luxury hotels in Dubai
- Atlantis The Palm, Dubai: One of the emblematic hotels of the city, located in Palm Jumeirah. Room from 300€, breakfast from 42€. Strong points: Includes access to Aquaventure Park and The Lost Chambers aquarium, private beach, swimming pools.
- Rixos The Palm Hotel & Suites – Ultra All Inclusive: Also located in Palm Jumeirah, this luxury hotel offers all inclusive rooms (all meals included) from 452€. Strong points: the quality of the meals, the setting, the amazing rooms.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai: Located directly on the beach of JBR Walk. Elegantly furnished rooms with balcony and sea view from 500€ per night, breakfast at 39€. Strong points: 6 swimming pools, a private beach, the spa, the very helpful staff.
- Armani Hotel Dubai: Located in the Burj Khalifa Tower! Rooms decorated by the fashion designer Giorgio Armani, starting at 550€ per night, breakfast at 41€. Strong points: the privilege of sleeping in the Burj Khalifa, the refinement of the place, the view.
- Kempinski Hotel & Residences Palm Jumeirah: Located in Palm Jumeirah. Luxury suite with living room and dining room starting at 750€, breakfast included. Strong points: The private beach, the huge swimming pool and the beautiful gardens.
- Burj Al Arab Jumeirah: THE luxury hotel, one of the rare 7* hotels in the world! The “smallest” suite is 170m² and prices start at 1290€, breakfast at 74€. I can assure you that your stay in Dubai will be truly exceptional and unforgettable!
2 Days in Dubai with your familly
If you’ve planned to spend 48h in Dubai with your kids, you will be happy to hear that this itinerary is totally doable with familly.
Public transports in Dubai are super convenient and you can easily take the metro with a stroller.
And if you prefer to take taxis, the great thing is that they are quite cheap and there are no scams. They always put the taximeter and you’re sure to pay the right price (unlike in Thailand for example).
Here is a quick recap of the best activities you can do during your 2 days in Dubai with your family:
- The souks of Old Dubai: take a stroll and discover the colorful stalls full of nice souvenirs to bring back. Your kids will like it for sure!
- Dubai Garden Glow and its enchanted universe. Don’t miss the Dinosaur Park located nearby
- Spend some time at the beach to play in the sand (The Walk and the Beach)
- The aquarium and underwater zoo, in Dubai Mall. Perfect to discover the marine wildlife!
- Dubai Fountains music and light show
- Going to the top of Burj Khalifa.
More places to visit during your 2-day stay in Dubai
The itinerary you’ve just read is the best way to see as many must-see attractions as possible in 2 days.
However, don’t hesitate to personnalize it by modifying or adding activities!
So if you want to know more about the other places to visit in the city, you should read my guide: Dubai: The 30 Best Things to Do.
Map of your 2-day itinerary in Dubai
To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 2 days in Dubai, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can view the legend of the map by clicking on the top left button, the one with a little arrow.
You can thus see the suggested itineraries for each day.
Flight prices to Dubai
As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.
To check the rates and schedules for flights to Dubai, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:
You’ve read this guide and you still need help to plan your 2-day trip to Dubai? Don’t hesitate to ask me your questions in the comments section below.
🚗 Rent a car
🗽 Book entrance tickets and guided visits
🏄 Book your sports activities
🚤 Book your rental boat
🌍 Take a travel insurance
🙎 Book a tour
🚅 Book your train tickets
✈️ Book your flight
You’re traveling to Dubai? These articles will help you !
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