Dubai for Tourists

Here’s my “Dubai in 7 days”, created for friends and family who are coming here to visit us, which you may use as a point of reference as well.

For further advice – leave a message below or otherwise, get in touch.

Day One – Desert Safari

Pick up around 3pm, home before 10pm, that leaves them the morning to pick and choose something else to do.

Have a read through our experience with Arabian Night Tours which I’ve recommended to almost all my family and friends who have been to Dubai over the years.

Tip : It’s in the Entertainer, or otherwise check out Groupon Cobone for deals. 

Day Two – Waterparks 

  1.  Aquaventure & The Lost Chambers – If you’re coming around your birthday you get a complimentary ticket to Aquaventure – check their website to see if the deal is still on as you’ll have to register for it. Have a read of our first ever visit to Aquaventure back in 2012. Tip : Most of the eateries are in the Entertainer, Saffron for buffet, Bread Street Kitchen is right by Aquaventure.
  2. Wild WadiTip : Complimentary access and shuttle if they stay in one of the Jumeirah hotels.  The cheapest and most central one is Jumeirah Emirates Towers. Otherwise, it is in the Entertainer.
  3. Laguna Waterpark – Cheapest option out of all. Have a read of our first visit to Laguna with kids.
  4. Jungle Bay Waterpark – Accessible if you are an in-house guest at Westin or Le Meridien Mina Seyahi, or otherwise if you pay for a day pass. Have a read of our first visit to Jungle Bay with kids.

Day Three – Dubai Mall

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  1. Shopping, of course. Tip : If the kids get restless, bring them into Hamleys to play. 
  2. The Aquarium – Have a read of our review their ‘Ultimate Experience‘. Tip : If you just want to have a close-up look of the aquarium without paying,  go to the area where Chili’s is so the kids can have a close-up look of the sealife. Chili’s & Joe’s Crab Shack are in the Entertainer
  3. Drinks on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa at sunset – Atmosphere Lounge. Tip : Cheapest option is to go for ‘Morning in the Clouds’ in Atmosphere Lounge which is a 100 AED minimum spend, otherwise do breakfast – it is in the Entertainer. Here’s our review of breakfast at Atmosphere
  4. Lunch with kids. Tip : Walnut Grove – babycinos are comp for kids. Jones the Grocer also has a play area in the outdoor terrace. Both in the Entertainer.
  5. Dinner by the fountains. Tip : Our usual spots which is in the Entertainer – Carluccios in Dubai Mall (cheaper option) & Serafina at Souk Al Bahar (pricier option, also licensed). Have a browse around through our reviews of restaurants in and around Dubai Mall

Day Four – Pool and Beach Day

  1. Lots of free beaches.
    • JBR’s The Beach Tip : Free basement parking with min 100AED spend in one of the eateries and it’s free parking. 
    • La Mer Tip : Free parking in the basement if you spend min 100AED. Lots of restaurants in the Entertainer.
    • Kite Beach
  2. Hotel Pool and Beach day Tip : There are lots of deals where you pay for the entrance and it is fully or partly redeemable in Food and Beverage. Have a browse through my Pool and Beach Day Pass for the Palm and Marina. If you have a friend who is a Privilee member, get them to get you a guest pass, you get access to most of the 5-star resort pool and beaches in Dubai on weekdays for a week.
  3. Ladies Day – Do a google search and it’ll bring up the latest deals around.

Day Five – Old Dubai 

  1. Gold Souk, Spice Souk. 
  2. 1 AED abra across the creek
  3. Al Seef – Beautiful area adjacent to the creek.

Day Six – Posh Madinat Day

  1. Shop, wander through Souk Madinat Jumeirah. 
  2. Afternoon Tea at Al Samar Lounge or Fayrooz Lounge. Have a read through our reviews of afternoon tea spots in Dubai including the two mentioned above. Tip : Most afternoon teas are in the Entertainer.
  3. Burj Al ArabDinner at Scape, there is no minimum spend and is the cheapest way to check out the Burj Al Arab. Arrive before the sun sets.  Scape has now been replaced by Sal, which we have not been to so won’t be able to advise much on..

Day Seven – Marina Day (my neighbourhood!)

  1. Wander along the marina, have a coffee and cake at MnS for 19AED while you watch people.
  2. Take the water taxi to Marina Mall, the station is outside Spinneys. 5 AED.
  3. Shop around. Have lunch at Shakespeare & Co which is in the Entertainer.
  4. Take the tram and head towards JBR or just walk there. Wander along and people watch.
  5. Have dinner in any of the restaurants, most of them are in the Entertainer.

I might expand this one to do a standalone post! 

MISC Things To Do

Interesting links to browse through :

Other things to add to your list while you’re here :

  1. Ladies Night – Let the husbands babysit and go for free drinks  at one of the many Ladies Nights. Here’s a few of the many ladies nights that I have been to. There’s somewhere to go to every night of the week – you can refer to Ladies Nights Dubai website to browse.! 
  2. Dubai Brunch – Do at least one.
  3. Dubai Parks and Resorts
  4. Al Qudra Lakes & Love Lake for desert and natural wildlifeHow to get there.
  5. Miracle Garden & Butterfly Gardens (No deals that I know of)

I’ll keep updating this list as new things keep getting built here in Dubai!

Any queries – drop me a message below or email me.

4 thoughts on “Dubai for Tourists

  1. Hi,

    Liked your blog. I am planning to visit Dubai from 2-8th Oct 2019.
    If you can please guide me on the following aspects –
    1. Hotel – where to book, what are the best options I can get, are there any deals for hotels etc etc. FYI – I will be visiting with my wife & 6 yr old daughter.

    2. I have a return flight from dubai at 12 pm local time on 8th Oct. So hardly anything can be done on 8th, guide me on this if sometime can be utilised.

    3. I will be visiting abu dhabi first, we have friends over there. so for 4 days i will be in abu dhabi/al ain/fujairah/RAK. you can guide me how to plan al ain-fujairah-rak so that after finishing these I can stay for 5 days in dubai.

    4. What are your views on Dubai city pass ? They cover most of the sights? Are they economical and really help in saving or is it advisable to book each sight seeing once I reach dubai.

    Will wait for your response as I need to go for hotel booking and sight seeings.

    1. 1. Hotel – Depends what you’re looking for – budget/location/what you want to do.

      Le Royal Meridian in the marina is a fabulous resort which is child-friendly, and a short walk to JBR/The Beach – https://liloneoftheashes.com/2013/08/31/le-royal-meridien-beach-resort-spa-dubai/

      If you would want to be based in the Palm, there are lots depending on budget – Rixos the Palm has a great Kid’s Club, however it is at the end of the crescent so will be far to get to anywhere else.

      If you want to be close to Dubai Mall, Address Downtown/Boulevard is connected to the mall with views of the Burj Khalifa – https://liloneoftheashes.com/2017/07/25/family-weekend-excursion-in-downtown-address-boulevard-dubai/

      If you want a ‘cheap’ spot just to sleep you can find lots of options in Barsha Heights or otherwise 3 to 4-star hotels in the marina.

      Put in your dates at booking.com and see which ones fit your budget – you can come back and check with us or otherwise on tripadvisor travel forums.

      2. You’ll have to get to the airport 2 hours beforehand – say 10am, which means checking out of your hotel by say 9am and leaving there by 9:30am. Not much you can do I’ll say.

      3. Abu Dhabi – do the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, stay in Saadiyat Island (We love the St Regis – https://liloneoftheashes.com/tag/st-regis-saadiyat-island/), check out the Louvre.

      If you can splurge, stay in Emirates Palace, otherwise just go there for a visit. https://liloneoftheashes.com/2018/06/09/summer-at-the-palace-staycation-at-emirates-palace-hotel-abu-dhabi/

      RAK – We’ve stayed at the Waldorf and it’s a gorgeous property – https://liloneoftheashes.com/2015/03/07/a-night-in-waldorf-astoria-ras-al-khaimah/

      On an itenary, best to check on the forums.

      4. I’ve never done the Dubai City Pass so I’m not sure. Most sights in Dubai are easy to do by taxi so I would say just do that. Get the Entertainer if you can, it’s well worth it.

      All the best! 🙂

  2. Hi, wonderful tips –

    just a question about Desert safari. I did check Arabian Nights and it’s beyond budget for us! Any other you could recommend?

    I checked cobone, is this a genuine site? Some deals were at 50% discount so big really sure who the safari operators are and quality of the desert safari?

    Appreciate any advice, thanks in advance.

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