Ultimate Guide to 3 days in Dubai Itinerary

One of the most visited cities in the United Arab Emirates is the city of Dubai, with a population of 3.1 million. It’s a city which sometimes need to be seen, to be believed as the metropolis is huge filled with high-rises and luxury hotels. In Dubai, you can find, traditional UAE markets, set against record-breaking architecture, such as the Burj and beaches so white, you need your sunglasses.

Dubai is one of the seven states that joined together in 1971 to form the United Arab Emirates. Other members of the United Arab Emirates are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Ras Khaimah, and Umm Al Quwain.

Topping it all, is the 830 metre high Burj Khalifa, which dominates the skyline. And at the foot of this iconic building you can find the Dubai Fountain, which continuously fires out water jets and lights choreographed to music. Also famous in Dubai is the innovative artificial islands, where you can find Atlantis, The Palm, a resort with water and marine-animal parks. 

You must do your research before a trip to Dubai, as there is so much to see and do during 3 days in Dubai. This Dubai Itinerary will provide you with all the information you need for a long weekend in this incredible city. Here are the top places to tick off your sightseeing list when you’re in town.

The best places that are a must-visit and which should be in your Dubai itinerary while you are enjoying your 3 days in Dubai will be explained here. This will make up the ultimate guide to 3 days in Dubai itinerary.

There is of course lots of things to do in Dubai…

3 days in Dubai Itinerary Dubai Itinerary Burj

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

Top 20 Things to do in Dubai

  1. The Burj Khalifa
  2. The Dubai Mall
  3. The Desert Safari
  4. Dubai Beaches
  5. Burj Al Arab Jumeirah
  6. Palm Jumeirah
  7. Palm Islands
  8. The Dubai Fountain
  9. Dubai Creek
  10. Ski Dubai
  11. Dubai Gold Souk
  12. Wild Wadi Waterpark
  13. Dubai Marina
  14. Madinat Jumeirah
  15. Mall of the Emirates
  16. Dubai Spice Souk
  17. Jumeirah Mosque
  18. Al Fahidi Historical District
  19. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
  20. Souk Madinat Jumeirah


3 days in Dubai Itinerary

How to get to Dubai

It’s never been easier to travel to Dubai, with more airlines flying here, and now land, air and sea making the city accessible to tourists. There are now brand new modern facilities at Dubai International airport and Al Maktoum International at Dubai World Central.

With over 7,000 weekly flights operated by 125 airlines from 260 destinations on every continent, you have a wide range of options to choose from when flying to Dubai. (Credit: Visit Dubai)

And if you want to travel by sea, cruise lines such as Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean now go here. 


3 days in Dubai Itinerary 3 days in Dubai Itinerary

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

When is the best time to visit Dubai

As with many countries in Asia and the middle East, the temperatures in the summer reach an uncomfortable 30+ degrees. So that’s why I would recommend the best time to visit Dubai is between January and May and October and December. Dubai experiences a desert climate with largely year-round sunshine and hot temperatures, and very little rain.

January and February see heavy tourist traffic because of the Dubai Shopping Festival, which makes the city come alive, and August is the hottest month in Dubai with an average temperature of 96°F (36°C) so I would avoid these timings. 


3 days in Dubai Itinerary

Where to stay in Dubai

Dubai has become over the years one of the most visited destinations in the world. If you are planning a trip to Dubai make sure you check out some of these hotels, for the best place to stay in Dubai.



Burj Al Arab Jumeirah – 5-star hotel – £1,988 – Opulent hotel featuring ornate suites, plus 9 restaurants, 4 pools, a private beach & a luxe spa.

Atlantis, The Palm – 5-star hotel – £544 – Upscale retreat offering a water park, a dolphin pool & an aquarium, plus a spa & 23 restaurants.

Jumeirah Beach Hotel – 5-star hotel – £645 – Upscale beachfront property with 6 pools, a diving centre & a spa, plus 20 restaurants & bars.


Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel – 5-star hotel – £270 Upscale hotel with private beach access & stylish restaurants, plus a luxe spa & an outdoor pool.

Shangri-la Hotel Dubai – 5-star hotel – £231 Premium lodging featuring luxe rooms & suites, as well as chic dining, a health club & a ballroom.

Palazzo Versace Dubai at Jaddaf Waterfront – 5-star hotel – £199 – Palatial luxury hotel featuring 8 restaurants & bars, 3 lagoon pools & a 24-hour gym.


Aloft City Centre Deira, Dubai – 4-star hotel – £56 Cool hotel featuring colourful rooms & suites, plus a restaurant, a rooftop pool & a bar.

Radisson Blu Hotel, Dubai Waterfront – 5-star hotel – £96 – Upmarket waterfront hotel featuring 4 restaurants & a bar, plus a spa, an outdoor pool & a gym.

Novotel Suites Mall of the Emirates – 3-star hotel – £56 Informal property with refined suites, plus Italian dining, a rooftop pool & a 24/7 gym.


3 days in Dubai Itinerary 3 days in Dubai Desert

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

What to See in Dubai in 3 days

For you to get the best out of your Dubai itinerary after travelling to Dubai it is important to stick to a plan with almost no deviations. The city has everything from luxury to architecture hence it offers a lot to see. There is a range of activities from skydiving, skiing, fine dining, kayaking, and clubbing.

As a rule of thumb, the Burj Khalifa should be in your Dubai itinerary as it is known all over the world as the world’s tallest building. It is a good experience on your weekend in Dubai as travel to Dubai.


The Burj Khalifa

On day one of your 3 days in Dubai, it would be prudent to go on top of the Burj Khalifa Observation Deck to get a view of Dubai from the world’s tallest building. Being that the Burj Khalifa also has a hotel, a mall, a spa, and a restaurant, you may want to slot it in your Dubai itinerary. It offers a wide range of services as depicted above making sure that tourist gets maximum value for their money.

While embarking on your travel to Dubai, you may consider arriving in the evening to get the most out of your Dubai holidays. The scenery while jetting into Dubai at night is breathtaking as the skyline is marred by bright lights from the city enabling the tourist to experience the city’s beauty at night. Furthermore, the hotels are not only comfortable in Dubai but also luxurious, making it the best place for accommodation. Hotels like the Burj Khalifa are some of the places to visit in Dubai at night. 

On a clear day, the view from the observation deck on level 124 is absolutely stunning, topped only by the view from the luxurious At The Top Sky Lounge on the 148th floor. And for those who would like to linger awhile, enjoy a meal at At.mosphere on level 122 or head to The Lounge, Burj Khalifa that covers levels 152, 153 and 154, making it the tallest lounge on the planet.


The Dubai Mall

The Dubai mall should be within the Dubai itinerary of your 3 days in Dubai. This is because it is the biggest mall in the world with around 1200 shops ranging from Zara to Hershey Stores. The Dubai mall also has the best restaurants making your travel to Dubai and Dubai itinerary even more fun. The mall also has a massive aquarium, offers indoor skiing and ice rink that you can enjoy in your 3 days in Dubai.

In the morning one can have breakfast at any of the restaurants within the Dubai mall which offer a wide range of cuisine from all over the world. It would be a good idea to enjoy your breakfast at the Dubai Mall fountain which is a renowned tourist spot that does a light and music show every hour giving a well-needed change in your lifestyle.

In the afternoon while grabbing lunch in the magnificent restaurants within the Dubai Mall, to make your 3 days in Dubai worthwhile one can visit the Dubai aquarium which is slightly visible from the outside. To get full-access, you can purchase a ticket which is about $30 depending on the kind of tour you want. This gives you a wide range of choices for your travel to Dubai.

You can also take advantage of the close proximity to the indoor skiing arena and utilize the afternoon out of your busy Dubai itinerary to experience slopes in the middle of the desert making your 3 days in Dubai memorable. In the evening, you can spend part of your 3 days in Dubai having dinner at the Souk which is adjacent to the Dubai Mall.

The main reason to spend time having dinner at the Souk is that it is a modern styled Arabian market with classy restaurants, bars and shopping outlets making your experience more memorable. The Souk is also one of the best places to visit in Dubai at night making your 3 days in Dubai as splendid.

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

Palm Jumeirah

Palm Jumeirah is a man made island in the shape of a palm tree and is one of the most iconic symbols of Dubai to tourists. Palm Jumeirah is one of the largest artificial islands in the world and a triumph of human ingenuity. Locals and tourists alike enjoy the Palm’s vast array of high-end hotels, including the Waldorf Astoria, Fairmont, One&Only, Jumeirah Zabeel Saray and, perhaps most notably, the iconic Atlantis, The Palm. And with a monorail running down the ‘trunk’ that connects to the mainland’s tram system, getting there couldn’t be easier.


Desert Safari

Within your 3 days in Dubai, it is imperative that you engage in the desert safari. This is one of the best places to visit in Dubai at night as one can enjoy dinner and a belly dancing show. In the evening, you will also get to enjoy camel riding and henna tattooing while enjoying acrobatic feats coupled with an Arabian style meal.

This will cost you about fifty dollars, making your Dubai itinerary even more action-packed and full of surprises. During the day, a typical Dubai desert safari will comprise of dune bashing with a Special Utility Vehicle (SUV) to which one has to book beforehand. 

A dune bashing drive will pick the visitor upon booking from a location of their choice late in the morning to begin the adventure within the desert.

This is usually a great way to spend your weekend in Dubai for your Dubai holidays as you get to meet other tourists who may share information on other exciting places that you may want to include in your Dubai itinerary or places that you should strike off from your Dubai itinerary given their experience.

Over such excursions, other tourist groups usually share extremely crucial information on what to see in Dubai in 3 days, making your Dubai holidays richer and more fulfilling.

The afternoons are also conducive for Dune bashing, which involves driving in a protected vehicle. In these adventures, an experienced driver will deflate the wheels of the vehicle to enable the car to go from dune to dune, sliding over the sandy surfaces.

While the dune bashing is a bumpy ride, it is a safe activity to engage in as the safety records speak for themselves. The driver may make a stop in the middle of the desert to enable you have a look at the magnificent desert and take a group photo. This makes it one of the top picks on what to see in Dubai in 3 days and a part of your Dubai Itinerary.

3 days in Dubai Itinerary

Dubai Creek

Dubai may be famous for the glitz and glamour, but every city has its history, and before the sky-high towers even existed Dubai was a port, like many other cities around the globe, shipping goods both through import and export. The real heart of the city is, and always will be, the Creek.The saltwater estuary is the original site where the Bani Yas tribe settled, and its waters were vital for what used to be Dubai’s main forms of economy: pearl diving and fishing.


Today, the area is awash with the history of the emirate, as it’s home to the Dubai Museum as well as the labyrinthine alleyways of the gold, spice and textile souks. While at the Creek, a ride across the water on a traditional abra is a must, and at an unbelievable AED1 per ticket, it’s easily the best value tourist attraction in the city.


Dubai Beaches

Being that Dubai is a beach city, it is only prudent to visit one of their many beaches on your Dubai holidays. In fact, Dubai holidays are not exciting until you visit the beaches as they couple as good places to visit for the nightlife, hence it makes it to the list of places to visit in Dubai at night.

In the afternoon, one can soak up the sun on the beaches of the Arabian city while enjoying the ‘water park’ out on the water.

One of the best beaches would be the world-renowned Jumeirah Beach Residence, commonly known as JBR. Here, one can experience the salty breeze and the bright sun, making it a great place to spend the weekend in Dubai. There are many other quality beaches which one can access through their beach hotels or other private means by parting with a small amount of money.

In the evening, one can enjoy these magnificent beaches through the beach hotels that have bars and restaurants that also serve alcoholic drinks. One of the best bars for tourists to ensure a great weekend in Dubai is the Baristi Bar that is in the Marina. You can find this bar on the beach housed by the hotel Le Meridien Mina Seyahi.

It is truly one of the best places to visit in Dubai at night due to the awesome ambience of the beach coupled with the salty breeze, the magnificence of the beach, and the free-flowing alcoholic drinks making your weekend in Dubai unforgettable.

Another place that would feature on the list of what to see in Dubai in 3 days on the beaches would be the observatory which is located in the Dubai Marriot Harbour. It is a stylish bar that is situated on the fifty-second floor of the Dubai Marriott Harbour hotel which has awesome architecture.

There are so many things to do in Dubai for kids, this is just one!


The Dubai Fountain

The Dubai Fountain, located at the base of the iconic Burj Khalifa and just outside the doors of the famous The Dubai Mall, features the world’s largest choreographed fountain system. This popular dancing water show jets water streams as high as 150 metres in the air.

Each colourful, illuminated jet sways in time to various musical numbers from around the world, producing what has become the one of the most popular shows in Dubai. Two showings occur in the afternoon (1pm and 1:30pm), except on Fridays (1:30pm to 2pm) and evening displays begin at sundown and take place every 30 minutes until the final song plays at 11pm.

If you’re wondering what to see in Dubai in 3 days, as depicted above, the Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, the desert safari, and the Dubai beaches should come at the top of the list.

Not only are they affordable destinations but they will also give the tourists ample time to unwind from their busy work weeks making it a true vacation in the desert for travellers. An ultimate must-visit on your Dubai Itinerary!


Did you enjoy this Dubai Itinerary? Let me know your favourite spots in the comments!


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Photo credit: Various from Pexels and Pixabay.

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