What to do in Dubai in 2 days?

What to do in Dubai in 2 days?

Discover our guide  Dubai: Travel Guide (2024)

Dubai is one of the most fascinating cities in the world, a destination that offers a unique experience to every visitor. With its futuristic architecture, sandy beaches, huge shopping malls and gourmet restaurants, Dubai is a city where it is impossible to get bored.

If you plan to spend a short stay in Dubai, two days will be enough to discover most of what the city has to offer. In this article, we offer you an itinerary to discover the must-sees of Dubai in just two days.

During these two days you can discover the most emblematic sites of the city, enjoy its beaches, taste the local cuisine, go shopping and much more. Follow our guide and discover all that Dubai has to offer!

If your stay in Dubai is longer than two days, we invite you to consult our articles "What to do in Dubai in 3 days?", "What to do in Dubai in 4 days?" and "What to do in Dubai in 5 days?", which offer itineraries adapted to durations of longer stays.

Day 1: Discovery of the city

Morning: Visit of the Burj Khalifa

Burj Khalifa (Dubai)

Start your first day in Dubai by visiting one of the city's most famous attractions: the Burj Khalifa tower. This iconic tower is the tallest in the world, with a height of 828 meters.

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Burj Khalifa

From 39.70 € (or £33.95)

From £33.95 (or 39.70 €)

It is advisable to book tickets in advance to avoid long queues and be sure to be able to go up to the observatory.

Once at the top, you can enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the city of Dubai. The tower observatory is on the 124th floor, over 450 meters high. You can also access the 148th floor, over 550 meters high, for an even more spectacular view.

For a more immersive experience, you can also opt for the sound and light show "At The Top SKY", which will take you on a journey through the history of Dubai through interactive projections. Finally, don't forget to take photos to immortalize your visit to the Burj Khalifa, one of Dubai's most emblematic monuments!

Lunch: Tasting of local cuisine

After admiring the view from the Burj Khalifa tower, it's time to discover the local cuisine. Head to one of the many restaurants serving traditional dishes, such as kebab, shawarma or hummus. Seafood lovers can also taste local specialties such as grilled fish and sturgeon caviar.

For an authentic dining experience, we recommend that you visit the local markets, called "souks", where you can taste local specialties such as luqaimat, a kind of sweet Arabic doughnut, or manakish, a Lebanese pizza topped with cheese, herbs and olive oil. You can also try traditional mint tea and Arabic coffee. Restaurants serving local cuisine are mainly found in Old Town Dubai, where you can also admire the traditional architecture and bustling atmosphere of the city.

Afternoon: Stroll through old Dubai and discover the gold and spice souk

In the afternoon, discover old Dubai and its traditional souks. The Gold Souk and the Spice Souk are two must-sees. Here you can discover top quality gold jewelry as well as exotic spices and perfumes. Take the time to stroll the aisles and shop for unique souvenirs.

Apart from these souks, Old Dubai is also full of other cultural treasures such as historical buildings and museums. Do not miss a visit to the Dubai Museum which traces the history of the city from its origins until today.

Dubai Museum

From 22.03 € (or £18.87)

From £18.87 (or 22.03 €)

You can also stroll through the narrow streets of Bastakiya, a historic district with its stone houses, wind towers and traditional cafes.

For an even more authentic experience, you can take an abra, a small wooden boat that crosses Dubai Creek. This traditional means of transport will allow you to discover the city from another angle and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Evening: Dinner in a gourmet restaurant by the sea

Finally, to end your first day in Dubai in style, treat yourself to a gourmet dinner in one of the city's beachfront restaurants. Dubai is full of restaurants offering breathtaking views of the Arabian Gulf, while starred chefs will serve you tasty dishes using fresh seafood.

Among the dining options by the sea, you can opt for renowned establishments such as the Pierchic restaurant, located on a private jetty at the Al Qasr hotel, offering a magnificent view of the the Burj Al Arab and the Persian Gulf. If you prefer a more intimate and romantic dining experience, the At.mosphere restaurant, located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa, is a go-to option for stunning city views while enjoying fine dining. Japanese cuisine lovers can feast on sushi and teppanyaki at the Zuma restaurant, located in the Four Seasons hotel in Jumeirah. It is advisable to book in advance to be sure to have a table.

If you are looking for a unique culinary experience, you can also opt for a dinner cruise on the waters of Dubai. Dinner cruises are very popular in the city and offer stunning views of Dubai's illuminated skyscrapers and the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf. You can enjoy delicious food while cruising leisurely through Dubai Bay. This romantic and unforgettable experience is ideal for couples looking for a special night out or for those who simply want to see the city from a different perspective.

Dinner Cruise

From 16.23 € (or £13.92)

From £13.92 (or 16.23 €)

Day 2: Relaxation and leisure

Morning: Relaxation at Jumeirah Beach

For your second day in Dubai, take some time to relax and enjoy the leisure activities the city has to offer. Start your morning by heading to Jumeirah Beach, one of the best beaches in the city. Here you can enjoy the sun, fine sand and crystal clear water. If you are a fan of water sports, you can also practice sailing or jet-skiing.

Dubai Jet Ski Tour

From 74.66 € (or £64.02)

From £64.02 (or 74.66 €)

Jumeirah Beach is also known for its iconic sail-shaped hotel, the Burj Al Arab. If you want to treat yourself to a luxurious experience, you can book a room there for the night or simply have a drink in one of its panoramic bars. But even if you're not staying there, it's worth going there to admire the hotel's unique architecture and take souvenir photos in front of this Dubai icon.

Burj Al Arab

From 62.18 € (or £53.32)

From £53.32 (or 62.18 €)

Lunch: Lunch break in a panoramic café

After a morning spent at the beach, take a lunch break in one of the many panoramic cafés in the city. These cafes offer stunning views of the city and are the perfect place to relax and rejuvenate.

One of the popular panoramic cafes in Dubai is the At.mosphere cafe located in the Burj Khalifa tower, which offers a 360 degree view of the city and the sea. Tea lovers can head to the Al Bayt Café, located in the iconic Burj Al Arab hotel, and enjoy the view of Jumeirah Beach.

There are also many cafes located in the city's malls, offering views of nearby malls and attractions. Whatever your choice, you are sure to have a pleasant time in an exceptional setting.

Afternoon: Discovery of the Mall of the Emirates and indoor skiing

In the afternoon, head to the Mall of the Emirates, a huge mall that offers an unforgettable shopping experience. Here you can find all the major international brands as well as local shops offering handcrafted products.

Be sure to visit Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort located inside the mall. Here you can ski, snowboard and even meet penguins.

Ski Dubai

From 62.43 € (or £53.53)

From £53.53 (or 62.43 €)

The Mall of the Emirates is also known for its many restaurants and cafes. You can taste international or local dishes, according to your preferences. If you prefer more relaxing activities, the mall also has a cinema and a spa to unwind.

Evening: Dinner in a restaurant on a panoramic terrace with a view of the city

To end your second day in Dubai in style, treat yourself to dinner in a restaurant on a panoramic terrace offering breathtaking views of the city. Many restaurants offer views of the city illuminated at night, making it an unforgettable dining experience. Take the opportunity to taste the local specialties while admiring the panoramic view.

One of the restaurants with stunning views of the illuminated city is the At.mosphere Restaurant located on the 122nd floor of the Burj Khalifa tower. You can enjoy fine cuisine while enjoying the panoramic view of the city. You can also opt for the 101 Dining Lounge and Bar located on a pier of Palm Jumeirah, offering views of Dubai Marina and the city. With a relaxed atmosphere, fine Mediterranean cuisine and stunning views, this restaurant is perfect for a romantic evening or a dinner with friends.

Practical advice for a successful stay in Dubai

To ensure that your stay in Dubai goes smoothly, here are some practical tips to take into account.

Details on administrative formalities and visas

First, make sure you have all the paperwork in order before you leave. If you are a national of a European country or a Gulf country, you can obtain a visa on arrival. If you are coming from another country, check with the United Arab Emirates embassy in your country to find out what type of visa you need to obtain before you leave.

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It is also important to note that the entry and exit requirements can change quickly, depending on the evolution of the political and health situation. Therefore, it is recommended that you regularly check the official websites of the UAE embassy in your country or contact the embassy directly for up-to-date information on entry formalities.

It is also advisable to take out travel insurance that covers medical expenses and emergencies, as healthcare can be expensive in Dubai.

Accommodation suggestions for all budgets

When it comes to accommodation, Dubai offers a wide variety of options for all budgets. From luxury hotels to hostels, rental apartments and homestays, you are bound to find accommodation that suits your needs.

Atlantis Hotel, The Palm (Dubai)

If you are looking for luxury accommodation, Dubai is known for its extravagant hotels, such as the Burj Al Arab, the most expensive hotel in the world, or the famous Atlantis hotel, The Palm, located on the Palm Jumeirah. These hotels offer spacious rooms with sea views, infinity pools and gourmet restaurants.

If you are looking for more affordable accommodation, hostels and rental apartments can be a good option. Hostels offer shared or private rooms at affordable prices, while rental apartments can offer more privacy and space for a reasonable rate.

If you want a more authentic experience, you can opt for a homestay. This will allow you to meet locals and experience Dubai's culture and traditions in a more immersive way.

Finally, for those looking for a mix of authenticity and comfort, the traditional riads in Old Town Dubai offer a unique experience. These traditional houses have been restored to offer comfortable rooms, while maintaining their traditional architecture and decoration.

Tips for getting around the city

To get around the city, the best option is to use taxis or public transport, such as the metro or the buses. Taxis are plentiful and inexpensive, and they provide a convenient way to get around the city quickly. The metro is also very convenient, with frequent trains and affordable fares.

In addition, it is also possible to rent a car to explore the city at your own pace. Rental prices vary depending on the season and the duration of the rental, but it is possible to find interesting offers by comparing prices on car rental sites.

It is important to note that driving in Dubai can be intense and traffic can be very heavy, especially during rush hour. It is therefore recommended to familiarize yourself with the local traffic laws and exercise caution when driving.

Finally, it is also possible to get around using public transport applications, such as Careem or Uber, which offer competitive rates and added convenience.

Cultural and sporting events not to be missed

Finally, don't miss the cultural and sporting events organized in the city throughout the year. Dubai offers a wide variety of events ranging from music and film festivals to international sports competitions. Find out about upcoming events and plan to attend to fully experience Dubai.

Among the unmissable cultural events, the Dubai Shopping Festival which takes place every year in January is one of the most famous. During this whole month, the city offers incredible sales in all shopping centers, spectacular fireworks, open-air concerts, fashion competitions, fashion shows and much more.

The food festival, the Dubai Food Festival, is also an annual event highly anticipated by food lovers from all over the world, with tastings of local and international dishes, culinary competitions and gastronomic events.

For sports fans, Dubai is also a must-visit destination to watch world-class sporting events. The Emirates Golf Club annually hosts the Dubai Desert Classic, a European PGA golf tournament that attracts professional golf players from high level from all over the world.

Horse racing is also very popular in Dubai, with events such as the Dubai World Cup, a world famous horse race held every year in march at Meydan Racecourse.

Finally, the Dubai International Film Festival, an annual film festival that highlights the talents of international cinema, is a major cultural event not to be missed for movie lovers. The festival offers screenings of films from around the world, meetings with directors and actors, as well as question and answer sessions with the guests.

In conclusion, Dubai is a fascinating city to discover, with a rich and diverse culture. During these two days, you can visit the emblematic sites of the city, taste the local cuisine, shop in the most impressive malls in the world, enjoy the beaches, and much more.

But Dubai has much more to offer than we could cover in this article. Feel free to take your time to explore the city and meet the locals, for a more authentic experience. We hope you found this guide useful and that you have a great time in Dubai.