HOW TO SPEND FIVE DAYS IN DUBAI: RELAXED TRAVEL ITINERARY

Looking for ideas on how to spend five days in Dubai but don’t know what to include in your itinerary?

The City of Dubai was, not long ago, only a small fishing port. Now, this city of Gold is one of the most advanced and futuristic cities. Dubai is a global city, combining old with the new, traditional with modern, and simple with elegance and luxury. 

Spending five days in Dubai is the perfect amount of time to get a taste of this famous town in the United Arab Emirates. Even if this is your first visit to the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. 

In this 5 days Dubai itinerary, you will see all the major Dubai highlights like Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, and see Dubai fountain show. You will even visit Dubai Marina, the old Dubai, and go on a desert safari tour. It will give you a nice and relaxed pace to explore Jumeirah beach, and offer suggestions on how you can tailor this itinerary and add more stuff to it, like a day trip to Abu Dhabi. This cosmopolitan city has many things for you to do while on a visit to Dubai. 

From the desert to the sea, swimming and skiing, here you will find out things to do in Dubai in 5 days. Malls and pools, architecture, buying gold, or enjoying the beach.

Now, let’s see Dubai in 5 days!

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

Breakdown of Dubai 5 day trip itinerary

This is a relaxed itinerary for Dubai. Perfect for someone who wants to have a nice and steady pace of sightseeing, relaxing, adventuring, and exploring.

This Dubai trip itinerary offers a nice combination of active days, half-day trips, and enough time to relax. There will be plenty of time to do fun activities in Dubai mall, visit Dubai’s Souks, and maybe go skiing or on a jet ski. There will be enough time to experience Arabian hospitality, have a fabulous meal in a restaurant and still have time to unwind and relax.

For your first visit to Dubai, I would recommend spending at least 3 days in Dubai. But 5 days is just enough to see all the major bucket list items and add an extra relaxing day or a day trip to Abu Dhabi.

If you wish, you can break nights into two parts. You can stay 2 or 3 nights in Dubai Marina and 2 or 3 nights in Downtown Dubai. I was thinking about this but decided not to do it. Purely because I didn’t want to be bothered with packing, checking out, checking in, and moving. I rather spent that time exploring.  

SHORT DUBAI ITINERARY OVERVIEW:
Day 1: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach, Pool & Beach day
Day 2: Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai fountain show
Day 3: Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Emirates Mall, Dubai Desert Safari
Day 4: Old Dubai, Souks of Deira, abra boat ride, and Dubai Frame
Day 5: Day trip to Abu Dhabi, pool/beach day, Miracle Garden, Museum of the future

View of Dubai fountains from Burj Khalifa 125th floor.
View of Dubai fountains from Burj Khalifa.

Best time to visit Dubai

Dubai in the United Arab Emirates is one of the destinations, that can be visited throughout the year. Spring or Fall, Autumn or Winter, Dubai is always waiting for you. Having a hot desert climate, there are only really two distinct seasons. Summer and Dubai winter.

Generally speaking, the best time to visit Dubai is during Winter. In the months from November to April. Temperatures in these months are warm and pleasant. They are comfortable enough to be outside and explore the city. As a result, airline tickets are higher, and you can also expect higher prices on accommodation. Plus, more people at the attractions.

On the flip side, the time from April through October is when Dubai has fewer tourists. Time of Dubai’s summer is considered low season. In those months temperatures can reach up to 40°C (104°F). High temperatures mean fewer visitors, less crowds, cheaper flight fares, and accommodation rates.

I visited Dubai in August, but because of all the air conditioning in hotels, shopping malls, and public transport, it didn’t feel that hot and I didn’t mind spending time outside.

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

How to get to Dubai

The very best way to get to Dubai is by air.

The second best way to visit is by going on a cruise and visiting Dubai on a route combined with other Middle Eastern cities.

Dubai Airport is the biggest airport in UAE and one of the biggest in the world. It is home to their carrier airline Emirates. Dubai International Airport is around 10 km (6 mi) away from dubai Downtown. You can easily travel to Downtown dubai using a taxi, Uber, or Metro.

If you land at Terminal 1 or Terminal 3, the best way is to use the Red Metro line. It will take you to Burj Khalifa (Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall metro station). This is also great if you are only having a short stopover in Dubai.

Museum of the Future, Dubai
Museum of the Future, Dubai.

Things to know before visiting Dubai

  • DUBAI VISA
    If you need a visa or not depends on what passport you are holding. Most countries are eligible for a free visa on arrival. You can get a Tourist visa or a Transit/Stopover visa on arrival. However, some nationalities and for other visas, you may need to apply before your arrival in Dubai. Find your nationality and learn about your Dubai visa requirements here.
  • PASSPORT
    Your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 more months and have 1 blank passport page.
  • TRAVEL INSURANCE
    Make sure to purchase travel insurance before your travel. I have seen two people needing medical assistance in Zanzibar. One was because of heat stroke. Another sprained her ankle. Seriously, you never know, so better be safe than sorry.
  • SAFETY TIPS
    Dubai is safe, even for solo female travelers, but it still doesn’t hurt to use common sense. Don’t flesh your valuables, dress accordingly, take a back seat when taking a taxi or an Uber. Be careful when walking alone in the dark, respect their culture and dress code.
  • DRESS CODE
    Majority of the population is Muslim. Even though the city is ‘westernized’ respect their culture and dress appropriately. This is especially true when visiting old parts of Dubai, like Deira and souks, and when visiting a mosque. Wearing a bikini ina hotel and a resort is perfectly fine.

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

Five days in Dubai itinerary

DAY 1: Dubai Marina, Jumeirah Beach, Pool & Beach day

First day in Dubai. If you are coming from the United States or Canada or from Japan or Australia, this is likely going to be a hectic day to spend with the company of jet lag. If you are coming from Europe, the journey to Dubai should not be that bad, since Zanzibar is in GMT+4 time zone. 

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This is will be an easy day. After the formalities, head to Dubai Marina. If temperatures are not too high, go on The Walk and down to Jumeriah Beach. Depending on where you are staying there are plenty of hotels within walking distance of the beach.

At Jumeriah Beach you can, rent a sun lounge bed and relax on the beach. Grab something to eat so have a coffee. This is a perfect place to see the highest Ferry wheel Ain Dubai. If wish, go to the Bluewaters to ride 210m high Ain Dubai or Dubai Eye. If you are more into water activities, have some AquaFun in an inflatable park in the sea.

After a small taste of Dubai Marina, go to the One&Only Royal Mirage. You can do that by public transport, taxi, or Uber.

Spend a nice day relaxing and recharging batteries in one of Dubai’s finest resorts. Their private kilometer-long beach, Arabian hospitality and calming atmosphere will get you ready and excited to see what else Dubai has to offer. 

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If your daycation completely filled up your batteries, have a look at what is happening in Dubai at nighttime. Is there any Ladies’ night going on? Maybe a special Happy Hour promo. Check online or ask at your accommodation. If you are still feeling tired and jet-lagged, have a nice shower and get a good night’s sleep.

Where to stay in Dubai, UAE:
Rove Downtown is a modern, simple, sustainable-oriented hotel created for travelers. No matter where you come from, you will feel at home. Like the name suggests it is located in Downtown Dubai, offers amazing breakfast and rooms with a view of Burj Khalifa.

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Dubai Marina
Skyscrapers, residential buildings, offices, and construction sites in Dubai Marina.

DAY 2:  Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium, Burj Khalifa, and Dubai fountain show

After a more relaxed first day, this will be your first sightseeing day in Dubai. If you only have a couple of days in Dubai, you can skip the stress-free day 1 and start with this. This daily itinerary is also perfect for someone having a short stopover in Dubai. This day you are going to see the highlights of Dubai.

First main sight you are going to visit will be Dubai Mall. Dubai Mall is the second biggest shopping mall in the world. This is heaven for shopaholics. But even if you are not a fan of shopping centers, trust me, there is a lot to do. The mall is home to Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, a cinema, an ice rink, a haunted park, a dinosaur skeleton, a stunning waterfall … besides a gazillion of shops where you can find any brand you like.

At the info points, there are maps, so you can navigate in case you get lost. But at those counters, you can also get a portable phone charger, that you can borrow for free while you shop.

Waterfall wall inside Dubai Mall.
Human Waterfall wall inside Dubai Mall.

After you are tired from shopping, go and visit Burj Khalifa. With its 828m (2,723 ft) it is the tallest building in the world and actually holds more than 7 Guinness World records. To get to the Burj Khalifa entrance you will need to walk through the mall. The Burj Khalifa is right next to Dubai Mall. Look for the signs in the lower levels for directions. 

You can go up to the 124 and 125th floor or all the way up to level 148, or even to level 154. Book your ticket in advance. This will save you a spot at the time you will want to visit and (in many cases get you a deal) and you will skip waiting in line for the ticket. At level 148 you can stay up to 30 minutes. At levels 125/124 you can stay as long as you like. If you decide to go in the afternoon, you can admire the Dubai fountain show from above. Don’t forget to bring your passport or ID.

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When you have soaked in the views from above, head back to Dubai Mall. Now it is time to see the amazing choreographed water show. 

The fountain show starts at 6 pm and performs a show every 30 minutes until 11 pm. This show is just outside Dubai Mall at Burj Khalifa Lake. Get one of the standing spots, or have a nice dinner in one of the restaurants next to the lake. You can even watch the show from a boat on the water. You can purchase a ticket here.

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

DAY 3: Palm Jumeirah, Burj Al Arab, Emirates Mall, Dubai Desert Safari

Start your day going to the famous Palm-shaped island, Palm Dubai. Drive or walk from one part to the other on 11 km (7 mi) long Boardwalk and stop at the famous Atlantis The Palm hotel. To have a unique view over the Palm and Dubai skyline, go to AURA Skypool and have a swim in the world’s tallest infinity pool (fee). For an even more exclusive look, book a 15min helicopter ride and see the Palm from the air. 

After getting in a bit of sun, pay a visit to the Mall of Emirates. Here have a bite at Apres. It will give you something for the tastebuds while looking the famous indoor ski resort Ski Dubai. To include even more adventure in your day, book a skiing session. They provide skis and clothing. 

On you way back stop at the Jumeriah Beach hotel, or go to the entrance of the Wadi Wadi waterpark, to get a perfect up-close, shot of the Burj Al Arab. For an exclusive view from the water, book one of the Dubai jet ski tours.

Ski dubai, Atlantis the palm hotel and Burj Al Arab
Sightseeing in Dubai, The Palm with Atlantis hotel, Ski Dubai and Burj Al Arab.

In the afternoon get ready for a Dubai desert safari tour. Tour will include driving through the red sand dunes, camel rides, and watching sunset over the Lahbab Desert. You can opt in for a quad bike ride. At the end, there will be a delicious bbq dinner in a Al Khayma desert camp. I highly recommend this tour! Bring layers. The evenings in the desert can get cold.

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

DAY 4: Old Dubai, souks of Deira, Abra boat ride, and Dubai frame

Today you are going to meet the Old Dubai. Head to Deira, one of the oldest parts of Dubai, and walk on the historic streets and paired with Arabian architecture. Take your time and explore all of the different souks here. The most well-known and popular tourist spot is Gold souk. Hint, this is the best place to purchase gold.

Walk your way around the area to Spice Souk, where you will find a wide range of herbs, spices and flavors. Alongside  Perfume Souk and Textile souk, here you will also find traditional textiles, lamps, rugs and other souvenirs.

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After you walked through all the souks head towards Dubai Creek. Take a traditional Abra to cross it. It is Dubai’s most traditional form of a traditional for of transport. From Bur Dubai, walk a short walk and have an amazing lunch at Arabian Tea House Restaurant & Cafe – Al Fahidi.

After you meal, visit another Dubai icon, Dubai frame. This symbolic, frame shapes structure, represents and connects both sides of Dubai. From Dubai frame you have a 360° view of the Old and skyscrapers of the New Dubai. Take photos in front of it and visit the Frame’s Glass Bridge and learn about the history of Dubai before rising to the top.

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

DAY 5: Day trip to Abu Dhabi, pool/beach day, Miracle Garden, Museum of the future

What to do on day five is up to you and there are a lot of options to choose from.

You can go on a day trip to Abu Dhabi and see all the Abu Dhabi highlights. Abu Dhabi is the capital of the United Arab Emirates and also home of Sheikh Zayed Mosque, the largest mosque in UAE. Mosque’s famous white exterior, design, and Swarovski chandeliers make it one of a kind.

If you are visiting Dubai from November to March, and are a fan of nature and gardens, then you should visit Miracle garden. This is the world’s largest natural flower garden, a floral oasis you need to visit, with a variety of flower species shaped in various forms, and objects that also come in different shapes and sizes. This is a perfect ticket if you deceit to visit it at the last minute.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE
Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

To spend the day inside, in a nice and airconditioned environment, you could visit Museum of the future. The museum visit usually last around 2h but the tickets get sold out fast. So book your ticket in advance. When I was in Dubai, it wasn’t opened yet.

Maybe you want to spend a more relaxed last day? In that case, you can do a little bit of shopping and spend the rest of the day by the pool. Great thing is that daycation is a really common thing, so just pick a hotel and enjoy their pool.

Before your flight, make sure to have lunch at the Rooftop dining restaurant and Skybar, Ce la vi. You will have a prime dining experience, an amazing view of the Address hotel infinity pool and Burj Khalifa. All paired with delicious food that will connect all the pieces together of your wonderful Dubai experience.

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

How to spend 5 days in Dubai, in a nutshell

This Dubai itinerary is perfect for a first-time visitor to this Emirati city. It offers an amazing combination of beaches, sightseeing, shopping, and history. You will have enough time to relax and explore what the City of Gold has to offer. 

5 days in Dubai will be plenty of time for you to experience the vibe of different parts of Dubai. The vibe in Dubai Marina, Downtown Dubai and Deira are definitely not the same. As you will experience for yourself. I am positive you will be amazed how different they are and pick your favorite.

This Dubai itinerary gives you enough time to relax, visit Dubai Mall with its Aquarium and Ice skating ring, go to the top of Burj Khalifa, and see the difference between the Old and New Dubai from Dubai Frame. Besides that, you will also have the time to see Dubai fountain Show, take a photo in front of the Atlantis hotel and sailboat-shaped 7-star hotel Burj al Arab, plus visit the desert.

Wings art instalation at the 125 level of Burj Khalifa, Dubai
Wings art installation at the 125 level of Burj Khalifa, Dubai.

In terms of alternations: You can do as much or as little in Dubai. Literally, even the sky is not the limit. You can mix and match days as you please and as it fits your flight schedule. You can just relax and do a lot of daycations in various pools, visit aquaparks or ski, surf, jetski and go on a helicopter ride in a day. You can even go diving and rent a luxury sports car. Seriously, no limits here.

If you don’t have 5 days to spare in Dubai and are wondering how many days in Dubai is enough? I would say, to have at least 3. You can see all the major sites in a day or on a stopover. But to see the top tourist attractions, try for at least 3.

Regardless of how many days in Dubai you have planned, make sure that you savor every moment watching skyscrapers, getting your eyes on Burj Khalifa, enjoying in Arabian sun, exploring the vastness of the desert, and appreciating the adventures in the city on the coast of Persian Gulf.

Ala al leqa’a qariban,
Anja

If you have been to Dubai, what would you have done differently?

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How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.
How to spend five days in Dubai, UAE, is a perfect travel itinerary that includes Burj Khalifa, Dubai Mall, desert safari and the souks of Deira.

Want more Dubai travel content?
ALSO READ:
17 BEST HOTELS IN DUBAI WITH BURJ KHALIFA VIEW
31 BURJ KHALIFA FACTS: SURPRISING, INTERESTING, AND STUNNING
121 BEST DUBAI CAPTIONS, QUOTES, PUNS AND JOKES FOR INSTAGRAM
AMAZING SUSTAINABLE AND ECO-FRIENDLY HOTELS IN DUBAI

Interested in other Travel content?
ALSO READ:

187 BEST DESERT CAPTIONS FOR INSTAGRAM – PUNS, JOKES, RIDDLES & QUOTES
GET OVER JET LAG WITH THESE 19 EASY-TO-FOLLOW TIPS
HOW TO BARGAIN ON YOUR TRAVELS: 17 ESSENTIAL BARGAINING TIPS

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.


Skipped to the good part? Here is the gist

This Dubai itinerary will give you an idea of how to best spend 5 days in the City of Gold, United Arab Emirates. This will be a blend of exploring skyscraper high Downtown Dubai with Burj Khalifa, souks in old Deira, and the modern and more expat-full Dubai Marina. There will be time to enjoy Arabian hospitality and experience the luxurious infinity pools or have a dip in the ocean. All will be connected with a trip to the desert, a man-made palm island, and an indoor ski resort Ski Dubai. As you will soon realize, the sky is not the limit, so the visit to Dubai will make you want to return and explore some more.

I hope this helped you to plan your perfect Dubai itinerary.

If you found this blog helpful, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here you will find a lot of travel tips, itineraries, and packing hacks completely for free. If you want to see more of it and would like to encourage me to post even more, you can say thanks and buy me a coffee.


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About Anja On Adventure

anja on Adventure

Anja On Adventure is a travel blog, a collection of insider tips and information on destinations, that I visited as a solo female traveler, tour guide, teacher, yacht stewardess, and Survivor challenge tester.

Anja, is a thirty-something adventure-seeking, sun chasing, beach hopping, gin-loving, tropics enthusiast with a creative mind and sarcastic spirit, who loves coconut and mango but doesn’t like chocolate and sweets. I am passionate about all things travel, maps, and puzzles. Click here to learn more About me.

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7 thoughts on “HOW TO SPEND FIVE DAYS IN DUBAI: RELAXED TRAVEL ITINERARY”

  1. I am planning to visit Dubai in the month of February and wanted to spend 5-6 days there. This sounds like a perfect itinerary for a relaxing holiday. No rush. Thank you for sharing.

    Reply
    • Wow, this sounds amazing! Happy for you and a bit jealous 😉 You will have an extra day so you can pick two options for day 5 in this itinerary!

      Reply
  2. I think five days really is the perfect number of days to see the city without getting too overwhelmed by its sparkle! 🙂

    Reply
    • Completely agree! And you leave with that feeling when is it just right and you want to return again, for the second and third time.

      Reply
    • Actually, the heat, even if it was 40°C (104°F) was not that bad. It is not humid so it is dry heat, which is easier to ‘manage’.

      Reply

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