Dubai City Guide
4 Day Self-Guided Dubai City Tour
Bedouin heritage meets ultramodern in this vivacious city!
A city like no other, Dubai is the story of the little fishing village that could, and of a city that has made it big. Discover man-made islands sculpted into the shapes of palms and a tower so high it is almost a kilometer tall. Explore the heritage area of Bastakiya, wander the traditional spice and gold souks, and see more supercars in one hour than you’re likely to see in a year as you explore the streets of this fast-paced, stylish, desert town.
Day 1: Old Dubai
Start your walking tour at the Arabian Tea House at Al Fahidi Street in Bur Dubai. This local gem serves up traditional Arabic food and our favorite ‘Karak chai’ – a strong black tea blended with a dash of milk, cardamom, saffron, and other exotic spices.
From here, meander through the narrow lanes of the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. This neighborhood showcases the traditional way of life from the mid-19th century until the 1970s. You’ll see traditional L-shaped homes made from gypsum, coral and limestone.
Make sure you look up while you’re walking! You don’t want to miss the buildings topped with distinctive wind towers made from stone, teak, gypsum, palm wood, and sandalwood- a cleaver architectural design feature to keep the homes cool even during the hottest of summer days.
There are over 50 houses you can explore here. You’ll discover creative art spaces such as the XVA Art Hotel, Alserkal Cultural Foundation, and The Majlis Gallery. While you’re here, make sure you stop by the Coffee museum, too. Coffee is exceptionally important to the Arab and Emirati culture. It’s so important, a coffee pot is on their one Dirham coin!
Day 2: Downtown Dubai
Begin the day at Dubai Mall- the biggest shopping mall in the world. With 1,200 outlets you could literally spend an entire day walking around the mall and still not see everything it has to offer. Inside the mall, head over to the Aquarium. At a whopping 10 million liters of water and 33,000 marine animals including hundreds of sharks and rays, crocodiles, and the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world, it’s easy to understand why this is such a popular attraction. Take a Back of The House Tour including a ride on a glass-bottom boat and a simulator submersible and a walk through the acrylic underwater tunnel as sharks, rays, and fish swim all around you.
No trip to Dubai is complete without a visit to the Burj Khalifa. At a staggering height of 828 meters, it’s the world’s tallest building. You can access the entrance to the Burj from inside the mall, just head over to the At the Top Burj Khalifa entrance. With a ticket, you will be able to go as high as the 148th floor of the building and see Downtown Dubai – as well as most of the city – from above.
Head outside to the Burj Park to get an amazing view of the Burj Khalifa from the ground. Depending on the time of day, you’ll also get to see the spectacular Dubai Mall fountains. The dancing fountains are choreographed performances set to light and music. Performances take place at 1:00 pm and at 1:30 pm as well as every 30 minutes from 6 pm to 10 pm on weekdays, and from 6 pm to 11 pm on weekends (weekends being Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)
Day 3: Dubai Marina, Palm Jumeriah, Desert Safari
Make your own way to Dubai Marina and meet your skipper to start your 90-minute boat cruise. This is the perfect way to tour this part of Dubai. You will cruise through Dubai Marina, marveling at its spectacular modern skyline. You will get an up-close picture-perfect look at the world’s only seven-star hotel, the Burj Al Arab. You’ll see Bluewaters, Dubai’s latest island development off the coast of Jumeriah Beach that features Ain Dubai Ferris Wheel, the biggest Ferris wheel in the world! You will see the iconic Palm Jumeriah – an artificial island in the shape of a palm tree. At the tip of the Palm Jumeriah, you will see the five-star resort, Atlantis the Palm (it is truly a spectacle to see from the water).
You’ve seen modern Dubai from the water’s side, now it’s time to check out the scenery from the desert and the Bedouin lifestyle with a desert safari. Gaze at the picturesque Dubai sands and hear all about the desert’s ecology and its history as you travel. Visit a traditional camel farm and take a camel ride while you discover more about the different species of camels used in the region. Sample the thrills of sandboarding while you’re here.
Day 4: Skydiving
Today starts at Skydive Dubai where you’ll take a literal leap of faith and check off skydiving from your bucket list! Celebrities like Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding, Ne-Yo, Will Smith, Bella Hadid, Michelle Rodriguez, and, of course, Sheikh Hamdan, have been brave enough to jump out of a plane at Skydive Dubai. Now, it’s your turn!
Planning and booking these adventures doesn’t have to be difficult. Get in touch with us today, and we will start planning your dream desert holiday.