Dubai – The Ultimate Itinerary

Dubai is a city that never sleeps. It’s full of sand and sunshine, weekend brunches, supercars, luxury fashion designers, bespoke jewelry, jaw-dropping architecture, posh five-star hotels, and fabulous fine dining. The city has it all – you can snow ski, wakeboard, dune bash, and skydive in a single day if you’re brave enough.

Here’s our Local’s Guide for the ultimate experiences in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This eight-day trip itinerary is packed with activities and cultural experiences. Contact us to book this itinerary, or if you would like a custom itinerary specific to your interests, we can do that, too. The Unknown Road has spent nearly a decade in this region – we are your local guides to all things Dubai!  

Running short on time? Check out our 4 Day Dubai City Tour.

Day 1

Dhow Cruise through the Marina

A Dhow Cruise through the Marina is a journey through modern Dubai; the cruise takes guests through the Marina area, known as Canal City. This exciting development area is an awe-inspiring insight into the contemporary architectural marvel that is modern Dubai. Gaze in awe at the skyscrapers lining the path of the cruise, and see buildings such as the Dubai Marina Yacht Club, the Dubai Mall, and other famous skyline features. Travelers will be able to see some of the most iconic parts of Dubai, learn all kinds of fascinating information about the city, and have endless fantastic photo opportunities.

Day 2

Desert Safari and BBQ

There’s no better way to see incredible desert landscapes than by taking a Red Dune camel safari. Immerse yourself in the natural landscape of the Arabian Desert and Bedouin life and enjoy activities such as sandboarding, dune bashing, camel rides, and frame-worthy photo ops. Round out the evening with dinner and live dance performances.

Day 3

Hot Air Balloon Ride

pre-dawn start to your early morning adventure means plenty of time to be in the air for the sunrise. Float over the Hajar Mountains and spot the desert animals below. A falconry demonstration completes the incredible aerial experience. Once you land, travel to a private reserve for a sumptuous gourmet breakfast before taking a drive in an open-top vintage Land Rover to safari through the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.

Private Downtown Architecture Walking Tour

This two-hour walking tour through Downtown Dubai will introduce the record-breaking architectural achievements of the city. The tour includes elements of the Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Fountain Show, Walk of Fame, Souk Al Bahar, Opera Building, the Address Hotel, and other iconic landmarks. You will get the inside story on these ambitious projects and learn about the men and women behind the scenes who made it all happen. You will meet some of the people keeping local traditions alive amidst the hustle and bustle of office buildings, residences, and retail stores.

Every year, millions of tourists flock to Downtown, but only on this tour will you learn the reasons why and hear about the plans for the future. A tour of Downtown is a must for serious travelers who want to get the most out of their trip.

Day 4


Whether you are living locally or just visiting, a tandem skydiving experience over the Palm is a must-try in Dubai! Tick from your bucket list this once in a lifetime experience.

Day 5

Historic Old Dubai & Souk Walking Tour

Explore Old Dubai on this walking tour. Starting in the Al Fahidi District, visit cultural landmarks such as Ruler’s Court, the Al Shindaga Watchtower, and Dubai Museum. Take a ride on an abra (water taxi) on Dubai Creek and learn about the Indian community’s influence on the area. You’ll also visit the gold, spice, and textile souks.

Flavors of Arabia Food Tour

Walk with a local guide, visit historical sites as you learn about Emirati culture through the lens of food. Visit the spice and textile souks, take an abra (water taxi) ride on Dubai Creek, and learn about the holy month of Ramadan. The tour ends in Al Bastakiya in the Al Fahidi Historical District, where you can see many of the city’s oldest buildings — a testament to Dubai’s humble beginnings.

Day 6

Lunch at Burj Al Arab, the world’s only 7 Star Hotel

Enjoy lunch at Dubai’s Burj Al-Arab hotel and experience the bird’s-eye views from the soaring Burj Khalifa, on this half-day Dubai city tour. Admire the skyscrapers of Dubai Marina and savor a delicious Burj Al-Arab lunch in the magnificent atrium of the iconic, sail-shaped hotel. Then, continue to the Burj Khalifa, the world’s highest building, and ride an elevator to the ‘At the Top’ observation deck to soak up the epic, 360-degree views. Round off your tour by taking in the spectacle of the beautiful Dubai Fountain show.

  • Enjoy a delicious lunch buffet at the beautiful, sail-like Burj Al-Arab hotel

  • Whizz up to Burj Khalifa’s 124th-floor ‘At the Top’ observation deck for incredible, 360-degree views

  • Watch a spectacular Dubai Fountain show with musical cascades, lights and lasers

While you’re at Dubai Mall, pop over to the Aquarium. It’s easy to understand why this is one of the most popular attractions in Dubai – it’s a whopping 10 million liters of water with 33,000 marine animals, including hundreds of sharks and rays, crocodiles, and the largest collection of Sand Tiger sharks in the world. With a ticket, you can 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 around you.

Day 7

Abu Dhabi Small-Group Day Trip from Dubai

The UAE is about more than Dubai: its capital city, Abu Dhabi, warrants a visit, too. This full-day trip lets you see it with ease, and with just a small group. Traveling between the sights by air-conditioned minivan, it covers all the must-sees, with visits to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Photo stop at Emirates Palace, Etihad Towers, and more. Entrance fees, plus pickup and drop-off at selected Dubai hotels and locations included.

Day 8

Hatta Mountain, Hatta Safari, Heritage Village City Tour

Escape the hustle and bustle of Dubai and immerse yourself in the tranquility of the desert on this day trip to Hatta Lake. On the way to Hatta, stop at the Heritage Village to learn about life in the UAE years before the oil boom. Then, climb into your kayak for a relaxing paddle through the turquoise waters surrounded by mountains. Don’t skip this unique experience.

• Full Day trip to Hatta Heritage Village and the UAE desert by 4×4.

• Travel with a guide from Dubai to Hatta in the mountains of Al-Hajar 

• Explore Hatta Heritage Village and learn about its 16th-century mud-brick mosques 

Day 9

Airport Transfer: from Dubai to Dubai Airport (DXB)

What a trip! You’ve hit all of the highlights in the city in this whirlwind adventure. You should be able to catch your breath on the flight home. We hope you’ve enjoyed your trip to Dubai, and we look forward to seeing you again next time. 

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