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  • Writer's pictureYllara Maia

Exploring the Best of Dubai in 7 Days: Top 15 Must-Do Attractions

Updated: Jul 5, 2023

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Are you planning a trip to Dubai for the first time? Whether you’re looking for romantic getaways, family vacations, or just some fun in the sun, this Middle Eastern city has something for everyone. With its stunning skyline, vibrant nightlife, luxurious shopping opportunities and exotic culture, there is no shortage of things to do and see in Dubai.

In this blog, we’ll be exploring some of the best activities and attractions that you can squeeze into one week in Dubai. From camel rides in the desert to a luxury shopping spree at The Mall of Emirates, there is something for everyone in this amazing city. So get ready to take advantage of all the exciting things that Dubai has to offer and make the most of your week-long adventure!

What to Do in Dubai For a Week

A week in Dubai is the perfect amount of time to explore everything this amazing city has to offer. With seven days at your disposal, you can take advantage of all the fun tourist sights and activities that are available here.

Personally, I would not recommend a stay that's shorter than a week, especially if you're traveling from the U.S. Because the UAE is located in the Middle East, getting there will take some time unless you are coming from Europe or closer parts of Asia. Plan to devote at least two days out of your Dubai itinerary to travel time.

With that being said, it's possible to do some sightseeing here in a short amount of time. However, some of these other recommended activities - like the desert safari and a visit to Abu Dhabi - can take up majority of the day. It's best to plan out your itinerary in advance to get the most out of your time.

Keep in mind that there are numerous things to do in Dubai, and you'll never get to experience all of them in just one trip. I would pick 5-6 top activities, and then add any others if you end up with time to kill. The longer you stay the more you'll get to see, but it still won't be everything. To help you decide on the best activities for you, we compiled a list of the top 15 attractions in Dubai,

1. Desert Safari

An excursion to the Dubai Desert is a must-do during your time in Dubai; it's an unforgettable experience that will consume most of your day! You're able to find multiple tour companies offering safaris around nearby dunes. The tours include transportation from and back to your hotel, as well as activities throughout the day.

With stunning sand dunes and the magical landscape of the desert, it's the perfect spot for a day trip. During your excursion, you'll have a chance to take in all the natural beauty of the area while riding through on a 4×4 vehicle and even camels. The tour also includes sandboarding, “dune bashing” and visits to the Bedouin camps – all of which are great ways to learn about the local culture.

Don't forget to pick up some souvenirs from the camp for a truly special keepsake! End your day with a delicious buffet dinner under the stars and a private show. Ours had exotic belly dancing and a fire breather - but everyone's experience won't always be the same.

This was one of our favorite things that we did in Dubai. Our tour guide picked us up right on time and we drove about 45 minutes to reach the desert dunes. From there, we got into another car and they took us dune bashing in a Jeep. If you're not that into extreme sports, you can just notify your tour guide that you wish to sit out for this part of the tour.

Shortly after, we were taken to a camp location where they had restrooms, refreshments, and other available activities. A short camel ride was included with our tour, and we were allowed to take your own photos during this activity. There was also a man with a very well trained hawk that would pose for pictures for a small fee.

During this excursion, there were plenty of other activities that were offered - like sand boarding and quad biking - but we decided just to do camel riding and watch the sunset instead. Overall, it was a super fun experience that I would definitely do again. If you do decide to go, I highly recommend that you take the opportunity to take some incredible photos as soon as the sun sets.

2. At The Top - Burj Khalifa

If you want to get the best possible view of Dubai, visiting the At The Top Sky Deck at the Burj Khalifa is a must-do! Located on the 124th and 125th floors of one of the world's tallest buildings, this observation deck gives you access to incredible views of the city.

When you visit At The Top, the entrance to this experience is actually on the bottom floor of the Dubai Mall and not trough the front entrance to the building. Once you get through the front desk, someone will direct you on where to go from there.

If you purchase the complete package, you'll then be taken to the top of the tower via high-speed elevators and welcomed into the sky lounge with cocktail menus. This was definitely the most luxurious sky deck I've ever been to. They offered us coffee, tea, and other refreshments.

From the sky lounge, you can enjoy 360-degree views of Dubai's skyline and even spot some famous landmarks such as The Palm Jumeirah and Burj Al Arab. However, if your tickets only allow you onto the 124th and 125th floors, you'll have access to everything else except the lounge - including this iconic location below.

When you visit At the Top, there will be plenty of photo opportunities, so make sure you take them. Professional photographers are present at these levels for those who wish to purchase a photo, but you are also allowed to photograph with your own camera or cellphone. I recommend bringing your own, since the photographs can be expensive.

Also, keep in mind that the pricing for the tickets vary depending on the time of the day and the conversion rate from AED to USD on that specific day. Since this was definitely the priciest attraction out of everything else we did in Dubai, I recommend planning ahead. To save yourself time and money, you can purchase your tickets online below.

3. Dubai Miracle Garden

The Dubai Miracle Garden in Dubai is one of the city's most popular attractions. Located on Al Barsha Road, this stunning garden covers 72,000 square meters and boasts over 45 million flowers in vibrant shades of pink, white, yellow, red and purple.

Miracle Garden has been designed with a special focus on sustainability and environmental protection, using solar energy systems to power the lights and other amenities. There are also several unique attractions such as the heart-shaped garden and a butterfly garden, making it a great spot for families to explore together.

The Dubai Miracle Garden is one of the most picture perfect places you will ever visit. This place literally looks and feels like Disney, with its castles, heart shaped arcs, and even some very familiar characters sculpted into shrubs.

It is definitely a must if you are looking to get some once in a lifetime pictures during your trip - with that Dubai garden glow. The park opens at 9 AM and tickets are available for 55 AED ( $15) if you purchase at the entrance. If you are planning on going during a busier time, you can purchase your tickets online for the same price below in order to skip the line.

Or, you can also do a guided tour of the garden which also includes admission to the butterfly garden. Once you are inside the park, you can pretty much head in whatever direction you'd like to go. There is no standing in line at this park, since all the displays are for viewing only.

However, if you are trying to capture a photo at one of the most popular displays during peak tourist season, there is a good chance you will have to patiently wait your turn. To avoid this, come as soon as the park opens on a weekday. For more information check out their website.

4. Shopping in the Souks

If you're looking for a true Arabian experience, then you have to head to the souks in Old Dubai! From exotic spices and colorful fabrics to handmade jewelry and traditional souvenirs – the souks are filled with all kinds of goodies. To get there, just cross the Dubai Creek on one of their traditional dhow boats.

You'll find yourself haggling over prices with shopkeepers as you explore the winding alleyways, and you'll be amazed by the range of items on offer. Whether you're looking to pick up a bargain or simply enjoy the atmosphere of these vibrant markets, you won't be disappointed.

A visit to the souks is not complete without sampling some delicious street food – after all, what's shopping without a snack? So make sure to grab a bite at one of the many traditional food stalls that line the streets. Shopping in the souks is an experience you won't soon forget. The most famous souks (markets) are the gold souk, the spice souk, and the crafts souk.

However, his area can be a bit busy and overwhelming for those who are not used to the haggling. If this if you, you may want to book a guided tour of the souks. This Old Town, Creek, Souks and Heritage Walking Tour will cover that entire area with you, as well as share the history and culture of Old Dubai.

5. The Global Village

The Global Village is an experience like no other. Located in the outskirts of Dubai, it's one of the most popular Dubai parks and has become a must-see destination for many tourists. Covering over 17 hectares, the Global Village houses pavilions from 71 countries around the world, each offering unique cultural experiences and flavors. Whether you're looking for a quick snack or a full-fledged meal, the Global Village has something to offer everyone.

The village provides an array of street food from all over the world, including Mexican tacos, Italian pizza and Brazilian churrasco. There are also plenty of local delicacies available like shawarma and falafel. Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in treats like Turkish baklava or Indian kulfi.

While we were here, we tried some of the best noodles we have ever had from the South Korean pavilion. My favorite part of the park was the floating market, where they serve a wide range of Asian dishes from food stands inside boats. The boats are docked, and people can order from the walking platform that sits right next to the water.

Not only is the food delicious, but this experience alone was totally worth a trip to the Global Village. If you are planning on visiting during your stay, the park is open only after 4 PM during the week and weekends. Although it may be more crowded, the best time to come is at or after sundown. The park looks beautiful when it is lit up at night, and they often let off fireworks.

6. Dubai Marina

Situated on the Persian Gulf coast, Dubai Marina is the largest man-made marinas in the world and has become a popular destination for locals and tourists alike. From its stunning skyscrapers to its luxury yachts, this modern waterfront district is full of things to explore. Visitors can start their journey by taking a leisurely stroll along the promenade across from the Jumeirah Beach Residence area, which follows the length of the marina.

Here, you'll find a host of restaurants and cafes offering delicious food and drinks. Other attractions in the area include an artificial beach with white sand, a world-class selection of shopping malls and several entertainment venues, such as Dubai Marina Mall Cinema.

For those who are looking for something more adventurous, there are a variety of water sports to choose from including jet skiing, parasailing and kayaking. You can even take a bougie yacht tour with food included. Check out this activity below.

With its stunning views, vibrant atmosphere and endless activities, the Dubai Marina is sure to provide an unforgettable experience. Make sure to check out this area if you're looking for a more relaxed day during your visit.

7. La Mer Beachfront Destination

Just a few minutes drive from the Dubai Marina, you'll find the iconic La Mer Beach. Featuring an array of attractions, this vibrant hotspot offers something for everyone, from families to thrill seekers. The industrial look of it seems like something out of a movie, but it goes to show how diverse Dubai's architecture really is.

First and foremost, La Mer is home to one kilometer of pristine white sand beaches that stretch along Dubai's famous coastline. Visitors can relax in the sun or take part in a variety of watersports and activities, such as kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, and parasailing.

The beach is open and free to use, but they also have towel and chair rentals if you chose not to bring your own. They also have little cabanas where you can change and a small shop to purchase beach related items such as sunblock.

The La Mer is also home to a selection of retail stores offering everything from high-end fashion to local souvenirs. There's also a ton of dining options, from casual beachfront eateries to fine dining restaurants.

Visitors can also take advantage of the many attractions located within La Mer, such as an 18-hole mini golf course, wave surfing simulator and a trampoline park. With its mix of exciting activities and stunning views, La Mer is sure to please everyone in your group.

8. Dubai Mall

The Dubai Mall is one of the world’s largest shopping and entertainment centers, located right next to the Burj Khalifa. Filled with over 1,200 stores and 200 food and beverage outlets, it's easy to find something for everyone here. However, it's also very easy to get lost inside this enormous recreational center.

This mall is so large, that they actually have a GPS App to help you navigate around it. It has an impressive selection of luxury brands, as well as a vast array of mid-range and budget stores. Shoppers can also enjoy the many attractions located inside the mall, including an indoor theme park, a hockey rink, and a giant aquarium.

In addition to shopping, visitors can enjoy a variety of dining options, from casual cafes to upscale restaurants. The mall also features a host of entertainment venues and cinemas for those looking for something more leisurely. With so much to do, you can easily spend a whole day wondering around the Dubai Mall.

9. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo

The Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Dubai! Located in the Dubai Mall, this incredible aquarium features over 140 species of aquatic life, from sharks and stingrays to clownfish and sea turtles.

When you visit the aquarium you can take a tour of the underwater tunnel which runs through the tank – it's like you're actually swimming with the fish! There are also interactive experiences such as feeding sessions and touch tanks, so even young children can get involved.

Not to be missed is the Underwater Zoo, home to some of the most exotic creatures on Earth. You'll be able to see alligators, giant octopus, penguins and more! It's the perfect way to spend an afternoon in Dubai. Don't forget your camera – you'll want to capture all of these amazing creatures on film!

Anyone can look at the enormous aquarium that measures 11 meters high (36 feet) and is on display for people passing by at the mall. If you wish to go inside the aquarium, the entry tickets cost 169 AED ($46) per person. Make sure to check the price for a general admission ticket above, which will give you access to the underwater zoo, aquarium tunnel, the penguin cove and interactive platform.

10. Dubai Fountain & Waterfront Promenade

If you're looking for some leisurely time, check out the Waterfront Promenade around the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Fountain. This is one of the best places in the city to take a stroll or stop for a bite to eat.

Grab any spot just outside the Dubai Mall to watch the iconic Dubai Fountain Show - a spectacular show of lights, water and music that is sure to blow you away. The fountain jets can reach heights of up to 150 metres and the choreography changes daily, so make sure you catch it when you can.

If you cross the pedestrian bridge from the promenade to the other side of the fountain, you'll find the Souk Al Bahar. This is an Arab-style shopping center with more traditional shops. Here you can find things like carpets, lamps, and some of the best water-front restaurants in the area.

If you're wandering around the Dubai Mall looking for a place to eat, I recommend that you head over to this souk and sit down at one of the restaurants. Not only will you get a great view of the Dubai Fountain water show, but you'll also get to try some of the best Middle Eastern food in the city.

11. The Mall of Emirates & Ski Dubai

The Mall of Emirates is one of Dubai's premier shopping destinations, offering an impressive selection of luxury and high-street stores. With over 80,000 square metres of retail space, this mall has something to suit every taste and budget. From designer labels to electronics retailers and art galleries, The Mall of Emirates has it all.

The shopping experience at this mall is second to none, with its innovative design and a variety of amenities. From the indoor ski slope to the multiplex cinema, The Mall of Emirates offers something for everyone. There are also numerous restaurants, cafés and snack bars available so you can rest your feet after a hard day of shopping.

Ski Dubai is an indoor ski resort located in Mall of the Emirates. Featuring an 85-metre high indoor mountain with five ski runs, Ski Dubai is the perfect place for visitors to experience snow and skiing in a desert city. As well as skiing or snowboarding, guests can also enjoy other activities such as tobogganing, zip lining and even taking part in a polar expedition.

For those who want to take a break from the slopes, there is also snow park area where visitors can play in the snow and enjoy various rides. The resort features all of the amenities one could expect from a ski resort such as ski schools, equipment hire, restaurant and cafés. With its unique location and incredible facilities, Ski Dubai is an experience not to be missed.

12. Museum of the Future

Visiting the Museum of the Future in Dubai is an experience like no other! This cutting-edge museum boasts some of the most advanced technology in the world, offering interactive exhibitions, workshops and events – all designed to inspire and educate visitors of all ages. Whether it’s learning how to code or exploring the possibilities of 3D printing, there’s something here for everyone.

The Dubai museum also features robotics, virtual reality and immersive experiences that will leave you feeling inspired and energized! From world-class exhibitions to workshops for budding entrepreneurs, the Museum of the Future is a must-visit for anyone looking to experience the latest in modern innovation. With something new to explore every time you visit, it’s well worth checking out on your next trip to Dubai!

13. Dubai Frame

If you're looking for an epic experience, then you've got to check out the Dubai Frame! This spectacular structure stands at 150 meters tall, offering 360-degree views of Dubai from its top.

From up there, you can appreciate the city's stunning skyline and awe-inspiring desert landscape. You'll even be able to get a glimpse of the iconic Burj Khalifa, so don't forget your camera! But it's not just the views that make visiting the Dubai Frame worthwhile - there's also a range of interactive exhibits and activities to explore.

There are also plenty of souvenir shops and cafes nearby, so you can take home something special to remember your visit. The Dubai Frame is a must-see for anyone visiting the city and makes for an unforgettable experience!

14. Palm Jumeirah

Visiting the iconic Palm Jumeirah is a must-do when traveling to Dubai! Located on the southern coast of the city, it's one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. Not only is it an impressive sight to behold, but there's also plenty to do and explore here. You can take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, where you'll find plenty of restaurants and cafes overlooking the stunning views.

Alternatively, if you're feeling adventurous, take a boat ride around the crescent-shaped island for an unforgettable experience. Of course, no trip to the Palm Jumeirah would be complete without visiting some of its famous attractions such as Aquaventure Waterpark, the Atlantis Hotel, Jumeirah Beach, and the Jumeirah Mosque.

Whether you're looking for a relaxing break or an action-packed day out, the Palm Jumeirah has something for everyone to enjoy. You could easily spend a whole day just exploring this part of Dubai, so plan accordingly to make sure you have time to explore other areas as well.

15. Day Trip to Abu Dhabi

No trip to the United Arab Emirates is complete without visiting its capital, Abu Dhabi. If you're looking for an unforgettable day trip, hop on one of the luxury buses departing from Dubai and head to this stunning city. Keep in mind that you'll have to leave Dubai and take public or private transportation to get here.

This city boasts some incredible sights including the iconic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, which is home to the world's largest carpet, and the grand Emirates Palace. If you're planning to visit the mosque, keep in mind that it's a religious space and all visitors should dress appropriately.

There are also plenty of shops and restaurants to explore in the city center, as well as a beautiful beach if you're looking to cool off after a day of sightseeing. If that isn't enough, there are also some incredible attractions just outside of Abu Dhabi, such as the Ferrari World theme park and the incredible Yas Marina Circuit.

If you're into cars, you can look into related activities but car rental prices can be a bit high. Either way, there's still lots of other fun things to do. So if you have the time, make sure to plan out a day trip from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. If you want to skip the hassle of getting there on your own, you can always book a full-day sightseeing tour with transportation.

To sum up, Dubai is an amazing place to visit and a week in the city will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore its stunning sights and attractions. From iconic landmarks such as the Burj Khalifa to shopping in the city's bustling malls, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you're looking for some outdoor fun or cultural attractions, there's no shortage of amazing things to do and see when you visit Dubai. So, if you're planning a trip to this incredible city, make sure you add these top attractions to your itinerary!

That's all for now - have a wonderful time in Dubai!

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