Bucket List Planner
Unless you have several days of free time to line up a reasonable agenda for your trip to Dubai, this is a good trip to leave to our team to set up for you. We would also suggest a couple of days in Abu Dhabi. The Mosque in Abu Dhabi is spectacular and Ferrari World is an exciting destination for thrill seekers. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
10. Relax and Take Advantage of the 5-Star Accommodations
There are so many fun things to do in Dubai, but unlike New York City, where the accommodations might be a little bit tight, old fashioned or mediocre; Dubai's hotels are all pretty much world class. All of the major hotel chains can be found there, plus a few Emirati brands, such as Jumeirah (which owns the Burj Al Arab, in addition to doe other exceptional properties.) A first time visitor to Dubai might feel concerned about being in a convenient location. Don't worry too much about that. The city of Dubai is very spread out. No matter where you stay, you will need to get from place to place with a taxi, bus, metro or a rental car. Therefore, our team recommends making reservations on the beach. The Persian Gulf is a beautiful color and there is some pretty great shell collecting that can be done at sunrise.
9. Go Shopping!
Dubai is known for it's incredible shopping. I did not know what that meant until I went. If you want to see every single item in the current Hermes collection, in every size, in one store....you will find that in Dubai. ant to see real live shoes that you have only ever seen on the pages of magazines? Go to Dubai! There are two big shopping holidays in Dubai, where most brands (but not all) offer really great discounts. Our favorite discovery is a Lebanese special occasion chocolate store called Patchi and some cool consignment stores, tucked away in residential neighborhoods. Much of the consignment business in Dubai has moved online to accommodate the international opportunity associated with authentic high end accessories at bargain prices. Never the less, we can guide you to a few fantastic consignment shops in Dubai. Why consignment in Dubai? The formula is EASY! The Arab women, who are cloaked in the Abaya and Shiela (and sometimes a Burka) are completely covered from head to toe with the exception of their sunglasses and handbags. The result is that they make strong fashion statements with high end designer accessories, like handbags and glasses. Eventually something has to go away to make room for the new. THAT is where the consignment shop comes in. They are not easy to find, so check our Shop Dubai Page. And finally... souvenirs! There is no shortage of plush stuffed animal camels and other fun things to bring home. And it is likely that you will have many opportunities to buy pictures of yourself!
8. Visit the Only 7-Star Hotel in the World
The Burj Al Arab is a stunning and exclusive hotel located right on the beach in Dubai. Well, it's actually on a little island just off the beach. The architecture is impressive and the decor is opulent. The lobby boasts walls of colorful tropical fish that can be enjoyed while riding the escalator. The simplest room is a 2 story suite with floor to ceiling windows looking at the city or the ocean and a butler or two. Needless to say, that basic room costs 2 - 3 times what a normal 5 star hotel room would cost. So, staying a night at the Burj Al Arab is more than you would prefer to spend, the next best alternative is to have high tea or cocktails there. Again, reservations are critical. In fact, to gain entry to the building a printed copy of your reservation is required. The sky view bar is wonderful. A reservation at sunset with a view of the city is a great way to go. The bad news is that the minimum spend per person at the Sky View Bar is around $100US. The GOOD NEWS is that each cocktail is around $40 each, so you don't have to drink too much to meet the minimum. TIP: Try the Camel Colada!
7. Go on a Desert Safari and Ride a Camel
This is very similar to visiting the Gold Souk but somehow the products, smells and people watching are far more dynamic. it is always intriguing to see what is for sale in a foreign market, and the Spice Souks are not likely to disappoint people looking for something unusual, like Deer Blood or Ostrich Oil, for example. And thank goodness we bought some Snake Soap, because it should keep us alive for eternity! The people watching in this area is also great because there is a mixture of local people, merchants from other parts of the Middle East and tourists from all over the world. And when you are done, you can ride an Abra (water taxi, across to the nearest subway station.
5. Travel to the Spice and Textile Souqs
This is very similar to visiting the Gold Souk but somehow the products, smells and people watching are far more dynamic. it is always intriguing to see what is for sale in a foreign market, and the Spice Souks are not likely to disappoint people looking for something unusual, like Deer Blood or Ostrich Oil, for example. And thank goodness we bought some Snake Soap, because it should keep us alive for eternity! The people watching in this area is also great because there is a mixture of local people, merchants from other parts of the Middle East and tourists from all over the world. And when you are done, you can ride an Abra (water taxi) across to the nearest subway station.
3. Dive with Sharks at the Shopping Mall
As if snow skiing at the shopping mall were not enough, the Dubai Mall (adjacent to the Burj Khalifa - tallest building in the world) features a world class salt water aquarium. Not only is there a walk-through tunnel, but there are also "swim with the sharks" experiences available to mall goers. There are honestly so many of these wacky attractions in Dubai that it would be hard to get them all in if you stayed much less than a week! One of the biggest tricks in Dubai is to be sure that reservations to attractions have been arranged in advance. Our experts can help you make sure that you will not miss anything in Dubai.
4. Enjoy the Most Decadent Brunch Imaginable
You may or may not have an all you can eat caviar buffet and free flowing unlimited champaign brunch on your bucket list. I know I did not. Either way, Dubai's Friday brunch is notoriously over the top. Check out our Top Bucket List recommendations to be sure you book the best spot. I LOVED Brunch at the Palace Hotel. Reservations are absolutely critical. Typically you can have alcohol free brunch, mid-level alcohol (wine, beer and standard liquor) brunch or full champaign brunch. And these fancy brunches are not inexpensive. Budget around $100US per person for the fancy hotel brunch. (And more for the free-flowing champaign) This is something to do with a group. Typically, families meet up and spend a few hours at this glutenous Friday feast.
6. Visit the Tallest Building in The World
Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world. Visiting all of the tallest buildings in the world is on allot of people's bucket lists. Whether it's on your list today or not, this building is worth visiting. It is twice as tall as the Empire State Building In New York City and three times as tall as Seattle's Space Needle. The experience that has been created for visitors is fantastic. It is incredibly clean, as is the entire city of Dubai. There are wonderful multi media exhibits and the elevator light show is so distracting (in a modern and very gentle way) that one is transported well over 100 floors without almost any sense of movement. Major TIP: Reservations to AT THE TOP (which is the Burj Khalifa experience) are consistently sold out at least 3 days in advance. It is imperative that you buy your tickets for a specific time IN ADVANCE. You don't want to go all the way to Dubai and not be able to visit the top of the tallest building in the world. It's a very cool thing to see. Check out our Cool Venue Reservations Link on The Bucket List Planner Home Page.
2. Shop at the Gold Souks
The Souqs (or Souks) in Dubai are a great place to experience some local culture. Because local trade actually takes place at the Souqs as well as the neighboring Dubai Creek, the vibe feels more indigenous to the Middle East. This is especially in contrast to what you will see at the other tourist destinations in Dubai, which are geared toward Western and Asian visitors. The gold presentations are unparalleled, with most sold by the milligram at the up-to-the-moment gold market price. In addition to tourists, it is common to see many Arab men and women as well as many Iranian merchants.
1. Ski in the Shopping Mall
It sounds like the craziest thing in the world, but on a 120 degree day in Dubai you can take a taxi across town and go snow skiing at the Emirates shopping mall. The trails are not too long, but the quad lift ride is long enough for your fingers to get really cold. All things being equal, it would be a perfectly good place to learn to snow ski. It is a fun and active alternative to wandering around shopping or seeing a movie in the air conditioning on a hot sunny day. The pure ridiculousness of a ski hill in a shopping mall in the Arabian Desert makes it a super fun thing to add to your bucket list. Highly recommended for the pure novelty of it all!
The city of Dubai is a city of extremes. The beauty of it all is that Dubai was re-invented in the last 20 years with a goal of attracting visitors. As a result there are a million things to see and do in Dubai and the surrounding Emirates. If you have camel riding on your bucket list, Dubai is the place for you. If you want to shop the entire runway collection of every top designer in the world, Dubai has the nicest malls in the world. If your bucket list includes visiting all of the tallest buildings in the world, your first stop should be Dubai. We have organized a few trips for next year that include Dubai. Check our Featured Tours for 2015. In the mean time, use this list to figure out the best things to do in 3 days in Dubai!